תמונות בעמוד

XIX. The Duruzians, or Dursians, a fierce and warlike people that inhabit the craggy rocks and inhospi- Duruzione. table wilds of mount Libanus, give themselves out Dursians. for descendants of the Franks, who, from the eleventh century, carried on the holy war with the Mahometans in Palestine; though this pretended origin is a matter of the greatest uncertainty. "What the doctrine and discipline of this nation are at present, is extremely difficult to know, as they are at the greatest pains imaginable to conceal their religious sentiments and principles. We find however both in their opinions and practice, the plainest proofs of their acquaintance with Christianity. Several learned men have imagined, that both they and the curdi of Persia had formerly embraced the sentiments of the Manicheans, and perhaps still persevere in their pernicious errors."

The Chamsi, or Solares, who reside in a certain district of Mesopotamia, are supposed, by curious inquirers into these matters, to be a branch of the Samsæans mentioned by Epiphanius.

There are many other semichristian sects of these kinds in the east," whose principles, tenets, and institutions are far from being unworthy of the curiosity of the learned. And those who would be at the pains to turn their researches this way, and more especially to have the religious books of these sects conveyed into Europe, would undoubtedly render eminent service to the cause of sacred literature, and obtain applause from all who have a taste for the study of Christian antiquities; for the accounts

30, considered the Jezdæans as the descendants of the ancient Sethians. But this opinion is no less improbable than that which makes them a branch of the Manicheans; wbich bis sufficiently refuted by their sentiments concerning the evil genius. Beausobre, in his Histoire de Manicheisme, tom. i. p. 613, conjectures that the denomination of this sect is derived from the name of Jesus ; but it seems rather to be borrowed from the word jazid, or jezdan, which, in the Persian language, signifies the Good God, and is opposed to ahrimne or arimanius, the evil principle : see Herbelot, Biblioth, Orientale, p. 484. Charefeddin Aly, Hist. de Timurbec, tom. iii. p. 81, so that the term Jazidans points out that sect as the worsbippers of true God. Notwithstanding the plausibility of this account of the matter, it is not impossible that the city Jezd, of which Otter speaks in his Voyage en Turquie et en Perse, tom. i. p. 283, may have given rise to the title of Jasidians or Jezdæans.

f See Lucas, Voyages en Grece et Asie Mineur, tom. ii. p. 36. Hyde, Histor. Relig. Veter. Persar. p. 491, 554. Sir Paul Ricaut's History of the Ottoman Empire, vol. i. p. 313.

& Hyde, Histor. Relig. Veter. Persar. p. 555.

h See the work of the Jesuit Diusse, entitled “Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses des Missions Etrangeres," tom. i. p. 63. This author tells us, that in the mountains which separate Persia from India, there lives a sect of Christians, wbo imprint the sign of the cross on their bodies with a red hot iron.

who embraced the Roman com. munioni.

which have hitherto been given of these nations and sects are full of uncertainty and contradiction.

xx. The missionaries of Rome have never ceased to disof the Greeko play in these parts of the world their dexterity in en cemaraced making proselytes, and accordingly have founded,

though with great difficulty and expense, among the greatest part of the sects now mentioned, congregations that adopt the doctrine, and acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff. It is abundantly known, that among the Greeks who live under the empire of the Turk, and also among those who are subject to the dominion of the Venetians, the emperor of the Romans, and other Christian princes, there are several who have adopted the faith and discipline of the Latin Church, and are governed by their own clergy and bishops, who receive their confirmation and authority from Rome. In this latter city there is a college, expressly founded with a view to multiply these apostatizing societies, and to increase and strengthen the credit and authority of the Roman pontiff among the Greeks. In these colleges a certain number of Grecian students, who have given early marks of genius and capacity, are instructed in the arts and sciences, and are more especially prepossessed with the deepest sentiments of veneration and zeal for the authority of the pope. Such an institution, accompanied with the efforts and labours of the missionaries, could not fail, one would think, to gain an immense number of próselytes to Rome, considering the unhappy state of the Grecian churches. But the case is quite otherwise ; for the most respectable writers, even of the Roman catholic persuasion, acknowledge fairly, that the proselytes they have drawn from the Greek churches make a wretched and despicable figure in point of number, opulence, and dignity, when compared with those to whom the religion, government, nay, the very name of Rome, are disgusting and odious. They observe farther, that the sincerity of a great part of these proselytes is of the Grecian stamp; so that, when a favourable occasion is offered them of renouncing, with advantage, their pretended conversion, they seldom fail, not only to return to the bosom of their own church, but even to recompense the good offices they received from the Romans with the most injurious treatment. The same writers mention another circumstance, much less surprising indeed than

A juuction between the Russian and Roman churches actempled in vain.

those now mentioned, but much more dishonourable to the church of Rome; and that circumstance is, that even those of the Greek students who are educated at Rome with such care, as might naturally attach them to its religion and government, are nevertheless so disgusted and shocked at the corruptions of its church, clergy, and people, that they forget, more notoriously than others, the obligations with which they have been loaded, and exert themselves with peculiar obstinacy and bitterness in opposing the credit and authority of the Latin church.

xxi. In their efforts to extend the papal empire over the Greek churches, the designing pontiffs did not forget the church of Russia, the chief bulwark and ornament of the Grecian faith. On the contrary, frequent deliberations were held at Rome, about the proper methods of uniting, or rather subjecting this church to the papal hierarchy. In this century John Basilides, grand duke of the Russians, seemed to discover a propensity toward this union, by sending, in the year 1580, a solemn embassy to Gregory XIII. to exhort that pontiff to resume the negotiations relative to this important matter, that so they might be brought to a happy and speedy conclusion. Accordingly, the year following, Antony Possevin, a learned and artful Jesuit, was charged with this commission by the Roman pontiff, and sent into Moscovy to bring it into execution. But this dexterous missionary, though he spared no pains to obtain the purposes of his ambitious court, found by experience that all his efforts were unequal to the task he had undertaken; nor did the Russian ambassadors, who arrived at Rome soon after, bring any thing to the ardent wishes of the pontiff, but empty promises, conceived in dubious and general terms, on which little dependence could be made. And

i See, among other authors who have treated this point of history, Urb. Cerri, Etat presenl de l'Eglise Romaine, p. 82, in which, speaking of the Greeks, he expresses himself in the following manner; “Ils deviennent les plus violens ennemis des Catholiques lorsqu'ils ont apris nos sciences, et qu'ils ont connoissance de nos imperfections ; i. e. in plain English, “They,” the Greeks, “become the bitterest enemies of us Roman catholics, when they have been instructed in our sciences, and have acquired the knowledge of our imperfections.” Other testirnonies of a like nature shall be given hereafter. Mich. Le Quien has given us an enumeration, although a defective one, of the Greek bishops that follow the rites of the Roman church, in his Oriens Christ. tom. iii. p. 860.

k See the conferences between Possevin and the duke of Moscovy, together with the other writings of this Jesuit, relative to the negotiation in question, that are subVOL. III.


indeed the event abundantly showed, that Basilides had no other view, in all these negotiations, than to flatter the pope, and obtain his assistance, in order to bring to an advantageous conclusion the unsuccessful war, which he had carried on against Poland.

The ministry of Possevin and his associates was how. ever attended with more fruit among that part of the Russians who reside in the Polish dominions, many of whom embraced the doctrine and rites of the Roman church, in consequence of an association agreed on in the year 1596, in a meeting at Bresty, the capital of the palatinate of Cu-" javia. Those that thus submitted to the communion of Rome, were called the united, while the adverse party, who adhered to the doctrine and jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople, were distinguished by the title of the nonunited. It is likewise farther worthy of observation here, that there has been established at Kiovia, since the fourteenth century, a congregation of Russians, subject to the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff, and ruled by its own Metropolitans, who are entirely distinct from the Russian bishops that reside in that city." XXII. The Roman missionaries made scarcely any spities ritual conquests worthy of mention among either 4. the Asiatic or African Monophysites. About the

middle of the preceding century, a little insigni- ficant church, that acknowledged the jurisdiction nians of the Roman pontiff, was erected among the Nestorians, whose patriarchs, successively named Joseph," reside in the city of Diarbek. Some of the Armenian provinces embraced the doctrines and discipline of Rome so early as the fourteenth century, under the pontificate of John XXII. who, in the year 1318, sent them a Dominican monk to govern their church, with the title and authority of an archbishop. The episcopal seat of this spiritual ruler was first fixed at Adorbigana, in the district of Soldan nia ;' but was afterward transferred to Naxivan, where it

The votaries of Rome still less numerous among the Monopliya sites, XestoTians, and

joined to his work, called Moscovia. See also La Vie du Possevin, par Jean Dorigny, livr. v. p. 351.

i Adr. Regenvolechii Histor. Ecclesiar. Slavonicar. lib. iv. cap. ii. p. 465.

m See Mich. Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, tom. i. p. 1274, and tom iii. p. 1126. Acta Sanctorum, tom. ij. Februar. p. 693.

n Sce Assemanni Biblioth. Orient. Vatican. tom. iii. part i. p. 615. Le Quien, Oriensa Christianus, tom. ii. p. 1094.

o Odor. Raynald. Anna!. tom. xv. ad A. 1318, fir..

still remains in the hands of the Dominicans, who alone are admitted to that ghostly dignity.” The Armenian churches in Poland, who have embraced the faith of Rome, have also their bishop, who resides at Lemberg." The Georgians and Mingrelians, who were visited by some monks of the Theatin and Capuchin orders, disgusted these missionaries by their ferocity and ignorance, remained inattentive to their counsels, and unmoved by their admonitions ; so that their ministry and labours were scarcely attended with any visible fruit.

XXIII. The pompous accounts which the papal missionaries have given of the vast success of their labours among all these Grecian sects, are equally, destitute of candour and truth. It is evident, from testimonies of the best and most respectable authority, that in some of these countries they do nothing fruit. more than administer clandestine baptism to sick infants, who are committed to their care, as they appear in the fictitious character of physicians ;* and that, in other places, the whole success of their ministry is confined to the gathering together some wretched tribes of indigent converts, whose poverty is the only bond of their attachment to the church of Rome, and who, when the papal largesses are suspended or withdrawn, fall from their pretended allegiance to Rome, and return to the religion of their ancestors.' It happens also, from time to time, that a person of distinction among the Greeks or orientals embraces the doctrine of the Latin church, and promises obedience to its pontiff, nay, carries matters so far as to repair to Rome to testify his respectful submission to the apostolic see. But in these obsequious steps the noble converts are almost always moved by avarice or ambition; and accordingly, when the face of their affairs changes, when they have obtained their purposes, and have nothing more to expect, then they,

The labours of ibe Roman missionaries among all these sectz produce little

p Le Quien, Oriens Christian. tom. iii. p. 1362, and 1403. Clemens Galanus, Conci. liatione Ecclesiæ Armenia, cum Romana, tom. I. p. 527.

q Memoires des Missions de la Compagnie de Jesus, tom. iij. p. 54. r Urb. Cerri Elat present de l'Eglise Romaine, p. 162.

s Urb. Cerri Etat present de l'Eglise Romaine, p. 164. Gabr. de Chinon, Relations nouvelles du Levant, part i. c. vi. p. 174. This capuchin monk delivers his opinions on many subjects with frankness and candour.

t See Chardin's Voyages en Perse, tom. i. p. 186, tom. ij. p. 53, 75, 206, 271, 349, and principally tom. iii. p. 433, of the last edition published in Holland, in 4to. for in the former editions all the scandalous transactions of the Roman missionaries among the Armenians, Colchians, Iberians, and Persians, are entirely wanting. See also Chinon, Relations du Levant, part ii. p. 308, which regards the Armenians; and Maillet, Description d'Egypte, tom, iii. p. 65, which is relative to the Copts.

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