PRIESTS

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PRIESTS ; officers called by choice or birth to perform religious rites, and to inculcate and expound religious dogmas. Among the ancient pagan nations, all that was dignified and venerable, that deserved respect and obedience, that stood nearer to the Divinity than the common mass of mortals, was associated with the idea of the priestly office. The patriarch of the primitive world was at once the king and the priest of his family ; and when the state was developed from the family, the royal and priestly dignity still continued, for a long time, to be united in the same person. (See Melchisedek, and Patrior ens.) But these offices became separated in those states of antiquity which owed their existence to the ascendency of single heroes or conquering tribes; and by the side of the regal dignity and sovereignty a sacerdotal order, which in some countries was elective, in others hereditary, grew up, and by the reputation of superior wisdom, and secret communion with the gods (whence the priests were also honored as magicians and physicians), inspired the mind with awe. In the states of Western Asia, in Egypt, Greece and Rome, the priests were therefore public counsellors, and instruments of government. Their original office was to bring down divine things to the conception of men (the origin of most of the mythuses may therefore be referred to their expla nations of symbols and emblems), and to solemnize the public worship of the gods by sacrifices, prayers and religious pomp (mysteries). Instruction and the interpretation of symbolical doctrines ceased to be a part of their office when the mythical religious system came to an end; and when the poets, rhetoricians and philosophers assumed the office of interpreters of the mythuses, the sole business of the priests became the performance of the religious rites. The Mosaic constitution exhibits them in this stage of developement, and, while it clothes them with great power, reserves the spir#ual part of religion to the prophets. (See High Priest, and Theocracy.) The posterity of Aaron, the hereditary priests of the Hebrews, became, therefore, mere mechanical agents in the daily repetition of the temple service. It fared no better with the Roman Catholic clergy when they adopted the rigor and formalities of the Jewish priesthood, with the view of obtaining the same privileges, and exacting from the Christian laity the same contributions (e. g. tithes) wliich the Levites had enjoyed. Such a tendency was altogether foreign from the Founder of Christianity and its apostles. The primitive Christian communities had, indeed, teachers, whose duty it was to expound the divine word, and to exercise a paternal care over their disciples ; but not to perform pompous ceremonies, nor to rule over the conscience. Some of these teachers were called presbyters, whence the term priest, in .our language, is derived (see Presbyterians) ; but they were by no means priests in the sense of the word which prevails at present. In the Catholic church, priests are that order of the clergy who perform the holy office of the mass, and in some of the Protestant churches, those who administer the sacraments, preach, &c. (See Hierarchy, and Ordination.) Among the Hindoos, the sacerdotal caste styled Bramins form the highest caste. (See Bramins, and Caste.) In the systems of Lamaism and Mohammedanism, the dalailama and the caliph are the heads of the priesthood. (See Lama, and Caliph.) Priests, Nonjuring, or Pritres InsermenUs. The schism in the French church, produced by the constitution civile du clergh of the 12th of July, 1790, was connected with the old relations of that church with the Roman see and the French government, and of these latter with each other. Louis IX, by his pragmatic sanction (1268), defended the rights latter. By the concordate of Leo X with Francis I (1516), the right of appointing the bishops and prelates was secured to the king, and that of receiving the annates, to the pope; at the same time, an opportunity was afforded to the nobles, by requiring of them a shorter period of preparation, to exclude the learned class, who were really the clergy, from the higher and more profitable ecclesiastical offices. By a royal edict of 1606, this exclusion of the learned was completed, and those abuses introduced, which, in connexion with the licentiousness and immorality of some of the higher clergy, contributed to produce the revolution. The immense revenues of the Gallican church were not applied to spiritual purposes, but merely to supply to the younger sons of nobles the means of leading dissipated and dissolute lives, while the real laborers in the churchthe priestswere obliged to live, for the most part, on very moderate, and often scanty incomes. The declaration of the French clergy of 1682 (denying the personal infallibility of the pope and his power to interfere in secular affairs), the Jansenist controversy, and the bull Unigenitus (1713), had introduced divisions into the church. It was no wonder, then, that when, in 1788, the government itself called the people to a great political reform, the church should have been one of the first objects of attention. The first step was to declare the possessions of the church national property, which, after supplying the necessary wants of the church, was to be employed for purposes of state. The relations of the state to the Catholic church were afterwards entirely changed by the civil constitution of the clergy above mentioned. The 135 bishoprics, which were of very unequal extent, were reduced to 83, one for each department, and the whole country was divided into ten archbishoprics. The ten archbishops were to have their seats at Rouen, Rheims, Besancon, Rennes, Paris, Bourges, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Aix and Lyons. The bishops were to officiate as the curates of their sees; the priests and bishops were to be chosen by the people; the canonical consecration was to be performed by the bishop or archbishop (the archbishop being consecrated by the oldest bishop in the archbishopric). The pope, as the visible head of the church, was merely to be informed after the choice had taken place, without any confirmation from him being necessaiy; and all the bishops, both those"to watch over the congregations committed to them, to be faithful to the nation, the law and the king, and to support the constitution, which should be framed by the national assembly and accepted by the king." Most of the oTd prelates and many of the priests refused to take this oath. Such refusal was declared equivalent to a resignation, and others were chosen to supply their places. The nonjuring clergy formed one of the most powerful means of opposing republicanism in France ; they kindled the war in La Vendee ; the greatest part of them emigrated, and published excommunications and charges of heresy, particularly from England, against those who had submitted to the new order of things. The national convention opposed these attacks by the most rigorous measures. Several hundreds of the clergy, who refused to take the oath, were murdered in the prisons of Paris, on the 2d and 3d of September, 1792. The revolutionary tribunal endeavored to extirpate them from the republic. Carrier drowned fiftyeight at once, at Nantes; and a law was passed condemning them to deportation en masse. Even those servants of religion who had submitted to the civil constitution were not suffered to live in peace; religion itself had become hateful to political fanaticism. This violence was carried so far, that the constitutional bishop of Paris, John Baptist Joseph Gobel, a man 67 years of age, who had been educated at Rome, and had been suffragan of the bishop of Basle (since 1772), appeared at the bar of the convention, acknowledged himself an impostor, who had hitherto deceived the people with doctrines which he did not believe himself, and tore off the badges of his sacred office. He was soon after guillotined. This madness, however, did not long continue. Some constitutional bishops obtained from the national convention, in 1794, the declaration of freedom of conscience, and entered into an association with their clerical brethren. The consequence of this was the national councils of 1797 and 1801, the acts of which were printed; and their principles, founded on the constitution civile, met with approbation from manyforeign bishops, particularly the Italian. Of the 40,000 parish churches of France, 32,214 were again opened in 1796, and almost all were filled by priests who had taken the oath (pritres assermente's). The French church was far advanced towards independence, when the revolution of 1799, and the concordate of 1801, in which Napoleon sought to make the church a support to his power, restored its old connexion with Rome. The result showed how much Napoleon erred in this policy.o PRIMAGE is a small allowance made by the shippers to the master of a freighting vessel, for his care and trouble in respect to the cargo. It is usually confounded with average (see Average) in the bill of lading, and both are estimated at a certain rate per cent, on the amount of the freight. PRIMARY. (See Ornithology.) PRIMARY ROCKS. (See Geology.) PRIMATE (primas regni, head of the kingdom); in the European states, the chief archbishop in the state, and the first subject of the realm ; in the Catholic church, the primate is also perpetual legate of the pope, and has a sort of spiritual jurisdiction over the other archbishops. There are also primates of provinces. The archbishop of Toledo is primate of Spain ; the archbishop of Braga is styled primate of Portugal, although he is actually inferior to the patriarch of Lisbon. In England, the archbishop of Canterbury is styled primate of all England, and the archbishop of York primate of England. In the Protestant Irish church, the archbishop of Armagh is primate of all Ireland; the archbishop of Dublin, primate of Ireland; the archbishop of Cashel, primate of Munster, and the archbishop of Tuam, primate of Connaught. In the German empire, the archbishop of Salzburg was primate of Germany. In France, the archbishop of Lyons is primate of France; that of Bourges, primate of Aquitania, and that of Rheims, of Normandy. In Hungary, the archbishop of Gran is primate; in Poland, the archbishop of Gnesen.