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Excerpts from the “The History of The Russian Church”. By N. Mouravieff.

Excerpts from the “The History of The Russian Church”. By N. Mouravieff.

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Published by Иоанн Дойг
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Published by: Иоанн Дойг on Sep 30, 2010
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he History of the Orthodox Church of our country, which I now present to the Public, ismerely a cursory glance at the great events that have marked the plantation and gradualdevelopment of this flourishing branch of the Universal Church. By the wise providence of Godit was ordained that when the Church of Jerusalem, the Mother of all Churches, wasoverwhelmed by the invasion of barbarians, the Church of Constantinople should shine out with peculiar lustre in the East, and spread her scions into all the North. And when she again in her turn, though she lost not her inward purity, fell under external calamities, then suddenly, as a seathat bursts its bounds, the Orthodox Faith overflowed and spread itself over the boundless tractsof Russia; and the Eastern Catholic Church may now count her children from the shores of the2
Adriatic to the bays of the Eastern ocean on the coast of America, from the icefields which grindagainst the Solovetsky Monastery on its savage islet in the North to the heart of the Arabian andEgyptian deserts, on the verge of which stands the Lavra of Sinai.
This picture, consolatory to every Christian, is more especially calculated to rejoice theheart of a Russian, on account of the mighty destinies, which the Church of our country haseither already accomplished, or is still accomplishing, over so vast a field. Let him but cast alook of tenderness on the cradle of our Faith, the ancient City of Kiev; or on Moscow, the elder of our two capitals, the heart of Orthodoxy; let him trace in thought the acts of Prelates such asCyrill, Peter, Alexis, Cyprian, Jonah, Philip, Job, Hermogenes, Philaret; of Monks and Hermits,like Antony and Theodosius, Sergius, the Zosima, the Cyrill, and others without number, whosenames live in that monastic world which has peopled the repose of our forests; of Princes, suchas the Vladimirs, the Michaels, or Alexander Nevsky, whose earthly diadems beamed inanticipation of the crowns which they were to receive in Paradise. Then what an army of Martyrs! What a company of women and of men of every age and calling, who, by the holinessof their lives or by their sufferings, have been confessors for the Name of Christ! And in themidst of all these varied scenes, how striking is the unity of the Faith, which has been preservedin such constant purity, that in spite of all circumstances which may have temporarily interruptedexternal communication between the Churches of Eastern Orthodoxy, they all constitute together in spirit but one whole! When the Church of Georgia,
now only a short time back, became anintegral portion of the Russian Church and Empire, after having stood alone, cut off and isolatedfrom all other Churches ever since the fourth century, there was not found to have arisen in thecourse of fifteen hundred years any the slightest difference between them in doctrine, no, nor even in ceremonies; but they agreed in all points with us and with the other Ecumenical Thronesof Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and with the Churches dependent uponthe first of them in Moldavia, Wallachia, Servia, Montenegria, Transylvania, Ulyria, and in aword, throughout all Sclavonia.In a rapid sketch like the present, which professes only to mark the general outline of thecourse of Ecclesiastical affairs, I have not thought it necessary to weary the reader with perpetualreferences to authorities, which for the most part are well known to all; such as The Annals of  Nestor and his continuators, collected together by the Patriarch Nikon; The Books of theGenealogies of our Princes, by the Metropolitans Cyprian and Malarias; and The Lives of theSaints. The Church Histories of Plato and Innocentius, the valuable Dictionary of RussianAuthors, by the Metropolitan Eugenius, with his Hierarchy of Kiev and all Russia, and the work of the immortal Karamzin, so rich in proofs of the close attention which he had bestowed onRussian history, together with those of other living authors on the same subject, have served mefor authorities, and supplied me with most of my materials, down to the times of the Patriarchate.From this point I have chiefly had recourse either to MSS, which are preserved in thePatriarchal Library at Moscow, or to books published by the Patriarchs. Thus the description of the coming of Jeremiah Patriarch of Constantinople, in order to raise Job to the Patriarchaldignity, with all the circumstances of this event, has been taken from contemporary Acts; and inlike manner the whole affair of the trial of the Patriarch Nicon. The different steps successivelytaken for the correction of the Church books have been accurately described in the Prefaces tothe Office-books of Philaret, the Tablets of Nicon, the Staff of Rule and Instruction of Joachim.The Ancient Russian Library, composed almost entirely from MSS of the Patriarchal Vestry,which had been carefully collected by Nicon; The History of the Unia, by Kamensky;Roumanzoff’s Collection of Letters; The Archaeological Acts, full of matter which has been only3

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