EASTERN CHRISTIANITY, AND ITS EFFECTS IN BULGARIA.
Feasts and fast-days economically considered - The Bulgarian catechized
- The clergy seek union with Rome - Rejected as unworthy - A curacy in
Bulgaria - The rector - The parishioners - Fasting - Holy water - Extortion
of the priests - Reforms suggested.
IT is not our intention to enter upon a discussion of the dogmas or doctrine of the Greek religion, which we shall consider merely in its effects upon the morality and education of the Christians of the East, in short, as a school of civilization. When we find that a religion as preached and practised by its clergy has no beneficial action whatever, it must be regarded, economically, only as a method by which a parasitic class enriches itself at the expense of public credulity: but if the fruits which it produces are idleness, ignorance, drunkenness, and an utter absence of morality, then such a religion deserves to be placed under the ban of public opinion. All these evils, which exist to a terrible extent in Bulgaria, can be traced to the influence of the Greek clergy.
The Fetichism of the Gaboon would never be tolerated in England - not because its exercise would shock the religious feelings of a nation whose troops not long ago presented arms to the statue of Buddha in the procession of Juggernaut, but because Cannibalism, the murders committed by the priest-sorcerers, and the constant terror inspired by the fear of White Devils, render Fetichism incompatible with our civilization.
And is a religion which absolutely prohibits labour during 183 days of the year, and during the other 182 weakens its professors by such fasts as are unknown in Europe, except perhaps in a Trappist monastery likely to encourage civilization to any great extent ?
Such precepts are, no doubt, more honoured in the breach than the observance by those whom a superior education has rendered free thinkers, or placed above the necessity of conforming to popular prejudices. Aristides had no false scruples to prevent his profaning the Sabbath of St. Mitrophanes by altering the address on the ownerless box which he found at the Custom House, [Vide 'Eastern Commerce.'], and a chicken may appear on a fast day at the table of Monsignor Benedictos, [Metropolitan of Monastir; a prelate concerning whom information is given in later pages of this chapter.] under the name of a vegetable marrow: but what is inevitable is, that the corn will remain ungarnered upon the fields for at least fifteen days, [This feast varies in duration from fifteen to forty days.] during which it pays tithe to the pigeons and turtle, or is spoilt by the rain, for these fifteen days are days of feast, when labour is forbidden by the Greek priest, though no interdict is laid upon the peasant's consumption of wine or spirits; and that, during a Lent of sixty days, the scrupulous peasant-mother will refuse her sick infant any other nourishment than bread, onions, or garlic and cabbagewater; the child may die, but the fast has been observed.
"I know all that," said Miltiades to us one day, " but, with us, it is only the lower classes who believe in that nonsense; every educated Hellene is an atheist, for our religion has one grand advantage, it leads to Atheism sooner than any other." [This was said as we have quoted; another Greek, holding a high official position, who was present at this conversation, added: "As for me, I only believe in Jupiter," and he was speaking seriously without any arriere pensee of sarcasm.]
Strange apology for a Christian religion!
Though abstaining, as we have said, from all criticism of dogmas, we must point out some of the effects produced upon the Rayahs by the doctrine of his Church as the Papas interprets it to him.
A short time since a peasant of our village remarked, whilst drinking a cup of wine in our house,
"After next Sunday I shan't drink any more of your wine."This resolution, a very strange one for a Bulgarian to take, astonished us not a little, especially as our friend N___ is rather a hard-drinker, and we began to wonder whether any Apostles of Teetotalism had arrived in our neighbourhood; however, we congratulated him upon his proposed abstinence from fermented liquors.
“No, no, not at all; I am not going to give up wine or raki, but I say I shall not drink any more of your wine after next Sunday."Then we remembered that as on its arrival the barrel of wine was very muddy, we had put in half-a-dozen whites of egg to clear it.
“Why not? is it too strong for you?”
“Oh no! your wine is very good indeed, but the Easter Lent begins next Sunday, and your wine is yaghli." (Yaqhli here means gras, technically used as opposed to maigre, and applies to everything which may not be eaten during a Fast).
“But how is it yaghli?”
“Because you put eggs into it."
N___ continued. “If I drink your wine, when I go to confession the Papas will refuse me the Koumka (Communion), and I shall be ashamed, because there are always a lot of people looking on."
The conversation then turned upon Papasses and religion, and N___ was much astonished to learn that the clergy of Europe are not in the habit of lending out money to their flocks at sixty per cent. interest.
The greatest sin which can be committed by an orthodox Christian of Bulgaria (as well as by his brother of St. Petersburg) is to break a Fast day by eating forbidden food, any act of theft being nothing in comparison with this. We asked N___ which the Papas would consider the greater crime, to drink our wine during Lent, or to steal a goose; and the answer was, " Well, to steal a goose is certainly a sin, but to drink your wine would be a much greater one."
"How fortunate you are," concluded he, as he drank off his Yaghli wine, "to have priests who don't walk off with your last fowl!”
The ignorance of the Bulgarians with regard to all the precepts and maxims of the Gospels, and even of everything that concerns their religion, with the exception of its outward forms is, even to those who know their clergy, most astonishing; and even with these outward observances are mixed various curious relics of the old Slavonic Pantheism, a mixture which is tolerated by the priests either from ignorance of the presence of the Pagan element, or from reasons already mentioned. [See Chapters IV. and V.]
It would be useless to ask a peasant to quote any passage from the Bible, for there are few Papasses who are capable of doing so; they being frequently unable to write or read, and holding a book in their hands during the performance of Divine Service only to give themselves a greater air of dignity; the prayers, &c., they learn off by heart.
Put the simplest questions to a peasant, such questions as a Sunday School child of six years old will answer with ease, and you will receive the strangest replies. We give a specimen of such a catechism, from which some part has been omitted, as the answers, though given in ignorance, appear too blasphemous to write down: -
Q. “How many Gods are there?"Crimes against property, false witness, and many such acts as are not only against the precepts of every Christian religion, but also punishable by law, are mere peccadillos for which absolution may be purchased from the priest at the rate of an egg apiece.
A. " Kto znaie ? " (who knows ?) the invariable reply at first, but on pressing the question we were told -
“Probably many, for there is one for the Turks, and another for us, and no doubt the English and French have another - a rich one, too - for there are only Chinguines (gipsies) who have no God.” [There is a Turkish and Bulgarian tradition that when religions were given out to the different nations of the earth, the recipients cut their several creeds upon stone, engraved them upon wood or metal, or printed them in books (the Franks, for instance); the gipsies however wrote their canons upon the leaves of a cabbage, which was shortly afterwards seen and eaten by a Turkish donkey; this is the reason that the Chinguines have neither religion nor God of their own.]
Q. “Who is Jesus Christ?"
A. “Do you mean Christos?”
Q. “Yes; who is he?"
A. “Kto znaie?"
Q. “Is he not the Son of God?"
A. “Don't laugh at a poor peasant, Chelibi (Sir)."
Q. “What is the Koumka (Communion)?"
A. "It is bread and wine which the Papas gives you to eat: it costs ten piastres."
Q. “Is it not the body of Jesus Christ?” [The Greek Church holds the doctrine of the real presence.]
A. “Now you are laughing at me again, Chelibi!”
Q. “What is a sin?"
A. " It is a bad thing, for which you have to pay the papas."
Q. "Mention some sins.”
A. Oh, there are a great many; for instance, to clean a stable or to buy or sell milk after sunset, to sell a loaf of bread without breaking a piece off it, not to fumigate flour with incense if it has been ground in a mill belonging to a Turk, to give a spoon as a plaything to a child, not to sweep the place where an unbeliever has sat down in your house, to let a dog get up upon your roof, and ever so many others - and quite lately it has become a sin to give alms to a gipsy."
Such is the impression made upon the conscience of the Rayah by the religious and moral instructions of the Papas.
If the Rayah is not ten times richer than the Turk, if he is totally and pitiably uneducated, if he professes a religion swarming with Fetiches and which eradicates none of the thousand superstitions which embitter his life, if his morality is of the lowest possible standard, if he is a disloyal subject and a dangerous neighbour, [To our knowledge the following maxims are inculcated by the Greek clergy: that the authority of the Wladyka (Bishop or Metropolitan) is in all cases, civil as well as ecclesiastical, paramount to that of the Padischah, and that it is no sin to rob or cheat a Mussulman.] for all this he may thank, not the Turkish Government, but the Greek Hierarchy which distant England so much admires.
Not very long ago the Ultramontane party in France was congratulating itself upon the reported union of the Bulgarians with the Papal See, and about the same time England was occupied with the project of a fusion between the Anglican and Greek Churches.
The report had never much foundation, and the union of Bulgaria with Rome was never carried out: how far it would have been possible may be learnt from the words of the Chief of the Roman Catholic Mission at Varna, a Cappucino monk of exemplary life and character: -
“Some time since several Bulgarian (not Greeks, though of the Greek Church) Papasses called on me with questions as to the possibility of a union with the Holy See - but can assure you, Signore, that such a thing is quite out of the question."
"Why so, Padre? on account of the marriage of the clergy?"
“Not that, for the United Greek Church has a dispensation; but there is one insurmountable religious obstacle to admitting this clergy into union with our Church, and as to the people, it would be a very toilsome mission that of endeavouring to instil into their minds any kind of morality whatever, and I think few of them would accept the severe maxims of our religion upon this point. Just imagine, all these Papasses, without exception, who came to consult me, were so totally ignorant of all that relates to even the first principles and simplest doctrines of Christianity, and their ideas of morality, even of social morality, were so vague or so loose, that it would not only be utterly impossible to admit them into our Church as priests, but I doubt whether, without previously preparing them by a course of study, I should be justified in accepting them as catechumens." [See Appendix D.]
Such was the opinion of a member of that Church which is supposed to be only too ready to make any proselytes by any means; and though it may startle some of those who have fancied the Greek Church to be everything that is perfect, it is probable that it is not strong enough to change the opinion of the many who persist in thinking the Greek Church to be a sister of the Anglican. Let us draw a picture, not altogether fanciful, of what might take place if these two Churches were amalgamated.
An English gentleman, just ordained, and fresh from Oxford, accepts a curacy in Bulgaria under an incumbent of the Greek Church; he has prepared himself by attending a series of lectures at the Taylorian upon "The Bulgarian dialect of Slavonic as connected with Moeso-Gothic," and starts upon his journey with the expectation of finding the "rector" of his future parish a specimen of sublimed humanity attired in a patriarchal beard, and flowing robes whose severely graceful folds give to his figure a dignity like that of the Moses of Michael Angelo, whilst he unites in his single person the lofty affability of all the heads of houses, the learning of a whole Common Room, and the mild justice of a dozen deans or sub-rectors, with the simplicity of manners and purity of heart of a bishop of the early centuries of Christianity.
He arrives at the scene of his labours; he finds the beard and the flowing robes, but both are undeniably greasy, and their owner, a portly personage who diffuses around him a perfume of garlic and raki, salutes him with a humble bow, and addresses him as 'Chelibi'; when he is informed of the respective positions of himself and the new-comer, he takes a slightly higher tone, and demands: -
“Have you any money?”
“Yes, Sir, a little."
“Very good; but don't call me Sir, only plain 'Dimitri,' since you have money and I have none, for these wretched villagers no longer pay as they used to do, thanks to the Schism; and as the Papadika [The Papas’ wife] pockets everything, you shall pay for us both, and we will go to the Tukhan."
The curate assents, and follows his rector, fancying that he is going to make a round of visits in the parish: after a minute's walk along a muddy road an old woman stops them, saying,
“Papas, my husband Tanaz is dying, and he implores you for the love
of Heaven to come and see him."
“Have you got the seventy piastres?” is the reply of the priest.
“We are poor; very, very poor, Papas."
“That's a lie, Tranitza, you are quite rich enough to pay me.”
“But the funeral only costs forty piastres.”
“That's what I have to pay to the Wladyka, but do you suppose I have bought this parish in order to make nothing out of it? Pay me the seventy piastres or ...”
“Then I will sell the cow and pay you ...”
“Not a bit of it, I shan't give credit."
“Boze!, Boze! [A Bulgarian exclamation as frequently used as the French “Mon Dieu." and with the same literal meaning.] my husband is dying!”
“Let him die, then, if you are not going to pay me!"
The curate offers to go and console the dying man, for, thanks, to, Professor Max Miller's lectures, he has understood something of this dialogue, though he is rather astonished at the absence of the Moeso-Gothic element; but the Papas stops him with "What! you'd go and rob me of my seventy piastres? these people will never pay unless we get it out of them in advance.”
The woman goes away sobbing, and the sensitive heart of the Oxonian is so touched that he ventures to offer the sum in question to his rector, who accepts it with the greatest condescension and, calls back Tranitza.
“This young gentleman has advanced some of the money for you, so I'll come and see your husband for you presently, but get ready for me two dozen of eggs, six fowls, and five sahans [The sahan, literally “bowl," is a measure devoted to the use of the priest, and averages about an oke.] of flour."
The Tukhan is reached, and they enter, slightly to the surprise of the curate when he finds himself in a very dingy and disreputable-looking pot-house; but as all the villagers rise and kiss his hands as well as those of the Papas, he fancies that he is being presented to his parishioners. Time passes rapidly with the Papas, who calls for innumerable small glasses of raki varied by numberless big tumblers of wine. About 4 o'clock he begins to sing unclerical songs, and by 5 he cannot stand upright. At this stage enters the son of Tanaz, asking him to visit his father, who is at death's door. "Get along with you," says the Papas, whom his potations have rendered ill-tempered, adding a strong-flavoured Turkish oath much in use amongst the Rayahs. The young man has also been drinking, probably to drown his grief, and he answers so rudely that the Papas raises his arm to strike him; a scuffle ensues, in the course of which the sacerdotal garments are torn to rags, and half of Dimitri's beard remains in the hands of his adversary, whilst his cap is thrown down, trodden under foot, and loses all trace of its former peculiar shape; his coadjutor tries to interfere, but all the bystanders rush upon him and he extricates himself only by putting in practice certain athletic exercises which he has learnt at Maclarenys; and finds himself in the open air again with a much modified opinion of the Greek clergy.
Though he leaves the Papas to his fate, his first thought is to hasten to the house of Tanaz, saying to himself, “The clergy may be illiterate and even worse, but for all that I must not abandon my poor people." With this charitable reflection he arrives at the door of the miserable hut in which Tanaz is dying, but stays a moment on the threshold, almost fancying that he is at the gate of Pandemonium, so loud, so guttural, and so shrill are the shouts, screams, and wailings which proceed from the sick-room. For a moment the sight of a foreigner stops the uproar, and a hideous old woman. whom the scarf bound round her arm shows to be the village witch on duty, [See the Chapter on Superstitions.] places herself, arms akimbo, in front of the stranger, saying,
"I suppose you are the doctor; be off with you! I have tried with the
scarf, and Tanaz will die."
“I am a priest."
“You a priest! where's your Bakar, [Holy water pot] and your Kalpak [Cap]? You’re nothing but an impostor, get along with you!"
But a silver key gains admission to the room, and the curate makes his way through the throng of 'keening' relatives and friends to the bedside of the dying man, to whom he whispers words of hope and consolation.
But Tanaz rejects them; "It is no use, there is no hope for me, none! and so, Chelibi, give me back the seventy piastres, for it is only so much money wasted."
The curate tells him not to despair of the Divine mercy if he truly
"But I know there is no mercy for me, I must go to Hell, for a dog slept upon the roof of the house to-day; [See again Chapter on Superstitions.] so please give me back the seventy piastres!"
"But your wife did not give the money, it was I who gave it to the Papas."
"Yes, but your honour [Vasza milost, literally “your love”, a Bulgarian term of respect] gave it for my wife, so it belongs to us, and we don't want to give it to the Papas, because we know he can do nothing for me; he won't give back the piastres, but you, Chelibi, are too much of a gentleman not to do so."
After a year spent in charity and zealous labour amongst his peasant parishioners, helping them with money, healing their bodies as well as their souls, defending them against unjust extortion from the tax-collector and advocating their cause through his Consulate, the curate finds that he has sown his seed in a barren soil, and reaped neither gratitude, nor moral nor religions progress: so he leaves the country with much the same opinion of it as that of the Authors of this book.
The foregoing sketch will appear to many people exaggerated, if not impossible; yet even the existence of an English clergyman in Bulgaria is not quite fictitious, for the peasants of this neighbourhood have told us of English missionaries who settled in the Balkans, and after some years of devotion to the poor, the sick, and the ignorant, were at last driven away by those who owed the most to their kindness and Christian charity. As for the dialogues and scenes, - the Papas in the Tukhan fighting with his parishioner, the deathbed of Tanaz. and the others, they are unhappily no fictions, but relations of events.
Returning to the Greek Church, and leaving the question of its union with that of England, we find that the monks are often better educated than the country Papas, and it is from their ranks chiefly that the bishops and archbishops are chosen, as they furnish men who are more clever, if not more scrupulous, than the secular clergy of the country districts. The position of archbishop (or metropolitan) is a prize not to be disdained, the revenues sometimes amounting to 700,000 piastres, about 6000 l. per annum.
As for the morals of these ecclesiastical dignitaries, it is to be feared that their superior education is, in too many instances, only employed to do on a large scale what the Papas does on a small one, - to extort money from the people. The recent dissensions between the clergy and their Bulgarian flock have had the effect of bringing to light many instances of ill-conduct on the part of the spiritual chiefs of the Greek Church, but we will only cite, from these many, one case, as alluded to in a letter (one of a series on the same subject) to the 'Courrier d'Orient,' which will give a slight idea of the moral and financial state of the Eastern Church, and even of its internal discipline.
As the censorship of the press in Constantinople is one of those imported French institutions which flourish most vigorously, the grave charges brought forward, in this and other letters. against Monsignor Benedictos would certainly have drawn an "avertissement " upon the newspaper in which they were published, if their truth could have been in any way impugned. [See Appendix E.]
We have thus traced the action of the Orthodox Church and its clergy upon the Bulgarians, [We have not alluded to the Armenians, as the only members of that race to be found in Bulgaria are all either Government employes, or merchants in the towns; we have, however, very good reason for believing the Armenian clergy to be not much better educated than those of the Greek Church, and quite as rapacious.] and the resume of its effects is as follows: -
That there are 183 Feast Days during the year, on every one of which labour is absolutely forbidden, and the other 182 days are strict Fasts which weaken the peasant by their extreme rigour (particularly as they occur on the only days when he may labour), as his diet is reduced to bread, onions, garlic, or one of the few kinds of vegetables which he cultivates. Fish is as strictly forbidden as meat, and no exception is made even for sickness, infancy, or old age.
That it encourages gross superstition whilst it fails to civilize, educate, or improve the morals of the people; and finally
That the average Papas is hardly less ignorant than his flock, and in point of morality is even inferior to them.
Let us now calculate how much the Eastern Christians pay for these benefits.
In every village you may see, at least once a month, a Papas, accompanied by the Kiaya (nearly always a Mussulman gipsy), who carries a large copper vessel filled with holy water, a brush, and a big sack. The Papas enters every house, and sprinkles the walls and floor with the holy water, and throws a little over the people, themselves, who in return pay him a sum whose minimum is fixed at one piastre, the money being thrown into the benitier carried by the Kiaya. This payment is obligatory and cannot be evaded; moreover custom demands the addition of at least one oke of flour, which we will value at only one piastre, and this must be contributed even by the poorest families.
The Papas dines at the expense of some rich villager, and perhaps puts up for the night, if his church is too distant to admit of his returning the same day.
Many villages have no church nor resident Papas. This is not the fault of the Turkish Government but the choice of the villagers, who argue that it comes cheaper to have a Papas amongst them occasionally than one who would reside with them all the year round. [Our village, which is a rich one has neither church nor school, and there is not one of the peasants who can either read or write; lately a Chorbadji proposed the erection of a church, and offered to contribute ten pounds in money, all the timber necessary, and fifty cartloads of stone; this proposal was negatived in the village council on the ground that they paid enough to the priest already, and that if he were to live in the village always, they would be quite ruined.]
As the priest has usually bought his parish from the Wladika, he is obliged to make as much out of it as he can, and therefore though the aiasmas (sprinkling with holy water) are fixed at one per month, he takes the opportunity of renewing them often as he is sent for to a christening, marriage, burial, or other ceremony.
The other taxes levied by the Papas are from: each married couple two sheniks of corn, which are equal to one Constantinople kile or a fourth of a Varna kile, and average in value thirty-two piastres (1867-1868). [See Appendix F.] There is besides a tax for the metropolitan, which varies in different districts, being fixed here at sixteen piastres. The so-called voluntary contributions, such as eggs, butter, cheese, wine, grapes, lambs, fowls, flour, wool, &c., &c., amount to at least twenty piastres per house. Adding these sums to the twenty-four piastres annually paid for the aiasma, we find that the Papas receives from each family seventy-six piastres for himself, and sixteen for the metropolitan. [See Appendix G.]
Further, as every baptism is charged at five piastres, every marriage thirty, and every burial forty piastres, there is a very large sum annually paid in from these sources to the ecclesiastical coffers. Taking the deaths at thirty per thousand annually, the births at the same rate, and the marriages only at ten per thousand, we find that the twelve millions of Eastern Christians [We believe that we are doing no injustice to the Armenian clergy in supposing them to be at least as well paid as those of the Greek Church] pay an annual sum of nearly twenty millions of piastres for these three charges alone; and adding to this sum the seventy-six piastres of the Papas and the sixteen of the Wladyka paid by every family, we arrive at the grand total of 240 millions of piastres, or more than two millions of pounds sterling paid every year to the Eastern Churches. And we have omitted in this calculation the sums paid by communicants, collections at churches, the revenues of the monasteries and of land possessed by the Rayah clergy, &c., &c., which would probably nearly double this amount.
The monasteries especially bring in a large income to the Greek Church; numberless gifts are presented at their shrines and frequent pilgrimages made to them, when the pilgrim is made to pay pretty heavily for his board and lodging. The monks, however, make very good landlords, and if they are well paid are as polite as can be desired.
These pilgrimages are generally the result of confession, for when the penitent finds himself face to face with a whitebearded priest armed with a whip, [One of the customs (at confession) of the Greek Church in Turkey as well as in Russia.] he is glad to escape unhurt, and promises to do penance in any monastery which the Papas chooses for him.
The study of the action and effects of Eastern Christianity is a very painful one to the Christian of the West, as he sees a parasitical clergy preying upon the credulity, the ignorance, and the misery of an entire people; and that the Christian Church in Turkey is now what that of Europe was during the darkest ages of its profligacy and venality, with the same unbounded immorality in all those of its acts which ought to tend to the greater glory and advantage of true religion.
Painful too is the contrast between the morals of the Mussulman Hodja or Imam and those of the Christian Papas, [The priest of the largest church in an important town upon the Black Sea kept for Years, unnoticed and unrebuked by his superiors, a house of ill fame; we could give many other nearly similar instances.] between the education and honesty of the two peoples, Turks and Rayahs, and even between the revenues of the Ulema and those of the Church; the former serving to disseminate learning and afford a gratuitous education to the people, the latter being dedicated to keeping Papasses in luxury, and to corrupting Exarchs.
A remedy is possible; but Turkey is so unwilling to interfere in the ecclesiastical affairs of the Christians, that it would be necessary for the Western Powers to urge her, in the name of humanity, to compel a radical reform, not of doctrine, but in the morals and social position of the Greek clergy. Such a change would do more to benefit the Rayah than a century of the concessions which are now so liberally bestowed upon him.
It would. be but reasonable that a Government, which carries religious toleration to such an extent as is practised by Turkey, should be permitted to exact from the Christian Clergy some such conditions as the following: -
1. An amount of education sufficient to enable the priest to teach the
2. That this teaching shall not be contrary to the interests of the State, nor to the tenure of property. (See note, p. 102).
3. That the clergy shall not be permitted to ruin the subjects of the Government by oppressive exactions.
4. That the clergy shall, for offences not ecclesiastical, be subject to the civil tribunals.
It would be thus necessary that every candidate for holy orders should be compelled to pass an examination before a civil board of education, as well as to produce unexceptionable certificates of morality; and if any candidate failed in these points and afterwards succeeded in being ordained priest, both he and the metropolitan who ordained him should be liable to punishment. [Under the present system no examination of candidates is fairly practised; the person who wishes to become a priest, usually pays the Wladyka for ordaining him, and perhaps has to bribe against two or three competitors; after he becomes a priest he has to buy a parish from the Wladyka, of course, and to make what profit he can by the transaction.]
The tribunals and the police should be allowed to take cognizance of the civil offences committed by the priests; sermons and pastoral letters should be subjected to the same censorship as the press, whilst a Papas convicted of robbing or cheating his parishioners should go to Widin as surely as would Moustapha the Hodja, or Ali the Imam.
Perhaps such a reform as this might introduce honesty and education among the Eastern Christians, who would have to thank the Padischah for the boon, and not the Wladyka or the Patriarch: but neither education nor honesty will take any hold amongst them so long as the clergy remain in their present ignorant and vicious condition.
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