« PreviousContinue »
Quest. 6. In what consists the fidelity we owe to the Emperor? Ans. In executing his commands most rigorously, without examination; in performing the duties he requires from us, and in doing every thing willingly without murmuring.
Quest. 7. Is it obligatory on us to pay taxes to our gracious Sovereign the Emperor?
Ans. It is incumbent on us to pay every tax in compliance with his supreme commands, both as to the amount and when due.
Quest. 8. Is the service of his Majesty, the Emperor, obligatory on us?
Ans. Absolutely so: we should, if required, sacrifice ourselves in compliance with his will, both in a civil and military capacity, and in whatever manner he deems expedient.
Quest. 9. What benevolent sentiments and love are due to the Emperor?
Ans. We should manifest our good will and affection, according to our station, in endeavouring to promote the prosperity of our native land, Russia (not Poland), as well as that of the Emperor our father, and of his august family.
Quest. 10. Is it incumbent on us to pray for the Emperor, and for Russia our country?
Ans. Both publicly and privately, beseeching the Almighty to grant the Emperor health, integrity, happiness, and security. The same is applicable to the country, which constitutes an indivisible part of the Empire.
Quest. 11. What principles are in opposition to these duties? Ans. Irreverence, disobedience, infidelity, malevolence, treason, mutiny, and revolt.
Quest. 12. How are irreverence and infidelity to the Emperor to be considered in reference to God?
Ans. As the most heinous sin, the most frightful criminality. Quest. 13. Does religion, then, forbid us to rebel and overthrow the government of the Emperor?
Ans. We are interdicted from so doing at all times, and under any circumstances.
VOL. IV.-NO. XXVIII.
Quest. 14. Independently of the worship we owe the Emperor, are we called upon to respect the public authorities emanating from him?
Ans. Yes; because they emanate from him, represent him, and act as his substitutes; so that the Emperor is everywhere. Quest. 15. What motives have we to fulfil the duties above enumerated?
Ans. The motives are twofold-some natural, others revealed. Quest. 16. What are the natural motives?
Ans. Besides the motives adduced, there are the following:The Emperor, being the head of the nation, the father of all his subjects, who constitute one and the same country, Russia, is thereby alone worthy of reverence, gratitude, and obedience: for both public welfare and individual security depend on submissiveness to his commands.
Quest. 17. What are the supernaturally revealed motives for this worship?
Ans. The supernaturally revealed motives are, that the Emperor is the Vicegerent and Minister of God, to execute the Divine commands; and, consequently, disobedience to the Emperor is identified with disobedience to God himself; that God will reward us in the world to come for the worship and obedience we render the Emperor, and punish us severely to all eternity should we disobey and neglect to worship him. Moreover, God commands us to love and obey from the inmost recesses of the heart every authority, and particularly the Emperor, not from worldly consideration, but from apprehension of the final judg
Quest. 18. What books prescribe these duties?
Ans. The New and Old Testaments, and particularly the Psalms, Gospels, and Apostolic Epistles.
Quest. 19. What examples confirm this doctrine?
Ans. The example of Jesus Christ himself, who lived and died in allegiance to the Emperor of Rome, and respectfully submitted to the judgment which condemned him to death. We have, moreover, the example of the Apostles, who both loved and respected
them; they suffered meekly in dungeons conformably to the will of the Emperors, and did not revolt like malefactors and traitors. We must, therefore, in imitation of these examples, suffer and be silent.
Quest. 20. At what period did the custom originate of praying to the Almighty for the prosperity of the Sovereign?
Ans. The custom of publicly praying for the Emperors is coeval with the introduction of Christianity; which custom is to us the most valuable legacy and splendid gift we have received from past ages.
Such is the doctrine of the church, confirmed by practice, as to the worship and fidelity due to the omnipotent Emperor of Russia, the Minister and Vicegerent of God.
PERSECUTION OF CATHOLICS IN POLAND.
If our august clergy is, with very few exceptions, worthy of admiration, that of Lithuania is sublime, and really one can desire nothing better. The exaltation increases, energy develops itself in proportion as the danger augments. In every age, persecutions have been the period of the triumph of religion. This grand truth makes itself felt as much as ever, and the manly fervour of the sermons attracts crowded assemblies of the faithful. They are simple, religious, frequently full of unction, but bold, going straight to the end; alluding unceasingly to the perishable grandeur of the Nebuchadnezzars of the age; the evil that God permits, but sooner or later punishes; the rewards due to patience, to resignation, which alone can appease and shorten the punishment of our faults and of those of our fathers. The rewards will be immense, the wicked will yield up their places to those who were suffering and persecuted; in fact, the persecution is such that it re-tempers our courage, and stirs up all the powers and the depths of the hearts of those least susceptible of fanaticism or exaltation. It is a rich and powerful mine of gold in a constant course of exportation, to which there is nothing to be added. It is native gold. In fact, all moderation has ceased, no terms whatsoever are kept.
Besides the individual persecutions of the past days, a prohibition was issued against singing in the churches anthems to the Virgin, or mentioning the names of St. Stanislaus, St. Vladislas, St. Albert, St. Casimir. I shall speak to you no more of the Church of the Piarists, which was seized upon to be converted into a Cerkiew (Greek Church). In all the small towns they are now constructed. Where there are two churches, one is taken, and
always that of the Piarists is preferred, wherever one is to be found. We wished that the Piarists should celebrate divine worship in the old dilapidated church which had been assigned to them (that formerly occupied by the Jesuits).
They did not dare to do so, although it would have produced a grand effect amongst the broken ruins and shattered panes.
The Archimandrite, the Bishop of Warsaw, is here. He is the only one we have, Woronioz not having been replaced.
The Bishop Pawtowski gave the Archimandrite a dinner, at which he presented to him all our clergy, which, taken by surprise, was extremely mortified. In the small towns priests have been established, although without any cure or any church, but with the mission to watch over several charities. That of Lowicz, for example, gives dinners every Friday to all the poor of the country. A splendid repas maigre is served to them, with a profusion of beer, spirits, and even wine. The priest serves in person, with all the humanity of the primitive ages, but with much less temperance, for both host and guests are all dead drunk after the banquet. Before separating, large alms are distributed, with an injunction to meet again the following Friday, and bring fresh guests.
In Lithuania the persecution is active and ostensible in a very different manner. The resistance also is energetic in a very different mode. Nevertheless, the higher classes, as with us, do not seek martyrdom, but, on the other hand, the inferior clergy is sublime; and what is surprising, the United Greeks show great attachment and an unlimited fidelity to the Chief of our Church; an attachment which exposes them to many dangers, which they brave with a courage and a devotion truly pious. These are the persons who for the present are the most persecuted and most exposed to direct and indirect attacks. They are ordered to establish in their churches what are called Imperial Gates; to place there the great Altar, almost in the middle of the church, a distinctive mark indispensable to the schismatic service. Very few have consented. Many have been deposed. The Bishop says to them, " You will