A History of the Church of Russia

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    Storia, Saggistica

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During a residence of twenty-two years in this country, I have not been altogether an inattentive observer of what has passed in my own. My profession, and the situation I have filled here, have naturally led me to turn my thoughts chiefly to religious matters; and I have been both surprised and grieved to find, that while the politics, statistics, and history of Russia have very naturally, from the vast extent of her territories, and her brave, hardy, and numerous population, occupied no small portion of the public mind, the doctrines, discipline, and history of her Church, to which that population is so devotedly attached, and which is so closely and intimately connected with the State, have been almost entirely neglected. And this has not arisen from any indifference to religious subjects, for seldom has the public mind been more warmly interested in them; nor altogether from a want of curiosity respecting foreign Churches; but while the Church and Communion of Rome, the changes that are taking place among the Lutherans of Germany and the Calvinists of Geneva, the Syrians on the Malabar coast, and even the history of a small community in the valleys of Piedmont, have by turns excited general attention, the Church of Russia, its past and present state, and its future prospects, and I may add the whole of the Eastern Orthodox Church, including in its communion more than a quarter of the Christian world, have been comparatively overlooked: while even in the numerous works which have lately issued from the press, expressly treating on the Catholic Church, this large and important portion of it has scarcely been mentioned.

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