For the history of Protestantism, the activity of Masonic lodges, although indirect, has a certain interest.

For the history of Protestantism, the activity of Masonic lodges, although indirect, has a certain interest.

But Skovoroda’s works undoubtedly belonged to Masonic literature. ”33. Such prominent figures of national culture as Ivan Kotlyarevsky and the poet Petro Hulak-Artemovsky were also members of Masonic lodges.

For the history of Protestantism, the activity of Masonic lodges, although indirect, has a certain interest. Based on a mixture of Western European (mostly German) mystical and pietistic teachings, Freemasonry contributed to the spread of many opposing views on official Orthodoxy.

Among them – the ideas of non-church, informal faith, spiritual life, free from formal rites and ascetic Christian morality. Although Freemasonry seized primarily the privileged strata, it prepared important changes in the domestic policy of the Russian tsar. These changes in the XIX century. had a more direct impact on the development of religious processes in the popular environment in Ukraine. It is, first of all, about the Biblical Society, at the sources of which – both in Europe and in Russia – also stood the cultural and educational part of the Freemasons.

The Russian Bible Society as a branch of the British Society was founded in 1813 in St. Petersburg and soon opened branches in many cities of Ukraine: in 1815 – in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Kharkiv, Simferopol and Feodosia, 1817 – Kiev, 1818 – Poltava (Ivan Kotlyarevsky was an active member of the Society here, and the branch itself managed to survive until 1830), in 1819 – Ostroh, Chernihiv, Kherson, Odessa (a community to promote the Society was opened in Mariupol), in 1820 – Kherson and Molochnye Vody.

Zakhar Karneyev, a native of Sloboda (former governor and master of the Theoretical Degree Masonic Lodge in Orel), was the vice-president of the Kharkiv branch.

Through his efforts, the Student Bible Society was established here in 1821, the basis of which the vice-president saw as “combining physical education with evangelical education, without which there can be no real enlightenment.” 34. Similar manifestations were observed in Odessa, where in 1818 On the basis of the secular Richelieu Lyceum, the Children’s Bible Society was established, which was engaged in the religious education of the youth 35.

The main purpose of the Russian Bible Society was to translate the Bible into the languages ​​of the peoples of the empire and its immediate neighbors. Although the Russian translation was strictly forbidden by the Holy Synod, thanks to the efforts of secular members, the comradely committee succeeded in obtaining the tsar’s permission for this edition as well.

During 1818-1820, the Russian Gospels, Acts, and Epistles of the Apostles were published. In 1822 a translation of the New Testament was published. The translation of the Old Testament began in 1820. It was carried out by professors of the St. Petersburg, Moscow and Kyiv theological academies. However, the work was not completed. There could be no talk of a Ukrainian translation of the Bible at that time, let alone later, after the infamous Valuev decree.

However, Russian translations also played an important role in the spiritual and religious life of Ukraine, finally making the text of the Holy Scriptures available to all believers. This was especially important for the emergence of anti-church currents, and later the evangelical revival in Ukraine, which, incidentally, almost “predicted” the opponent of the Bible Society, Russian reactionary A. Shishkov, assessing the possible consequences of nationalations of the Bible: “Everyone will become an interpreter Of the Bible and, having formed the faith according to its own concept and inclination, will depart from the union with the church” 36.

The activities of the Society have prepared some changes in the cultural life of Ukraine, once again crystallizing the old dream of the national Bible. In the middle of the XIX century. Philip Morachevsky, an inspector of the Nizhyn Historical and Philological Institute, a Chernihiv nobleman, a graduate of Kharkiv University, a poet and prose writer, and a teacher of languages ​​in Lutsk, Kamyanets-Podilsky, and Nizhyn, tried to carry it out.

During 1860-1865 he translated the New Testament and the Psalms into Ukrainian, desperately trying to get permission to print them from the Holy Synod (Morachevsky’s correspondence with Metropolitan Isidore of St. Petersburg and Novgorod) and in various state institutions. In connection with these attempts, he found many supporters among Russian academics, but their joint steps were also unsuccessful: the church vetoed Morachevsky’s work. The archives of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, located in St. Petersburg, contain many documents that show high appreciation of the translation of Morachevsky by the most authoritative Slavists in Russia.

As Academician I. Sreznevsky wrote, “this is one of the best translations of the Gospel into Slavic dialects … There is no doubt that the translation of the Morachevsky Gospel should make an epoch in the literary education of the Little Russian people .. . “37. The sad end of Morachevsky’s case under the then conditions was natural.

Similar attempts have been made outside Russia. In the second half of the XIX century. they are transferred to Western Ukraine and Europe. Thus, in 1868, two Ukrainian-language “Musi’s Songs” appeared on the pages of the Lviv newspaper Pravda (under the pseudonym of Pavel Ratay), and later a Ukrainian translation of the Psalms and the Book of Job by Panteleimon Kulish (1819- 1897), a famous poet. , linguist, cultural and public figure of Ukraine, a member of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood. In 1869, The Book of Job was again published in Lviv as a separate edition with an author’s preface, and in 1871 his Psalter, or Book of the Praise of God, appeared.

The following translations of Kulish were published in Vienna: in 1870, the Holy Scriptures, the first part of the Bible, the Five Books of Musius, and a translation of the four Gospels were published in collaboration with Ivan Pulyuy. Although Kulish soon had a complete translation of the Bible into Ukrainian (the first version of which was destroyed in a fire in 1875, but was restored by almost two-thirds; after Kulish’s death Ivan Nechui-Levytsky completed this work), he managed to print it during his lifetime. only a few passages.

Mostly those that were intended for a wide readership and aimed at the initial biblical education of the people – the printing of the Old Testament Apocryphal book (published in 1893 in Kolomyia), a poetic adaptation of the “Song of Songs” entitled “Khutoryanka, or sung praise of the bride before the wedding guests, an ancient folk wonder “(1877; in the Chernivtsi almanac” Russian House “). As for the main work – a complete translation of the Bible into Ukrainian, made by Kulish with the help of Puliu and continued by Nechuy-Levytsky – it was published only in 1903 in Vienna at the expense of the British Bible Society.

After the closure of its branches in Russia, some evangelical missionaries and influential dignitaries, supporters of Protestantism, managed to obtain permission to open the Society for the Dissemination of Scripture (1863) and the Society for the Promotion of Spiritual and Moral Reading (organized by V. Pashkov in 1876). These centers, in addition to purely biblical works, widely popularized religious-explanatory and educational literature, especially for the mass reader.

Continuing the tradition of their predecessors, they also took care of the development of primary education among the poorest sections of the population (the so-called Lancaster schools), Sunday schools and evangelical groups, which taught the basics of religious knowledge and teachings alternative to Orthodoxy, ie mainly Protestant. This form of religious and educational activity was anti-church in nature.

Most of the brochures distributed by the societies were printed abroad, and from the end of the XIX century. – and in Western Ukraine. They did not have a clear confessional definition (although there are also purely Protestant works), but criticized church doctrine and cult. This literature introduced the reader to the life and ideas of John Wycliffe and Jan Hus, the history of free thought in Europe, the events of the Peasant War in Germany, and the activities of democratic emigration, which informed the world about the persecution of the faith in the Russian Empire. Since the 80s of the XIX century. In Ukraine, there are many works on popular religious movements.

The atmosphere of popularization of biblical and spiritual knowledge, the focus on raising the education of the lower strata prepared the emergence of such literature (primarily small books, the so-called “butterflies”) in the Ukrainian language.

One of the first “butterflies” was Panteleimon Kulish’s Grammar, published in 1857. In addition to the alphabet and simple arithmetic problems, it contained a short history of Ukraine, passages from the Holy Scriptures, and prayers. During 1860-1862, Kulish published 39 different “butterflies” under the general name “Rural Library” 38. For the needs of public education, in particular the period of the abolition of serfdom, such literature was very timely.

A certain role in the distribution of popular pamphlets, Bibles and other literature (singers, prayer books, poetry collections) was played by booksellers – mostly, mostly from the people, agents of biblical societies, and then newly formed Protestant organizations, which introduced religious literature to villagers and residents. And they did so despite “administrative persecution, trials, exiles, etc., which, under Russian law, threatened any propaganda directed against the official church.”

Thanks to booksellers, works of Ukrainian writers and thinkers (looking ahead, we note: in many Protestant – Baptist, Adventist, Pentecostal – Ukrainian families during searches found notebooks with rewritten poems by Shevchenko, Skovoroda, quotes from Kotlyarevsky, Kulish, Kulish, and also numerous products of foreign Protestant missions became the property of broad strata.

These processes, which took place in the spiritual life of Ukraine in the XVIII – first half of the XIX century., Could not help but affect the consciousness and feelings of the lower classes. It is clear that neither free-thinking educators, nor members of Masonic lodges, nor even biblical educators had a direct influence on the strata.

The distance between the social elite and the lower classes was so great that neither the populist movement, nor the Romantics, nor the Cyril and Methodius could overcome it, although there were many middle-class and even lower-class democrats among the democratic intelligentsia.

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