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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
- Preface

1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [clergy]

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clergy

CLERGY, n.

1. The body of men set apart, and consecrated, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the christian church; the body of ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity.

2. The privilege or benefit of clergy.

If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction.

Benefit of clergy, in English law, originally the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge; or a privilege by which a clerk or person in orders claimed to be delivered to his ordinary to purge himself of felony. But this privilege has been abridged and modified by various statutes. In the United States, no benefit of clergy exists.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [clergy]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

CLERGY, n.

1. The body of men set apart, and consecrated, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the christian church; the body of ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity.

2. The privilege or benefit of clergy.

If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction.

Benefit of clergy, in English law, originally the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge; or a privilege by which a clerk or person in orders claimed to be delivered to his ordinary to purge himself of felony. But this privilege has been abridged and modified by various statutes. In the United States, no benefit of clergy exists.

CLER'GY, n. [Fr. clergé; Norm. clerkus, clerex, clergy, or clerks, and clergie, literature; Arm. cloer, the plural of cloarecq, a clerk; Corn. cloireg; Ir. cleir, clergy, and cleirrioch, a clerk or clergyman; L. clerus, clericus, which would seem to be from the Gr. κληρος, lot or portion, inheritance, estate, and the body of those who perform sacred duties; whence, κληροω, to choose by lot, to make a clerk, clericum facere. In 1 Peter v. 3, the word in the plural seems to signify the church or body of believers; it is rendered God's heritage. In W. cler signifies teachers or learned men of the druidical order; clerig, belonging to the cler, clerical. It. Sp. clero, from the Latin. The application of this word to ministers or ecclesiastical teachers seems to have originated in their possessions, or separate allotments of land; or from the Old Testament denomination of the priests, for the tribe of Levi is there called the lot, heritage, or inheritance of the Lord.]

  1. The body of men set apart, and consecrated, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the Christian church; the body of ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity. – Hooker. Encyc.
  2. The privilege or benefit of clergy. If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction. – Blackstone. Benefit of clergy, in English law, originally the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge; or a privilege by which a clerk or person in orders claimed to be delivered to his ordinary to purge himself of felony. But this privilege has been abridged and modified by various statutes. See Blackstone, b. 4, ch. 28. In the United States, no benefit of clergy exists.

Cler"gy
  1. The body of men set apart, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the Christian church, in distinction from the laity; in England, usually restricted to the ministers of the Established Church.

    Hooker.
  2. Learning; also, a learned profession.

    [Obs.]

    Sophictry . . . rhetoric, and other cleargy.
    Guy of Warwick.

    Put their second sons to learn some clergy.
    State Papers (1515).

  3. The privilege or benefit of clergy.

    If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction.
    Blackstone.

    Benefit of clergy (Eng., Law), the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge -- a privilege which was extended to all who could read, such persons being, in the eye of the law, clerici, or clerks. This privilege was abridged and modified by various statutes, and finally abolished in the reign of George IV. (1827). -- Regular clergy, Secular clergy See Regular, n., and Secular, a.

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Clergy

CLERGY, noun

1. The body of men set apart, and consecrated, by due ordination, to the service of God, in the christian church; the body of ecclesiastics, in distinction from the laity.

2. The privilege or benefit of clergy

If convicted of a clergyable felony, he is entitled equally to his clergy after as before conviction.

Benefit of clergy in English law, originally the exemption of the persons of clergymen from criminal process before a secular judge; or a privilege by which a clerk or person in orders claimed to be delivered to his ordinary to purge himself of felony. But this privilege has been abridged and modified by various statutes. In the United States, no benefit of clergy exists.

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thoughts from purer minds at time of greater purity than the minds of our people are beleagued with today G. Michael Stinson

— Mike (Kingfisher, OK)

Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

agave

AGA'VE, n. [Gr. admirable.]

1. The American aloe. The great aloe rises twenty feet, and its branches form a sort of pyramid at the top.

2. A genus of univalvular shells.

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