PNEUMATICS: The highest of three classes of natures (pneumatic, psychic, and hylic) assumed as human by Gnostics. The superiority of the pneumatics is regarded as resting upon the ground that to them had been communicated the higher truths of the world of eons because they alone were capable of understanding such truths. Those possessing the pneumatic nature were known also as "the elect," and were regarded as not under the dominion of the archon or world-ruler and also not subject to the restraints of the demiurge. They therefore live on as strangers in the world, perceiving as from afar the reality of the things of a higher world. Their innermost characteristic is their essential relationship with God, resulting in a life of undivided unity, exalted above the antithesis of rest and motion. Their blessedness is described as due to a union between the soter (savior) and wisdom (sophia). They are to be found not only in the Christian Church, but are scattered in the pagan world, the evidence of this being found in the agreement of much of pagan doctrine with Christian truth. In the Christian Church, they are its salt and its soul, the real propagators of Christianity.

The name has at various times in the history of the Christian Church been adopted because of its signification ("the spirituals") by parties or sects, as by the followers of a French Anabaptist named Ambrose (fl. c. 1559), who professed to have received revelations which transcended in value those of the Bible.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Besides the literature under GNOSTICS, consult Neander, Christian Church, Vol. i. passim.

POBIEDONOSTSEV, pō"bi-e"do-nes'tzeff, KONSTANTIN PETROVICH: Greek Orthodox; b. at Moscow 1827; d. at St. Petersburg Mar. (10) 23, 1907. After completing his studies at the Imperial Law School at St. Petersburg, he was successively


secretary and chief secretary of the Senate of Moscow, later becoming professor of civil law at the university of the same city. In 1860 he was appointed tutor to the princes of the blood royal, including the future Emperor Alexander III., and in 1863 accompanied another of the princes in his travels through Russia. Pobiedonostsev was created a senator in 1868 and in 1872 became a member of the cabinet. His chief activity, however, began in 1880, when he was made chief procurator of the Holy Synod, a position which he retained until his retirement from active life in 1905. In this high office, his devotion to the principles of autocratic government and his firm adherence to the welfare of the Greek Orthodox Church exposed him to the enmity of the revolutionary factions and the attacks of rationalists and Protestants of all shades. Nevertheless his course was unswerving and consistent throughout--personally fearless and deeply impressed with the righteousness of his cause, he acted with a severity which could not fail to bring upon him the hatred of those whom his measures affected. Besides a Russian translation of the Imitatio Christi (St. Petersburg, 1869), he wrote "Letters on the Travels of the Imperial Heir Apparent in Russia" (in collaboration with I. K. Bast; Moscow, 1864); " Course of Civil Law " (3 vols., St. Petersburg, 1868-91); and "historical Investigations on the State " (1876). His Reflexions of a Russian Statesman have been translated into English by R. C. Long (London, 1898).


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