clergy

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Related to clergyman: French clergyman

clergy

ministers, priests or pastors of churches. Historically clergy were exempt from trial or punishment before the secular courts, which was known as benefit of clergy. On the other hand, until the House of Commons (Removal of Clergy Disqualification) Act 2001, clergy could not sit in the House of Commons. (Lords Spiritual who sit in the House of Lords are still excluded from the Commons.)

CLERGY. All who are attached to the ecclesiastical ministry are called the clergy; a clergyman is therefore an ecclesiastical minister.
     2. Clergymen were exempted by the emperor Constantine from all civil burdens. Baronius ad ann. 319, Sec. 30. Lord Coke says, 2 Inst. 3, ecclesiastical persons have more and greater liberties than other of the king's subjects, wherein to set down all, would take up a whole volume of itself.
     3. In the United States the clergy is not established by law, but each congregation or church may choose its own clergyman.

References in classic literature ?
There was a murmur among the dignified and reverend occupants of the balcony; and Governor Bellingham gave expression to its purport, speaking in an authoritative voice, although tempered with respect towards the youthful clergyman whom he addressed.
Upon which, the clergyman said again, "WHO giveth this woman to be married to this man?
But, though the clergyman might have given his moral even a keener point, he did not fail to dispatch an attendant to inquire into the mystery, and stop those sounds, so dismally appropriate to such a marriage.
It is more needful that I should have a fibre of sympathy connecting me with that vulgar citizen who weighs out my sugar in a vilely assorted cravat and waistcoat, than with the handsomest rascal in red scarf and green feathers--more needful that my heart should swell with loving admiration at some trait of gentle goodness in the faulty people who sit at the same hearth with me, or in the clergyman of my own parish, who is perhaps rather too corpulent and in other respects is not an Oberlin or a Tillotson, than at the deeds of heroes whom I shall never know except by hearsay, or at the sublimest abstract of all clerical graces that was ever conceived by an able novelist.
You assign greater consequence to the clergyman than one has been used to hear given, or than I can quite comprehend.
It does you credit, I admit," replied the clergyman.
The clergyman, who had the air of one on a holiday, did not remember the ladies quite as clearly as they remembered him.
Of course I caught nothing; but, towards the close of the gold-brown afternoon, I made yet another new acquaintance, in the person of a little old clergyman who attacked me pleasantly from the rear.
But what embarrassed Philip most was that she was heavily powdered: he had very strict views on feminine behaviour and did not think a lady ever powdered; but of course Miss Wilkinson was a lady because she was a clergyman's daughter, and a clergyman was a gentleman.
I used often to wish I had been something else than a clergyman," he said to Lydgate, "but perhaps it will be better to try and make as good a clergyman out of myself as I can.
The life and adventures of our charming young clergyman, bear eloquent testimony to the saintly patience of his disposition, under trials which would have overwhelmed an ordinary man.
I have seen the clergyman of the parish, who takes an interest in the case--"