Francis Lieber.

Library of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) online

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(See Ju&tini Apol., \. 66.) Very soon after this, however, the "secret" is clearly trace-
able. The first reason for its adoption was that assigned above namely, to guard tiie
more sacred and mysterious doctrines from popular misconception and blasphemy
among the pagans. Tiiis precaution of concealment was extended to catechumens,
partly in order to avoid shocking too suddenly their half-formed convictions by the
more startling improbabilities of Christian belief; partly also, no doubt, to guard against
the danger of the betrayal of these mysterious doctrines to pagan spies approaching in
the false garb of catechumens. The "discipline of the secret appears in several forms
(1.) Both unbelievers and catechumens were removed from the church at the commence-
ment of that portion of the liturgy which specially relates to the celebration of the
eucharist the so-called Miasa I^deliiim. See MASS. (2.) The lectures addressed by the


presiding teacher to the great body of the catechumens in general were confined to the
general doctrines of Christianity. The more mysterious doctrines, those which regarfled
the sacraments of baptism and the eucharist, called " mystagogic," were only communi-
cated at the close, and to those only who had undergone the preliminary probation.
(3.) The eucharist, if referred to at all in the presence of the uninitiated, was spoken of
in words so conceived as to conceal its nature. Many curious examples of this conceal-
ment might be cited. Origen, alluding to the eucharist (Horn. , in Exod. 4), suys
merely: "The initiated know what I mean." When Chrysostom was writing to pope
Innocent I. an account of a tumult in the church at Constantinople, in \\hich The sacred
cup was overset, and the consecrated elements spilled, he says, without reserve, " The
blood of Christ was spilled." But Palladius, the deacon, in his life of Chrysostom,
which was designed for the pagans as well as for the Christians, takes the precaution to
use the words "the symbols which are known to the faithful." Still more curiously,
Epiphanius, in citing the well-known words of the eiicharistic formula, " This is my
body," suppresses the word under which the mysterious idea is contained, and writes,
" This is my that thing." Touto mou, esti tode. A very curious example of this amphibo-
logical language regarding the eucharist will be seen in a Greek inscription discovered
some years since at Autuu, in France. (See Edin. Rev., July, 1864.)

There i some uncertainty as to the period during which this discipline lasted in the
church. It commenced most probably in the time of Justin, as his contemporary, the
heretic Marcion, is known to have protested against it as an innovation (Neaiider's
Kirchen-geschichte, i. 540). It is even thought not impossible by some that Justin's mode
of writing was an exceptional one, and that the secret may have been in use before his
time. On the other hand, it is certain that it outlived the period out of the condition
of which it arose, and was maintained long after the ages of persecution. The traces of
it had not entirely disappeared in the 6th century. (See Schelstrate, Dins, de Dixcip.
Arcani, 1685; Scholliner, Diss. de Discip. Arcani, 1756; and on the Protestant side,
Tenzel, De Discip. Arcani (in reply to Schelstrate): Rothe, De Disc. Arcani, Heidelberg.

(jeranus, a genus of birds of prey, which has been variously placed by naturali.-ls among
the falconidcB and the vulturidce, and has been also constituted into a distinct family,
gypogeranidce. The legs are very long, as in the grallce, to which, however, there is no
other resemblance. The tibia are completely feathered, but the tarsi and toes are
destitute of feathers. The tarsi are covered in front with long, large scales. The toe*
are armed with sharp claws; but they are short, and the feet are not formed for grasp-
ing. The hind toe is very short. The neck is much longer, and the whole form of the
bird more slender than in the falconidae. The wings are long, and armed with a blunt
sptir at the shoulder. The tail is very long. The best-known species is an inhabitant
of the arid plains of South Africa. It is about 3 ft. in length; the plumage buish-gray.
It has an occipital crest of feathers without barbs at the base, which can be raised or
depressed at pleasure, and the name secretary was given to it by the colonists at the
cape of Good Hope from their fancied resemblance to pens stuck behind the ear. It
feeds chiefly on reptiles of all kinds, which it devours in great numbers, and is so highly
valued on account of the constant war which it wages against serpents, that a fine is
inflicted in the Cape Colony for shooting it. It fearlessly attacks the most venomous
serpents, stunning them with blows of its wing, also seizing and carrying them into the
air to such a height that they are killed by the fall. It uses its feet also to overpower its
prey, striking violent blows with them. Small serpents are swallowed entire: the larger
ones are torn to pieces. The secretary is most frequently seen in pairs, or solitary. It
is tamed as a protector of poultry -yards; but if not sufficiently fed, is apt to help itself
to a chicken or duckling. An attempt has been made to introduce this bird into Mar-
tinique, in order to reduce the number of venomous serpents in that island. Another
species of secretary appears to exist in more northern parts of Africa, as about the
Gambia; and a third, more widely different, in the Philippine islands.

SECRETARY. The chiefs of the executive departments of the United States gov-
ernment, forming the cabinet, are termed secretaries, except in the case of the post-office
department and the department of justice. They are the secretary of state, whose
charge is the foreign relations of the government; the secretary cf the treasury, who hag
charge of the national finances, including the customs revenue; the secretary of war,
wholias in charge the U. S. army and controls its disposition under the direction of the
president, who is commander-in-chief of the army and navy and who has charge of all
forts and all military movements; the secretary of the navy, who bears a similar relation
to the naval force; and the secretary of the interior, in whose charge are the Indian
tribes, government lands, pensions, the patent office, and bureau of education. These
officials are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate. They report
annually, and as much oftener as required, to the president, who lays their reports
before congress. The salary of each of the heads of departments is $8,000 per annum.
Each is subject to removal by the president, whenever in the judgment of the latter the
interest of the government shall so demand. During the administration of president
Johnson the power of removal was taken from him by what was known as the tenure-



of-offlce act, which was applied in the case of secrctary-of-war Stanton, whom the presi-
dout had removed from oilice. The difficulty resulted in tlie impeachment of the presi-
dent and his acquittal; when secretary Stanton resigned. See BttNISTEK MlKIBTBTf.

SECRETARY OF EMBASSY or OF LEGATION, the principal of the persons belonging
to the suite of an ambassador or envoy. Secretaries of embassy or legation hold their
r . Miimission immediately from the sovereign, who nominates them iu general only to
ministers of the first and second rank. They are therefore considered a species of pub-
lic minister; and independently of their attachment to an ambassador's suite, Ihey enjoy
in their own name all the privileges and protections of the diplomatic character. They
are generally presented in person to the foreign sovereign at whose court they are accred-
ited. The functions of a secretary of embassy or legation consist principally in assisting
the chief in the business of the embassy. Moser ( Versuch Th. iii. p. 94) says: "An
ambassador is often only like the hands of a watch, while his secretary resembles the
works." Secretaries of embassy and legation occupy the post of ambassadors and envoys
during the absence of their ministers. A secretary of embassy or legation must not be
confounded with the private secretary of an ambassador appointed and paid by him, who
has none of the privileges and immunities above mentioned.

SECRETARY OP LEGATION. The title of the second diplomatic official accom-
panying full missions to foreign courts, and who fulfills the duties of the minister in his
absence. Such officials are sent by the United States to the courts of Great Britain,
Russia, France, Spain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Japan. China, Mexico, Brazil,
and Turkey; at the last-named court, supplying also the functions of consul-general.
The foreign countries having secretaries of legation at Washington are: Argentine repub-
lic, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Chili, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Hayti,
Mexico, Peru, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Norway, Turkey, China, Japan.

SECRETARY OF THE NAVY is the conventional title of the parliamentary secretary
to the board of admiralty. This post is conferred on a ministerial supporter, in the
house of commons, in which, when the first lord of the admiralty is a peer, he is tho
exponent of naval policy. He changes of course with the ministry, of which he is *
subordinate member; and receives a salary of 2,000 a year. There is also a permanent
secretary, who holds office for life, and receives 1700 a year. He is responsible for tho
discipline of the admiralty office. This appointment is of long standing, and was held
by the celebrated Mr. Secretary Pepys.

SECRETARY OF THE SENATE. This official is elected by the U. S. senate, and
his duties are those which usually appertain to the secretary of any organized body: viz.,
to keep the journal of the senate, communicate messages to the house of representative*
and the president, etc. From the first session of congress in 1789 to 1858, there were but
four secretaries: Samuel Alyne Otis, who served more than 25 years; Charles Cults, who
served 11 years; Walter Lowrie, who served 11 years; and Asbury Dickins, who served.
14 years. Col. John W. Forney was secretary of the senate 1861-69, when he resigned
and was succeeded by George C. Gorham. The present incumbent (1881) is John C.

SECRETARY OF STATE, an ancient and important office in the government of Eng-
land. The oldest record of its existence is in the reign of Henry III., when John Mauu-
sell is described as " secretarius noster." Prior to the restoration, the holder of this
office was generally styled the "king's chief" or "principal secretary;" he had the cus-
tody of the king's signet, and discharged his duties with the assistance of four clerks.
Two secretaries are said to have been first appointed toward the close of the reign of
Henry VIII. The office, always one of influence, gradually grew in importance. On
the union of 1707, Anne added a third secretary of state for Scotland, which office, how-
ever, was soon done away with. In the reign of George III. there were at first but two
secretaries; for a time there was a third for America, but his office was abolished by
statute in 1783. While the secretaries were two in number, both equally directed home
affairs; to the one were committed the foreign affairs of the northern, to the other of the
southern department. Irish affairs belonged to the province of the elder secretary.

There are now five principal secretaries of state, who are respectively appointed for
home affairs, foreign affairs, war, the colonies, and India. They are all appointed by
the sovereign by the mere delivery of the seals of office, without patent, anil are always
members of the privy council and of the cabinet. Though each has his own department,
he is considered capable of discharging the duties of the others: a member of the house
of commons, if removed from one secretaryship to another, does not thereby vacate his

The secretary of state for the home department has the charge of the maintenance of
the internal peace of the United Kingdom, the security of the laws, and the administra-
tion of justice, so far as the royal prerogative is involved in it. He directs the disposal
and employment of the regular troops at home, and provides for the suppression of riots.
The militia, yeomanry, and volunteers are entirely under his control. He has the ulti-
mate supervision of all that relates to prisons and criminals; and numerous statutory
powers have been given him regarding police, sanitary matters, the regulation of labor,
etc. All patents, licenses, dispensations, charters of incorporation, commissions of the

Secretary. Q1 O


peace and of inquiry, pass through his office. He recommends persons to the sovereign
for civil knighthood, and is empowered to grant certificates of naturalization (q.v.) to
foreigners. He is the organ of communication between the cabinet and the viceregal
government of Ireland, for which he is responsible, and h informed of and advises all
.the graver measures adopted in that country. His patronage is very considerable,
including the nomination to a large numl>er of judicial offices. Among the powers of
the secretary of state is that of committing persons on suspicion of treason, a function
which, though its legality has been called in question, lias been often exercised.

The secretary of state" for foreign affairs is the responsible adviser of the crown in all
communications between the government and foreign powers. He negotiates treaties,
either directly with the foreign ministers resident in the country, or through the British
ministers abroad. It is his duty to inquire into the complaints of British subjects resid-
ing in foreign countries, to afford them protection, and to demand redress for their griev-
ances. The foreign secretary recommends to the sovereign all ambassadors, ministers,
and consuls to represent this country abroad. He grants passports (q.v.) to British sub-
jects and naturalized foreigners.

The secretary for the colonial department has the supervision of the laws and cus-
toms of the colonies, watches over their interests, directs their government, apportions
the troops necessary for their defense or police, appoints the governors of the colonies,
and sanctions or disallows the measures of the colonial governments; rarely, however,
prescribing measures for their adoption.

Each of these four secretaries of state is assisted by two under secretaries of state
nominated by himself one usually permanent, while the other is dependent on the
administration in power.

The secretary of stale for India, whose office dates from the abolition in 1858, of the
double government of India by the court of East India directors and board of control,
has the same control over the government of India which was formerly exercised by
these bodies, and countersigns all warrants and orders under the sign-manual relating to
India. He is assisted by an under-secretary, who is also a member of the legislature,
and loses office with the cabinet, and by a permanent under-secretary and assistant-sec-,
retary, as also by a council of fifteen members, over whom he presides. Every order
eent to India must be signed by the secretary, and all dispatches from governments and
presidencies in India must be addressed to the secretary.

There is also a chief secretary for Ireland, resident in Dublin, except during the sit-
ting of parliament, and under the authority of the lord-lieutenant. His office resembles
that of a secretary of state, but he is generally called secretary to the lord-lieutenant. He
Is assistedby an under-secretary.

The secretary of state for war (see SECRETARY- AT- WAR) has the superintendence of
all matters connected with the army, assisted by the commander-in-chief, and is respon-
sible for the amount of the military establishment. He prepares for the royal signature
and countersigns commissions in the army, and recommends to the sovereign for the
order of knighthood of the bath.

SECRETARY AT WAR. formerly a high officer of the British ministry, had the con-
trol of the financial arrangements of the army, and was the responsible medium for par-
liamentary supervision in military affairs. In the times of the Tudors, the war business
of the country appears to have been transacted by the department of the secretary of
state. The formation of a war office proper took "place about 1620. The office rose in
importance as the army increased; but was limited to financial authority, neither the
commander-in-chief nor master-gen, of the ordnance being subject to it. At length,
during the Russian war, the evils of this divided authority led to the creation of a
secretary of state for war, to control all the military departments. The secretaryship-at-
war was merged in this superior office in 1855, and though for some years preserved
technically as a separate appointment held by the secretary of state, was abolished by
act of parliament in 1863.

SECRETION is the term employed in physiology to designate the process of separation
of those matters from the nutritious fluids of the body which are destined not to be
directly applied to the nutrition and renovation of its organized fabric, but (1) to be
either at once removed as injurious to its welfare, or (2) to be employed for some ulterior
purpose in the chemical or physical processes of the economy itself, or to exert some
kind of action upon other beings. For this definition of secretion considered as a pro-
cess we are indebted to Dr. Carpenter; but the reader must bear in mind that the term
is also very commonly used in another sense namely, to designate the products which
arc thus secreted. In this latter sense, it is customary" to speak of the biliary, urinary, or
cutaneous secretion, when the bile, urine, and sweat are indicated.

Although it is impossible to divide with strictness the secreted products (as many physi-
ologists have attempted to do) into the excrementitious and the recrfmentiHoux that is to
;y. into (1) those which have no further function to discharge in the animal body, and
which, if not excreted, would act as poisons, and (2) those which are subservient to further
Uses in the system yet we may group them according to the preponderance of their excre-
mentitious or recrementitious character. Dr. Carpenter approves of this mode of arrange-
ment, and proposes that those secretory processes should be arranged in the first division in

Q1Q Secretory.


which the depuration of the blood is obviously (he chief end, while those should be
clashed under the second in which the ulterior purpose of the separated fluid would seem
to be the principal occasion of its production; and he further suggests a subdivision of
this second group, according as this ulterior purpose is connected with the operations of
the economy itself, as in the case of the tears, and the saliva, the gastric juice, etc., or
is destined to act on some other organism, as is the case with the secretion of the testes,
the milk, etc. The organs which yield the various secretions are termed glands (q.v.);
but neither the form nor the internal arrangement of the parts of a gland have anj
essential connection with the nature of its product; the true process of secretion, under
whatever form it may present itself, being always performed by the intervention of cells
(q.v.). For a notice of the mode in which the cells are arranged in various glandular
structures, the reader is referred to the articles GLAND, LIVEU, KIDNEY, Mucous MEM-
BRANE, etc.

We shall now briefly notice the causes which render the due performance of the
functions of secretion essential to the well-being of every animal. 1. Nearly all the
solids and fluids of the body are liable to continuous decomposition and decay in conse-
quence of their peculiar chemical composition. There is an obvious necessity that the
products of incipient decomposition should be carried off and replaced by newly-orga-
nized matter. 2. The exercise of the various animal functions is essentially destructive
to the structures by which they are accomplished; every operation ofj the muscular or
nervous system appearing to require, as a necessary condition, a disintegration or break-
ing up of a certain portion of their tissues, probably by an act of oxidation. Hence,
for the due preservation of health, the disintegrated or effete matters must be removed
and their place supplied. 3. When more food is taken than the wants of the system
require, all that is not appropriated to the reparation of the waste, or to the increase in
'the weight of the body, must be thrown off by the excretory organs without ever hav-
ing become converted into organic tissue. If this excess were not speedily removed by
the excretory organs, the current of the blood would speedily become poisoned.

The following may be regarded as a tolerably complete list of the substances which
are produced within the organisms of man and the lower animals by the disintegration
of its various tissues, and which are met with in one or other of tiie products of
secretion: 1. Products of secreting processes, including a, the biliary acids and the prod-
ucts of their disintegration; b, the pigments of the bile; c, pigments allied to those of
the bile and blood, viz., haematoidin and melanin; d, cholesterin and its allies; e, the
sugars and allied bodies. 2. Products of the actual regressive metamorphosis of tissues
ra, nitrogenous amide-like bodies, suchasleucine, tyrosiue, ercaline, crc-atinine, allantoiu,
cystin, guauine, sarcinc, xanthin, and urea; b, nitrogenous acids, as hippuric, uric, and
cynuric acids; c, indifferent nitrcgenous bodies, such as the pigments occurring in the
urine; and excreline; and d, non-nitrogenous acids, as asetic, benzole, butyric, carbonic,
formic, lactic, oxalic, succinic, and valerianic acids. Some of these products, however,
only occur in the secretions in cases of disease. ,

SECRETIONS, VEGETABLE. In the vegetable kingdom the term secretion has a wider
application than in the animal kingdom, and all substances which have been formed
by the action of cells upon the compounds taken up as food (such as carbonic acid, water,
and ammonia) whether these substances form a part of the tissues of the plant, or are
thrown out upon its surface are equally considered as secretions. All the important
vegetable secretions are compounds of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen; sulphur
being also present in some cases; and according to their functions they may be classed
in two great divisions viz., (1) nutritive or assimilable secretions, and (2) non-assimi-
lable or special secretions.

1. The nutritive secretions are those substances -which, having been formed within the
plant, arc used in forming its structures and constructing its general mass. The chief
substances in this class are cellulose, the varieties of starch, the varieties of sugar, the
oils, and the so-called protein or albuminous bodies. The compositionof these substances
is extremely varied; thus many of the volatile oils or essences contain only carbon and
hydrogen; the sugars, starches, and cellulose contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen,
and are named tenary compounds; while the protein bodies contain carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen, and nitrogen, and in some cases sulphur.

2. The non assimilable secretions are only found in certain parts of the plant, and
Ihey receive their name from their never being converted into the nutritive secretions.
The principal members of this class are the coloring matter of plants (chlorophyle and
its modifications); the substances which, when extracted from plants, are of service as
dye-stuffs (the chromogcm or color-formers of recent chemists); the organic acids, which
constitute a somewhat numerous group, and of which oxalic acid (occurring in rhubarb,
sorrel, etc.), tartaric and racemic acids (in the grape), malic acid (in the apple and goose-
berry), citric acid (in the orange, lemon, lime, and red currant), gallic acid (in the seeds
of the mango), mcconic acid (in the opium poppy), and tannic acid (in the bark of the
oak, elm, etc.), may be taken as well-known examples; the vegetable alkalies or alka-
loids, such as morphia, strychnia, quinia, etc.; the volatile oils; and the resins.

SECRET SERVICE, under the U. S. government, a department or bureau, not
created by law, nor recognized by specific appropriation for its cost. Its duties are not



defined, and vary with the necessities of the occasion which may create them. During

Online LibraryFrancis LieberLibrary of universal knowledge. A reprint of the last (1880) Edinburgh and London edition of Chambers' encyclopaedia, with copious additions by American editors (Volume 13) → online text (page 72 of 203)