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those who desire reform, are as little disposed as the old Russians to sympathize with the schismatics. Nevertheless, the toleration which they have adopted makes it their duty to interest themselves in the sectarians, and so they represent them as men reduced to despair, by a sad catalogue of cruel persecutions, and which nothing can justify. That the Russian Government has persecuted the Old Believers with inflexible rigour in the last reign cannot be denied. The Emperor Nicholas was an autocrat, spiritual as well as temporal; and in his dreams of universal dominion, indulged the idea of imposing the orthodox faith upon all the people of his dominion.
Every one knows that he pushed the rigour of his political system to extremes. Like all despots, he considered that persecution might be as right for a religious opinion as for a political tendency. After having commanded a census to be taken of this sect, he ordered them, under severe penalties, to have all their future children to be baptized by the parish priests. Things went on in this way for several years to the great satisfaction of the emperor; but at length the minister of the interior, Count Provski, thought it his duty to tell him that, according to private information he had received, the number of the Old Believers was considerably increased. A special commission was soon ordered to go to the places frequented by the schismatics and ascertain the fact. It was not long in discovering that it was perfectly correct. To anyone who knows Russia, this is easily understood; the children of the Old Believers were registered as orthodox, but their parents continued to bring them up in schism. This discovery, which they took care to divulge, might have enlightened the emperor had he chosen ; but instead, he persecuted the Old Believers with a rigour that went on increasing till the end of his reign. Many times it was a question whether he should apply to the countries of the Old Believers the system of terror that Austria formerly employed in Bohemia,—but the manners of our age not agreeing with these expeditions, the czar was obliged to confine himself to inflicting on them transportation to Siberia, imprisonment in convents, and various physical tortures. To these official penalties we must add one not upon the list, viz., the continued exactions to which they were subject.
The clergy themselves make no scruple of squeezing the sectarians, and ways are seldom wanting. The Old Believers of the large cities, especially Moscow, the centre of all Russian religious sccts, pay considerable sums to the priests. The greater part of them, being merchants, are obliged to enrol themselves in one of the guilds, to be members of which it is necessary to present to the municipal authorities certificates of their having fulfilled all their religious duties. This obligation is a good windfall to the priests; they give the certificates for a certain sum; the dissenters pay handsomely to be exempted from the obligations of worship, and the priest certify nevertheless that they are fulfilled. Abuses of this kind are no secret; and thus the dissenters are a mine of gold for the priests and officials. The policy which Nicholas pursued to destroy the schism of the Old
Believers only brought about this result, that they became more prudent. Forbidden to have chapels, they now meet by turns at each other's houses, bringing the necessaries for worship. Sentinels, armed with clubs, watch at the doors, and at their warning all disappear. In their houses they have back stairs, which allow them to escape from the search; secret closets, in which they lock their books, and underground places for those whom the police seek. This sort of mysterious life singularly tends to sustain the Old Believers.
• In the depths of the forest, and in dietant provinces, Old Belicvers are still met with who live as hermits. Some years since, a police officer in the government of Nijui heard that an old man belonging to the schism lived in an hermitage in the neighbouring room. This man was, in fact, the only inhabitant of an old hut, and the only piece of furniture was a coffin. The officer signified to him that he must quit his hermitage, and re-enter the world. The old man entreated him to let bim finish bis existence in the place in which he had lived for more than half a century, for the world, he said, was given up to Antichrist, and it inspired him with profound horror. The officer was inflexible, and repeated his order, when the old man, seeing that he could not remain, prayed to be left alone a few minutes to make preparations for departure. The officer consented, and went away for about half an hour. At the end of that short delay he returned, but the cabin was in flames, with the old man in the midst, singing hymns. They tried in vain to save him; he died a martyr's death. When the noise of this voluntary auto-da-fé was spread in the country, the inhabitants looked upon the old man as a saint, and many were added to the schism.'
That which is evident from all the information collected concerning the character of the schismatics is, that the doctrines which they have obeyed for two centuries ought to be considered as a true protest in favour of religious independency,-in fact, it is the counterpart of Western Protestantism in its first phase. We must not, however, conclude that the schism of the Old Believers belongs to Protestantism. The greater part of the rights to which they lay claim are anterior to the sixteenth century, and date back to the period of the introduction of Christianity into Russia. The Old Believers have always marched at the head of the Russian people; their religious and social history attest this; and when the government shall have brought to a happy issue the enfranchisement of the serfs, it cannot help granting them the free exercise of their religious observances.
3. G. B.
Fiji and the Fijians.*
The praise of a good book commonly finds its place at the end of a review of its contents
. We shall, in the present instance, however, reverse this time-honoured custom; and at once say what we think of the work before us. It is the best, most complete, most thorough, and most interesting book of its class that we have ever read. It is designed to be a summary of all the information concerning the Fijians that a thirteen years' residence amongst them could obtain. But it is very much more than that. The writer is a Welseyan missionary, who, being something more than a missionary, has been able, not merely to collect together a certain number of facts, and place them under certain heads-and so to form a literary museum of Fiji curiosities-work which almost any one possessed of ordinary human faculties could do, but he has done what a person possessed of very special qualifications only could have done. He is a good geographer, and has the rare faculty of making his geographical descriptions interesting and intelligible, even to adult readers; and that we take to be one of the rarest gifts of a traveller. Scenery, under his hands, can really be imagined; and that can be said of few, besides Sir Walter Scott. His perceptions are acute; his sympathies broadly human; he inquires with carefulness, and narrates without exaggeration; his style is clear, very natural and consecutive, neither too bald nor too adorned; he unites, to the zeal and patience of a Christian missionary, the general information of a good reader, if not the cultivation of a scholar. He is, therefore, in the highest, and not the lowest and most conventional sense, “good enough for a missionary'one of a class, of which there are fewest in his own denomination, and most in the Episcopal Church; whose intelligence and ability recommend them as qualified to be teachers, as well as preachers of salvation. We commonly send none but inferior men to do the most difficult work that has to be done in the world; and we mourn at the want of success in missionary enterprise. But the Church sends its Oxford and Cambridge men to Tinnevelly; and Wesleyans send their foremost men to the cannibals of Fiji; and in both places we see harvests spring up, which cannot be reaped for the paucity of labourers. To have gone to Fiji, and only to have written this book, would have been a great work. To have been the means, in half a generation, of turning this very choicest refuge of Satan and his angels into a school of Christ, and the home of every Christian virtue, surely, no work, nor honour, can excel this !
We purpose to confine the present paper to the first volume of Mr. Williams's book, which relates to the islands and their inhabitants,
• Fiji and the Fijians. Vol. 1. The Islands and their Inhabitants. Thos. Williams, late Missionary in Fiji. Edited by G. S. Rowe. 1858.
leaving the second volume, on the results of missionary labour, to another month.
Two hundred years ago Fiji was unknown to Englishmen. The Dutch discoverer of Tasmania saw the islands in 1643; Captain Cook visited them about a hundred years later; Bligh, of the Bounty, in 1789; and, since then, a desultory intercourse of civilized people has been kept up. The first intimate acquaintance of the islanders with Europeans was, as has always been the case, an unfortunate one. With the Fijians, as with the Red Indians, the Hindus, and the Japanese, the result of their earlier knowledge of white people was utter abhorrence and hatred. Mr. Williams's tale amply accounts for this failing :
• Abont the year 1804, a number of convicts escaped from New South Wales, and settled among the islands. Most of these desperadoes lived either on Mbau or Rewa, the chiefs of which allowed them whatever they chose to demand, receiving, in return, their aid in carrying on war. The new settlers made themselves dreaded by the natives, who were awed by the murderous effect of their fire-arms. The hostile chiefs, seeing their bravest warriors fall in battle, without an apparent cause, believed their enemies to be more than human, against whom no force of theirs availed, whose victory was always sure, while their progress invariably spread terror and death. No thought of improving and consolidating the power thus won seems to have been entertained by the whites. Had such a desire possessed them, the absolute government of the entire group lay within their reach; but their ambition never rose beyond a life of indolence, and an unrestrained gratification of the vilest passions. Some of them were of the most desperate wickedness, being regarded as monsters even by the ferocious cannibals with whom they associated. These lawless men were twenty-seven in number on their arrival, but, in a few years, the greater part had ended their career, having fallen in the native wars, or in deadly quarrels among themselves. A Swede, named Savage, who had some redeeming traits in his character, and was acknowledged as head man by the whites, was drowned, and eaten by the natives at Weilea, in 1813. In 1824 only two, and in 1840 but one, of his companions survived. This last was an Irishman named Connor, who stood in the same relation to the King of Rewa as Savage had done to the King of Mbau. His influence among the natives was so great, that all his desires, some of which were of the most inhuman kind, were gratified. The King of Rewa would always avenge, and often in the most cruel manner, the real or fancied wrongs of this man. If he desired the death of any native, the chief would send for the doomed man, and direct him to make and heat an oven, into which, when red-hot, the victim was cast, having been murdered by another man sent for the purpose.
. Soon after the death of his patron, Paddy Connor left Rewa. He was thoroughly Fijianized, and of such depraved character, that the white residents, who had since settled in the islands, drove him from among them, beivg afraid of so dangerous a neighbour. At the close of life, his thoughts seemed only occupied about rearing pigs and fowls, and increasing the number of his children from fortyeight to fifty.'
The exquisite scenery of the islands of the Pacific has often been dwelt upon. These regions are gardens of Paradise for beauty and fertility; but gardens in which men depraved below the level of the brutes of the field have hitherto lived. *No more forcible illustration of the fact, that natural and artistic beauty can of themselves do nothing to refine or elevate either the moral or intellectual taste, could be proved, than the case of the Fijians. Mr. Williams describes the scenery by which they are surrounded in the most animated language.
• Among their attractions are high mountains, abrupt precipices, conical hills, fantastic turrets and crags of rock frowning down like olden battlements, rast domes, peaks shattered into strange forms; native towns on eyrie cliffs, apparently inaccessible; and deep ravines, down which some mountain stream, after long murmuring in its stony bed, falls headlong, glittering as a silver line on a block of jet, or spreading, like a sheet of glass, over bare rocks, which refuse it a channel. Here also are found the softer features of rich vales, cocoa-nut groves, clumps of dark chestnuts, stately palms and bread-fruit, patches of graceful bananas, or welltilled taro-beds, mingling in unchecked luxuriance, and forming, with the wild reef-scenery of the girdling shore, its beating surf, and far-stretching ocean beyond, pictures of surpassing beauty.' Of Somosomo, a principal island of the Fijian group, he says—'It is
a covered with luxuriance and beauty, beyond the conception of the most glowing imagination. Similar is the testimony of Commodore
' Wilkes--So beautiful was their aspect, that I could scarcely bring my mind to the realizing sense of the well-known fact, that these islands were the abode of a savage, ferocious, and treacherous race of cannibals.' Mr. Williams adds, in another part of the present volume, that the natives possess no faculty of sight for this prized characteristic of their abode. They do not see it; and when spoken to about it, have no idea as to your meaning.
The second portion of the present volume treats of the origin and polity of the people. The writer agrees with Pritchard, that the Fijians are connected with the darker races of Asia, and that they are of pure descent, there being many indications that they have been long isolated from other varieties of mankind. One of these is the fact that they are an unconquered people. Their government is their own, and they have never acknowledged a superior. In form, it was anciently patriarchal; but now more closely resembles the feudal state. The will of the king is law; there is no representation of popular interests; but a clearly defined recognition of territorial rights. The Fijians are also remarkable for a characteristic which has hitherto been considered a mark of superiority almost exclusively belonging in the East to the Chinese. Birth and rank give no influence; but, says Mr. Williams, “a man is commended according to his wisdom. A crude suggestion, or unsound argument, from a chief of importance, would at once be ridiculed, to his confusion. Here, however, the wisdom and justice of the Fijian government seem to end, for life and property are utterly unprotected. The strongest rules by virtue only of his strength, and the weak are literally devoured. Two examples of the arbitrary character of the government will, perhaps, be deemed sufficient:-'A Rewa chief,' states Mr. Williams, 'desired, and asked for a hoe belonging to a man, and, on being refused, took the man's wife! The other case is undoubtedly worse :- The king of Somosomo wished to collect the people belonging to the town in which he lived, that they might be directly under his eye. An officer, to whom the order was entrusted, was ordered to bake any who refused compliance !
One might expect, from these few indications, that the punishment of offences would be cruel and inhuman to the last degree. We have in