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DURING the first debate which took place last year in the House of Commons about Poland, there was, if we remember, only one person who alluded to the religious element in the insurrection. For once, that monomaniacal horror of the Jesuits, which makes him see the finger of Rome everywhere, led Mr. Newdegate not right, but in a right direction. It is quite true, that on that frontier land between two civilizations, Rome and Byzantium were fight ing the old quarrel out. There were causes enough of a purely political kind to bring the war about, but the venerable feud of the "Filioque" was not without its influence. The pleasant lectures of Dr. Stanley, who always seizes so well the picturesque aspect of a subject, have done some
* Concluded from page 373. VOL. LXIII.-NO. 4
thing to rouse our interest in those farscattered and too much forgotten communities which, in the words of Mr. Neale, "extend from the ice-fields which grind against the walls of the Solovetsky Monastery to the burning jungles of Malabar;" but we suspect that, in spite of Dr. Stanley's vivid pictures, the reader must actually stand in the Kremlin and Troitza before he fully realizes what a mighty, although latent power, the Greek Church still is, and how great a part it may have to play in the drama of human history. Inert, abject, superstitious, full of abuses it undoubtedly is. It can hardly be said to have done anything for literature or for art, nothing at least that has become famous beyond its own frontier, and yet a form of religion which has supported its adherents under the successive deluges of
misery which flowed over Russia during
of other nations."
discovered. They must be better educated, and educated if possible, as Schedo-Ferroti proposes, along with those who are destined for other callings. At present the son of a priest usually enters an establishlishment in connection with the theological seminary at eight years old, and until his education is finished associates only with persons who are destined to take orders. Further, they must be freed from the abject subservience in which they are held by their bishops, who are taken from the regular or black clergy; and lastly, they must be taught that they have duties which are quite incompatible with their performing the functions of assistants of the police.
We have more than once asked lay and clerical members of the Russian Church, whether there was any book which could give us the same sort of glimpse into the influence of their communion upon the minds of its adherents, which Miss Sewell's novels do with regard to the Church of England at this moment, or the Memoirs of Eugénie de Guérin do with regard to the contemporary Church of France? We have never received a satisfactory answer, and do not believe that anything of the kind exists.
M. Golobensky, whom Haxthausen saw at the Troitza, is now dead. Such persons are of course quite exceptional, but it would be interesting to know how many priests there are in the whole of the Russian Church who have studied any of the more important works of theology or biblical criticism, which have been produced during the present century to the west of the Vistula. The theological seminary attached to the Troitza would be called in any country but Russia a truly wretched place, and although the educated society at Moscow speak highly of the learning and ability of its professors, we venture to doubt whether they apply to them a very high standard of excellence.
A reader would, we think, carry away too favorable an impression of the Russian Church if he were to trust only to the in
The art of the Russian Church is, as is well known, essentially conventional; but of late years it has become less purist than formerly, and some of the modern pictures are at least graceful. The exquisite music, a modification of the old Gregorian chant, has often been described, and can never be over praised. It is amusing to observe, that controversies of which we know something nearer home, have agitated the Rus-teresting sketch of Dr. Stanley, and persian Church. Mr. Sutherland Edwards haps if he were to take his ideas exclumentions that the Emperor Nicholas was sively from the pages of Russia by a Reanxious to introduce an organ into the Ca- cent Traveller, he might, on the other thedral of the Assumption at Moscow, but hand, rate its merits too low. The truth that the Metropolitan Philaret threatened is that a very strong line must be drawn to resign if this sacrilegious innovation was between the clergy of high rank and the attempted. The story may or may not be ordinary priests. The former are much true, but there is no doubt that the dislike looked up to, and a high position is favorof the Russian peasant to the "kist fu' o' able to the development of their best qualwhistles" would be quite as intense as ities. The latter when not in the exercise anything to be found in Scotland. of their sacred office are thoroughly despised, and the contempt with which they are regarded reäcts upon their characters and lives.
The reforms necessary in the Russian church are, alas! of a very rudimentary kind. Before any accommodation of its dogma to the existing state of human knowledge can be hoped for, the great mass of the clergy must be raised out of the state of abasement in which they now are. Some means of providing a decent subsistence for the secular clergy, who are obliged by the ecclesiastical law to marry, must be
It is sad to think that even if the mighty improvements to which we have alluded were carried out, the Russian priests would. not be necessarily superior to some of those who are justly considered nuisances and obstructions in Western Europe; but bad as things are in some other coun
tries there is in Russia a lower deep still, | Christ, then some of the other expected and as
ones, the result would no doubt be formidable enough, but this is out of the question, and there is not the very slightest chance of any of these people joining an enemy coming from the West. Except the Napoleon sect, they all existed in 1812, and none of them joined the French army, or dreamt of doing so. The schismatics, who admit the priesthood on principle, but as a matter of fact have no priests, have nothing in common except their hatred to the church and government of to-day, and their love for those of the long ago. Bring back Ivan the Terrible, and his Boyards and his priests, and these men might rally around him, but if no such miracle is worked, they are not to be feared. We come, then, to the nonconformists-the still hierarchical old believerspeaceable, laborious, well off; they disapprove of the church as it is, and long for the times before Nicon; but they submit quietly to the State, are perfectly inoffensive, and conservative in their inclination. The position of the Dissidents in Russia is, we thus see, only so far dangerous as any frightful social injustice is dangerous. It retards her civilization, it weakens her power; it must be speedily amended, but a rebellion amongst these oppressed people is not to be feared.
Of course, amongst the Russian laity," who travel so much, it is easy to meet with persons whose religious ideas are those which are common amongst the most educated classes in the West. The simplest and purest form of Christianity has no national color, and belongs to a region far above the contentions of rival churches, but there is a kind of man in Russia rarely seen in the West, who, thoroughly and intensely attached to what he calls the Orthodox Church, yet holds its tenets as an educated man. The typical instance of this was the poet Chamaiakoff, now dead, whose pamphlets, published by Brockhaus, we cannot too strongly recommend to those curious in such matters.
So surely as an Englishman is introduced to a Russian priest of rank, he will hear some civil things about the possible future union of the two churches. The name of William Palmer is familiar to many both in Scotland and England, and there now lies before us a pamphlet, called Papers of the Russo-Greek Com mittee, which show that the dreams which
"Die Weltgeschichte geht unendlich lång,” it may well be a hundred years before even these changes come to pass.
The question of the Dissidents is one of the gravest with which Russia has to deal. Stated in a sentence it is this: There are some nine millions of subjects of the czar who are for most purposes beyond the pale of the law. The government ignores their existence that it may not be forced to act up to its own detestable principles, and to prosecute them accordingly. Every act which these people can perform from birth to death is performed on sufferance or in secret. They have neither family nor right of inheritance; indeed, they can hardly be said to have any civil existence at all. Through the mazes of this difficult subject the Western reader is fortunate in possessing the guidance of the admirably informed and most sensible writer who masks himself under the nom de plume of SchedoFerroti.
It is constantly said in and out of Russia that great danger may one day arise to the empire from a rising among the Dissidents, and this is the reason why they are treated with so much harshness. Schedo-Ferroti, in a chapter, which is simply a demonstration, combats this idea. His reasoning is in a few words as follows: "There are two kinds of Dissidents, the 'Bespopowzi,' and the 'Po powzi,'" that is to say, the anti-hierarchical and the hierarchical: the first kind is divided into two classes, the sectaries, who have nothing in common with the Russian Church, and the schismatics, who have kept its creed and traditions. This religious subdivision corresponds to a political subdivision, so that we have not two but three different ways of thinking with regard to the State as with regard to the Church. The wild sects who form the first subdivision, full of apocalyptic ideas, madder than those of Dr. Cumming him⚫ self, dream either of the imperishable empire of Ararat, or of the return of Peter III., or of Napoleon, or of Christ. Not one of them cares the least for the Russia of to-day, and they all with one accord look to the East. If China were inhabited by a great and warlike people, and some barbaric conqueror marched from it through Siberia, proclaiming that he had found the Christ in that country, or if not
were once cherished by him still live both in England and America. Those persons who dream of effecting a union between the Anglican and orthodox communion little know the signs of the times. They remind one of Philip de Comines, who, as Arnold observes, wrote as if the idea had never crossed him, that the knell of the middle ages had sounded. On the eve of carrying farther the great and glorious work of the Reformation, we have something else to do than to coquette with the Eastern Church. And yet these men are doing an immense deal of good. They are multiplying the personal relations between England and Russia; they are increasing good-will and toleration by increasing knowledge, the mother of both. We wish to speak of them with the greatest respect, although we believe that their efforts will have no direct effect at all, till the day dawns for that general reconciliation of Christendom which lies away far down the centuries, in a time that we shall not know.
nothing but a cause of rejoicing to us that Khiva and Bokhara received laws from St. Petersburg, and the reaction against barbaric invasion which was begun by Demetrius of the Don, had reached at length the ancient capital of Timur.
Much has been said about its being the destiny of Russia to renovate our decrepit civilization. Our civilization is not decrepit, and her mission is a nobler one. It is to take revenge on the countries which sent forth the hordes that ravaged Europe, by forcing them to submit to the arms and to learn the arts of Frangistan. Writers like M. Michelet, who have listened too exclusively to the prejudices and the "history made to order," by Duchinski, and a certain school of Polish writers, think that the Muscovite, as they delight to call him, is incapable of civilizing Asia. We entirely disagree with them, and looking to what has actually been accomplished, we may say of this problem, solvitur ambulando.
Politically, we are convinced that England and Russia have all to gain and nothing to lose by being better acquainted. M. Herzen, writing under the name of Iscander, asked, in 1858: "Is it not time to destroy the delusion of a rivalry, which has its foundation only in an ignorance of geography?" Where is it that our interests and those of Russia are likely to clash? Is it in Asia? is it in the Eastern Peninsula? or is it in Central Europe?
Sir Henry Rawlinson, at a recent meeting of the Geographical Society, remarked upon the apathy with regard to Russian aggrandizement in Asia, which had succeeded to the panic of twenty-five years ago, and he pointed out that the frontiers of our empires are now much nearer to each other than they were then. To us it seems that the governments of England and of Russia, if directed by wise counsels, ought to be not rivals but a support each to each in Asia. Neither of us can hurt the other seriously, except by exciting insurrections amongst our respective subjects, or stimulating the hostility of the tribes conterminous to our borders. Such a policy must react against the power that uses it, for against both the cry of religion in danger, and the cry for independence, can be easily raised. If the statesmen of the two empires thoroughly understood each other, it could be
There are many in this country who think that the importance of Constantinople has been exaggerated, and some who even go so far as to say that that great and ancient city is in our days less really important than a mushroom growth like Chicago. This last is, we think, a very questionable proposition, and we are sufficiently anxious not to see the Eastern Rome added to the gigantic empire of Russia, to listen with satisfaction to any who tell us that Russia would not be prepared to make for its possession any very enormous sacrifices. Constantinople should, we think, become, when the Turkish empire breaks up, a free city under the guarantee of all Europe. Haxthausen points out that the religious sentiment which draws the Russian people towards St. Sophia is one of the vaguest kind, and believes that if it were ever to lead to a successful attempt upon the Bosporus, it would undo much of the work that has been accomplished since the accession of Peter the Great, and make Charkoff and Odessa, rather than St. Petersburg and Moscow, the centres of the Russian government. Doubtless, in case of any reconstruction of Turkey, Russia might with perfect justice insist upon obtaining considerable advantages; but we should trust that, before that event arrives, Western Europe may have come to so good an understanding, with respect to her own interests in the matter, and pub
lic opinion in Russia may have been led to take so reasonable a view of what her government has a right to claim, that any renewal of the events of ten years ago may be quite impossible. We do not dream of a golden age, but the increasing amount of intelligence which is every year brought to bear upon public affairs can hardly permit nations to fight as fiercely for imaginary interests, as they doubtless will continue to do for real gains or to avenge wounded pride.
of a Scandinavian union, a German union, and a united Italy, will have been formed across their path.
We fully believe that the result of Russia's entering into the sort of retirement into which she entered when Gortschakoff said: "La Russie se recueille," will be that she will come forth stronger but less inclined to aggression. The Russian is naturally peaceful; it is the German government that has made of the empire a great camp. Intensely true is the sentiment of that poem of Chamaiakoff's which is quoted by Haxthausen: "A LA RUSSIE.
au front couronné, au glaive invincible, toi qui "Le flatteur dit: Courage, sois fier, oh pays disposes de la moitié de l'univers.
"Pas de frontières à ton empire. La fortune obéit à un signe de ta main. Le monde t'appartient et plie en esclave devant ta majesté. "La steppe s'épanouit en champs féconds, tes montagnes élèvent dans les airs leur tête Oh mon pays, dépose ta fierté, n'écoute pas les boisée, et tes rivières ressemblent à l'océan. flatteurs.
Are we, then, likely to be brought into collision with Russia in order to prevent an invasion of central Europe by the "New Huns?" We confess that we think this to the last degree improbable. It may be presumptuous to disagree with a writer so profoundly acquainted with Russia and so able as Buddeus, whose remarks upon this subject, in Russlands Sociale Gegenwart should most certainly be read; but we have been too much accustomed to the panic fear with regard to Russia, which prevails from time to time in Germany, to attach the same importance to his views upon this as upon other subjects. Germany is in some respects fifty, in some a hundred,. years ahead of Russia, and if she has anything to fear from that country, it is entirely her own fault. If Germany becomes united, or anything like united, round a free Prussia, she may laugh at the bare idea of peril from Russia. If there were any danger of her falling, for any length of time, into the hands of such rulers as Bismark and his friends, no reasonable Of course, the Russian people has inhuman being need care how soon the Cos-clinations of conquest; what people has sacks are encamped in the Mark of Brandenburg.
We have not very much respect for those Russians-a very numerous class, nevertheless-who still raise the Pansclavist banner, and urge their government to make reforms, chiefly that it may be more able to go to the rescue of oppressed Sclavonians everywhere, on its way to the conquest of Europe. Those who have not learnt by this time that Russia is weak for aggression, must be very unapt scholars. In these days there are two conditions without which real power cannot exist. They are wealth and knowledge, and Russia is deplorably deficient in both. Before she has gained wealth and knowledge, all classes will have come to see that they can do something better than to ape Attila, and the strong barriers
"Et quand tes rivières rouleraient des ondes comme l'océan, et quand tes montagnes ruisseleraient de rubis et d'émeraudes, et quand sept mers t'apporteraient leur tribut,
"Et quand des peuples entiers baisseraient les yeux devant l'éclat de ta toute puissance, dépose ta fierté, n'écoute pas les flatteurs. Rome a été plus puissante, les Mongols plus invincibles: Où est Rome, que sont devenus les Mongols ?
"Ta mission est plus haute, plus sainte, c'est le sacrifice et l'amour, c'est la foi et la fraternité."
not? This very Chamaiakoff astonished a friend of ours by his minute knowledge about India, and the way in which his mind seemed dazzled by the possibilities of Russia's future there. Long, however, is the way from inclinations to acts. Let the Russian people once be the masters of their own destiny, and the seventh part of the land surface of the globe, with some moderate rectifications of frontier, will seem, we think, enough for them.
The chief question for us to ask is: Are reforms progressing which may destroy forever the artificial military organization? Of some we have already spoken, of a few others we must speak very briefly. Let it then be observed that the army has no longer, as it had under the reign of Nicholas, the precedence of all other servicesthat one of the results of the Crimean war