quite recently that the only hope for Russia lay in
a religious revival, both within and without the
Orthodox Church. The reactionary party, which has
behind it the whole weight and influence of Ortho-
doxy, has, curiously enough, persuaded itself that
everything depends upon preventing such a revival ;
accordingly, the spectacle of a National Congress of
Russian Baptists led the party to declare itself with
Several days before the Congress was opened a
meeting of the Orthodox clergy was held in St.
Petersburg, at which it was decreed that " steps
must be taken to stop the movement created by
the preaching of the Baptists."
It was further arranged to hold services in the
Orthodox Churches all day during the week of the
Baptist Congress, and thus oppose its influence.
Moreover, the priests were invited, through the pubHc
press, to attend the meetings of the sectarians, in
order to learn their methods, but it was suggested
REACTIONARY PARTY TACTICS 71
that they should discard clerical dress for the
This policy was adopted with unsatisfactory
results. Priests did attend the pubHc meetings
of the Congress disguised as laymen, and created
scenes by their violent interruptions, which in one
case at least, as related in a previous chapter,
led to the interposition of the police and the
summary retirement of the intruders.
Not content with the result of these tactics, the
reactionaries invoked the aid of the leading press
organs. The Novoye Vremya, the most influential
paper in Russia, allowed the Goliath of the Philis-
tines, in the person of the great PubHcist Menchikoff,
to attack the heretics in a three-column article, which
was assumed to be the last word on the subject.
Some extracts will be sufficient to show the temper,
policy, and perspective of the reactionaries towards
this new movement.
" These Baptists," says Menchikoff, " are deca-
dents (decados). They are descending from the
heights of civiHsation granted to men, and are re-
turning to primitive forms. This is a mere fashion.
Why should we put off our fine clothes and deny
ourselves good things to imitate poor foreigners ?
All heretics think they are after true beauty, but
they are wrong. As in art, pohtics, commerce, any
return to things which have gone before is a sign
72 AMONG THE HERETICS
" I believe in God, but I do not believe in those
naive fellow-countrymen who say that God must
be irrational. I respect every religious feeling, but
still I prefer the Orthodox Church, though it may
have some defects about it. The Orthodox Church
is just as good as Catholicism, or Mohammedanism,
or Buddhism, because it is a native growth suited to
the national character.
" These Baptists are as geometrical figures com-
pared with the rugged mountains for beauty. This
return to the primitive is mere decadence. These
Baptists are returning from the grand and beautiful
Orthodox faith, thinking that in evangelism they
will find beauty. In fact, they are not returning to
evangeUcal truth, but to the Bible. They are Bible
Christians â€” ^that is to say, Jews. If you hsten
attentively to the prayers, sermons, and hymns of
the Baptists, you will notice one strong point â€”
they acknowledge Christ, but they worship Jehovah,
the Hebrew God of the Old Testament. They do
this ignorantly. The Bible, the library of old books
written before Christ, is not of Hebrew origin, but
Babylonian, and this is what takes the upper hand
with these sectarians â€” not the Gospels, but the Old
Testament. They prefer the old covenant to the
new, and they prefer primitive worship to the
" The Government is much to blame," this
critic further proclaimed. " Does not the Govern-
REACTIONARY PARTY TACTICS 73
ment make a great mistake under the pretext of
religious freedom to give such power to this sect ?
You cannot bind the conscience, and punish a man
for his faith, but is it in the interests of the Govern-
ment to give such full freedom ? The Government
has enemies, and bears with them whilst they are
scattered in units, should it be permitted to these
enemies to come together and grow as rapidly as
clouds bearing a thunderous aspect ? They are
rousing the masses.
" These Baptists secretly have a deadly hatred
against the State, and are therefore enemies of the
true Russian people. It is false for them to say
that their aim is the salvation of souls. They do
not care for the Fatherland. These are Jewish
Christians. Baptists pay duties and pay Govern-
ment taxes, but still they are strangers and dream
of a Canaan, a new Jerusalem, a dream-state of
humanity. Leave this people to grow, and when
they realise their strength they v/ill be enemies.
" Until now the masses have been as one by one
religion, and in subjection. The Government must
stand as sentinels, and preserve the precious nation-
ahty, the one-soul solidarity of the nation. For this
cause much blood was spilt, and to gain this end
holy martyrs have suffered, and for thousands of
years the Orthodox sermons have sounded and
formed the spirit of the nation. There can be
freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, but let
74 AMONG THE HERETICS
it be a national conscience, a national thought. We
are perishing from anarchy and stormy thought, and
fear of philosophy is so pressing on our educated
classes that they are losing their faith. Is it wise
for the Government to allow the common people to
know differently, and to think otherwise than the
Orthodox teacher ?
" The appearance of these Protestants reminds
us that they spilt blood all over Europe, and have
produced hatred amongst peoples as never before.
Germany, England, and France have passed through
terrors impossible to describe through these reformers.
We have crushed heresies in our time to preserve the
unity of the nation. Must we have this dangerous
experience again ? Shall these people be allowed to
become amongst those who are striving against the
Government ? The Church is being shattered by
NihiUsm. She has lost her hold upon the upper
classes. Shall she lose her hold upon the lower
classes by these decadents winning them ? Cer-
tainly they carry into the region of faith not heathen
but Jewish practices. This must not be allowed."
Such was the weapon with which the reactionaries
had chosen to smite. Could anything be more
illogical or unfair ? In any other country such a
manifesto would have been laughed to scorn.
Unhappily, in Russia it had a deadly significance.
It showed that whatever may be the letter of the
1905 edict granting religious liberty to the Russian
REACTIONARY PARTY TACTICS 75
people, the spirit of it is to be challenged even to
the point of bitter and relentless persecution.
Yet the flovving tide is with these Baptists in
Russia, as with all who are fighting for freedom.
The reactionaries are making the mistake of imagin-
ing that Mrs. Partington's broom is still equal to the
task of sweeping the tide back.
The most effective answer that can be given to
Mr. Menchikoff and his friends is being supphed by
the Baptist World Alhance. At the Berhn Baptist
World's Congress of 1908 two resolutions of far-
reaching importance concerning the Baptist move-
ment on the Continent were made. The first dealt
with the education of the ministry, the second with
the building of churches. Steps have now been
taken to reahse the first resolution by founding and
endowing a great university to meet the needs of
Russia and all south-eastern Europe.
Sir Wyke BayUss, writing about William Holman
Hunt as the painter of Christ, sets down the follow-
ing conversation of three young painters who stood
together in a London studio. The painters were
Holman Hunt, Rossetti, and Millais, the first mem-
bers of the famous pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: â€”
Rossetti : " Then we are agreed â€” we will all
paint Christ i I have a friend who will serve as my
model. I shall only need to add an aureole."
76 AMONG THE HERETICS
MiLLAis : " But I cannot paint what I have never
seen, and I have never seen Christ. I can find a
child, a beautiful woman, an old man. I will paint
these in a carpenter's shop, which also I can see;
and the story of the picture shall be the story of
their Hves. But it will not be a picture of Christ,
it will be a picture of a carpenter's shop."
HoLMAN Hunt : " I will find out what Christ is
like, that I may see Him with my own eyes. If I
cannot find Him in fhe west I will find Him in the
east. I will tear the secret from the stones of the
city where He dwelt ; from the sands of the desert
where He hungered ; from the waters on which He
walked. I will find it and paint it as a real thing
before I die."
There one gets behind the spirit of the pre-
Raphaelite Brotherhood, founded by those three
young men in their endeavour " to thrust its own
stern code of artistic morals, its own fierce intensity
of fanatically veracious vision, upon a generation
that preferred suavity and carefulness and con-
The story of the new Acts of the Apostles in
Russia might be told in similar words. The brethren
there represent in a higher and fuller sense the pre-
Raphaehte Brotherhood. The Greek Church has for
centuries conformed to the suave, careful, and con-
ventional. Rome has a friend, the Pope, whom she
has painted as the model of Christ, and added an
REACTIONARY PARTY TACTICS 77
aureole. The Greek Church has painted a young
man, a beautiful woman, an old man, in a car-
penter's shop, but it has not been the picture of
Christ; it has been the picture of a carpenter's
shop â€” and only a picture.
But a new school has arisen â€” a brotherhood of
men who have seen the Christ and who are preaching
a hving, loving, saving Christ ; and wherever these
men preach crowds come to hsten, are converted,
and are baptised.
There is no country in the world offering richer
dividends for Christian service than Russia. The
fields are white to harvest. The people are raven-
ously hungry for the Gospel.
And here is the contrast between Roman Catholic
countries like Spain, Italy, and France. The natural
revulsion from the superstition and priestcraft of
Rome is atheism, and the Protestant missionaries
in those countries, as they told me, find it hard
to counteract that natural drift by preaching the
Gospel of the Grace of God " without money and
But the Greek Church, with all her faults, has
taught her people reverence for God. The fact
confronts one in every phase of Russian life, and
makes the sowing of the good seed of the Kingdom
The evangelistic meetings of the Congress which
I attended in St. Petersburg were only samples of
78 AMONG THE HERETICS
what is going on all over Russia, where Christ is
being preached by obscure men and women con-
sumed with a passion for the souls of men. They
are preaching, not a traditional Christ, but a real
and hving Christ, whom their own eyes have seen
and whose spirit they have caught. And these men
and women, by their devotion and sacrifice, are
going far to win Russia for Jesus Christ.
A SIBERIAN HERO
Russia has added a long list to the great cloud of
witnesses of whom the world has not been worthy,
and which has been increasing all through the
centuries since the writer of the Epistle to the
Hebrews first attempted to catalogue them.
One of the outstanding and heroic figures among
the Russian Baptists is Pastor Pavloff, the president
of the first Congress of Russian Baptists. A man
of commanding presence, large, square head, massive
brain, and flowing beard, he might have stepped out
from the illustrated pages of a family Bible as a
typical priest of Levi.
It has been Pastor Pavloff' s privilege " not only
to beheve in Him, but to suffer for His name " in a
fashion quite unknown to modern Christians out-
side of Europe. I asked him how many times he
had been in prison for righteousness' sake, and he
replied, " Really, I have been there so often that I
have lost count ! " He was one of the first Russian
Baptists, and was the first Russian Baptist evan-
Born in the Caucasus, at Tiflis, Pastor Pavloft
8o AMONG THE HERETICS
told me, he was converted at the age of fifteen.
His parents were Molocans, a very old Russian
sect having many of the characteristics of Quakers.
Their faith is expressed in negative rather than in
positive terms. For instance, they do not believe
in the ordinances of baptism or the Lord's Supper,
though they are an offshoot of the Greek Church.
Neither do they believe in fasting, or in keeping
the regular fast days imposed by the Orthodox
Church. It was on account of this latter negation
that they got their name, and, like many names
inherited by religious sects, it was originally a term
of derision. Moloco is the Russian word for milk,
and the peasants in mockery styled them Molocans
â€”that is, people who drink milk on fast days.
Young Pavloff united himself to the Baptists
when they were only five or six strong in Tifiis.
The first Baptist who came to Tiflis was a German
named M. Calviet. He baptised Voronin, a Russian,
and Voronin baptised Pavloff in the year 1871.
By the efforts of these two the work increased and
Four years later Pavloff went to Hamburg to
study theology, and devoted a year to mastering
the profoundest of all the sciences. There was no
Baptist seminary then, so he had to be content to
sit at the feet of a German preacher and also of Mr.
John G. Oncken, founder of the German Baptists,
the latter of whom ordained him as a missionary.
A TYPICAL RUSSIAN PASTOR.
Recently returned from Siberian exile.
REV. J. UHR.
Head of the Swedish Baptist Mission
in Valencia, Spain
T BYFORD (Baptist World Alliance). PASTOR PAVLOFF,
AND PASTOR FETLER (reading left to right).
A SIBERIAN HERO 8i
In 1876 he returned to his home at Tiflis and began
to work and preach. Those were perilous days in
the Tsar's dominions, and preachers outside the
Orthodox Church received short shrift. Pavloff
immediately came under the ban of the priests, and
the police did the rest. He was condemned to exile
and marched off to Orenburg, on the Siberian border.
For four years he was under close pohce super-
vision, and was not allowed to leave the town.
Regaining his Hberty in 1891, he returned to
Tiflis, and the poHce demanded a pledge that he
would not preach the Gospel. But he refused to
give his signature, and in August of the same year
he was on his way back to Siberia for a further
period of four years' banishment. This time the
authorities made him dispute with the Orthodox
priests on such subjects as Baptism and Ikons, the
object being to confound him before the people
and refute his teaching. The object was not
attained. Instead of hindering, this policy helped
the young missionary. His audiences sometimes
numbered as many as 300, who showed the keenest
interest in his answers to the priests and in his
preaching of the Gospel.
Moreover, men were converted, and this en-
couraged Pavloff to organise private meetings for
prayer and the reading of the Scriptures. On one
occasion about twenty Molocans, who had been
banished, came to speak with him about the faith.
82 AMONG THE HERETICS
and several believed. Quietly and for the most part
secretly, for fear of the police, the work spread, and
while Pavloff was not allowed to leave Orenburg,
his converts, and those who had heard him preach
and were impressed, carried the message out into
the villages and hamlets, so that when Pavloff
returned the second time into exile he was over-
joyed to find many professing faith in Jesus Christ
and asking to be baptised. Every convert became
a missionary in exile. During the latter months of
Pavloff's second banishment nearly 200 were con-
verted and baptised. And three churches were
built and pastors left in charge.
From Siberia this devoted man of God went to
Roumania, and lived for six years in Tulcea, where
many were led to confess Christ. Then his old
church at Tifiis called him back, and he gave six
years to sowing the good seed of the Kingdom in
that district amid signal manifestations of blessing.
A call next came from Odessa, and at the time of
the Congress in 1901 Pastor Pavloff had been
labouring three years in that town, with abundant
Easter, 1905, when the edict forbidding any
Russian to profess any other than the Orthodox
Greek faith was repealed, was a time of great
rejoicing. Exiles for their faith were allowed to
return ; but the terms of the new edict were so
vague that nobody knew what it meant beyond the
A SIBERIAN HERO 83
fact that those who were not of the Orthodox faith
were free to hold meetings under certain arbitrary
conditions. Hitherto meetings had been held
secretly, and those participating went and left, one
by one, with the utmost caution so as not to attract
attention, for attention meant prison.
Fifty years before the Memonites and German
Baptists had been recognised by the Government
and had rights, but Russians were not allowed to
join them. Up to the granting of religious liberty
in 1905, therefore, there were no Russian Baptists.
At least, none were known to or recognised by the
authorities. It was through the efforts of John G.
Oncken, the German pioneer, that the Baptists
went to Poland and Southern Russia. Evan Riabo-
chaba and Michael Ratoschni were the two first
Russians to confess the Baptist faith and labour in
the south. The latter was still living at the end
From the Caucasus the work spread to Manchuria,
largely through the faithful testimony of the exiles.
On the borders of the River Amur is the town of
Blagovishchnisk. It is twenty-six days' journey
from Odessa to Blagovishchnisk, and the road is
stained with the blood of the men and women who
were exiled^ for conscience' sake. To-day Siberia is
alive with Baptist churches and messengers of the
Cross. At Blagovishchnisk alone there are three
large churches, and there are others at Lencoran
84 AMONG THE HERETICS
on the Persian border and at Kars on the Turkish
frontier. Though persecuted, banished, imprisoned,
the brethren went forward, casting the seed for a
harvest which is now beginning to be reaped in
such rich measure.
This does not mean that the millennium has
come in Russia or that persecution has ceased.
Pastor Pavloff explained the situation to me in
these words : â€”
" We cannot say that now we have full freedom.
We have more liberty in the capital than in the
country, for in St. Petersburg the priests and the
police dare not do what is done in the country, and
especially in the remote country districts. Some-
times they beat and almost kill the brethren. Just
lately a company of our brethren were sent to
prison on a plea of not having asked permission to
meet, though permission had been asked and given.
The instigators of this sort of treatment are always
the priests. Last year I myself was in prison for
two months in Odessa. We were only holding a
picnic, but that was enough to send a number of
us to gaol for varying terms. The Black Hundred
play a prominent part in interfering with our
meetings and in inciting to persecution. They
profess to stand for everything that is old and
orthodox. At the back of all, however, are the
" Our freedom is largely on paper. Still, there
A SIBERIAN HERO 85
is a measure of liberty, or we should have no right
to hold this Congress. As it is, we have been put
to immense trouble in making the arrangements,
and every item on the programme had to be sub-
mitted to the authorities for official sanction."
IN kings' palaces
The most terribly suggestive sight in all Russia is
the Tsar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. It has
been built in seven sections by successive Tsars.
Each has added his own section and occasionally
lived in it, the other sections remaining entirely
undisturbed as they were at the time of the death
of the previous Tsar. It seems a strange custom,
until one recalls that no Tsar has ever died peace-
fully in his bed, that most of them have been
murdered, and that for the remainder an air of
mystery, to say the least, has clouded the circum-
stances of their death.
With this knowledge a visit to the Winter Palace
becomes a gruesome pilgrimage. That sense was
heightened in my case, for only a few months before
the terrible scenes of " Bloody Sunday " had been
enacted in the great square in front of the palace,
and as I stood in the magnificent dining-room of
gold, part of the suite of rooms of Alexander I., just
as he had left them, the whole scene was so graphic-
ally detailed to me that I saw not an empty stone-
paved square, but one piled with the corpses of men
IN KINGS' PALACES 87
who had risen against an intolerable yoke of
I was one of a large party of Russians who had
been given permission by the Minister for the
Interior to visit the Palace. We were carefully
counted and marked for identification as we went
in, but singularly enough no notice was taken of
us as we passed out. All sorts of precautions are
taken with visitors to the Palace. Having been
forbidden by the police to take snapshot photo-
graphs in the streets, I was not surprised to have
my camera confiscated immediately on passing the
outside gates of the Winter Palace. But it was
still more inconvenient to be deprived of one's over-
coat. To have dreamt that one slept in marble
halls is calculated to make the sleeper shiver, even
when ensconced under warm blankets; but to
be dispossessed of one's overcoat on a Russian
winter's day in a cold, draughty palace was infinitely
Quite a regiment of officials accompanied us
through the palace, and edged us in on every side.
Anything we said or did was likely to be taken
down and used as evidence against us. They watched
us like detectives. If an official noticed anything
irregular, he immediately notified his superior, and
before we were allowed to proceed all the officials
came together and held a council of war.
It was my notebook that first brought me under
88 AMONG THE HERETICS
observation. As an aid to memory I had been
scribbling a few notes. I was promptly informed
that this could not be allowed. I asked my friends
to explain the situation, but they were afraid to
do so. They were all Russians, and in Russia they
have learned that when an official, whether a street
policeman, a palace lackey, or, indeed, any man
clothed in the authority of uniform, says " No,"
there is nothing for it but to obey. The incident
made me sympathise with newspaper men in Russia.
But being a newspaper man myself, and not a subject
of the Tsars, I looked for a way out of the difficulty,
and resorted to strategy. At the second warning I
stuffed the notebook into my hip pocket and allowed
the official to see me button the pocket. Then,
waiting an opportunity, I smuggled the notebook
up my left sleeve and only attempted to make notes
when surrounded by other members of the party.
My friends were my undoing. Their curiosity was
annoying and excited suspicion. I could not per-
suade them to look away. They did not under-
stand me. They watched my every movement,
and appeared to be so frightened at the risks they
thought I was running that I had to laugh. All
the same their conduct gave me away, and for the
third time I was warned. If I had been carrying
a hat, the next device would have been easy, but
my hat was with my overcoat and camera. I was
not to be beaten, however, and in the end made
IN KINGS' PALACES 89
all the notes I desired without anybody's suspicion
being further aroused. The restriction as to photo-
graphs is, under conceivable circumstances, perhaps
reasonable ; but the restriction as to note-taking is,
to the newspaper man at least, senseless, and it
is only as he remembers that he is in Russia that
he becomes reconciled to the temporary intrusion
upon his liberty.
The Winter Palace is crowded with memories
of dead kings. Everywhere is revealed the dead
hand of the past. Beds and bedrooms in which
Tsars died or were assassinated remain just as they
were at the time. Chief, perhaps, in historic interest
are the rooms of Alexander II. There stands the
little table on which he signed the emancipation of
40,000,000 serfs. The inkstand and the pen which
he used are still lying there, and even his handker-
chief. In the same room he met his fate. Russians,