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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

Affairs in 1854

Affairs in 1854.

In anticipation of the "Dragon's" departure for Australia, I hasten to record an account of the trials through which our people have passed during the last year, from which you will be enabled to understand the position which Christianity is now assuming in Feejee.

The Methodistical year was ushered in under the genial rays of political prosperity. But, alas! the portentous clouds of civil war and internal dissension soon enveloped us in political darkness. A pseudo-Priest is inspired, and tidings of woe are announced, in consequence of the late profession of Christianity. Another, late the High Priest, becomes the shrine of the great and much-feared God, and declares that the King and his Chiefs are to be punished in a signal manner for their presumption in imputing frailty to the Feejeean deities. The King demands an apology from the Priest, and then whips him publicly, to evidence that he no longer fears the would-be gods of Bau. The populace are amazed—they are soon alarmed.

Three towns, within two or three miles of the city, beat the drum of rebellion. A number of influential Chiefs, including two of the King's younger brothers, abscond in a war-canoe and join the enemy, whilst it is rumoured that they have arranged with certain Chiefs in the city to assassinate the ruler, so soon as they can bring an army within sight of Bau. Whole districts soon join the rebels, and Bau itself, for the first time since the bloody revolution of 1837, is placed in a state of defence. The kingdom of Rewa now initiates the aggressive, assisted by the Bau rebel Chiefs, and the ruling party in Ovalau. The King of Rewa sends a letter, warning the Missionary to leave the city, as it would soon be burnt, and he feared that he would be unable to protect us from the ruffian warriors.