Associate professor of church history princeton theological seminary baker book house

Download 4.04 Mb.
Date conversion29.04.2016
Size4.04 Mb.
1   ...   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   ...   38

Teaoh• nees propriety, Wisdom, and Sin 

iag of writ, as well as in enforcing the Confucius. duties of the " five relations" of Prince and Minister, Husband and Wife, Father and Son, Brother to Brother, and Friend to Friend. Confucius taught the duty of keeping aloof from spirits, while at the same time treating them re­spectfully. " We have not performed our duties to men," he says; " how then can we perform our duties to spirits? " " Not knowing ]ifs, how can we know about death?" The ]awe of nature, and of the spiritual world as well, lie beyond the com­prehension of all men except those endowed by nature with the spirit of wisdom. " He who has sinned against Heaven has no place for prayer." It has been claimed that there are six essential elements in Confucianism, five of which differ­entiate it from any other system of non Christian thought. These are: (1) The direct responsibility of the sovereign to Heaven, Shang Ti, or God. (2) The greater importance of the people than the sovereign. (3) The discrimination of the five social relations, with their appropriate duties. (4) Insistence on the virtues just mentioned, with the doctrine that the wise and the able should rule, the object of the ancient civil service examination being to ascertain who the wise and the able are. (5) The presentation of an ideal, or Princely Man, as a mode( upon which every Confucianist should form his character. The influence of this upon the unnumbered millions of Chinese moat have been measureless. (6) Filial piety, which involves not merely suitable treatment of the living, but the worship of ancestors, the real religion of the Chinese people, and perhaps the most potent among several causes which have perpetuated the race through all the millenniums of Chinese history.

Confucianism is mixed with and debased by an intricate system of nature worship, including worship of heaven and earth, the sun and the moon, the douda, the rain, thunder, the five great mountains, the north pole, the spirits of dead worthies, and much

else, combining in one ritual gods, ghosts, flags, and cannon. It embodies much of ideal excellence for

8. Its an ideal world, but it is deficient in the Defects. chief of the relations, for it has no

knowledge of God, its account of men is inadequate, it has no elucidation of the fact of sin, and no remedy for it, nor any explanation of the relation between man and God. Confucius used the term Heaven instead of Shang Ti. As Dr. Legge says: " He was unreligious rather than ir­religious; yet by the coldness of his temperament and intellect in this matter his influence is unfa­vorable to the development of true religious feel­ing among the Chinese people generally, and he prepared the way for the speculations of the lite­rati of medieval and modern times which have exposed them to the charge of atheism."

Confucianism is a wonderful product of human development, with a unique grip on its adherents. Its strength lies in the inherent rectitude of its injunctions, which, if followed, would make the world a very different one from that which we see. But it has the fatal defect of altogether failing to recognize the inherent weakness and inability of human nature to fulfil these high beheata, and for this inability Confucianism hen neither explanation nor remedy. In its adoration of Confucius and other worthies, its face is ever toward the past. Its worship of ancestors has no ethics] value,* and is quite destitute of any directive or restraining power. While Confucianism has unified and con­solidated the Chinese people, it has not, as the Great Learning enjoins, renovated them, and it never can do so. It can do no more for China than it has already accomplished, and it is now a spent force.

2. Taoism: The Chines character Tao sig­nifies a " road, reason, doctrine." The indigenous

religion called by thin name owes its 1. Origin reputed origin to Lao taze (" Old


Anti Master," as distinguished from Con­

istios, fucius the Master; see LAO TazE), who

is supposed to have been half a cen­

tury older than Confucius, and to whom is gener­

ally attributed the work called " Canons of Reason

and Virtue," a treatise remarkable alike for its

brevity and its profundity. Historically next to

nothing is known of Laotaze, and the authenticity

of the treatise passing under his name is much

disputed. Taoists are ]inked to Confucianists by

a common regard for the Book of Changes, of which

great use is made by them. The Taoism of the

present day has nothing to do either with the Canon

of Reason just mentioned or with its alleged

author, whose philosophy is now only a historical

curiosity. Modern Taoism occupies itself with a

quest for the elixir of immortality, the conquest

v [This statement will not be accepted by all students of

Chine religion. Many of them look upon ancestor worship

as the apotheosis of the family, and point out that the prac­

tise of laying before the ancestral tablet se s worthy offering

the article or document which evidences that the individual

had done something which reflected credit on the family

moat affect the offerer and his deenendante. The contem­

plation of distinguished or even respectable ancestors has

stirred many among us to nobler living. Yet it is true that

the evangelising of China is hindered by the yraotiee. ED.]


of the passions, and especially with the exorcising of demons. It is extensively mixed with Bud­dhist ideas, having borrowed from that system the notion of a trinity of Pure Ones. A being having the same title as the Shang Ti of the Confucianists is worshiped, but his functions an practically delegated to a divinity called Pearly Emperor Supreme Ruler, who is regarded as an apotheosis of a man named Chang who lived in the Han dynasty (189 B.c.), and whose supposed successors, into each of whom the soul of the founder trans­migrates, lives on the Dragon Tiger .mountain in Kiangsi, and is by foreigners termed " the Taoist Pope." Eight " Immortals," each of great ca­pacity, some of them objects of worship, figure largely in popular Taoism. In almost all villages there is a temple to the local god (or god of the soil) who is regarded as a constable reporting deaths, etc., to the city god (Ch'eng Huang) in whose temple an represented by images the most horrible tortures of the future life, visited upon the wicked. A Sea Dragon King rules the waters, and is often worshiped in the form of water (or even land) snakes. Taoism boasts an immense literature, but with the exception of the classic named it is of little value, and is not reducible to a system. It descends into animal worship of the " Five Great Families," viz., the Fox, the Rat, the Weal, the Snake, and the Hedgehog, each of which is spoken of in terms of the highest respect, and considered to be endowed with supernatural powers.

The dense ignorance of the Chmeae regarding the uniformity of nature, and the apparent absence of any intuition of cause sad effect,

S• ate'  make the popular mind a fertile seed­etitioa bed for the cultivation of superstitious of the

Chinese. germs of every sort. Every few years

a wave of fanaticism seems to be

propagated throughout the empire, issuing in tales

of cue cutting without visible agency, kidnaping

of children, and the like. The whole Boxer move­

ment in China was stimulated by beliefs which

negative and defy the laws of nature.

Men who are confident that no sword that was ever forged can cut them, that no rifle bullet can penetrate their charmed bodies, that no artillery can destroy them are dangerous elements in any civilized land, and China is full of such men. It is difficult to find in Taoism at the present day a single redeeming feature. Its assumptions are wholly false, its bald materialism inevitably and hopelessly debarring.

S. Buddhism: This Indian religion is supposed to have been introduced into China in the Han dynasty, by the Emperor Ming Ti, in consequence of a dream. At different periods it encountered great opposition both from the agnostic Confu­cranists and the materialistic Taoists. The essen­tial doctrines of Buddhism (q.v.) are the vanity of all material things, the supreme importance of charity, and the certainty of rewards and punish­ment by means of the transmigration of souls. The Five Precepts of Buddhism forbid the taking of life, stealing, lust, improper speech, and the use of wine.

The Buddhist habit of renouncing one's family


and becoming priests or nuns is in theory totally opposed to Confucian teaching and instincts, yet like the belief in the transmigration of souls, and the bliss of attaining to be a Buddha, it is com­mended to the Chinese by long custom. The poverty of thousands of Chinese makes their chil­dren available for service in the temples, though Confucianism has never assented to it. Yet what­ever their theoretical views, Chinese of all ranks call in Buddhist or Taoist priests, or both, upon due provocation, especially at funerals. The un­limited utterance of the name of Omito Fo (Amita Buddha) will bring great felicity, and its incessant enunciation is one of the principal industries of the Mongols. The power of Buddhism has arisen from the fatal weakness of Confucianism, which has nothing to say of the hereafter. The literature of Buddhism, like that of Taoism, is appallingly ex­tensive, embracing both translations from the Sanskrit (which embodies the northern form of Buddhism as the Pali language does the southern), and also attempts to write Sanskrit texts in Chinese characters. Although Buddhist tenets are deeply I enshrined in the hearts of the Chinese people, Chinese scholars, even when adopting Buddhism, have always affected to despise it. It has ren­dered the Chinese more compassionate to the brute creation than they would otherwise have bin, and it has introduced the graceful but costly pagoda, as well as the dagoba, or memorial tope. While often displaying the negative activity arising from the cohesive power of ancient, vested interests, Buddhism in China has long since lost the virility which it attained through persecution, and has passed into a hopeless and senile decay.

4. Mohanimedsaism: Mohammedans are scat­tered throughout China, particularly in the cities, being strongest in the southwestern provinces, their total number being estimated at twenty millions. They reached China in the Tang dynasty, over a thousand years ago. Their mosques are especially in evidence in such great centers as Peking, Tien Tsin, Canton, etc. The Mohammedans are much more lax in their practises than their coreligionists in India. They do not intermarry with the Chinese, but sometimes adopt Chinese children. They do nothing to propagate their faith, and apparently have never done so. The Chinese consider them as more violent in temper and more cruel in disposition than themselves, but the days of their early persecution have long since passed away. With the exception of their mono­theism there is often very little distinction between the followers of the prophet and the Chinese.

6. Chinese Sects: China is honeycombed with many varieties of secret societies, nearly all of which profess to " practise virtue" as an end. Many of them are, however, semipolitical, and all of them are tabooed by the government. Their manuals are copied by hand, and are practically inaccessible, and their tenets are compounded of fragments of Confucianism, Taoism, and Bud­dhism brewed in s common kettle. Their practises have unquestionably had their origin in Indian sources, the Chinese intellect not being sufficiently metaphysical to originate, or even to comprehend,


subtleties of this sort. Some use a species of planchette for obtaining adumbratione of fate, some keep ledger accounts of merits and demerits, while others strive after the (Taoist) " pill of im­mortality." The I Ho Ch'iian (or " Boxers ") in 1899 adopted the name of an organisation much more than a century old. Whenever any society is vigorously repressed, it invariably reappears under a new name. The existence of these count­less sects is a conspicuous witness to the radical insufficiency of each of the standard " religions " of China to satisfy the wants of the human soul.

II. Christian Missions. 1. Nestorian Missions: According to ancient tradition Christianity was carried to India and perhaps even to China by the apostle Thomas. While it is not impossible that a knowledge of the new faith may have penetrated so far in the early centuries, no certain evidence of it is now to be obtained. The Nestorians, how­ever, sent missionaries to China at the beginning of the sixth century, as is proved by the black marble tablet discovered near the present Si Ngan Fu, the. western capital of China, in 1625, record­ing the establishment of the " Illustrious Doc­trine." The date of this justly famous monument of the past is 781 A.D., and its authenticity, once hotly disputed, is now irrefragably established. Judging by the allusions in Marco Polo's narrative, in the thirteenth century Nestorian churches must have been numerous. The followers of this faith were no doubt bitterly antagonized by the aggres­sive Mohammedans, who came to China somewhat later than they, the Nestorians in turn persecuting the early Roman Catholic missionaries. Nestori­anism seems to have survived for almost a thou­sand years, traces of it being mentioned by travelers as late as the fourteenth century. But not a building which the Nestorians erected, not a page which they wrote has been preserved, and after more than twelve centuries they are remembered only by a atone tablet [In Nov., 1907, probably on account of the increasing number of European vandals in the province, the governor of Shen Si removed the Nestorian Tablet from its ancient posi­tion in an open field near Si Ngan Fu and placed it in the Peilin Temple, inside the walls of the city.]

2. Roman CSatholio Missions: The efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to establish itself in

China are divisible into several well 

1. The marked periods, of which the first be 

Eeet   gan with the arrival of John of Monte

Period. Corvino (q.v.), who reached China in

1292, during the Yuan, or Mongol dynasty. This zealous priest labored alone for eleven years, being later reenforced by seven assist­ants and himself made archbishop. His letters speak of translating the Psalms and the New Testa­ment into Mongol, and of some 30,000 " infidels" converted. But with the advent of the native Ming dynasty and the expulsion of the Mongols in 1368, so completely were the traces of the past effaced that it was long forgotten that Christianity had ever entered the Celestial empire at all.

The second period of Roman Catholic missions is separated from the first by more than two cen­turies of silence. The great missionary Francis

Xavier (q.v.) died on the island of St. John in 1552, after heroic but unavailing efforts to enter China. In 1582 two Jesuit priests

2. The succeeded by a stratagem in getting a

Second foothold in the province of Kwangtung.

Period. One of these was Michele Ruggieri (Roger), and the other the celebrated Matteo Ricci (q.v.), a man of great natural abilities, of a genial diplomatic temperament, and gifted with an un­wearying patience. After nearly twenty years of romantic adventures he at last accomplished his great purpose, reaching Peking in Jan., 1601, where his labors were most indefatigable, and at his death in 1610 at the early age of fifty five, they appeared to be crowned with success, especially in winning the literati. Ricci's Chinese writings remain to this day as an evidence of his unique achievements. His most famous convert was a Han Lin named Hsu, who took the name of Paul, and whose daugh­ter (baptized as Candida) was a foster mother to the infant Church. The family estate near Shang­hai (locally called Sikawei " home of the Hsii family ") is now perhaps the most important center of Roman Catholic influence in China. Ricci nominated Longobardi (Lombard) as his successor, who after careful investigation felt obliged to re­verse the policy of concession to Chinese customs in regard to the worship of ancestors, and in the use of the characters Shang Ti as the designation for God. These divisive and perversive questions were the rock upon which Roman Catholic missions in China ultimately split. The talents of Adam Schaal, one of his successors, like those of Ricci himself, were various and imposing, his labors ranging from astronomical erudition, exhibited in the reform of the Imperial calendar, to the compo­sition of works of theology, and of metal for the casting of cannon. His success was provocative of jealousy, so that he was undermined by intrigues, and died of grief and mortification at the age of seventy eight, having been thirty seven years in the employ of five monarchs. The achievements and honors of his successor, Ferdinand Verbiest, were if possible even greater, continuing for a period of thirty years to 1688. This trio of men of extraordinary abilities and devotion not perhaps equaled in missions in any other part of the world might have been expected to insure the success of the Church to which they gave themselves.

But meantime the seeds of dissension which ultimately proved the ruin not only of the Jesuit labors in China but also of those of the Franciscans and Dominicans who followed them were yielding their harvest of ill. Ricci had endeavored in every­thing to regard Chinese prejudices that he might win the literati. Upon the representations of Lombard, Pope Innocent X. (1645) forbade the worship of Heaven, and the rites to the dead, but the Jesuits succeeded in getting a bull from Alex­ander VII. (1656) practically (although not is form) reversing the decision. A third bull main­tained the validity of each of the former, the rites being forbidden to those who thought them idol­atrous, but lawful to those who considered them as merely civil and not religious. In 1699 the Jesuits with signal imprudence appealed the ques 


tion to the Emperor Wang Hsi, whose decision in their favor was flatly contradicted by a bull of Clement XI. (1704) absolutely forbidding the rites, and the use of the terms " Heaven " and " Shang Ti " for God. The Emperor Wang Hsi was not the man to divide his rule with an Italian gentleman, and the result was that while missions were still patronized at court for scientific pur­poses, they were persecuted in the provinces with the connivance of the emperor. On the accession of his successor, Yung Cheng (1723 35), by various decrees the missionaries were banished and the Church extinguished. It is said that " more than 300 churches were destroyed or suppressed, and 300,000 Christians abandoned to the fury of the heathen."

Thus at the end of a century and a half of great prosperity the work of the past appeared to be again wholly undone; but the fortitude under bitter persecutions and the

s. The constancy of the Roman Catholic

~odera Christians during the succeeding cen­

tury and a quarter  till the practical

toleration of the Treaty of Whampoa, and the

fuller liberty of the treaties of 1858, afford the most

convincing proof of the genuineness of their religion.

During the last half century the expansion of the

Roman Catholic Church in all parts of the empire

has been marked, but as it does not publish

statistics, only estimates are possible. In a re­

cent work by the vicar apostolic of the province of

Chehkiang there are said to be twenty seven

bishops, and the number of Christians is esti­

mated at three quarters of a million, although

figures twice as large are often met with. From

the Protestant standpoint it is a capital defect

of the Roman Catholic policy that practically

no use is made of street chapel preaching, and

that the Bible as a whole is not translated for

the converts. The standard of admission to the

Church is not high, and great harm is done to the

cause by the too ready acceptance of many appli­

cants whose obvious motive is the prosecution of

lawsuits, and revenge.* It should be sand that in

*On March 15, 1899, the Chinese government wen in­

duced to issue this decree, which is thus translated in

President Hawks Pott's The Outbreak in China, pp. 107 sq.

(New York, 1900): " Churches of the Catholic religion, the

propagation of which has been long since authorised by the

Imperial Government, having been built at thin time in

all the provinces of China, we long to see the Christians

and the people live in peace, and, in order to make their

protection more easy, it has been agreed that local authori­

ties shall exchange visits with missionaries under the con­

ditions indicated in the following articles: 1. In the differ­

ent degrees of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, bishops being is

rank and dignity the equals of viceroys and g0o8rp0l8,ltls

screed to authorise them to demand to sea viceroys and

governors . . . . Vicars general sad archdeacons will be au­

thorized to demand to see provincial treasurers sad judges,

and teotais. Other priests will be authorised to see pre.

feats of the first and second class, independent prefects, eub­

prefecte, and other functionaries, 2. When s mission af­

fair. grave or important. shall come up unexpectedly in any

province, the bishops and the missionaries of the pleas

should ask for the intervention of the minister or consuls of

the power to which the pope has confided the protection

of religion. These last will regulate or finish the matter,

either with the Teungli YamAn or the local authorities. In

order to avoid protracted proceedings, the bishop and the

missionaries have equal right to address themselves at once

IIL  3

many cases the Roman Catholic converts showed the greatest firmness under the persecution of the Boner period, unknown numbers enduring martyr­dom for their faith.

S. Protestant xisdoas: Protestant missions to

China, owe their origin to a general revival of

spiritual life at the end of the eight 

1. The math century, which was naturally

First manifested in greatly increased so 


to 1848. tivity both at home and abroad.

These missions in China are naturally.

divisible into four distinct periods, each terminated

by a foreign war. In this vast field the London

Missionary Society had the honor of being the

pioneer, in the face of difficulties which can now

be but imperfectly comprehended. Robert Morri­

son (q. v.) reached Canton by way of New York

Sept. 7, 1807. The East India Company would

not allow him passage on its ships, but later was

glad to employ him as its interpreter, when it

was evidently for its interest to command the

services of so thorough a Chinese scholar. His labors were unintermittent and immense. He completed the translation of the entire Bible into Chinese in 1818, partly in collaboration with his associate, William Mime. In 1823 his great Chi­nese Dictionary was published by the East India Company at an expense of twelve thousand pounds sterling. Dr. Morrison died in 1834, when the relations between Great Britain and China were becoming every year more strained, the missionary outlook being then almost as unpromising as when he began his work. The impossibility of getting a foothold on Chinese soil led to the establishment of an AngloChinese College at Malacca (subse­quently transferred to the newly ceded island of Hongkong) in which Mr. Mime labored with dili­gence in teaching, and in preparing and pfttleg Christian books. Walter Henry Medhuret, who came as a printer, spent many years at Batavia. The next society to begin work in Chins was the American Board, which sent out Rev. Elijah Cole­man Bridgman, who reached Canton in Feb., 1830, together with Rev. David Abeel (q.v.), who soon after joined the mission. Three years later, Mr. Samuel Wells Williams, then a mere youth, went

out as a printer. In the ensuing decade, before the opening of the war with Great Britain, three other American societies entered the field, the Protestant

Episcopal, 1835, the Baptist missionary union, 1836, and the Presbyterians (North), 1838. Med­ical work is this period was begun in 1834 by Dr. Peter Parker, who opened a hospital in Canton Oct., 1835, where the successful treatments) esY

eye and 9U1'giesf! cases, were phenomenal and most influential in diminishing prejudice. Dr. Thomas Richardson Colledge, of the East India Company, opened a dispensary at his own expense ill 1827.

to the local authorities, with whom they may negotiate the matter and &nieh it." President Pott adds; " The missions of the Anglican Communion and other Protestant Churches have unanimously refused to ask for any similar privileges, foreseeing clearly that, although the possession of ouch

would vastly increase their power, yet this assumption would be attended with the gravest dangers, and could but make their cause unpopular in the eyes of the Chine~e."­$. M. J.


Dr. Benjamin Hobson, of the London Mission, also conducted a hospital in Canton, Macao, and Hongkong, from 1839 to 1843. The war with Great Britain was terminated by the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, as a result of which the ports of Canton, Amoy, Fuchau, Ning po, and Shanghai were definitely opened to trade.

From the close of the war to the settlement at the end of the next one is to be reckoned as the second period of Protestant missions

2. The to China, characterized by an activity Second on the part of the British, American,

Period, and German missionary societies fully

1842 80. equal to that of the agents of com­merce. The various missions to the Chinese in Java, Siam, and the Straits of Malacca were now transferred to the Chinese empire itself. Among them were those of the American Baptist Mission­ary Union, removed from Bangkok to Hongkong in 1842, and thence to Swatow in 1860; the American Presbyterian Mission from Singapore to Canton, with work opened later at Amoy and Ning po, the Southern Baptists likewise beginning in Hongkong in 1842, and in Canton in 1845. During this period of renewed energy the American (Dutch) Reformed, the Church Missionary Society, the English Baptist Society, the American Methodist Episcopal (both North and South), the Berlin and Basel Mission, the English Presbyterian, the American Seventh­day Baptists, the Wesleyan Mission, and the Methodist New Connexion were first seen in China (discrepancy in the dates of the opening of some of these missions is often due to the fact that in some instances the preliminary work was dis­continued). The difficulties inherent in the initial stages of missions among the self centered, sus­picious, and practically hostile people like the Chinese were greatly aggravated by the rise and rapid growth of the T'ai Ping rebellion, which devastated nearly all the provinces of the empire, lasting from 1850 to 1864, when Nanking was captured, and in its sequelae for three years more. The last four years of this period witnessed another war with Great Britain the effects of the defeat half a generation before having worn off the Taku Forte were taken, and Peking was entered by the British and French in Oct., 1860. At the close of the war of 1840 42 the number of living Chinese converts might have been counted on the fingers of one hand. After eighteen years more of sapping, mining, and laying of foundations, there were in 1860 at the most but a few score, but im­portant beginnings had everywhere been made in evangelistic, medical, educational, and literary work.

All the open ports of China were at this time centers of intense and unwearied activity, confined within these limited areas like waters behind a closed lock. By the Treaty of Tien Tain many new ports. were opened, and Christianity in each of its forma was explicitly tolerated. More than a hundred mis­sionaries had been penned up in Shanghai awaiting the expected opening of inland China. Tien Tsin was first reached by Henry Blodget (American Board) in company with British troops, and Peking by Mr. Joseph Edkins (London Mission), while Mr.

Griffith John, of the same society, settled at lisukow, from which strategic point missions were opened in

Hupeh and later in Szechuen and 3. The Hunan. Spar expansion took place Third from each of the other ports. This Period, period of missions is full of impor­1880 88. test political events so intimately re­lated to all foreign interests that the one can not lie considered without the other, and they must there­fore be briefly mentioned. Among them are the sup­pression of the T'ai Ping rebellion (1864), the re­ception by the emperor of the foreign ministers in audience (1873), the murder of Mr. Augustus Ray­mond Margary (1875), with the resultant Chefu Con­vention (1876), by which greater security was given to foreigners in China, and in connection with which more new ports were opened. A great steamship company was organized under Chinese manage­ment, and a network of telegraph lines began to overspread the empire.

The most important single step in the evan­gelization of China was the development (rather than the organization) of the China Inland Mission (1865), founded on a combination of faith and works, which within a single generation has covered China with a chain of mission stations. Each of the older societies endeavored to expand into the illimitable regions beyond, and many new missions were begun. At the first general conference of missionaries in Shanghai in May, 1877, attended by 126 representatives, the total number of Protestant workers was 473, of whom 228 were connected with thirteen British societies, 212 with ten American societies, and two of German origin. The number of Christians in ninety one stations with 312 or­ganized churches was about 13,000. Thirteen years later a second conference was held, in May, 1890, when the societies had increased to forty, male missionaries to 589, married women to 391, and the unmarried to 316, a total of 1,296. There were 522 churches, and the Christians were nearly three times as numerous as in 1877, numbering 37,287. More than sixty hospitals and forty four dispensaries treated in 1889 348,000 patients. By the end of the century, however, this work had vastly expanded, so that 128 hospitals and 245 dispensaries, conducted by 162 male and 79 lady physicians, treated in one year 685,047 patients. The influence of this branch of missionary work in a country like China is immeasurable. Other op, portunitiea for philanthropy arose in connection with the great famine of 1877 78, which over­spread all northern China. The loss of life among

j the Chinese was estimated at between nine and a half and thirteen millions. Famine relief proved a golden key to unlock many closed doors. Similar relief has been afforded upon a large scale at other times in connection with other famines, floods, and pestilence, not without visible effect. The terrible massacre at Tien Tsin in June, 1870, was one of a long series, the most numerous outbreaks taking place in 1891 93, apparently as a direct result of the blasphemous Hunan tracts, the whole Yang tzu val­ley being ablaze with excitement. Another atroc­ity took place at Ku Ch'eng, Fukien province in 1895, when Mr. Robert Warren Stewart and most of


his family were murdered. The great province of Szechuen became a hotbed of violence, foreigners were temporarily expelled, and 50,000 Christians (largely Roman Catholics) suffered, many being killed. These events were directly connected with China's ignominious defeat by Japan (18995), for which all foreigners were supposed to be in some way responsible. These continual outrages occurred in every part of the empire, and often without warning, in spite of imperial edicts and official proclamations, but in no instance had they any permanent effect in restraining mission work.

For a long time the bitter but wholesome lessons of the war with Japan seemed to be forgotten or

ignored. But in 1898 the emperor 4. The began a series of reform measures

Fourth which soon brought on a crisis, and

Period, he was set aside by his aunt, the

from 1896. empress dowager, who reversed all his measures. The effect of this reaction was in­stantly felt throughout the empire. The cumula­tive force of the loss of Chinese territory by for­eign aggression, of commercial intrusion, of railways, and the opening of mines, added to the chronic prejudice against foreign religions, led to the fanat­ical I Ho Ch'iian crusade of 1899 1900, with its spectacular consequences of the flight of the court and the occupation of Peking by foreign armies, which, however, within a few months retired. The native Christians had now established their right to exist, and often afforded striking object­lesaons of fidelity. Although practically all mis­sion property (except at protected ports) had been destroyed from the Yellow River to the Amur, within two years almost everything was replaced with a far better plant than would otherwise have been possible. The fidglity of the Chinese Chris­tians, while not uniform nor universal, won praise from every quarter, many thousands of them los­ing their lives, as well as 135 Protestant mission­aries, and fifty three children, thirty five Roman Catholic fathers, and nine sisters.

It will be convenient to combine in a brief and summary view some features of missionary work

which have been slowly developing

~;~ee 1 during the sixty and more years since

Christian the Treaty of Nanking. Bible trane­

Litera  lotion, one of the great labors of the

tore. first missionary, has ever since been

prosecuted with untiring zeal, and is

still in progress. It is impossible to go into details,

but in general it may be said that the word of God

has been put into the literary style (adapted for

universal circulation among scholars), into man­

darin colloquial, supposed to be spoken in some

form by 75 per cent of China's four hundred mil­

lions, and into the patois of special districts, the

last named both in Chinese characters and in

an increasing degree by the use of Roman letters.

The three great Bible societies, the British and

Foreign, the American, and the Scotch, have been

indefatigable in their work of distribution, largely

by sales, which were never on so extensive a scale

as at present. Numerous societies, especially the

Chinese and the Central China Tract societies,

have put into circulation uncounted millions of

sheets, booklets, and books, so that at times it has been impossible to keep pace with the demand. Great mission presses, notably for nearly sixty years that of the American Presbyterian Mission, and more recently those of the United Methodist Missions in Shanghai and Fuchau, are kept constantly busy. Influential religious journals and magazines are issued in nearly all the principal mission centers, especially at Shanghai, penetrating not only all parts of the empire, but every part of the world where Chinese are to be found. One of the most important agencies for influencingChineeethought is the Society for theDiffuaion of Christian andGeneral Knowledge Among the Chinese, founded by Dr. Alex­ander Williamson, and now under the leadership of Dr. Timothy Richard. Its Rev,i.ew of the Tines, conducted by Dr. Y. J. Allen, has long reached a large circle of officials in every province, and pre­viously to the reform plans of 1898 it was especially procured by the emperor himself for his study. Great quantities of Christian and useful literature are distributed to scholars at the civil service exam­inations in the provincial capitals, tending to dissi­pate prejudice in influential quarters.

The distinction between the Roman Catholic and the Protestant form of Christianity has now

become well understood both by

e. Vari. officials and people. Woman's work

one Forms for woman has been expanded in every

of Work. direction, in evangelizing, medical, and

educational lines, the first Woman's

Medical College being opened in Canton Dec.,

1902, with an immediate success, foretokening

speedy imitation elsewhere. The Educational As­

sociation of China is a most important unifying

and developing force for every agency connected

with teaching, especially in the preparation of

text books. At the St. Louis Exposition of 1904

this association made an important exhibit of

education in China in all its aspects. The Young

Men's Christian Association has established an

energetic work in Shanghai, Tien Tain, Peking, and

other centers, which promises great results in the

future. Christian Endeavor societies (and Ep­

worth leagues) have taken firm root in China, and

an experienced missionary has been chosen to act

as a traveling secretary in the interests of this

effective agency. Student Volunteer conferences

have been repeatedly held, at which influential

and representative men have been gathered in

large numbers. An antifoot binding reform move­

ment, distinct from that of muasionary origin

but allied to it and in sympathy with it, has spread

widely over China, promoted by some of its highest

statesmen, and favored by the empress dowager.

Special work for the insane has been begun at

Canton, for the deaf at Chefu, and for the blind

at Peking. The hostile and bitterly antiforeign

province of Hunan has been entered and is now

occupied by thirteen societies with a force com­

prising at present about eighty seven mission 

aries. As an incidental result of the cataclysm of

1900 three leading societies, the London Mission, the

American Board, and the American Presbyterian,

have formed an important union in educational

work in the Chili province, hag sward a union

1   ...   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   ...   38

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page