« AnteriorContinuar »
reports indicate that thousands who are still in the darkness of heathenism are reading our books with some comprehension. They are the prepared ground for the sower and the reaper, and many of them will doubtless form the puclei of future churches.
FOR THE CHURCHES. A very large part of our work, and perhaps the most important of all, is the printing and distribution of Bibles and Testaments for use in the churches. A goodly proportion of our donations are for hospitals, chapels, boarding schools, Sunday schools, and adult classes of instruction. The following from a letter to the office, written by Rev. W. J. McKee, Presbyterian Mission, Ningpo, gives an idea of one method of using the Bible :
66 While we mourn that so few of our inquirers and pative Christians are able to read the Bible intelligently, we are gratified that some of them manifest such a deep interest in and love for the word of God, in some
cases struggling against great odds to learn to read, in adult and even in old age. We are just now interested in the case of a literary man and wife, our neighbors, who are reading the Bible together, the wife possessing the rare accomplishment of being able to read well in Wenli. She was for a time under Mrs. Butler's instruction, and has accepted Christ as her Saviour. The husband shows an interest, but how deep it is we cannot yet say."
One tells me that the Bibles and Testaments afford “invaluable assistance to us in our school work, and are read and studied until they are worn out." Rev. J. A. Leyenberger, Presbyterian missionary in Shantung Province, says:
“During the past year, 760 persons have been added to the membership of our churches, and, with the aid of the Bible Society, we have been able to furnish every one who could read with a copy of the New Testament. This acts as a stimulus to others, so that now among our membership of over 3,000 there are very few men who cannot read the Scriptures, and many of the women, too, are learning. The entrance of God's word giveth light,' and it is a constant source of gratification and thankfulness to our divine Lord and Master that with each passing year his word is being more widely circulated and more fully understood by the people.”
Rev. Hunter Corbett, D.D., of the same Mission, sends this communication :
“During the winter a class of seventy-five men, from eighteen to seventy-two years of age, were taught at Chefoo. These men represented more than fifty towns and villages scattered over two hundred miles of territory. Experience shows that such special study develops early Christian life and gives men strength and courage. ent stage of our work, I know of no other method so effective and economical in carrying out literally our Saviour's command, “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.? Lear
In the presing men after baptism to build up themselves in the faith has proved a fruitful cause of backsliding and apostasy. We furnish food to each man who needs help while absent from home attending the classes. At seven different centres in the interior similar classes were taught by trained native assistants, so that fully two hundred men have received special instruction during the winter. During the year 1892, eightyone were received into the church on profession of faith in connection with the Chefoo station. Some of our people have memorized entire Gospels or other portions of Scripture. We are under great obligation to the Bible Societies for the help given."
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. It is a pleasure to record that the services of the Bible Society are cordially recognized by our missionary friends and others. From time to time letters are received expressing thanks and brotherly cheer.
“We are very thankful for the aid your Society gives us in making known the everlasting gospel. We constantly itinerate in North Anhuei, and always carry Scripture portions with us. I don't think we would be able to do more than half the work we do if your Society were not always so willing to help us."
Rev. J. A. Leyenberger, speaking officially for his Mission, uses the following words:
“I was appointed by our Mission at its last meeting to write and thank the American Bible Society for the great help afforded by their gifts of Bibles. In doing this I would also express for myself and my colleagues our deep sense of indebtedness to you as their Agent in China for the most valuable aid you have given us in our work.”
A feeble church in the far interior, connected with the China Inland Mission, having received from the Agency the gift of a leather-bound Bible for pulpit and platform, sent a letter expressing hearty thanks for the favor received. I have pleasure in inclosing the letter, which, although unintelligible to the Secretary and members of the Board, doubtless has an interest for you all its own.
A number of young men, students in a mission college at Canton, were presented with copies of the Wenli New Testament, and they sent an expression of which I append a somewhat free literal translation:
“ Dear Sirs,—Pardon us for any failure in the manner of politeness. But there still is love. I hope, sirs, that you are in good health. We beg respectfully to inform you that some time ago our school started a “Saviour's Society,' which is composed of church-members and the students. The members of the said society drew up rules and regulations which require every member to read daily a certain assigned portion of Scripture, so that every one should have a New Testament or Bible for himself. We also feared that wlien the students returned to their respective homes to spend vacation, unless they had Scriptures with them, they would have to lay aside the study of the word, which
we would not like to have them do if it could be avoided. Thanks to your honorable Society for the New Testaments which
we have received and distributed among the members of the society. They received the books with great joy and overflowing gratitude. They unanimously requested that a letter of thanks should be written to you as a mark of gratitude for the same. It is a joy to observe that the teaching of Christ is spreading far and wide. The word of God has a large circulation throughout the land, and doubtless you are very busy with your good work. Again thanking you for your kindness, we pray to our Heavenly Father to send his abundant blessings upon you all. Peace abide with you. We are, dear sirs, yours respectfully, in behalf of Paeng College,
FOREIGN COLPORTEURS. Brief extracts from the recorded experiences of some of our men are given as follows:
Rev. G. W. Verity reports :
“I commenced the year's work having eleven native colporteurs under my supervision, with headquarters at Nanking. During the winter we canvassed the city, as we had done Shanghai the year before, taking it street by street and house by house. There being not the same regularity in the streets as in Shanghai, we could not carry on the work quite as effectively. As I was engrossed with study in the mornings, the native colporteurs were probably not as thorough as if they had been under constant supervision. It was also needful for them to work cautiously, lest this house-to-house visitation, which is foreign to the native custom, should arouse suspicion that some sinister motive was underlying the visit Yet in spite of all embarrassments we canvassed the entire city, receiving fair treatment from the people and selling a goodly number of Scriptures.
“In April I spent a week in Bible study with the men at Nanking, in order to encourage them in their Christian lives and give them a clearer view of Bible truths, so as to prepare them for greater usefulness in our work. With Bibles opened before them, each student turned to every passage cited, and while one read the text the others followed. We held three sessions a day for a week, including two Sundays, the evenings being devoted to prayer. We felt that the time had been spent profitably, and our native workers started out on their next three inonths' trip with renewed earnestness. In July we again spent a few days in the same way, in study and prayer. In September I worked for some time in Yang Chow, a large city on the grand canal about twelve miles north of Chinkiang. I found it a hard field. One of its chief industries is the manufacture of the famous lacquer-ware. The people were haughty and treated us as if we were inferior beings, beneath their notice. It was no easy task to work on all day, and day after day, snubbed and scorned from morning till night. But, after all, I was glad I had this experience, as it enabled me to sympathize more fully with the native colporteurs, who meet with no little opposition..
“In the autumn, in company with Mr. A. N. Cameron and Rev. E. S. Little, I made the circuit of the Po-Yang Lake, visiting many towns and cities. This lake is like a broad river, varying greatly in width, with numerous rocky islands dotting its surface. At the close of our trip, in the middle of December, the water was so low that we had difficulty in getting our boats over the shallows. Banks of mud and sand were left exposed, miles in extent, and the water-marks on the rocks showed that the water had fallen some fifteen feet.
“The native colporteurs experienced many hardships during the year. A party in North An-huei found difficulty in procuring victuals in some sections where famine had preceded, and had to go without food for one and two days at a time. Of course sales were very few among the famine-stricken people. Others reported that during the rainy season they had to wade ankle deep in the mud and help pull the wheelbarrows besides. Some of the hill people were very fierce, and ready to come to blows after a word or two of altercation. Yet occasionally they would meet a Christian family which served to cheer and comfort them, and in Yu Ho a Christian woman invited them to come into her rice-shop and preach the gospel.”
Mr. .F. Edward Lund: “In all we travelled about 5,400 li (nearly 2,000 miles). On the whole we found the people quiet, though not infrequently somewhat prejudiced against our books. This, we learned, was due to the famous Hunan literature, the evil influence of which was very marked in some places. Of the 8,549 books on hand last spring we have disposed of about 5,000, including those sold by a native colporteur on a two months' trip by himself."
Mr. J. Aminoff, at Tamsui, Formosa Island: “I arrived here safe and sound, but had to use a sedan chair all the way, the country being all afloat; hence the high expenditure. But really I could not help myself. I started from Taiwanfu on foot, but did not get on many miles when I lost my boots in the mud. The country was simply flooded. When at Tongsiau, a town about half-way between Taiwanfu and Tamsui, I had the mortification of experiencing another typhoon. It seems that earthquakes and typhoons have chased me all around the Island. When crossing the Taiki rapids I sent my burden over first, and when the boat returned went over myself, but the vessel being too crowded it burst asunder, and we were all left td paddle each his
Four Chinese who could not swim were drowned.” Mr. T. J. N. Gattrell's report has failed to reach the office, but he has been instant in season and out of season in doing a good work. In a private letter he remarks:
“I was very well received everywhere, and my message was listened to very attentively. At one place some men brought me a table on which to place my books while I stood and told them something of the story of the gospel."
One of the Chinese colporteurs, Mr. C. J. Soon, reports :
“The distribution of the Scriptures in the district under my care has been carried on during the year without any interruption, and the outlook seems to me to be very promising. Our colporteurs have been exceedingly faithful and earnest in the performance of their duty, and, although the sale of Scriptures has not been as large as we could desire, the good work that was done cannot be measured by the number of books sold.”
PUBLICATIONS FOR THE YEAR 1892.
No. Vols. Pages. Shanghai. Mandarin
165,000 11,385,000 Testaments
& Psalms 500 377,500 Kiu-kiang.
10,000 450,000 Shanghai. Classical
16,000 509,000 (Easy)
1,250 67,750 Foochow. Classical
4,500 409,500 (Easy)
20,000 780,000 Shanghai. Classical
3,000 867,000 (Easy)
250 124,500 Canton Colloquial Portions
12,000 708,000 Soochow Testaments
3,000 1,959,000 Foochow. Foochow
Total Publications for 1892
214,000 19,874,750 CIRCULATION FOR THE YEAR 1892.
Bibles. Test's. Portions. Total. Sales at depository
101 842 4,621 5,564 by correspondents.
6,209 48,747 55,777 by native colporteurs
199 1,095 119,501 120,795 by foreign
40 2,015 31,462 36,517 Donations at depository .
780 1,009 by correspondents
200 2,090 19,561 21,851 by colporteurs
3,479 3,574 Totals
1,401 12,535 231,151 245,087
If a comparison be made with the circulation for 1891, it will be seen that an advance has been made for the present year (1892) of considerable proportions. The excess over the previous year is as follows: Bibles, 841; Testaments, 4,692; Portions, 45,411–total, 50,944 volumes.
DETAILS OF COLPORTAGE IN 1892.
Total Colporteurs. men. of work, travelled. visited. visited. visited. Bibles. Test's, Portions. Books. G. W. Verity 1
90 9 65 4,411 4,485 A. Vercautern 1 10
151 151 A.N. Cameron 1 70 1,291 73 1
1,210 1,210 J. Aminoff. 1 187 1,760 543
10 1,617 12,785 14,412 T. Gatrell 1 280 2,000 120
14 191 9,861 10,069 G. W. Greene 1
1 35 318 354 T. Goodchild 1
1 4 972 977 F. E. Lund. 1
32 4,630 4,662 H. R. Wells 1
68 12+ 197
| : :