Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

children of missionaries at home and abroad, and to whom we would look for means to supplement the grants wont to be given by the Board toward the support and education of missionary children. The recent legacy of $4,000 from Mrs. Walter Baker is very timely, and it is to be hoped that the good example will be followed. The Trustees recognize gratefully the sums given in past years for the purchase of the buildings now occupied, amounting to $20,000, and for the fund of nearly equal amount, the income of which is used for current expenses, after keeping the premises insured and in repair. The fund, however, is not adequate to the wants of the Home. Expenses for the means of living and for education are continually increasing, and Mrs. Walker finds herself not a little embarrassed to furnish just the help required for the comfort of her charge and to help some of those who have left the Home for their education, and are often in special need, sometimes for clothing and sometimes for other necessaries of life. This fund in charge of Trustees for the benefit of the Home should be increased to not less than $50,000.

We commend this Home and also the one recently formed at Oberlin, the latter now under the care of Mrs. Little, to the friends of missions, especially to those fathers and mothers who have means which they would gladly spend upon their own children, but who cannot do this since God has taken their children from earth. Homes without children of their own have been made happy and the friendships of early life renewed by the loving care and Christian culture bestowed on the children of friends of other days. the “mother" heart finding thus its sweetest affections elevated and purified in the common service of Christ.

THE WORK OF THE MORAVIAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY. The Missionary Society of the Moravian Church, the full title of which is The Brethren's Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel among the Heathen,” familiarly known as the "S. F. G.," is now 150 years old, having been formed in 1741. The Society usually holds its half-yearly meeting in London soon after the arrival from Labrador of its missionary barque, the Harmony. The vessel had arrived October 12, completing the 122d annual voyage, but the meeting was deferred to the day fixed for the celebration of the Society's third jubilee, November 19, 1891. This sesqui-centennial was celebrated in the ancient Moravian chapel in Fetter Lane, London, where Richard Baxter and John Wesley have preached. The noble Moravian hymns were sung, and after Bible reading and prayer the salutations of the German and American Moravian Conference were presented. Pastor Hasse followed with the statement of the Society's missionary work. The December number of Periodical Accounts, the Society's magazine, now 102 years old, gives a sketch of its present work.

It has 135 stations and out-stations, 295 missionary agents, 59 native missionaries, 1,664 native assistants, and 31,480 communicants. The missions are in Greenland, Labrador, Alaska, our own continent, the East and West Indies, Demerara, the Moskito Coast, Surinam, Africa, Australia, North Queensland, and Central Asia. An official visitation to the mission on the Moskito Coast was completed in 1891, and the report now given is interesting. The visitor, Brother

Romig, after reaching the United States and enjoying delightful interviews with the Moravians in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, made the voyage from New Orleans through the Gulf of Mexico to the Bluefields Lagoon on the Moskito Coast in five days. The Moskito Indian Reservation is a strip taken out of Nicaragua along its Atlantic seacoast. The little mission schooner, the Meta, plies between the twelve stations, some of which are visible from her deck and some a little way inland, on lagoons connected by rivers with the sea. Great progress has been made among the natives since the beginning, yet it is still an uphill work. The neat churches and comfortable homes of the Christian Indians are like oases in the desert. There are 614 communicants and 1,115 baptized adults.

The editor of Periodical Accounts justly says that Moravian missionaries are now as formerly in the van of missionary heroes; but their practice of leading the way into remote districts hides much of their work from public view. No more self-denying labors are undertaken than those in the Western Himalayas, on the borders of Chinese Tibet, “ the last land on earth still closed to the gospel"; a land 10,000 feet above the sea, without roads, watered by wild torrents which are spanned by bridges, “the very description of which is enough to make a European giddy," and where the heathenism is like a sleep of death. The noble Moravians who are working and waiting for Tibet to open have prepared meanwhile a Tibetan dictionary and grammar, and have translated the New Testament into that difficult language. The latest undertaking of the S. F. G. is the new mission in Southeast Africa, north of Lake Nyasa, and in the regions of the German Protectorate.

LORD HARRIS ON AMERICAN MISSIONARY WORK IN THE

BOMBAY PRESIDENCY.

The Times of India of December 19 contains a most interesting account of the exercises connected with the opening of “Bowker Hall,” the new building for the school in connection with our mission premises at Bombay. There were present at these services Lord Harris, Governor of the Bombay Presidency, and Lady Harris, and a large number of ladies and gentlemen, both native and European, together with the pupils of the school. Lord Harris made an address, and Rev. Mr. Abbott, in the absence of Rev. E. S. Hume and wife, to whose in-. defatigable labors the school owes its existence, who are now in the United States, made a statement as to what has been accomplished in the school and what is hoped from it in the future. The cost of the building had been a fraction over rupees 60,000, or about $21,000. One fourth of this amount was paid by the government, in view of the educational work done by the school; the remainder was provided by the Woman's Board of Missions, which desired to give it the name of Bowker Hall, in recognition of the services of Mrs. Albert Bowker, who had been so long the beloved and efficient President of that Board. The total number of pupils on the roll of the school at the present time is 105, of whom 84 are of Christian parentage, the other 21 being Hindus, Mohammedans, or Jews. In his interesting address His Excellency, the Governor, Lord Harris, made

some statements which we are glad to present to our readers as showing the appreciation in which the work done by the mission of the Board in India is held by those who are in high position, who have every opportunity for just judgment, and who certainly are frank enough to state their convictions. After speaking of the work which the government had done in educational lines and of the encouragement it had received from the volunteer assistance received from our Board, Lord Harris said :

“Another reason why the government of Bombay may be grateful for the assistance which has been rendered in this particular instance is that there is no attempt made to favor one class or one caste more than another; all find acceptance here as long as there is room for them, and to help of that kind government can far more readily add its own than where assistance is demanded for class or caste purposes. Then, again, government has in this country a very uphill task in fighting against a very strong feeling of opposition to the education of females, and we see here to-day one of the forces which is tending to break down that oppusition. Here is a missionary effort being made to encourage people of this country to recognize that the education of their females is not less important than the education of men, and I hope that one of the results of the efforts of this mission will be that these little girls, whom we see before us to-day, will go out into their own homes, and by their example and by their lives show the great advantage to this country of the education of its women.

“I do not think I can too prominently say that our gratitude to the American Marathi Mission has been piling up and piling up all the years of this century. As far back as 1814, when the Bombay Education Society was alone in the field, this mission came forward and offered its help, and in that year opened a vernacular school for boys. In 1825, only eleven years later, it had about thirty schools and over 2,000 children in them; and as far back as then they were turning their attention to female education. In fact, they may take this to their credit, that in female education in Bombay I believe they were actually the first in the field, as they opened the first girls' school in 1824.. In 1826 they had as many as nine schools; in 1829 they had their first boarding school ; in 1831 they found the result of their efforts was so encouraging that with the assistance they could look for, perhaps not entirely from this country, but from their own, I mean the United States of America, — they were able to go further afield, and they moved away to Ahmednagar; and I am glad to take this opportunity, after having visited that place, of tendering to the mission, on behalf of government, our sincere gratitude for the efforts they are making there, and particularly for the very practical line those efforts are taking. They are endeavoring to bring up the boys of the neighborhood to be proficient in some handicraft, and therefore capable of earning their livelihood in some other way than using a pen. That they are not satisfied with merely teaching boys in this school or that school, in Bombay and Ahmednagar, is shown by the fact that in Ahmednagar they have started a normal school of their own and are turning out young men who, I hope, will prove to be not only well-educated schoolmasters, but also young men of good moral and manly disposition, who are likely to have a thoroughly sound effect upon the minds and bodies of their pupils. Those are some of the facts which justify me in saying that we have good reason to be

grateful to the American Marathi Mission for what it has done in assisting this government. But our gratitude goes a good deal further than Bombay. It has to roll across the wide seas to the United States of America, and in the most public way I beg to thank those generous, public-spirited, far-seeing, and charitably minded people who have during so many years contributed towards the maintenance of the American Mission in India, and who are especially the contributors towards the purchase of this building. I take this public opportunity of conveying, on behalf of the government of Bombay, our most grateful thanks for the assistance the people of the United States are rendering this government in pushing forward the cause of education in India.”

THE EVOLUTION OF A CHRISTIAN COLLEGE IN CHINA.

BY THE HON. CHESTER HOLCOMBE.

SOME twenty-five years ago a small boarding-school for boys was started by Rev. and Mrs. L. D. Chapin, missionaries of the American Board, at Tung-cho, a city of a quarter of a million inhabitants, situated about twelve miles from Peking. It was a “ragged school” in every sense of the words. The pupils were ragged in mind, body, and apparel. There was no Christian community from which they could be drawn, no Christian youth desiring instruction. Fond as are the Chinese of education for their sons, this fondness did not carry them so far that any of them were willing to trust the training of those sons to foreigners. The first two pupils secured may be taken as a type of the entire class. They were the sons of a Manchu widow who reluctantly sent them to the school rather than to see them starve. And yet those same two boys proved that even their class, the lowest in the Chinese social scale, does not furnish bad material. The elder of them remained in the school three years, when having reached the age at which Manchus are trained in archery for soldier life, he left and went into the army. The younger remained in school, became a Christian, took a theological course, and for twelve years has been an efficient, faithful, beloved preacher — the right hand of the church work at Tung-cho.

The facilities for giving instruction were meagre in the extreme. There were practically no textbooks. The translation of the Bible into the language of the people had not been completed, and only portions of the New Testament were available for biblical teaching. Aside from the Chinese classics, there was not a textbook on any subject whatever, in the whole range of Chinese literature. There were no native teachers, at least in any fair sense of that word. The native literary graduate who was placed in immediate charge of the boys was lamentably ignorant in many things and full of gross superstitions. Mr. and Mrs. Chapin could only give the odds and ends of their time to the school. They were literally overwhelmed with the cares incidental to opening a mission station. The only wonder is that Mrs. Chapin could even have found place for the school in her thoughts. Yet, ceptionally fragile and delicate as she was physically, she had pluck and courage sufficient to supply a regiment in the front of the fiercest battle. Her wonderfully loving heart gave strength to her arms, and to her, perhaps even more than to her husband, was due the exceptional success which attended the school from its very beginning. Yet it can readily be seen that those were the days of the smallest of small things, and that the Tung-cho Boarding School for Boys was at the best a very rickety contrivance.

1 The story of Tung-cho College, prepared by Mr. Holcombe, has been issued by the American Board in a pamphlet of eight pages. Our space will permit us to give it here only in an abridged form. The full pamphlet will be furnished freely to all who apply to the Publishing Agent, C. E. Swett, 1 Somerset Street, Boston.

At its annual meeting in 1872 the North China Mission of the American Board, after mature deliberation, came to two important conclusions. The first was that in an empire where education is so highly prized as it is in China, where in fact the primary and permanent ambition of every boy is to nieu shu tso kuan" (get an education and become an official), educational work must be given a prominent place in the general plans of the mission. The second was that, owing to the lack of textbooks, the utter inefficiency and ignorance of native teachers even when they were Christian men, such educational work could only be made to produce satisfactory results by putting it directly into the hands of missionaries who should devote their entire time to it. In carrying into effect these conclusions it was decided to centre the entire educational work of the mission at two points, in the Boarding School for boys at Tung-cho and the Bridgman School for girls at Peking.

This action marked a new departure in the history of the school at Tung-cho. It gave to it a character and permanence. It made certain of the missionaries who seemed to be peculiarly fitted for the work personally responsible for the daily conduct of the school as their special line of labor, and secured for it the interest, attention, and support of the entire mission. Still more than this, it enormously broadened the field of the school. Up to this time it had been a purely local institution. The mission action broadened this field into an area more than 400 miles long and 300 miles wide, and containing not less than forty millions of people.

Just here a word should be said as to the character and scope of the school as determined by the mission. It was never intended to make it primarily or mainly a means for the dissemination of secular knowledge. Much as schools of that class are needed in China, it was the opinion of at least a large majority of the mission that such a line of work would not come legitimately within the scope of missionary enterprise. The foreign laborers have realized from the outset that they were in China simply and solely to initiate and organize the great work of evangelization, and that the native church, under its own trained native leaders, must carry forward that work to its completion. The object of the school, then, was to develop and prepare Christian young men for this great enterprise and for places of responsibility which a wise forecast could easily see to be opening in the near future. The course of study decided upon may be divided into three departments. Always first and most important, there was to be given a thorough knowledge of the Bible. Then came, second, a good knowledge of the Chinese Classics. This was a necessity, since without it no Chinese is respected and acknowledged among his fellows as an educated man; and, third, there was to be taught so much of Western knowledge, so much of what we consider to be essential to a fair education, as time and circumstances would allow.

But when the mission took direct control of the school in 1872 all these things were plans and plans only. Everything remained to be done. The entire New Testament In the language of the people was not printed till that year, and it was two years later before the Old Testament was ready. There was no suitable Chinese hymnbook. And as for textbooks in the various branches of secular education, there was not so much as a mental arithmetic in the Chinese tongue. The pupils were there and there were the teachers, but not only the education but the means of furnishing it were yet, to a large degree, to be provided. A book might be written full of interest and of amusement too, setting forth the various contrivances and makeshifts, the ingenuity and patience, and, above all, the devoted energy and faithfulness of those thus called upon to * make bricks without straw.” It might tell, for example, of an old French plate-glass mirror which was changed from a rectangular to a circular form, and then, placed in a clumsy frame made by a Chinese carpenter, gave the boys their first lessons in electricity. But a brief sketch like this can only hint at the actual poverty of the school in these earlier years, and of the many lines of work to which the instructors were

« AnteriorContinuar »