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magistrate. He was taught by Pastor Perumal, and I doubt not was a true
Christian when he came here, though he also came without the sanction of his father. Probably the father thought it most politic to throw on his son the responsibility of leaving heathenism, breaking caste, and becoming a Christian, – all of which he would practically do by joining our school as a boarder, — thus evading for himself, or at least postponing, the unpleasantness that is sure to arise with his own caste people. The young man has exhibited an admirable Christian spirit for the last three months he has been with us, and he now returns to his home for vacation, and I trust will be able to recommend Christianity to his family and relations by his life and example.”
MOSLEMS SEEKING INSTRUCTION.
Mrs. Perkins, of Mandapasalai, reports an unusual degree of attention on the part of Mohammedans. She writes: — “My small part of the work is most encouraging. My boarding school is larger than it has been before; we also have about twenty little Mohammedan girls who come as day-scholars. A spirit of interest seems to have been awakened among these people, who live very near us. Sixteen Mohammedan women are reading in their houses, and this number will increase, as, strange to say, husbands and brothers are anxious to have the women study with us. When the women make excuses for lack of time, their husbands insist upon their taking the time. Among the Hindus, in many instances, the husband is the obstacle and the wife must study in secret or when alone. “Within the past few days a Mohammedan priest has consented to send his Shildren to our school. When I left the Slains we had as many as thirty of these :hildren attend our Sunday-school, which s held on our wide veranda. I suppose he plantain we give them is an incentive. We have been asked not to give them icture-cards. They are opposed to all orms of image-worship, and therefore hey fear pictures of any description. I
have four good Bible-women; all seem
earnest and interested in their work.” —o
Crulon silission. EVANGELISTIC WORK. FROM a letter addressed by Mr. Bell to some personal friends, we are permitted to make the following extracts, giving his impressions in regard to Christian work in Jaffna : — “There is a wide-open door in Jaffna, and happily there are not many adversaries. Quiet and attentive congregations, of from 75 to 3oo persons, are easily gathered each day of the week. The field is ripe to the harvest. Other men labored and we are entered into their labors. There is a splendid native agency — a company of native Christian workers more or less in mission employ — in Jaffna. John Wesley evangelized all England with scarcely more workers than are here. I have not read of any place in heathendom that is so abundantly supplied. “I am satisfied that this agency is capable of almost unlimited efficiency. There is a little army of pastors, catechists, preachers without pastoral charge, and school-teachers supported by government funds but under missionary control. The schoolhouses are under missionary management and provide more than a hundred places where we are at liberty to preach the gospel whenever we choose. In this climate also open-air meetings can be held at all times, except in the rainy SeaSOn. “We were to go to Valvettiturai, an intensely heathen place, a mile and a half away, the next Sunday. The appointed day came quickly; but for some cause the catechist who resides there lost courage, and sent me word on Sunday morning that we must not hold a meeting: a child had died, and the mourners would disturb us ! I said, “Nonsense." Well, then, we would disturb the mourners' Neither did I think that a valid objection. We were discussing the matter after morning service at the church here. All the brethren were thoroughly scared by the message of the catechist, which I suspect was not all interpreted to me. Mrs. Bell and I agreed that as the meeting had been announced after careful thought and due delay, it must be held. I came to my study to consult with a greater than flesh and blood, and arose remembering Luther: “I will go to Worms though there be as many devils in it as there are tiles on its roofs.” So we went. There was a house (a school bungalow) full of heathen men, who paid respectful attention and went away greatly pleased. We announced regular service, and are now preaching there every Sunday at four o'clock. “Last Sunday Mr. Smith preached to us at that place. Before service we went to make a few calls. At one house I was the first to pass the gate. I saluted the man who stood there, but he did not return my salaam. Mr. Smith and the catechist were within the gate by this time, and the catechist called the man's attention to my salutation. He replied that he did not see me, that is, that he refused to recognize me. Another man came out of the house and together they two addressed us about in this fashion: “We do not want Christians here. Why do you come to see us? Go to the Christians' houses 1 Hold your meeting and let us alone. If we repent, we will come to you. We do not want to be Christians. Be off!” “Since I wrote the preceding, we have held a meeting on a heathen festival, which was also Saturday evening, and without moonlight. There were present 131 persons. I have addressed much less orderly congregations in Massachusetts. Yesterday, Sunday, there were two in
quirers at the morning service in the
church. They had promised us at the evening meetings that they would come to church. Both gave the closest attention.
“The brethren are much encouraged, and we give thanks to God for his great
footbalu stilission. PROGRESS AT SHAO-WU.
MR. GARDNER reports a recent visit made within the Shao-wu field : —
“My heart was much refreshed it: encouraged to find the work very flourish. ing. During the trip I baptized elevt, adults and eleven children. The truth seems to be working like leaven in th: hearts of the people. In several plasts an interest had sprung up which entirel; took us by surprise. One day's journe, brought us for the night to a place case: Kai Tung. There was an aged Christial couple living there, and we went to their house to have service during the evening We found that an interest had sprung up around the aged saints, and fourteen got us their names as desirous of becoming Christians. I think that most of them will be found to be in earnest, and asks instruction will be found worthy to to received into the church. “We are very much blessed in th: Shao-wu field in having some good ht; ers; two of whom are certainly exce; tional men. They are men of thought and disinterestedly plan for the best ir terests of the Lord's work. Such met are rare in China. The helpers feel mud encouraged. One helper told me th: there were doubtless 300 persons in to Shao-wu field who were more or less ir terested in the gospel. Some of thes. are undoubtedly as yet far from to Saviour, but to have the least interesto a decided step in advance, and a matt of much thankfulness. “The schools are growing. They as: starting out this year with increased num" bers and good prospects. The Boo Boarding School has materially increaso and is destined to become an import* factor in our educational work. “We are short-handed for native ho ers to carry on our work. The work is scattered, and many places where ther: ought to be regular worship every Sabbath can be visited only once a month." perhaps not so often. Three young" were highly recommended by the mo" brethren, and after consultation * Whitney and I decided to bring " s them to Foochow to be with me * receive instruction to fit them for se" The other one of the three is tead”
the Boys' Boarding School and cannot be spared from this service at present. The two young men will form a class under my instruction.”
A REFORM MOVEMENT.
Mr. Hartwell, of Foochow, reports a remarkable movement now in progress at the city church, under the direction of the native pastor, for the reformation of opium-smokers. The results of this movement will be watched with much interest. Mr. Hartwell says: — “Every evening the church building is nearly filled with men, and on the Sabbath it is literally crammed. On the 15th instant I spent the night in the city and attended the regular evening service. There were over a hundred men present, besides a few women from the Woman's School. There was first an evangelistic service of an hour, led by one of our students, at which I also spoke. After the closing hymn the door on the street was closed for a private prayer service, conducted by the native pastor. Sometime ago he had all the members of the Prayer Cure Praying Band unite in prayer every evening, but now the attendance is too large, and he has only those in one of the three rows of seats from front to the rear engage in prayer on one evening. All kneel, and that evening those in one row of seats were requested to each in turn utter a few words of prayer, after the bookseller at the church had led in a short opening prayer. At the close all present united in the Lord's Prayer. After this the pastor invited any new persons who wished to put down their names and join the band to wait till the others had left. Then the roll was called, beginning with the names of those who had first joined, and, as each one answered, his name was checked to record his presence, and he left by the book-room door at the side of the church. “That evening there were four new members registered. The pastor first read the rules to them, and they, after assenting to them, paid ten cents apiece toward the lighting of the church and to
show their determination to forsake the use of opium, and then their names and
residences were registered. In the first Chinese month there were several cures, and their reports have led to much special interest among many others. In a little over a month previous to my visit over 200 had joined the band. On looking up the record I found that a few had attended only once after joining, but most had come quite regularly, many of them coming a distance of one and two miles. After they have come for ten evenings or more and seem to have learned how to pray, the pastor takes them to the native medical graduate, in charge of the dispensing at the Woman's Hospital, and they each pay a small sum for medicine given them according to Miss Dr. Woodhull's prescription. Many of them profess to get rid of the craving for opium after coming only one, two, or three times for the medicine. The pastor, who is the main mover in this work, relies chiefly on prayer for success in it and for permanence in the cure. The record has forty-two names marked as of persons who had already got rid of the habit. I learned also to-day that some sixteen others began yesterday to take the med
DR. WAGNER, of Kalgan, sends the following interesting account of a visit to a temple of Confucius : —
“The teacher I have been studying with this winter is a Mohammedan of good connections in this city. He has taught several members of our mission, including Mr. Roberts, Mr. Sprague, Mr. Williams, and Mr. F. M. Chapin. He is a lin sheng, a degree a little higher than a B. A., but lower than an M. A., or chil fen. He took me this afternoon to see the worship at a Confucian temple. These temples are opened only twice a year, in the second and eighth months, on the eighth day: so unless one makes a special effort, it is not easy to see the worship performed at these temples.
“The literary men of China pretend to be vastly above the common people, who spend so much money and time in the worship of gods of mud and brick. To them the worship of gods made by men's hands appears foolish and childish. From what I saw to-day I should judge that there was not so much difference after all between these leaders of the people and the common people in the matter of idolatrous worship. The main difference seems to be in the objects sought. If a man wants to make money, he worships the god of wealth. If the farmer wants it to rain so that his crops may grow, he worships the gods supposed to control the rain. If a boatman wants to ensure a safe voyage, he worships the divinities whose domain he moves in. So when a literary man wishes to become more literary, he prostrates himself before the tablets of Confucius and his disciples.
“In the inner temple building were five shrines, one large one in the centre, and two smaller ones on each side. These were quite plain and each one contained several upright tablets, the inscription on which showed to what particular sage it belonged. The literary graduates kneel and kotow before each one of these shrines. It is said that if an official fails to worship at these shrines, he is in danger of being reported to the emperor and degraded. Many Mohammedans are said
to be unwilling to hold office because they .
do not want to bow before any but the true God. But under a pavilion in the court in front of the temple are objects of worship which must be still more repugnant to a Mohammedan. In the centre is a whole ox, with the skin removed, and a portion of mesentery thrown over the head like a veil. On one side is a whole sheep similarly undressed, and on the other a whole pig, also deprived of its natural skin. In front of the tablets and around the court are various dishes of food, meats, vegetables, etc. Before the whole unburnt offerings a mat is spread with a tien, or cushion, to kneel on in kotowing. In the evening there is a grand feast on these articles offered to idols.
“This temple and another in Shantung are said to be the only ones containing images of Confucius. The face is black and not at all good looking. On the eighth of the second and eighth moons. curtains are hung before the image in the central shrine, hiding it from view. This is with an idea of respect or reverence. At other times the spirit of Confucius is probably not expected to be around to take notice of any lack of respect, and the curtains are left off.”
A NEW OUT-STATION.
Mr. Sprague, who is now at Pao-ting-fu, writes from that city: —
“I have just returned from a two weeks' tour, and want to tell you of a new opening at a village, Yang-Tsun, near (Bo-Ye) Po-Yi Hsien, thirty miles south of here. It is, as at Wang-Tu, largely the result of Dr. Merritt's medical work. Several patients from that vicinity came to the hospital and were greatly benefited. Indeed sight was restored to many who had been blind for several years. While at the hospital their hearts were opened to receive the gospel, and on their return home a helper was sent to further instruct them. Many of their family friends now gladly heard the truth. Other helpers were sent to visit them, and so the work grew. A continuous following up the interest, with appropriate teaching, has established the truth in their hearts, so that on my arrival there, though it was the first visit of a foreigner, I found several well informed in the truth, loving it. and desiring to join the church. The helper and I gave constant instruction to them and to the crowds of other interested listeners, who came in for several days. I did not think best to baptize any, but we received nine on probation. They pledge themselves not to worship idols, but to pray to God daily, keep the Sabbath, and study the Bible. These have also given proof of their sincerity by contributing several dollars toward the future preparation of a place of worship. I am much pleased with the disposition of these inquirers. Several of them led in prayer. The opening seems quite similar to that at Wang-Tu. “After a busy week of happy work with these inquirers, in company with Helper Kao, I went to Wang-Tu, where we had been invited to conduct a funeral. One of the eight baptized there last December —a woman of eighty—has recently died, and the family and the church desired a Christian funeral, - the first ever seen in that vicinity. On my arrival I received a warm welcome from all the Christians and their friends, and during the several days I was there I had many talks with the Christians and inquirers. As I wore my foreign clothes, of course I attracted much attention. This gave us opportunity of preaching to many who had never heard much of the gospel. I was interested in several aged men — some over eighty — who were anxious to learn of heaven. . As most of the villagers were related to the ‘grandmother,' whose funeral we were attending, many listened with close attention to our discussion of ‘death and the beyond,” “the resurrection,” and ‘the heavenly life through Jesus Christ.” Pastor Meng was with me part of the time, and we stayed at the same house with the native helper, Meng Chang So. All were kept busy several days preaching to the crowds who came out of curiosity to see the foreigner. There had been some bad talk about us on the part of some of the villagers, who were quite opposed to this religion, and when confronted with their words would reply, ‘We heard others say so.” These same people came to see us, and we entertained them kindly and gave them all the gospel we could. “The station class were dismissed to their homes and their work before I started out touring. They all did good faithful work. Several joined the church. Two or three helped considerably in preaching to the patients in the waitingroom of the dispensary and in the street chapel. One has now entered our employ as colporter.” FROM PANG-CHUANG STATION. The annual report from this country
station, prepared by Mr. Smith, is, of course, too long for use in these pages, but we make the following extracts : — “The number of native helpers continues to be eight, with about the same number of volunteer evangelists, whose services, freely rendered, have often been of great value. A very wide circle of the larger fairs, more than fifty in number, has been attended by helpers and evangelists, and some new districts have thus been reached. Considerable use was made of the stereopticon, in which, as in preaching, useful aid was rendered by the dispensary assistants and students returned from Tung-cho. “It continues to be true that much more and better attention is paid to preaching at fairs than was formerly the case, and there is an almost total absence of anything like hostility. Such persecution as exists, of which there are a few cases, is invariably mixed up with family matters in such a way as to render any remedy either difficult or impossible. One wealthy man, who has been an inquirer for three years, united with the church the very day after he had sustained a loss estimated at a hundred tiao, by an incendiary fire set because he would not subscribe to a heathen ‘ high mass.’ This member has been a generous contributor to the church, and earnest efforts have been made in his behalf and many prayers offered for him. “The general meetings, held three or four times every year, serve as a rallyingpoint for whatever progressive movement may be in hand. At the last one for 1891, two out-stations applied for help in purchasing chapels, and about fifty tiao were raised in one day and divided between them. The first vote resulted in a tie between the two most popular candidates, and the actual election was by a majority of only one. The deacon is paid by the native contributions alone, at the rate of eight tiao a month for the time actually spent in service, and has already proved a most useful and efficient adjunct to the church staff. From a paid deacon to a paid pastor is but a short step, but