Imágenes de páginas
PDF

ber of horsemen. He was met at the front door by Consul Gracey and Dr. Baldwin, and soon after a procession, made up of the various officials, their interpreters and attendants, was formed and started for the school. On the way thither we were met by a company of the city gentry, who had come prepared to meet and pay their respects to those in authority. “At the school everything was in readiness, and every one on the ‘tiptoe of expectation.” Never before had the officials deigned to take favorable notice of us or of our work. Out of respect to our distinguished company it had been decided to limit our invitations to the preachers of the three missions, the officials, and some of the gentry with whom we were acquainted, and no one was to be admitted who had not on a long gown. To have admitted those clothed in a different style would have been considered an insult to our guests. The “Philosophical Room ' had been specially prepared with pictures, Chinese furniture and bric-à-brac, for the consul with the officers and their interpreters, and an adjoining room set apart for the gentry. As the procession entered the schoolhouse, all present arose and stood in their places. As usual it was necessary to go through a little preliminary formality such as drinking tea, shaking hands at each other in the usual China fashion, etc. But this was soon over, and the officials then entered ‘Cowan Hall,” as the main schoolroom is called, and took seats which had been set apart for them. Then followed brief examinations in arithmetic, physiology, geography, physical geography, and English, everything being interpreted to the mandarins, who seemed much interested in all they heard. “At the close of the examinations, the Tantai, being requested to make a few remarks, expressed himself as being much gratified at what he had seen and heard. He hoped the boys would exert themselves in their studies, and thus be fitted to do great and good work for their country. It was hoped our official friends

would stop to the gymnastic exhibition which was to follow immediately, but they did not feel able to spare the time. The exhibition took place, however, at the special request of a prominent literary graduate present, and was enjoyed by all who witnessed it. The boys all dressed alike, in garments specially prepared for the occasion; they looked finely and accredited themselves well. In the meantime the officers, together with our consul and the gentlemen members of our mission, returned to my house to partake of the feast prepared for them. Fourteen sat down to the table. There were no ladies present, as this would have been contrary to Chinese ideas of propriety. The gentry, the teachers of the school, and the preachers were feasted at the school later in the afternoon. “Thus passed one of the pleasantest events in the history of our institution. A novel and pleasing feature of the occasion was the unexpected presentation of prizes to the ‘honor men' from the of ficials and gentry. At least fifteen thousand cash (about $15) were spent for these gifts, which consisted of pens, ink, handkerchiefs, books, fans, paper, and envelopes. Feeling badly for the unfortunates whose names were not on the * honor roll,” a customs officer, late in the afternoon, sent out and spent three or four thousand cash in buying things for the “low stand" men. Since the close of school thirty books have been received from an official of the fourth rank who was present on the closing day. These books will be given as prizes next term.”

the SCHOOL AND ITS NEEDS.

“This whole affair indicates a growing spirit of friendliness to, and interest in, our educational work on the part of the higher class of people. And for this we rejoice. May God grant that we may gain some influence for good over them

“The past term has been one of good work on the part of the boys. Five have united with the church, one of these being the son of a literary graduate who, though not a Christian himself, has expressed the greatest joy at his son's conversion. Another scholar, a young man who also entered this year, and who is a candidate for the second literary degree, has just gratified us by taking the second prize in an essay contest on the subject: “What is there in Confucianism which is able to comfort a man in the dying hour?" This subject was given out by Mr. Hartwell, and the competition open to all not church members. Over forty essays were received, the most of them written by men of the first and second literary degrees.

“Our strength has been sorely taxed during the term to meet the rapidly growing demands of the work. Mrs. Hartwell, Dr. Whitney, and Mrs. Gardner have, in the order named, assisted in teaching; but there is immediate need of some one who shall be specially designated to assist in this work. While we have been working we have also been earnestly praying that the Lord would supply this most urgent demand, and that this fall might see the needed reinforcements coming to us. This recent visit of the officials and their interest in our work will do much to open before us still grander opportunities than any we have yet had. Shall we be obliged to refrain from enlarging our borders because of a lack of workers? God forbid . "

North China sūission. CHINESE LITERATI.

MR. CHAPIN, of Lin Ching, wrote June IO : —

“We have been honored the past few days by visits from a large number of the literati living in this district. They have, come up to the city to attend the examinations. To-day I was considerably amused by the accounts of several who had just left the examination hall. One of the questions which they failed to answer was this: How many piculs of rice at two and one-half taels a picul would be required to pay for transporting 8,000 piculs at thirteen tael cents a picul?

“The inability of men who are superior in intellect to most of the teacher

[merged small][ocr errors]

This is the new name by which the Hong Kong Mission is hereafter to be known. Mr. Taylor, writing from Canton, July 14, says: — “With the exception of Kwong Hoi. everything seems most promising at our out-stations. At Cheung Sha Hong, where we recently opened a new chapel, the people are very friendly and quite large crowds attend the preaching. During our stay one of the literati came for the express purpose of making inquiries concerning the ‘doctrine,” and the conversation which we carried on was conducted, I think, with satisfaction to both parties. Quite a number of people were present during the talk, and we hope that to these the truth brought out was not without profit. The attitude of the common people generally depends in a great measure on that of the educated classes. I am very hopeful of the work at Cheung Sha Hong.” Mr. Taylor also reports that a brother of Gee Gam, a well-known Chinese Christian laborer in San Francisco, has been hopefully converted and on his own account has opened a school. Mr. Taylor adds : — “I baptized the three at Hoi In Koi of whom I have written before. They had been instructed according to my direction. but they are old people and their power of understanding seems most childlike. They make up, however, in spiritual faith what they lack in intellect, and as it always seems so hard to persuade the old to change their ways and accept new things, I am confident that these converts are genuine.

“We administered communion also at Sanping city, where the brethren met in good force. They tell me that on marketdays as many as 300 and more crowd into the little chapel to hear the gospel.

“We have been given notice to quit at Kwong Hoi. The landlord says he wants the house for a store. I have instructed the brethren here to find another place as soon as possible, but I anticipate some difficulty.”

—o-
$hansi sùission.
The Attitude OF THE PEOPLE.

DR. Atwood, of Fen-chow-fu, speaks of rumors which have prevailed in reference to insurrection against the government. In the minds of the people foreigners seem to be associated with all the troubles within the empire. There has been little rain within the province of Shansi during the past year, and there is prospect of a famine. Dr. Atwood says that the people seem to think that the “foreign spirit which is so powerful as to be able to send a message to the coast in a few hours, if he were a mind to, could tell why the rains are withheld.” The telegraph is the most mysterious thing that confuses the minds of the Chinese, and though the government threatens with death any who cut down the telegraph poles, this act of vandalism is committed not infrequently. Nevertheless, Dr. Atwood writes: — “The attitude of the people just around us, I think, is one chiefly of indifference. I have noticed very little ill-will manifested on the part of any one, and in some places a good deal of friendliness is shown. Two weeks ago yesterday (Sunday) as Mr. Thompson, who was here on a visit, kindly took my place in preaching in the waiting-room, I went out with Mr. Price to a village three and a half miles west of the city. I spoke for half an hour or more on the street. It was a great help to have some of our former

opium patients in the crowd. They could easily be distinguished from the rest of the crowd by their flesh and the natural color of their faces. We have had fifteen opium patients, besides other patients from this one village, and the evidences we saw, and the reports from others, tended to prove that nearly all were remaining firm in their purpose to keep out of opium's chains. In this they are probably helped by the prospect of hard times and the need they will have of every cash to keep the wolf from the door. “Much land is sown to the poppy this year, and the people are just now harvesting the vile stuff that is to bring ruin upon their neighbors but cash into their own pockets; a disposition, alas! not confined to China. The people in the country frequently ask me why heaven sends no rain, and I can always point to a field of the plant in answer, and no one fails to understand. The stuff occupies the irrigated lands and the watered gardens and will be grown when other crops fail entirely. The crops of grain are better on the other side of the plain. Here millet, the staple food of the poor, costs now I, Ioo cash per do (about half a bushel). On the other side of the plain, at Shih Tieh, the first stage in the mountains, it is about 530 cash, or less than half as much. This gives a slight hint at what a railroad could do for the people materially. Alas! for the blackness of the darkness of ignorance that prevents also the stores of gospel truth from reaching these famished millions of souls! Oh, that the holy light would shine through this seemingly impenetrable fogbank of ignorance and foul miasmas of sin and superstition. We labor on, walking still by faith, not yet by sight, hoping for a rift in the clouds to gladden our weary eyes and burdened hearts.”

The DROUGHT.

Under date of May 31, Dr. Atwood writes : —

“Last night we were blessed with light rains again that wet the soil to the depth of two inches, and this encouraged the

poor people greatly. The people have been very persistent in their prayers for rain at the temples. The district magistrate going on foot himself, carrying a lighted incense-stick, went to the temples to pray to the god of the lower world as a last resort. On Sunday last more than a thousand villagers came to the city from seventeen villages to pray for rain, many of them carrying heavy straw-knives, edge downward, on their necks, with the blood trickling down upon their bodies, to express the earnestness of their prayers for rain. Last month there were two priests here from T'ai Shan, in Shantung. They made an offer to the magistrate to

pray for rain and their offer was accepted.
One condition was that if it did not rain
by the fifteenth of the moon they should
both lose their heads. It rained slightly
on the night of the 15th, and this was
the only rain of the month. The present
rain they will no doubt attribute to their
importunity in praying to the images.
Would that they knew a higher object
for such devotion . "
Dr. Atwood adds that the number of
people who, at the present time, seem to
have broken off the opium habit in Fen-
chow-fu is 117. The work is exhausting
and full of discouragements, and yet there
is good hope for better things.

[ocr errors][merged small]

A BRIGHTER OUTLook. — We have repeatedly referred in recent numbers to Chou Han, the leader of the band in the province of Hunan, which has issued a vast amount of vile literature against foreigners, inciting the people to riot. His headquarters were at Changsha, the capital of Hunan, and Chou Han had an immense following among the people. A letter written to the English Independent from Hankow July 1, by Rev. Dr. Griffith John, says that a great change has taken place, that Chou Han has been degraded, and the publishing firms have been closed, so that the vile stream of anti-Christian prints has been dried up at its very source. Dr. John reports the baptism at Hankow of two Hunan men, one a native of Changsha, and the other formerly a cook of Chou Han. This Changsha man returned to his native city amid a storm of excitement, for the news of his conversion went before him. On his arrival the clan to which he belonged met him; he was seized and dragged to the ancestral temple, was reviled and beaten, and told that having renounced his ancestors he must be dealt with according to clan law. Through the intercession of one of the company the convert was allowed to write a paper withdrawing from the clan and promising never to enter its temple again. This young man bore these indignities with patience and firmness and a forgiving spirit. A younger brother of his has recently been baptized at Hankow, and in writing to him the young man says: “You and I, together with our children and grandchildren, can never again enter the ancestral temple. As for me, I am quite willing that it should be so. Not only do I not regret the step I have taken, my joy is greatly increased and my heart is full of gladness. Now that you, my worthy younger brother, have joined the Church, you will not be displeased with me on account of what I have done. . . . Though our clansmen. together with our relations and friends in Changsha, despise us, and though many hate us and revile us, it is for us to manifest patience and avoid all wranglings and disputings. Being the disciples of Jesus, we must carry the cross. Consider the Apostle Paul. He was at one time a persecutor of the Church, and afterward he was called upon to endure persecution. Paul endured joyfully the bitterest trials. Shall you and I then not willingly endure this trifling persecution?” In connection with the degradation by the officials of Chou Han, Dr. John comments on the complete control the : central government has upon the people and scholars of China. No doubt there was a great popular uprising last year in Changsha and that the sympathies of the local magistrates were with the mob and against foreigners, especially against Christians. It seemed for a time as if Chou Han and the populace would succeed in their plans. - But the moment that the government at Peking, under the influence of the foreign powers, took the matter in hand “Chou Han and his clique collapsed.” Dr. John adds: “Everything in China depends upon the attitude of the government. In this case the government has shown itself all-powerful. The pity is that it did not move Sooner and that its action has not been spontaneous.”

AFRICA.

JohanneSBURG. — We find in The London Times a letter giving a striking description of this remarkable town in the Transvaal, which is well called “The golden city.” Its name even does not appear on the maps of Africa issued ten years ago. It will be a surprise to multitudes to know that there is any such spot on the African continent. : The city stands upon a gold reef, upon which reef fifty companies are now working, employing 3,370 white men and over 32,000 natives. Of the city of Johannesburg itself, the writer says: “It is neither beautiful nor impressive from the aesthetic point of view, but it might be set down as it stands in any part of the civilized world. It has a population of about 40,000. The buildings are good, the streets are broad; there are shops with plate glass windows full of ball dresses and silver plate; the residential quarters are rapidly spreading themselves out into squares and boulevards; a tram line connects them with the business centre; for twenty miles east and west you may see the funnels of mining works smoking against the sky; the sound of an engine whistle is in your ears, and you find that a train has been constructed, which runs from one end of the Rand to the other. The town is lit with gas, water is supplied to all its houses, every ordinary appliance of civilization is here; and when you remember that it has all been done in five years, and that every scrap of material has been carried up, and the six pianos waiting at the frontier will presently be carried, by ox-wagons, you begin to realize something of the extraordinary conditions which can have called so sudden a development into existence.”

THE BEIRA RAILwAY. — In connection with the reports on other pages as to the expedition now entering Gazaland, it is interesting to note that the contract for a railroad from Beira, at the mouth of the Pungwe River, into the interior has just been signed. The London newspaper, South Africa, says that the names on the prospectus guarantee that the company will be not only honestly but profitably conducted. The road is to be only two-foot gauge for the present, and it is about 180 miles in length. The section now to be commenced will be seventy-five miles long, which will take it across the region of the tetse fly, and it is stipulated that this portion will be finished by the end of the present year.

UGANDA. – Reports from Uganda down to the third of May last were that the Protestant party was then dominant and that the king had returned to Mengo. An5ther report, not thoroughly vouched for, says that the king himself has turned Protestint. No doubt he would so turn if he thought it for his immediate advantage. But Mwanga is a thorough villain, from whom nothing good can be expected.

THE UPPER CONGO. — Reports which are very contradictory and uncertain have Some from the Upper Congo, indicating an uprising of the Arabs for the purpose of iriving out all foreigners, especially those who stand in the way of the slave-trade. The disturbance centres about Nyangwe, and an agent at Riba Riba, 120 miles north f Nyangwe, has been killed. It is reported that the stations of the Anti-Slavery Soiety and the Congo State and trading companies have been swept away. Some of the

« AnteriorContinuar »