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DURING the thirty days from October 28 to November 27, no less than 1,757 shocks of earthquake were recorded in Gifu, Japan, some of them being counted as “strong.” A correspondent who slept upon the ground says that on one night the shocks occurred about every twenty minutes, accompanied by a low rumbling, like distant thunder.
THERE was a time, certainly, when Hebrew could not be said to have been a favorite study with the majority of theological students, and some of the professors in that department have been forced to complain that it was difficult to awaken enthusiasm in this branch of study. But we learn that in the Doshisha at Kyoto, though Hebrew is optional, no less than thirty-eight students have taken it under Professor Uasa. At the present time, in the several departments of the Doshisha, seven languages are taught, Japanese, Chinese, English, German, French, Greek, and Hebrew.
IT is by no means necessary to go to the reports of missionary societies or the letters of missionaries to find evidence of the substantial progress of missionary work in India. The following striking statements are made by a native newspaper of India, Z'he Hindu, which, while deploring the decadence of Hinduism, is constrained to bear witness to the progress of Christianity. It says: “The community of native Christians has not only secured a conspicuous place in the field of higher education, but in the education of their women; and in availing themselves of the existing means for practical education they are far ahead of the Brahmans. Of the nineteen successful female candidates that appeared for the Matriculation Examination in 1889, seven were native Christians, and of the Hindus there were none. For the Higher Examination for women, 2.34 candidates were examined, but of these 61 were native Christians and only four were Hindus. Again, among the 739 pupils attached to the various bona side industrial schools of the Presidency in that year, 357 were native Christians, 75 were Vaisyas and Sudras, 17 were low castes, including Pariahs, and only five were Brahmans. The native Christians are a very poor community, and it does great credit to them that they so largely take to industrial education.” The //indi/ then refers to the progress of education among the native Christian girls and the absence of caste restrictions as giving them advantages which heretofore have secured social eminence to the Parsees, and it adds: “These two advantages slowly make themselves felt among our native Christian brethren, and it is probable they will soon be the Parsees of Southern India; they will furnish the most distinguished public servants, barristers, merchants, and citizens among the various classes of the native community.” This same paper, in referring to the kindly work done by Christian missionaries for the Pariahs and the lower castes, the people whom the upper castes degrade and sink, says: “The Hindu religion recognizes no provision for their spiritual needs, as indeed the Hindu industrial system allots to them no particular industry. The material, as well as the spiritual, wellbeing of the Pariahs has been from time immemorial outside the solicitude of the Hindu legislators and philanthropists.” This certainly is striking
testimony from such a source, both to the excellence of Christianity and the defects of Hinduism.
WE are requested to state that the office of Bishop Taylor's African Fund and of The African News has been changed to 2 io Eighth Avenue, New York City.
OUR readers will find on page 50 the annual “Tabular View” of the missions of the American Board. This table has usually been given in the January number, but was inadvertently omitted in our last issue.
“Make us see Christianity.” So said a native African at the jubilee services of the Lovedale Institution. “Do you know what my countrymen ask from you? They wish you Christians to make them see Christianity; see it in your lives.”
IT is cheering to find in the December number of The Friend of Honolulu a statement that there has never been a time when there was so much of present success and of future promise in the various home missions among the Chinese, Japanese, and especially among the Portuguese, at the Hawaiian Islands, as during the last year. There are now two fine church edifices for Portuguese, with capable pastors. There are at present nearly 20,000 Japanese at the islands, and active missionary work is carried on among them as well as among the Chinese. The Hawaiian Board, though finding the load heavy, is entering into this work with great energy and good hope of success.
A FRENCH missionary in China raises the question why it is that the Chinese, who care very little whether a man is a Confucianist, a Mussulman, a Buddhist, or a Taoist, should be so much aroused when their countrymen become Christians. The writer argues that it is not because of their religion, but because the Chinese see behind the apostles of Christ “Europe coming with its ideas and its civilization, which China does not want at any price, being satisfied, rightly or wrongly, with the civilization of its ancestors.” Because of the belief that one cannot be a true Chinaman and yet a Christian the opposition against Christianity has been developed. The opposition therefore is political rather than religious. A foreign church is to the Chinese unpatriotic. Just so soon as a native church, governed by native ministers, shall appear before their eyes, they will cease to antagonize Christianity. If this statement is correct, the lesson for foreign missionary societies is clear.
A REMARKABLE and unique assembly was that held at Exeter Hall, London, on October 30, by the Gleaners' Union of the Church Missionary Society. The members of the Union, as we understand it, pledge themselves to act as collectors of funds in behalf of the Church Missionary Society, and there were not far from 3,000 of their number assembled at this time in Exeter Hall. The meetings were held during the day and evening, and were of intense interest, the afternoon session being for ladies, six of whom spoke. The tide of spiritual feeling rose high, and that it was not a mere feeling was evidenced by the fact that when the suggestion was presented that special contributions, outside of those designed for the Society, were needed to enable the British East Africa Company to remain in Uganda, the magnificent sum of $40,000 was contributed on the spot. Such enthusiasm for missions is one of the blessed signs of the times. THE latest intelligence from China gives good ground for the hope that the serious disturbances are over. It is still uncertain whether the Belgian Roman Catholic missionaries at Kinchow were killed, but the report of the massacring of some hundreds of native Chinese Christians is confirmed. We hear, as yet, of no serious disturbances in connection with any of the missions of the American Board.
MR. AND MRS. HARTwell, on their recent return to China, were just one hour less than thirty-one days in passing from St. Paul to Foochow. From this time may be subtracted nine full days for stoppages at Vancouver, Japan, and Shanghai, making twenty-two days of traveling time. When Mr. Hartwell first went to China, thirty-nine years ago, the voyage to Hong Kong took 164 days, and the whole journey, from New York to Foochow, took seven months and six days.
OUR readers have followed with interest the reports of the services held in India during the past year by Rev. Dr. George F. Pentecost. In the month of September last he visited Poona, and we find in Zhe Free Church of Scotland Monthly an interesting account of the series of meetings, which were fruitful in conversions and seem to have greatly impressed the educated Hindus. “The &life of the Brahmans of Poona,” writes the Scotch missionary, “sat at his feet for a fortnight, and listened with serious attention to the Christian teaching on sin, sacrifice, the incarnation, the atonement, the resurrection, the forgiveness of sins, the new birth, life and immortality as brought to light in the gospel.” As the series of meetings drew to a close, some Hindu gentlemen asked to be allowed an evening for speaking. The theatre was crammed, and the platformwas occupied by European ladies and gentlemen and a number of Brahman gentlemen. No one knew what turn things might take. Hon. Rae Bahadur Ranadé, who is spoken of as perhaps the ablest Hindu in Western India, took his seat there. After Dr. Pentecost had spoken briefly and the hymn “I’m not ashamed to own my Lord ” was sung, Mr. Ranadé arose and gave a remarkable address, thanking Dr. Pentecost for his addresses and for the conspicuous moderation and fairness which had characterized them. He spoke of how Mohammedanism had corrected the faulty conception of Hinduism as to the unity of God, and that Christianity had its corrective mission to Hindus in reference to the holiness and majesty of God, which the Hindu idea tends to minimize. He then paid glowing tribute to the character and teachings of Jesus Christ, and closed his long and eloquent speech by again thanking Dr. Pentecost, and assuring him that they would do as he asked them to, seriously ponder the truths he had brought before them. Another Brahman gentleman, who followed, said that he believed that many who had come to scoff remained to pray. After Dr. Pentecost had returned his thanks, the hymn “Christ receiveth sinful men” was sung. “So ended the wonderful series of meetings.” It must be remembered that such words from Brahmans do not mean the exaltation of Christ to the position he claims, but only to rank among the world's great teachers. So far as the work of missions is concerned, the chief encouragement from such utterances arises from the fact that they tend to secure toleration for those who do become Christians.
THE CALL FROM JAPAN.
FEw more impressive calls for enlarged missionary effort have ever been made to the Christian Church than are those now coming from Japan. The appeal from the native churches connected with the mission of the American Board, endorsed by the mission and presented to the Annual Meeting recently held at Pittsfield, sets forth the need, the opportunity, and the importance of immediate action. The report of a Committee appointed to consider these papers, including such men as Dr. Noble, President Bartlett, Professor Fisher, and others, reported that “appeals more earnest, better justified by facts, and outlooks and demands more pathetic, if the full significance of them be taken in, do not often find their way to the hearts of men.” “Were the money in hand, there is no question in the minds of your Committee that there ought to be an instant forward move. ment in Japan. The men and women required ought to be sent. The stations named ought to be established and occupied.” The call is for eleven new stations, with at least one new missionary family and one unmarried lady and two Japanese evangelists at each station. To meet the expenses of such enlargement the sum of at least $30,000 would be required for the first year, including outfits and traveling expenses, and $20,000 a year afterward for salaries alone. This enlargement cannot be undertaken without a corresponding increase of funds. Individuals and churches must make special gifts over and above their regular contributions, including the extra $100,000 pledged for this year by the Committee of Fifteen, required for the work now in hand. The increase of funds proposed at Pittsfield is to meet the demands of the current work, inadequately supplied for some years past. Appropriations have been o, so as largely to meet the demands of the several missions, not for enlarg ment such as is desired in Japan, Africa, and India, but for the current work. In these circumstances we must look to the example of the Eliot Church in Newton, Mass., that made a special gift of S5,000 two years ago to establish a new station at Tottori, Japan. On the plan proposed in the last appeals of the mission, smaller sums will suffice for the salaries of the missionaries required ; say $3,000 for the first year, including outfit and traveling expenses. But as missionaries cannot live safely for any length of time in Japanese houses, it is better to name not less than $5,000 as the sum required to found a new station, and an expenditure of $3,000 a year afterward. We present the above statement to the thoughtful, prayerful consideration of men and women of means, and to churches, for an extra contribution, to improve an opportunity for enlarged Christian effort such as has rarely been presented to the Christian Church. The spiritual life of 40,000,ooo of the human race is . affected. Wisely also the native Christians urge us to put the ordinary efforts of fifty years into the next twenty-five, that Japan may be won for Christ. Instances of large offerings for missionary objects at home and abroad, and especially for educational institutions, are not uncommon, but few such offerings can now be made in the hope of larger spiritual returns, and of grander import to the Kingdom of God, than for work at this crisis in Japan.