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Normal Schools for Girls, in which the studies are much easier and the requirements less rigorous.
In view of these circumstances fourteen girls of the American Board's school were duly matriculared, after official examination, under the law that permits such affiliation of pupils who study at home or in private schools, but in harmony with the curriculum of the Institute, going up yearly to be examined by the government board of examiners.
Both teachers and pupils felt anxious respecting the first public examination after one year of study, which was to take place in the summer; but the result has greatly animated all. The report of the examination was printed the following day in one of the local Spanish papers. I take from it the official figures. There were forty-one separate examinations of the fourteen pupils in the various studies of the year. In the official classification twenty-three of these were placed in the hig rank of excellence ; ten were found in the next lower rank, four in the next, and four in the lowest. This is a much larger proportion in the first and second ranks than is generally found among the lads and young men in the Institutes — and our students are girls, and Protestant girls at that, and have been largely taught by foreign Protestant ladies!
The presence of these girls at the public government examinations of the Provincial Institute has attracted much attention, and their high marks have won the admiring comments of press and people. The “ devout” sister of one of the professors of the examining board expostulated with him for giving the girls such high marks, and when he replied that he could not help himself since they passed such excellent examinations, the good woman could only mourn that "such honors should fall to such perverse people,” and exclaimed : “ It does seem that the evil one himself helps them !” We know that it was the result of God's blessing on faithful work of both teachers and pupils, and we rejoice that they so greatly accredit Protestantism in that Roman Catholic community; and Miss Barbour and Miss Webb, who are hclding the fort there so bravely and so successfully, are greatly to be congratulated at this time of rejoicing.
One of the immediate results of the notable success under the government examinations was the official invitation to take part in an “ Exhibition of Arts and Sciences” during the month of August. We were assigned one of the best places in the rooms of the Exposition. Our exhibit consisted of six cabinets ; two of which were filled with samples of the girls' needlework, the rest containing the natural history collections, with the microscopes and other appliances, showing something of our facilities for work and the methods employed. Over these cabinets was placed, in large letters, the sign : “ Instalación del Colegio Evangélico Norte Americano.” It is not a little significant that in a public and popular exhibition the managers should have permitted the full and true title of the school – with the Evangélico and all - to be so conspicuously displayed.
At that season there are some 15,000 summer visitors in San Sebastian, which is the most popular watering-place in Spain, and the habitual summer residence of the queen-regent; and the Exposition was one of the attractions of the season, and was visited by thousands of persons. The very fact of the Exposi
tion being of comparatively small dimensions brought our exhibit into greater relative prominence than would otherwise have been the case, and it attracted much favorable attention. Priests as well as laymen carefully and enthusiastically inspected the minerals, and the lava and coral specimens, and rare shells from the Pacific; and lingered long over the beautiful botanical specimens of the province, that had been gathered and scientifically arranged in our attractive herbarium by the pupils in botany, under Miss Barbour's instruction, and also admired the needlework of the girls. Two Madrid papers published articles describing the Exposition, in which flattering mention was made of our exhibit. One of the San Sebastian papers expressed itself in the following manner. The original is somewhat condensed in the translation :
“The exhibit of the North American College is truly one of the best, and is one that most attracts visitors to the Exposition. In elegant cabinets are displayed beautiful and very rich collections of specimens in zoology, mineralogy, botany, apparatus for teaching, and needlework. Scientific men will find much to study there. The minerals and the marbles of the province have, by their side, specimens from foreign countries, with which to compare them. The same thing is seen in the department of zoology, in which there are rare and truly notable collections. In botany there are many and very good specimens. The apparatus for teaching is excellent ; among other things is seen a handsome microscope. And as regards needlework one must admire the beautiful and carefully wrought articles. In short the North American College makes a rich educational display which honors it, and at the same time honors the Exposition and the province.”
The pleasant and notable sequel to it all is the award by the directors of the Exposition of a “first prize,” in the form of an elegantly lithographed diploma, for the “excellent exhibition of apparatus for teaching, and for samples of needlework.”
We know, of course, that there is some exaggeration in these enthusiastic phrases of the press; but they are especially significant as being, together with many other similar expressions during the last few months, a frank and cordial recognition of the Protestant school at San Sebastian as a useful factor among the educational forces of the land. We welcome this attitude toward this school as marking a new epoch in the history of evangelical work in Spain. We are convinced that on these lines of work will be secured the recognition of the thinking and influential classes of the surrounding Roman Catholic community, and access to them will be gained as by no other methods of evangelistic work whatever.
Would that we had a building and apparatus and a teaching force somewhat after the model and on the scale of a good school of the kind in America ! We could unhesitatingly invite the closest inspection by all friends of education in Spain of such an edifice thus appointed, and we believe that a profound impression would be made by it, and that with such aid there would speedily open before us a boundless field of opportunity for influencing in the most helpful and useful way the women of Spain, and, through the women, the whole country. What more appropriate and gracious courtesy, in these HispanoColumbian times, than the gift of a fully equipped school of this kind, could the women of America show to their sisters in Spain ?
THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT AND THE OPIUM TRAFFIC.
It was with great rejoicings that the Christian world received the tidings, less than a year since, that the British Parliament had adopted a resolution declaring that “the system by which the Indian opium revenue is raised is morally indefensible," and calling for a check to be put upon the manufacture and sale of the drug. It was clearly foreseen at the time that the making of such a declaration was quite a different matter from enforcing the principle. It was a question whether with a full House such a resolution could have been passed, and it is quite certain that there is both in England and India a widespread sentiment such as found expression in The London Times, which said, in commenting upon the matter, that the “House of Commons was simply having one of its too familiar spasms of cheap Puritanism." The plea of necessity seems to have utterly blinded the eyes of many leading and otherwise reputable men to the gigantic evil that the government is fostering.
The gross annual revenue derived by the Indian government from opium has been not far from $32,000,000. The cultivation of the poppy is permitted only under government license, the condition of granting the licenses being that the total product shall be sold to the government at a certain fixed rate. The whole crop is manufactured and packed at government factories, and is sold by the government at public auction to merchants. It has been claimed in behalf of the British government that it is using its efforts to restrict the opium traffic within the smallest possible limits, and yet the recent “Financial Statement” of the Revenue Official of the Indian government shows that the consumption of opium has risen in every province of India except one. This official report makes it clear that the object of the officers is to secure the utmost possible revenue from the traffic, without any thought of limiting it.
A trenchant article in Regions Beyond for November exposes remorselessly the guilt of the Indian government in the matter of the sale of opium. The magazine contains a facsimile of the form of license for the sale of opium, issued in the Bombay Presidency, in which it is stipulated that the holder of the license shall sell not less than a certain amount of duty-paid opium during a designated period. If he sells less than that quantity, he shall pay to the government“ a penalty at the rate of five rupees per pound on the quantity of opium required to make up the stated minimum." In one case cited the amount left blank in the form was filled up by 12,492 pounds, or about five and a half tons. It is clear that such a heavy penalty imposed for failure to sell must act as a strong incentive to the dealer to push his trade and dispose of as much as possible. Another clause stipulates that if the collector requires the licensee to open new shops he shall open the same “ immediately on receipt of the collector's order.” In the face of such a form of license as this it is preposterous for the government to claim that it is using its efforts to “restrict the opium traffic within the smallest possible limits.”
As to the effect of the raising and sale of opium in India, there is impressive testimony in the recent protest made by the government of the Bombay Presidency in response to a suggestion of the Indian Board of Revenue that the
cultivation of the poppy should be introduced within that Presidency. The governor replied to the proposition as follows: "The government considers that there are very strong objections to the introduction of an industry so demoralizing in its tendency as opium cultivation and manufacture into a province where it is at present unknown and, so far as His Excellency in Council is aware, not asked for by the people. If opium cultivation were allowed in Scinde, it could not, with consistency, be prohibited in the rest of the Presidency. It has already been tried in Gujerat, and the result was widespread corruption and demoralization. On the ground of public morality, therefore, His Excellency, the Governor in Council, would strongly deprecate the granting of permission to cultivate the poppy in Scinde, or any other part of the Presidency." Such, on the best of testimony, is the fact in the Bombay Presidency, and if so there, surely the cultivation of the poppy cannot but be deleterious in other parts of India. Was not the British Parliament most emphatically right in declaring this traffic morally indefensible?
What is to be done about the matter? The evil will not be overthrown in a day. But let the fact be kept constantly before the people of Great Britain and of all other lands that there is a wrong here which must be righted. Let it be clearly shown that, according to inexorable laws, no nation can profit by the physical and moral degradation of its people. Let there be continued agitation upon the subject till public conscience is awakened, and no plea for revenue will stand in the way of reform. It took years and years to awaken the conscience of Great Britain and of the United States to the wickedness of slavery, but abolition came at last and suddenly. And so will government complicity in the manufacture and sale of opium come to an end. May the Lord hasten the day!
GOLD OR SOULS - WHICH?
BY MRS. SARAH E. HOLBROOK, MAPUMULO, NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA.
Gold! Gold! Gold! This is the never-failing topic which greets the eye of the reader of South African newspapers.
Now it is the new countries which are being opened up by the enterprise of the British South Africa Company, led by the masterful mind of Mr. Rhodes. Nothing deters. Obstacles seemingly insurmountable are overcome. Millions of gold poured all in before a dollar of result is realized. Thousands of eager men bent upon making a fortune, but all more likely to rest in unknown graves in the wilderness. All for gold !
These men are ready to run any and every risk, even to being massacred by the warlike Matabele, who are just now preparing for the conflict; they are ready to die by fever or, harassed in its grasp, to lead a miserable existence; they look with stedfast gaze on the long and wearisome journey, fraught with danger; they are ready to quit home and friends and live any and every how, for gold !
But why this pressing haste? Will not the treasure wait? Of course it may. It has waited ever since the famous Queen of Sheba, for aught we know, found
her untold wealth from its hidden store, and the ships of Hiram returned laden with their costly burden. For ages these fields of gold have waited untouched - waited for the enterprise of the nineteenth century to reopen their longconcealed treasures.
What does all this stir mean to the Christian world ? Must the Master blush with shame for his Church when he sees all this frantic rush for gold, and when in Mashonaland, among the Matabele in Gaza Country and the vast regions beyond, are priceless treasures untouched, unsought, save by here and there a seeker? Souls, souls above price, everywhere unsaved, left, alas ! not to stay pure and undefiled like the gold till the time shall come when the Church shall awake to its privilege and duty, but souls that are dying, that have been going down into an unknown future for generations on generations — a steady, solemn, and awful procession.
The march of civilization is opening up the dark depths of Africa. The cry of gold has brought thousands where before the cry of perishing millions was all but unheeded. How long is the Church to sleep, or, half-awakening from its stupor, to send out a handful of missionaries, where hundreds, yes, thousands, are needed? The thoughtful mind is puzzled at the contradiction.
America and England, as it were, full of Christians, knowing the awful condition of their dark brothers, are sending the most meagre succors; but at the cry of gold the people of the world, and often the people professed of Christ as well, will leave friends, risk health, property, comfort, and even life, for a bare chance of grasping the glittering prize. Is it true that souls are of more value than gold? Can it be possible that Christians believe what they proclaim? If they do, should we not see millions of dollars where we now see thousands, and hosts of eager workers where we now see a weak handful, ready to do or die in winning these lost multitudes to Christ ?
No wonder that skeptics sneer at our professions when they see the world a hundred times more anxious for perishable gold than the Christian Church claims to be in winning lost souls. Africa has been baptized with martyrs' blood, but a whole army of followers need to take up their standard, “ The world for Christ !” and win Africa for God. The pierced hand of the Master beckons his Church to the conflict. Will it turn from this tender call and leave these newly opened countries for the capitalist, the trader, and the gold digger? Let the answer be No! And let that answer come in men and supplies so that the perishing ones may be reached and saved.
Letters from the Missions.
Western Turkey Mission.
ISLAND OF CRETE.
MR. BROOKS, of Constantinople, in a letter referring to the happy circumstances connected with the dedication of the Greek church at Manisa, some account of which was given in the last number of the
Missionary Herald, also reports a short stay on the island of Crete :
“From Smyrna I went on to Crete to visit and help, if possible, all friends there, but specially two families from our own little flock in Constantinople. These families have for five years been laboring