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(Time-October 28, 1893. Place-Kü-fu, a city of Shantung province, 480 miles south-west of the port of Chefoo.)
REPARATION for the day was made by a call the evening previous upon the representative of the present head of the Confucian family. The head himself is far too high in the air to receive the calls of ordinary mortals. He is the only example of an hereditary aristocracy in China, for since the tardy honors began to be paid to his illustrious ancestor the eldest son of each successive generation has been handsomely supported by royal beneficence and honored by the nation next to the emperor himself. Seventy-six generations have come into the world since Confucius went out, and still these emoluments and honors continue.
The present recipient is only twenty-one years of age; his relative, who represents him to the world and who wears a button of the third rank, sixty. A relative of the latter, Mr. Tsai, over seventy years of age, was of our party fortunately, and through him. we secured one of the great man's servants to conduct us through the temple and cemetery next day. This was the preparation referred to above. It saved us from the wrangling and rapacity of the various gate-keepers and made our entire bill fifty cents instead of some two or three dollars which, without him, would have been exacted.
On the date mentioned, after a breakfast of chou and mo mothe former a mixture of beans, bean-curd and onions, the latter a kind of steamed bread-we started for the temple.
Ten or more acres of ground surrounded by a high wall, the latter broken by several immeuse gateways; within hundreds of
cedars of all ages set in exact rows, but leaning in every variety of angle; cross-walls making several enclosures, well-laid bricks paving the entire grounds, a series of halls-some larger, some smaller-all together make up the temple of Confucius.
Into the most sacred enclosure of all we are admitted by a gateway of imposing dimensions. A beautiful court it is with its flanking on both sides of four hundred feet of buildings containing nothing but the tablets of the sage's illustrious disciples, even down to the present dynasty, with its pavilions scattered here and there protecting some monumental stone or bronze bell, or other valued memorial, with its great halls of rich carving and painting, contrasting strikingly with the sombre green of the cedars. Twelve stone steps lead up to a platform, one hundred and fifty feet (perhaps) square, surrounded by a handsomely carved stone fence. On this platform stands the main hall or temple. Great stone pillars, dragon-carved, deeply and delicately, line the narrow porch. Above, though entirely according to Chinese ideas of architecture, the great building, brilliant in gilt, vermillion and occasionally other cheerful tints, rears itself with fine effect. A broad strip of netting runs around the deep cornices to protect from the roosting and nesting of birds. Inside we find the lofty roof supported by some twenty pillars, each the uncarved trunk of a single tree, so thick that the hands of two men cannot be clasped while the arms to which they belong embrace it, and each shining from base to chapiter in bright vermilion.
Just opposite the spacious door sits Confucius, a colossal figure in official cap and gown. The likeness is supposed to be accurate. If so it cannot be for his good looks that he is honored. For, say the Chinese, while most people are faulty in one or more of the principal features Confucius is so in the entire seven. That is to say, his mouth is disfigured by two projecting lower teeth, his two nostrils are too conspicuous, his two eyes show too much white and his two ears are of bad shape. At a little distance on either side sit, in the order of their celebrity, figures of his chief disciples.
Other halls, not so large, contain a figure of his father, tablets of his wife and mother, the principal events of his life engraved upon one hundred and twenty tables of stone and a collection of the musical instruments used in his age. From these and other sources of information we infer that in the musical art the ancient Chinese were more cultured than the modern which, by the way, is no saying much.
Standing here the thought occurs to us, well, that four hundred years that our fellow-countrymen at home are making such a fuss over is but a paltry piece of time after all. This temple, though
renewed often, was built one thousand years ago; here is the well from which the sage drank two thousand five hundred years ago, beside it a stone preserving in well-carved characters the record of it and of his profound poverty at that time when his elbow was his only pillow.
Here, too, within a foot or two of one another are three generations of trees. The grandfather lies prone on the ground, was lying there, knotty and gnarled, sixty years ago when Mr. Tsai made his first visit to the spot. The father stands upright, a robust, stately tree. The grandson-a youth of perhaps ten summers stands close beside. Here, too, still abides the gnarled root of a tree planted by Confucius' own hand. From it a flourishing tree has sprung. And here, too, most impressive of all are carved memorial stones which have come down from the dynasty of Han, contemporaneous with our Lord.
Time has laid his destroying hand heavily upon them, yet many of the characters still stand out distinctly.
In the afternoon we visited the Confucian cemetery. It lies a half mile to the north of the city. Two rows of aged cedars, said to be a thousand in a row, border the broad avenue which leads thereto. The great teacher's descendants now number six thousand or seven thousand families, all of whom have a right to burial in the sacred graveyard. Consequently it is large, larger than the city itself. But the most sacred court is walled off from the rest. In it sleep only three bodies-grandson, son, Confucius himself.
The graves are alike, large mounds-almost hills-covered with untrained shrubbery, grasses, flowers and even large trees; while before each is a plain stone containing only enough characters to indicate who lies there.
One standing by these silent mounds, under the autumn-tinted trees, cannot escape the impression that here lies one of earth's greatest. His honors came tardily, but how great at the last! Reared in poverty, rejected and persecuted through life, he has reaped posthumous honors such as no other mortal that ever lived. He receives veneration from every Chinaman living. The people will laugh with you at the folly of worshipping images of earth, wood and stone, but a disparaging reference to Confucius sets them bristling at once. Every school boy in the empire pays him worship; the literary class are his devoted slaves; the anniversary of his death is kept sacred; in every city is a temple to his honor alone. Emperors vie with one another in paying him homage. The enormous expense of supporting the hereditary family and of keeping temple and cemetery in good repair is borne by successive emperors. For a thousand years they have been erecting to him memorial stones
of costly magnificence. Several have come in person-in the dim past when the "sons of heaven" had strength and courage enough to stir out of their palace-to prostrate themselves before that sacred image and this more sacred grave. Even the birds, said the guide, offer their tribute. For when the temple was last repaired the cranes and crows flew away and waited for the sacrificial offerings to be past before they returned. Such testimony is not needed. Confucius was not a god, but he was a man. And he exercised a greater influence upon more people than any other mere man that ever lived.-Church at Home at Abroad.
Pioneer Missionary Work in the interior of Korea.
BY REV. W. J. HALL, M.D.
[M. E. Mission, Seoul, Korea.]
N the 10th of January I again left Seoul for my work in the north, Pyeng-yang. Mr. McKenzie, from Nova Scotia, accompanied me. God has given him a wonderful experience. He felt that God called him to Korea, and although his Mission Board did not feel able to start a mission here he trusted the Lord to supply the necessary funds for his outcoming and support after reaching here. God always honors the faith of His children. We had blessed seasons of communion with God on the journey.
I was only one day out when I was called to see a patient who had been badly cut and stabbed by robbers. I dressed the wounds and told the story of the Great Physician. His comrade had been so badly stabbed that he only lived a few minutes afterwards.
After seven days' journey I reached Pyeng-yang and went at once to one of the houses which had been purchased for our use, but which on account of the opposition of the governor we were unable to occupy for several months.
It had been used as a home for dancing girls, and was still being used for the same purpose. After some difficulty they consented to give up the house. The following two nights the house was vigorously stoned by a band of men who had been accustomed to spend their evenings there, but had now been defeated in their evil purposes.
Every day we saw our patients, and had a great many visitors, who all heard the story of salvation. Every night we held our service, and a deep interest appeared to be manifested by a good number. Everything was moving on smoothly, and all opposition had ceased.