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PEKING MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION.
At a recent meeting of the Peking Missionary Association an unusual interest was manifested in discussion of the following question: Should a heathen country adopt Christianity as a State Religion?
The affirmative was opened by Dr. Martin who, after some introductory remarks, said that in case Christianity was adopted as a State Religion room should be left for freedom of conscience, but the State should throw all its
influence in favor of Christianity. Thus religious influence would arise as a tide-wave, and the influx would not carry away all that the wave would bring.
After citing the instances of Clovis and Charlemagne he said that the prince who wished to adopt Christianity would probably convert the heathen temples into Christian Churches, put a bell, a spire and a cross on them, pay a large number of Christian teachers to instruct his people and transfer all the religious revenues from the old religion, or religions, to the
The negative was then taken up by Rev. George Owen. He began by making the New Testament the foundation of all our faith and practice, and in it we find nothing. to encourage us in the union of Church and State. The spirit of Christ was in opposition to any such union, and the whole history of the past, and the countries in which the State and the Church are united at present, are a warning against such union. The Church does not need the assistance of the civil power; it simply wants a fair opportunity with no favor.
Nobody but a converted man or woman should have anything to do in the Christian Church. A State Church is, and has always been, a calamity. The clergy becomes a caste, alternately ruling, or being ruled by the civil power.
The liberties of the people are taken away, and they are not allowed to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience.
Rev. Dr. Taft said: My opinion coincides with that of the negative. Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Church history clearly shows that the union of Church and State stifles true spiritual life.
What is to be gained by such union? Glory and power. Michael Angelo may adorn the Church with fine specimens of architecture and sculpture, and Raphael may exhibit his remarkable genius in painting in the service of the Church. Henry IV. of Germany may go bare-footed in the snow before the Pope at Canossa, but simony and pornocracy flourish simultaneously with ecclesiastical glory and power.
"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."
Rev. W. S. Ament spoke as follows: The union of Church and State has been the curse of Christian history. The result has always been evil and only evil. It began with Constantine, and the baleful influence has not yet ceased. He treated the pagans with a most commendable toleration, but was relentless towards the non-conforinists. A State Church must adopt some one of the various forms of Church order. Then all others are to be ostracised, perhaps persecuted. At least they are schismatics and non-conformists. So long as men continue to think, so long will there be different forms of worship, statements of faith and differences in belief. The State should have nothing to do with these. They pertain only to the individual. No State, person or persons, or Church can be trusted with the direction of conscience. That is the work of the great head of the Church. In the United States we are trying to get rid of what little remains there are of the union of Church and State.
Appropriations have been made annually by Congress to the various Protestant and Catholic bodies for work among the Indians. This act, though kindly devised, has resulted in ceaseless contention. The Romanists have always come in for the lion's share, and have fought for more. They keep one or two priests in Washington, whose business it is to agitate and work in the interests only of the Roman Church. The Protestants now propose to wash their hands of the whole matter. Unity is desirable (and that is what Christ prayed for), but not uniformity. The quicker all State Churches are swept from the earth the better. All Christianity asks is a fair field, with protection and toleration. This is only what heathen governments, like China, have given to heathen religions. Christ is the only Head of the Church, and to no one else do we owe allegiance.
Mr. Headland said that if it matter of making it a permanent State Church it might present a different aspect, but as we look over the history of the past we find that no heathen nation has ever been converted to Christianity
be detrimental either to the Church or the State if they should be united and the government should show all its influence in favor of Christianity? Such a condition would open the way for many of the less brave to enter the Church; the Church would become popular where it had been previously unpopular, and thus the means which God has so often used in the past might be once more used for establishing His kingdom.
Men would not thus be forced into the Church, nor would there be less liberty of conscience than exists among the various Churches at present. There is not an or thodox Church in Christendom that will allow its adherents freedom of conscience, unless their conscience allows them to worship accord ing to the tenets of the particular Church with which they are united. Let Church and State be united until the Church becomes established, and then let them be dissolved; help a child to walk until it can walk alone.
ISAAC T. HEADLAND,
CHINA CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY
until Christianity was adopted as ANNUAL REPORT OF THE
The Sixth Annual Meeting of the Central China Christian Mission was held at Nankin, May 2nd to 7th, both days inclusive. Notwithstanding many peculiar difficulties encountered during the past year the reports which were presented from Wuhu, Shanghai, Luho, Chucheo and Nankin were full of encouragement, and bore striking testimony to the good hand of the Lord which had been with the mission through all its vicissitudes.
The total additions reported were twenty, among whom were some who had been called upon to suffer violent persecution for
Christ's sake. A woman had been cruelly beaten and threatened with death by her husband for becoming a Christian, and an old man had been dragged into the street with a rope round his neck and threatened with death if he did not speedily renounce the "Jesus doctrine". A young preacher had been "spoken against falsely," which had led to his being beaten and his clothes torn off his back
by an angry crowd. But through
the mercies of God no lives had been lost. On the contrary, these violent persecutions have only tended to strengthen the faith of the sufferers in their Saviour, and they are now rejoicing that they have been counted worthy to suffer reproach for His name.
Two remarkable conversions were reported. One was that of an old gentleman seventy-six years of age, a native of Hai-mêng, near the mouth of the Yangtse River. He had been a vegetarian for upwards of sixty years, and had been for many years the high priest of his society. He had 160 disciples, whom he had personally exhorted to a life of vegetarianism. Becoming very unhappy at the near prospect of death he was led to undertake a journey to our chapel at Tsung-ming, of which he had heard, where he met Mr. Koo, our native helper, who put before him the Gospel plan of Salvation. Two days later he returned home, taking with him copies of the Scriptures and other Christian books, all of which he studied diligently, writing a short summary of their contents. His earnestness was rewarded, for within three months he was thoroughly converted and was able to give a clear and definite account of the Lord's dealings with him. He was baptized in Shanghai, from whence he returned to his home rejoicing. Only two months after his return this dear old man entered into rest.
Another remarkable conversion
was that of an eunuch, an official of the Imperial palace at Peking, who was first brought under the influence of Christianity by a native Christian family while he was on his way to the sacred island of Pootoo to prepare for the Buddhist priesthood.
Having a small private income of his own he has at his own expense made several itinerant journeys, including one into the hostile province of Hunan. Here at the capital he reports having met with several among the official and literary classes, who courteously received the Christian literature he had brought with him. He firmly believes that a great change is about to take place for the better as regards the disposition of the Hunanese towards the Gospel, and that this change will begin with the officials themselves. He says that when this happens these people, who are at present the bitterest enemies of the Cross in China, will become its most zealous supporters.
The convention unanimously adopted a resolution to hold special services at Tsing-ming, which as this festival occurs in April will partake of the nature of an Easter celebration; also at the Winter Solstice, which falls about Christmas, and a Harvest Thanksgiving festival at the Feast of the Eighth Moon. It is believed that in this way the Church can supply a natural want on the part of the native Christians for festivals, holidays and the like.
One of the most profitable of the meetings was the native session, when industrial and social problems were taken up and discussed in a very practical manner. Each of the native brethren decided to put by a certain sum every day, from five cash upwards, which when sufficient would form a capital for starting an industrial department in connection with the mission.
We take from a Montreal, Canada, paper the following account of the sudden death of Rev. A. Dowsley, formerly of the Church of Scotland Mission in Ichang :—
Quite a gloom has been cast over the village in the death of one of our most respected citizens, Rev. Andrew Dowsley, B.A. This has been intensified by the unexpected suddenness with which the sad event came. Mr. Dowsley, up till the very minute of his death, was in his usual health, which was always extra good.. An acute attack of la grippe a month or two ago left him rather weak, but he seemed to have completely recovered what he then lost. On
Thursday evening he returned home about 9.30, seemingly in good health. After hanging up his overcoat in the hall he went into the parlor, where he staggered against the table, and was in the act of falling on the floor. Mrs. Dowsley caught him in her arms and prevented the fall He breath
ed heavily once or twice and expired in a few minutes. Dr. Carlaw was at once called in and pronounced him quite dead; the cause of death being heart disease.
Mr. Dowsley was born at Brockville on 21st July, 1844. He received the rudiments of his educaticn first at the public school and afterwards at the grammar school of his native town. Early in life he decided to enter the ministry, and to qualify himself for that sacred office he took the regular versity. His divinity course was four years course in Toronto Unitaken at Princeton, which then, as now, occupied a front rank among schools of sacred learning. Immediately after being licensed to preach the Gospel Mr. Dowsley was called to Lansdowne in the Presbytery of Kingston, where he successfully labored for two years. It had been Mr. Dowsley's intention from the very first to devote his life to the cause of foreign missions, and all his studies were conducted with that end in view. But he thought that a short stay at home in a pastoral charge was an important part of a foreign missionary's training. And hence his settling for two years at Lansdowne. The Church of Scotland at this time was carrying on vigorous mission work at Madras in India, and Mr. Dowsley was invited to go there and take charge of the mission. lieving this to be a call from God he at once accepted the invitation, and left the home for the foreign field. Mr. Dowsley labored four years in Madras as principal of the college there, and having charge of all the Church of Scotland's mission work in Southern India. From India he, at the call of the Church to which Mr. Dowsley was ever loyal, proceeded to China and took charge of its missions at Ichang. Here Mr. and Mrs. Dowsley labored incessantly for a period of eight years. The health of Mrs. Dowsley
necessitating a change Mr. Dowsley decided to leave the foreign field for a time, fully intending to return whenever the way seemed to
be opened up.
He travelled home by way of Palestine and Egypt, spending one year in Scotland and England on the homeward journey.
Diary of Events in the Far East.
5th.-A London telegram says:-China has invited the mediation of Russia, and it is stated that the latter has urged that both China and Japan should evacuate Korea, and then seek for a settlement.
12th.-Chang Chih-tung's new gunfactory at Han-yang destroyed by fire. The place with the machinery cost upwards of £250,000 and took some four years to complete, but was destroyed in about as many hours; everything being either consumed or destroyed by the fire.
15th. An aggravated assault was committed at Seoul by Japanese soldiers on the Acting British Consul-General, Mr. C. T. Gardner, C.M.G., and Mrs. Gardner. Thirty British bluejackets have been sent to Seoul to act as Legation guard.
16th.-Telegraphic news that China has accepted British mediation.
21st. We regret very much to Hsueh Fu-ch'eng, ex-Chinese Minister to Great Britain,
nounce that H. E.
France and Italy, who returned to China with his family by the last French mail but one, and who had but just received permission from the Throne to visit his native town of Wusieh, died suddenly at 10 o'clock, at his temporary quarters in the Temple of the Queen of Heaven, North Honan Road, Shanghai. His Excellency and family were to have started for Wusieh yesterday morning, having sent their baggage, which filled twenty-two cargo boats, onward on Saturday to Wusieh in charge of as many servants.
27th. Later telegrams from London sayThe news of the outbreak of hostilities between China and Japan has not been officially confirmed.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Sir Edward Grey, Parliamentary UnderSecretary for Foreign Affairs, stated that, at the request of England, the German, Russian, French and Italian Governments have instructed their representatives at Tokio aud Peking to support the efforts of the British Ministers to avert war.