Puslapio vaizdai

you how far this has been actually accomplished in both foreign and native Churches here in Shanghai as well as elsewhere.

My second point is that the Christian Endeavour organization whilst strengthening each individual Church which adopts its methods will also greatly help to bring into closer union the different Churches which exist in one city or district. It is interdenominational, go that whilst the members of each society are expected to faithfully support their own Church, its doctrines, form of Church government and Church work, the members of the various branches are united as one by the powerful ties of a common organization based on fellowship with Christ through prayer and service.

Churches as they exist to-day are more or less held back from common and united action by the necessity of subscription to creeds, recognition of orders and observance of ceremonies. As we have already said where these differences are based on conscientious grounds, as truths taught by God's word, they cannot and should not, if they could, be lightly brushed aside. What we have to aim at is not uniformity but unity, not the same uniform but oneness of spirit and purpose. We can be united only by what we hold in common; only by the possession of a common faith and purpose, by a common spirit inspiring and animating us. The world of man is not a dull sameness. No one precise system of Church government and ceremony will probably ever suit all tastes equally. The truth of God in its breadth and depth can never be grasped completely in one set of formulas or system of theology. But to-day it is possible for the one spirit of our Master so to animate us that we may arise and march forward as one body, a united army under one leader-Christ, the captain of our salvation.

In these united gatherings of Christian Endeavourers no doctrinal or ecclesiastical questions are debated; time and place can, and should be found elsewhere for these, but we meet simply to confer together how we may best as members of the various societies aid one another in greater devotedness to Christ and the furtherance of His kingdom.

At our first united gathering here in Shanghai there were Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Disciples and members of other branches of the Christian Church present. China, Japan, Corea, the United States, England, Scotland, Australia, were amongst the countries represented by members of Christian Endeavour Societies. And this was not a widely advertised World's Fair Parliament of Religions,' but just a simple united gathering of Shanghai Christian Endeavourers.

But we must go a step further. This organization aims at unifying and consolidating the whole of the Christian work carried on in each separate province. It aims to bring together representatives of each society of Christian Endeavour in the province for conference as to how best that province may be won for Christ, i.e., may become a Christian province. Such an union would be irrespective of denominations, and would abstain from all interference with the special plans and operations of the various missions.

There is at present almost an entire absence of centralized united association between the different native Christian Churches

[ocr errors]

in each province. Our society aims at effecting this by forming an organization, following as far as possible the political divisions. on which the Chinese system of government is at present based. Each local society will be entitled to elect its own representative for the province in which it exists. Its members will meet simply as Christians linked together by a common love to Christ and consecration to His service. The different workers in the province brought thus together will come to know each other, and a new inspiration will be imparted to them as they realize what it is to be members of the greater 'Brotherhood of Christ.' The Chinese Christians have not yet felt their power. By far the greater part are as isolated units amongst the thousands of their heathea countrymen. Let them see more of one another. The great Prophet Elijah would probably never have given up in despair with the cry, 'I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life to take it away,' if he could have had a Convention' with those 7000, whose knees had not bowed down unto Baal. A union of Christians such as this in each province would also speedily be a powerful factor in dealing with the thousand and one evils which, like deadly microbes, are allowed unchecked to eat into the vitals of the nation. A yearly provincial convention such as the Christian Endeavour Society aims at establishing should not present such difficulties as would an annual convention for the whole of China. China is so vast in extent, and transport is so expensive and slow, that it may be annual conventions' will at present be found feasible for provinces only. At the same time, however, to complete the work of unification one more step is necessary, and that is to extend the work of the Society so as to make it a national movement-joining province to province in the one common organized aim-to win China for Christ. Whether a yearly national convention is possible or not-and I personally doubt the possibility, and at present would suggest that it be held once in ten years as our Missionary Conference is, or if preferred every five years-this need not affect the question of a national organization, much of the work of which can be carried on by

correspondence. Each province should have its duly elected representatives to serve on this national committee, and at the first of its periodic national conventions from among these representatives able men should be chosen as officers and leaders. By its local and provincial work the Eudeavour Society may be expected to train up native Christians, not only for active service but also for leadership. Having such leaders we must see to it that we foreigu workers retire from official positions as able native brethren are raised up to fill the posts. Our great aim should be to make this Society a truly Chinese Christian Endeavour Society.

To sum up these few remarks I would say in conclusion that the United Society of Christian Endeavour has as its object : (1) the strengthening of each individual Church in this great empire by bringing its members into closer union with Christ and one another through fellowship and service; (2) to unite in Christian fellowship the various Churches in each centre by the formation of district associations of Christian Endeavourers; (3) by union of the various district associations to form provincial councils of Christian Endeavour, and (4) finally by the election of representatives from each provincial council to create a national organization, whose aim and object shall be, not for its members to anathematize each other as was too often the case with the councils of the early Church but to consult together how best to win China for Christ.

If when all this is accomplished we should awake to find that our Christian Endeavour movement had become to all intents and purposes the national Church of China-its members retaining it may be their denominational, doctrinal and ecclesiastical differences, whilst united as one in loyalty to Christ and His service-as the different states in America retain their peculiar rights and privileges, whilst banded together as the United States-then let us thank God and take courage, for the day of China's deliverance will have dawned, and the long night of toiling and waiting will have passed away. With a strong united Christian Church in China, truly Catholic in its love and devotion to Christ, whilst its individual members retain full possession of their Christian liberty, then we may see wrought out here in this land a greater and more enduring victory than that which brought proud Rome to the feet of Christ.

"China for Christ "-this is our dream-nay more, our confident hope and expectation. May each one of us, who are members of this Society, by prayer and endeavour, seek to make this dream, this expectation, a reality.

Pioneer Missionary Work in the Interior of Korea.


[M. E. Mission, Seoul, Korea.]

N the 4th of May Mrs. Hall, baby and I left Chemulpo by steamer for Pyong-yang. We had only been out a few hours when we encountered a typhoon, and were obliged to anchor for thirty-three hours. Monday afternoon we reached Po-san, which is twenty-five miles from Pyong-yang and as near the city as the steamer goes. We took a native row boat for the rest of our journey, and arrived Tuesday noon. The native Christians were waiting on the shore to greet us. Shortly after our arrival great numbers of natives came to see us. Mrs. Hall told them she would see them Wednesday afternoon. By noon hundreds of women and children had gathered in the road and outside yard to see Mrs. Hall and baby. We arranged to let them in by tens to remain for five minutes. This worked well for a short time, but soon those behind became impatient, commenced to crowd, broke down the gate, and soon the inside yard and the house were filled to overflowing. The only thing now to do was for Mrs. Hall to come outside with our little boy, where she saw yard after yard full until over fifteen hundred women and children had been seen. As we could no longer control the people I went to the magistrate and asked for a soldier to protect us. He promised to send one the next day, but none

ever came.

About one o'clock Thursday morning we were awakened by two of the native Christians, who informed us that our faithful helper Chang Si-key and the former owner of the house we were stopping in had been cast into prison. We could do nothing then but commit. them to God. Early in the morning I went to the governor's, but he was sleeping, and I could not see him. I then went to the prison and found that in addition to our men the helper of Mr. Moffett, of the Presbyterian Mission, also the former owner of the house that the helper lived in were both in prison, and that same night policemen had gone to where Mr. Moffett stopped when in Pyongyang and cruelly beat all the native Christians that were there. Chang Si-key had his feet wedged in stocks, and was suffering intense pain. I then went to the house to see if Mrs. Hall was all right, when Mr. O., one of our Christians who had accompanied me to the governor's, was seized and taken off to prison. Mr. Yi, another of our native Christians, then accompanied me on my rounds

to the prison house and telegraph office. He would say to me: “I will be taken to prison next, and then you'll have to go alone." We were the only foreigners in a city of one hundred thousand heathen, and you can imagine our situation when I had to leave Mrs. Hall and little Sherwood alone and unprotected as much of the time I was away at the prison or the telegraph office.

[ocr errors]

I telegraphed the state of affairs to Dr. Scranton in Seoul, and he and Mr. Moffett carried the matter to the British and American Legations, and soon the welcome message came over the wires: Legations will act at once." No time was lost in Seoul. The missionaries and the Legations acted with that characteristic zeal, for which Britishers and Americans are noted. Soon there came a telegram from Mr. Gardner, British Consul-General, and Mr. Sell, American Minister resident, stating they had insisted that the foreign office order the release of the men in prison at once, and our protection according to treaty. A telegram also came from Mr. Moffett: "Joshua first chapter ninth verse." This was Thursday evening; that night our house was stoned and the wall torn down. We did not know the moment a mob might be upon us. Early Friday morning a servant of the governor's came, and said the telegram from the king had been received, but that it said we were bad people and to kill all the Christians. I went to the prison, and this report was confirmed there. Our men had been removed to the death-cell, the torturing continued; they expected to die, but would not give up Christ.

The water carriers were forbidden to bring us water. There are no wells in Pyong-yang, and the water is brought from the river a half-mile distant. The governor is a relative of the queen, a powerful family here in Korea, and it began to look as if he were not going to pay any attention to the telegram from the foreign office. It seemed to us that the time had come for religious toleration for Korea, and God would require the lives of some of His children to secure it. We were ready to die for His cause. Grace had been given sufficient for every trial thus far, and we knew abundance would be given if it were required. My heart ached as I witnessed our faithful brothers in Christ suffering extreme torture, such as had not been experienced here by Christians for twentyeight years when thousands of Roman Catholics, including several priests, laid down their lives for their faith. Two telegrams from the foreign office had been sent since Thursday night, but five o'clock Friday came, and still no relief. At six o'clock, after thirtysix hours of torture in prison, threatened many times with death, all were sent for by the magistrate, beaten and discharged, but stoned all the way home. Chang Si-key was so badly injured it was with

« AnkstesnisTęsti »