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To all our readers we tender our best prayerful wishes for
A Happy New Year. May God richly bless our feeble efforts in His service, and, freed more and more from the clogging persistency of self, may we be more like Him "whom having not seen we love." May this coming year be a happy one to us all in finding more in Him than we ever expected to want; may we all be happy in assurance that the Lord is working everywhere with His people, and that in His good time "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea."
During the past year we have to mourn the loss of many devoted brethren and sisters. Dr. Nevius, with his noble record of forty years' loyal service, is mourned all over the mission field; Dr. Wheeler is special ly missed by the readers of the RECORDER; Dr. Pilcher's removal is a great blow to educational interests; the early death after short but whole-hearted service of such talented young men as Drs. Goldsbury and Pirie is keenly felt, but the greatest wrench of all was the taking away in the Sung-pu tragedy of Messrs. Wikholm and Johanssen amid circumstances of peculiar barbarity.
But whilst we mourn the loss of these and others whom our Master has thus early taken to their reward we rejoice in the fact that He has brought so many fresh arrivals to the mission field. May this new year be a very happy one to them in opening up many opportunities for service. And may their place in work at home be filled up with consecrated workers, who may also in time, through the Lord's preparation and leading, join their predecessors
in the field; for we are convinced that the deeper and more practical the interest in foreign missions the more will home mission work be advanced and vice versa.
Among the notably cheering events the four in the past year were weeks' evangelistic campaign in Shanghai, participated in by Shanghai missionaries and native Christians of all denominations, the triennial meeting of the Educational Association of China, the meeting of the Synod of China and the Shantung Missionary Conference, a notice of which appears in our Missionary News department. In the reports of these various meetings and in news of missionary advance all over China there is much to call forth our heartfelt thanks and praise to God.
As we look back on the past year and enter on the new, rejoicing in memory and strong in hope, we feel that we require to be more earnest and unceasing in prayer to the Lord of the Harvest. As an earnest home worker has recently written: "Of far greater service than any array of learning or gifts of eloquence; more to be desired than gold and fine gold; more to be sought than a great name, or apparent opportunities for large usefulness; of deeper signi ficance than high intellectual attainment, or power of popular influence, is this gift-may God give it to each one of us!—the secret and sweetness of unceasing, prevailing, triumphant prayer for the coming of the Kingdom of the Lord
WE are sure our readers will enjoy the extract from Dr. Faber's paper on Confucianism, read at the Parliament of Religions. We un
derstand that Dr. Faber has not yet received from the officials of the Parliament his copy of the paper, which was left in Chicago, but we are glad to hear he is enlarging his notes for future fuller publication in China.
AT a recent conference of the Shanghai missionaries a very interesting and able paper was read by one of the lady members on footbinding, followed by debate, in which it appeared that the gentlemen were somewhat at fault for their lack of interest and influence in this very important matter. Many are apt to excuse themselves by saying that "the time is not yet," and imagine that so many more important matters are first to be attended to, that this cruel and heathenish custom is allowed to go almost unrebuked. It was shown, however, that much may be done by early beginning and persistent effort, and that when a healthy Christian sentiment is created and steadily fostered, and especially where there is combined effort on the part of several missions, much may be accomplished. With the Chinese woman it is no doubt a difficult matter to decide to allow her daughter's feet to grow naturally, or to unbind her own if they have been bound; and she needs all the help which the Church and an enlightened understanding of the sinfulness of the custom can afford, to enable her to break away from what many have regarded but as a Chinese kuei kü. And in this there is little doubt but that the initiative must be taken by the foreigner.
In this connection, too, we might mention the growing interest there is on the part of some of the native brethren in the matter of wine and tobacco. Perhaps in neither of these have we been as outspoken as we ought. But it has been abundantly demonstrated that the native pastors and helpers are quick to see
and ready to admit the evils of both. Probably but very few missionaries use wine (personally we do not know of one that does), but alas, one is occasionally found who does use the weed, and he is sure to be pointed out by the pro-tobacconists, and his influence is not small. But recently we heard of a native brother, who has long since given up his wine and tobacco, and who is using all his influence against both, lament the example of a much respected foreign brother whom he had, to his own astonishment and grief, seen with a cigar in his mouth! Verbum Sap. It will be said that these are small matters. Admitting so much, we are nevertheless doing foundation work, and if we desire to see the future Church in China pure, clean and strong, now is the time to begin with these matters.
MUCH interest centres round the Royal Commission appointed to visit India with a view to examining the opium question and report to Parliament. The Committee as constituted consisted of Lord Brassey, the Chairman, 2 Indian Officials, 2 Natives of India, 2 Anti-opium Representatives, 1 Independent Medical Man and 1 Independent (Conservative). Says the Friend of China (the organ of the Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade): "All that we have seen of these members of the Commission who have attended its sittings in London and all that we hear of the two native members of the Commission, leads us to believe that the Commission is as fair-minded and impartial a tribunal as we could have desired to hear our case.
The Rev. Y. K. Yen, of Shanghai, of the American Episcopal Mission, has been telegraphed for to go to London and give his testimony, and ere this reaches our readers will probably be on his way. The British government has at last been com pelled by the pressure of public
opinion, which seems to have been thoroughly aroused, to take up the matter; and while it is perhaps too much to hope that British connection with the opium traffic with China will be broken immediately, yet we believe a long step forward has been taken. It behooves the missionaries of China to redouble their prayers in this important matter, and beseech God to grant them deliverance from the stigma of offering salvation with one hand while with the other they hold out the opium.
In looking over the testimony given before the commission it is interesting to read that " one of the witnes ses with regard to opium in
China was not a missionary but a merchant, Mr. Donald Matheson, who resided for ten or twelve years in China, in connection with the firm of Jardine, Matheson & Co., and during the latter portion of that time was a partner in the firm. Very simply and unaffectedly did he tell the Commission how his conscience made it impossible for him any longer to remain in a business, the profits of which were mainly derived from the degradation of the Chinese people. He renounced his position in that business, and is to this day a comparatively poor man, because of these conscientious objections."
THE SHANTUNG MISSIONARY CONFERENCE AT CHINGCHOW FU.
A conference of missionaries in Shantung was held in Chingchow Fu, November 11th to 15th. conference was appointed to meet on Saturday, the 11th, but on account of a storm on Friday most of the members were delayed, and the conference was not formally opened till Monday. There were forty-one members present, including representatives from the English Baptist Mission at Chingchow Fu and Choping, from the American Presbyterian Mission at Chefoo, Tungchow, Wei-hien, Ichow Fu and Chinan Fu, of the Wesleyan Methodists at Lao-ling, of the American Board at P'ang-chwang and Ling-ching, of the Canadian Presbyterian Mission in Honan bordering on Shantung, and of the China Inland Mission at Chefoo and Ning-hai. The only mission in the province unrepesented was the S. P. G. Mission at Tai-an Fu.
The conference was formally
opened by electing Dr. H. D. Porter, of P'ang-chwang, chairman and Rev. E. P. Bruce, secretary. At the first session a paper was read by Rev. A. G. Jones on the Poverty of Shantung and its Remedy, which showed a large amount of thought and research. This very able paper will, it is hoped, be printed in the RECORDER. Rev. W. P. Chalfant, recently gone to the U. S., sent a paper on the same subject, which was read by Rev. W. O. Elterich. The Attitude of the Native Church to the Government was presented in a paper prepared by Dr. Nevius, which he had expected to be present to read. was read for him by Rev. George Cornwell. In view of Dr. Nevius' sudden death on the eve of his starting to the conference, and of the fact that he was the oldest missionary in the province, a memorial service was held, at which a number of short addresses were made. The following minute was also adopted :--"Resolved that the
Missionary Conference assembled at Ching-chow Fu desire to express our sense of the great loss we and the mission work in Shantung have sustained in the sad death of Rev. J. L. Nevius, D.D.; this sense of loss being emphasized by the fact that he had prepared a paper for the conference and was expecting to be present to read it.
His sudden death, while it recalls the memory of his many excellencies, has cast a shadow over all our meetings. It is a pleasure to testify on this occasion our high appreciation of the wisdom, gentleness and untiring devotion of our deceased brother.
We desire to tender to Mrs. Nevius our deepest and warmest sympathy and join in earnest prayer to our Heavenly Father that that full she may experience
strength and comfort wherewith God's children are comforted of Him."
The subject of theological instruction was considered in a suggestive and thoughtful paper by Rev. J. S. Whitewright, and was also discussed at some length. A paper was to have been presented on Boys' Schools, but it did not come to hand. Rev. R. M. Mateer prepared a vigorous paper on Girls' Schools, but was prevented by sickness from attending the conference. His paper was read by Mrs. C. W. Mateer. A session was given to Medical Work, papers being read by Dr. H. D. Porter and Dr. J. R. Watson. Evangelistic work was fully and ably presented in papers by Rev. C. H. Judd and Rev. J. Murray. Self-support was taken up, and in the absence of papers, which were to have been read, was discussed by representative men from each of the missions present. Work amongst the women failed of a paper, but was discussed at some length, especially by the ladies present.
The utmost harmony prevailed throughout all the discussions, which were uniformly thoughtful and earnest. Many ideas were compared and exchanged, and it is safe to say that none who were present went away without feeling that they had learned many useful and important things pertaining to missionary work. The meetings were held in the new buildings of the Theological and Normal School, under the care of Rev. J. S. Whitewright. On Sabbath day a new Church building, erected for the use of the Chinese congregation in Chingchow Fu, was formally dedicated to the worship of God, the dedication sermon being preached by the writer. The conference was entertained in royal style by the members of the Baptist Mission at Ching-chow Fu. C. W. M.
-Rev. J. B. Ost writes: I am sorry to say we are meeting with opposition on the part of the Chuki mandarin to our building and residing in the city at Chü-ki. He has imprisoned the man who sold us the land, and is now trying to stir up the natives to oppose us. Hitherto the natives have been more friendly and I hope his influence will not be sufficient to change their attitude towards us.
We are enjoying lovely weather now, and I trust you too at Shanghai are having bright and cool days.
-At the annual meeting of the American Presbyterian Mission of Shantung, on Nov. 9th, the following resolution was adopted respecting Dr. Nevius, who recently died at Chefoo:
"In the sudden death of the Rev. John L. Nevius, D.D., Oct. 19th, 1893, the Church has lost a faithful and able minister, whose abundant labors God has crowned with remarkable success.
His scholarly attainments in both the written and spoken language of China, his intimate knowledge of the people, his earnest and winning manner, added to an experience of forty years of active and efficient service as a missionary, made him a tower of strength. As individuals and as a mission we shall greatly miss his wise counsel, his large-hearted charity and hearty cooperation in all united efforts to save the perishing and help the needy.
We regard his life as a precious legacy which loudly calls upon all for self-sacrifice and earnest devotion to the cause of Christ, and beckons us to the field of conflict and victory.
We bless God for the gifts, the culture, the consecration and earnest life of our departed brother and for all that he did. While we mourn his loss we are comforted in the assurance that "they that be wise shall shine as
the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
We extend to Mrs. Nevius our heartfelt sympathy and pray that she may be sustained by the abiding sense of the Saviour's love and compassion."
-Dr. Corbett writes: Shantung Presbytery voted in favor of the
severance of the ecclesiastical con
nection with the home Church with
a view of union with the various Presbyterian Churches in China. During the past year 355 members were added, making a total of 3797 connected with our Presbytery. The work is full of hope and promise. I have since my return from America been permitted to receive 61 to the Church on profession of faith, making a total for the year of 104. 41 children have been baptized.
Diary of Events in the Far East.
Tientsin advices report the successful inauguration of the new medical school recently erected and endowed by the Viceroy Li. This urgently needed complement to the hospital so admirably founded and carried on by the late Dr. Kenneth McKenzie makes a new departure in Chinese education. Sir Andrew Clark, before his death, nominated Mr. Hewston, of King College Hospital, London, to the appointment of medical superintendent of the school. gentleman will arrive in the spring, and the establishment of the various clinics, laboratories, etc., will be deferred till that time. Meanwhile the twenty-one students enlisted in Foochow and Shanghai by Dr. Kin will be put through a preparatory course of chemistry, physics, etc. The Viceroy delegated the Haikuan Taotai to represent him at the opening ceremony on Wednesday. His Excellency, after a thorough inspection of hospital and school, personally inter
viewed the students and gave them a few words of encouragement; he seemed profoundly interested and impressed by all he saw. The school has been erected under the observation of Dr. Irwin, whose keen professional sympathy and high skill are doubtless great factors in the Viceroy's continued interest in medical progress in China.
5th A London telegram says that the Protocol arranging for a Siamese buffer State has been signed by the English and French. The Delimitation Commissioners will start soon for the scene of their duties.
-Two Chinese officials with a number of followers recently arrived at Bhamo by invitation to discuss certain points in connection with the frontier with local officers and the Chinese adviser. Arrangements are being made for them to visit certain points in the Kachin Hills in company with the British officers with a view to identifying them, if possible, with places mentioned in the Chinese annals.