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language, to be used not only by the people of this populous empire but also by the nations contiguous to China. To compel the reconstructed states to speak all alike was too much of a task, even for the first Huang Ti; that achievement was left to the Manchus who, compelling uniformity in the cut of the hair, have by their law that all the mandarins shall speak the court-dialect, [been doing the work which Ch'in Shih-huang left undone. So the great scheme of preparation is not wholly completed yet. A thousand years are as one day. The mills of God grind slowly, but they are just as effective as though the work was accomplished in the little day of a man's life. Perhaps no writer on the preparation of the world for Christianity neglects to mention and emphasize the conquests of Alexander the Great as one great element in that preparation. His victories spread the Greek language over the then known world and created this noble chariot for the conveyance of Christian truth. How similar the providential indication in China. In Africa or the islands of the sea the labors of a life-time in translation or composition extend only to a few thousand people. The progress of a single generation might render nugatory all their efforts. In China the case is different. One writes not only for the present numbered millions but for generations yet unborn. Matthew Ricci is, perhaps, more read to-day than two hundred years ago. Perhaps God, having completed the preparation, will raise up men who will prepare Christian classics to take the place of the old, like Judson's translation of the Bible into Burmese or Goodell's sermons in the Turkish language. Then what a field opens before such a writer ! A reading nation and a desirable literature become welded together as husband and wife, and nothing can separate them.

To the student of Chinese history it is clear that the progress of occidental countries and the problems which they have had to work out have been different from those of the Orient. These problems are as unlike as the native dispositions of the people. Philosophically, the nations of the West reached their high water in Aristotle, and that "mighty Stagyrite" ruled the world of thought for more than a millennium and a half. If the development of a system of thought was the aim of the one, the greater aim was that of the eastthe production and development of man. In the one the idea was. realized in a school, in the other in a state. Separated by mountains on the west, broad deserts on the north, seas on the east and hostile tribes on the south, China was shut up to her own ideas and peculiar culture. We can see as much reason for the delay of 4000 years before the Christ was given to the Occident as we can for the longer probation of 2000 years for the Chinese; or in other words, 2000 years more were needed to work out or wear out the old problems

in China than were needed in the west. When Christ came the old systems of religion were worn out and people were reaching out after something better. The Romans had entered on a course of fatal degeneracy from the time of their first intercourse with Greece. "Greece learned from Rome her cold-blooded cruelty; Rome learned from Greece her voluptuous corruption." The upper classes were destitute of faith, but terrified at scepticism. They had long since learned to treat the current mythology as a mass of worthless fables, scarcely amusing enough for a school-boy's laughter, but they were the ready dupes of every wandering quack who chose to assume the character of a Mathematicus or a Mage. 'Their real religion," says a recent historian, "was a vague and credulous fatalism which disbelieved in the existence of the gods, or held with Epicurus that they were careless of mankind. All men joined in the confession that the oracles were dumb. It hardly needed the wail of mingled lamentations as of departing deities which swept over the astonished crew of the vessel of Palodes to assure the world that the reign of the gods of Hellas was overthat great Pan was dead. The culmination of the whole fearful and decaying system of Occidental religion was an emperor raised to the dismal pinnacle of autocracy, yet conscious that his life hung by a thread; an emperor who, in the terrible phrase of Gibbon, was at once a priest, an atheist and a god.' The Western mind was prepared for the reception of a better and purer faith by the fact that all their religious teaching could culminate in was a Nero on the throne and a Venus in the temple." Christ providentially arrived at the desired moment, desired by men as the rapid progress of Christianity proved. Within two hundred years Christianity was preached throughout the then known world. An all-knowing God ordered otherwise with regard to China. Here the historical idea was different. Three religions, or philosophies, were struggling side by side for supremacy. Confucianism was persecuted under the dynasty of the first emperor, and Taoism and Buddhism have alternately persecuted each the other, each in its turn seating its own disciples upon the throne of the empire. By this very existence of three forms of thought the Chinese have learned toleration for other religions, and the long life of Buddhism has at least taught us that a foreign religion can take root in this empire. The Confucian philosophy set out to regulate society and, by creating harmony between all classes, to develop the ideal state, and in that state to produce the Ideal Man. While we use the word ideal all will acknowledge that the end of Confucian ethics is material in the extreme, never reaching out to the supernatural but developing a mere religion of humanity, and that not for man

in general but only for a favored few. However much we may descry the weakness of this system it is yet true, we believe, that Chinese civilization is better, and more stable than that ever attained by Greece or Rome. Their government has been more humane, and the people, as a whole, more happy and contented. While Europe was wrapped in social and intellectual darkness the Chinese had the most civilized government on the globe. One reason doubtless for the failure of the Nestorian mission was the fact that, while teaching a superior doctrine, they did not represent a civilization equal to that of the people whom they assumed to teach. They were not equal to the Chinese in social manners and the amenities of civilized life. They could do but little for this people, and their light went out in utter darkness. The time was not yet ripe. God was engaged in preparing nations which should represent more or less completely the ripened and natural fruits of Christianity. Not only was the time not ripe in a material point of view, more years of history were needed to prove the inefficacy of Confucian ethics to produce the Superior Man. More time was required to show the emptiness of Taoist and Buddhist pretensions. Centuries were added not only to show the Chinese but the world. that the unaided intellect and heart of man could go so far and no farther in spiritual development. China has been called a case of "arrested development." But what arrested it? Nothing but the natural limitations of man's mind. The question may be vainly asked, having gone so far why did they not go on? The answer is plain, they could not. Man needed something beyond and above the light of nature. He needed the enrichment of the divine presence. The millenniums were needed to bring about this result. God in His providence wanted to create in this hoary empire an argument against atheism and naturalism, which was unanswerable. We think this has been done. The difference between Western nations and China is not in original endowment (for no one will deny to the Chinese great ability) but in the cross of Christ. Their history gives the lie to all the boasted pretensions of man and proves every theory of human improvement without a supernatural revelation to be foolish and utopian.

The atheistic writers of modern Europe have asserted that the natural progress of the human mind is toward unity in religious belief. Man starts with many gods, the personified powers of nature, and gradually evolves the doctrine of the unity of nature, and from this unity eliminates personality. But in China we find their theories to be absolutely false, for the longer the history the more numerous the gods. In the earliest Chinese literature we find distinct traces of monetheism-the "crowd" of spirits being secondary

and subordinate to the one Supreme Ruler. But now it is gods many and temples, each god being supreme in his little sphere-the exact reverse of the statement of these would-be philosophers. Here then we think we can find a reason, or an indication why Providence has preserved China as He has, given her the history that He has, taught her these lessons, that here in this nineteenth century men can see and know the fallacy and impotency of mere human reasonings, the natural limitations of the human mind, view the grandest argument against naturalism and find the strongest inducement to believe in the one God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Carefully scanning Chinese history we see that it has moved forward in spiral form; one revolution, political, succeeding one religious or philosophical. Just before Ch'in Shih-huang there was a period of great intellectual activity, following the impulse given by Confucius and his disciples. Succeeding this there was a great political upheaval, resulting in the overthrow of feudalism and the establishment of the Chinese government. Then followed an age of careful inspection of the classics, as the native scholars tried to settle the exact text of the ancient books. Progress is recorded here in the way of writing; leaves, bamboo slips and wood giving way to silk paper. Following the great stirring up during the period of the Three Kingdoms-Wang Mang, Ts'ao Ts'ao, Liu Pei and Yuan Sheo taking the place in the minds of the people of their intellectual idols-wars ceased, the arts of peace flourished, architecture was cultivated; and under the Tang we find the great poets of China-Li Tai-po, Tu Fu and others; then followed, under the Sung, the philosophical period when Chu Fu-tzu and Cheng Tsu distinguished themselves by what has been rightly called "the penetrating subtlety and daring freedom of their in'quiries." Political convulsions followed: the coming of the Mongol and his speedy overthrow and the establishment of the Ming. There has been little originality in the writers of the last two dynasties, rather a spending of their intellectual force in criticising favorably or unfavorably the writings of their predecessors and a straining after expression and elegance in composition. What a providence, we may well exclaim, that Protestant Christianity has reached China during this the comparatively quiescent period of the Chinese mind. Its history has taught the people and government moderation, toleration, and some of the true principles of criticism. Hence we can find a great scholar and statesman like Tsêng Kuo-fan advocating the full toleration of Christianity, drawing arguments from Chinese national history for giving new ideas a fair hearing. These changes and upheavals in Chinese society, these periods of intellectual awakening and decline, have been

necessary to prepare the people for the seed of the kingdom invisible and eternal.

Is there no providence in the fact that the reigning dynasty is a foreign one, having to deal more humanely with the people than a native dynasty, and having behind it few of the traditions of three thousand years of history? While not professing political insight we think it is clear that the real enemies of progress are not found among the Manchus but the Chinese officials; that the great Viceroy of the north, who has posed so long as the friend of progress, is after all a self-seeker first and foremost, and obstructs more than he advances the genuine development of the people. The Manchus are better organizers than the Chinese. They have shown their ability by the fact that a small handful of men have held this great empire in their grasp for more than two centuries and stand to-day stronger than ever. What emperors of the past ever equalled K'ang Hsi or Chien Lung, or left such improvements behind them? What better man, or more loyal to the best interests of the people, ever sat upon the throne than Tao Kuang? Can we not hope that the present emperor who, without force or compulsion, granted the main points of the Audience Question, the contention of decades, will be equal to still greater things? His father stood quietly as the leader of the progressive party in the empire and the son has not lacked good advice. His taking away was a serious loss to the cause of progress. Was not, then, General Gordon a providential agent raised up to preserve this dynasty and not allow a narrow, non-progressive Chinaman to come to the throne? While all believe that only a mighty force can move this empire, so that the people in any wise shall be able to improve their opportunities, yet we think enough has been said to show that the Chinese can move and have moved. Those who think that there is no hope but in foreign armaments, a dismemberment of the empire, and division among the great powers, are impatient and pessimistic. Peace will do more than war in the opening of the country, and God, in His providence, has brought a combination of affairs and a state of society and a condition of mind as hopeful for the propagation of His faith and the uplifting of this people as we could well desire. It is for the Christian Church to seize the providential moment, enter in and complete the conquest.

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