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legend of the lunar cassia tree appears first in the T'ang dynasty, and apparently came also from India. In the Sung dynasty, the solo tree (shorea robusta) one of the Buddhist sacred trees, was said to be identical with the cassia tree in the moon. The rabbit is pictured as standing perpendicularly at the foot of this tree, pounding drugs with his pestle and mortar for the genii. This tree is said to be especially visible at mid-autumn, and hence, to take a degree at the examinations which are held at this period, is described as plucking a leaf from the cassia, cho-kwei-yeh. A tradition has been preserved in a work of the T'ang dynasty that one Wu-kang, who was an adept in the arts of the genii, and who, having committed an offence against the supernal powers, was banished to the moon and condemned to labour in hewing down the cassia tree. As fast as he dealt blows with his axe, the trunk of the tree closed again after the incision. There is, too, at the present day a very common expression Wu-kang-sieu-yueh-Wu-kang repairing the moon—the story out of which it has arisen running, that on one occasion he had a dream in which he was engaged in the above employment; on relating it to a friend, he pronounced the omen a good one, and that it meant he would succeed at the examinations, which it is said he did; hence the application of the expression to scholars going up for the degree yueh-fu and sieu-yueh meaning the candidate is taking the lunar axe and repairing the moon. There is another tree called chien, or yao-wang, or tree of the king of drugs, said to grow in the moon. The result of eating of its leaves is that tho bodies of the genii become pellucid. The Buddhist books speak of a tree possessed of such magic virtues that whoever smells, touches or tastes it, is immediately healed of all diseases. High medicinal virtues are attributed by the early physicians to the leaves and bark of the cassia tree. Cassia buds according to Porter Smith are recommended in the Pen-tsao for certain eczematous affections behind the ears called moon sores, which are supposed to be caused by lunar influence. Pieces of cassia bark are sometimes worn at the present day as prophylactic against noxious odours.
Inside the moon there is a pavilion, called Kwang-han-kung (Great cold palace) in evident antithesis to the heat of the sun, also delineated in our drawing. Inside the pavilion there is supposed to be a beautiful woman called Chang-ngo or Heng-ngo, the wife of Hou-i, a celebrated archer in the service of the Emperor Yao, B.c. 2357. Tradition says that he shot arrows into the sky to deliver the moon, during her eclipse. His wife stole the elixir of immortality from her husband which had been given to him by Hsi-wang-mu (Western Royal mother) and fled to the moon and took refuge in this palace and was turned into a frog or toad (c'han-chu), the outline of which is traced on the moon's surface. The c'han-c'hu is said by the Chinese to have three legs, the frog four. The moon is metaphorically referred to as C'han and Kwei-kung, the frog and cassia palace, from the legends referred to above. Chinese and Indian legends agree strikingly together with regard to the creatures which are said to inhabit the moon. The second character in chan-c'hu, being also read tu for rabbit, some confusion has arisen. The expression “old man of the moon ” finds its counterpart also in Chinese. Yueh-lau, identical in meaning with our expression, is reputed to influence matrimonial relations, and to tie together with an invisible red cord, infants who are destined to be joined in wedlock. Thus we have the expression “Matches are made in Heaven and the bond of fate is forecast in the moon.” The Chinese mei-jen, or matrimonial go-betweens, are, from this circumstance, frequently called yueh-lau.
HANGCHOW MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION.
By G. W. PAINTER, HANGCHOW.
the three hottest months of each year, this body still lives and preserves its youth. It assembles on the Tuesday nearest each full moon; nor does the interest manifested by its members seem to have diminished in the least. Two things, doubtless, have helped to keep up this interest, aside from the benefit we there derive from a critical study of the religious literature abroad in the land, both Christian and heathen: one is, it gives play to that critical cross-fire in which missionaries as a class are wont to indulge; and, second, it is a great thing for this community, from a social point of view. On these occasions all don their best“ bibs and tuckers,” and we take a social tea togetherto strengthen us for the fray, no doubt. How this meal compares with the “eastern luxury,” to be seen in the treaty ports, is left to conjecture; suffice it to say, it is a noticeable fact, that the most literary among us partake with a relish ; which proves to us that high attainments in culinary skill does not necessarily dwarf the mind of woman; for be it known that our ladies contribute their full quota to the intellectual feast which follows this knife-and-fork exercise.
The object of this communication, however, is to call the attention of the missionary public to a tract which was translated some months since by this Association. The title is Teh-hwei shih-men in 19. This title, though variously rendered, probably means—The Entranceway to Wisdom-i.e. taking wisdom in its Scriptural sense. This tract was prepared, under the auspices of the IIankow Tract Society, for
distribution among the scholars who assemble triennially at Wuchang. In style it is vigorous, animated and forcible. It is polite and conciliatory, and yet bold and fearless in attack. (See e.g. the mode in which it deals with the imperial blasphemy of deifying). While quite scholarly, it is remarkably free from that species of pedantry which is wont to show itself in complicated sentences. Many, not ranked as scholars, can read it intelligently. It is certainly admirably adapted to the end for which it was written, and those members of our body who have been here from the first, pronounce it, all things considered, the best tract yet translated by us.
The general plan of the book, consists of (a.) An Apologetio Introduction. This consists of a manly challenge to compare Western civilization and scholarship with Eastern, calls attention to the charitable institutions, educational advantages, and material civilization of the West; and bespeaks a fair hearing for the missionary both on account of his benevolent motives and general good character. (6.) Two chapters on Cosmogony follow the Introduction in which the author shows up, in a masterly and conclusive manner, the absurdity of tho native notions on that subject. (c.) Next come three chapters on Cosmology; in which the elementary substances in their combination, the laws of motion among the heavenly bodies, together with the evident marks of design in all things great and small, are shown to manifest the benevolence, wisdom, handiwork and glory of God, as well as give strong testimony to His unity. (cl.) Then follow twelve chapters containing clear and comprehensive statements of most of the fundamental doctrines of revealed religion. Below will be found however a number of points which were criticised adversely by one or more members of our body. They are given to the public for what they may be deemed worth, with the hope that they may be of use to the author in perfecting what some of his brethren, after critical scrutiny, pronounce to be a most excellent tract. The criticisms are classed under four heads, of these, the last i.e. the one containing a list of Omissions, is the one demanding most attention.
The references are to the Shanghai edition. The letters z and y denote respectively the upper and lower sides of the leaves.
(a.) Statements considered doubtful.-(1.) Is it fair to refer all material civilization and charitable institutions directly to Christianity as on p. 2 27? (2.) Is what is stated on p. 4 y 7, 8, 9 fact or mere theory? (3.) Whence the knowledge that earth is to be changed to heaven, p. 25 y 2. (4.) Are there 200 kingdoms, properly so called ? p. 27 y 12.
(6.) Erroneous Statements—so considered.-(1.) Whence the proof that the Vu-gyih (ie tais), and T'ai-gyik (* ) of Chinese Cosmogony is
the same as the chaos of Scripture? (2.) If the statement on p. 15 y 3 be true, then man is not saved by grace. How is it that the fallen angels were not provided for? (3.) We question if the statement on p. 5 z 3, 4 be supported by Natural Science. (4.) We find no Scriptural proof of the Private Judgement, p. 26 z 3. (5.) Yin-kyien means the state of the dead, Hades,-cannot include heaven-possibly not hell either (so at least our teachers say), p. 26: 1. (6.) Who can affirm that the Chinese once all knew and worshipped God ? 27 y 8.
(c.) Statements of thought best left out.-(1.) Extravagant statements in praise of missionary virtues, scholarship, &c., p. 1 z 10. (2.) Illustration on p. 15 requires a double meaning of to save in lines 5 and 6 z in order to avoid the charge of being untrue. (2.) Omit the figures giving the distances to fixed stars till the nation is better posted in astronomy—the teachers do not believe them. (4.) The quotation from “The Doctrine of the Mean,” specially the T'și-veh ( 4), was found to teach pure pantheism to some of our teachers, p. 10 y 13. (5.) The same quotation taken together with the illustrations in connexion with the doctrine of the Trinity on p. 11, gives a materialistic ring to this part of the tract, which is not pleasant; especially as it seems to be too satisfactory an explanation to our teachers, of a doctrine which is really incomprehensible, line 1 y. (6.) The illustrations on p. 27, z 13, while good, were thought by some natives to prove too much i.e. by admitting the truth of the stories told.
(a.) Errors of defect.—(1.) Surely the doctrine of the Resurrection of the body deserves more space than it gets, viz., one line on p. 26 z 5. That this part of man is to appear in judgement with the soul, is ignored on p. 17, y 10, 11. (2.) Faith, so difficult to explain to a Chinaman, only has three and a half lines devoted to it, p. 18. (3.). Sin and its nature only gets seven lines, p. 12, and yet it is a subject on which the natives have most erroneous views, needing correction. (4.) The general judgement too, is meagerly treated. In fact, a good number of us felt that the author showed a little weariness in the latter half of the tract, which was natural as the work grew. This however might be easily corrected by revision. When this revision takes place, it is hoped a further improvement will be made, by adding marginal headings.
While attention is thus called to quite a number of points which are considered worthy of correction, still, even without these corrections, we would most heartily recommend the tract, as it is, to all our brethren, and venture to suggest to those in reach of the various provincial capitals, that they make special efforts to distribute it among the scholars who periodically assemble at these centres. This will accord with the excellent plan of the author.
THE CUSTOMS OPIUM-SMOKING RETURNS.
By J. Dungeon, M.D. THE Inspector-General of Customs has laid us all under great
obligation by the publication of important papers on various subjects relating to China, which come more or less under the cognisance of his department, chief among which has been the special, important and interesting work on Silk; another equally important one is on the all-absorbing and increasingly interesting subject of Opium, both recently published. A small brochure on opium, issued in 1864, and now rare, if not altogether out of print, has been wisely incorporated with the present publication. Among other important issues from the Customs' Press, probably the most important of all, if not in a commercial, at least in a scientific, point of view, has been the Half-Yearly Medical Reports by the surgeons to the Customs at the various ports, which are quoted largely and regularly in the home medical journals, and which have already become a rich storehouse of medical and climatic information regarding China. Our present object is a review of the pamphlet on Opium. A very useful and well-executed map of the Treaty ports accompanies the work. The object aimed at by the Circular addressed to some twenty Commissioners of Customs, has been to arrive at an answer to the question, “How many smokers does the foreign drug supply.” This necessarily limits the consideration of this many-sided question. The object of the circular is elsewhere more correctly expressed by "Enquiries concerning the Consumption of Opium.” There are various ways of looking at the question. There is, for example, the side of revenue; there is the purely commercial view; and there is the moral and physical, or medical aspect. There is now waging such a conflict of views about the use of opium, the effects observed in health and disease, and the origin of the native drug, with the question of its “moderate” use, and the percentage of smokers among the population, that it is high time the subject were investigated, the evidence sifted, untenable views discarded and the sober truth arrived at. The present publication comes to our help regarding some of these points. We could have wished for further and more extended information regarding a number of other points, which the Commissioners of Customs are in an excellent position to procure. We notice the absence of one pregnant question, regarding which correct information is sadly needed, viz., the origin of the native cultivation of the poppy in the provinces in which the respective ports are situated. The Customs' surgeons might have been asked to give their unbiassed opinion in the elucidation of the general enquiry, and to them such