Puslapio vaizdai

in the third street from the north, and also in the third row from the west wall of the imperial city. The outer city was 18 li and 115 pu from east to west, and 15 li and 175 pu from north to south. It was 67 li in circuit, and the wall was 18 feet high. The ancient Changan was more nearly the size of Peking than of Nanking. The front gate of the imperial city was called # 19 "gate of the red bird,” another name for “south gate,” as the three summer constellations in the zodiac of twelve signs form together the “red bird " in the star naming of the ancient Chinese. In front of this gate there ran southward the street of the red bird for nine li. The chief streets were 100 pu or 600 feet wide. This foot was in fact a span, that is, a very short foot. An attempt to reconcile the long and short foot is found in the modern use of a five feet measure to represent a pu.

The ancient books agree in saying that the pu was six feet.

In the work called Yer Yang Tsa Tsu, written in the ninth century,* the author Twan Cheng-shï, describes many foreign plants and drugs. Whenever he can do so he gives their foreign names in one or two languages. Among the languages to which these words belong are the Persian, the Cambodian, Bali, Magada (this should be the Pali) and Feringa # # (this should be either Greek or Syriac). Thus the fig was, in the T ang dynasty, known not by its present name Wu hua kuo E TË #1, but by its Persian name, having been just introduced from that country. Our author calls it a nit Bus A. But final t was very frequently r in the T'ang dynasty, as the Corean transcription which belonged to that time plainly shows. The pronunciation of the fig as written at Chang-an in the ninth century, would then be a nir which is the Persian word nearly, that being anjir or injir. We may assume that nit a thousand years ago was already beginning to take the form jit or jir. The real sound will then be ajir for that time. He adds that the Feringa or Frank sound was fi ni 底 Ihs. Here the question occurs, who were the Franks in the view of this author ? I answer that he probably received his information from the Nestorians and that they gave him the Syriac name. There does not seem to be any instance of a Greek name among those he mentions. All that can be recognized appear to be Semitic. Thus, this word for fig may be traced in the Syriac tito, Hebrew tena, Arab tinat, pl. tin. Now, if our author had received his information from Mahommedans they would not have called the word a Feringa word. Hence it may be gathered that he received the word from the Nestorians

The author speaks of events for instance in the period Pauli, 825 to 827, and per.

baps of still later matters. Wylie has wrongly referred this book to the eighth century. Mayers says the author died 863.

who would gladly identify themselves with the European race on account of religious considerations. If asked by the Chinese author what the fig was called they would give their own term and it would be understood by him as belonging to that class of people known in Chinese history as Ta tsin or Fu lin, i.e., first the Roman empire in the time of the Heu-han dynasty and afterwards the Greek empire during the subsequent dynasties.

What is now called Mo li hwa, the jasmine or jessamine is in Arabic yas min. The European languages have changed y to j. Our author gives it yas mit. The Persian name he does not mention. It is Ya se min in our dictionaries of that language.

Myrrh is said to be called by the Feringas a c'ha, or a sa. There seems to be no word for this product except myrrh in Arabic or other western languages. But in Persian muful is also found.

The date palm is called Po si tsau "Persian date," the word tsau "jujube" being used for it, just as we usually call the jujube, the "Chinese date." The Persian word for it is said to be khur mang


for khurma. Here however he says nothing of other national designations. Under asafoetida a wei , the author says, the Persians call it a gun. From this it may be concluded that the Chinese name 阿虞. is of Persian origin. He adds that the Feringa priest Wan had made statements respecting it which agreed with those of a Buddhist priest from Magadha whom he had consulted. Hence it may be gathered that the author was personally acquainted with a Syrian monk and a Buddhist monk from Behar on the Ganges. This is not certain, but nothing would be more likely than that when making researches into foreign plants he should inquire of foreigners whom he could meet in the capital. The monk of Fo lin can surely be no other than a Nestorian missionary. This accounts for the circumstance that the names given as belonging to the Fo lin language are more like Syriaċ than Greek. Wan may represent John (or Yohan).

The olive became known in the T'ang dynasty as a Persian plant and as also growing in the Fo lin country. The Persians says our author call it zetun, and the people of Fo hin zethi. The Arabic is zetun. So also is the Persian. The Syriac is zeto, and the Hebrew zayit. Among these forms the Syriac comes the nearest and the word may have been pronounced exactly as it is written in the Syriac Testament.

In the sounds of the Tang dynasty the old initials z, b, d and other sonants must always be used in transcribing, for recognizing foreign names correctly. This I have done in this paper, following the syllabic spelling in Kang Hi's dictionary which is retained in that

work for the purpose of securing the scholar against the deceptiveness of the modern pronunciation.

These facts and others show that the Syrian missionaries were communicators of western knowledge to at least one eminent Chinese author. In the life time of the particular writer here referred to the mission had reached a high state of prosperity. The inscription recording the early planting of the mission two centuries before, the persecution and decay which followed and the restoration of the Christian churches to prosperity in the glorious tiines of Tang-ming-hwang, had already been erected. The missionaries were numerous, happy, hopeful and active. The reign of the empress Wu-t'ai-heu had been disastrous for the mission as it had been for the imperial family. It is her reign that is referred to under the name Cheu in the inscription. That Hiuen Tsung, better known popularly as T'ang-ming-li wang had favoured them was one of the reasons why they enjoyed so much prosperity after his death in A.D. 756, to the date of the inscription781. It was during this time that the eminent general Kwo Tsï-yi had in his camp a Nestorian priest Yi si, when engaged in putting down a formidable rebellion. Yi si was a favourite of the emperor Su Tsung and would not have been sent to the army but for sufficient reasons. In the biography of Kwo Tsï-yi the Weegurs appear on the scene as allies of China. And it was these very Weegurs who were taught to read and write by the Nestorians. The Nestorians had successful missions among them. They were the ancestors of the Turkish tribes that have lately been reconquered by Tso Tsung-t'ang. The reason of Yi si being ordered to the camp was probably then that he might conduct negotiations with the Weegurs in the Turkish lavguage. There might very well be Nestorian priests in the Weegur army. The services of Yi si would also be of great use at a later period when T'ai Tsung was on the throne. On this occasion in A.D. 764 Kwo Tsï-yi was sent to meet an invading force of the Weegurs and the Tibetans combined. He succeeded in detaching the Weegurs from their allies and made them his friends. The Chinese historian attributes this diplomatic success to Kwo Tsï-yi himself. But it may be not improbably conjectured that Yi si was also with him on this occasion as interpreter. With the aid of the Weegurs he defeated the Tu fan marauders from Tibet.

That the emperor Su Tsung was fond of conversing with Yi si throws light on the statements of the Arabian traveller who conversed with a later emperor on Christianity and the Mahommedan religion. It was Eben Wahab who gave the account. He left Bassora in a.d. 898 for China by sea in a Mahommedan ship and reached China in the

reign of Chau Tsung. With this emperor we had the conversation which is reported. The emperor had pictures in the palace, of Mahomet, of Christ, of Noah, of Moses and all the chief prophets. The emperor said to him of Jesus “Here he is on an ass and his apostles with him. He was not long upon earth, seeing that all he did was transacted in the space of somewhat more than thirty months.” The emperor asked him much respecting the Caliphs and their kingdom.

This minute knowledge of western affairs and of Christianity was probably communicated by the Nestorian missionaries. More than a century had passed since the time of Yi si. All this time the Syrian priests had been at the call of the emperors of whom there were no fewer than twelve after Su Tsung. They were able always to give political information in regard to the countries and races where they carried on their missions. With these countries the emperors had constant relations either friendly or hostile. It is no longer surprising that an Arab traveller should find the last monarch of the Tang dynasty well informed on the history and religions of Western Asia.


BY THE HANGCHOW TRACT ASSOCIATION. THIS HIS is a tract in which every missionary in China may claim an

interest. It is put forth as a representative statement of the teachings of the Protestant missionaries in this field. The history of the tract is given in the preface. At the General Conference of missionaries held in Shanghai in 1877, a committee of four gentlemen was appointed to prepare a tract which should set before the Chinese the main principles of the Christian faith, and the motives which actuate the missionaries in their work. The members of this Committee were Dr. Williamson, of Chefoo; Mr. John, of Hankow; and Dr. Yates and Dr. Allen, of Shanghai. These gentlemen prepared each his own part of the tract, and as there are four chapters, we apprehend that each of the gentlemen wrote a chapter. They then united in comparing and revising the parts thus separately made; and at last, putting the chapters together, they formed the tract now before us—"The Rationale of the Christian Religion.”

This tract is, therefore, a joint production. From our knowledge of the authors of the tract, we might expect that their work would show ability; and from our knowledge of the manner in which the tract was

UB Published by the Chinese Religious Tract Society, Shanghai.

compiled, we might expect that their work would show serious defects. And so it is. On laying the tract before Chinese scholars, we find that they praise its literary style. We meet with several passages in it marked by an elevation of thought that is fitted to make a good impression. The statement of the distinction between ecclesiastical authority and civil power, and of their mutual relations, is well put and clear; and we are pleased with the tone of confidence with which the success of the missionary work is predicted. Yet, when we have said this in favor of the tract, we fear that little, if anything, remains for us to commend.

We pass over a certain want of unity and of proper movement in the discussion. It would have been hard to avoid this fault in a book prepared as this has been. But we have to notice at the outset the language by which the tract designates the members of the Missionary Conference. They are called. In Williams' dictionary is given as the equivalent of or, and is translated "celebrated scholar." Now, had the authors of the tract been writing for themselves only, we are sure that they would not have used this phrase. We take it that they had in mind the constituency which they represented, and so thought it proper to use complimentary terms. But, apart from considerations drawn ex gratiâ modestia, we think that it should not be forgotten that whatever scholarship may be found in the missionary body, the missionaries are not here as scholars. Some of the greatest of the early missionaries, such as the Apostles Peter and John, were not scholars. They were arОршлоι dурáμμатoí unlearned men, which is just the opposite of; and while we are far from decrying the advantages of learning, we are bound to say that the missionary who possesses learning must be careful so to use it as not to impede the cause which he seeks to advance. That there is need for this remark, the tract before us furnishes a proof.

The first chapter opens with a discussion of the original elements. of matter, and here the Chinese reader finds himself confronted with a number of terms of which the ordinary Chinese scholar knows nothing-Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Chlorine, Aluminum, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Then follow examples of substances formed by the combination of these elements. Further on we have a statement of the effects of light and heat on these substances. Still further on, there is a discussion of the forces of gravitation and cohesion. Now, all this is no doubt important knowledge, but we submit that it is out of place in a tract whose object is to make clear to the Chinese the principles of religion. The great mass of Chinese readers know almost nothing of science, and to find at the opening of a Christian tract

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