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attaches to an Oriental father who is childless. So the Miao father is recognized as such by the fact that he can join the name of a child to that which belonged to himself before he attained that dignity and honour. The reason for this is not far to seek, for the student of Oriental customs is well aware that the clan or tribe cannot be sustained without male offspring in the direct line. And upon this hinges an important fact. The son takes the place of the father, closes the eyes of his deceased parent, offers to his manes the ancestral sacrifices, and sustains the dignity of the family name. Thus in Corea, as we are informed by Ross, "when the father dies the son closes the glazed eyes; hence the phrase, noon gam gimda upda—' he has no eye-closer'-equivalent to 'he has no son,"" is applied to persons who die without an heir. Turn to China, and you will find a similar fact. There is a character which is variously represented by the combinations ssu, sz' or taz', meaning (1) to sacrifice (to gods or devils), (2) to sacrifice to ancestors, (3) sacrificers. Now as those who sacrifice to deceased ancestors-a duty the importance of which in Chinese eyes cannot be exaggerated-are the sons or descendants in the male line, the word ssù naturally acquires (4) the meaning of descedants. Thus, instead of saying of a dead man that he has no descendants-using the simple word for child or son-they say k'ümo-tsz' (or I-mao-ssů), “he has no sacrificer." This will lead us to notice the belief entertained in various parts of India in the salvation of a person from the misery of the future through his son. Hence putra 'a son' also means deliverer. Every Hindû thinks it a curse, therefore, to die without leaving male offspring behind. We may here be allowed to digress for a moment, in order that we may watch the result of such beliefs on the customs of the peoples holding them. In China the people resort to many and strange devices to save their male offspring if they find its life threatened. Also if a child has already died means are adopted to secure the rearing of a babe newly born. A Chinese parent once informed me that when his second child was born, the grand-mother took a pair of scales and weighed it; the object being to deceive the god which presides over children into the idea that it was only some worthless animal that had been born. The reason was that the first child had died, and they were consequently anxious to save the second. In other cases parents will call their boys by girls' names, or even call them dog or pig in order that the gods may not regard them, and take them away; for the gods care nothing for animals or girls, boys being their special delight. In India there existed (and may still exist), among a certain tribe, the

Corea, Its History, Manners and Customs, 317.

custom of frequenting the temple of a certain god, where the mother of a family cut off one or more of her fingers in its presence, as a propitiatory sacrifice, to the end that her children might be spared. We will now turn to the study of an entirely different word:

Umbrella versus Sunshade. The Germans wisely distinguish Regenschirm from Sonnenschirm, but it will scarcely be believed that nearly all languages, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, are destitute of a definite word for the former of these German terms, etymologically considered. Our umbrella and parasol, no less than our sunshade, each point originally to the powerful rays of the sun, against which they were used as a protection. Of course when the native word sunshade was introduced (and the same applies to parasol), the word umbrella had come to denote an article employed to protect from the rain. Going eastward from our own native isle, we trace the same thing. The Italians have their ombrella, the French their ombrelle, and the Romans their umbella and umbraculum. We pursue our eastward course and find the Turkish shèmsiyyé also connected with the sun (shèmss), and then turn to India and China to find the same thing. Our word shade in sunshade leads us back along a crooked pathway to the early home of the Aryan family. As we trace it back from our western home we find its trace in the Gothic skadus and the German schatten. The Greek okiá is a first cousiu and okótos a nearer relative still. In India we find the word not only in the Sanskrit ch'attra or chhatra, a 'parasol,' and the related chhầya, but among the Santals, of whom Dr. Hunter has written so ably in his Annals of Rural Bengal, where it is ch'átá, and among the Assamese who speak of their Sátá. We press on to Burmah and find the Htee (the word is variously written), and one more step brings us to the Chinese Ché, and Siamese Chat. So much for the dry, etymological details, now let us turn to another side of the question. An umbrella or parasol is not much to an Englishman; no one looks at it to see what may be the rank of his neighbour or of the gentleman passing in yon carriage. But in the East things are different. If you turn to your Sanskrit you find that the parasol was one of the insignia of a king in the olden time in India. You naturally ask if, amidst all the survivals of ancient customs, one may still find this insignia in existence. In India and China men are tenacious of old customs, and do not easily let them drop; and we still find the parasol or umbrella occupying an inportant place there. Scarcely do you find an illustration representing Eastern officials or royalty, without the presence of an umbrella. Their shape, size, colour, quality and utility differ, but if one will turn to the work on Perak and the Malays he will find opposite p. 297 a group of Perak

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chiefs with the ex-sultan Abdullah, over whose head an attendant is holding an English umbrella. We commend the wisdom of the chief. His official umbrella, of which this is the counterpart, is useless for the purposes of shade, and he has therefore bidden the attendant perform his duty in such a way as to afford him relief. For it must be noted that the official umbrella is of no more service than a star and garter would be as an article of dress. • The umbrella or sunshade of the Malay is the property of the nobler sex, and is generally of some gay colour; while amongst the chiefs it will be of rich silk, and often richly fringed and worked in gold. The use of these protections from the torrid rays is probably borrowed from the Siamese, who are great in umbrellas, many of them being of a very gorgeous kind.” In the Land of the White Elephant, p. 17, the reader will find a further illustration of our subject. On a raised pedestal sits a Burmese Judge, surrounded by his clerks and attendants. One of these is holding a long-handled umbrella unopened beside the judge, thereby indicating his degree and position. Speaking of the Palace at Mandalay the writer says :

“ I strolled into the ‘Hall of Audience' to see the throne. It is a flat raised dais, perhaps eight feet square, richly gilded, and on either side are the white and gold umbrellas, symbols of royalty.IIe adds (p. 52) “It is said that umbrellas were a sign of rank in ancient Nineveh, and they are so esteemed by most Asiatic nations at the present day.” In reference to the colour it should be observed that in China, red (which is the most lucky colour) is regarded as most honourable. Thus when an official goes out to pay a visit he is always attended by an umbrella bearer who may be some distance before his master, though at times the umbrella is actually carried over his person. The shape is most peculiar. It looks like a circular piece of board nailed to the top of the handle, over which the red cloth or silk is fastened, a very heavy fringe falling down all around. The Chinese regard the presentation of an official umbrella as one of the highest proofs of esteem. Officials who have been able to gain the good-will of their people will often receive this mark of respect on leaving their circuit or jurisdiction. In a few cases the mark has been conferred on European officials resident in China, the present being inscribed with the names of the principal subscribers and some laudatory verses, after the manner of the Orientals, expressive of the virtue and good qualities of the recipient. Much more might be said on the subject, but. this will be sufficient to shew that the umbrella of the Eastern, first of all made to screen from the fierce rays of the sun, has now come to be regarded as a very important article ; which, however, has lost much of its utility as it has risen in esteem.

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INCIDENTS CONNECTED WITH BIBLE DISTRIBUTION.

BY REV. J. HUDSON TAYLOR. MUCH UCH attention is being given to the circulation of the Scriptures

in China, as indeed has been the case more or less from the commencement of Christian Missions in this land. I think it would be of value if those who meet with cases of encouragement resulting from such circulation were to publish them in the pages of the Recorder. My impression is that were the known cases of benefit collected together, it would be seen that far more is being effected by this kind of work than some have supposed.

Early encouraged by the Rev. Dr. Medhurst and others to take interest in Bible circulation, I have given a good deal of attention to it since the year 1854. I remember how cheered I was in the year 1856, on coming across an instance where one copy of the New Testament distributed by a missionary companion and myself north of the Yang-tsi-kiang had borne good fruit. A retired mandarin appeared to have been converted through it, and he so thoroughly instructed his personal attendants in the doctrines and general facts of the Gospel as to surprise as well as delight me. He wrote very warmly urging me to make his home the basis of my operations; but before I was able to accept his invitation he was removed by death, and died, as I was told, professing his faith in Christ Jesus. From that time to this cheering cases have not unfrequently come to my knowledge, and probably most missionaries could supply a number of similar instances from their own experience.

The following incidents, which have recently come under my notice, show that Scripture Colportage is far from an unremunerative expenditure of labour, time, and money. As you will see, they come

, from three different provinces, and from places very remote from each other. The first instance I extract from a letter written by Miss Wilson, of IIan-chung Fu, in Shen-si, on August, 22nd :

I went to the hills a short time ago It was good to see how the Lord is leading (Liu),* the mat-maker in his distant home.

He splits his bamboo and reads his Bible, or talks to visitors, at the same time. He baptized four persons whilst I was there : his own Ma,' as he touchingly called his mother, an elderly man, a dear believing boy, the son of believers, and a woman who had borne persecution for Christ's sake. But the very day after her baptism, the last named, under con

# The presidirg elder of a little company of native Christians in Pah-koh-shan, among

the hills, 70 li from Han-chung Fu. Inclusive of those whose baptism is men. tioned here, there are ten or more native Christians at this out-station, the fruits of Mr. Liu's work. No missionary but Miss Wilson, we believe, has ever been in his neighbourhood.

straint of two beatings from her elder brother, offered incense to her ancestors. This so distressed our brother Liu that he could hardly do his work; but one morning he was quite cheerfully working away again, and it proved he had spoken faithfully to her. I think the Lord has given him the heart of a Pastor as well as of an Evangelist; and I rejoice to see the reality of the work in its thus spreading through natives, very little helped by foreigners.

"It was one of the much disapproved portions of Scripture that was the first thing that laid hold of him. He read through Matt., before he went to bed, and afterwards Ho, the teacher, led him to Han-chung Fu. His Buddhistic merit and position were equal to Mr. Ho's, and he often sat cross-legged in contemplation. He also, it seems, burnt his precious and costly papers of merit, as Mr. Ho had previously done, and now as diligently serves Christ as he formerly did Buddha. The second Sunday of my visit we were at his house, and there many camo and went. The Christians brought their rice uncooked, and stayed all day. Liu talked to them in the large guest-chamber; his wife and Mrs. Chéng to the women at the back of the house; and the three Christian boys, with the landlord's grandson, formed another group; until the peach-trees proved a stronger attraction to their boyish tastes. I may say for them that though the landlord's trees are close to this house I never saw the Christian boys help themselves to one peach. Their father's severe vegetarianism had left him rather a hard father and husband; so we must pray that he may be enabled to obey the Word in these relationships. He is willing to see his fault. Do pray that no root of bitterness may be permitted to spring up here, but that the Lord may water this little flock every moment, and keep them night and day. How soon God could spread such churches through the Provinces; and with all their failings they might be purer than some are now, if truly godly natives worked them; as they would not be so much in the dark as we are as to the true character and objects of applicants."

HO-NAN.

A missionary station has recently been opened in the prefectural of Ju-ming by one of our missionaries, Mr. W. H. Hunt. He visited the city, at intervals, several times before renting mission premises there. It had also been visited previously by Messrs. Hy. Taylor and Geo.W.Clarke. No small amount of Christian information has been disseminated in this province. Mr. Hunt recently met with two cases that encouraged him. When preaching one day a gentleman of pleasant countenance seated himself near Mr. Hunt, and after listening for a time remarked that he was satisfied as to the truth of the Christian doctrine, and wished to know more about it. He forthwith surprised Mr. Hunt by asking many interesting and intelligent questions about Adam and Eve, the Flood, &c., as to who was "that disciple whom Jesus loved," where our Saviour was born and of whom; the circumstances of His death and resurrection, &c. Mr. Hunt found on enquiry that he was a native of the city. He had purchased a Gospel and a work on the Bible of him twelve months before. Mr. Hunt assured himself that he was not a seeker after temporary gain, but found him to evince a

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