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AND MISSIONARY JOURNAL
Published Monthly by the American Presbyterian Mission Press, 18 Peking Road, Shanghai, China
Editor-in-chief: Rev. G. F. FITCH, D.D.
Associate Editors: Rev. W. N. BITTON and Rev. D. W. LYON.
IN wishing for our many friends in China and abroad a Glad New Year, we would recall with thanksgiving the numerous instances of goodwill and encouragement Greetings. which the editorial management of the RECORDER has met with on all sides in its effort to voice missionary opinion and to lead missionary thought in China during the past year.
When it is remembered that this magazine is and must be almost entirely dependent upon the voluntary efforts of members of the missionary body for its material, it becomes a matter for sincere congratulation that so many of the leaders of missionary enterprise, the busiest amongst us, are found willing to spend time and effort to assist in making the work of the RECORDER a success.
It may be that in our endeavour to place what we have conceived to be the duty of the hour in the face of the changing circumstances of the time we have somewhat strained the allegiance of a few of our friends, while others among them have, perchance, considered our attitude unduly cautious. Our ideal has been throughout to treat the demands of the day from the standpoint of eternal truth as it is made known to men in the Christian Gospel and to bring within our view not a partial, but a whole view of the duty of the missionary of the Cross in relation to every need of this great people. We have striven to make the RECORDER both informing and educative, and we trust not to have wholly failed in this attempt.
With this message of thanks we note the hopefulness of the situation. Signs of the dawning of the day are all around us. The note of the year is optimism. The best is yet to be.
and the Church.”
WE are hopeful that under the new régime in Peking the claims of complete religious toleration will be recognized. The Christian church in China desires for itself The Outlook. no more than this; full liberty to carry on its work of renewing the heart and mind of the nation by bringing the influence of the Gospel of God to bear upon the needs of its people. The Chinese government should begin to realize that the Protestant missionary propaganda claims no special political or social prerogative, either for its workers or its adherents, than that which by common consent civilized law affords to all workers for moral and religious well-being. And on the same ground it asks that no unnecessary obstacles shall be set in the way of its progress since all its aims are toward the uplift of the nation.
To assist in the accomplishment of this coming important reform and to strengthen the claim of the church in its favour by a quiet and persistent following up of missionaries' work as a spiritual and philanthropic agency and by a steady refusal to interfere in all matters lying outside the acknowledged sphere of missionary effort, is the plain duty of all Christian workers. Much suspicion of the ideals and motives of the foreign missionary has, we believe, been allayed during the past year, but a a good deal remains to be done. Every missionary in the land, by the exercise of firmness, courtesy, and tact has his part to do in the forwarding of the claim for effective religious toleration.
ALL who have given attention to the subject will agree that something more than has yet been attempted, should be
The Outlook. "The Church and the Scholar.”
done to win the scholars of China for Christ. It would be well if this year saw special efforts initiated with this end in view. In past years the church has not contained within itself the necessary constituent for an aggressive work of this kind, but if a generation of educational work counts for anything, that condition of weakness ought no longer to exist.
MAY 31028 BarWaldorf
Is the missionary policy of to-day making a sufficient use of the scholarship it possesses? Is Chinese genius encouraged to think and work along its own lines to the end above stated, or is it still made too subservient to the foreign point of view? Are we sufficiently willing to place the resources of the missions at the service of the best Chinese talent? In a word, is it not one of our weaknesses that the mission polity in China to-day is too little concerned with the right use of the material which the Chinese scholar could provide if he were rightly encouraged, but sees very little further than the foreign worker? We suggest that this year should be marked by a far greater increase in the use of the Christian Chinese scholar in literature, in teaching, and in evangelism! The church in China is not likely to get the Paul it prays for until it finds grace sufficient to provide a field for his effort. The missionary must have more fellow-workers and fewer employees ere the church can render its most effective service.
WHAT is to be the attitude of missions in China towards the elementary education of the empire? This year is likely to see enormous strides forward taken by the nation in regard to a national school system. Let it be at once granted that missions cannot, and never will be able to, overtake the problem of elementary education. At the best they can but touch the fringe of it. How then may they best assist this cause and at the same time forward the interests of Christ's kingdom?
Knowing the real cause of the educational weakness of China at this time, namely, a famine of competent teachers, a statesmanlike policy would surely tackle the difficulty at this point and set about the training, under Christian auspices, of thousands of young men and women for the work of elementary teaching. A little truly has been done, but how miserably inadequate to the need it is. Great centres of missionary work are to be found even to-day with no such institution as a 'normal school' known among them; the old time method, which is a parody of education, is still being carried on under missionary auspices. We shall never conquer with such an illfurnished and plan-of-campaignless army. If Christianity is to cast any weight into the elementary educational system of China it must do it by providing the teachers. And the problem will not much longer wait.
New Outlook on Missions at bome.
MR. MORGAN speaks of the changes which are taking place in the aspect of mission work in England, that there is less of the emotional but more of the practical, as the knowledge of the work in mission lands is becoming more general and widespread. Business men, especially, are taking hold as never before. this connection we would mention a circular received from J. Campbell White, General Secretary of the Laymen's Missionary Movement in America, who recently completed a missionary tour of four thousand miles, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, through Canada; the whole series of meetings being planned by the Canadian Council of the Laymen's Missionary Movement. It was interdenominational, and he remarks, "It was the greatest exhibition of church unity ever witnessed in North America. More impressive still, perhaps, was the fact that the bulk of the speaking at all the meetings was done by laymen, over twenty of whom took active part in the work. Several of these men left their business for a period of from two to six weeks each, and at their own expense travelled from Toronto and Montreal as far East as Halifax and Sydney, and West to Vancouver and Victoria, in order to assist in enlisting the men of Canada as backers and advocates of an adequate missionary programme."
The culmination of the campaign is to be a Canadian Laymen's Missionary Congress, to be held in Toronto, March 31st to April 4th, and it is expected that two thousand men from every section of the dominion will be brought together on this occasion to consider and adopt an adequate national missionary policy.
We believe there is great hope in this Laymen's Missionary Movement, for while it has not resulted so far in quite the manner we should like to see it, its gifts having been for special objects rather than the general work of the Boards and Societies, yet increased gifts are certainly coming in, and we believe the good sense of the business men, helped on by the officers of the Societies, will bring about the proper adjustment of the funds contributed.
IN the new aspect of mission work, forced upon the missionaries by the changed and rapidly changing conditions which now obtain in China, conditions which did not exist a few years ago and for which, consequently, they had made no provisions, it is well to impress upon
A Woro of Erbortation.