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the Conference, where the language is different and the people and customs seem strange to them. Last year I secured only one man for such work, and he only by earnest personal persuasion. This
three men came to me and volunteered for just such service.
In West China, also, six of our ministers recently offered themselves for work in Thibet, and two were selected and sent by the contributions of the other Chinese pastors, and the aid of a few missionaries, to Batang, where they have learned the language and are now preaching to Thibetan traders and waiting upon the borders for permission from the Chinese government to enter that large and difficult field. Surely the heavenly Father is sending us signs of encouragement and foregleams of the coming of the kingdom.
II. The Crisis Our readers will remember that Mr. Milne, in his famous “Retrospect of the First Ten Years of Protestant Missions in China”, published in 1820, by a stretch of faith prophesied that China would have one thousand Christians in 1907. The Protestant body alone had virtually two hundred thousand church-members at that time and a Christian community, counting children, of seven hundred and fifty thousand souls. Adding the Chinese Roman Catholics would probably increase this number to nearly a million more. It would be safe therefore to say that the Lord had a thousandfold more followers in China in 1907 than Milne ventured to hope for in his famous forecast. Assuming a million followers of Christ in China to-day, and following Milne's timid method of computation, we should have over thirty-two million of at least nominal Christians in the empire at the close of another hundred years. But what if Milne's rate of increase should be accelerated a thousandfold during the coming century, as was the case during the last century! In that case China would be not only evangelized but largely Christianized before the close of the century.
While therefore we do not feel called upon to assume the rôle of prophet and predict the number of followers of Christ in this vast empire, nor the nearness to the Master which these followers will then maintain, this hasty glance backward enables us to recognize that the possibilities before us are almost literally boundless.
First. Considering the future of the empire I believe we
. may reasonably anticipate the establishment during the earlier part of the century of a constitutional form of government in which the people of China will have large authority. Judging the present Regent and his advisors by their past record, there is every prospect of great political progress under the new régime. If ever there was a time when we ought to pray earnestly for our rulers in China and teach patriotisın to the children in our schools, this period of peaceful and hopeful transition is that time.
Second. That China will introduce with increasing rapidity Western machinery and inventions, that she will open up her vast coal and iron mines, that she will soon enter upon an era of manufacturing, that her people as a result of this industrial development will increase rapidly in the older provinces and spread out over Manchuria and Mongolia in the north and over Malaysia in the south, is clear to every careful student of national and race movements. With wise government and freedom from international disturbances a period of material expansion is before the empire.
Third. That rapid material development is fraught with great dangers, is the teaching of history. The ruins of too many empires strew the path of the race for the Chinese to march with gaiety or even with indifference toward a materialistic goal. Surely laborers for the welfare of China who are familiar with the teachings of the Bible and the lessons of history cannot be indifferent to the dangers which attend this awakening of the great East.
Fourth. Very much depends upon the new education. The new education contemplates not merely a change in the courses of study but a revolution also in the methods of instruction. That the new education will teach geography, history and the modern sciences, goes without saying. That much is essential to enable the Chinese to hold their own in the industrial and commercial world. What Japan has achieved in material education is certainly within the reach of China. But unfortunately at this point even our so-called Christian nations are not prepared for leadership. Certainly nations which are spending half or two-thirds of their income for the payment of interest on late wars or preparing men and navies for future contests, peoples who are squandering wealth as fast as gained on luxuries and vices which enervate themselves instead of creating stronger types of manhood, peoples who enthrone wealth as the dominant aim of the business world, cannot help China in the present crisis. Surely the new psychology which recognizes the subconscious self, which is familiar with the demoralizing results of a bad inheritance and of immoral environments, which begins to recognise the possibility of an alien personality entering the human soul, and hence the possibility of the entrance of Satan or the indwelling of the Spirit, inust demand that children from the first be taught such lessons as shall help them to overcome temptation and grow strong in character as well as in body and in mind. But no other being in all the history of the race has proved so helpful in developing the inner life of humaniy and creating noble men and women, as Jesus, Christ. A non-Christian Chinese educator said recently : “The only hope of China is Jesus Christ." Prof. Huxley, pleading for the Bible in the English schools, not for the sake of orthodoxy but in the name of humanity, reveals to us the fundamental need of the new education in China. Surely we are safe in urging in the name of the new psychology and in the interests of the spiritual and ethical nature of the race that the new education, so far as it is established by voluntary foreign contributions, shall be Christian through and through. The strengthening of Christian education so that it shall profoundly modify the program of all publicly supported schools throughout the empire, and thus vitally influence the growing life of the largest nation on earth, may prove the profoundest and the most far-reaching philanthropic effort ever put forth by men.
Lastly. It is impossible to eradicate pagan teaching and successfully establish Christian morality in the public schools of China, to eradicate the opium vice, to transform the Chinese government and make it thoroughly honest and efficient, and to revolutionize the business of four hundred million people so that the golden rule shall supplant the rule of gold, so long as we Christians stand before the Chinese nation with only a partial and imperfect embodiment of the Christianity we profess. The supreme need of China to-day is not more money nor even more men, but more of the power which comes from the indwelling of the Spirit. The Gospel promises this power to us without measure. 'Ye shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you." Paul, who experienced this power, wrote : “I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me." Again he writes, “The weapons of our warfare are not of the
flesh, but mighty through God to the casting down of strong holds, casting down imaginations and every liigh thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Have we yet realized the power which controls the very springs of life and takes full possession of our thoughts and imaginations ? Again, Paul prays : “Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us."
Has this prayer been fulfilled in our experience ? Here, then, is the power awaiting us. China presents the crisis ; Christ promises the power for the crisis ; shall we fulfill the conditions of total self-surrender and unwavering faith, so that we first may be “filled with all the fulness of God," and second, may bring to this empire “the fulness of Him that filleth all in all."
A Missionary Review of the Year in China.
N casting back the mind over the year gone by and attempt
'readjustment and internal development' readily occurs. The Centenary Conference made 1907 a year of mental and spiritual stock-taking; gains and losses were counted and a frank recognition of certain outstanding failures provided the needed occasion for a general stimulus to the missionary body, the first fruits of which are apparent in the developments of 1908. Some little time was naturally required after Conference in which missionaries might read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the things given for encouragement and instruction. The application of some of the guiding principles then enunciated is also a matter requiring time. It was inevitable, therefore, that we should have to wait for succeeding years to demonstrate the real accomplishments of the Centenary Conference, for its most far reaching results were of necessity rather indirect than immediate. That there has been evident in the past year a very welcome attitude of openmindedness towards the problems of missions on the part of missionaries in China generally, as well as a deepened conviction of unity in purpose and work, is one of the gifts handed on to us from 1907. A perusal of the pages of the leading missionary journals in China and abroad reveals a greater frankness in dealing with the difficulties of missionary
work and a far deeper appreciation of the many-sided nature of our efforts. With a wider appreciation of the church ideal has been developed a tendency to state missionary duty in relation to the accomplishment of the kingdom of God on earth and there has followed the sanctification of what some have considered extraneous missionary effort. The conception of education as an essential Christian duty has made great progress and the philanthropies of the church are now allowed, by common consent, an integral position in missionary enterprise. That this has not always, or even for long, been so, the history of some of our Societies will testify.
Strenuous efforts have been in evidence for the adaptation of organization and forms of service to the changed need of the day in China. Successful attempts to bring the progressive spirit of Christ's Gospel to bear upon the progressing circumstances of the nation and to apply the unchanging Gospel at the point of greatest need and effect have borne testimony to a spirit of enlightenment for which the records of 1908 should be noted. This desire to discern the signs of the times is in itself a proof of the presence of that spiritual humility which is the very forerunner of spiritual conquest. For these distinctive marks of the service and developments of 1908 all interested in the spread of Christ's kingdom in China must be deeply thankful.
Progress within the Church.-Some of the more striking of the events of the year are linked with the development of the Church of Christ, as such, in China. First among these marks of intensive progress is the widespread acceptance of the ideal of church union throughout the churches.
This was a matter laid deeply upon the hearts of all the members of the Centenary Conference, but few were prepared to find so strong an enthusiasm for union as has since been evident among the Chinese. While some disappointments have to be recorded in this connection, they are not due to any failure of the Chinese church to set the ideal in the forefront of its work and its prayer. At Chinese New Year a very significant united gathering was planned and carried through by the Christians of Peking. Representatives of thirteen different missions, including members of the Roman Catholic and the orthodox Greek churches, joined heartily in a Christian service. It is doubtful whether anything quite like this has heretofore been witnessed in any place. The meetings of the West China Conference are a not