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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.
Bishop J. W. BASHFORD.
To what extent at this stage of the work missionaries shall turn their attention and devote their energies to what may be called eleemosynary institutions, is a serious and sometimes pressing question, and one not always easy to be answered. Wherever the religion of Christ comes it draws out the heart immediately to the weak and the distressed, and the problem to be solved is, Where can one's efforts be directed so as to bring about the greatest good to the greatest number, or rather, How to bring the Gospel the soonest to all the people? Aside from the suffering relieved, or the joy brought into lives that would otherwise have been unutterably darkened and sad, the grand object lesson which is afforded to the Chinese by such institutions of what Christianity alone does, should always have its due consideration. Said a Chinese official to his wife as they were visiting a Christian Home for rescued Chinese women and girls: "Only Christian women do work like this." It is well that missionaries are not all made in one mould or built after one model, else all would be wanting to do the same kind of work. While we question whether we are yet ready for any great movement in the line of philanthropic work, we rejoice that there are those who feel called to special work of this kind. We point to the Asylum for the Insane in Canton, to the Schools for the Blind in Peking and Hankow and other places, to the School for the Deaf in Chefoo, to the
Rescue Work in Shanghai, and to the orphanages now being established in various places as a result of the appeal of the Christian Herald, of New York, for help for the famine-smitten, all of which cannot fail to speak to the Chinese of a benevolence and a charity on a scale to which they have hitherto been strangers.
Their Scope and
MUCH may be said concerning the evidential value of the philanthropic work of missions, and the claims of such work upon mission Boards has frequently been urged as though its chief justification depended upon its effectiveness as the advance agent of evangelism. While it is true that among the most prominent results of the work of medical missions, for instance, has been its signal success in opening the door for the preaching of the Word, it cannot, however, be too emphatically asserted that the inspiration and incentive to this and all philanthropic branches of mission service is something other than a missionary utilitarianism. The point of view which looks upon philanthropy as an advertising agent misses the essential connection between this work and the teaching of Jesus Christ. Christian philanthropy takes its rise in the fount of Divine love which "sacred pity hath engendered;" in the example of our Master Christ. If the healing of the sick and the care of the destitute, afflicted, and deficient brought no profit whatever to the cause of world evangelization, the work would be none the less incumbent upon the Christian church and no less a proof of the sincerity of the Christian profession. There is no test of saving faith so final and so far-reaching as the standard which Christ has herein set so definitely for His people,"Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me." Every Christian who has not the humanitarian spirit fails by so much of the fulness of life which is in Christ, and there can be no assurance of salvation where there is a lack of love and care for the afflicted of the world.
If the spirit of union in Christian service were demonstrated as it might be, how much more could be accomplished for the helpless sufferers of China? While it is not possible for every mission centre or even every mission Board to sustain work for lepers, or for the insane, or for the physically disabled, there is no
Union in Pbilan= tbropic Service.
reason whatever why general support should not be accorded to such institutions as already exist. Into work of this kind, questions of ecclesiastical difference need not and seldom do appear. All Protestant missions in China are glad to take credit for the philanthropic work which is being carried on in various centres of the empire. It is right, therefore, that all should rally to its support. The appeal should come as much to individuals on the field as to Boards in the home lands. Whatever differences may divide us in our church organizations, we are at least one in our service of the sick, the helpless, and the poor.
THE Educational Association, which meets in Shanghai during this month, should not lack in interesting subjects with which to engage the energies of its memThe Educational bers. There are the problems of textAssociation Triennial. books both in Chinese and English; what institutions are likely to arise as the result of the visits of Lord Cecil and Professors Burton and Chamberlain; the status of mission schools before the Chinese government; to what extent mission schools shall attempt to yield to the demands made upon their work for civil and governmental purposes, and how best to co-ordinate educational to other mission work so as not to hinder but in every way assist evangelism,-these and others are questions of the hour. There is also the idea of one great central university for China, which has been mooted, and is likely to arouse considerable opposition. Educationists may look forward to some interesting sessions and lively discussions.
THE Educational Association of China is an outstanding example of what voluntary effort carried on under good leadership and business conditions may accomplish. Wbat Cbina owes We should doubt whether there is anything to the E. A. C. parallel to the Educational Association of China in existence anywhere. When it is realized that the hundreds of books which have been prepared and issued under its auspices have been called into existence simply by the desire of missionaries in China to help the education of the people of this land, and that during the many years of its existence the Association has paid nothing in the way of salaries to any of the missionaries who have served it as officials, it may be seen what a monument of philanthropic activity this
Association is. The Chinese government owes to the E. A. C. a debt which it will ill enough repay if it carries into effect the suggestion, which we are very slow to credit, that it should refuse to concede the right of the franchise to the graduates of Christian schools and colleges. Such an act of ingratitude would be so unworthy of this great nation and so retrograde in character as to fill the minds of the friends of China with considerable doubt concerning the possibility of true progress on the part of the government of the Empire.
FOLLOWING close upon the Triennial Meeting of the Educational Association will come the Christian Endeavor National Convention in Nanking, May 27-30, to be Christian En= held in the pavilion recently erected for the deavor Convention. revival meetings under Mr. Goforth. We trust it will be well attended and that a new impulse may be given to Endeavor work in China, which recently has been somewhat under a cloud owing to the absence of a national secretary. There certainly is a need and a place for Endeavor work and kindred organzations in this land, but the work needs men qualified to foster and to stimulate it. Not every missionary knows just how to form a society or conduct meetings for the young, and some, who have given the subject but little thought, may have concluded that present methods were sufficient if rightly carried out. The great aim and end of Christian Endeavor work is to develop self-help and stimulate to aggressive work among the Christians, to bring them into closer contact with one another and with the needs of the church. We trust the Convention in Nanking will bring out the salient points of Endeavor work and prepare the way to wider usefulness in the future. We are pleased to see that the parent society has arisen to an appreciation of the needs of a secretary for China and has sent out Mr. and Mrs. Strother, who have recently arrived and expect to be present at the Nanking Convention. Their arrival is very opportune, and we bespeak for them a hearty welcome to China.
EVENTS in Turkey are proving that the phrase 'a bloodless revolution' is likely to remain a misnomer. Whatever be the root of the trouble which is now reported from the Turkish Empire, whether plots on behalf of the Sultan by his party,
or an outbreak of religious fanaticism or a protest against a military oligarchy, it is quite evident that the constitution of Turkey is to be set forward through scenes of bloodshed and horror. It is a matter for regret that these risings have brought about massacres on a tremendous scale and that our brethren of the American missions at work in Asia Minor are among the victims of the prevailing agitation. The bond which appeared to unite all parties in Turkey in favour of the constitution seems, after all, to have been a very slender one and the cause is dependent in the last resort upon the reform sympathies of the army. The spectacle of the Sultan of Turkey prisoner in his own palace, a prisoner whose abdication even will create considerable difficulty for the reformers, while the army rules, is not productive of sanguine hopes for a peaceful future. What is evident is that the Young Turk party attempted rather more than the country was prepared to accept and are reaping the fruits of hurry. 'Slow and sure' would seem to be a very necessary motto for all who would undertake to build up national constitutions.
ATTENTION is drawn to the publication of an appeal in this number of the RECORDER issued by the Evangelistic Work Committee appointed by the Centenary The Evangelistic Conference, which calls for a large numCommittees' Appeal. ber of additional workers to the staff of missionaries engaged in direct evangelistic work. The committee has made careful enquiry into the needs of the field and calls for 3,200 men and 1,600 women. It will doubtless also have borne in mind the limited power of the mission stations and the present staff of workers to assimilate too large an addition of recruits. It is good to be reminded of the constant need for definite evangelistic campaign work, since evangelism must remain the fons et origo of the missionary enterprise and the whole mission propaganda has to be justified by reference to the direct command of our Lord to 'go forth.' Should, however, the increasing tendency to departmentalism in missionary work, evidenced by the desire for the Evangelistic Association, result in the development of anything like a breach between its various branches and that which is both vital to the success of all and an essential part of each, namely evangelism, the whole cause will suffer.