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relapse again into the idolatry, which at the same time we are so confident would overcome the Chinese ? So too we still retain the old name Yuletide in connection with the feast of Christmas. Now Yuletide was the old pagan festival held in England at the season of the winter solstice; the word "geol" or "jul” meaning merry. The name remains with us, though the old associations have long since passed away. Probably many of our Christmas ideas, some of them so substantial, such as plum puddings and Christmas Trees, are relics of the old heathen rites, as the mistletoe undoubtedly is. I ask, Are we any the worse for these Christmas agenda, presuming that they are taken in moderation, or are we prepared to cut them all away because of their heathen source ? You say, Certainly not. Well, then, in China we have almost an exact parallel, for the Chinese falls almost at the very same time as the old Anglo-Saxon Yuletide, nor is it, strictly speaking, an idolatrous festival at all, and yet would I dare to suggest that what was possible for the early missionaries might be possible also for us, and that we should speak of Christmas festival in China as the church's ?
But most striking of all is our use of the name Easter. How many to-day realize that when they wish their friends "a happy Easter” or “a peaceful Easter," they are, by their own argument, jeopardizing both themselves and their cause ? For Easter or Eoster was the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring, and whatever we may think of the term Yule, here at least we are using real pagan language. “A peaceful Easter indeed” I can imagine some one saying to Augustine : "I should like to know what a pagan goddess has to do with peace !” But Augustine would hold his peace and let the storm cloud blow over his head ; his calm faith would peer on down into the brightening ages when the goddess herself would be forgotten and the old name become one of the brightest jewels in his Master's crown. “Nay," he would reason, “I am not putting new wine into old bottles, but by God's grace I shall take the old label and put it on the new bottle." It has been said that we have not only to convert the people but the language. Well, the early missionaries went a step farther and converted the very gods themselves. In the light of all this proven conquest, this assurance of the Gospel's transforming power, why not pursue a policy to-day at least as full of faith and call the Christian festival of the resurrection of Christ the church's op ? Whatever argument may be brought for.
ward against doing so applies with ten-fold force against our use of the name Easter, and if we condemn the usage of the Chinese title, we are in the same breath condemuing the whole policy of the English-speaking Christian world. Nay, the case against ourselves is stronger, for the title og to does not lie open to the most telling argument against the name Easter ; there being nothing really connected with idolatry in the term itself, meaning simply the pure bright festival. Could we find a more beautiful and fitting title, the Pure Bright Festival ? Surely if the early missionaries were able to convert, sanctify, and glorify the name of the heathen goddess Easter, it should not be impossible for us to undertake the much more simple task of converting, sanctifying, and glorifying the beautiful title i UE. Again, we take from the Chinese not only the
清明節 old name, but we give them nothing to take the place of their old Easter or spring custom of visiting their graves and covering them with paper money.
Christian truth demands and rightly so that such a foolish and wasteful custom should cease, but Christian charity surely equally demands that something should take the place of what must be to them one of their greatest losses. In some parts of India the Christians have a ceremony, in outward form much resembling the Chinese ceremony of covering the graves with paper. Early on Easter morning they go to the cemetery and cover the graves with white flowers then they sing an Easter hymn, listen to a few words of Christian hope and encouragement and exchange salutations. If such a service is appropriate in India, where there is nothing special in the old religions to suggest it, how much more appropriate and instructive it would be in China. And inight it not perhaps just meet that need which many of the Chinese Christians must feel if they do not express ? Such a ten
清明節 would not only, I believe, appeal to the Chinese heart, but make Easter a real season of inquiry among the heathen and opportunity for the Christians, for question upon question would undoubtedly be asked, and the truth would dawn upon many ininds, a truth at present too little realized, that Christianity is not only antagonistic to their national customs and spiritual aspirations, but is seeking to save both those customs and aspirations, as well as the people themselves from the superstitions, follies, and sins with which they are now degraded.
In Foochow, from which city I write, there is a beautiful English Christian cemetery, kept with great taste and care,
and at this Easter season, literally white with Easter and arum lilies, marguerites, and roses. This year I too shall be laying white lilies there on the grave of a little child. Surrounding this love-tended spot are the great Chinese hill cemeteries, and they too will be visited and cared for during the
o th season. But into the Chinese Christian cemeteries none will enter, no loving hands will renew or adorn the neglected graves, there will be neither white paper nor white flowers laid upon them, for they have lost the old and have 110t been taught the new. Is our present-day Christianity so spiritual that it can contravene thus the sentiment not only of a nation but of a world, without suffering itself?
I know that there are some to whom symbol, sentiment, and association are but as small dust in the balance, and those of them who are consistent and put their principles into practice, will not only condemn the missionary policy of Augustine and Gregory, but will refuse to take the words Sunday, Wednesday or Easter on their lips, while such a heathen combination as Easter Monday will make them weep for their church and race; such men deserve the respect of all, but they can never be in the majority; and disagreeing myself with their principles, it is to the majority and for the majority I make my appeal. To the great majority the old customs, the old names, the old symbols, the old associations, the old friends are the great motive powers of life, and I ask no more than the Golden Rule demands. As we have been dealt with in these matters, so let us now in our turn deal with others. Let us remember the rock whence we were hewn, of which such substantial blocks still adhere to us, and not make demands of others, which have never been made of us.
Could I now hand over the pen to Augustine, he would probably point out many another Chinese name or custom to which he would apply his general principles. Can we suggest nothing to take the place of ancestral tablets, family altars with their flowers and lights, all the many symbols and rites about us, which though now encrusted with superstition and idolatry, are not in many cases idolatrous in themselves, which are so essentially Chinese, sometimes beautiful and standing in many instances for perverted truths ? Are we really prepared to take the responsibility of condemning them wholesale and sweeping them all away, while at the same time, and with an inconsistency which an awakening China will not fail to perceive, we pursue a different policy for ourselves ? I plead for no liasty or uncautious measures, I advocate no immediate radical changes, but I do plead for consistency and a reconsideration of what seems to be the general missionary policy. I may be mistaken, I may find that many feel as I do and seek to work on the old lines, but I ask for a more general and careful consideration of a great question, I ask that it might be taken into the thoughts of all having any influence, that we might discuss it with our Chinese brethren and be willing to think of it from their point of view, that we might remember the position in which we ourselves actually stand, and above all things pray that that same Spirit of Truth and Charity which guided the early missionaries might remain with us also.
The Centenary Conference Appeal for
from April 25 to May 8, 1907, in considering the problem
of the evangelization of the Chinese empire, came to the unanimous conclusion that the time is now ripe for such a vigorous forward movement as will give to every inhabitant of China an acquaintance with the way of salvation. To give effect to this a representative committee was appointed with instructions to issue a statement, appealing to the Christian churches of our home lands for the men and women needed for this gigantic undertaking.
This committee have made every effort to secure the most accurate information from the representatives of the various missions in all the provinces and dependencies of China. And having given our most prayerful and thoughtful consideration to all the information received, we now issue this appeal in accordance with the resolution of the Conference. We beg the home Societies to consider carefully our estimate of the number and the quality of the additional workers required.
Naturally the work of evangelizing China must be done chiefly by the Chinese themselves, and for this we have made ample allowance in our estimate, but in order that the work be directed efficiently a large number of foreign evangelists will be required. There are needed men and women filled with the spirit of evangelism who are eminently qualified to inspire a following and to organize and to lead the Chinese evangelists. We who know this evangelistic work most intimately realize that the need for such men and women is imperative. We therefore urge the importance 1909] The Centenary Conference Appeal for Evangelistic Workers 275
of sending to China for this work only those who have the above qualifications.
No one can question the importance of the work done by those engaged in the medical, educational, literary, and philanthropic branches of our great missionary enterprise, but we would impress upon the home churches the fact that the time has come when direct evangelism must be given the first place. Less than one half of the whole missionary staff in China is now engaged in this direct evangelistic work, and even this proportion, in itself far too small, is due mainly to the importance which the China Inland Mission places upon evangelistic as compared with institutional work. Out of 678 members this Mission has 560 in direct evangelistic work; while, according to the most reliable statistics to which we have had access, of the 1,758 missionaries of all other Societies less than 600 are engaged in this work. Owing to different methods of reckoning in the various missions the wives of missionaries (1,035) are not included in any of the above figures, though nearly all of the wives do more or less missionary work. To add the number of wives would not alter the ratio.
We estimate that in addition to the foreign evangelists now at work 3,200 men and 1,600 women, specially qualified as leaders and organizers, are needed. If this force can be secured such an emphasis will be laid upon the importance of evangelism as will call forth a band of Chinese workers somewhat commensurate with the needs of the field, and it may reasonably be expected that within a few years these leaders would be co-operating with 150,000 Chinese evangelists.
We therefore urge the home Societies to ascertain what proportion of this number of additional workers each should provide, and further to take such action as will ensure these additional workers being on the field within the next ten years.
We have the command of Christ and the energizing power of the HOLY SPIRIT; it now remains only to obey the one, yield to the other, and consecrate the church's abundant resources to GOD. Then every inhabitant of China shall have an acquaintance with the way of salvation. On behalf of the China Centenary Missionary Conference,
Chairman Evangelistic Work Com.
Secretary Evangelistic Work Com. Executive Committee: Frank Garrett,
L. W. Pierce, W. C. Longden,
A. Syderstricker, Gouverneur Frank Mosher, Maurice J. Walker,