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schemes for a rapid extension of his work, but once, after due thought and prayer, a course had been determined upon, he threw himself body and soul into its accomplishment.

II. He was a man who magnified the Cross of Christ. More than once he said to me: "They may laugh at the Cross, but I never feel satisfied in preaching until I have done my best to impress its significance." He had a good knowledge of Chinese literature and a mind well stored with apt proverbs, but in preaching, the Word of God, and especially the Cross with its potent meaning, formed the basis of his admonition and plea. In the guest hall, in the street chapel, in the Sunday services, on itinerating journies, he never lost opportunity to lift high the Cross of Christ; and, for this reason, he brought hope and salvation to many sinenthralled souls. The earnestness with which he preached, and the emphasis with which he enforced his words, often brought physical exhaustion. Though our brother no longer abides with us, his work remains, and the influence of his life and labors will continue to bear fruit to the honor of the Master whom he loyally served.




To the Editor of


DEAR SIR: In discussing the subject of Church Music one has first to decide the point of view from which it should be regarded. My own opinion is that to approach it solely from a Chinese standpoint would tend to limit, if not to destroy, the high ideal we should have before us in considering it. It has often been remarked, as regards other lands, that no matter how widely the church may divided in doctrine and in ritual, she is practically one in her service of praise. I can conceive no higher ideal than to seek to lead the Chinese church to inherit the wealth of hymns, psalms, and chants which already exist with


all the treasures of music which the West possesses. To leave Chinese psalmody undeveloped beyond what it would be if regarded entirely from the Chinese outlook would mean to leave the Chinese church in an isolation which is as undesirable as it is necessary.

From this wider point of view it appears to me to have been a true instinct which led our predecessors to translate, or imitate, the hymns which enshrined for them so many sacred memories and emotions. That the result was not always successful is only too evident in the curious caricatures of famous hymns which exist in some collections, and also in the stilted phraseology of so many more of the hymus we and the Chinese Christians sing for want of something better. We are told that the Chinese language is not

fitted for the expression of thought in poetical form, and that until the language itself is modified, it will be impossible to produce fine hymns which, while elevated in sentiment and clear in thought, shall be simple in language and truly poetical in style. Not a few of the hymns in existing collections conform to one, or even to more than one, of these conditions, but very few conform to all. There are, however, in almost every collection a few outstanding hymns which approach very nearly to an ideal standard, and all but satisfy the strictest canon of requirements. Such hymns afford valuable evidence that it is possible to weave the apparently stiff and unbending language of China into a graceful and fitting garment for the clothing of inspired thought, if only the right person can be found to do it.

It would be an immense help in the editing of hymn books if it could be definitely known what hymns in each collection at present in use are popular, and for what reasons. We should probably find that in some cases the tune makes the hymn a favourite; in others, certain associations connected with the hymn itself; in some, the opportunity the hymn affords for the expression of certain religious experiences; and in others, again, a rythm in the lines and music in the rhymes which give pleasure. In order to get some light of this kind, the various religious magazines and papers might institute hymn competitions on the lines of "favourite hymn competitions at home, offering prizes for so many lists of ten or twenty hymns as should come nearest to the general consensus of

opinion, as shown by the votes sent in; others for the best hymn, with reasons given for considering it to be so, etc.

It does not seem to me to be necessary at present to press for original Chinese hymns, but rather to encourage competent scholars to improve those hymns which exist. Eventually they may feel their way to fresh metres and a new style.

It is strange that the only nation which can boast of a government Board of Music is about as far behind as it could be, both in vocal and in instrumental music. Devotion to a false ideal has cramped and stultified development, and the natural musical instincts of the Chinese have been overgrown and concealed by this perversion, so that mere screeching has come to pass as song and brazen noise and banging of drums as music. Not that China is wholly without plaintive songs and instruments which yield soft and rippling music, but the taste of the masses lies in the direction of noise and falsetto. Many foreigners hold the creed of some of the older missionaries that the Chinese will never be able to do more than make melody in their hearts before the LORD."

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This belief, however, is all but worn-out and it is going the way of many more ancient fables which were unable to bear the test of experience. For it is a fact that many individual Chinese have been musically trained and have shown considerable aptitude to learn and natural ability to understand the true underlying principles of music. Moreover, some Chinese congregations, and especially some schools for boys and girls, have been trained to sing to

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Any tune which contains no half-notes, or only one or two unaccented half-notes, can be learned by most congregations with comparatively little teaching. The more a tune conforms to the diatonic scale the more disastrous will be the failure of the congregation to render it correctly. The true method is at first, and for a considerable time, to stick faithfully to pentatonic, or nearly pentatonic tunes. Such tunes as "Kentucky," Balerma," "Evan," 'Ortonville," "Soldau,' Amesbury," and others can all be easily learned and intelligently and correctly sung by Chinese congregations. lowing on from these there is a large number of well-known Western tunes containing only one or two half-notes in unaccented positions which could then be readily acquired, and thus a congregation could be led on from easy to more difficult tunes. Meanwhile, let it be remembered, the young in our schools and churches are learning the diatonic scale, and they will be able to learn anything we are able to teach them. The warning needed in some cases is that the young should not be allowed to revel in diatonic tunes


to the discomfiture of those more advanced in years who were not caught early enough, but that in the church services the bulk of the tunes sung shall be easy, while occasionally allowing a more difficult measure in order to gratify and encourage the younger part of the congregation. The tune-book published by the Central China Religious Tract Society in 1905 was prepared to meet such requirements. It contains many pentatonic tunes and others which the Chinese find more difficult, but still not beyond their power of attainment after a period of training.

It is a matter of taste as to whether the old Scotch song tunes, such as "Auld Lang Syne" and "Ye banks and braes," which are strictly pentatonic, should be annexed for use as hymn-tunes. There is an undoubted objection on the score of association of ideas of which I myself had an illustration some time ago when officiating at the funeral service of a wealthy Chinese Christian. The military official in the neighbourhood sent his brass band, which was more or less in tune. I had not noticed the presence of the band until the procession was just abreast of it, and when it suddenly struck up the wellknown tune which we associate with partings of a different character it required an effort to keep a sober appearance. Apart from old Scotch and Irish airs there are many good tunes available without needing to have recourse to Chinese tunes. If a Chinese air is adopted there should be no idolatrous or other evil associations connected with it.

A good harmonium or organ gives a suitable accompaniment

and support to the congregation, but a musical instrument often serves to cover a multitude of sins of discord A violin wellplayed is effective in leading the air, and when the congregation is very large a well-played cornet keeps the singing in tune and time, but it should not be used in small congregations. There can be no objection to either wind or stringed instruments from the point of view of reverence. Some find the concertina a convenient and portable instrument for country work, and it is certainly effective.

The time has scarcely come, at all events away from the coast ports, for mixed choirs of men and women. There is an advantage, however, in arranging, if possible, that a choir of women and girls only shall sit in a convenient position among women to support the choir of boys and men which actually leads the singing. To sum up, it is about as sensible to expect every Chinese man, woman, and child entering the church to be able by the unaided light of nature to sing the songs of Zion to strange and unheard melodies as it would be to expect them to be conscientious, well-informed Christians without instruction. Some, doubtless, are unreasonable enough to expect both results, but the wise will not only live and learn; they will also live and teach.

I am, etc.,



To the Editor of

"THE CHINESE RECORDER." DEAR SIR: Mr. Madeley's letter shows such a serious misunderstanding of the main pur

pose of the article criticised that I must ask for space for a brief reply.

Of the two points selected for commendation, one is the assumption that the the following passage quoted (or misquoted) is a declaration of belief: "We believe in the Trinity and Christ's place therein, in His miraculous birth, and in the historicity of the New Testament miracles, in His true humanity."

Now this statement, taken by itself, would indeed be read as a declaration of doctrinal belief to which the writer subscribes. But that such was not the intention will, I think, be abundantly evident to the careful reader of the article. So far from wishing to introduce any doctrinal statement, the writer expressly urged that we should acknowledge among ourselves, and make plain to all, that our mission is not to propagate any creed, but to diffuse a Spirit. Taken in its context, the purpose, of the above passage is, I think, perfectly plain.

The argument is that the prevalent presentation of Christ to non-Christian Chinese gives prominence to the supernatural and miraculous aspect of His life, and it is the opinion of the writer that this tends to mystify the hearer, and moreover, that it obscures the true humanity of our Lord, removing Him from sympathetic touch with mankind. The wiser course, it is urged, is to give first prominence to the historic Jesus, the Son of Man, rather than plunging at once into the inscrutable mysteries of the Trinity and Christ's dual nature. Through the human to the Divine, is the method suggested. The question was not of the

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