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ed with it are many. The problem is very complex. It has, however, been decided to proceed with the matter and start the work on a small basis, increasing it as opportunities afford. The Chinese, I believe, will be asked to co-operate. A public
appeal on behalf of this will soon be issued. It is felt that this line of philanthropic and Christian work will appeal to many who take but little active interest in the more direct forms of missionary work. It is a truly Catholic scheme, and though it will not have the preaching of the faith as part of its work, it will be an important teaching and educational centre. And the spirit that prompts it, and the men who will maintain it, will be Christian. It is, on the part of the promoters, an attempt to help China in her educational troubles. It cannot be better described than in the language of Scripture: "Bear ye one another's burdens." These, then, are some of the facts that impressed me as being factors that will help us, as Christian workers out here, to solve the problems that beset us and enable us to give a good account of our faith and the purposes of the mercy of God to the descendants of Kang Hsi. Apart from the devoted work of the churches, not touched upon in this paper, there is much to fill us with confidence. Let us "look ahead with a noble foresight and feel sure that the revelation of time and the mercies of God will effect a condition between present hostilities and bring about the age of unity and peace through fixing our eye on Him."
Whilst the changing conditions of industrial life, the increasing facilities offered for travel, tend to alter the phases of the religious life of the people, we should have it in our hearts as a well-grounded conviction that God is the same.
Imperial Edicts in 1908
BY PROFESSOR C. M. LACEY SITES.
P to the time of the Emperor's death (which is the limit of the present review) the Imperial law-mill has had rather a slow year; neither in number nor in ponderosity have the edicts approached the record of some recent years. It must be remembered, however, that much important legislation is put through in the form of orders sent out from the various ministries which therefore are outside our purview; such, for instance, as the order reported to have been issued by
the Foreign Office in April, withdrawing the special privileges previously accorded to certain ecclesiastical dignitaries connected with missionary work in China whereby they assumed to rank coördinately with Chinese officials.
Two subjects which engrossed attention last year are but slightly touched upon, though perhaps for contrary reasons. Opium reform seems to be a progressive fact, and long exhortations from the Throne were not called for. Constitutional government, on the other hand, seems to be in the air rather more than the Throne would wish, and the Throne, apparently, Iwould like to have it "all in the air" for a while longer.
I. Opium.-In March an edict appeared gratefully acknowledging the high moral course pursued by Great Britain (seconded by other nations) in reducing the export of opium to China and summoning Chinese officials to renewed zeal in enforcing the prescribed reduction in the opium product of China. The Ministry of Finance is also called upon to work out ways and means for supplying the resulting deficit in tax
Two or three special edicts (there were many more last year) administering paternal discipline to high officials who are in process of breaking off the opium habit, convince us that both they and the Throne are in earnest. Especially impressive is the Imperial tribute (May 31st) to Lu Pao-chung, president of the Censorate, who had once or twice resigned because unable to break off the habit and who died, as it seems, in consequence of his determined efforts to meet the desires of his sovereign in this matter.
II. Constitutional Government.-In July a code of regulations for the inauguration of provincial assemblies was duly approved, and governors and viceroys were ordered to put the same into operation within one year. A month later it was announced that the department for the investigation of constitutional government had reported the full draft of a code of constitutional laws for the nation. As a preliminary step, however, a project of general administrative reforms [this sounds like an old story] had also been reported, and this scheme is now promulgated, to be carried out in the course of nine years, at the end of which time the date for promulgating a constitution will be fixed. Another edict, however, which
had appeared about August 14th, directing the vigorous suppression of clubs for the study of political science, seemed to discount the new assurances of popular government.
Two other subjects (on which much has been said and little done in recent years) receive some attention, viz., currency and railways.
III. Currency.-Naïve experiments and light avowals of mistaken methods continue. In February the Board of Revenue is directed to furnish Tls. 500,000 to be invested by the government of Peking in copper coins so as to reduce the supply of such coins in the market and thus keep down the (copper) prices of every-day commodities. By the end of March this plan is acknowledged by edict to have been no remedy at all; the minting of copper coins in the provinces is thereupon ordered stopped. Bank notes receive attention in April and May; a limited plan of governmental guarantee of circulation being instituted for selected banks, and all private banks being required by provincial officials to keep adequate reserves for redemption purposes; all this to mitigate the crying evils of unrestricted paper issue. In October a complete scheme for coining a Tael currency is set forth which, however, seems to have met with earnest remonstrance from officials all over the empire. So the tinkering goes on.
IV. Railways.-The Canton-Hankow Railway project languishes, being fed on the patriotic euthusiasm of the cry "China for the Chinese", instead of on funds and efficient organization. Chang Chi-tung is therefore, by edict of October 29, again called to direct the enterprise, with authority to provide the necessary funds as he thinks best, irrespective of local pride of the three provinces through which the route runs.
V. General.-The tone of the administrative edicts of the year is good. However bad the actual administration still is, a commendable zeal glows in the numerous edicts (apparently more than usual) cashiering unworthy officials. A special edict in June again urges care in choosing subordinate officials. In March the slowness of judicial officers in settling lawsuits was the subject of vigorous condemnation. Some readiness to recognize merit is shown in the giving of good appointments to students trained abroad who have returned and passed the appropriate examinations, and a continued desire to consolidate
race patriotism appears in the grant of decorations to distinguished Chinese living in the Pacific islands.
VI. Foreign Relations.-The reception of the American fleet at Amoy and the appointment of an envoy extraordinary to convey the thanks of the Emperor to America for remitting half the Boxer indemnity are notable matters of public interest, although many others quite as interesting do not figure in the published edicts. Whether or not a closer understanding is probable between America and China, in an official sense, the sending of this embassy and the concomitant sending of many students to America, as in the days of Yung Wing, must mean much for international comity and fraternity.
An edict at the end of October undertakes to soothe French pride and indignation for an unfortunate rencontre over the border in Tonking, by ordering the execution of several military officials concerned therein.
VII. Church and State.-To anyone who doubts that Buddhism and Taoism are a part of the state religion of China, a series of edicts concerning prayer for rain, issued in the early summer, will prove illuminating. About the middle of May several high princes had been directed, as is often done, to repair to various Imperial temples to pray for rain; they going, of course, as deputies of the Emperor himself who, as Son of Heaven, is the nation's great high priest. This is proper Confucianism. In June the Imperial intercession having proved inadequate, the Taoist and Buddhist priests of the chief temples of these cults at Peking are commanded to pray for rain at their respective temples until further notice; at the same time the several Imperial princes are commanded to offer sacrifices, not as before but at these same Taoist and Buddhist temples; first fasting for twenty-four hours in order to purify themselves before the gods. Two weeks later, rain having fallen in copious thunderstorms, the princes are again sent to their own temples to render thanks.
In the Fall the waters were unusually high in certain northern reaches of the Grand Canal, threatening to break over the banks and do great damage, but they were checked at the point of imminent peril by the energy of the officers in charge and through the protection of the river god. Accordingly the governor of the province concerned is commanded, by edict of
November 1st, to burn ten sticks of Thibetan incense to the river god as a thankoffering.
A good deal of Imperial attention has been given this year to the Dalai Lama, who might, from his vagrant course, be known as the Delay Lama. A final edict, early in November, invests him with new titles and orders him to return quickly to Thibet and be good, that is, to be obedient in all things to the Imperial Chinese Resident at Lhassa.
In Memoriam of Rev. Calvin W. Mateer, D.D., LL.D.
BY DR. CHAUNCEY GOODRICH.
OW can we write an "In Memoriam" of one with whom it was our earnest hope, and our daily prayer, to labor till the work on Old Testament revision should be completed. Alas! It might not be. 'God's way is
in the sea.'
It has been said that "man is immortal till his work is done". And our brother's work on the Old Testament was only well begun. Shall we then write a dirge? But and so a dirge might often and often be written, for to how few is it given to complete their tasks. Life here, at the best, is but a poor fragment of the glorious life in the long and blessed hereafter.
Dr. Mateer was born January 9, 1836, in Mechanicsburg, Penn., (doubtless coming into the world with a cry, as do all babies). There is nothing we can write of his childhood and youth, except the following story: When a little boy, Calvin was visiting his grandfather, who asked too long a blessing upon his food for the hungry lad, and he finally cried out, "Amen. Grandpapa, please pass me the potatoes.''
He joined the church in 1855, the same year in which he entered college, and he taught school both before and after graduation. His brother writes that he secured his education under great financial difficulties. We may be sure that he early developed the habits of faithfulness and thoroughness which distinguished him, for, entering the junior class at Jefferson (now Washington and Jefferson) College, he was given, at his graduation in 1857, the valedictory. By his request, however, the valedictory address was given by a classmate who had been hoping to deliver it. This act of generosity was a kind of prophecy of a life filled with gifts and kindnesses, only to be known when the books are opened'.