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one of which the ordinary man would be proud to regard as his.' And the Rev. W. P. Chalfant writes: "Dr. Mateer was a inan' of unusual versatility. He was versed in applied mathematics and mechanics, and was a practical electrician. He was one of the best speakers of the mandarin dialect in North China, was a powerful preacher, especially in Chinese, and the chairman and organizer of the Mandarin Comınittee of the New Testament revision. He rightly regarded his work on Bible translation as the crowning work of his life.”' And he adds: “His life has been an inspiration to those who have come into contact with him, and his death ineans unspeakable loss to the cause of Christ in China. In his unsparing devotion to that cause, Dr. Mateer illustrated the pregnant words from which lie used to preach in Chinese one of his most impressive sermons : • He saved others, Himself He could not save!.!
SOME OF DR. MATEER'S CHARACTERISTICS.
First, his personality. In the Conference of 1890 Dr. Wright, secretary of the Britisli and Foreign Bible Society, was with us.
He remarked that of all the men present at that Conference there were two men whose personality impressed hiin One of these was Dr. Mateer. He bore himself like a sort of prince among men, “facile princeps''.
“ facile princeps''. He was born to lead, not to follow. Having worked out his own conclusions, he was so sure of them that he expected, almost demanded, their acceptance by others. And yet lie was not arrogant, and he was truly humble. Moreover he could ask forgiveness for words that he felt had been too lasty or too harsh, feeling much broken by giving pain to a friend. And in this he showed his greatness. And lie could also forgive and forget. But he was still a leader by the very force of his personality.
He had the quality of perseverance to a high degree. Having undertaken a work, he lield to it with unwavering and unconquerable persistence to the end, and that, not only because he gripped the work, but also because the work gripped him. Had his life been spared, he would have worked steadily on through the Old Testament till the last verse of Malachi was finished and the whole work carefully reviewed. Of Dr. Mateer's habit of working till the end was reaclied, Dr. Hamilton writes: “Not many months ago, at a meeting of the Shantung Board of Directors, we had a considerable amount of
unfinished business, and tlie week was lastening to its close. No one had more work awaiting him at home than the Doctor. Yet when the question of the time of our dispersion was raised, he said : 'I have always made it a rule, when I attend meetings of this kind, to finish up the business in hand, no matter how long it takes'." United to this quality of perseverance was a kindred quality of thoroughness, a quality that appeared in every work he attempted.
Dr. Mateer possessed a rugged strength of character. He was almost Spartan in his ability to endure liardships and in his careless scorn for the amenities and “elegant superfluities of modern life. Yet “beneath a rugged and somewhat austere exterior”, he liad a heart of remarkable tenderness.
He was a block of granite, with the heart of a woman. I do not remember to have heard him preach, in Engiish or Chinese, when his voice did not somewhere tremble and break, requiring a few inoments for the strong man to conquer his emotion and proceed. His tenderness was very often shown in quiet ways to the poor and the unfortunate, and lie often wept when some narrative full of patlios and tears was read. The second winter after the Boxer year the college students learned to sing the simple but beautiful hymn he had just translated, “Some one will enter the Pearly Gate". One morning we sang the hymn at prayers. Just as we were ending, I looked round to see if he were pleased with their singing. The tears were streaming down his face.
This sympathetic tenderness was as much a part of his nature, as was liis rugged strength. Just so is it the flowers grow and blossom only a little way above the rocks. He dearly loved little children, and easily won their affection. Wee babies would stretch out their tiny arins to him, and fearlessly pull his beard, to his great delight.
His students both feared him and loved him, and they loved hiin more than they feared him, for, while he was the terror of wrong doers and idlers, strict in discipline, demanding faithful study and honest lives, he was yet their Great Heart, ready to forgive and quick to help. How often have we seen Dr. Mateer's students in his study, pouring out their hearts to bim and receiving loving counsel and a father's blessing. He loved his students, and followed them constantly as they went out into their life-work.
It lias been said of Dr. Mateer that “lie never feared the face of man, but lie feared God”. The word chosen to traus
late pious fear in the Mandarin Bible did not at all satisfy him. He once said to me impressively : “Men need to know the
" fear of God.” And he spent much time in searching for a word which might pass the cominittee, containing the single thought of fear. How reverent and humble he was when he came before God, praying like one of the old prophets, and always uniting praise and adoration with humble confession. He seldom asked a blessing upon a meal which did not close with the words, “and forgive us our sins”. I can but think that when the chariot of fire bore him upward with wliat adoring reverence he presented himself before the Great King and cried, as he did a little before his end came, “Holy, holy, holy, true and mighty".
My own acquaintance with Dr. Mateer began some thirtyfive years ago, but our more intimate friendship commenced froin the Conference of 1890. Since that time we have been closely related in Bible revision, being now for some time the only remaining members in the committee from the original number. Much of the time we have been together in the long daily sessions of the committee, as well as in tlie long evening walks, when we talked on anything between the zenith and the nadir, for then his thoughts were "ready to fly East as West, whichever way besought them". If he were not widely read, he had thought widely and deeply, being at once conservative, progressive, and original. He liad strong opinions, and was at times severe and stern in inaintaining them. But he loved those of a contrary opinion with a true and deep affection. From first to last he was a royal friend. Dr. Mateer thought naturally in terms of logic and mathematics, but not without a side in his nature for poetry and sentiment.
Dr. Mateer's character, especially during the later years, was constantly mellowing, and the past summer, which our two families spent together in our "own hired liouse" at Chefoo, must ever be remembered as one of the happiest periods of our lives, without a break or jar to mar its enjoyment. Was it a sort of unconscious preparation for the sweeter joys and more perfect fellowship in the dear upper Home ?
THE END.—Dr. Mateer worked on with his usual untiring faithfulness during the last summer, though not quite well at times. How he lived in the Psalıns, upon which he bestowed loving labor. And sometimes he would glance out from his little study to the room which held all too closely his beloved wife (who has followed the Bible revision with an interest scarcely less intense than his own) and consult with her on some difficult phrase, or tell lier of some beautiful figure lie liad succeeded in translating.
In the early morning liour we took a dip in the sea—he was a good swimmer-and, after he had “talked with Him”, at six o'clock he was ready for his teacher. In the evening his walks were less regular and shorter than in other years.
At length, just before the end of the session, his disease (dysenteric diarrhea) gained such a hold upon him that he was obliged to take to his bed. To the question whether he were able to endure the journey to Tsingtao be replied : “I must. I sliall die if I remain here." The voyage was quiet, but it was a twenty-four hours of great suffering, one of those endless days that sometimes come. Blessed friends met us at the landing, and he was carried to the Faber Memorial Hospital in a carriage, supported by loving arms. Dr. Wusclı, a skilled physician, exhausted his efforts to save him, but in five days the end came (September 28). These last days were soothed by the presence of his wise, liis niece Mrs. Wells, his brother Robert, and an old and trusted colleague, Dr. Hayes.
Some time before the end came he said to his brother Robert: “I am resting in the Lord,” and not long after he fell asleep, like a weary child in its motlier's arms.
An impressive memorial service was held in Tsingtao, conducted by the pastor of the Presbyterian Church, after which the body was taken to Chefoo, accompanied by Dr. Mateer's brother and Mr.'Mason Wells, of Tsingtao. Meanwhile Mrs. Julia Mateer's coffin had been brought from Tengchow, where it had lain for ten years, to be reinterred in a lovely spot which had been chosen on the Western Hill, where so many dear ones lie.
Many of Dr. Mateer's foriner students, who had gathered in Chefoo, met the steamer on its arrival and took charge of the body at the anchorage, insisting on paying all expenses for landing. They bore the body of their teacher with affectionate reverence, first to the Y. M. C. A. building, and thence, the following day, to the Nevius Chapel near the cemetery. There loving words were spoken by two Chinese pastors, and afterward, at the cemetery, by Dr. Elterich and Mr. Irwin. The grave then received its new gift, and above it a wealth of flowers smiled, as though it were a bridal day. And so it was, for the Lord lad taken to His Home him whom He loved so well.
Mrs. Frank P. Joseland.
BY REV. J. SADLER.
UR beloved friend and
Frank P. Joseland, has been translated to the higher service. We are bowed in spirit for the stricken husband and children, as ell as for ourselves, our schools, the Chinese Christians and for all who knew her kindness and care.
The loss is deeply felt both in Amoy and Chiang-chiu and in the districts inland. Mrs. Joseland has been connected with the L. M. S. for twenty years. She has proved a valued teacher, wife, mother, and friend. Her
experience of human life was considerable, and she knew how to say the “word in season to those who were in trouble.
Coming from a well-known ministerial family in England (her father being a Congregational minister for long years, still hale and hearty at seventy-eight years of age), and having received a valuable training in the Milton Congregational College for Girls at Gravesend, she was eminently fitted to do good service in teaching. She improved her powers and endeared herself to the schools of boys, girls, and women, where she regularly taught. Her efforts were carried on even in spite of physical suffering and with much self-denial.
She was born forty-five years ago at Barnard Castle in Dur. ham, when her father was minister there, and lived at Haverill, Honiton, and Devizes, at which places her father had pastoral charge. She was married to Mr. Joseland in the Union Church, Hongkong, by the Rev. G. H. Bondfield, in November, 1888, and so has had just twenty years of married life and mutual service with her husband, with two furloughs in the home land.