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AND MISSIONARY JOURNAL
Published Monthly by the American Presbyterian Mission Press,
18 Peking Road, Shanghai, China
Editorial Board. Editor-in-chief: Rev. G. F. FITCH, D.D. Associate Editors: Rev. W. N. BITTON and Rev. D. W. Lyon Rev. E. W. BURT, M.A. Rev. J. C. GIBSON, D.D. Mr. G. MCINTOSH Rt. Rev. Bishop CASSELS. Bishop J. W. BASHFORD. Rev. G. F. MOSHER. Rev. A. FOSTER. Rev. D. E. HOSTE.
Prof. LACEY SITES. Rev. J. C. GARRITT, D.D. Rev. D. MACGILLIVRAY. Rev. A. H. SMITH, D.D.
Editorial IN making this issue of the RECORDER a special number on woman's work it has been with no desire to trench at all
upon to prerogatives of that excellent biWoman's Work monthly, “Woman's Work in the Far East,"
" for Women.
but only to bring more prominently before our readers, some of whom probably do not see “Woman's Work," a few of the present needs and conditions of this which is now so great a part of mission work. In the incipiency of mission work in China it seemed as if there were but little that woman could do except look after the household and try and gain an entrance here and there as the door seemed
But gradually her sphere has broadened, work has developed along unexpected lines, new and ever more pressing calls have been made upon her time and energies until to-day the question is, not what to do, but what not to do. The condi tion of the Chinese women, especially among the well-to-do classes, has changed within the past few years beyond all anticipation. The interest and attention of the women of Christian lands has also been developed in the formation of societies, the collection of funds, administration, etc., until a great part of the church's work, in some denominations, in the line of missions, is done by the women. It's a shame to the men that it is so, and they seem to be slowly beginning to realize the fact and to bestir themselves.
It is a question with some to what extent women should be allowed to travel about the country in China, doing evangel
istic work, etc., and, viewed from the standpoint of cool caution, it does seem a little out of the way. But judged by results, we are led to confess that this method of work seems to be abundantly justified. And ordinarily the risks involved in work of this kind in China have been very small and such as need deter not even the most timid. To the lasting honor of the Chinese we must confess that, as a rule, a foreign lady speaking the language, and going with an heart of love, will find safety, and often courtesy in most of the towns and villages of China, if she but be discreet.
UNDER generally favourable auspices and with a comprehensive representation the International Opium Commission
begins its labours on February ist. AlThe International
though as the chief opium-consuming and Opium Commission.
one of the largest opium-producing countries of the world China is with India most closely concerned in these proceedings, it is to be remembered that the object of this Commission is not simply to deal with the situation in these lands, but with the weightier question of the control of the opium trade over the whole Eastern world. A timely publication by Mr. Arnold Foster, now on sale in Shanghai, reminds all interested in the question on its Anglo-Chinese side that the final issue of this discussion must be one of international righteousness. Should Great Britain rise to the standard the situation demands from a Christian nation and forego speedily her opium revenue, she may yet snatch victory from the jaws of moral defeat and, as she did in the slave trade, make a glorious amende honorable for her mistaken and abasing policy through past years.
THE reading of the Report of the Malay Straits Opium Cominission is not an inspiring task. There is such an entire
absence of the consideration of the moral issue Tbe Straits
involved in the practice of opiuin smoking Settlements
that it seems doubtful if it was ever thought Opium Report.
of by the Commissioners. The financial side of the question looms so large in the Straits that it was bound to vitiate the conclusions of a local official enquiry. In 1906 53% of the total income of the Straits Settlements was derived from the opium tax. The report recommends a government monopoly of opium production as a means to reform, a striking
comment on the fear expressed by some foreign officials in China that the Chinese government is looking to a monopoly as a source of income. It further recommends that no smoking be allowed in brothels and that neither women nor children be allowed to purchase the drug. To the statement that there is very little excessive smoking in the Straits made in the report, Bishop Oldham replies with a minute of dissent, stating that in most cases there can be no such thing as 'moderate' smoking. The final conclusion is that nothing but gradual palliative measures can be attempted until the Chinese and Indian growth is under proper control. The opium problem is resolving itself into one of cutting off the supplies at the source by dealing with the poppy crop.
We cannot leave the subject of opium, which is so particularly before our minds and in our hearts at this time,
without drawing attention to the work which Women and tbe
it is specially given to all women to do in Opium Reform.
connection with social reform. What women have done for temperance in Western lands in an unobstrusive, but nevertheless most effective way, may be done in a similar manner, if in a lesser measure, by the women of China in relation to the opium reform. While it is not given to the women of China to set the standard of social taste in the sense in which women are the arbiters of conduct in other lands, yet a definite stand made by the young women of this empire might prove very effective in defining the attitude of young Chinese men towards the opium vice. It is certain that the influence of girls trained in Christian teaching will be anti-opium. It would be well to make them realize to how great an extent the influence they possess may become effective if they are united by a common purpose. They should become the missionaries of a forward movement aimed at the banishment of the opium pipe from every educated home.
* THERE are other social reforms most urgently needed in China, to the accomplishment of which the young womanhood
of China, if trained upon right lines, might Women and
contribute very largely. The domestic infelicity Social Reform.
so common throughout Chinese homes owes more than a little to the incubus of chronic debt which runs like a canker through the whole social organism. How much
of this family indebtedness is due to useless waste and vulgar display in connection with marriage and funeral ceremonies is well known. Many a young man and woman have started married life overweighted from the beginning by a load of debt that nothing but death seems likely to relieve them from. While a great change in relation to such ceremonies as we have mentioned may be observed in large centres, such as the Treaty Ports, it is doubtful whether the change is in the direction of economy. The type of present now expected from the parties to each other is changing its form without either a decrease of expense or an increase of utility. And in connection with funeral display, we observe that Chinese families who desire to be tliought progressive are wasting more on pseudo-foreign wreathes and floral decorations than they did aforetime on the ceremonies now passing away. It would greatly conduce to the happiness of Christian family life in China if the young people of our churches were led to conceive of ostentatious display by means of borrowed money as essentially vulgar and therefore un-Christian, and are thereby brought to an appreciation of the dishonesty 'of debt.
* Are we educating a certain section of our Christian girls beyond both their station and the present social conditions of
Chinese church life? Wbat becomes of
The question is raised as the result of our scbool Girls ?
a complaint which has been heard from Christian preachers and teachers in mission service, that the class of young women to whom they would naturally look for wives for themselves is largely removed from them by the fact of a superior education which makes these girls eligible candidates for betrothal to wealthier men of progressive, but not necessarily Christian, conviction. Such a situation, if true, calls for thought and attention.
It is scarcely credible, though it has been asserted, that many of our Christian girls are marrying non-Christian hus. bands and our Christian young men marrying non-Christian wives from this cause. If such is the case our education of the women hood of China is a little missing the mark. Allowance must be made for the natural difficulties of a transition period ; still it is worth while to stop and enquire whether sufficient attention has been paid, in our educational systems, to the demand within the church for educated wives for ministers,
teachers and helpers. It is futile if not fatal to attempt a work outside the first line of duty, leaving the home duty unfulfilled. The latter must be first met and the former not left undone.
The attention of the world is being focussed upon China in an unusual degree at this time. Besides the Opium Commission,
of which we speak elsewhere, there are three Tbe Educational Commissioners.
representatives, one from England and two
from the United States, coming to China to study the educational problem ; one, Lord Cecil, with an eye, perhaps, to a great Christian university, and the others, Professors Burton and Chamberlain, seeking to know just what are the needs of China, educationally, and how to meet them, and then to report, as we understand it, to men of great means who are devising liberal things for China. While we welcome them most heartily and wish them every success, we certainly do not envy them the task. China is a land of such multitudes of peoples, using such different languages-dialects, if you prefer—and separated by such vast distances that is, if we reckon distances by the time it takes to cover them, that it becomes an almost hopeless task to try to formulate schemes which shall meet the needs or even serve as examples to the whole country. It is well, however, that the subject should be looked at from every point of view, and we are glad that the missionary is not to be left alone to express his judgment on so great a problem. Some think he is biassed, or narrow-minded, or living in such a limited sphere that he is therefore incapacitated. And for this reason we rejoice the more that men from other lands, with broad views and, we trust, with open minds, are coming to view the land and give their verdict.
The advice of the specialist is an essential factor in the success of any enterprise, but it is almost certain to fail at some
point unless backed up by expert local knowledge. An Effective
Cosmopolitan outlook and local intensity is the Partnersbip.
combination we require in this empire. While there is less possibility than used to be the case of getting into a rut, for China herself moves fast, yet there is always the danger of narrowness of vision leading to inability to correlate our part of the problem to the whole. The reminder that visitors from home lands bring us of the world-wide nature of the task we