« AnkstesnisTęsti »
wisdom and tact of Captain Janes. For one thing, he could not speak Japanese well enough to preach the Gospel in it, and his students could not understand English. But as of yore,
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
Because he could not preach with words, Captain Janes lived out a Christlife in his every-day actions. And I believe no sermon has ever been known to be quite eloquent enough to compare to the eloquence of a simple Christian life. And the magic eloquence of it touched the hearts of the rugged children of the Kumamoto samurai. "He gave his whole strength," writes one of his old pupils, recalling those Kumamoto days, “teaching English and the sciences. But he was so kind and fatherly in his treatment of his pupils that they came to forget that he was a foreigner.” Let me put it in another way: the three years' wordless work of the captain built a bridge over which his thoughts could pass into the understanding, not only mental, but sentimental as well, of his
COUNT OKUMA Ex-Premier of Japan, founder and president of the Waseda University. Though a very busy man, he finds time to act as home manager of the base-ball team now in the United States.
moto must have a soldier for its instructor. No priest, no mere man of letters who was little better than a woman; he would hurt the esprit de corps of the clan. All these emphatic wishes of the lord of Kumamoto clan were, therefore, detailed to Dr. G. F. Verbeck, who was a sort of national adviser in such matters, and on his recommendation Captain L. L. Janes went to teach the young samurai of Kumamoto.
Most assuredly the captain was bonze. But it was also true that, in comparison with that white-flaming tower of zeal for God that was in his bosom, an every-day missionary would have looked like a penny candle Aickering and fading before a typhoon. Captain Janes was a soldier, and an officer, of course. thousand times more emphatic sense, however, he was a soldier of the Cross.
For nearly three years Captain Janes said nothing of Christianity to his Kumamoto boys. Think of the apostolic ardor such as that of Captain Janes looking upon silence as golden, and for three patient years! How could he have managed it? The entire credit, I am half afraid, does not belong either to the miraculous patience or to the still more wonderful
From a lithograph. Lent by Dr. W. E. Grittis
WAKASA, THE FIRST PROTESTANT
CHRISTIAN IN JAPAN
boys. Therefore at the end of three years to believe it, but to study its strong and one day he said to his students: "I shall weak points in order to oppose it. And so teach the Bible on Sunday. Any one who of the few who went some went simply wishes may come to my house.”
out of curiosity, others for amusement, In this short sentence the historian will others that they might oppose, none with find one of the foundation-rocks of the the desire to accept it. During his prayer, Christian church in Japan.
which seemed tedious to us, we sometimes “We still hated Christianity,” writes opened our eyes and looked upon his face, Mr. Kanamori, one of Captain Janes's with its closed and tearful eyes, and then pupils, and who later became famous as the we laughed, saying, 'Even Americans Paul of the Japanese missions because of weep!'” the persecution he suffered for his faith For another year, patiently, always
From a photograph taken on New Year's day, 1874
DR. SAMUEL R. BROWN'S HOUSE AT YOKOHAMA
between 1874 and 1880. Dr. Brown presided at most of the meetings of the committee.
and of the zeal with which he devoted his backed by his Christian life, a thing which life to the work of Christ, “as though it was both new and wonderful to the Kuwere a snake, and did not like even to see mamoto boys, Captain Janes taught them a Bible; but we so respected him that we the Bible. He never asked the young men concluded to go to the meeting. One of to become Christians. Two of the boys us went to the teacher of Chinese [a tried to impose upon his judgment; they teacher of Chinese in those days was also went to him one day and said, “We wish a preceptor in the doctrine and teachings to become preachers of the Gospel.” He of Confucius, for the Japanese boys all told them bluntly that they were not studied classic Chinese with the sacred worthy to be anything of the kind-a books of Confucius as their readers] and rather striking contrast with certain other asked his consent. He replied that we missionaries and their methods. The might go to learn about Christianity, not sharp, unexpected contrast impressed the
In 1875—that is to say, at tended, -"sometimes three hours long, the end of about one year's Bible-teaching but as we had become interested in Chris- his work began to tell. It divided the tianity, they were never tiresome to us.” Kumamoto school into two camps, one Soon after, these Kumamoto boys, who eager for the light that was in Christ and had never in all their lives even so much his life, and the other which tried to crush as heard of the word “revival,” had the the pro-Christian elements by reviving the visitation of the Spirit that was Pente
THE HARADA FAMILY
study of the sacred texts of Confucius. costal. “We wondered why our spirits The teacher of Chinese was active in the burned like a fire and why we preached work. Every Sunday morning he ex- the Gospel like mad men. One said, May pounded the teachings of the great sage of not this be the work of the Holy Spirit China. For a time every Sabbath the mentioned in the Bible?'” students went to the teacher in Chinese in And the classic city of Kumamoto was the morning and in the afternoon to Cap- treated to the greatest scandal in all its tain Janes. Then Captain Janes added ancient life. "What,” said the people in preaching to his study of the Bible. “His utter consternation, “are our own children sermons were long," writes one who at- - the children of samurai — turning into "I have come,”
Yaso bozu (that is to say, Christian none of these things. There was one thing priests]!" "Can such things be borne with to which they would devote their entire patience and in silence? And how are we lives- the spiritual rebirth of the empire to apologize to the ghosts of our an- of Nippon; nothing less. cestors?” The widowed mother of one of This, then, is the story of the famous the boys tried to commit suicide to apolo- Kumamoto Band, which helped to lay the gize to the spirit of her departed husband foundation of Christian work in Japan. because she had failed to rear the son in the virile and noble path of the samurai. It was in the city of Kioto, and the time A father told his son, in a calm and very was the summer of 1875. Two men sat solemn manner, to go out to the porch talking in a humble cottage that might leading down to the garden.
have commanded the monthly rental of “My son,” said the father, "since you ten dollars at the most. It was specially do not renounce the evil faith, I shall do modest for the two gentlemen who sat and you the honor, which you scarcely merit, talked therein, for one of them was Mr. of putting an end to your life with my (later Viscount) Tanaka, who was then own sword. That is the least apology the active head of the Department of which you and I can make to the memory Education of the newly formed Imperial of our august ancestors."
Government and the other was Dr. Nii"If it be for the sake of the Way," the shima. son made answer, “let it be so, Father
" Mr. Tanaka was sayabove."
ing, “to press a strong claim of our counSeating himself on the edge of the try upon you. : You know as well as I porch, polished like a mirror and without through what a critical hour our country a railing, the son stretched forth his neck is passing at present. It is the one season to receive the blow from the father's in a thousand autumns. If ever Nippon blade. The father looked at the son fix- needed her sons to come to her rescue, edly for a moment. From the first he had now is the time. I need not 'preach to no idea of murdering the son; he wished to the Buddha'; you know all this. You test the extent of fanaticism of his boy, as know the West and Western civilizahe considered it.
tion and its institutions; your knowledge “Kono bakayaro!” cried the father. of them would be invaluable to the GovThat is to say, "You big fool you!" I am ernment. The country has sore need of sure the old gentleman would have put in you." a choice touch of profanity, if only the “This is indeed an honor for which I Japanese language had had a “cuss” word; am utterly unworthy," Mr. Niishima but of course it had not.
made answer, "and believe me, I have no So saying, he kicked the son off the words to express my appreciation for your porch to the garden flag and left him in kindly suggestion; but,” disgust. Persecution raged, and had pre- “Ah," said the head of the Department cisely the same effect as in the cradle days of Education, “I have been afraid of that of the Christian church.
'but' of yours.
I have been afraid that It was the last Sunday in the first month you might say it." of the year of grace 1876, and the spring- "Yes, I regret to say—" like Kyushu weather was all a-smile. The “Wait," interrupted the
other. Christian students of the Kumamoto “Whether you decline or whether you school went out to a hill to the southwest accept, you should not 'act on so weighty of the castle city called Hana-oka yama, a matter as this so quickly. Would it not or the Hill-in-bloom. Seating themselves be well for you to think the matter over in a circle on the crest of the hill, they thoroughly, look upon the situation from banded themselves under solemn oaths. all possible angles? If you like, discuss Let other young men chase the will-o'-the- the matter with me. Many things can be wisp of worldly wealth and honors, let said both for and against your accepting others aspire to the noble work of the de- such a governmental position as I have fense of the Home Land of the Sun, of suggested.” carrying forward the torch of civilization, So it came to pass that the two friends but for the Kumamoto boys, however, sat down to discuss the question, the off
cial ever urging Mr. Niishima to take up laws of Japan in the days when he had an important work for the state. He was left it. one of the closest friends of Dr. Niishima, The outlaw had “the nerve" to dictate and the way they first met was at once terms to the imperial embassy! singular and dramatic.
He was willing, he said, to serve the emat Washington, District of bassy as an interpreter, but, in the first place, Columbia, and Mr. Tanaka was then the imperial commission must recognize with the famous Iwakura Embassy, in the him as an honorable and upright citizen of year 1872, perhaps the most significant Nippon. He had not committed any other year in the history of the new Nippon crime than to run away from the country since the restoration of the actual sover- with the sole desire of studying the instieignty to the emperor. It was the second tutions of America. (That act was punand by far the most important embassy ishable by death, according to the laws of sent abroad by the newly formed im- the shogun's government.) The imperial perial régime. Okubo and Kido were commissioners must greet him as an equal, the leading spirits of it, the two great and must not expect him to fall upon his and magic names to conjure with in forehead, as was the usage at the court of those days. Ito (the late Prince Ito) was Japan. That was not all: the ambassador also one of the members of the cominis- must shake hands with the writer after the sion. The embassy was "first to study the most approved American fashion! There institutions of the civilized nations, adopt were many more demands of this sort. those most suited to Japan, and gradually What could the embassy do? It acreform our Government and manners, so cepted all the demands unconditionally, as to attain the status equal to that of the and Mr. Niishima joined the Iwakura most civilized nations. There was no Embassy. It was there that he came to lack of brains among the men of the em- know Viscount Tanaka; with him he bassy. One thing was missing, however, traveled all through Europe and America; the gift of tongue. The embassy needed the report on the educational work of an interpreter, and needed him badly. In Europe and America presented to the this sore hour of need, they were told that throne by the embassy on its return was there was a school in a town called An- based on the joint investigations of the two dover, in the State of Massachusetts, and in it was a Japanese student.
Thus the two friends of former days sat reported to be studying the “science of in the humble Kioto cottage of Dr. NiiGod.” It was plain that he could handle shima. this trying invention of the darker power Did Niishima wish to propagate the called the English language.
Christian faith among the Japanese? • It did not take those wise gentlemen Would his high standing among the offifrom Japan many minutes to decide on cers of the Government hurt such a work? their course of action. At once they sum- Was there, could there be, any more moned the theological student with all the effective method than to become a great authority of the Imperial Government, national factor himself, and then bring with which they were vested. He did not about the spiritual salvation of Japan, and answer post-haste and in person, as the show to all the people that a Christian can gentlemen of the commission confidently at one and the same time be a patriot as expected. Instead, there came a letter. It well? Viscount Tanaka sat with Niiwas one of the most remarkable documents shima and talked for three days and two they had ever read, and they had seen all nights. sorts of things in their day. For audacity To all the arguments of his friend, Dr. and frankness it surpassed a dun for a ten- Niishima had nothing more to say than year-old debt. For the dictatorial tone of this: it, the writer, a humble student, even if “I have only one answer: my life is he were presumptuous enough to be study- not my own. It belongs to Jesus Christ. ing the “science of God," might have been Many years ago I solemnly swore to dethe Czar of all the Russias. And he vote my entire time and effort to his explained in the said remarkable letter
I can not take back my words and that he was an outlaw, according to the my heart. I can not do it."