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Missionary Magazine

AND

CHRONICLE.

TREATY OF PEACE BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND CHINA.

WITH feelings of wonder and thankfulness we are permitted to record the termination of hostilities with China, and the conclusion of a Treaty defining our future relations, and regulating our intercourse with that mighty empire. The terms of this Treaty, which will be found substantially in the subjoined letter of Dr. Hobson, far exceed the expectations both of politicians and of Christians, and, if faithfully carried out by the several parties interested, they cannot fail, under the smiles of Divine Providence, to secure the most important advantages to China and the entire civilized. world, but pre-eminently to the Church of Christ. To some of these anticipated results, in connection with the cause of Missions, our laborious friend Mr. Muirhead in his letter refers, while he founds on them the strong claims of the Chinese Mission and the urgent need of a large reinforcement of Missionaries.

To the friends of the London Missionary Society this wonderful accomplishment of their largest hopes in the free admission of Christian Evangelists to all the vast provinces of China, cannot be regarded without feelings of solemnity, no less than 'delight. For more than half a century our devoted agents have been labouring in faith and hope for the salvation of her idolatrous millions, and many of their number have laid down their lives in the assurance that the time to favour her, yea, the set time, would come. And now their prayer is answered, and their expectation more than realized. May the Churches of Christ affiliated with the Society, and with all Protestant Evangelical Societies through Christendom, prove faithful to the onerous duty which now devolves on them in sending forth a numerous band of faithful Evangelists to enter the wide and effectual door which God has opened into the land of Sinim.

Under date Shanghae, 13th July ult., Dr. Hobson writes:

"I am rejoiced in being able to inform you that the negotiations at Teen-tsin have been brought to a peaceful and satisfactory issue. The English treaty, which is the principal and most complete of the four made, has been signed and accredited by the Emperor, and is now in the hands of the VOL. XXXVI.

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Hon. F. Bruce, brother to Lord Elgin, who leaves with it to-morrow, per Overland Mail. The French and the American treaties are conveyed home by the same opportunity. Lord Elgin and his suite arrived here yesterday, and after coaling, will proceed in a few days to Japan, where His Excellency expects 2 s

to remain but a short time, and then return home, if not prevented doing so by the serious troubles at Canton. The numerous articles of the treaty, said to be upwards of forty in number, have not yet been publicly made known, but of this we are certain, they contain conditions very favourable to the development of Christianity and foreign commerce, and that hostilities are at an end with the Court and country of China (Canton alone excepted), which is cause for devout thankfulness to God.

"If the ulterior resort of proceeding to Peking with an armed force had taken effect, we know not how serious the consequences would have been, or when they would have been brought to an end. It is clearly seen and felt, that what has been effected, has arisen from intense fear of the allied forces attacking Peking after they had destroyed and overcome all opposition at the mouth of the Pi ho River. Everything that has been granted has been with an unwilling and forced surrender of demanded privileges. The working out, therefore, of the treaty stipulations, will be a work of time and difficulty. It will be comparatively easy in parts of the country like this, for instance, where the people and Native authorities are loth to meddle or afraid of interfering with foreigners. In Canton and other places, where there is a strong anti-English feeling, the treaty will be in many respects like the former one, a dead letter.

"The publication of the treaty in England will not probably give unmixed satisfaction, but to commerce it will surely prove in time a great boon, and increased facilities will be gradually afforded for the wide diffusion of the blessed Gospel.

"I have no idea myself that the Native authorities or the people will be a whit more favourable in their hearts to Christianity than before; but according to the treaty every

reasonable legal barrier is removed, which is a great point gained. The success of the Missionary will, humanly speaking, much depend on his own prudence, forethought, adaptation, and zeal. The chief points of the treaty, I had been privately informed by a friend, are these, which can be relied upon as true in the main :

"1. Opening up of the country to merchants and Missionaries on the system of passports.

"2. Toleration of Christianity.

"3. Improvement and revision of the tariff.

"Your attention," observes Mr. M., "has of late been much directed to India, and I am delighted to hear of the resolution of our Directors in regard to that country. The time, however, seems to have arrived

"4. Opening of five more ports for trade, Hac nam, Formoza, Twa taon (near Amoy), and two ports in Shan tung, above this.

"5. Indemnification for losses at Canton and some of the expenses of the war, to amount to 4,000,000 dollars.

"6. A resident minister at Peking. "7. The Yang tsze River can be visited for purposes of trade up to certain limits, not above Nanking, while in possession of the rebels.

"The opium trade is left where it was; no united action could be taken upon it. It is not legalized, as has been generally reported.

"Farther particulars I am not able to give you, but I thought it proper to inform you of the above by the earliest opportunity, and I am sure the announcement of peace being restored, and many advantages gained fa. vourable to religion and civilization, will afford to you and the Directors of our Society great satisfaction. I am not so sanguine as some seem to be of great and sudden changes being brought about by this new and im portant treaty; the changes will be sure but gradual, and the result of persevering and well directed efforts, whether by the Missionary, traveller, or merchant."

The Rev. William Muirhead, under date Shanghae, 18th July, proceeds to observe:

when still more urgent appeals, if possible, must be made in behalf of China. Lord Elgin has just returned from the North, having concluded a new treaty with the Government of this country, the terms of

which are represented as being altogether favourable to enlarged Missionary enter prise. The particulars thereof have not fully transpired, as it is necessary that the treaty should first be ratified at home. As much, however, is known of its character, that the Churches of Christ may well be informed of their duty and obligation in the

matter.

be met with, no one need be intimidated by the fear of the whole nation being composed of distinguished and learned scholars. In respect of numbers and the character of our audiences, for the most part the language of Scripture is appropriate: To the poor the Gospel is preached;' The common people heard him gladly;' and adaptation to this class is specially required on the part of the most useful Missionary. Books have been prepared to a large extent, and will continue to be from time to time; but that is only the very occasional work of a few, and not to be compared in importance to the single duty of preaching the Gospel in the towns, villages, cities, and provinces of this vast empire. It is to be hoped that, through the Divine blessing, churches will be planted in different places, over which Native pastors will be ordained, while the European Missionary will more particularly occupy himself with doing the work of an evangelist. What we now want is men who will give themselves to the work of preaching · the Gospel. Every possible inducement might be offered to young men in good health, of active disposition, warm-hearted piety, and self-denying, laborious habits. The climate, the scenery, the country, as a whole, presents all possible varieties, and is far superior to many other parts of the world to which the servants of Christ have been largely sent. If we consider the immensity of the population, their ignorance, superstitions, and spiritual wretchedness, the wide and effectual door which is about to be thrown open, the readiness of the people to listen to instruction, and the manifest indications of Providence in the present movement, it seems that the call to personal consecration on the part of ministerial students and others is urgent in the extreme. As yet there is no general awakening, it is true; but good has been done, and there are not a few native agents who will form valuable auxiliaries in the work of the Lord. Men, animated by the love of Christ, burning with compassion for souls, and to whom, from practical experience, the great truths of the Gospel are precious, combined with other obvious and necessary characteristics, will find unparalleled scope for their exertions among the thousand myriads around. In

"In a commercial point of view, there has been a great extension of privilege, but not to be compared with the increased facilities that have been granted to Missionary labour. It has been agreed that Missionaries be allowed to travel far and wide in the discharge of their work, and to reside in the different towns and cities in the interior without let or hindrance. They may preach the Gospel in the most open and public manner, and in all directions far and near. Instead of being molested or opposed as heretofore, they are to be recognised in their true character, and protected accordingly. It will require time and experience before the full privileges of the new arrangement can be obtained; but such is understood to be one of its provisions, and it is a ground of rejoicing. Hitherto we have had a comparatively wide scope for our labours, but it was always in the way of sufferance, and this was pretty well known among the people. We ask, indeed, no special privilege from the Chinese Government, but simple permission to proclaim the everlasting Gospel, and as this is seemingly accorded to us, our happiness is great.

"In the view of what is before us, the question anxiously occurs, what is to be done by the Church at home for the spiritual welfare of this great land? I am persuaded that there are numbers of young, energetic, and Christian men who, if they knew the actual requirements of the case, the encou ragement to Missionary labour, and the qualifications needful for eminent usefulness in this country, would be induced to devote themselves to the work. The thing which is pre-eminently wanted is preaching. There is really no such difficulty in the Chinese language as has been long supposed. Men of average ability can readily acquire a sufficient vocabulary to preach freely and intelligibly, and as all classes of society are to

the cities and towns, among the hills and valleys in the interior, by the river and on the land, there are multitudes to be met with, all ignorant of the word of life, perishing for lack of that knowledge which alone can save from everlasting woe, and to whom, in the providence of God, and for the first time in the history of Protestant Missions, access is now being granted. Oh! will

none-will not many offer themselves to this glorious work, and in the hour of solitude at the throne of grace, and by the public dedication of themselves, say, 'Here are we, Lord, send us.'

"The past half year has been to me a time of much pure enjoyment as well as constant employment in active Missionary work. The first three of the six months were devoted almost exclusively to itinerating, during which period a large number of cities, towns, and villages were visited. The ease with which Missionary excursions may be made in this part of China, and preaching carried on, even in the very busiest thorough fares of our most populous cities, is truly surprising. Some months ago, a brother Missionary and myself visited Kiahing and Kia-shan, two large cities in the Ohe-keang province, and about one hundred miles from Shanghae. We thought that short discourses, embracing a simple enunciation of Gospel truth, and an earnest, affectionate appeal to the consciences of our hearers, delivered as often as possible, would be better than long sermons delivered twice or thrice n the course of the day. We commenced each day with the early morning, and kept on preaching simultaneously till the late evening, to crowds of people in all the busy and narrow streets, without the least interruption, or expression of ill-will on the part of the citizens. After spending seven days

"I hope to write you more fully by the next mail, believing the subject to be one of deep interest to the Directors, as it is to us."

MISSIONARY OPERATIONS IN CHINA.

WHILE the interior of this vast Empire has been distracted by a sanguinary contest, threatening the subversion of the ruling dynasty, and its outworks have been exposed to the assaults of the allied foreign powers arrayed against her, the Missionaries occupying some of the principal stations have continued to prosecute their peaceful labours without disturbance or alarm, and even to extend their journeys far into the interior.

Our first extract is from the pen of the Rev. Griffith John, of the Shanghae Mission, who entered upon the work in the autumn of 1855. Under date 15th June ult., Mr. J. writes :

at these two places, we left pretty well satisfied that there was hardly a street or corner which had not been converted into a temporary pulpit, and that the glad tidings of salvation had been preached to thousands of perishing men for the first time. This is only a specimen of what may be and is done by Protestant Missionaries in the towns and cities around Shanghae. It is very pleasing and cheering to see multitudes coming to listen to our preaching wherever we go. Among our hearers there are some who seem touched and interested; the majo rity, however, treat the message with indifference and contempt. But I have observed that in China, as elsewhere, the poor are the most susceptible of impression. The more I have to do with the people, the more profoundly convinced I become of the absurdity of the old standing idea, that China must be worked upon from above, and that here we must commence with the wise, the rich, and the noble, and descend from thence to the lower classes. Besides the apriori improbability of this, I believe that the experience of Missionaries in China- both Roman Catholic and Protestant-goes to show that the land of Sinim is no exception to the

enable him to do a great deal of work. We want here men of action as well as men of thought. We could not dispense with the latter, yet we deem the former equally invaluable. Though the itinerating work is very pleasant in itself, yet it is far from being satisfactory to a Missionary who is seeking for visible, definite, tangible results. Our stay is generally too short to remove false impressions, and to develope the beau ties and attractions of our religion. Hence I had made several attempts to rent a house where I might reside with my family.

"After several attempts and disappointments, I at length succeeded in renting a house at Ping-hu, a district city in the province of Ohe-keang, where I have been residing with my family for upwards of two months. Ping-hu is between 80 and 100 miles from Shanghae, and contains upwards of 80,000 inhabitants. One of our number had made an attempt to establish a station there, but on account of the interference of the mandarin, it was broken up soon after. Hitherto we have met no opposition from the officials, and the people seem pleased with our presence rather than otherwise. We open the doors for preaching about 2 P.M., and close them between 5 and 6 o'clock. My native assistant and myself preach alternately, generally speaking to a large and attentive audience. We have not been without some tokens of the Divine blessing and approbation. On my first going there, I established a Bible class, which I hold twice a week; all who seemed to feel an interest in the truth were invited to attend, and in a few days we had a goodly number of catechumens, who were receiving special instructions. Six of my catechumens have received the ordinance of baptism, and are, so far as I can ascertain, walking worthy of their profession. We have several candidates besides, and in a letter just received from my native assistant, he states that the number of inquirers is multiplying. Of the above, two are literary graduates; one is a respectable tradesman and his wife (whose children, also, five in number, have been baptized); one is a shopkeeper, and one is a silk merchant. May these six prove to be only an earnest of a future harvest to be gathered in at Ping-hu. A person has just

general rule. These are the words of an old Roman Catholic Missionary :-'In short, although amongst the Christians that are in China, we reckon no more princes and ministers of state since the last persecution of Father Adam Shool, yet for all that we baptize every year mandarins, doctors, and other persons of quality; yet it is true that the common people make up the greatest number: Non multi potentes, non multi nobiles. And it is no news to own that the poor have always been the elect portion and precious inheritance of Jesus Christ in the Church.' Long since, however, even their mandarins and doctors have fallen away; and it is a well-known fact, that at present their converts are almost entirely among the poorest and most illiterate of the people. If we would convert China, we must begin with the common people, and devote our energies principally to their enlightenment.

"Connected with this is another false impression, namely, that none but men of high mental endowments and profound erudition will do as Missionaries for China. The reason of this misconception, I suppose, is the literary character of the people, and the unconquerable difficulties of the language. There can be no doubt but that China has her wise men in abundance, and that the acquisition of a profound knowledge of the language is more than a life work to any foreigner; but, on the other hand, experience has taught me that the path of the Missionary lies chiefly among the illiterate and poor, and that a diligent student of moderate capacities may, within the first two years of his Missionary career, be able to read and explain his Chinese New Testament intelligibly, and speak with sufficient case and accuracy to convey to the mind of a Chinese audience a full and correct idea of the principal truths of the Gospel. I don't mean to say that a thorough knowledge of the language and literature of the Chinese is unimportant; on the contrary, I maintain, the more profound the better; every Missionary should constantly aim at perfection in this respect. I only assert, that it is by no means essential to long and extensive usefulness, and that a man of moderate calibre may acquire in a comparatively short period a sufficient amount of Chinese to

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