( Originally Published 1910 )
American Influence in the Far East—Officials and the Boycott—Interview with President Roosevelt Riot in a British Concession—Ex-territoriality—Two Ways to an End—A Grave Mistake—The Nan-chang Tragedy—Dangers from Superstition
SO FAR from being new, an anti-foreign spirit is the normal state of the Chinese mind. Yet during the year past it has taken on new forms, directed itself against new objects, and employed new methods. It deserves therefore a conspicuous place among the new developments in the China of the twentieth century.
Where everything is changing, the temper of the people has undergone a change. They have become restless as the sea and fickle as a weather-vane. The friends of yesterday are the enemies of to-day; and a slight or petty annoyance is enough to make them transfer man or country from one to the other category. Murderous outbreaks, rare in the past, have now be-come alarmingly frequent, so much so that the last year might be described as a year of anti-foreign riots. The past , nine months have witnessed four such out-breaks. In four widely separated provinces, venting their fury pretty impartially on people of four nationalities and of all professions, they were actuated by a common hate and indicated a common purpose. That purpose—if they had a purpose—was to compel a readjustment of treaty relations.
America has the distinction of being the target for the first assaults. In treating the subject I accordingly begin with America and the boycott, as set forth in a long extract from an address before the Publishers' League of New York, November 8, 1905, on
AMERICAN INFLUENCE IN THE FAR EAST
"Mr. President and Gentlemen:
"If I were asked to find a pou sto, a fulcrum, on which to erect a machine to move the world, I should choose this league of publishers; and the machine would be no other than the power press! I have accepted your invitation not merely from pleasant recollections of your former hospitality, but because new occurrences have taken place which appeal to the patriotism of every good citizen. They are issues that rise above party; they involve our national character and the well-being of another people whom we owe the sacred duties of justice and humanity.
"When I agreed to speak to you of American influence in the Far East, I was not aware that we should have with us a representative of Japan, and I expected to spread myself thinly over two empires. Happy I am to resign one of these empires to Mr. Stevens.
"I shall accordingly say no more about Japan than to advert to the fact that the wise forbearance of Commodore Perry, which, in 1854, induced the Shogun to open his ports without firing a gun, has won the gratitude of the Japanese people; so that in many ways they testify a preference for us and our country. For instance, they call the English language `Americano,' etc. They were disappointed that their claims against Russia, were not backed up by the United States. That, however, caused only a momentary cloud. Beyond this, nothing has ever occurred to mar the harmony of the two peoples who face each other on the shores of the Pacific. Perry's wise initiative was followed by the equal wisdom of Townsend Harris, who, before any other consul or minister had arrived, was invited to Yeddo to give advice to the government of the Shogun.
"American influence thus inaugurated has been fostered by a noble army of ministers, consuls, and missionaries. The total absence of massacres and murders makes the history of our intercourse with Japan tame in contrast with the tragic story from China. It speaks the reign of law.
"My acquaintance with Japan dates back forty-six years; and in the meantime I have had pleasant relations with most of the ministers she has sent to China. One of her officials recently gave me a beautiful scarf-pin that speaks volumes for American influence, showing as it does the two flags in friendly union on one flagstaff. I gave him in return the following lines :
"To sun and stars divided sway!
"Thou, Orient sun, still higher rise
"Our starry flag first woke the dawn
"I now turn to the less cheering theme of American influence in China. It reminds me of the naturalist who took for the heading of a chapter 'Snakes in Iceland,' and whose entire chapter consisted of the words 'There are no snakes in Iceland.' Though formerly blazing like a constellation in the Milky Way, American influence has vanished so completely that you can hardly see it with a microscope. What influence can we presume on when our commodities are shut out, not by legislative action but as a result of popular resentment?
"True, the latest advices are to the effect that the boycott has broken down. I foresaw and foretold more than two months ago that it could not in the nature of the case be of long duration, that it was a mere ballon d'essai—an encouraging proof that Orientals are learning to apply our methods. But is there not a deplorable difference between the conditions under which it is used in the two countries? In one the people all read, and the newspaper is in everybody's hand. The moment a strike or boycott is declared off all hands fall into their places and things go on as usual. In the other the readers are less than one in twenty. Newspapers, away from the open ports, are scarcely known, or if they exist they are subject to the tyranny of the mandarins or the terrorism of the mob. Hence a war may be waged in one province and people in another may scarcely hear of it. Chevaux-de-frise may bar out goods from one port, while they are more or less openly admitted in other ports. Not only so, the hostile feeling engendered by such conflict of interest is not dissipated by sunshine, but rankles and spreads like an epidemic over vast regions unenlightened by newspapers or by contact with foreign commerce.
" Witness the massacre of American missionaries at Lienchow in the Canton province. I am not going to enter into the de-tails of that shocking atrocity, nor to dwell on it further than to point out that although the boycott was ended on September 14, the people in that district were in such a state of exasperation that the missionaries felt themselves in danger fourteen days after that date. In the New York Sun of November 5 I find part of a letter from one of the victims, the Reverend Mr. Peale, written exactly one month before the tragedy. Allow me to read it along with an introductory paragraph.
" `PRINCETON, N. J., Nov. 4.—A. Lee Wilson, a student in the Princeton Theological Seminary, received a letter a few days ago from John R. Peale, the missionary who, with his wife, was killed in Lienchow, China, on October 28. The letter was dated September 28, and reached America at the time that Peale and his wife were murdered. It gives a clue to the troubles which led to the death of Peale. The letter says in part:
"The interest in the boycott is vital to the missionaries. Heretofore the Americans always enjoyed special favour, and to fly the American flag meant protection ; but it is different now. No personal violence has been attempted, but the people are less cordial and more suspicious. People in China are not asking that their coolies be allowed entrance into the States, but they only ask that the Americans cease treating the Chinese with contempt and allow their merchants and students the same privileges that other foreigners receive."
" `Peale graduated from the Princeton Theological Seminary last May.
"Is it not evident that whatever spark caused the explosion, the nitro-glycerin that made it possible came from the boycott?
" Not only do they boycott ponderables such as figure at the custom-house, but they extend the taboo to things of the head and heart. The leader of the whole movement was formerly an active supporter of the International Institute, an institution which proposes to open gratuitous courses of lectures and to place Chinese men of intelligence on common ground with scholars of the West. He now opposes the International Institute because, forsooth, it is originated and conducted by Dr. Reid, a large-minded American.
"After this, will you be surprised to hear that your own publications, the best text-books for the schools of the Far East, have been put on the index expurgatorius? A number of such books were lately returned with the excuse that they were forbidden because they bore the stamp of an American press.
" If I should go on to say that government officials, high and low, look with satisfaction on this assertion of something like national feeling, you might reply, 'National feeling! Yes, it is a duty to cultivate that.' But do we not know how it has been fostered in China? Has not hatred of the foreigner been mistaken for patriotism, and been secretly instigated as a safe-guard against foreign aggression? In this instance, however, there is no room to suspect such a motive. The movement is purely a result of provocation on our part; and it is fostered with a view to coercing our government into modifying or re-pealing our offensive exclusion laws. The Viceroy of Central China, with whom I have spent the last three years, is known as a pioneer of reform—a man who has done more than any other to instruct his people in their duties as well as their rights. When, on the expiration of my engagement, I was about to leave for home, the prefect of Wuchang, a Canton man, addressed me a letter begging me to plead the cause of his people with the President of the United States. That letter was referred to in an interview by the viceroy, and the request which it contained reiterated by him. He gave me a parting banquet, attended by many of his mandarins, and on that occasion the subject came up again and the same request was renewed and pressed on me from all sides. While I promised to exert myself on their behalf, let me give you a specimen of the kind of oil which I poured on their wounded feelings.
"Said I, 'Under the exasperating effect of these petty grievances your people forget what they owe to the United States. They lose sight of the danger of alienating their best friend. In the Boxer War, when Peking was captured by a combined force of eight foreign powers, who but America was the first to intro-duce a self-denying ordinance forbidding any power to take any portion of the Chinese territory? In this she was backed up by Great Britain; the other powers fell into line and the integrity of the Empire was assured. Again, when China was in danger of being drawn into the vortex of the Russo-Japanese war, who but America secured for her the privileges of neutrality—thus a second time protecting her national life? And now you turn against us! Is not such conduct condemned by your ancient poet who says:
"Ki wo siao yuen, wang wo ta teh', etc.
(How many acts of kindness done
"If the cause of offence be taken away there is reason to hope that the beneficent action of our country, on those two occasions so big with destiny, will be remembered, and will lead China to look to our flag as an aegis under which she may find protection in time of need. Not till then will our influence, now reduced to the vanishing-point, be integrated to its full value.
"The injuries inflicted, though trifling in comparison with the benefits conferred, are such as no self-respecting people should either perpetrate or endure. Take one example, where I could give you twenty. Two young men, both Christians, one rich, the other poor, came to the United States for education. They were detained in a prison-shed for three months. One of them, falling sick, was removed to a hospital; the other obtaining permission to visit him, they made their escape to Canada and thence back to China.
"What wonder no more students come to us and that over 8,000 are now pursuing their studies in Japan!
"The present irritation is, we are assured by the agitators, provoked by the outrageous treatment of the privileged classes (merchants, travellers, and students) and not by the exclusion of labourers, to which their government has given its assent. Yet in the growing intelligence of the Chinese a time has come when their rulers feel such discrimination as a stigma. It is not merely a just application of existing laws that Viceroy Chang and his mandarins demand. They call for the rescinding of those disgraceful prohibitions and the right to compete on equal terms with immigrants from Europe. If we show a disposition to treat the Chinese fairly, their country and their hearts will be open to us as never before. Our commerce with China will expand to vast proportions; and our flag will stand highest' among those that overarch and protect the integrity of that empire."
On November 16, I was received by President Roosevelt. Running his eye over the documents (see below) which I placed in his hands he expressed himself on each point. The grievances arising from the Exclusion Laws he acknowledged to be real. He promised that they should be mitigated or removed by improvements in the mode of administration; but he held out no hope of their repeal. " We have one race problem on our hands and we don't want another," he said with emphasis. The boycott which the Chinese have resorted to as a mode of coercion he condemned as an aggravation of existing difficulties. The interruption of trade and the killing of American missionaries to which it had led made it impossible, he said, to turn over to China the surplus indemnity, as he had intended.
This response is what I expected ; but it will by no means satisfy the ruling classes in China, who aim at nothing short of repeal. When I assured him the news-papers were wrong in representing the agitation as confined to labourers and merchants, adding that the highest mandarins, while formally condemning it, really give it countenance, he replied that he believed that to be the case, and reiterated the declaration that nothing is to be gained by such violent measures on the part of China.
From the Executive Mansion, I proceeded to the Chinese Legation, where I talked over the matter with the minister, Sir Chentung Liang. He was not surprised at the attitude of the President. He said the state of feeling towards China in Congress and in the entire country is improving, but that, in his opinion, it will require ten years to bring about the repeal of the Exclusion Laws.
The present hitch in negotiations comes in part from Peking, but he hoped a temporary settlement would soon be arrived at,
The papers referred to above are here appended.
LETTERS REQUESTING GOOD OFFICES (Translation)
"To the Hon. Dr. Martin.
" During the last three years we have often exchanged views on the subject of education and other topics of the day; and to me it is a joy to reflect that no discordant note has ever marred our intercourse..
" In view of your learning and your long residence of forty years at our capital, besides fifteen years in other parts of China, you are regarded by us with profound respect. When we hear your words we ponder them and treasure them up as things not to be forgotten. It is by your scholarship and by your personal character that you have been able to associate with the officers and scholars of the Central Empire in harmony like this.
" Now, sir, there is a matter which we wish to bring to your attention—a matter that calls for the efforts of wise men like yourself. I refer to the exclusion of Chinese labourers. It affects our mercantile as well as our labouring population very deeply.
"We beg you to bear in mind your fifty-five years' sojourn in China and to speak a good word on our behalf to the President of the United States so as to secure the welfare of both classes.
" If through your persuasion the prohibitory regulations should be withdrawn the gratitude of our Chinese people will know no bounds; your fifty-five years of devotion to the good of China will have a fitting consummation in one day's achievement; and your name will be handed down to coming generations.
" Being old friends, I write as frankly as if we were speaking face to face.
"(Signed) LIANG TING FEN,
"Director, of the Normal College for the Two Lake "Provinces, Intendant of Circuit (Taotai), etc. etc. "Wuchang, July 8, 1905."
The foregoing translation was made by me, and the original is attached to the copy presented to the President, for the satisfaction of any official interpreter who may desire to see it.
This letter may be regarded as expressing the sentiments of the higher officials of the Chinese Empire. It was written on the eve of my embarkation for home by a man who more than any other has a right to be looked on as spokesman for Viceroy Chang; and the following day the request was repeated by the viceroy himself. These circumstances make it a document of more than ordinary importance.
The outrageous treatment to which the privileged classes (merchants, students, and travellers) have been subjected, under cover of enforcing the Exclusion Laws, has caused a deep-rooted resentment, of which the boycott is only a superficial manifestation. That movement may not be of long duration, but it has already lasted long enough to do us no little damage.
Besides occasioning embarrassment to our trade, it has excited a feeling of hostility which it will require years of conciliatory policy to eradicate.
The letter makes no direct reference to the boycott, neither does it allude to coming negotiations; yet there can be little doubt that, in making this appeal, the writer had both in view. The viceroy and his officials are right in regarding the present as a grave crisis in the intercourse of the two countries.
Their amicable relations have never been interrupted except during a fanatical outbreak known as the " Boxer Troubles," which aimed at the expulsion of all foreigners. The leading part taken by our country in the subsequent settlement, especially in warding off the threatened dismemberment of China, added immensely to our influence. Again, on the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese conflict, which was waged mainly on Chinese territory, it was American diplomacy that secured for China the advantage of neutrality, and once more warded off a danger that menaced her existence.
Yet every spark of gratitude for these transcendent services is liable to be extinguished by the irritation caused by discrimination against her labourers and the consequent ill-treatment of other classes of her people. No argument is required to show how important it is to remove all grounds of complaint in the interest of our growing commerce.
That any sweeping alteration will be made in our existing laws, I have given my mandarin friends no reason to expect. Self-preservation stands on a higher plane than the amenities of intercourse. For many years these laws served as a bulwark without which the sparse population of our Western States would have been swamped by the influx of Asiatics. In early days it was easier for the Chinese to cross the ocean than for the people of our Eastern States to cross the Continent. Now, however, the completion of railroads has reduced the continental transit to five or six days, in lieu of many months; and the population of our Pacific Coast is so considerable that there is no longer any danger of its being overrun by immigrants from the Far East. Is it not therefore a fair question whether the maintenance of these old restrictions is desirable or politic? Swaddling bands, necessary for the protection of an infant, are an impediment to a growing boy. That question can perhaps be best decided by ascertaining the general sentiment of our Pacific States. My impression is that, with the exception of the fruit-growers of California and some others, they are strongly opposed to what they call " letting down the bars."
The most feasible way of meeting the difficulty would be, as it appears to me, the enactment of regulations to provide against abuses in the enforcement of our Exclusion Laws. The President has already spoken forcibly in condemnation of such abuses. The " privileged classes " might be construed in a more liberal sense. Provision might be made to mitigate the hard-ships of detention and repatriation; and a better class of inspectors might be appointed with a general superintendent, whose duty it should be to see that the laws are enforced humanely as well as faithfully.
On December 18, less than three months after the attack on Americans at Lienchow, an attempt was made to destroy the British settlement in Shanghai.
A woman arrested on a charge of kidnapping was sent to the foreign jail to await trial. The Chinese assessor insisted, not without reason, that she ought to be kept in a native jail. No attention being given to his protest, though supported by the taotai or local governor, a mob of riff-raft from beyond the limits burst into the settlement, put the foreign police to flight, and began to burn and pillage. Happily a body of marines with gatling guns and fire-engines succeeded in quelling the flames and suppressing the insurrection. A few hours' delay must have seen that rich emporium converted into a heap of ashes. Forty of the rioters were killed and many wounded. Though on ground granted to Great Britain, the settlement is called international and is governed by a municipal council elected by the foreign ratepayers. The Chinese residents, numbering half a million, are allowed no voice in the council; and that also is felt as a grievance. They are, however, protected against the rapacity of their own officials ; and it is said they took no part in the riot. In fact had it not been promptly suppressed they must have suffered all the horrors of sack and pillage. After it was over they took occasion to demand recognition in the municipal government ; promising to be satisfied if allowed to appoint a permanent committee, with whom the council should consult before deciding on any question affecting their interests.
Modest as this request was, it was rejected by an almost unanimous vote of the foreign ratepayers. They knew that such committee, however elected, was certain to be manipulated by the governor to extend his jurisdiction. Their decision was quietly accepted by the Chinese residents, who appreciate the protection which they enjoy in that strange republic. The question is certain to come up again, and their claim to be heard will be pressed with more insistence as they become more acquainted with the principles of representative government.
The existence of an imperium in imperio which comes between them and their people is of course distasteful to the mandarins; and they are bent on curtailing its privileges. If its franchises were surrendered, " Ichabod " might be inscribed on the gates of the model settlement.
The practice of marking out a special quarter for each nationality is an old one in China, adopted for convenience. When, after the first war, the British exacted the opening of ports, they required the grant of a concession in each, within which their consuls should have chief, if not exclusive authority. Other nations made the same demands ; and China made the grants, not as to the British from necessity, but apparently from choice—the foreign consul being bound to keep his people in order. Now, however, the influx of natives into the foreign settlements, and the enormous growth of those mixed communities in wealth and population, have led the Chinese Government to look on the ready compliance of its predecessors as a blunder. Accordingly, in opening new ports in the interior it marks out a foreign quarter, but makes no " concession." It does not as before waive the exercise of jurisdiction within those limits.
The above question relates solely to the government of Chinese residing in the foreign "concessions." But there is a larger question now looming on the political sky, viz., how to recover the right of control over foreigners, wherever they may be in the Empire. If it were in their power, the Chinese would cancel not merely the franchises of foreign settlements, but the treaty right of exemption from control by the local government. This is a franchise of vital interest to the foreigner, whose life and property would not be safe were they dependent on the native tribunals as these are at present constituted.
Such exemption is customary in Turkey and other Moslem countries, not to say among the Negroes of Africa. It was recognised by treaty in Japan; and the Japanese, in proportion as they advanced in the path of reform, felt galled by an exception which fixed on them the stigma of barbarism. When they had proved their right to a place in the comity of nations, with good laws administered, foreign powers cheerfully consented to allow them the exercise of all the prerogatives of sovereignty.
How does her period of probation compare with that of her neighbour? Japan resolved on national renovation on Western lines in 1868. China came to no such resolution until the collapse of her attempt to exterminate the foreigner in 1900. With her the age of reform dates from the return of the Court in 1902--as compared with Japan four years to thirty! Then what a contrast in the animus of the two countries! The one characterised by law and order, the other by mob violence, unrestrained, if not instigated, by the authorities !
When the north wind tried to compel a traveller to take off his cloak, the cloak was wrapped the closer and held the tighter. When the sun came out 'with his warm beams, the traveller stripped it off of his own accord.
The sunrise empire has exemplified the latter method; China prefers the former. Is it not to be feared that the apparent success of the boycott will encourage her to persist in the policy of the traveller in the north wind. She ought to be notified that she is on probation, and that the only way to recover the exercise of her sovereign rights is to show herself worthy of confidence. The Boxer outbreak postponed by many years the withdrawal of the cloak of ex-territoriality, and every fresh exhibition of mob violence defers that event to a more distant date.
To confound " stranger" with " enemy" is the error of Bedouin or Afghan. Does not China do the same when she mistakes hostility to foreigners for patriotism? By this blunder she runs the risk of alienating her best friends, England and America. A farmer attempting to rope up a shaky barrel in which a hen was sitting on a nest full of eggs, the silly fowl mistook him for an enemy and flew in his face. Is not China in danger of being left to the fate which her friends have sought to avert?
In April a magistrate went by invitation to the French Catholic Mission to settle a long-standing dispute, and he settled it by committing suicide—in China the most dreaded form of revenge. Carried out gasping but speechless, he intimated that he was the victim of a murderous attack by the senior priest. His wounds were photographed; and the pictures were circulated with a view to exciting the mob. Gentry and populace held meetings for the purpose of screwing their courage up to the required pitch—governor and mandarins kept carefully in the background—and on the fifth day the mission buildings were destroyed and the priests killed. An English missionary, his wife and daughter, living not far away, were set upon and slain, not because they were not known to belong to another nation and another creed, but be-cause an infuriated mob does not care to discriminate.
English and French officials proceeded to the scene in gunboats to examine the case and arrange a settlement. The case of the English family was settled without difficulty; but that of the French mission was more complicated. Among the French demands were two items which the Chinese Government found embarrassing. It had accepted the theory of murder and hastily conferred posthumous honours on the deceased magistrate. The French demanded the re-traction of those honors, and a public admission of suicide. To pay a money indemnity and cashier a governor was no great hardship, but how could the court submit to the humiliation of dancing to the tune of a French piper? An English surgeon declared, in a sealed report of autopsy, that the wounds must have been self-inflicted, as their position made it impossible for them to have been inflicted by an assailant. But in 1870 France accepted a money payment for the atrocious massacre at Tientsin, because the Second Empire was entering on a life-and-death struggle with Germany. If she makes things easy for China this time, will it not be because the Republic is engaged in mortal combat with the Roman Church?
China's constant friction and frequent collisions with France spring chiefly from two sources; (1) the French protectorate over the Roman missions, and (2) the menacing attitude of France in Indo-China. It was to avenge the judicial murder of a missionary that Louis Napoleon sent troops to China in 1857-60. From this last date the long-persecuted Church assumed an imperious tone. The restitution of confiscated property was a source of endless trouble; and the certainty of being backed up by Church and State emboldened native converts not only to insist on their own rights, but to mix in disputes with which they had no necessary connection—a practice which more than anything else has tended to bring the Holy Faith into disrepute among the Chinese people.
Yet, on the other side, there are more fruitful sources of difficulty in the ignorance of the people and in the unfair treatment of converts by the Chinese Govern-ment. While the Government, having no conception of religious freedom, extends to Christians of all creeds a compulsory toleration and views them as traitors to their country, is it not natural for their pagan neighbours to treat them with dislike and suspicion?
In this state of mind they, like the pagans of ancient Rome, charge them with horrible crimes, and seize the slightest occasion for murderous attack. A church spire is said to disturb the good luck of a neighbourhood —the people burn the building. A rumour is started that babies in a foundling hospital have their eyes taken out to make into photographic medicine—the hospital is demolished and the Sisters of Charity killed. A skeleton found in the house of a physician is paraded on the street as proof of diabolical acts—instantly an angry mob wrecks the building and murders every foreigner within its reach. One of these instances was seen in the Tientsin massacre of 1869, the other in the Lienchow massacre of 1905. Nor are these isolated cases. Two American ladies doing hospital work in Canton were set upon by a mob, who accused them of killing a man whose life they were trying to save, and they narrowly escaped murder. But why extend the gruesome list? In view of their mad fury, so fatal to their benefactors, one is tempted to exclaim: Unglaube du bist nicht so viel ein ungeheuer als aberglaube du! " Of the twin monsters, unbelief and superstition, the more to be dreaded is the last!"
In China if a man falls in the street, the priest and Levite consult their own safety by keeping at a distance; and if a good Samaritan stoops to pick him up it is at his peril. In treating the sick a medical man requires as much courage and tact as if he were dealing with lunatics! These dark shadows, so harmful to the good name of China, are certain to be dissipated by the numerous agencies now employed to diffuse intelligence. But what of the feeling towards religious missions?
Medical missions are recognised as a potent agency in overcoming prejudice. They reach the heart of the people by ministering to their bodily infirmities; high officials are among their supporters; and the Empress Dowager latterly showed a disposition to give them her patronage. But how about the preaching missionary and the teaching missionary? Are the Chinese hostile to these branches of missionary work?
Unlike Mohammedan or Brahman, the Chinese are not strongly attached to any form of religious faith. They take no umbrage at the offer of a new creed, particularly if it have the advantage of being akin to that of their ancient sages. What they object to is not the creed, but the foreigner who brings it. Their newspapers are in fact beginning to agitate the question of accepting the Christian faith and propagating it in their own way, without aid from the foreigner. That they would be glad to see merchant and missionary leave them in peace, no one can doubt. Yet the influence of missions is steadily on the increase; and their influence for good is acknowledged by the leading minds of the Empire.
Said the High Commissioner Tuan Fang, in an ad-dress to the Mission Boards at New York, February 2, 1906:
"We take pleasure this evening in bearing testimony to the part taken by American missionaries in promoting the progress of the Chinese people. They have borne the light of Western civilisation into every nook and corner of the Empire. They have rendered inestimable service to China by the laborious task of translating into the Chinese language religious and scientific works of the West. They help us to bring happiness and comfort to the poor and the suffering by the establishment of hospitals and schools. The awakening of China which now seems to be at hand may be traced in no small measure to the hand of the missionary. For this service you will find China not ungrateful."
Mission stations, now counted by hundreds, have generally high schools or colleges. Not only is the science taught in them up-to-date, but the conscientious manner in which they are conducted makes them an object-lesson to those officials who are charged with the supervision of government schools. To name only a few:
Here in Peking is a university of the American Methodist Episcopal Church which is not unworthy of the name it bears. At Tungchow, a suburb of the capital, is a noble college of the American Board (Congregationalist) which is in every point a worthy compeer. These coöperate with each other and with a Union Medical College which under the London Mission has won the favour of the Empress Dowager.
The American Presbyterian Mission has a high school and a theological seminary, and coöperates to a certain extent with the three societies above named. A quadrilateral union like this speaks volumes as to the spirit in which the work of Christian education is being carried forward. The Atlantic is bridged and two nations unite; denominational differences are forgotten in view of the mighty enterprise of converting an empire. In the economy of their teaching force they already experience the truth of the maxim " Union is Strength."
In Shantung, at Weihien, there is a fine college in which English Baptists unite with American Presbyterians. The original plant of the latter was a college at Tengchow, which under Dr. Mateer afforded conclusive proof that an education deep and broad may be given through the medium of the Chinese language. In most of these schools the English language is now claiming a prominent place, not as the sole medium for instruction, but as a key to the world's literature, and a preparation for intercourse with foreign nations.
At Shanghai, which takes the lead in education as in commerce, there is an admirable institution called St. John's College which makes English the basis of instruction. Numberless other schools make it a leading branch of study to meet the wants of a centre of foreign trade.
One of the best known institutions of Shanghai is a Roman Catholic College at Siccawei, which preserves the traditions of Matteo Ricci, and his famous convert Paul Sü. In connection with it are an astronomical observatory and a weather bureau, which are much appreciated by foreigners in China, and ought to be better known throughout the Empire.
Passing down a coast on which colleges are more numerous than lighthouses, one comes to Canton, where, near the "Great City" and beautifully conspicuous, rises the Canton Christian College.
These are mentioned by way of example, to show what missionaries are doing for the education of China. It is a narrow view of education that confines it to teaching in schools. Missionaries led the way in Chinese journalism and in the preparation of text-books in all branches of science. The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge is spreading broadcast the seeds of secular and religious truth.
Gratitude for the good they have already done, as well as for benefits to come, ought to lead the Chinese Government to accord a generous recognition to all these institutions. At the opening of the Union Medical College, Mr. Rockhill, the American minister, in a remarkable address, proposed the recognition of their degrees by the Government; and as a representative of the Empress Dowager was in the chair on that occasion, there is reason to hope that his suggestion will not be overlooked.