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American products. The utility of the American locomotive has become so apparent that in 1899, engines costing $732,212 were sent to China and additional orders are received every few months. With the enormous forests bordering the Pacific Ocean in the states of Oregon and Washington, and with the development of cheap water transportation, there is a rapidly widening market in China for American lumber. Eastern Asia is too densely peopled to have large forests, and those she has are not within easy reach. Native lumber, therefore, is scarce and often small and crooked. That in common use comes from Manchuria and Korea. I was impressed in Tsing-tau to find that the Germans are using Oregon lumber and to be told that it is considered the best, and in the long run, the cheapest. Oregon pine costs more than the Korean and Manchurian, but it is superior in size and quality. The transportation charges to the interior, however, are a heavy addition. Manchurian pine can be delivered at such an interior city as Wei-hsien, via the junk port of Yang-chia-ko and thence by land, for twenty dollars, gold, per thousand square feet, which is considerably less than the Tsing-tau retail price for Asiatic lumber. Oregon lumber costs in Shanghai, thirty-two dollars gold, per thousand, but an importer estimated that it could be delivered at Tsingtau for twenty-five dollars gold per thousand in large quantities.
The exports of the United States to China, according to the reports of Consul-General Goodnow of Shanghai, increased from $11,081,146 in 1900 to $18,175,484 in 1901 and $22,698,282 in 1902, while for 1903 they reached the total of over $27,000,000, a gain of nearly 250 per cent. since 1900 and of 600 per cent. as compared with 1893.
Meantime, the United States imported from China goods to the value of $27,189,283 in 1902, which is an increase of $10,572,995 over the imports for 1901. Silk and tea are the principal items in this trade, the figures for the former being $10,643,950 and for the latter $7,447,822, though of goatskins we took $2,127,267, wool $2,039,895, and matting $1,303,881. The United States is now the third nation in trade relations with China. This is the more remarkable when we consider the statement of the late Mr. Everett Frazar of the American Asiatic Association that in January, 1901, there were only four American business firms in all China. When our business men establish their own houses in China instead of dealing as now through European and Chinese firms, it is not unreasonable to expect that the United States will outstrip its larger rivals Great Britain and France, though, as I have already intimated, it is one thing to ship foreign goods to China and quite another thing to control them after their arrival, for the Chinese are disposed to manage that trade themselves and they know how to do it.
Unfortunately the stream of foreign trade with China has been contaminated by many of the vices which disgrace our civilization. The pioneer traders were, as a rule, pirates and adventurers, who cheated and abused the Chinese most flagrantly. Gorst says that “rapine, murder and a constant ap
rope's commercial intercourse with China." There are many men of high character engaged in business in the great cities of China. I would not speak any disparaging word of those who are worthy of all respect. But it is all too evident that “many Americans and Europeans doing business in Asia are living the life of the prodigal son who has not yet come to himself.” Profane, intemperate, immoral, not living among the Chinese, but segregating themselves in foreign communities in the treaty ports, not speaking the Chinese language, frequently beating and cursing those who are in their employ, regarding the Chinese with hatred and contempt,-it is no wonder that they are hated in return and that their conduct has done much to justify the Chinese distrust of the foreigner. The foreign settlements in the port cities of China are notorious for their profligacy. Intemperance and immorality, gambling and Sabbath desecration run riot. When after his return from a long journey in Asia, the Rev. Dr. George Pentecost was asked“What are the darkest spots in the missionary outlook ?” he replied :
“In lands of spiritual darkness, it is difficult to speak of darkest spots.' I should say, however, that if there is a darkness more dark than other darkness, it is that which is cast into heathen darkness by the ungodliness of the American and European communities that have invaded the East for the sake of trade and empire. The corruption of Western godliness is the worst evil in the East. Of course there are noble exceptions among western commercial men and their families, but as a rule the European and American resident in the East is a constant contradiction to all and everything which the missionary stands for."
Most of the criticisms of missionaries which find their way into the daily papers emanate from such men. The missionaries do not gamble or drink whiskey, nor will their wives and daughters attend or reciprocate entertainments at which wine, cards and dancing are the chief features. So, of course, the missionaries are “canting hypocrites," and are believed to be doing no good, because the foreigner who has never visited a Chinese Christian Church, school or hospital in his life, does not see the evidences of missionary work in his immediate neighbourhood. The editor of the Japan Daily Mail justly says :-)
“We do not suggest that these newspapers which denounce the missionaries so vehemently desire to be unjust or have any suspicion that they are unjust. But we do assert that they have manifestly taken on the colour of that section of every far eastern community whose units, for some strange reason, entertain an inveterate prejudice against the missionary and his works. Were it possible for these persons to give an intelligent explanation of the dislike with which the missionary inspires them, their opinions would command more respect. But they have never succeeded in making any logical presentment of their case, and no choice offers except to regard them as the victims of an antipathy which has no basis in reason or reflection. That a man should be anti-Christian and should de
1 April 7, 1901.
vote his pen to propagating his views is strictly within his right, and we must not be understood as suggesting that the smallest reproach attaches to such a person. But on the other hand, it is within the right of the missionary to protest against being arraigned before judges habitually hostile to him, and it is within the right of the public to scrutinize the pronouncements of such judges with much suspicion.”
Charles Darwin did not hesitate to put the matter more bluntly still. He will surely not be deemed a prejudiced witness, but he plainly said of the traders and travellers who attack missionaries :
“ It is useless to argue against such reasoners. I believe that, disappointed in not finding the field of licentiousness quite so open as formerly, they will not give credit to a morality which they do not wish to practice, or to a religion which they undervalue or despise."
These facts are a suggestive commentary on the popular notion that civilization should precede Christianity. The Rev. Dr. James Stewart, the veteran missionary of South Africa, says that it is an “unpleasant and startling statement, unfortunately true, that contact with European nations seems always to have resulted in further deterioration of the African races.. . . Trade and commerce have been on the West Coast of Africa for more than three centuries. What have they made of that region? Some of its tribes are more hopeless, more sunken morally and socially, and rapidly becoming more commercially valueless, than any tribes that may be found throughout the whole of the continent. Mere commercial influence by its example or its teaching during all that time has had little effect on the cruelty and reckless shedding of blood and the human sacrifices of the besotted paganism which still exists near that coast.” Of his experience in New Guinea, James Chalmers declared :—“I have had twenty-one years' experience among natives. I have lived with the Christian native, and I have lived, and dined, and slept with cannibals. But I have never
yet met with a single man or woman, or with a single people, that civilization without Christianity has civilized."
Substantially similar statements might be made regarding other lands.
“ The more we open the world to what we call civilization, and the more education we give it of the kind we call scientific, the greater are the dangers to modern society, unless in some way we contrive to make all the world better. Brigands armed with repeating rifles and supplied with smokeless gunpowder are brigands still, but ten times more dangerous than before. The vaste hordes of human beings in Asia and Africa, so long as they are left in seclusion, are dangerous to their immediate neighbours; but, when they have railroads, steamboats, tariffs, and machine guns, while they retain their savage ideals and barbarous customs, they become dangerous to all the rest of the world." I
A Christless civilization is always and everywhere a curse rather than a blessing. From the Garden of Eden down, the fall of man has resulted from “the increase of knowledge and of power unaccompanied by reverence...No evolution is stable which neglects the moral factor or seeks to shake itself free from the eternal duties of obedience and of faith. ... The Song of Lamech echoes from a remote antiquity the savage truth that the first results of civilization are to equip hatred and render revenge more deadly, ... a savage exultation in the fresh power of vengeance which all the novel instruments have placed in their inventor's hands.'"?
What is civilization without the gospel? The essential elements of our civilization are the fruits of Christianity, and the tree cannot be transplanted without its roots. Can a railroad or a plow convert a man? They can add to his material comfort; they can enlarge the opportunities of the gospel, but are they the gospel itself? What does civilization without Christianity mean? It means the lust of the European and American soldiers which is rotting the native Hawaiians, the European and
Christian Register, December 3, 1903. 9 The Rev. Dr. George Adam Smith, D. D., “ Yale Lectures,” pp. 95-97.