Sivut kuvina

hung upon the wall, within which the sacred seat is supposed to lie ; and on one side is a convenient bookcase containing their scriptures. He showed me his usual officiating dress, a white robe with a painted turban; but he never wears this costume except at service, appearing in the Chinese habit at other times. They have a weekly day of rest, which falls on our Thursday; on asking if I might be permitted to attend any of their services, he replied that if their adherents had business on that day, they did not trouble themselves to attend. The stronghold of his religion is in Hangchaufu, where are several mosques, but the low state of Mohammedanism seemed to dampen his spirits. Happening to see near the entrance a tablet similar to that found in every other temple, with the inscription, ‘The emperor, everliving, may he live for ever!” I asked him how he could allow such a blasphemous monument to stand in a spot which he regarded as consecrated to the worship of Aloha, as he styles the true God. He protested he did not and never could worship it, and pointed to the low place given it as evidence of this; and added, that it was only for the sake of expediency it was allowed lodgment in the build. ing, for if they were ever charged with disloyalty by the enemies of their faith they could appeal to it! His great desire was to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, and he inquired particularly respect. ing the price of a passage.” Instances occur now and then of Chinese. Mohammedans going to Mecca, but they are rare.

De Guignes visited a deserted mosque at Hangchau fu. “The edifice resembled Chinese buildings only in the roof; it was higher and more imposing; the gate, which was large and high, and rounded out under the top like a cupola, was covered with holes a foot apart; there were columns on each side surmounted with an entablature, the tops of which terminated in a kind of crescent. An Arabic inscription on the outside read, ‘Temple for Mussulmans who travel and wish to consult the Koran.” The Mohammedan inhabitants of Turkestan and sli, along the southern range of the Celestial Mts., are tolerated in the profession of their tenets. They are distinguished into three classes by the color and shape of their turbans; one has red, and another white sugar-loaf turbans, and the third wear the common Arab turban.

* Chinese Repository, Vol. XIII., page 32; Vol. II., page 256. Voyages à Peking, tome II., page 68.


The existence of Jews in China has long been known, but the information possessed relative to their present number, condition, and organization is very imperfect. Mr. Finn has lately published a well digested account of the data collected concerning them by Gozani and other Jesuits, in the last century and before. The only city where they are found in a separate community large enough to attract attention is Kaifung fu in Honan, where they are known by the designation Tiau-kin kiau, the sect which pulls out the sinew; De Guignes says they are also called Lan-mau Hwui-tsz’, “Mohammedans with Blue Bonnets,” because they wear a blue cap when they assemble in the synagogue. The whole place of worship occupies a space of between three and four hundred feet in length and about one hundred and fifty in breadth, comprising four successive courts. The first court has in its centre a portal, bearing an inscription to the Creator and Preserver of all things. The second court, entered through a large gate with two side wickets, contains dwellings for the keeper of the edifice. The third court contains a portal like that in the first, and tablets with inscriptions, and two chapels commemorative of their benefactors, with guest chambers. The fourth court is divided by a row of trees, and half-way down there is a brazen incense vase, and some other vases and sculpture. Adjoining the northern wall is a recess where the sinews are extracted from animals slain for food. A hall of ancestors is placed on the north and south sides of this court, where the Old Testament worthies are venerated at the equinoxes in the Chinese manner, their names being written upon tablets; censers are in them dedicated to Abraham, Moses, and others. Between these two halls, the booths used at the feast of tabernacles are annually erected. At the upper end of the court is the Li-pai sz’, or synagogue, a building about sixty by forty feet, having a portico with a double row of four columns before it. In the centre of the room, between the rows of pillars, is the throne of Moses, a magnificent and elevated chair with an embroidered cushion, upon which they place the book of the law while it is read. Over it is a dome, and near by is the Wansui pai or Imperial tablet, but his majesty's title is surmounted by a Hebrew inscription, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever.” There is also another inscription in Hebrew in the room, on a portal: “Blessed be the Lord for ever: The Lord is God of gods, and the Lord : a great God, strong and terrible.” There is a table on which are placed six candelabra, and an incense vase in the middle of them; and near it is a laver for washing hands. Separated from the rest of the room by a railing is the beth-el, or house of prayer, square outside and round within, where none but the rabbi can enter during the time of prayer. Rolls of the law upon tables and the Ten Commandments in Hebrew on the wall, and closets containing manuscripts, occupy the remainder of the apartment. On entering, the people take off their shoes; and the minister covers his face with gauze when reading, and wears a red silk scarf across his breast; no instruments of music are used in the services. They observe circumcision, the passover, and feast of tabernacles, the rejoicing of the law, Sabbath, and perhaps the day of atonement; make no proselytes, and never marry with the gentiles. They use their sacred books in casting lots, and pay homage to Confucius as the Chinese do. They say Adonai for the ineffable name, and render it in Chinese by tien, and not by shangti. They have no creed, but hold to the unity of God, and the doctrines of heaven, hell, and a sort of purgatory, resurrection, final judgment, and angels. Of the Lord Jesus Christ they had never heard, nor had they any prejudices against the crucifix. They worship no idols, and refuse to take an oath in a heathen temple; and pray westward towards Jerusalem. It is quite likely that they have all the canonical books of the Old Testament, but the Romish fathers were not allowed to copy them, and those who saw them were not able to read when they had the permission ; these books are preserved with rigid care. Many of the books they once had have been destroyed by inundations, to which the city of Kaifung fu is subject from its nearness to the Yellow river. Comparisons were made between portions of their manuscripts and the Hebrew text, the result of which showed a complete conformity in sense, with a few verbal differences only. The time of the arrival of the Jews in China is involved in great uncertainty, but Mr. Finn sums up the evidences to show that they are Jews of the restoration from Chaldea, adducing the fact of their having portions of Malachi and Zechariah, adopting the era of Seleucus, and having many rabbinical titles and rules for slaughtering animals. He thinks


too they belong to the two tribes, and quotes some authorities to show that they came through Central Asia—a different route from the Mohammedans, who seem for the most part to have reached China by sea. Members of this community are said to have once lived at Hangchau fu and Nanking; but the man whom Mr. Milne asked concerning them at Ningpo knew of none except at Kaifung, and of them not much beyond their existence.

WOL. II. 14


Christian Missions among the Chinese.

THE earliest recorded attempt to impart the knowledge of the
true God to the Chinese ascribes it to the Nestorian church in the
seventh century, though the voice of tradition, and many detached
notices in ecclesiastical writers of the Eastern Empire, lead to
the belief, that not many years elapsed after the times of the
apostles before the sound of the gospel was heard in China and
Chin-India, even if the Syriac tradition, that Thomas himself
travelled as far as China, be not received. Mosheim, who does
not credit the Apostle's journey thus far, remarks, “notwithstand-
ing, we may believe that at an early period the Christian religion
extended to the Chinese, Seres, and Tartars. There are various
arguments collected from learned men to show that the Christian
faith was carried to China, if not by the apostle Thomas, by the
first teachers of Christianity.” Arnobius, A. D. 300, speaks of
the Christian deeds done in India, and among the Seres, Persians,
and Medes. The monks who brought the eggs of the silkworm
to Constantinople, in the year 552, had resided long in China,
where it is reasonable to suppose they were not the first nor the
only ones who went thither to preach the gospel. The extent of
their success must be left to conjecture, but “if such beams have
travelled down to us through the darkness of so many ages, it is
reasonable to believe they emanated from a brighter source.”
No traces of their efforts have ever been found in Chinese litera.
ture, whether it was that they wrote no books, or that they have
been lost; it is hard to conclude, however, that they made no
use of the press to diffuse and perpetuate their doctrines.
The time of the arrival of the Nestorians in China cannot be
specified certainly, but there are grounds for placing it as early
as A. D. 505. Ebedjesus Sobiensis remarks, that “Salibazacha
the Catholic, i. e. the Nestorian patriarch, created the metropo.


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