Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

FURTHER PERMISSION TO PROFESS CHRISTIANITY. 371

“As it behooves me, I make this communication. On its reaching the said consul, he will easily comprehend it.”—Dec. 22d, 1845.

The sentence in this document which speaks of local magistrates making improper seizures probably refers to something which had occurred in the country. At Shanghai, the intendant of circuit issued a proclamation in Nov. 1845, based upon the emperor's rescript, in which he defines the Tien Chu kiau “to consist in periodically assembling for unitedly worshipping the Lord of heaven, in respecting and venerating the cross, with pictures and images, as well as in reading aloud the works of the said religion; these are customs of the said religion in question, and practices not in accordance with these cannot be considered as the religion of the Lord of heaven.” The various associations and sects found throughout China, and which are an annoyance to the government and well disposed people, are referred to and excepted against in this proclamation, for it cannot be supposed that the emperor or his statesmen have any accurate knowledge of the nature of true Christianity, and have not consequently forbidden what they were mainly ignorant of. The whole body of officers are suspicious of combinations, and they will probably take action against Christianity first on account of its bringing people together in assemblies, and making them familiar with united power and action.

The last act of the imperial government thus far is contained in a decree received by Kiying at Canton, Feb. 20th, 1846, relating to the restoration of the houses belonging to Romanists.

“On a former occasion Kiying and others laid before Us a memorial, requesting immunity from punishment for those who doing well profess the religion of heaven's Lord; and that those who erect churches, assemble together for worship, venerate the cross and pictures and images, read and explain sacred books, be not prohibited from so doing. This was granted. The religion of the Lord of heaven, instructing and guiding men in well-doing, differs widely from the heterodox and illicit sects; and the toleration thereof has already been allowed. That which has been requested on a subsequent occasion, it is right in like manner to grant.

“Let all the ancient houses throughout the provinces, which were built in the reign of Kanghs, and have been preserved to the present time, and which, on personal examination by proper authorities, are clearly found to be their bona fide possessions, be restored to the professors of this religion in their respective places, excepting only those churches which have been converted into temples and dwelling-houses for the people. “If, after the promulgation of this decree throughout the provinces, the local officers irregularly prosecute and seize any of the professors of the religion of the Lord of heaven, who are not bandits, upon all such the just penalties of the law shall be meted out. “If any, under a profession of this religion, do evil, or congregate people from distant towns, seducing and binding them together; or if any other sect or bandits, borrowing the name of the religion of the Lord of heaven, create disturbances, transgress the laws, or excite rebellion, they shall be punished according to their respective crimes, each being dealt with as the existing statutes of the empire direct. “Also, in order to make apparent the proper distinctions, foreigners of every nation are, in accordance with existing regulations, prohibited from going into the country to propagate religion. “For these purposes this decree is given. Cause it to be made known. From the emperor.”

The last sentence shows that the Chinese government has not intended, by these concessions to its own subjects, to allow foreigners to enter to teach them and form communities; but it is also quite well aware of the impossibility of preventing them doing so, and has perhaps added this with some reference to the future probability there might be of deporting them. In any point of view, however, these concessions are remarkable, and the favor of God should be acknowledged in them. Although the existence of a distinct community of persons, professing to obey only the requirements of the Bible, who worship no images or tablets, and have merely a simple ceremonial, is not known in China to any extent, still these papers permit enough to enable the native Protestant to appeal to them in defence of his faith. They will aid not a little, moreover, in removing the apprehensions of the people in regard to attending meetings and receiving books. The feelings of all the Romish missionaries, at the removal of the many disabilities under which they had long lived, were expressed by the bishop of Shantung in an encyclical letter to his people, in which he exhorts them to “maintain and diligently learn the holy religion. . . . Let them also pray that the holy religion may be greatly promoted, remembering that the kind considera

* Chinese Repository, Vol. XV., p. 135, where the original is given.

REVISION OF THE CHINESE BIBLE. 373

tion of the emperor towards our holy religion springs entirely from the favor of the Lord of heaven. After the reception of this order, let thanks be offered up to God for his mercies in the churches, for three Lord's days in succession. While the faithful rejoice in this extraordinary favor, let Ave Marias’ be recited to display grateful feelings.” The subject of the thorough revision of the Chinese Bible had long occupied the thoughts of those best acquainted with the need of such a work; and at the meeting of the English missionaries at Hongkong in 1843, a general conference of all Protestant missionaries was called to take measures for the preparation of so desirable a work. The version of Morrison and Milne was acknowledged by themselves to be imperfect, and Dr. Morrison had begun some corrections in it before his death. Messrs. Medhurst, Gutzlaff, Bridgman, and Morrison, had united their labors in 1835, in revising the New Testament, aud published it in 1836; but it did not altogether suit the brethren in Malacca, and some hesitation was naturally felt by the Bible societies in England and America in granting funds for a version which had not received the approbation of all parties. Mr. Gutzlaff has since issued a second edition containing some corrections of his own. The greatest harmony existed at this meeting, and the books of the New Testament were distributed in various portions among the missionaries at the several stations without regard to denomination. The only point on which any discussion arose was the best word for baptism ; and after considerable friendly discussion, it was agreed that the version should be made and then accepted by all parties at a subsequent general meeting, and the Baptists afterwards use what word they pleased in their version, while the two should be in other respects alike. The term li, which had been in use to denote this rite since the days of Ricci, by Romanists of all opinions, had been taken by Morrison and Medhurst, and by those associated with them. Marshman preferred another word, tsan, which was so unusual that it would almost always require explanation; and in fact, could only be fully explained by the ceremony itself. Some of the American Baptist missionaries have taken Marshman's term, and others have proposed a third one, yuh. The adjustment of this question on the plan agreed upon in 1843 cannot fail to satisfy all, while the greater point of having a uniform text for the Chinese is nearly or quite attained; for whatever word or term is used, its explanation will be given in its practice by all parties. The Baptist Bible Society in the United States has, however, refused to cooperate in this arrangement, and requires its funds to be devoted to a separate version. It is expected that some parts of the new version will soon be agreed upon by those engaged in it, and before many years all the Bible be given to the Chinese as the only guide of their faith and practice. The following list of all Protestants known to have been, or who are now engaged in the work of missions among the Chinese, is compiled from the best sources within reach. About threefourths of them have been married. The influence and labors of female missionaries in China is, from the constitution of society in that country, likely to be the only, or principal means of reaching their sex for a long time to come, and it is desirable, therefore, that they should engage in the work by learning the language, and making the acquaintance of the families around them. No nation can be elevated, or Christian institutions placed upon a permanent basis, until females are taught their rightful place as the companions of men, and can teach their children the duties they owe to their God, themselves, and their country. Female schools are the necessary complement of boys', and a heathen wife soon carries a man back to idolatry, if he is only intellectually convinced of the truths of Christianity. The comparatively high estimation the Chinese place upon female education is an encouragement to multiply girls' schools. The total number of names in the list is 112, in addition to which are four Germans from the Rhenish Missionary Society, whose names we have been unable to obtain. Of the entire number, 35 are from England, 73 from the United States, and 8 from Germany; one of them, W. H. Cumming, M. D., is not connected with any society, and two of them, under the patronage of the Morrison Education Society, are supported in China. Fourteen of the whole have died, three of them by accidents, the average of whose missionary lives was about seven years. The average length of labor of those who returned is 43 years; the number engaged at present is 68 men, of whom 55 are cler. gymen and 13 physicians, printers, and teachers; and about 35 females, four or five of whom are unmarried.

LIST OF PROTESTANT MISSIONARIES.

375

LIST OF MISSIONARIES SENT TO THE CHINESE BY PROTESTANT

SOCIETIES.
5 = NAME of
naxies. > co - the station.

- - c

o: - - society.

o: -

g: o Robert Morrison, D.D., 1807 1834 || Lon. M. S. Canton. William Milne, D.D., 1813 1821 -- Principal of college, Malacca. Walter H. Medhurst, D.D., 1817 -- Batavia, Shanghai. Rev. John Slater, 1817 1823 -- Batavia. Rev. John Ince, 1818 1825 -- Penang ; drowned. Rev. Samuel Milton, 1818 1825 -- Singapore. Rev. Robert Fleming, 1820 1823 -- Malacca. Rev. James Humphreys, 1822 1830 4- Principal of college, Malacca. Rev. David Collie, |io 1828 -- Principal of college, Malacca. Rev. Samuel Kidd, 1824 1832 -- Malacca. Rev. John Smith. 1826 1829 i- Malacca. Rev. Jacob Tomlin, 1826 1836 -4 Singapore. Rev. Samuel Dyer, 1827 1843 ++ Penang, Singapore. Rev. Charles Gutzlaff, 1-37 1834 Neth, M. S. Siam, China. E. C. Bridgman, D.D., i-3) A. B. C. F.M. Canton. David Abeel, D.D., 1830 1846 -- | Siam, Amoy. Rev. Herman Röttger, 1832 1845 Rhen. M. S. Rhio, near Singapore. Rev. John Evans, 1833 1841 || Lon. M. S. Principal of college, Malacca. Rev. Ira Tracy, 1833 1841 A. B. C. F. M. Singapore. S. Wells Williams, 1833, -- | Canton, Macao. Rev. Stephen Johnson, 1833 -- Bangkok, Fuhchau. Rev. Sainuel Munson, 1833, 1834 -- Indian Archipelago; killed. Rev. Peter Parker, M.D., 1834 1847 -- Canton. Rev. William Dean, 1834 A.B. B. F. M. Bangkok, Hongkong. Rev. Edwin Stevens, 1835 1837 | A. B. C. F.M. Canton; died at Singapore. Rev. Henry Lockwood, 1835 | 1838 A. E. B. F. M. Batavia. Rev. Francis R. Hanson, | 1835 | 1837 -- Batavia. bev. Wurth, 1835 | 1842 Rhen. M. S. Malacca. Rev. Evan Davies, 1835 | 1839 Lon. M. S. Penang. sga. Rev. Samuel Wolfe, 1835 1837 -- Singapore; died at ZamboanRev. J. L. Shuck, 1836 | A.B.B. F. M. Macao, Shanghai. Rev. Alanson Reed, 1836 1837 -k Bangkok. Rev. I. J. Roberts, 1836 -- Macao, Canton. Rev. James T. Dickinson, 1837 1840 A.B.C. F. M. Singapore. Rev. M. B. Hope, M.D., 1837 | 1838 -- Singapore. Stephen Tracy, M.D., 1837 1839 -- Singapore, Bangkok. Rev. Elihu Doty, 1837 “. Borneo, Amoy. Rev. Elbert Nevius, 1837 1841 -- Borneo, Batavia. Rt. Rev. W. J. Boone, D.D., 1837 A. E. B.F. M. Batavia, Shanghai. Rev. — Baker, 1837 1842 Rhen, M. S. Malacca. Rev. Alexander Stronach, 1837 Lon. M. S. Penang, Singapore, Amoy. Rev. John Stronach, 1837 -- Singapore, Amoy. Edward B. Squire, 1838 1840 C. M. S. Singapore, Macao. William Young, 1838 Lon. M. S. Batavia, Amoy. Rev. W. J. Pohlman, 1838 A.B.C. F. M. Borneo, Amoy. Rev. Dyer Ball, M.D., 1838 4- Singapore, Canton. Rev. George W. Wood. 1838 1840 -- Singapore. Will. Lockhart, M. R. C. S., 1838 Lon. M. S. Macao, Shanghai. Rev. Robert W. Orr, 1838||1841 B. F. M. P. C. Singapore. Rev. John A. Mitchell, 1838 1838 -- | Singapore. Rev. S. R. Brown, 1839 Mor. Ed. S. Hongkong. Rev. Josiah Goddard, 1839 A. B. B. F.M. Bangkok. Meinam. Rev. Nathan S. Benham, 1830 1840 A. B. C. F. M. Bangkok ; drown in the Rev. Lyman B. Peet, 1839 -- | Bangkok, Fuhchau. William B. Diver, M.D., 1839 1841 -- Singapore. James Legge, D.D., 1839 Lon. M. S Malacca, Hongkong. Rev. William C. Milne, 1839 -- Ningpo, Shanghai. Benjamin Hobson, M.B., 1839 -- Hongkong. Rev. Thos. L. McBryde, 1840 1843 B. F. M. P. C. Singapore, Amoy. James C. Hepburn, M.D., 1841 1845 -- Singapore, Amoy. Will. H. Cumming, M.D., 1842 - Amoy. Rev. W. M. Lowrie, 1842 B. F. M. P. C. Ningpo. Daniel J. Macgowan, M.D., 1843 A. B. B. F. M. Ningpo.

« EdellinenJatka »