Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

New Forces in Old China

Part 6 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

The consequences are not only pinching poverty but sometimes
a feeling of wrong, and, in some cases, a yielding to
temptation. One Chinese pastor, for example, who was trying
to support a wife and five children on $10 Mex. ($5) a month,
shipwrecked his influence by trying to supplement his scanty
income by helping in lawsuits. Can we wonder that he felt
obliged to do something, almost anything?

But who is to pay the higher salaries that are now so necessary?
The first impulse is to look to the mission boards in
Europe and America, and accordingly missionaries and Christians
are importunately calling for increased appropriations.
But whatever temporary and occasional relief may be given in
this way, as a permanent remedy, it is plainly impossible. If
the conditions were simply sporadic and local, the case might
be different. But they are universal, or fast becoming so, and
they will be permanent. It is quite visionary to suppose that the
income of the mission boards will permit them to meet the
whole or even the larger part of the increased cost of living
among the myriads of ministers, teachers and helpers in the
growing churches of China. American Christians cannot be
reasonably expected to add such an enormous burden to the
already large responsibilities which they are carrying in their
varied forms of home work and the present scale of foreign
missionary expenditure. Even if they could and would, it
would be at the expense of all further enlargement of the work,
and at the same time it would still further weaken an already
weak sense of self-reliance among the native ministers and
helpers of Asia.

Moreover, the average Christian giver in America is feeling
the same strain himself. The so-called ``era of prosperity''
has given more steady employment to the mechanic, has given
better markets to the producer, and has enormously increased
the wealth of many who were already rich. But the men on
fixed salaries find that ``prosperity'' has increased the prices
of commodities without proportionately increasing earnings.
Millions of American church members find it harder to give
than they did ten years ago, for while their incomes are about
the same, they must pay higher prices for meats, groceries and
clothing. True, many salaries were cut down during the financial
stringency of 1896-1897, but while some of them have
been restored to their former figure, few have been raised above
their original level, while others are still below it. Meantime
official statistics show that the average cost of food is 10.9 per
cent. higher than the average for the decade between 1890 and
1899, and that there has been an increase of 16.1 per cent. as
compared with 1896, the year of lowest prices.[85] It is urged that
the wages of workmen have increased in proportion. But however
true this may be of organized labour, it is palpably untrue of
the great middle-class who are neither capitalists nor members
of labour unions. They form the bulk of the church membership
and to them ``Mr. Wright's statement will carry no reassurance.
It is they who have been hit hardest by the increased
cost of living for their incomes have not kept pace with it.
Indeed, they are actually worse off to-day than they were
eight, ten or fifteen years ago.''[86] Dun's Review, an acknowledged
authority, declares that not in twenty years has it cost
so much to live as now, and that March 1, 1904, the average
prices of breadstuffs were thirty per cent. higher than they were
seven years ago.

[85] Report of the Hon. Carroll D. Wright, Commissioner of Labour, 1903

[86] The Youth's Companion, October 29, 1903.

In such circumstances, it is clearly out of the question for
the Christians of the United States to meet these enlarged demands
for the support of their own families and, in addition,
meet them for the churches in China.

If then, the problem of the increased cost of living in Asia
cannot be solved by increased gifts from America, what other
solutions are possible? As an experienced missionary says:--
``To ask for more from America seems like a step backward;
but to leave matters as they are is to see our churches seriously
crippled.'' Four possible solutions may be mentioned.

First:--Stop all expansion of the work and use any increase
in receipts to raise salaries. This is undoubtedly worthy of
thoughtful consideration. To what extent is it right to open
new fields and enlarge old ones when the workers now employed
are inadequately paid? Plainly, the mission boards
should carefully consider this aspect of the question. As a
matter of fact, many of them have already considered it. The
Presbyterian Board has repeatedly declined urgent requests to
establish new stations on the ground that it could not do so in
justice to its existing work. But as a practicable solution, this
method is open to serious difficulties. A living work must grow,
and the living forces which govern that growth are more or less
beyond the control of the boards. The boards are amenable
to their constituencies and those constituencies sometimes imperatively
demand the occupation of a new field, as, for example,
they did in the case of the Philippine Islands, some
boards which at first decided not to enter the Philippines being
afterwards forced into them by a pressure of denominational
opinion that they could not ignore. Moreover, the missionaries
themselves are equally insistent in their demands for enlargement.
Some boards are literally deluged with such appeals.
The missionaries who have most strenuously insisted on
the policy of no further expansion till the existing work is better
sustained have sometimes been the very ones who have
strongly urged that an exception should be made in their particular
fields, without realizing that the argument from ``exceptions''
is so often pressed that it is really the rule and not the
exception at all. And the churches and missionaries are
usually right. God is calling His people to go forward. His
voice is frequently very plain, and the boards, with all their
care and conservatism, are then obliged to expand.

Second:--Diminish the number of native pastors, helpers and
teachers and increase their work. In some places, this might
be done by grouping congregations and fields. But the places
where this could be wisely effected are so few that the relief to
the situation as a whole would not be appreciable, especially as
the native Christians would not give so liberally under such an
arrangement. Their sense of responsibility would be weakened
if they had only a half or a quarter of a pastor's time instead
of the whole of it. Besides, the native force is far too
small now. Instead of being diminished it should be largely
increased. The great work of the future must be done by native
ministers. If China is ever to be evangelized, it must
be to a large degree by Chinese evangelists. To adopt deliberately
the policy of restricting the number of such evangelists
and teachers would be suicidal. As a solution, therefore, this
method is quite impracticable, as it would be a relief at the expense
of efficiency.

Third:--Require native leaders to earn their own living either
wholly or in part. There is Pauline example for this method.
Some of the Presbyterian missionaries in Laos have adopted it
by inducing the members of a congregation to secure a ricefield
and a humble house for their minister. The Korea missionaries
have very successfully worked this method by insisting
that the leaders of groups shall continue in their former occupations
and give their services to Christian work without pay,
in some such way as Sunday-school superintendents and other
unpaid workers do in America. This method is deserving of
wider adoption. It would give considerable relief in many
other fields. It was probably the way that the early church

``Two opinions,'' says Dr. J. J. Lucas, ``have been held in regard to
the basis on which the salaries of native agents should be fixed. One is
that such a salary should be paid as would remove all excuse for engaging
in secular work, demanding all the time of the pastor for spiritual work;
another is, that acknowledging the salary to be insufficient, the pastors be
expected to supplement it by what they can get from field and vineyard.
If self-support is to be aimed at, at all cost, then the latter plan is the only
feasible one, with the dangers of its abuse. There is no doubt, however,
that a man who loves the gospel ministry and is devoted to it can, without
the neglect of spiritual affairs, do enough outside to lessen materially the
burden that would fall on the church in his support.''

But this method of itself would hardly solve the problem.
However well adapted to the beginnings of mission work, it
fails to provide a properly qualified native leadership. To do
efficient work, a native pastor must give his whole time to it,
and to that end he must have a salary that will make him ``free
from worldly cares and avocations.'' We insist on this in the
United States and the reasons for such a policy are as strong
on the foreign field. The minister in Asia as well as the minister
in America must have a salary. The labourer is worthy of
his hire.

Fourth:--Insist upon a larger measure of self-support. The
native churches must be led to a fuller responsibility in this
matter. Grave as are the temporary embarrassments which the
increased cost of living is forcing upon them and trying as is
the permanent distress of some of them, yet as a whole the
economic revolution will undoubtedly enlarge the earning
capacity of the native Christians. Indeed, the new principles
of life which the gospel brings should make them among the
first to profit by the changed conditions, and as their wealth
increases, their spirit of giving should, and under the wise lead-
ership of the missionaries undoubtedly will, increase. For
these reasons, the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions took
the following action July 2, 1900:--

``As having reference to the question of self-support of the native
churches on the mission field, and in view of the fact that some of its missions
are proposing to increase the salaries of native preachers and helpers
on account of the increased cost of living, the Board is constrained to look
with no little apprehension upon the prospect of continuing and increasing
demands of foreign aid in proportion to the contributions made by the
churches themselves. Increased intercourse of eastern nations with those
of the west has led and will still further lead to a gradual assimilation to
western ways and western prices, and unless the self-reliant spirit of the
churches can be stimulated to a proportionate advance, there is a sure
prospect that the drafts upon mission funds will be larger and larger in
proportion to the amount of work accomplished. In view of these considerations,
it was resolved that the missions in which such increase is
proposed be earnestly requested to arouse the churches to the purpose and
the endeavour to meet this increased expenditure instead of laying still
larger burdens upon the resources of foreign funds. The Board deems
this necessary not merely to the interest of its expanding work but to the
self-reliant character, the future stability and self-propagating power of
the churches themselves.''

There appears to be no alternative. And yet this policy,
while adhered to, should be enforced with reasonable discretion
and due regard to ``this present distress.'' How can Christians,
who can barely live themselves and pay a half or two-
thirds of their pastor's present support, suddenly meet this call
for enlarged salaries? For reasons already given, it is harder
for them to make ends meet now than it was in the old days
of primitive simplicity, while in many places a profession of
Christianity is followed by the loss of property and employment
so that the Christian is impoverished by the loss of the income
that he already had. In these circumstances, both boards and
missions must simply do the best they can, and neither allow
the emergency to sweep them into a mistaken charity that

would be fatal to the ultimate interests of the cause nor allow a
valuable native worker to suffer for the necessaries of life.

``We need to bear in mind that the low salaries of China are not the
product of Christianity, but of heathenism, and the ability to live on five
or six Mexicans per month is not the result of a laudable economy unknown
to Christian countries, so much as it is the result of a degradation
of manhood to the level of beasts. The church is responsible for
the knowledge of a better way of living. We have created the desire for
a clean house, clean clothing, healthful food, and books, on the part of our
educated young men. Shall we implant this desire for six or eight years
and take the rest of the man's life in trying to squelch it? We have come
as apostles of truth to a mighty empire, to the great and the small, to the
rich and the poor, and if we had a native ministry which could appeal to
a different class of men than most of them are now appealing to, would
not the day of self-support be hastened beyond what we dare to hope? Is
there not a feeling out for something better on the part of the well-to-do,
the more intelligent, just as really as there is on the part of the lowest
classes? Do not we have a mission to the man who can pay $100.00
a year to the church just as really as to the one who pays 100 cash?
There is nothing so costly as cheap men. Let us have a higher grade of
men and we shall have a higher grade of church-membership. Is it not
true that nothing more stands in the way of self-support than some of our
native clergy? We must not turn down better men because they must
have a little more to live upon than poor men.''[87]

[87] Mr. F. S. Brockman, Address--``How to Retain to the Church the
Services of English-Speaking Christians,'' Shanghai, 1904.

It is idle, however, to urge as a reason for increasing the salaries
of Chinese ministers that a qualified Asiatic can earn more
in commercial life than in the ministry. Such arguments often
come to mission boards. But religious work cannot compete
with business in financial inducements either at home or
abroad. It is notorious that in America, ministers and church
workers generally do not receive the compensation which they
could command in secular employments or professions. The
qualities that bring success in the ministry are, as a rule, far
more liberally remunerated in secular life. The preacher who
can command $6,000 or $8,000 in the pulpit could probably
command three or four times that amount in the law or in
business. Men who are as eminent in other professions and in
the commercial world as the most eminent clergymen are in the
ministry usually have incomes ranging from $20,000 to $100,000
a year and have no ``dead line'' of age either. As for
others, the Rev. Dr. B. L. Agnew, Secretary of the Presbyterian
Board of Ministerial Relief, is authority for the statement
that the average salary of Presbyterian ministers is $700 and
that for all denominations it does not equal the wages of the average
mechanic. A missionary writes:--``Practically all our native
pastors are underpaid.'' The same thing might be said of all
the home missionaries and of most of the pastors of non-missionary
churches at home, one-third of whom receive only
$500 or less.

The churches of America cannot, or at any rate will not, do
for the native ministers of Asia what they are not doing for
their own ministers. The world over, the rewards of Christ's
service are not financial. Those who seek that service must be
content with modest support, sometimes even with poverty.
This is not a reason for the home churches to be content with
their present scale of missionary giving, nor does it mean that
mission boards are disposed to refuse requests for appropriations.
The boards are straining every nerve to secure a more
generous support and they will gladly send all they can to the
missions on the field. But it is a reason for impressing more
strongly upon the young men in the churches of Asia that they
should consecrate themselves to the Master's service from a
higher motive than financial support and that while the boards
will continue to give all the assistance that is in their power,
yet that the permanent dependence of the ministers of China
must be in increasing measure upon the Christians of China and
not upon the Christians of America. Hundreds of native pastors
are already realizing this and are manifesting a self-sacrificing
courage and devotion that are beyond all praise. Said Mr.
Fitch of Ningpo to a Chinese youth of fine education and exceptional
ability:--``Suppose a business man should offer you
$100.00 a month and at the same time you had the way opened
to you to study for the ministry, and after entering it, to get
from $20.00 to $30.00 a month, which would you take?''
And the youth answered--``I would enter the ministry.''
``He is now teaching a mission school at $12.00 a month,
though he could easily command $30.00 a month in a business
position.'' The hope of the churches of China is in such men.
Mr. F. S. Brockman declares:--

``There is a wide-spread conviction among missionaries that the allurements
of wealth alone are keeping English-speaking young men from the
ministry. The facts do not bear out this belief. . . . In order to hold
them in the ministry we need not appeal to their love of money. It is
death to the ministry when we do it; we have opened the vial of their
fiercest passion; we are doing what Jesus Christ never did; we are working
absolutely contrary to the fundamental laws of the kingdom of God.
. . . We must teach prospective ministers to look upon their lives as
an unselfish expenditure of God-given power. For once make the allurement
of the ministry the allurement of comfort, ease, or wealth, and we
have closed up every fountain of the minister's power.''



THE Hon. Charles Denby, then United States Minister
at Peking, wrote in 1900:--

``With all due deference to the great missionary societie,
who have these matters in charge, my judgment is that missionary work
in China has been overdone. Take Peking as an example. There are located
at Peking the following Protestant missions: American Boards
American Presbyterian, American Methodist, Christian and Missionary
Alliance, International Y. M. C. A., London Missionary Society, Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel, International Institute, Mission for
Chinese Blind, Scotch Bible Society, and the Society for the Diffusion of
Christian Knowledge. To these must be added the Church of England
Mission, the English Baptist Mission and the Swedish Mission. The
above list shows that of American societies alone there are seven in Peking,
not counting the Peking University, and that all western Powers
taken collectively were represented by about twenty missions. A careful
study of the situation would seem to suggest that no two American societies
should occupy the same district.''[88]

[88] Missionary Review of the World, October, 1900.

It may be well to examine this criticism, partly because it
was made by an able man of known sympathy with mission
work, and partly because it relates to the city where, if anywhere,
in China, overcrowding exists. In considering Peking,
therefore, we are really considering the broad question of the
practicability of withdrawing some missionary agencies in the
interest of comity and efficiency. The Presbyterian missionaries
themselves opened the way for the discussion of the
question by proposing to the Congregational missionaries, after
the Boxer uprising had been quelled, ``an exchange of all work
and fields of our Presbyterian Church in the province of
Chih-li in return for the work and fields of the American
Board in the province of Shantung, subject to the approval of
our respective Boards.'' The Mission added:--

``It means no little sacrifice to sever attachments made in long years of
service in fields and among a people whom God has enabled us to lead to
Christ, but we feel that a high spirit of loyalty to Christ and His cause,
inspiring all concerned, will lead us to set aside personal preferences and
attachments, if thereby the greater interests of His Church in China can be

The whole question was thoroughly discussed during my
visit in Peking. Much time was spent traversing the entire
ground. Then a meeting was called of the leading missionaries
of all the Protestant agencies represented in Peking.

The result of all these conferences was the unanimous and
emphatic judgment of the missionaries of all the boards concerned
that there is not ``a congestion of missionary societies
in Peking,'' and that no one board could be spared without
serious injury to the cause. In reply to the proposal of the
Presbyterian missionaries, the North China Mission of the
American Board wrote--

``After considering the matter in all its bearings we are constrained to
say that we contemplate with regret any plan which looks to the withdrawal
of the Presbyterian Mission from the field which they have so long
occupied in northern Chih-li. We think that instead of illustrating comity
this would appear as if comity was not to be attained without a violent
dislocation from long-established foundations, and that in this particular
there would be a definite loss all around. . . . We further deprecate the
proposed step because there is now an excellent opportunity for the adoption
or actual measures of cooperation between our respective missions. . . .
We are ready to readjust boundaries in such a way as to remedy the waste
of effort in the crossing of one another's territory. . . . We are confident
that the ultimate outcome could not fail to be a greater benefit than the sudden
rupture of long-existing relations for the sake of mere geographical
contiguity of the work of missions like yours and ours, each keeping its own
district, careful not to encroach upon the other. In the higher unity here
suggested we should expect to realize larger results in the promotion of
comity not only, but also in the best interests of that kingdom of God for
which we are each labouring.

Moreover, several of the agencies enumerated by Colonel
Denby, such as the Y. M. C. A., the International Institute,
the Mission to the Blind, the various Bible Societies, and the
Society for the Diffusion of Christian Knowledge, are not
competing missionary agencies at all, but are doing a special
work along such separate lines that it is unfair to take them
into consideration. As a matter of fact, with the exception of
a comparatively small work by the Society for the Propagation
of the Gospel, the real missionary work in Peking is being done
by only four Boards,--The American, Methodist, London, and
Presbyterian. This is not a disproportionate number, considering
the fact that Peking is one of the great cities of the world
and the capital of the Empire. It is of the utmost importance
that a strong Christian influence should be exerted in such a
centre. Indeed, if there is any place in all China where this influence
ought to be intensified, it is Peking. It is granted that
Christian work is more difficult in a great city, that it is harder
to convert a man there than in a country village. But, on the
other hand, he is more influential when he is converted.
Peking is the heart of China. Alone of all its cities, it is
visited sooner or later by every ambitious scholar and prominent
official. The examinations for the higher degrees bring
to it myriads of the brightest young men of the country. The
moral effect of a strong Christian Church in Peking will be felt
in every province. If Christianity is to be a positive regenerative
force in China it cannot afford to weaken its hold in the
very citadel of China's power.

It should be borne in mind that the work of the missionaries
stationed at Peking is not confined to the city, but that Peking
is a base from which they work out on the east and south till
they reach the boundaries of the Tien-tsin and Paoting-fu
station fields, while on the north and west a vast and populous
region for an indefinite distance is wholly dependent upon them
for Christian teaching. Extensive and densely inhabited areas
of the province are not being worked by any board. The Rev.
Dr. John Wherry, who has lived there for a generation, says
that there are a hundred times as many people in the Peking
region as are now being reached, and that there are 20,000,000
in the province who have never yet heard of Christ. For this
enormous field the missionary agencies now at work are really
few. Hundreds of American cities of half a million inhabitants
have a greater number of ordained workers than this entire
province of Chih-li with a population nearly half as large as that
of the United States. Indeed there is room for a great extension
of the work without overcrowding.

Each denomination occupies a large and distinct geographical
field in this province. For example, all that portion of the city
and suburbs of Peking north of the line of the Forbidden City,
with a population of about 200,000, is considered Presbyterian
territory. No other missionaries are located in
that part of Peking. In the country, the counties of San-ho,
Huai-jou, Pao-ti, to the north and east of Peking, are also
understood to be distinctively Presbyterian ground. San-ho
County alone is said to have 1,200 towns and villages, while
the other counties are also very populous. No other Protestant
denomination is working in any of these counties. At Paoting-fu,
the Congregationalists and Presbyterians have made a
division of the field, the former taking everything south of a
line drawn through the centre of the city and the latter everything
north of that line. Each denomination thus has wholly
to itself half the city of Paoting-fu and about a dozen outlying

The missionaries of the three other boards concerned plainly
stated that, in the event of the withdrawal of the Presbyterians,
they would not be able to care for the work that would be left.
They declared that they were not able adequately to sustain
the work they already had and that there was not the slightest
reason to hope that their home boards would find it possible to
give them the reinforcements in men and money which would
be required if their present responsibilities were to be increased.
The large district now occupied by any given board would simply
be vacated if its missionaries were transferred to other regions.
The ties formed with the Chinese Christians and people
in more than a generation of continuous missionary work
would be broken and the influence acquired by faithful missionaries
in long years of toil would be lost.

In these circumstances, would it be right for any one of
these four boards to withdraw? There will, indeed, come a
time when it will be the duty of the missionary to leave the
Chinese church to itself. But is this the time to go, when the
native church, instead of being strong and able to care for
itself, is torn and bleeding after frightful persecution? These
Christians look to the missionaries, who have hitherto led them,
as spiritual fathers who will guide them in the future. They
feel that the time has come for a new consecration to the task
of evangelizing all their people. As directed by the missionaries,
they may become a great influence for the conversion
of their countrymen. Should they be left when other missionaries
expressly state that they cannot care for them?

The question of closer cooperation, however, is worthy of
careful consideration. At a conference of representatives of
foreign mission boards of the United States and Canada having
work in China, held in New York, September 21, 1900,
the following resolution was unanimously adopted:

``It is the judgment of this conference that the resumption of mission
work in those parts of China where it has been interrupted would afford a
favourable opportunity for putting into practice some of the principles of
mission comity which have been approved by a general concensus of
opinion among missionaries and boards, especially in regard to the over
lapping of fields and such work as printing and publishing, higher
education and hospital work, and the conference would commend the subject
to the favourable consideration and action of the various boards and their

Christian America, which ought to set the example of
comity, is distractingly divided. Should it not learn something
from its experience at home and, as far as possible, organize
its work abroad in such a way as to avoid perpetuating
unnecessary divisions? Should it not at least carefully consider
whether a limited force cannot be used to better advantage
for China and for Christ? I admire the ingenuity of those
at home who can find good reasons for having half a dozen
denominations in a town of a few thousand inhabitants. But on
the foreign field, we should adopt a different policy. In the
large cities--the Londons, and Berlins, and New Yorks, and
Chicagos, of Asia, it is conceded that more than one Board
may properly work. But with such exceptions, it should be
the rule not to enter fields where other evangelical bodies are
already established. Indeed it is already the rule. The
Shanghai Conference of 1900 voted that missionary agencies
should not be multiplied in small places, though that cities of
prefectural rank should not be considered the exclusive territory
of any one board. The American Presbyterian Board declared
in 1900, and its action was specifically approved by the
General Assembly of that year:--``The time has come for a
larger union and cooperation in mission work, and where
church union cannot be attained, the Board and the missions
will seek such divisions of territory as will leave as large districts
as possible to the exclusive care and development of separate

In several places, boards and missions are moving actively in
this direction. In 1902, the American and Presbyterian Boards
entered into a union in educational work in the province of
Chih-li by which the Presbyterians conduct a union boarding-
school for girls in Paoting-fu and for boys in Peking, while the
Congregationalists educate the boys of both denominations in
Paoting-fu and the girls in Peking. A medical college in
Peking was agreed upon in 1903, to be supported and taught
jointly by the London, American and Presbyterian missions.
In the province of Shantung, a notable union in both educational
and medical work was effected in 1903 between English
Baptists and American Presbyterians. Instead of developing
duplicate institutions with all the large expenditure of men and
money that would be involved, the boards and missions concerned
are uniting in the development of the Shantung Protestant
University with the Arts College on the Presbyterian
compound at Wei-hsien and the Theological and Normal
School on the Baptist compound at Ching-chou-fu. The
medical class will be taught alternately at the Baptist and
Presbyterian stations until funds warrant the erection of suitable
buildings, probably at Chinan-fu, the capital of the province. In
Shanghai, the Northern and Southern Methodists established a
union publishing house in 1902, and in several other parts of
China, plans for union of various kinds are being discussed.

All these enterprises met with opposition at first. There was,
indeed, little objection to union in medical education, for few
questions of a denominational character are involved in the
training of medical students. But it was urged by some that
it would not be expedient to press consolidation in educational
work, as the chief object of such work was held to be the
training of a native ministry and each mission could best educate
its own helpers and should do so in the interest of self-
preservation. The example of the Meiji Gakuin in Tokio, Japan,
which is supported by the Presbyterian and Reformed Boards,
was not deemed determinative as in Japan but one native
church is involved, so that the cases are not parallel. Moreover,
it was thought that in a large school there would not be as
good an opportunity for that close personal contact between
missionary and pupil which is so desirable.

These difficulties, however, are believed by many of the mis-
sionaries to be more theoretical than practical, or, at any rate,
not sufficiently formidable to prevent a more effective cooperation.
No plan will be free from all objections and a good effort
should not be abandoned because they are found to confront
it. The defects in union are less grave than those that experience
has shown to be inherent in the old method of numerous
weak and struggling institutions whose support requires a
ruinous proportion of the mission force and the mission funds
that might otherwise be available, in part at least, for the enlargement
of the evangelistic work. ``It certainly seems unnecessary
that two missions should maintain distinct high
schools looking towards a college grade side by side, when the
whole number of pupils in both could be instructed more
economically and perhaps more efficiently in one institution.''

Nor is this all, for, wherever practicable, union of allied
churches is being sought. I know we are told that Christ's
words do not call for this. But when I hear the laboured arguments
which defend the splitting of American Presbyterianism
into more than a dozen sects, I sympathize with the child who,
after a sermon in which the minister had eloquently urged that
the unity for which the Lord prayed was consistent with
separation, said: ``Mamma, if Christ didn't mean what He
said, why didn't He say what He meant?''

Premature and impracticable efforts should indeed be
avoided. The deeply rooted differences of centuries are not to
be eradicated in a day. We must feel our way along with
caution and wisdom. To attempt too much at first would be
to accomplish nothing. Work abroad is necessarily a projection
of the work at home and it will be more or less hampered by
our American divisions. A prominent clergyman told me that
he doubted the wisdom of a union of the Asiatic churches as he
feared that such a union would weaken the sense of responsibility
of the home churches. He thought that a denomination
in America would take a deeper interest in a comparatively
small native church wholly dependent upon it than it would in
an indeterminate part of a larger church. Must the unity of
the foreign church be sacrificed to the divisions of the home
church? Perhaps there is some ground for anticipating such
objections from home. But if they are found to exist, we
should not cease seeking union in Asia, but begin preaching
juster views in America.

I must not be understood as depreciating the historic differences
of Christendom. I am aware that each of the
great religious bodies stands for some cardinal principle that
is not emphasized to the same degree by others. The freedom
of any given number of believers to witness to a specific
truth should not be and need not be limited by union.
The contention here is that the differences of the West
should not be forced upon the East but that the churches of
Asia should be given a fair chance to develop a unity large
enough to comprehend these various forms. If they must be
divided, let them separate later along their own lines of
cleavage, not on lines extended from western nations. In one
place, I met a swarthy Asiatic who knew just enough English
to be able to tell me that he was a Scotch Presbyterian. Are
we then to have a Scotch Presbyterian Church in Asia, and a
Canadian Presbyterian Church, and an Australian Presbyterian
Church? Is the American Civil War forever to divide
communities of Chinese believers into American Northern
Presbyterians and American Southern Presbyterians? Why
should we force our unhappy quarrel of a generation ago
upon them? The American Presbyterian Board has truly
declared that ``the object of the foreign missionary enterprise
is not to perpetuate on the mission field the denominational
distinctions of Christendom but to build up on Scriptural lines
and according to Scriptural principles and methods the
Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ.'' It has advised all its
missions that ``we encourage as far as practicable the formation
of union churches in which the results of the mission
work of all allied evangelical churches should be gathered, and
that they (the missions) observe everywhere the most generous
principles of missionary comity.'' The specific approval of
this declaration, by the General Assembly of 1900, makes this
the authoritative policy of the Presbyterian Church in the
United States of America.

In harmony with this general position, several significant
efforts towards union are being made. The first movements,
naturally, are towards a union of communions that are substantially
alike in polity and doctrine. Already all the Presbyterian
and Reformed Boards operating in Japan, Korea,
Mexico and India have joined in the support of a united native
church in those lands, and similar movements are in progress
in other lands and in several churches, notably the Protestant
Episcopal and the Methodist Episcopal. In China, the
representatives of the eight Presbyterian denominations of
Europe and America have met in loving conference and
planned to unite all the native Christians connected with their
respective missions into one magnificent and commanding

And now unions of wholly different denominations are being
discussed. The American Board missionaries intimated to the
Presbyterian Mission in 1901 that there might be ``no inherent
difficulty in uniting the membership of the Presbyterian and
Congregational churches in Chih-li in one common body.'' A
similar question is being informally discussed by the American
Presbyterian missionaries and those of the English Baptist
Mission in Shantung. The fellowship between the two bodies
there, as between Presbyterians and Congregationalists in
Chih-li, is close.

The local difficulties do not appear to be serious. An
English Baptist missionary frankly stated in an open conference
of missionaries of various boards in Chefoo, that his mission,
with the full knowledge of the home society, took the position
that the Chinese Christians are not yet fit for congregational
government, being, as a rule, comparatively ignorant farmers
just out of heathenism; that it had been found necessary to
select the best men in a local church and give them powers
which, for all practical purposes, constituted them a session,
and that the native church as a whole was being more and
more directed by a body consisting of representatives from such
sessions. An American Board missionary told me substantially
the same thing regarding the churches of his mission. We
should not infer too much from such admissions. Both Baptists
and Congregationalists are loyally attached to their independent
policy. Both referred, of course, to the temporary
adaptions necessary in the present stage of mission work.
As for Presbyterians, their Board's Committee on Policy and
Methods declared, March 6, 1899:--

``It is inexpedient to give formal organization to churches and Presbyteries
after American models unless there is manifest need therefor, and
such forms are shown to be best adapted to the people and circumstances.
In general, the ends of the work will be best attained by simple and
flexible organizations adapted to the characteristic and real needs of the
people and designed to develop and utilize spiritual power rather than
merely or primarily to secure proper ecclesiastical procedure.''

As a matter of fact, neither the representative nor the independent
forms of church government are yet in unmodified
operation on any mission fields, except perhaps in Japan, for
the simple reason that the typical foreign missionary has thus
far necessarily exercised the functions of a superintendent or
bishop of the native churches. Undoubtedly, however, the
Asiatic churches are being educated to expect self-government
as soon as they are competent to exercise it.

Doctrinal differences may present greater difficulties. And
yet there is a remarkable unanimity of teaching among the
missionaries of the various denominations in China. However
widely they may differ among themselves, nearly all agree in
preaching to the Chinese the great central truths of Christianity
so that most of the native Christians know little of the sectarian
distinctions that are so well-understood in America. Such
differences as are necessary in China might be provided for by
recognizing the liberty of the local church and the individual
believer to hold whichever phase of the truth might be preferred.
The China Inland Mission has shown that this plan
is feasible. It is composed of missionaries of all Protestant
denominations, but they work in harmony and build up a
Chinese church by recognizing the right of brethren to differ
in the same organization.

Doubtless isolated cases of embarrassment would occur, but
they would be insignificant in comparison with the embarrassments
inherent in sectarian divisions. Denominational uniformity
is bought at bitter cost when it separates Christians
into rival camps. Unity in essentials and liberty in non-essentials
are far better than a slavery to non-essentials which
destroys that oneness of believers for which our Lord prayed.
In the presence of a vast heathen population, let Christians at
least remember that their points of disagreement are less vital
than their points of agreement, that Christianity should, as far
as possible, present a solid front, and let them devoutly join
the Conference of Protestant missionaries in Japan in the ringing
proclamation:--``That all those who are one with Christ by
faith are one body, and that all who love the Lord Jesus and
His Church in sincerity and truth should pray and labour for
the full realization of such a corporate oneness as the Master
Himself prayed for in the night in which He was betrayed.''

It is true that an advanced position on comity sometimes
operates to the disadvantage of the denomination that espouses
it. But let us be true to our ideals even if some whom we might
have reached do go to heaven by another route. Other
churches are preaching the gospel and those who accept it
at their hands will be saved. We are in Asia to preach
Christ, to preach Him as we understand Him, but if any
one else insists on preaching Him in a given place and
will do so with equal fidelity to His divinity and atone-
ment, let us cooperate with them, or federate with them, or
combine with them, or give up the field to them, as the
circumstances may require. The problem before us is not simply
where we can do good, but where we can do the most good,
how use to the best advantage the limited resources at our
command. Givers at home have a right to demand this.
Many of their gifts involve self-sacrifice, and they should be
used where a real need exists. ``There remains yet very much
land to be possessed.'' I have seen enough of it to burden my
heart as long as I live, toiling, sorrowing, sin-laden multitudes,
who might be better Christians than we are if they had our
chance, but who are scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd.
And shall we multiply missionaries in places already
occupied and dispute as to who shall preach in a given fields
when these millions are dying without the gospel?

The Future of China And Our Relation
To It



WILL China ever be able to menace the nations of
the West? This is the startling question that many
sober-minded men are asking. Some writers, indeed,
make light of the ``yellow peril,'' characterizing it ``a
mere bugaboo of an excited imagination,'' because, as they
allege, China has neither the organization nor the valour to
fight Europe, and because, if it had, it could not transport its
army and navy so vast a distance.

But surely organization and valour can be acquired by the
Chinese as well as by any other people. Their present helplessness
before the aggressive foreigner is rapidly teaching them
the necessity for the former. As for the latter, it is well known
that the most dangerous fighter is the strong but peaceably-
disposed man who has been goaded to desperation by long-
continued insult and injustice. Americans may discreetly remember
that they themselves were once sneeringly described
as ``a nation of shopkeepers who wouldn't and couldn't

It is easy to be deceived by the result of the China-Japan
War of 1894. The Japanese were successful, not because they
are abler, but because they had more swiftly responded to the
touch of the modern world and had organized their government,
their army and their navy in accordance with scientific
methods. More bulky and phlegmatic China was caught napping
by her enterprising enemy. Despising the profession of
arms, China gave her energies to scholarship and commerce,
and filled her regiments and ships with paupers, criminals and
opium fiends, who were as destitute of courage, intelligence
and patriotism as the darky who explained his flight from the
battle-field by saying that he would rather be a live coward
than a dead hero. As for the men above them, a Chinese officer
admitted to a friend of mine that at the outbreak of the
war with Japan, the army contractors bought a lot of old rifles
in Germany, which had long before been discarded as worthless
by the German army, paying two ounces of silver for each
gun, and thriftily charging the Government nine ounces. Then
they bought a cargo of cartridges that did not fit the guns and
that had been lying in damp cellars for twenty years, and put
the whole equipment into the hands of raw recruits commanded
by opium-smokers.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Chinese were worsted
before the onset of the wide-awake Japanese, and that the
unorganized mobs with which they blindly tried to drive out
foreigners in 1900 were easily crushed by the armies of the
West. But it would be folly to imagine that this is the end.
It takes a nation of 426,000,000 phlegmatic people longer to
get under way than a nation of 43,000,000 nervous people,
but when they do get started, their momentum is proportionately
greater. China has plenty of men who can fight, and
when they are well commanded, they make as good soldiers as
there are in the world, as ``Chinese Gordon'' showed. Was
not his force called the ``Ever Victorious Army,'' because it
was never defeated? Did not Lord Charles Beresford, of the
English navy, say, after personal inspection of many of the
troops of China:--``I am convinced that properly armed, disciplined
and led, there could be no better material than the
Chinese soldiers''? Did not Admiral Dewey report that the
fifty Chinese who served under him in the battle of Manila Bay
fought so magnificently that they proved themselves equal in
courage to American sailors and that they should be made
American citizens by special enactment? During my tour of
Asia, I saw the soldiers of England, France, Germany, Italy,
Austria, Belgium, Russia, America and Japan. But the Chinese
cavalrymen of Governor Yuan Shih Kai, whom I have described
elsewhere,[89] were as fine troops as I saw anywhere.
They would be a foe not to be despised. When Bishop Potter
returned from his tour of Asia, he declared that ``when Japan
has taught China the art of war, neither England nor Russia
nor Germany will decide the fate of the East.''

[89] Chapter VII.

It is odd that any intelligent person should suppose that distance
is an effectual barrier against an aroused and organized
Asia. It is no farther from China to Europe than from Europe
to China, and Europe has not found the distance a barrier to
its designs on China. England, Germany, France, Russia,
and even little Holland and Portugal, have all managed to
send ships and troops to the Far East, to seize territory and to
subjugate the inhabitants. Why should it be deemed impossible
for China, which alone is larger than all these nations
combined, to do what they have done?

The absorption of China by Russia or any other single European
power is not possible for the reason that the attempt
would be resisted by all the other Powers, including the United
States and Japan. The world will never permit one of its
nations to make China what Great Britain has made India. A
half dozen Powers are determined to have a share if the break
up comes.

The real partition of the Empire, however, is hardly probable
as the case stands to-day. The Powers dread the task of
administering a population that is not only huge but of such a
stubborn character that enormous military expenditures might
be required to prevent constant rebellions. A still more potent
reason lies in the fact that the European nations that covet
portions of China could not agree among themselves as to the
division of the spoil. There is, indeed, apparent acquiescence
in Russian influence in Manchuria, German in Shantung,
British in the valleys of the Yang-tze and the Pearl, and French
in Tonquin. But no one nation is quite satisfied with this
division. Each has thus far taken what it could get; but Germany,
France and Russia are far from pleased to see Great
Britain take the lion's share that she has marked out for herself.
Moreover, there are important provinces that are now
common ground, like the imperial province of Chih-li, or
unappropriated, like several of the interior provinces. Actual
partition would mean a scramble that would precipitate a general
war, and such a war would involve so many uncertainties
not only as to the result in China but as to possible readjustments
in Europe itself, that the Powers wisely shrink from it.
So they prefer for the present, at least, the policy of ``spheres
of influence'' as giving them a commercial foothold and political
influence with less risk of trouble.

Besides, Great Britain, the United States and Japan are all
opposed to partition. England's chief interest in China is
commercial, and it quite naturally prefers to trade with the
whole of China rather than be confined to a particular section
of it, for it knows that there would be little trade with any
parts of China that Russia, France and Germany absolutely
controlled. So England insists on the integrity of China and
the open door.''

The United States has the same commercial interest in this
respect as Great Britain, with the added motive that partition
would give her nothing at all in China; while Japan feels the
most strongly of all for she has both the reasons that actuate
the United States and also the vital one of self-preservation.
The Hon. Chester Holcombe says that several years ago, in an
interview with an influential member of the Japanese Cabinet
in Tokio, the conversation turned upon the aggressions of
European Powers and the weakness of Korea, which had
recently declared its independence.

``The Japanese Minister was greatly disturbed at the prospect for the
future. He insisted that the action taken by Korea, under the guidance
of China, would not save that little kingdom from attack and absorption.
Holding up one hand, and separating the first and second fingers as widely
as possible from the third and fourth, he said:--`Here is the situation.
Those four fingers represent the four great European Powers, Great
Britain, Germany, France and Russia. In the open space between them
lie Japan, China and Korea.' Then, with really dramatic force, he added:
`Like the jaws of a huge vise, those fingers are slowly closing, and unless
some supreme effort is made, they will certainly crush the national life out
of all three.' ''

So Japan must be reckoned with in any plans which the
western nations may make for China, and that Japan is a
factor not to be despised, the Russians have learned to their
sorrow. Japan believes that she has found the way to make
her opposition so formidable that all Europe cannot overcome it.
Beyond any other people in the world, the Chinese furnish the
raw materials for a world power. All they need is capable
leadership. This is the gigantic task to which Japan has set
herself. The alert and enterprising Islanders have entered
upon a career of national aggrandizement. They realize that
with their limited territory and population, they can hardly
hope to become a power of the first class and make headway
against the tremendous forces of western nations unless they can
ally themselves with their larger continental neighbour. They
clearly see their own superiority in organization, discipline and
modern spirit, and they see also the stupendous power of China
if it can be aroused and effectively directed. The Japanese
have never been accused of undue modesty and they firmly
believe that they are just the people to do this work. This is
not simply because they are ambitious, but because they see
that unless Asia can be thus solidified against Europe, the
whole mighty continent will fall under the control of the white
men who already dominate so large a part of it. Accordingly
the Japanese have entered upon the definite policy of not only
absorbing Korea, but of cultivating the closest possible alliance
with their former foe.

The Hon. Augustin Heard, formerly United States Minister
to Korea, represents Japan as whispering to the sorely beset

``Why shouldn't we work together? I hate the foreigner as much as
you do, and should be as glad to get rid of him. Together we can do
great things; separate we are feeble. I am too small, and you are, so to
speak, too big. You are unorganized. Let us join hands and I will do
what I can to help you get ready; and when we are ready we will drive
these insolent fellows into the sea. I have a big army and navy and I
have learned all the foreigners have to teach. This knowledge I will pass
on to you. We have great advantages over them. In the first place they
are a long way from their supplies, and every move they make costs a
great deal of money. Our men can fight as well as theirs, if they are
shown how, and there are a great many more of them. They can march
as well, will require to carry almost no baggage, and do not cost half as
much to feed. Our wounded men, too, in their own country and climate
will get well, while theirs will die.''

To this suggestion China listens and ponders:--

``What are the objections? There is, first, the contempt which our
people feel for them; but that is rapidly dying out. The Japanese
showed in our last war that small men can fight as well as big ones; and
a rifle in the hands of the small man will carry as far and as true as in the
hands of a larger one. Then, when we have once got rid of the foreigner
will Japan not try to keep the leadership and supremacy? Very likely
but then we shall be armed and organized; we have as able men as they
and with our overwhelming numbers shall we not be capable of holding
our own--nay, if we wish, of taking possession of her?''[90]

[90] Article in The New York Tribune, September 7, 1903.

Undoubtedly this imaginary conversation voices the ambition
of the Japanese and the inclination of an increasing number of
Chinese. At any rate, the possibilities which such an alliance
suggests are almost overwhelming. Japan undoubtedly has the
intelligence and the executive ability to organize as no other
power could the vast latent forces of China. If any one
doubts her fitness to discipline and lead, he might obtain some
heartfelt information from the Russians. Says Mr. George
Lynch in the Nineteenth Century:--

``I know of no movement more pregnant with possibilities than this
now in progress which makes towards the Japanization of China. There
will be great changes in the government and life of that great Empire just
as soon as the Empress Dowager dies, and she is now an old woman. In
the upheaval of change, if the industrious, persistent, far-sighted efforts of
her neighbours bear fruit, we may witness quite a rapid transformation in
the life of the Empire. That clever conspirator, Sen Yat Sen, said to me
that, once the Chinese made up their minds to change, they would effect
in fifteen years as much as it has taken Japan thirty to accomplish. There
are some men in the East who affect to regard this rapprochement between
Japan and China with alarm, as carrying in its development the menace
of a really genuine `yellow peril.' ''

It certainly needs no argument to prove that if the 426,000,000
Chinese are once fairly committed to the skillful leadership
of the Japanese, a force will be set in motion which could
be withstood only by the united efforts of all the rest of the

The task to which Japan has set herself, however, will not be
easily achieved. To say nothing of other nations, the Russians
are not at all disposed to sit quietly by while their foes cajole
the Chinese. Russia has some designs of her own on China.
Half Asiatic and semi-barbarous herself, past master in all the
arts of Oriental diplomacy, patient, stubborn and untroubled
by scruples, she is a formidable competitor for the leadership
of China. In Persia, the Russian political policy works largely
through the missionaries of the Greek Church, whose propaganda
is political as well as religious. The same tactics are
now being employed in China. The Chih-li correspondent of
the North China Herald reports that the Holy Russian branch
of the Greek Church is becoming suspiciously active in North

``Their work is spreading, and the methods adopted are such as to attract
all the worst characters of the districts in which they operate. In a
little town near the Great Wall, where in June there were about a dozen
converts to the Greek Church, there are now over eighty. Any and all
are welcome. Their families no less than the men themselves are reck-
oned as belonging to the Church. The priest has made a round of several
towns, and, though he speaks no Chinese, by unhesitatingly giving protection
and assistance in any case of dispute or litigation, he has made it
clearly evident that for any man in any way under a cloud there is nothing
better than to join the Greek Church.... The impression
among European onlookers is that Russia is preparing to extend her arms
over Chih-li, and is beginning to smooth her way by gaining over the people
in the eastern marches of the province. It is a significant fact that the
Greek Church is known among the people as a `Kuo Chiao' (National
Church), a charge from which the Protestants are considered to be entirely,
and the Roman Catholics partially, free.''

China, moreover, will be slow to respond to the overtures of
Japan, partly because her bulk and phlegmatic disposition and
lack of public spirit make it difficult for her to act quickly and
unitedly in anything, partly because Chinese pride and prejudice
will not easily yield to the leadership of the haughty little
island whose people as well as whose territory have long been
contemptuously regarded as dwarfish and inferior.

But the shrewd Japanese are making more progress than is
commonly supposed. Not only have they already obtained the
great island of Formosa, but they have for years been quietly
making their commercial interests paramount in Korea. Their
first move in the war with Russia was to occupy that strategic
peninsula with a large military force and to secure a treaty with
the Emperor which gives Japan a virtual protectorate over the
Land of the Morning Calm. The promise to respect the independence
of Korea of course deceives no one. It is probably
sincere, as diplomatic promises go; but he is innocent indeed
who imagines that Korea will be free to do anything that Japan
disapproves. The freedom will doubtless be of the kind that
Cuba enjoys--a freedom which gives large liberty in matters
of internal administration, which relieves the protecting country
of any trouble or responsibility that it may deem inconvenient,
but which does not permit any alliance with a third
nation, and which, for all important international purposes, especially
of a military character, regards the ``independent''
nation as really dependent. It is quite safe to predict that no
European power will be unsophisticated enough to assume that
Korea is ``a free and independent nation.'' The arrangement
will be in every way to the advantage of the Koreans, who have
suffered grievously from the pulling and hauling of contending
powers and from many evils from which the abler and wiser
Japanese will, in a measure at least, protect them.

For a long time, too, the Japanese have been strengthening
the ties which bind them to China. The brainy Japanese
can be seen to-day in almost all the leading cities of the Middle
Kingdom. There is a Japanese colony of 200 souls in
Chefoo and of 1,400 in Tien-tsin. Already the Japanese are
advising China's government, reorganizing her army, drafting
her laws and teaching in her university. Even more distant
countries are not beyond the range of their ambition. The
leaders of India, restive under British rule, are beginning to
look with eager sympathy to Japan as the rising Asiatic power.
Even the Grand Vizier of Persia has paid a state visit to Japan.
Any hopes of India and Persia are likely to be vain, for Britain
has a hold upon the former and Russia upon the latter which
it would be Quixotic in the Japanese to attempt to break. The
Islanders are not fools. But the Siamese, helplessly exasperated
by the encroachments of the French, would doubtless be
glad enough to enter into an alliance with Japan and China.
In 1902, the Crown Prince of Siam visited Japan, where he
was most graciously welcomed, and increasing numbers of Japanese
who know what they are about are obtaining increasing
influence in the Land of the White Elephant.

Nor is it simply by sending Japanese to neighbouring countries
that Japan is extending her power. She is encouraging
Chinese students to come to her shores. Dr. David S. Spencer
of Japan declares that 300 Chinese are studying the art of
war in Japanese barracks. Dr. Sydney L. Gulick says that
5,000 Chinese are being trained in the schools of Japan for
positions of future power in their own country. It is significant that
Viceroy Yuan Shih Kai, the ablest and most far-seeing statesman
in China, is reported in the telegraphic despatches of
February 5, 1904, as having memorialized the Throne in favour
of an offensive and defensive alliance with Japan to regain
Manchuria from the Russians, while the North China Daily
News represents Prince Su, Prince Ching, Na Tung, President
of the Wai-wu-pu, and Tieh Liang as in favour of the same
policy. Mr. Holcombe is of the opinion that ``the brightest
spot in the outlook for China is in the increasing probability of alliance
and affiliation with Japan. . . . Together these two
great nations of the Far East may, and it is confidently hoped
will, safely confront those Governments whose schemes are hostile
to both, and prove their right to manage their own affairs
and determine their own destinies.''[91]

[91] Article in The Outlook, February 13, 1904.

But whatever the immediate future may be, it is not probable
that so huge and virile a population as the Chinese will be
permanently led by a foreign nation. Even if partition should
come, it would only hasten the development of those teeming
millions of people, for foreign domination would mean more
railway, telegraph and steamship lines. It would mean the
opening of mines, the development of the press, the complete
ascendency of Western ideas. Though China as a political organism
might be divided, the Chinese people would remain--
the most virile, industrious, untiring people of Asia, and perhaps,
after due tutelage, a coming power of the world. China's
assimilative power is enormous. The black man may be dominated
by the white and the Hindu by the English, but China is
neither Africa nor India. It is true that the present dynasty is
Manchu, but the Manchus are more akin to the Chinese than
either the Russians or the Japanese. Moreover the Manchus
have not tried to rule China from the outside, but have permanently
settled in China, and while they have succeeded as a
rule in maintaining a separate name, they have not made the
Chinese Manchus, but instead they have themselves been prac-
tically merged into the engulfing mass of China. ``Those who
imagine that the vast population of the Empire will submit
quietly to the partition of their country, or that any military
force of moderate size could force it to acquiesce in such a
scheme, know but little of the Chinese character, of their intense
love of country, or of their unconquerable tenacity of
purpose.''[92] The foreign nation that gets the Chinese, or even
any considerable portion of them, will probably find that it has
assumed a burden in comparison with which the Egyptian
trouble with the Israelites was insignificant, and it is not
improbable that the conqueror will some day find himself

[92] Chester Holcombe, article in The Outlook, February 13, 1904.

At any rate, portentous possibilities are conjured up by the
contemplation of this mighty nation! There are upheavals
compared with which our revolutions are but spasms. There
are religions whose adherents outnumber ours two to one.
There is a civilization which was old before ours was born.
Are we to believe that these swarming legions were created for
no purpose? Are their generations to appear and fall and rot
unnoticed, like the leaves of the forest? Degraded, superstitious,
many of them still are. But they need only to be organized
and directed to do untold mischief. More than once
already has a similar catastrophe occurred. Some prodigy of
skill and genius has seized such enormous forces, given them
discipline and coherency and hurled them like a thunderbolt
upon Christendom. Sometimes the shock has been frightful,
and before it the proudest of empires and the stateliest of
institutions have reeled and fallen. This was the Titan-like
achievement of Alaric, of Genseric, of Attila, and of Mohammed.
Yet Goths and Vandals, Huns and Mohammedans,
combined, had not half the numbers upon which we now look.
Give the 426,000,000 Chinese the results of modern discovery
and invention, and imagination falters. They have the territory.
They have the resources. They have the population
and they are now acquiring the knowledge. China will fight
no more like the barbarians of old with spears and bows and
arrows, for despite the treaty of 1900 prohibiting the importation
of arms, the Chinese are buying repeating rifles and Maxim
guns, while in their own arsenals they are turning out vast
quantities of munitions of war. The American consul at Leipsic,
Germany, reports to the State Department that an Austrian
company has just received an order for so large a number of
small arms for the Chinese Government that it will take several
years to fill it, even with additional forces of men to whom it
has given employment. This is only one of many reports
received in Washington within recent months that the factories
of both Germany and Austria are busy supplying the Chinese
with modern arms and ammunition. The armies of China
will soon be as well equipped as the armies of Europe.

Incredible as it may seem, up to the year 1901, promotion
in the army was often determined by trials of strength with
stone weights, dexterity in sword exercises and skill in the use
of the bow and arrow. But in that year, an Imperial Decree
declared that such tests ``have no relation to strategy and to
that military science which is indispensable for military officers,''
commanded that they be abolished and that military
academies should be established in the provincial capitals in
which the science of modern war should be diligently studied.
Not content with this, forty young men were sent to Europe
in 1903 for the express purpose of studying the latest military
and naval methods of the white man. And now Sir Robert
Hart proposes not only a reorganization of China's civil service
but the building of a first-class navy of thirty battleships and
cruisers, and he thinks that the enormous sum of $200,000,000
a year can be obtained for this purpose by an increase in the
land tax. Then, he declares, China will be enabled ``not
only to make her voice heard, but to take an effective share in
the settlement of questions in the Far East.'' The London
Times rather contemptuously asserts that ``the entire project
in its present shape is visionary from beginning to end.''
But Sir Robert Hart has spent fifty years in China, having
entered the British consular service in 1854 and become
Inspector-General of Maritime Customs in 1863. During the
greater part of this long period, he has been an adviser of
the Chinese Government and the most influential foreigner in
the Empire. The recommendation of such a man is not to be
lightly dismissed as ``visionary,'' especially when it is made to
a people who have been taught by bitter experience that a
modern armament is their only hope of defense against the
foreigner. As late as the beginning of the year 1904, Russia
ridiculed the idea that Japan could do anything against a
western power, and all the rest of Europe as well as America,
while admiring the pluck of the Japanese, confidently expected
them to be crushed by the Slav. Wise men will think twice in
the future before they sneer at the yellow race. If Japan in
half a century could go from junks and cloisonne to battleships
and magazine rifles, and to the handling of them, too,
more scientifically and effectively than they were ever handled
by a white man, why should it be deemed chimerical that China,
with equal ability and greater resources and certainly no less
provocation, should in time achieve even vaster results, particularly
as Japan is not only willing but eager to teach her? ``We
do not lack either men of intellect or brilliant talents, capable
of learning and doing anything they please; but their movements
have hitherto been hampered by old prejudices,'' said
the Emperor Kuang Hsii. Precisely, and the stern, relentless
pressure of necessity is now shattering some of those ``old
prejudices.'' ``You urge us to move faster,'' said a Chinese
magistrate to a foreigner. ``We are slow to respond for we
are a conservative people; but if you force us to start, we may
move faster and farther than you like.''

Some things may yet occur undreampt of in all our philosophy.
We observe the changing march of world powers,
the majestic procession in which the pomp and glitter of
thrones are mingled with the tears and blood of calamity
and war. What a pageant! Yesterday, Chaldea, Egypt, Assyria,
Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome! To-day, England,
Germany, Russia, Japan, the United States! To-morrow,
what? What, indeed, if not some of these now awakening
nations! It is by no means impossible that some new
Jenghiz Khan or Tamerlane may arise, and with the weapons
of modern warfare in his hands, and these uncounted millions
at his command, gaze about on the pygmies that we call the
Powers! Christendom has too long regarded heathen nations
with a pity not unmingled with contempt. It is now beginning
to regard them with a respect not unmingled with fear.
There is not a statesman in Europe to-day who is not troubled
with dire forebodings regarding these teeming hordes, that appear
to be just awakening from the torpor of ages, and some
thoughtful observers fear that a movement has already begun
which will lead to great wars whose issue no man can foresee,
and to stupendous reconstructions of the map of the
world. The Emperor of Germany has painted a picture which
has startled not so much by its art as by its meaning. ``On a
projecting rock, illuminated by a shining cross, stand the allegorical
figures of the civilized nations. At the feet of this
rocky eminence lies the wide plain of European culture, from
which rise countless cities and the steeples and spires of
churches of every denomination. But ominous clouds are
gathering over this peaceful landscape. A stifling gloom
o'erspreads the sky. The glare of burning cities lights up the
road by which the barbaric hordes of Asia are approaching.
The Archangel Michael points to the fearsome foe, waving the
nations on to do battle in a sacred cause. Underneath are
the words--`Peoples of Europe, keep guard over your most
sacred treasures!' ''

Making all due allowance for the exuberance of Emperor
William's imagination, the fact remains that his picture represents
the thought that is uppermost to-day in the minds of the
world's thinkers. All see that the next few decades are big
with possibilities of peril.

``The rudiments of Empire here
Are plastic yet and warm,
The chaos of a mighty world
Is rounding into form.''

One thinks instinctively of the words of Isaiah: ``The
noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people;
a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered
together; the Lord of hosts mustereth the hosts of the battle.''
Plainly, the overshadowing problem of the present age is the
relation of China to the world's future. Whether recent events
have lessened the danger, we shall see in the next chapter.



OF course, the victorious march of the Allies upon
Peking, the capture of the city, the flight of the
Emperor and the Empress Dowager and the humiliating
terms of peace taught the Chinese anew their helplessness before
the modern equipment of western nations and the necessity
of learning the methods of the white man if they were ever
to hold their own against him. But defeat, while always hard
to bear, does not always embitter the conquered against the
conqueror. On the contrary, there are evidences that the
Chinese respect and like the Japanese far more since they were
soundly whipped by them in 1894 and 1895. In considering,
therefore, the effect upon the Chinese of the suppression of the
Boxer uprising, we must bear in mind not so much the fact of
victory by the Allies as the treatment which they accorded their
prostrate foe. Was that treatment dignified and just? Did
the soldiers of alleged Christian nations behave with the sobriety
and fairness which so eminently characterized the Japanese
troops after the China-Japan War? Have the Chinese reason
to regard foreigners in the future as men who will sternly
punish injustice and treachery, but who are at the same time as
moral and humane and trustworthy as might be reasonably expected
of the representatives of a higher civilization and a
purer religion? For answer, let us turn to the conduct of the
allied armies, led by experienced officers of high rank and
working in harmony with diplomatic officials who were supposed
to incarnate the spirit and methods of the most enlightened
nations of the earth. The testimony of witnesses will be

Dr. Arthur H. Smith, who was in Peking at the time,

``Bating all exaggerations, it remains true that scores of walled cities
have been visited by armed bodies of foreign soldiers, the district magistrate--
and sometimes the Prefect--held up and bullied to force him to
pay a large sum of money, with no other reason than the imperative demand
and the threat of dire consequences on refusal. In one case the
Russians kidnapped the Prefect of Yung-ping-fu and carried him off to Port
Arthur. At Ting-chou the French did the same to the sub-prefect, the only
energetic magistrate in all that region, bearing him in triumph to Paoting-fu
and leaving the district to Boxers and to chaos. At Tsang-chou
the Germans came in force, looted the yamen of General Mei, the only
Chinese officer of rank who had been constantly fighting and destroying
Boxers for nearly a year, drove him away and released all the Boxer
prisoners in the jails of the city, plundering the yamen of the friendly and
efficient sub-prefect who had saved the lives of the foreign families close
by the city. Is it any wonder that General Mei complained that s on eight
sides he had no face left.' . . . The robbery of Chinese on the way
home with the avails of their day's work has been systematically carried
on by some of the soldiers from Christian lands. Even foreigners are
`held up' on the street by drunken soldiers, and it is becoming necessary
never to go out without one's revolver--a weapon generally quite superfluous
in almost any part of China.''

Bishop D. H. Moore, of the Methodist Church, who hurried
to Peking as soon as the way was open, wrote:--

``You can hardly form any conception of the exposure and hardships
under any but the American and Japanese flags. The English have
scarcely any but the Sikhs, who are lustful and lootful to a degree. The
Russians are brutal and the Germans deserve their reputation for brutality.
With Lowry and Hobart, I responded to the agonizing appeal of a husband
to drive out a German corporal who, on duty and armed, had run
him off and was mistreating his wife. The instance is but one of hundreds
of daily occurrence. The French are very devils at this sort of outrage.
On the advance to Peking, beyond Tung-chou, they found married families--
men, women and children--cowering in barges on the canal and
volleyed into them. Every man, every cart, every boat must fly a flag.
Coolies are cruelly impressed and often cruelly mistreated. The great
Christian nations of the world are being represented in China by robbing,
raping, looting soldiery. This is part of China's punishment; but what
will she think of Christianity? Of course, our soldiers are the best behaved;
but there are desperate characters in every army.''

Captain Frank Brinkley, the editor of the Japan Weekly
Mail, penned the following indignant paragraph:--

``It sends a thrill of horror through every white man's bosom to learn
that forty missionary women and twenty-five little children were butchered
by the Boxers. But in Tung-chou alone, a city where the Chinese made
no resistance and where there was no fighting, 573 Chinese women of the
upper classes committed suicide rather than survive the indignities they
had suffered. Women of the lower classes fared similarly at the hands of
the soldiers, but were not unwilling to survive their shame. With what
show of consistency is the Occident to denounce the barbarity of the Chinese,
when Occidental soldiers go to China and perpetrate the very acts
which constitute the very basis of barbarity?''

When I asked the Rev. Dr. D. Z. Sheffield, for many years
a missionary of the American Board in Tung-chou, whether
this statement was accurate, he replied that it was not only true,
but that it was an understatement of the truth.

Fay Chi Ho, an intelligent and reliable Chinese Christian,
gives the following account of what he personally saw:--

``I travelled with a British convoy going by boat, occupying quarters
on a Major's boat with his Sikh soldiers and cook. I know that the
Major was not a Christian man, for he smoked and drank all day long
and was constantly cursing, striking and kicking his men, especially his
cook. He also gave his orders in loud tones, with fierce mien and glaring
eyes, and we all feared him exceedingly. Every day at noon the
Major would take four Sikhs and go to villages several miles from the
river for loot, always compelling me to accompany him as interpreter.
He would catch the first man whom he saw in a village and compel him
to act as guide to the homes of the rich. So successful was he on these
raids that by the time he reached Tung-chou, he had three new carts,
three donkeys, five or six sheep, and much clothing and bric-a-brac.

``One day about noon, we reached a village from which most of the
people had fled, and entering a home of wealth found there only a man
about fifty or sixty years old who received us very courteously. Immedi-
ately the Major demanded money, and the old man replied that though
he had money it was not at hand. The Major then commanded his soldiers
to bind him, while he himself went into the house to search for money.
He found several weapons, among them a revolver and a sword with a
red scarf bound on the handle. So he insisted that the old man must be
a Boxer, and shot him with his own hand as he lay bound. As usual he
impressed ten or more young men in the village to carry his loot, then
compelled the strongest of them to remain and drag his boats....
Later, my brother told me in detail how some Sikhs had come to the village
one day, and, seizing him and several neighbours, had tied a rope to
their queues, then stringing them together like mules, with men leading in
front and driving behind, had taken them to the river bank to drag boats.
My brother had never done such work before. Wading in mud and
water, sometimes up to his waist, with the whip lash to urge him on, he
had dragged until nightfall, and then, not being allowed to sleep on the
boat, had lain down on the wet river bank.''[93]

[93] ``Two Heroes of Cathay,'' pp. 154, 155, 158.

During my own visit in north China in the summer of 1901, I
visited the hospital of the London Mission in Tien-tsin, immortalized
by John Kenneth Mackenzie. I found that it was being
used as a hospital for British soldiers who were suffering
from venereal diseases. What a spectacle for the Chinese!
What a coarse travesty of the religion of the pure Nazarene
that the land from which the great British missionary came
should crowd with foul white men the hospital that he had built
with faith and love and prayer! In the same city, the fine
Y. M. C. A. building was almost deserted by the Chinese because
it was so situated that to reach it they would have to pass
through the Taku Road in the Foreign Settlement, a street
which was a cesspool of vice, lined with saloons, dance halls
and gambling hells, and its sidewalks so crowded with fast
women--French, German, American and Japanese--and with
drunken, quarrelling foreign soldiers, that no respectable Chinese,
or for that matter no decent foreign woman, could traverse
it without fear of insult or abuse.

In Peking for several months after the relief of the legations,
even respectable American ladies, to say nothing of Chinese
women, could not prudently ride out except in closed carts, so
great was the probability of indignity at the hands of foreign
soldiers; while at the entrance of famous palaces, the ``public
is politely requested not to kick the Chinese attendants because
they decline to open doors which they are forbidden to unlock''
--a request that the conduct of foreigners had shown to
be far from unnecessary.

In the pillaging of property, savages could not have been
more lawless than the white men from ``the highly civilized
nations of the West.''

``It is not literally true that every house in Peking was looted. There
were some places in obscure alleys, and in many of the innumerable and almost
impenetrable cul-de-sacs with which the capital abounds, that escaped.
But persistent inquiry appears to leave no doubt of the fact that practically
every yamen in the city has been rummaged, and practically there is nothing
left of the contents of any of them.''[94]

[94] North China Daily News.

Words fail me to describe the beauties of the famous Summer
Palace outside the city. With its gardens, temples, pagodas,
bridges, lotus-ponds, statues, colonnades, walks and
drives, it would do credit to the most highly civilized nation
of Europe. A barbarous people could never have made such
a paradise. The British and French in 1860 burned a considerable
part of it, but the enclosure is so vast (twelve square
miles) and the buildings are so numerous that the destroyed
section appears almost insignificant. Within the grounds is a
beautiful lake, fed by great springs and bordered by temples
and avenues of trees and the yellow-roofed palaces of the
Emperor, while near by rise the Western Hills.

This Palace is the favourite residence of the Empress Dowager
and she spends long summers there. Here, too, the Emperor
loves to come during the heated term and both have
followed the example of their imperial predecessors in lavishing
great sums upon its adornment.

After the siege the Russians occupied it at first, and when
they left, the British and Italians took possession. Between
the three so little was left that I found devastation reigning in
that once splendidly-furnished Palace. All the rare and costly
bric-a-brac had been carried away, the mirrors had been broken
and the permanent ornaments defaced. A noble bronze statue
of Buddha, in the temple crowning the summit of the hill, was
lying ignominiously on the floor among a pile of debris, one
dark hand stiffly pointing into the air. In a stately pavilion, I
saw two superb golden statues of Buddha standing upright and
looking unusually dignified, but on going behind them, I found
that great holes had been punched in their backs.

Even the places dedicated to science and religion were not
spared. At the celebrated Astronomical Observatory not an
instrument was left. Every one had been carried off by the
orders of men high in authority at the French and German
Legations, and the whole place was totally wrecked. What
possible excuse could there have been for destroying a place for
studying the heavens? At the Examination Grounds, consecrated
for centuries to learning and memorable for the myriads
of China's brightest men who have there demonstrated their
fitness, according to China's methods, for high preferment--at
these Examination Grounds, most of the 8,500 cells had been
stripped of their woodwork to cook the rations of the European
armies, roofs had been torn off and even stone walls had been
injured in sheer wantonness.

The Temple to the Gods of Land and Grain and the Temple
for Rain are sacred places to the Chinese. To the latter the
Emperor comes in solemn state in time of drought to pray for
rain, or, if he cannot come, he sends the highest official of his
realm. It is in a spacious park and the buildings must have
been stately and handsome before the Boxer outbreak. But
when I saw them, they were sadly defaced. The stone balus-
trades and ornaments had been broken off, the walls had been
injured and one of the buildings was in ruins.

It was, of course, inevitable that much havoc should be
wrought in the tumult of war. It was necessary that supplies
for half-naked and famished besieged thousands should be taken
from deserted grain and clothing-shops. It was expedient that
certain public buildings should be destroyed by order of the
allied generals as a warning for the future. But why were
soldiers and thieves allowed to steal the bric-a-brac and furniture
and break the mirrors of the Emperor's personal apartments,
wantonly to shatter beautiful columns, deface rare
works of art, punch holes in gilded statues, maliciously smash
the heads of thousands of exquisitely-carved figures and
lions, and wreck venerable places associated with learning and
art? The world is poorer for some of this havoc, and it will
be a generation before it can be remedied, if indeed, some of
the edifices are ever restored to their former beauty. Can we
wonder that the Chinese continue to hate and fear the foreigner?
The New York Times declared that ``every outrage
perpetrated on foreigners in China has been repaid tenfold by
the brutalities perpetrated by the allied armies. It is,'' added
the editor, ``simply monstrous that the armies of Christian
nations, sent out to punish barbarism and protect the rights of
foreigners in China, should themselves be guilty of barbarism.
Revenge has been accompanied by mean and cruel and flagrant
robbery. The story is one to fill all rational minds with disgust
and shame.''

The exasperation of the Chinese has not been diminished by
the virtual fortifications which the foreign Powers have erected
in the imperial capital since the crushing of the Boxer uprising.
Most of the Legations took advantage of the panic and confusion
which followed the raising of the siege, to seize large
tracts adjoining their former compounds. The native buildings
upon them were demolished. Massive walls were erected and
cannon mounted upon them. Over the water-gate in the city
wall, through which the allied troops entered the city, the
Powers have cut a new gateway which they hold and guard.
In addition, they have taken possession of all that part of the
city wall which commands Legation Street, made barricades
and built a fort upon it opposite the German Legation. Foreign
soldiers patrol that wall night and day. On the other
side of the Legations, a wide space has been cleared by destroying
hundreds of Chinese dwellings and shops, and no buildings
or trees or obstructions of any kind are allowed on that space,
which can thus be swept by rifle and Gatling-gun fire in the
event of any future trouble. Within, ample stores of arms,
ammunition and food have been stored so that if another outbreak
should occur, the Legations cannot be besieged as they
were in the memorable summer of 1900.

All this, of course, is perfectly natural and perhaps necessary.
The Legations would be deemed lacking in ordinary
prudence if they did not guard against the repetition of their
grievous experiences during the Boxer uprising. But looking
at the matter from the view-point of the Chinese, can we marvel
that it is resented? Would not a European government be
stung to the quick if other nations were to fortify themselves
in that fashion at its capital? Would Americans endure it for
a day at Washington?

Altogether, it must be admitted that the writer of ``Letters
of a Chinese Official'' has all too much reason to arraign
western civilization as sordid, arrogant and cruel and to assert
that Europeans and Americans, while pretending to follow the
teachings of Christ, are really ignoring them. His words are

``Yes, it is we who do not accept it that practice the gospel of peace;
it is you who accept it that trample it under foot. And irony of ironies!
--it is the nations of Christendom who have come to us to teach us by
sword and fire that Right in this world is powerless unless it be supported
by Might. Oh, do not doubt that we shall learn the lesson! And woe
to Europe when we have acquired it. You are arming a nation of four
hundred millions, a nation which, until you came, had no better wish
than to live at peace with themselves and all the world. In the name of
Christ you have sounded the call to arms! In the name of Confucius
we respond!''[95]

[95] ``Letters of a Chinese Official,'' pp. 64, 65.

And he closes the book as follows:--

``Unless you of the West will come to realize the truth, unless you
will understand that the events which have shaken Europe are the
Nemesis of a long course of injustice and oppression; unless you will learn
that the profound opposition between your civilization and ours gives no
more ground why you should regard us as barbarians than we you, unless
you will treat us as a civilized power and respect our customs and our
laws; unless you will accord us the treatment you would accord to any
European nation and refrain from exacting conditions you would never
dream of imposing on a Western power--unless you will do this, there is no
hope of any peace between us. You have humiliated the proudest nation
in the world; you have outraged the most upright and just; with what
results is now abundantly manifest.''

Whether the author is really a Chinese official as he claims
to be, or a European resident in China writing under a Chinese
pseudonym, there can be no doubt that he fairly represents the
opinions of the old, conservative, ferociously irreconcilable
mandarin class regarding the white man. Western nations, in
their plans regarding the future of China, must take into
consideration the existence of that spirit and the acts which,
while not creating it, have intensified and inflamed it till it has
come to be something to be reckoned with. Undoubtedly, one
of the lessons that the Chinese have learned from defeat is
bitterer hatred of the alien whose vandalisms and atrocities
were so shameful as to nullify, in part at least, the benefit that
might otherwise have resulted.

I am glad to report that, with the single exception of the
Japanese who were universally assigned the first place from the
view-point of good behaviour, I heard fewer complaints regarding
the American troops than any other. One Colonel, indeed,
lamented that his regiment ``was thoroughly demoralized,''
and there were some instances of intemperance and lawlessness,
in one case a Japanese patrol bringing in several American
soldiers who had been found at midnight in a Chinese house.
But as a whole, the conduct of the Americans was much better
than that of most of the Europeans. That the Chinese felt the
difference was apparent in the number of American flags that
they raised over their houses and shops. It was significant,
too, that the districts of the city that were occupied by
European regiments were avoided, as far as possible, by the
Chinese, while the district controlled by the Americans was

Nor need any American be ashamed of the policy of his
Government. It is true that the majority of the Americans
in China believe that our national policy, prior to and
during the Boxer uprising, was weak and short-sighted. They
spoke highly of Minister Conger and several of the American
Consuls, particularly of Consul John Fowler, at Chefoo. But
I was repeatedly told that our Government did not appear to
realize that there were any other American citizens or
properties in China than those in the Peking Legation; that it
did practically nothing to rescue its citizens in the prefecture of
Paoting-fu and the province of Shan-si; that, while Americans
condemn the policy of the European Powers, they have been
for years sponging benefits secured by them for all foreigners;
and that, if it had not been for their control of the situation,
not an American could have lived in China. The opinion was
well-nigh universal that the Washington Administration was
too much influenced by the astute Chinese Minister, Wu Ting-
fang, who was believed to be an adept in ``the ways that are
dark and the tricks that are vain,'' and whose alleged success
in ``hoodwinking the Government and people of the United
States'' provoked the average foreigner in the Far East to the
use of strong language.

Though I confess that I am not able satisfactorily to explain
the course of our Government in some important particulars,
it seems to me that these sweeping criticisms are too severe.
During the dark days of the siege of Peking, I was brought
into frequent correspondence with President McKinley and
Secretary of State Hay, and I vividly and gratefully remember
the sympathy and cooperation which they invariably
gave. They were as anxious as any one, and tried to do their
best in circumstances new, strange and of extraordinary difficulty.
As for the Chinese Minister to the United States, of
course he did what he could to ``save face'' for his country.
That was an essential part of his duty. But while we cannot
always agree with him, we should, as friends of China
recognize the fact that by his ability and tact, he largely
increased popular interest in and respect for the Chinese

Taking our Government's policy as a whole, I believe that it
has been more in accord with Christian principles than that of
any other nation. If our Government has erred in trusting the
Chinese too much, that is ,at least better than erring by trusting
them too little. If it has failed to do for its own citizens
all that it ought to have done, it has not wronged or humiliated
the Chinese Government. There is no blood of Chinese
women and children on the hands of Americans in China. No
record of outrage and iniquity blackens the page on which the
American part of the Boxer outbreak is written. If our nation
has been unjust to any, it has been to its own. Generations
will pass before the northern provinces will forget the bitterness
of resentment which they now feel towards the European
Powers. But already the Chinese are beginning to understand
that the American Government is a friend; that it does not
seek their territory; that it will not be a party to extortion;
that it does not want to destroy China but to save her; that its
object is not to rule her, but to fit her to rule herself, and that it
desires only freedom for its citizens to trade and to communicate
those ideas of religion which we ourselves originally
received from the East, which have brought to us inestimable
blessings, and which will, in China as in America, result in the
noblest character for the individual and the most stable
institutions for the state.

The Chinese keenly appreciate the fresh evidence of America's
spirit of justice in connection with the payment of
the indemnity. When, before the payment of the first installment
in 1902, the fall in the value of the silver tael led the
European Powers to insist that China should pay in gold,
thereby virtually increasing the indemnity, it was the United
States again which did everything in its power to moderate the
demands of the European nations. If the legislative branch of
the American Government would only deal as justly with the
Chinese in the United States as the State Department deals
with the Chinese in China, the era of good feeling would be
greatly promoted.

But America is not prominent enough in China to make her
example a determinate factor in the attitude of the Empire
towards foreigners, nor are the people as a whole likely to
discriminate in favour of a few Americans among the hosts of
aggressive, grasping, domineering Europeans.

Moreover, the majority of the Chinese hear only what their
scholars and officials tell them, and these worthies are careful
to adjust the account to suit their own purposes, and to save
the national ``face.'' They blandly assure the credulous people
that the foreign armies did not follow the court because they
dared not; that the alien troops left the capital because they
were driven out by Chinese patriots; and that the Boxers inflicted
crushing defeat upon their foes. During my visit in Tsing-
tau, the Germans were digging sewers, broad and deep, with
laterals to every house and public building, and many of the
Chinese actually believed that these sewers were intended to
be underground passageways, down which the foreigners could
flee to their boats when they were assailed by the redoubtable
Boxers! The best-informed men I met in China, from Sir
Robert Hart down, were fearful that the end was not near, and
that an official order might repeat the whole bloody history.
At a conference with forty representative missionaries of all
denominations in Shanghai, August, 1901, a very large majority
agreed with the Rev. Dr. Parker, of the Southern Methodist
Church, in the statement: ``We are not out of the trouble
yet; the reactonaries are in the minority, but they are in
power. They have learned nothing and they will try again
to drive us out unless the Powers unseat them and reinstate the
Emperor and the Reform Party.''



THE future is not necessarily so doubtful as the facts
and opinions cited in the preceding chapter might in
themselves seem to indicate. It is true that the daily
press often contains accounts of tumults and revolutions in
China. But an Empire a third larger than all Europe, with
an enormous population, a weak central Government, corrupt
local officials, few railroads and frequent floods, famines and
epidemics, is certain to have uprisings somewhere most of the
time. A European reading in the daily despatches from the
United States of strikes, riots, martial law, the burning of
negroes, the mobbing of Chinese and the corruption of cities,
might with equal justice get the impression that our own
country is in continual turmoil. The Imperial Government in
China pays little attention to what is going on in other parts
of the country.

``Each province has its own army, navy, and system of taxation. . . .
So long as the provincial government sends its Peking supplies, administers
a reasonable sop to its clamorous provincial duns, quells incipient
insurrections, gives employment to its army of expectants, staves off
foreign demands, avoids rows of all kinds, and, in a word, keeps up a
decent external surface of respectability, no questions are asked; all reports
and promotions are passed; the Viceroy and his colleagues `enjoy
happiness,' and every one makes his `pile.' The Peking Government
makes no new laws, does nothing of any kind for any class of persons,
leaves each province to its own devices, and, like the general staff of an
army organization, both absorbs successful men, and gives out needy or
able men to go forth and do likewise.''[96]

[96] E. H. Parker, ``China,'' pp. 167, 169.

In these circumstances, the governors of provinces have considerable
independent power in internal affairs, and a rebellion
even of formidable proportions is often ignored by the Imperial
Government in Peking as a purely local matter to be dealt with
by the provincial authorities, much as the United States Government
leaves riots and mobs to the State officials.

Moreover, to a greater extent than any other people, the
Chinese are led by their officials, and some of the highest
officials in Peking and the coast provinces have learned that
massacres of foreigners result in the coming of more foreigners,
in the capture and destruction of cities, in humiliating terms
of peace, in heavy indemnities, in large losses of territory and
in the degradation and perhaps the execution of the magistrates
within whose jurisdiction the troubles occur.

There are, moreover, unmistakable indications of a new
movement among the Chinese. One reason why they have
been so ignorant of the rest of the world and even of distant
parts of their own country was the lack of any facilities for
transmitting mail. The only way that the missionaries in the
interior could get their letters was by employing private messengers
or availing themselves of a chance traveller. But now
a modern post-office system, superintended by Sir Robert Hart,
already includes 500 of the principal cities of the Empire and
is being rapidly extended to others.

Teu years ago, there were practically no newspapers in China
except those published by foreigners in the ports, all of which
were in English save one which was in the German language.
The only periodicals in Chinese were a few issued by the
missionaries with, of course, a very limited circulation, chiefly
among the Christians. There was no such thing as a Chinese
press in the proper sense of the term. Now, besides a French,
a Russian and a second German paper, there are nearly a hundred
Chinese newspapers, many of them edited by the Chinese
themselves and others by Japanese, and all, aided by the railway,
the telegraph and the post-office, bringing new ideas to
multitudes. On the basis of a joint report to the Throne by
Viceroy Chang Chih-tung and Chang Pei-hsi, chancellor of the
Peking University, an imperial decree has ordered the inauguration
of a new system of education. The plan is to have a
university in the capital of each province, with auxiliary prefectural
and district colleges and schools and the whole system
to culminate in the Imperial University in Peking. In all these
institutions western arts and sciences are to be taught side by
side with the old Confucian classics. ``The Viceroys and
Governors of provinces are commanded to order their subordinates
to hasten the establishment of these schools. Let this
decree be published through the Empire.''

Nor have the new imperial decrees stopped here. A few
decades ago, ambitious Chinese youths who sought an education
abroad at their own expense were imprisoned on their return
to their native land. One whom I met in Shantung gave
me a vivid account of his arrest and incarceration in a filthy
dungeon as if he had been a common criminal. But a recent
edict of the Emperor directs the provincial Governors to select
young men of ability and send them to Europe for special training
with a view to their occupying high posts on their return.

One of the most firmly rooted customs of old China was the
examination essay for literary degrees on some purely Chinese
subject relating to a remote past. But August 29, 1901, to the
amazement of the literati, an imperial edict abolished that
time-honoured custom and directed that in the future candidates
for degrees as well as for office should submit short essays
on such modern topics as Western science, governments, laws,
and kindred subjects. The following extracts from the examination
questions for the Chu Jen (M. A.) degree in 1903
will indicate the extraordinary character of this change.

Honen-- ``What improvements are to be derived from the
study of foreign agriculture, commerce, and postal

Kwang-sg and An-huei--``What are the chief ideas underlying
Austrian and German prosperity? How do foreigners
regulate the press, post-office, commerce,
railways, banks, bank-notes, commercial schools,
taxation--and how do they get faithful men?
Where is the Caucasus and how does Russia rule

Kiang-si--``How many sciences theoretical and practical are
there? In what order should they be studied?
Explain free trade and protection. What are the
military services of the world? What is the bearing
of the Congress of Vienna, the Treaty of Berlin
and the Monroe Doctrine on the Far East?
Wherein lies the naval supremacy of Great Britain?
What is the bearing of the Siberian Railway and
Nicaragua Canal on China?

Shuntung--``What is Herbert Spencer's philosophy of sociology?
Define the relations of land, labour and capital.
State how best to develop the resources of China
by mines and railway? How best to modify our
civil and criminal laws to regain authority over
those now under extra-territoriality privileges?
How best to guard land and sea frontiers from the
advance of foreign Powers?

Fukien--``Which Western nations have paid most attention to
education and what is the result? State the leading
features of the military systems of Great Britain,
Germany, Russia, and France. Which are the
best colonizers? How should tea and silk be
properly cultivated? What is the government,
industries and education of Switzerland which,
though small, is independent of surrounding great

Kwang-tung--(Canton)--``What should be our best coinage,
gold, silver and copper like other Western countries,

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest