A TOUR OF THE MISSIONS
Observations and Conclusions
AUGUSTUS HOPKINS STRONG, D.D., LL.D., Litt.D.
President Emeritus of the Rochester Theological Seminary
Author of "Systematic Theology," "Philosophy and Religion," "Christ in Creation," "Miscellanies," "Chapel-Talks," "Lectures on the Books of the New Testament," "The Great Poets and Their Theology," "American Poets and Their Theology"
Philadelphia The Griffith and Rowland Press Boston Chicago St. Louis New York Los Angeles Toronto Winnipeg MCMXVIII
Copyright, 1918, by Guy C. Lamson, Secretary Published March, 1918
A PERSONAL FOREWORD
The forty years of my presidency and teaching in the Rochester Theological Seminary have been rewarded by the knowledge that more than a hundred of my pupils have become missionaries in heathen lands. For many years these former students have been urging me to visit them. Until recently seminary sessions and literary work have prevented acceptance of their invitations. When I laid down my official duties, two alternatives presented themselves: I could sit down and read through the new Encyclopaedia Britannica, or I could go round the world. A friend suggested that I might combine these schemes. The publishers provide a felt-lined trunk to hold the encyclopaedia: I could read it, and circumnavigate the globe at the same time. This proposition, however, had an air of cumbrousness. I concluded to take my wife as my encyclopaedia instead of the books, and this seemed the more rational since she had, seven or eight years before, made the same tour of the missions which I had in mind. To her therefore a large part of the information in the following pages is due, for in all my journey she was my guide, philosopher, and friend.
Our tour would not have covered so much ground nor have been so crowded with incidents of interest, if it had not been for the foresight and assistance of the Reverend Louis Agassiz Gould. He was a student in our seminary forty years ago, and after his graduation he became a missionary to China. Though his work abroad lasted only a decade, his interest in missions has never ceased, and he is an authority with regard to their history and their methods. I was fortunate in securing him as my courier, secretary, and typewriter, and his companionship enlivened our table intercourse and our social life. But he was bound that we should see all that there was to be seen. Without my knowledge he wrote ahead to all the missions which we were to visit, and the result was almost as if a delegation with brass band met us at every station. We were sight-seeing all day, and traveling in sleeping-cars all night. Though I had notified the public that I could preach no more sermons and make no more addresses, I was summoned before nearly every church, school, and college that we visited, and fifty or sixty extemporized talks were extorted from me, most of them interpreted to the audience by a pastor or teacher. My letters to home friends were often written on the platforms of railway stations while we were waiting for our trains, and after six months of these exhausting labors I still survived.
These preliminary remarks are intended to prepare the reader for a final statement, namely, that the papers which follow were written with no thought of publication. They were simply a record of travel, set down each week, for the information of relatives and friends. I have been urged to give them a wider circulation by putting them into print. In doing this I have added some reflections which, for substance, were also written at intervals on my journey, and these, with sundry emendations and omissions, I have called my "Conclusions." I submit both "Observations" and "Conclusions" to the judgment of my readers, in hope that my "Tour of the Missions" may lead other and more competent observers to appreciate the wonderful attractions and the immeasurable needs of Oriental lands.
I cannot close this personal foreword without expressing to my former students and the many friends who so hospitably entertained us on our journey, my undying sense of their great kindness, and my hope that between the lines of my descriptions of what I saw they will discover my earnest desire to serve the cause of Christ and his truth, even though my impressions may at times result from my own short-sightedness and ignorance. Only what I have can I give.
Augustus H. Strong.
Rochester, August 3, 1917.
I. A WEEK IN JAPAN 1-11
An ocean truly pacific brings us to a rainy Japan 3
The novel and the picturesque mingle in our first views of Yokohama 3
Visit to the palace of a Japanese millionaire 4
A museum of Japanese art and a unique entertainment 4
Our host, an orthodox Shinto and Buddhist 5
Conference of missionaries and their native helpers 5
The pastor of the Tokyo church invites us to his home 5
Reception at the Women's College of Japan, and an address there 5
A distinguished company of educators at dinner 6
We give a dinner to Rochester men and their wives 7
A good specimen of missionary hilarity and fellowship 7
The temple of Kamakura and its great bronze Buddha 7
The temple of Hachiman, the god of war 8
Supplemented by the temple of Kwannon, the goddess of mercy 8
Japan enriched by manufacture of munitions 8
A native Christian church and pastor at Kanagawa 9
Immorality, the curse of Japan, shows its need of Christianity 10
Wonders of its Inland Sea, and great gifts of its people 10
II. A WEEK-END IN CHINA 13-22
Hongkong, wonderful for situation and for trade 15
Swatow, and our arrival there 15
Chinese customs, and English collection of them 16
The mission compound of Swatow, one of our noblest 16
Dr. William Ashmore, and his organizing work 17
William Ashmore, his son, and his Bible translations 17
A great Sunday service in a native New Testament church 18
The far-reaching influence of this mission, manned by many Rochester graduates 18
Our expedition to Chao-yang, to see the heart of China 18
Triumphal entry into that city of three hundred thousand inhabitants 19
Impressed by the vastness of its heathen population 20
Mr. Groesbeck, the only minister to its needs 21
An address to the students of his school 21
A great procession conducts us to our steamer at Swatow 21
Shall we be saved if we do not give the gospel to the heathen? 22
III. MANILA, SINGAPORE, AND PENANG 23-32
A Yellow Sea, and white garments 25
American enterprise has transformed Manila 25
Filipinos not yet ready for complete self-government 26
Visit to Admiral Dewey's landing-place, and also to Fort McKinley 26
The interdenominational theological seminary and its influence 26
Printed and spoken English is superseding native dialects 27
Singapore, one of the world's greatest ports of entry 27
British propose to hold it, in spite of native unrest 27
Heterogeneous population makes English the only language for its schools 28
Germans stir up a conspiracy, but it is nipped in the bud 28
British steamer to Penang, an old but safe method of conveyance 28
Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Malay Confederated States 29
Penang furnishes us with a great Chinese funeral 29
Its immense preparation and cost show worship of ancestors 29
Mourners in white, with bands of hired wailers 31
Glorification of man, but no confession of sin or recognition of Christ 32
IV. THREE WEEKS IN BURMA 33-46
Burma, the land of pagodas 35
The Shwe Dagon of Rangoon is the greatest of these 35
Its immense extent and splendor 35
The religion of Burma is Buddhism, a religion of "merit," so called 36
Pagoda-building in Burma, coeval with cathedral-building in Europe 36
The desolation in which many pagodas stand shows God's judgment on Buddhism 36
Burma is consecrated by the work of Adoniram Judson, and his sufferings 37
Our visit to Aungbinle, and prayer on the site of Judson's prison 37
Met and entertained by missionaries, our former pupils 37
Fruitful Burma and its Buddhism attracts famine-stricken India with its Hinduism 38
Baptist missions in Burma antedate and excel both Romanist and Anglican 40
Far outstripping these in the number and influence of converts 40
The work of our collegiate and other schools is most encouraging 41
The Baptist College at Rangoon and the theological seminaries at Insein 42
The lieutenant governor invites us to meet Lord Chelmsford, viceroy of India, at afternoon-tea 44
A royal reception, with great conglomerate of races 44
A demonstration of loyalty to the British Crown 45
The dinner of our Rochester men at the house of Rev. Mr. Singiser, including representatives of the Mission Press and the Baptist College 45
Our final reception at Dr. D. W. A. Smith's, on Mrs. Smith's birthday 46
V. MANDALAY AND GAUHATI 47-56
Mandalay, in Burma, the type of Buddhism; Gauhati, in Assam, the type of Hinduism 49
Visits to Maulmain and Bassein, in Burma, preceded both these 49
King Thebaw's palace, at Mandalay, a fortress built wholly of wood 50
The Hill of Mandalay and its pagoda, four pagodas in one 50
We ascend eight hundred steps by taking extemporized sedan-chairs 51
Four successive platforms and four images of Buddha 51
Waxwork figures at the top depict the vanity of life 52
The Kuthodaw in the plain below seen from this height 52
Four hundred and fifty pagodas in one, each with its Buddha and his law engraved on stone 52
The descent from Mandalay Hill more hazardous than the ascent 53
Buddhism compared with the religion of Christ 53
Gauhati, the capital of Assam, has also its temple on a hill 54
This temple illustrates Hinduism as Mandalay illustrates Buddhism 54
Its immoral cult claims to have an immoral origin in the wife of the god Siva 54
Its priestesses a source of corruption to the British college and the whole country 55
Vain attempts to interpret Hindu myth and worship symbolically 55
The need of Christian teaching as to sin and atonement 56
VI. CALCUTTA, DARJEELING, AND BENARES 57-64
Calcutta, the largest city of India, so named from Kali, goddess-wife of Siva, the Destroyer 59
The temple of Kali, its priestesses and its worship, an infamous illustration of Hinduism 59
The temple of the Jains represents Hinduism somewhat reformed 60
The real glory of Calcutta is its relation to modern missions 60
The work of William Carey, and his college and tomb at Serampore 60
Our ride northward to Darjeeling, and our view of the Himalayas 61
A temple of Tibetan Buddhists on our mount of observation 61
Benares, the Mecca and Jerusalem of the Hindus 62
A hotbed of superstition and devotion 62
Its Golden Temple, its bathing ghats and burning ghats on the sacred Ganges 62
Our voyage of inspection in the early morning 63
Thousands bathing and drinking in the same muddy stream 63
Smallpox and plague in western lands traced back to this putrid river 64
Some of the temples have toppled over, being built on sand instead of rock 64
VII. LUCKNOW, AGRA, AND DELHI 65-76
On Mohammedan ground, and the scene of the great mutiny 67
Elements of truth in the Moslem faith make missions more difficult 67
The defense of Lucknow, one of, the most heroic and thrilling in history 67
The only flag in the British Empire that never comes down at night 68
English missions and education are guaranties of permanent British rule in India 69
The Isabella Thoburn College, under Methodist control 69
We see the "mango trick" under favorable circumstances 70
Agra, and the Taj Mahal, a wonder of the world, seen both at sunrise and at sunset 70
The Pearl Mosque and the Jasmine Tower, surrounded and protected by the Fort 71
A flowering out of art, like that of cathedral-building in England 72
Moslem architects "designed like Titans, and finished like jewelers" 72
Delhi, the capital of India before the reign of Akbar 72
The British respect ancient tradition by transferring their central government from Calcutta to Delhi 73
The progress of India under British rule in the last fifty years 73
Indian unrest due in part to English mistakes in educational policy 74
The Friday prayer service in the great mosque of Delhi 75
VIII. JAIPUR, MT. ABU, AND AHMEDABAD 77-87
The native states of India distinguished from the presidencies and the provinces 79
Their self-government a reward of loyalty in the mutiny 79
The rajas influenced by Western thought 79
Jaipur, the capital of a native state, called "The Pink City" 80
"A rose-red city, half as old as Time" 81
The maharaja's town-palace and astronomical observatory 81
A visit to Amber, the original metropolis, and his summer residence 81
An elephant ride up the hill while hanging over the precipice 82
The road to Mt. Abu, a wonderful piece of engineering 84
We reach Dilwarra, the greatest temple of the Jains 84
Their reformed Buddhism recognizes Buddha as only one of many incarnations 85
The temple is almost a miracle of art, and illustrates the genius of the East 85
Ahmedabad, a uniquely prosperous manufacturing and commercial city 86
Factories needed by India more than farms 86
Missions need employment for converts, to save them from famine 86
IX. BOMBAY, KEDGAON, AND MADRAS 89-99
Bombay, second in population in the Indian Empire 91
Hindus outnumber Moslems and Parsees 91
The Caves of Elephanta, excavated in honor of Siva, god of reproduction as well as of destruction 91
His temple a cathedral, hewn inside of a mountain 92
The lingam, or phallus, gigantic, carved out of stone, in the innermost shrine 93
Its worship a deification of man's baser instincts 93
The Towers of Silence represent Parseeism 93
The dead are exposed in them to be devoured by vultures 93
Construction of the towers and details of the process 93
Compared with Christian burial in hope of resurrection 94
Kedgaon, a happy contrast and relief 94
The center of the work of Pundita Ramabai 94
The story of her life a romantic and thrilling one 94
The pitiable condition of child-widows in India touches her heart 95
In time of famine she furnishes a refuge for two thousand four hundred of them 95
The wonders of her plant, in schools, hospital, printing office, factory, and farm 96
A great scholar of the Brahman caste, she is recognized as the most influential woman in India 96
Madras, the third largest Indian city, gives us our first tropical heat 97
A center of mission work for the Telugus and their tribal conversion 97
New Year's Day reception at Lord Pentland's, the governor of the Madras Presidency 98
Followed by a reception from the Rochester men, my former pupils 99
X. THE TELUGU MISSION 101-113
Madras, next to Calcutta and Bombay in thrift and importance 103
Baptists have done most for the Telugus, as Congregationalists most for the Tamils 103
Statistics of our mission are most encouraging 103
Self-government, self-support, self-propagation, require time 104
Conference at the house of Doctor Ferguson brings together men from four separate fields 104
The theological seminary at Ramapatnam, in charge of Doctor Heinrichs 105
Our reception by teachers and students, and value of their work 105
Ongole and the work of Doctor Baker, the successor of Doctor Clough 107
Laying the corner-stone of gateway to the new hospital 107
Country tour into the heart of Telugu-land, and open-air preaching to the natives 107
Vellumpilly, where 2,222 were baptized, and Sunset Hill, where Doctor Jewett prayed 109
Kavali, and the work of Mr. Bawden for a hereditary criminal class 110
Industrial education side by side with moral and religious 110
Nellore, our first permanent station in South India 111
Its high school, under Rev. L. C. Smith; its hospital, and its nurses' training-school 112
Mr. Rutherford, successor to Dr. David Downie, and Mr. Smith—all of them Rochester men 112
XI. THE DRAVIDIAN TEMPLES 115-124
The Dravidians are the aborigines of India 117
The Aryan conquerors appropriated their gods, and Siva married Kali 117
Massiveness and vastness characterize their temples, but also Oriental imagination and invention 118
The temple at Tanjore, with its court eight hundred by four hundred feet 118
Its multitude of chapels, each with its image in stone of the lingam, or phallus 119
Its central image of a bull, the favorite animal of Siva 119
Its tower, or gopura, is the grandest in India 119
Its sculptures of gods and goddesses wonderfully realistic 119
Its appurtenances tawdry, childish, and immoral 120
Yet Tanjore was the home, and is the tomb, of Schwartz, the first English missionary to India 120
The raja's library of Oriental manuscripts 121
Madura, the center of Dravidian worship, one hundred miles farther south 121
Temple built about two great shrines for the god Siva and his wife Minakshi 121
Five great pyramidal towers and a court eight hundred and thirty by seven hundred and thirty feet 121
The "Golden Lily Tank," and "The Hall of a Thousand Pillars" 122
Dark alcoves and a festival night, the acme of Hindu religion 122
The palace of Tirumala and his Teppa Kulam tank, one thousand feet on each side 123
The noblest sight of Madura is its American Congregational Mission 123
Under Dr. J. X. Miller, its schools and seminaries are revolutionizing southern India 124
XII. TWO WEEKS IN CEYLON 125-135
Ceylon not a part of India, but a Crown Colony of Britain 127
Colombo, a European city, and English the best means of communication 127
Buddhism, crowded out of India, made its way southward 127
A sacred tooth of Buddha is preserved at Kandy 127
Wesleyan Methodist College and English Baptist College at Colombo 128
The Ananda College, a theosophical institution, unfavorable to Christianity 128
A refuge in Nurwara Eliya, six thousand two hundred feet above the sea 129
Switzerland without its ruggedness, and terraces of tea-plants lining the approaches thither 129
Forests of rubber make a sea of verdure 130
The Missionary Rest-house at Kandy 131
The famous Buddhist temple, and its evening worship 131
Its library the only sign of intelligence 131
Church of the English Baptists welcomes us 132
The botanical gardens, wonderful for their variety of products 132
Anurajahpura and its ruined pagoda, a solid conical mass of brick 133
One thousand six hundred pillars of stone, the foundations of an ancient monastery 133
Cremation of a Buddhist priest, and our reception by the high priest of the remaining temple 134
XIII. JAVA AND BUDDHISM 137-146
Java, the jewel of the Dutch Crown, has thirty-five millions of people 139
The "culture system" makes it immensely productive 139
Mistakes of Holland in matters of government and education 140
A back-bone of volcanic mountains furnishes unsurpassed railway views 140
Endless fields of rice and sugar-cane on hillside and plain 141
A passionate people reveal themselves in their music, their shadow-dances, their use of the Malay dagger 141
The new policy of the Dutch government shown in the botanical gardens 142
More scientific and practical than those of Ceylon, they minister to all the world 142
Doctor Lovink, Dutch minister of agriculture, conducts us 143
The temple of Boro Budor, restored after ruin, the greatest wonder of Java 143
Five times as great as any English cathedral 143
Sculptures in alto-relievo that would stretch three miles 144
A picture-gallery of the life of Buddha 144
Buddhism has no personal or living God, and no atonement for sin 145
Boro Budor, slowly disintegrating, has no power to combat either Mohammedanism or Christianity 145
XIV. THE RENAISSANCE IN INDIA 147-161
This essay, a summary of the book of Professor Andrews, formerly of Delhi, now associated with Sir Rabindranath Tagore 149
But with additions and conclusions of my own 149
The Renaissance in Europe needed a Reformation to supplement it, and a similar renaissance in India requires a similar reformation 150
History of religious systems in India begins with the Rig-Veda, and is followed by the Upanishads 152
Hindu incarnations are not permanent, and the Trimurti is not the Christian Trinity 153
The Krishna of the Puranas is a model of the worst forms of vice 154
Deification of God's works fixes the distinctions of caste, and the degradation of woman 154
Christianity is needed to unite the Hindu and the Moslem 155
Signs of an approaching reformation in the weakening of class barriers and the spiritual interpretation of the old religions 156
The Brahmo-Somaj and the Arya-Samaj aim to bring Hinduism back to the standards of the Vedas 158
The Aligarh Movement among the Mohammedans, and the Aligarh College in Delhi 158
Swami Vivekananda, and his denial that men are sinners 159
The Theosophical Society and Mrs. Besant, a hindrance to missions 160
Justice Renade, in his social reform movement, sees in Christianity the one faith which can unite all races and all religions in India 160
In Christ alone India's renaissance can become a complete reformation 161
XV. MISSIONS AND SCRIPTURE 163-178
Some critics deny Jesus' authorship of the "Great Commission" 165
We must examine "the historical method," so called 165
As often employed, it is inductive but not deductive, horizontal but not vertical 166
Deduction from God's existence normally insures acceptance of Christ 168
Deduction from Christ's existence normally insures acceptance of Scripture 169
Scripture is the voice and revelation of the eternal Christ 169
The exclusively inductive process is not truly historical 170
Both Paul and Peter gained their theology by deduction 171
Since experience of sin and of Christ is knowledge, it is material for science 173
The eternal Christ guarantees to us the unity of Scripture 174
Also the sufficiency of Scripture 175
Also the authority of Scripture 176
The "historical method," as ordinarily employed, proceeds and ends without Christ 177
It therefore treats Scripture as a man-made book, and denies its unity, sufficiency, and authority 177
It sees in the Bible not an organism, pulsating with divine life, but only a congeries of earth-born fragments 177
XVI. SCRIPTURE AND MISSIONS 179-198
The "historical method" finds in Psalm 110 only human authorship 181
And contradicts Christ himself by denying the reference in the psalm to him 182
A document can have more than one author, shown in art as well as literature 183
Predictions of Christ in the Old Testament convinced unbelieving Jews 184
The "historical method" finds no prediction of Christ in Isaiah, and so contradicts John 184
Effect of this method upon the interpretation of the New Testament 185
It gives us no assurance of Christ's deity, and ignores Old Testament proofs that he is Prophet, Priest, and King 185
Value of the "historical method" when not exclusively inductive 186
Effect of this method, as often employed, upon systematic theology 187
If Scripture has no unity, no systematic theology is possible 187
Unitarian acknowledgment that its schools have no theology at all 189
Effect of this method upon our theological seminaries to send out disseminators of doubts 189
Effect of this method upon the churches of our denomination to destroy all reason for their existence 191
Effect of this method upon missions to supersede evangelism by education and to lose all dynamic both abroad and at home 193
This method was "made in Germany," and must be opposed as we oppose arbitrary force in government 195
The remedy is a spiritual coming of Christ in the hearts of his people 197
XVII. THE THEOLOGY OF MISSIONS 199-212
Is man's religious nature only a capacity for religion? 201
The will is never passive, the candle is always burning 201
Moslem and Hindu alike show both good and bad elements in their worship 201
Here and there are seekers after God, and such are saved through Christ, though they have not yet heard his name 202
First chapter of Romans gives us the best philosophy of heathenism 203
Heathenism, the result of an abnormal and downward evolution 204
The eternal Christ conducts an evolution of the wheat, side by side with Satan's evolution of the tares 204
All the good in heathen systems is the work of Christ, and we may utilize their grains of truth 205
Illustrated in Hindu incarnations and Moslem faith in God's unity and personality 205
Christ alone is our Peace, and he alone can unite the warring elements of humanity 206
A moral as well as a doctrinal theology is needed in heathendom 208
But external reforms without regeneration can never bring in the kingdom of God 209
The history of missions proves that heart must precede intellect, motive must accompany example 210
The love of Christ who died for us is the only constraining power 210
Only his deity and atonement furnish the dynamic of missions 211
XVIII. MISSIONS AND MISSIONARIES 213-223
Missionary work results in a healthy growth of the worker 215
The successful missionary must be an all-round man 215
He secures a training beyond that of any university course 216
That training is spiritual as well as intellectual 216
It tends to make him doctrinally sound as to Christ's deity and atonement 217
Or convinces him that he has no proper place on a mission field 218
A valuable lesson for our societies and churches at home 218
New Testament polity, as well as doctrine, is tested by missions 219
Our mission churches are becoming models of self-support, self-government, and self-propagation 219
The physical environment of the missionary needs to be cared for 219
The large house, many servants, and an automobile, are great and almost necessary helps 220
All these can be obtained cheaply, and should be provided 220
Other denominations furnish better equipment than ours 220
Yet the days of missionary hardship are well-nigh past 221
Missionary trials are mainly social and spiritual; and there are enough of these 221
But faithful work, in spite of hope deferred, will be rewarded at last 222
A WEEK IN JAPAN
The Pacific Ocean was very kind to us, for it answered to its name, and was pacific beyond all our expectations. Sixteen days of smooth seas and lovely weather brought us by way of Honolulu to Yokohama. Only the last day of our voyage was dark and rainy. But though the rain continued after our landing, Japan was picturesque. On four out of our six days we drove about, shut up in water-tight buggies called "rickshaws." They were like one-hoss-shays, through whose front windows of isinglass we looked out upon the bare legs of our engineer and conductor, who took the place of the horse for twenty-five cents an hour.
There were other sights on these rainy days—endless processions of slipshod men on wooden clogs, clattering their way through the narrow streets, while they protected themselves from the watery downpour by flat oil-paper umbrellas; other strong-limbed men acting as wheel-horses to draw or push incredible weights of lumber; and saving themselves from the wet by bushy coats of straw that made them look like porcupines; women, little and big, carrying babies on their backs, occasionally a girl, aged anywhere from four to eight, loaded with a baby aged two; shops, shops, shops, one-storied, artistic, fantastic, with signs on which Ah Sing and Ah Tong have mingled Chinese characters and English, and which inform you that the proprietors can furnish you with the sake of Japan or the gasoline of the Standard Oil Company; these things convince you that you are in the midst of a crowded population struggling for subsistence and ready to work, a population of inexhaustible vitality and enterprise.
Our first rainy day was distinguished by a visit to the palatial mansion of a Japanese millionaire. Mr. Asano, the President of the Steamship Company that brought us thither, had invited the whole lot of first-class passengers to afternoon tea at his house in Tokyo. That house is a veritable museum of Japanese art. It reminded us of the collections of Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan. There was a great retinue of servants, and we were escorted upon arrival to one of the topmost rooms, where we were served with tea and presented with symbolic cakes by a dozen gorgeously bedecked young girls, who proved to be the children and grandchildren of our host. This, however, was only a preparatory welcome, for it was followed by the real reception in a great audience-room below, where Mr. and Mrs. Asano, together with their eldest son and daughter, gave us cordial greetings. A couple of hundred of our fellow passengers were gathered there and were partaking of light refreshments, with claret, tea, and mineral waters, while an expert Japanese juggler amused them with his feats of sleight of hand. The tapestries and paintings of this house were exquisite products of taste and skill, and the total effect was that of great wealth accompanied by true love for the beautiful. But it was the mansion of an orthodox Shinto and Buddhist, for in every large room there was an alcove with the sitting figure of a bronze Buddha.
A more distinctly Christian entertainment for that same rainy day was our reception by the Conference of Baptist missionaries and workers at the new Tabernacle in Tokyo. They had been called to meet Doctor Franklin and Doctor Anderson, who had been sent by our Foreign Missionary Society to consult with them as to our educational policy in Japan. We reached the Conference on its last day of meeting, and we had a most valued opportunity of observing its method of procedure. Half of those present were Japanese workers who did not understand English, and it was a new experience to address them when every word had to be interpreted. The social intercourse that followed was delightful, for it enabled us to greet our former pupils in considerable numbers. We then took lunch at the house of Doctor Axling, the pastor of the Tokyo church, while Doctor Tenny is President of the Theological Seminary. The little Japanese missionary home, with its tiny secluded garden, its paper partitions, and its mingled reminders of an American household, were things long to be remembered. Not less to be noted was the gratitude for our visit which was shown by our hosts. We had regarded ourselves as the persons honored and entertained. We learned that missionaries in a heathen land wonderfully appreciate the sight and the companionship of friends from their distant home.
Even more unexpected was our reception at the Women's College of Japan. Since I had been more than thirty years a trustee of Vassar College, and for some years chairman of its board of trustees, Mrs. Strong and I were the guests of honor, and I was the first speaker called upon. Before me were five hundred young women in more somber dress than prevails at Vassar. All rose to welcome me at the beginning of my address, and all rose again to thank me at its conclusion. Most of these students understood only Japanese and needed an interpreter. Doctor Zumoto, the accomplished editor of the Japanese "Herald of Asia," translated my address into his own language after I had finished, having taken notes while I spoke. Until the very end I had the impression that this was a Christian college, and I innocently made the Lord Jesus the center and substance of my remarks, declaring that the renaissance of learning in Japan needed to be supplemented by a reformation of religion. Only when the evening was over did I learn that the institution was not only undenominational, but also non-religious, having Buddhist as well as Christian professors. Doctors Anderson and Franklin were also guests, and when they followed me, they made the same mistake and made Christian addresses. But the Japanese management is very polite and very liberal, and even in the dinner that followed our faux pas did not provoke a word of criticism. The guests at that dinner served by the students were from the most prominent educational institutions of Japan. We highly appreciated the honor done us, and did not regret that in our ignorance of the situation we had given to that distinguished audience the true gospel of Christ.
Another dinner of a very different sort was that which we ourselves gave at the Grand Hotel of Yokohama to the Rochester men. To my surprise twenty-four persons sat down, but this number included at least ten of the wives. Chiba and Axling, Tenny and Topping, the Fishers, father and son, Clement, Brown, Benninghoff, Takagaki, Kawaguchi, all except the last with their wives, made up the list. I was proud of them, for they are leaders of thought and of education in Japan. Only Doctor Bearing's absence on furlough in America, a furlough ended only by his lamented death, prevented us from inviting him, though he was not a Rochester man. Reminiscences of seminary life were both pathetic and amusing at that dinner. One thing impressed itself upon my mind and memory: Our missionaries have not lost their sense of humor. Under all their burdens of anxiety and responsibility they have retained their sanity, their hopefulness, and their good fellowship. The hilarity of our gathering was the bubbling over of cheerful dispositions, and the safety-valve gave evidence that there were large reserves of steam. Missionaries are not a solemn set. They are only a good set of human beings made in the divine image, for is it not written that even "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh"?
The next day was the brightest of the bright. We took advantage of it to visit the great temple of Kamakura, and to inspect the greatest artistic monument of Japan, the bronze image of Buddha. It is a sitting statue, with folded hands and eyes closed, as if absorbed in mystic contemplation of his own excellence as a manifestation of deity, and careless of the sorrows and sins of the world. The great bronze image is fifty feet high, but it is hollow. We entered it, climbed up by ladders to its shoulders, and looked out of windows in its back. Its hollowness seemed symbolic, for it has only the outward semblance of divinity and is deaf to all human entreaties. On that same day we visited the temple of Hachiman, the god of war, most spacious and impressive in its park-like surroundings of ancient trees and noble gateways, but fearful in its accompanying images of revenge and slaughter. Humanity needs compassion in the Godhead. The Japanese have felt this, and they have invented a goddess of mercy, Kwannon by name. Her shrine is the richest in Japan. It constitutes one of the greatest attractions of the capital. Millions visit it every year, and the offerings of its worshipers support a whole colony of Buddhist priests. The avenue leading to the temple is lined with shops where mementoes of the goddess may be purchased, as in Ephesus of old silver shrines might be bought in honor of the great goddess Diana. It is the old story of buyers and sellers in the Jewish temple. It was most pathetic to see a well-dressed and handsome woman bend herself almost double before the image, clap her hands to call the attention of the goddess, and then fold them in prayer, possibly for the child that had hitherto been denied her. It is well understood in this temple that, until the clink of coin is heard in the collection-box, it is vain to suppose that even the goddess of mercy will listen to a prayer.
The god of war reigns in Japan, rather than the goddess of mercy. War is more profitable. The sale of munitions to the Russian Government is enriching Japan, as our sales to the Allies are enriching us. The love of gain is an obstacle to the success of the gospel, here as well as in America. Nothing but a mighty influence of the Holy Spirit can convince Japan of sin, and bring her to the feet of Christ. The work of our missionaries, however, is permeating all the strata of society. Western science and Western literature are so bound up with Christianity that Japan cannot easily accept them without also accepting Christ.
We wished to see mission work in a country field, and we begged Mrs. Fisher to go with us to Kanagawa, a suburb of Yokohama, where an educated milkman is pastor, and where the Mary Colby School of Christian girls attends the worship of his church. The reverence and sincerity of the service impressed us. The warmth and abandon of the singing put to shame our Western quartet choirs. Here is a pastor who prefers to supplement his meager salary by selling milk on week-days, rather than give up the satisfaction of seeing his church entirely self-supporting. It seemed to me the model of a good ministry, and the prophecy of a multitude of New Testament churches in Japan, manned and financed and governed by the Japanese themselves. So long as we of the West furnish both the preachers and their salaries, the Japanese will not learn to depend upon their own administration or their own giving, and we will not have churches organized on correct principles and so rooted in the soil that they can stand the shocks of time and endlessly propagate the gospel. May "the little one" in Kanagawa "become a thousand"!
Japan is a country where "every prospect pleases, and only man is vile." Immorality is its curse. There is little drunkenness indeed, and gambling is strictly prohibited. But the relations of the sexes are almost wholly unregulated. Patriotism and filial devotion take exaggerated forms, and girls can lead a life of shame in order to provide means for the education of their brothers. General Nogi and his wife can commit suicide when his sons are killed in battle, and the whole country can regard it as so noble a deed that the general's desire to extinguish his family name is not permitted to prevent the adoption of it by another. The Japanese are a nation of wonderful natural gifts. Honor, enterprise, submission, accessibility to new ideas, powers of imitation and invention, make them the leaders of the Orient. Steamships of twenty-two thousand tons, and equal to any Atlantic Cunarders, yet built in their own dockyards by shipwrights who twenty years ago knew nothing of their trade, are a proof of extraordinary plasticity and ability. Civilization and Christianity may find new expression, if the Japanese are subdued by the Cross of Christ.
My interest in missions has been doubled since I came in contact with the practical work of our missionaries. We have able and devoted representatives on this foreign field, and I believe that God will make them mighty to dethrone Buddhism, and to crown Christ Lord of all. Yes, "every prospect pleases." When I sailed through the Inland Sea of Japan, two hundred and forty miles long, studded with hundreds of islands small and great, islands often surmounted with glistening white temples or fortifications, I thought our Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence, and even the Isles of the Greek AEgean, were not to be mentioned in comparison. The landlocked harbor of Nagasaki, with its encircling hills, is finer than our Golden Gate of the Pacific. Fuji-yama, snow-capped and symmetrical, seen against the crimson sunset sky, is more beautiful even than Mount Ranier when seen from Tacoma, or Vesuvius when seen from Naples. Japan is a land for poetry and song, a land to awaken the loftiest patriotism, a land to inspire and lead the world. Provided, ah yes! provided, it can be converted to Christ, and made his servant. The Japanese is a natural orator; he has organizing ability of the highest order; he is accessible, yet independent. Now is the time to make him a preacher of the gospel to all the East. China and India have already felt the influence of his military and political progress. Let us, by pouring in the light of Christianity, make him also their leader in true religion!
A WEEK-END IN CHINA
Hongkong is a city wonderful for situation and for trade. It has a landlocked harbor encircled by precipitous hills and large enough to float the navies of the world. It is the second largest port on earth for exports and imports, over six hundred million dollars' worth in a year. It is a meeting-place of the East and the West, a fortress of Britain in China, a conglomeration of people, a center of influence for Japan and for India, an object-lesson in sanitation, education, and municipal government. The dominating religion is that of the Church of England, and the Hongkong University, though endowed in part by wealthy Chinese, follows English models and has a staff of English professors.
I mention Hongkong only to make more clear my description of Swatow, its northern neighbor. The situation of Swatow is very like that of Hongkong. A noble harbor encircled by steep hills, it is one of the chief ports between Hongkong and Shanghai, and only a single night's steamer-ride from Hongkong. Its attraction to us lay in the fact that it is more Chinese than Hongkong, a principal seat of Presbyterian and Baptist missions, and not so dominated as is Hongkong by the Church of England. As Hongkong is an island, so our Baptist Mission Compound is on an island, separated from the city of Swatow by the bay on which hundreds of sampans and fishing-boats with lateen sails are always riding, and at whose wharves many a great steamship is loading or unloading freight. When our vessel arrived, we were quickly surrounded by a multitude of smaller craft, manned by clamorous tradesmen selling wares or seeking employment. The commissioner of British customs, who was our fellow passenger, most courteously invited us to share his motor-launch, and when we had landed on the other side of the bay he sent us up the hill to the mission compound in two of his sedan-chairs, each one borne by two stout men in picturesque uniform: and wearing the insignia of the customs office.
A word about the English customs may be interesting. To satisfy English creditors, and later, to pay interest on indemnities for the Boxer uprising, China mortgaged the larger part of her duties on foreign imports. Sir Robert Hart was appointed Inspector General, to superintend this collection of duties. He introduced system and honesty, where before there had been only disorder and peculation. From twenty to thirty million dollars are in this way collected every year. Swatow is the third port in the amount thus obtained, itself furnishing two to three millions of the aggregate result. But this putting her collection of customs into the hands of foreigners, though it has taught China her own wastefulness and the superiority of Western finance, is a burden so humiliating that it cannot always continue. When China fully awakes, she will realize her strength and will reclaim what her weakness ceded to Great Britain.
Our mission compound is one of the noblest in the East. It is due to the foresight and executive ability of Dr. William Ashmore, Senior. He began his missionary work in Bangkok, Siam, but was transferred by our Missionary Union to Swatow, with the view of opening China to our missionary efforts. He had Irish blood in his veins. He was witty and eloquent, fervid and passionate. But he was also a man of grit, and a hero of the faith. He wanted a quiet base of supplies from which he could send out expeditions into the heart of China. He had no means of any account. But he saw the possibilities in these steep and barren hillsides opposite Swatow, and for six hundred dollars he bought a tract which he gradually turned into a garden, with twenty mission buildings and residences so thrust into the rocks and so overhanging one another, that the whole plant seems a miracle of engineering. Like a fortress, it commands the city of Swatow across the bay, very much as Governor's Island commands New York. From its church and its schools have gone out a score of evangelists and native pastors, to turn Swatow and the whole country within a radius of a hundred miles into a present seed-plot and a future garden of the Lord.
William Ashmore, Senior, died seven years ago. But he left a son of the same name, who is a Chinese scholar of wide reputation, a sound theologian, and a leader greatly beloved. He has nearly completed a translation of the Bible into the colloquial Chinese—a felt need of many years. At his house, so wedged into the rocky hillside that a typhoon might seem equal to washing it down into the bay, we were most hospitably entertained. Here we spent a memorable Sabbath Day. At the church service, at least five hundred church-members and pupils of the various schools were gathered, and I addressed them on "Faith, as Both a Giving and a Taking"—a giving of one's self, and a taking of Christ to be ours. Doctor Ashmore interpreted my talk to the audience, sentence by sentence. The whole service was to me an inspiring illustration of New Testament order and simplicity, for my address and the sermon of Doctor Ashmore which followed had been preceded by free participation of members of the church, in which one happy father arose to give thanks for the birth of a girl-baby, after five sons had been given him—a great change from the time when new-born girls were despised and often thrown out into the street. This reverent congregation, worshiping God in freedom and sincerity, seemed the prophecy of a redeemed China. This congeries of schools, from kindergarten to theological seminary, with Ashmore, Capen, Page, and Waters for instructors, and Groesbeck, Speicher, Lewis, Foster, and others for evangelists, has already permeated a whole province with Christian teaching. It needs an institutional plant in the city, where it already has a noble location, and it also needs a motor-launch to carry its students to the field across the bay, where they can find opportunity to win the multitude to Christ.
Even Swatow is partly Anglicized. We wished to see old China, heathen China, and Brother Groesbeck gave us the opportunity. Only twenty miles from Swatow lies the city of Chao-yang, where this pioneer missionary has for eighteen years been stationed. Chao-yang is a larger city than Swatow; the Chinese count it as containing a population of three hundred thousand. It is the converging point of all the trade that reaches Swatow from a hundred miles to the south and the west. Yet all this trade is conducted through a narrow canal, so congested with boats that there are innumerable delays. Even when the boats reach the waters of the bay, the remaining channel is shallow for lack of dredging, and launch-progress is very slow. We had ocular proof of this latter evil; but we at last reached the dock.
Then came a reception entirely new to our experience, and one which we can never forget. Eighty young men from the mission school met us, all in white uniforms with sashes of blue. We passed through their lines, forty boys on each side baring their heads as we passed. Then a procession was formed. A brass band, with bugles and resounding drums, led the way. The student escort followed. After the long rows of boys came an honor-squad of Chinese soldiers, shouldering their guns and bearing the Chinese and the American flags. This portion of the escort had been furnished by the Chinese governor, who in this way certainly showed his friendly regard for the American mission. We concluded the procession, sitting in our sedan-chairs, each of our party of four borne upon the shoulders of four men. The band struck up, a great explosion of firecrackers ensued, and we began our journey of a mile and a half to the gates of the city, and then two miles and a half farther through its crowded streets, until we reached the mission buildings and the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Groesbeck on the other side of the town. The Chinese are great on ceremonial, and all this reception had been arranged by the students themselves, in honor of Mr. Groesbeck's teacher and his teacher's wife. Needless to say that I was astounded at such a reception, for Augustus Caesar never made an imperial entry in Rome more thrilling than the triumphal entry which Augustus Strong made that day into the great city of Chao-yang.
Mr. Groesbeck said that no public notice had been given of our coming. Yet the whole population of three hundred thousand seemed to have come out to meet us. Imagine a street two and a half miles long, but only ten to fifteen feet wide, thronged with water-carriers and beasts of burden compelled to give way to our great procession! Every nook and corner of the way, the fronts of the one-storied shops and the entrances to the cross-streets, were all a perfect sea of faces—rows of children little and big overtopped by rows of half-naked men, with scores of women peering wistfully from windows in the rear—faces by thousands and tens of thousands, till it seemed as if the whole population of the planet had emptied itself into Chao-yang. I looked upon hundreds of splendid forms of men, naked above the waist, and carrying heads worthy of notice from any sculptor, none of them hateful, all of them impressed and wondering, and they seemed to me the embodiment of China crying out for God. When we were only half-way through the city, the endless masses of humanity had so impressed me that I could not restrain the tears. The sight was simply overwhelming. And all this the parish of one man! It is to save this great city, now almost wholly given to idolatry, that Mr. Groesbeck asks for money to build in its very center an assembly-room and an institutional church, and that Doctor Lesher asks for a hospital building to facilitate his medical work.
I made an address to those eighty boys that evening, as they stood at attention before me. Half of them were still heathen, but their fathers had sent them to this Christian school, believing that they needed a better religion than that of Confucius or of Buddha. I urged them to become soldiers of Christ, and to follow him as their Commander. I did not conceal from them the fact that such following might involve opposition and earthly loss. But I promised them that, if they suffered with Christ, they would also reign with him.
We returned from Chao-yang very sober and thoughtful, for our visit had been a revelation of appalling needs. Swatow seemed a paradise after such a visit. The smiling faces of so many Christians, and the signs of a truly Christian civilization, inspired me with new hope for the future. But our time had come for leaving China, at least temporarily, and India was at once to be visited. Our departure from Swatow was almost as spectacular as our entry into Chao-yang. There was no military guard, and there were no firecrackers, but there was a fine brass band of academy boys, to lead our procession of sedan-chairs, as we passed through the long lines of scholars who had gathered with their teachers to bid us farewell. The schools were all represented. First came the little kindergartners, then pupils of the grammar school, the girls' school, the women's school, the Bible-women's training-school, the boys' academy, and finally, the theological seminary. They numbered more than three hundred in all. Some of the teachers accompanied us to the steamer. We parted from them with regret, but we were thankful that they could remain to prepare the way for a new religion, education, and civilization in China.
My week-end in China leaves me with a new sense of the vastness of the heathen world, and of its absolute dependence upon Christ, as its only possible Saviour. The question whether the heathen will ever be saved if we do not give them the gospel, is not so serious a one for us as the other question whether we ourselves will ever be saved if we do not give them the gospel.
MANILA, SINGAPORE, AND PENANG
Each of these cities might seem to be the New Jerusalem, if you were to see only its European part and the dress of its inhabitants. Their European residents are all arrayed in white. Not all of them are saints, however. The white is purely external and compulsory. Heat is a great leveler, and we are nearing the equator. When we approached Manila we were in the tail of a typhoon, but the danger was past. Indeed, since we left San Francisco, we have encountered no storm, have had only smooth seas, and have witnessed continually what AEschylus called "the innumerable laughter of the ocean waves."
It was pleasant to perceive that American enterprise and administration have transformed Manila, the capital of the Philippine Islands, from a medieval into a modern city. Its newly constructed streets and pavements, water-works and drainage, electricity and the trolley, have turned this old and dilapidated Spanish town into a place of order and beauty. Its parks and gardens, its municipal buildings and hospitals, are an object-lesson to all beholders. The walls of the fort still remain, but the moat has been filled up. The Roman Catholic Cathedral shows the large designs of a former priesthood to capture the people by architecture and ceremonial. But Protestant churches, missions, and schools, are coming to have the first place in popular esteem. The former palace of the Spanish governor is now the meeting-place of the democratic legislature, and the Jones Bill, recently passed by our Congress, but now locally known as "the Bill Jones," has given hopes of a complete and speedy Filipino independence.
Our observation of the place, and our intercourse with residents of Manila, lead us to doubt the wisdom of our immediate relinquishment of authority over these islands. Eager as are the Filipino leaders for self-government, they have not yet learned the art of self-restraint. The recent trouble in the great hospital illustrates this. Its American superintendent has resigned his office, for the reason that his Filipino staff and subordinates conspired to make discipline and sanitary regulations impossible. They desired to manage the institution themselves, when they were incompetent to enforce cleanliness and order. What happens in hospital work happens also in all branches of civil administration. It will take a whole generation to raise up officials who can be trusted to do their work for the public good, rather than to provide comfortable and remunerative positions for themselves.
We visited the spot, five miles away, where our American troops, under Admiral Dewey, landed to besiege the town. We motored to Fort McKinley also, where our soldiers still command the situation. But our main interest was in the mission schools and in the interdenominational theological seminary. In these educational institutions all the instruction is in the English language. They are Americanizing as well as evangelizing the population. The establishment of universal and compulsory school attendance will in a few years turn a Spanish-speaking into an English-speaking people, and will unify the education and the civilization of the islands. Nothing indeed is more remarkable in the Orient than the gradual superseding of the native dialects by the printed and spoken English. In the great country of India, it is to be remembered, English is the required language in school and court, as well as in every government office. Even the Romanizing of written Chinese and Japanese will make vastly easier the political unity and the religious evangelization of China and Japan.
When we reached Singapore, we found ourselves in one of the world's greatest ports of entry. It is also one of the keys to the Orient, as Sir Thomas Raffles perceived more than a century ago. Its splendid government buildings and its strong fortifications show that the British propose to hold it to the end. The recent incipient revolt, which was fortunately nipped in the bud when it seemed to the conspirators on the verge of success, and which was punished by the summary execution of thirty or forty rebels without the news of it getting into the papers, showed that Germany had much to hope for and Britain much to fear from the unrest of these heterogeneous populations. I had a vivid reminder of all this at the Methodist Episcopal Mission, where I found over sixteen hundred scholars in attendance, and where I addressed five hundred of them at their morning prayers. One of the chief difficulties of Christian work in Singapore is the aggregation and mixture of races. Seven different nationalities are represented in the schools. The Tamil, the Malay, and the Chinese are the most numerous, and of these the Chinese take the lead. Fifty thousand Chinese immigrants enter the port of Singapore every year, mainly because there is employment for them in the rubber plantations of the Straits Settlements. The congestion of population in China drives them southward to Singapore, and from Singapore they swarm northward to Burma, southward to Java, and westward to India.
This mixing up of the many different nationalities makes it impossible for the missions in Singapore to teach their pupils in any other language than the English. This requisition of English seems to some of the people a slur upon their own tongue, and a sign of British ascendency. They are jealous of the English, even while they perceive their own dependence upon them. Only British justice and watchfulness can keep in check the disposition to revolt on the part of some classes with which the government has to deal, especially when these classes are stirred up by German spies and German money. Thus far all seditious attempts have been put down, and the traveler learns to bless the wisdom of British administration, and to rest secure and confident under the folds of the Union Jack.
We left Singapore for Penang with some regret, for the reason that large steamers must be exchanged for small steamers. The one we took was exceedingly good and modern. Another on which we embarked somewhat later seemed to have come down from the days of Noah and the ark. But British steamers, however old and small, are clean and safe. You "get there" all the same. On our way to Rangoon our first stop was at Port Swetterham, from which we motored twenty-seven miles to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Federated Malay States—federated under the British Crown. Here is a city of Malays and Chinese, with British government buildings, Mohammedan mosques, Buddhist temples, an English cathedral, and a Methodist church. Our road thither led us through seemingly endless forests of rubber trees and of coconut palms. The profusion of tropical vegetation was both novel and impressive. These Federated Malay States furnish the world with more than half its supply of rubber, and many English and American investors are growing rich from the soaring of prices induced by the war.
Penang, however, furnished us with our greatest sensation. It was a Chinese funeral. In this city of two hundred thousand inhabitants, a millionaire Chinese banker had died. He was a Buddhist as well as a Confucianist, but also a loyal and patriotic supporter of charitable institutions, and of the British rule. He had given to the British government a number of aeroplanes to facilitate its military operations, and a large sum of money for its war-loan. When he died, the customary worship of ancestors, which is a part of Chinese religion, as well as gratitude for his past gifts, prompted his family to plan a sumptuous funeral. It is said to have cost them thirty thousand dollars. We arrived in Penang just in time to see the show. All the way from Singapore, indeed, we were accompanied on our steamer by a fine brass band, which was only one of three brass bands hired to furnish music for the funeral service.
My powers of description fail, when I attempt to tell the wonders of a funeral procession fully a half mile long. It was headed by a symbolic float of waxwork figures, in which a colossal horse, prancing on its hind legs, seemed just about to soar into the air. The horse was held in by four angelic forms following and holding in their hands scepters of royalty. This apparition reminded me of the horses and chariot in which Elijah ascended to heaven, and it seemed to indicate that the deceased had departed with all the honors heaven and earth could bestow. A band of music accompanying the float, and playing solemn but not mournful strains, gave color to this interpretation. A retinue of sedan-chairs, decorated with all the colors of the rainbow, came next in order. These sedan-chairs were empty of occupants, and contained long strips of red paper on which were written the names and merits of the millionaire's ancestors, to be read by Buddhist priests at the grave. The chairs were each the gift of some relative or friend of the departed. They symbolized the welcome given him by those who had gone before him to the better land. A second band of music was followed by a body-guard of British soldiers in khaki, deputed by the British governor to show his estimate of the character and loyalty of the deceased.
Then came the hearse, if hearse it could be called. It was really an enormous catafalque, decorated with gold tinsel and costly embroideries. Peacocks and birds of paradise were depicted on its silken hangings. A dozen men, in elaborate robes of blue, carried this gaudy structure upon their shoulders, while other gorgeously attired attendants bore great ribbon-banners of satin, say twenty feet long by four feet wide and of the most brilliant colors, inscribed with Chinese characters and making known the virtues of the departed. But the most curious part of the procession, was yet to come. Preceded by the third band of music were the offerings of food and drinks which were to furnish sustenance to the spirit in the world into which he had now entered. There were six roasted sucking-pigs, laid in order, on portable tables, with baskets of rice, oranges, bananas, all kinds of fruit and confectionery, and cups of tea and wines. These were carried to the cemetery, to be presented to the departed spirit at the grave, then jealously guarded for an interval, finally in part given to the officiating priests, and in part consumed at a feast held by the surviving members of the family. The costlier the offerings, the better would the feast be enjoyed. There was no lack of priests in this ceremonial. They were young and clean-shaven, and looked as if they had enlisted for this very service. I thought I could discern a sly twinkle in their eyes, as they inspected the preparations for the feast, before the march began.
The mourners must not be forgotten. Among the Chinese, white, and not black, is the appointed sign of mourning. The four wives of the deceased and the members of his family were accordingly dressed in the coarsest of white sackcloth, with ashes sprinkled over their faces, and they walked behind the hearse, howling. It was a piteous spectacle, reminding one of the professional and hired wailers in Palestine, where "the mourners go about the streets," uttering dismal lamentations which can be bought for money. Far be it from me to suggest that such was the lamentation which we heard that day, for there is reason to believe that in this case the deceased was respected and beloved.
This ceremonial had required long and elaborate preparation. The death indeed occurred last July; the body had been embalmed; it had lain in state and open to public inspection for four whole months; the funeral did not take place until November. A vast amount of detail had been attended to and provided for. Great packages of silken umbrellas had been stored to shield the heads of guests and servants. All the bearers of sedan-chairs, scores in number, were clad in silken uniforms; there were banners, and inscriptions, and lanterns, galore. Everything was done to impress the Chinese multitude with the greatness of the occasion. But it was all a glorification of man and of his virtues. There was no confession of sin, nor assurance of pardon; no proclamation of a divine Redeemer; no promise of life and immortality in Christ. Heathen religions are man's vain effort to win heaven by merits of one's own. Only Christianity is God's revelation of salvation "without money and without price," through the sacrifice and death of his only Son. This is the gospel which Confucianist and Buddhist, Hindu and Mohammedan, need to-day, and which, thank God, our missionaries are giving them.
THREE WEEKS IN BURMA
Burma is the land of pagodas. These places of worship are the most striking feature of every landscape. Their bell-shaped domes, startlingly white, or so covered with gold-leaf as to shine resplendent in the sunlight, crown many a hilltop and constitute the chief beauty of the towns. The pagodas are usually solid structures of brick, with facings of plaster, and they are buildings at which, rather than in which, worship is offered. There are exceptions, however. The more ancient of these edifices, like the Ananda at Pagan, have inner chambers enshrining gigantic statues of Buddha, with corridors around the chambers, quite comparable to the aisles of English or French cathedrals. But the greatest of all the Burmese pagodas, the Shwe Dagon of Rangoon, is a solid mass of brick, with no interior cell, yet enormous in size, erected on a broad platform one hundred and sixty-six feet from the ground, towering to an additional height of two hundred and seventy feet, and crowned with a jewelled "umbrella" at the total elevation of four hundred and thirty-six feet above the teeming streets of the city below. The main platform from which the pagoda proper rises is an immense court nine hundred feet long by six hundred and eighty-five feet wide, and crowded with minor pagodas and shrines. This great esplanade is approached from the four points of the compass by long covered arcades, lined with shops in which offerings of every description can be bought. On the marble floor of the main court and before the minor shrines these offerings are presented by scores of worshipers prostrating themselves before statues of Buddha of every size. And yet the great conical or bell-shaped dome of the pagoda is its chief attraction, for this is covered with gold-leaf from its base to its summit, and its shining splendor salutes the traveler from miles and miles away.
The religion of Burma is Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion of "merit," so called, and the surest way to acquire "merit" is by building a pagoda. Repairing an old pagoda will not answer the purpose; hence many an old pagoda goes to ruin, side by side with a new one coated with whitewash or gold-leaf. Curiously enough, the epoch of pagoda-building was almost coincident with that of cathedral-building in England and France, that is, from A. D. 1000 to 1200. When one sees at Pagan an area along the Irrawaddy River eight miles long and only two miles wide, with nearly five thousand pagodas, multitudes of them small and in ruins, but many still standing great and splendid in their proportions, it seems impossible to doubt that a certain genuine religious impulse, however blind and mistaken, led to their erection. There they stand, mere relics of a magnificent past, but now erect in the midst of desolation, with only scattered huts about them, where once there must have been a dense population, rich and lordly. The fate of these towering monuments of idolatry and superstition, now for the most part given over to the moles and the bats, shows what God can do for pagodas, and encourages us to believe that missionary effort will be mighty through God to the pulling down of similar more modern strongholds, together with all the high things that exalt themselves above the knowledge of his truth.
This leads me to speak of the great missionary work that is now honeycombing and undermining the foundations of heathenism in this pagoda-land. We came to Burma to see what God has wrought. The labors and sufferings of Adoniram Judson appealed to us even in our childhood. We wished to see how the mustard-seed which Judson sowed in faith has grown up to bear fruit. So we went to Aungbinle, where for twenty long months Judson was imprisoned and tortured. There we seemed to hear God's word to Moses: "Take off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy ground." We were reminded also of the burning bush, which was ever burning but not consumed. Great forward movements in history are born in suffering. Through death to life, and the cross before the crown—that was the way of Christ, and it will be the way of his followers. We gathered, a small group of missionaries and visitors, in the little chapel that has been built upon the site of that old prison, and we prayed, with a lot of dusky villagers and children before us, that God would yet more gloriously prosper the work of missions.
We had every advantage in our investigations in Burma. Thirteen of my former pupils are now missionaries in that land. For many years they have been inviting me to visit them. Nine missionaries met us at the dock, as we landed from Singapore and Penang. They have made our visit delightful by their affectionate and boundless hospitality. Morning, noon, and night have been full of sightseeing, of visiting mission churches and schools, of "chotas," or little breakfasts, of "tiffins" or substantial lunches, or afternoon-teas and dinners at the close of the day. The social and kindly spirit of it all has turned what otherwise would have been wearisome into a succession of pleasant experiences. But there has been work, and there has been hard thinking also. Making three addresses a day, longer or shorter, for three weeks in succession, is no sinecure. I am sometimes called an "octogeranium," but I have not been permitted to waste my sweetness on the desert air. It is a wonder to me that I have survived so much stress and rushing, but I am compelled to say that good appetite and good sleep have made me feel in better health and spirits than for many months before.
What I have seen has gladdened my eyes and warmed my heart. Closer contact with mission work and mission workers has broadened my ideas, given me more sympathy, more zeal, and more hope. The vastness of these heathen populations, their appalling needs, together with their infinite possibilities, have dawned upon me as never before. Burma has sixty millions of people. It is a most fruitful land, never visited by the famines which ravage India proper, the land west of the Bay of Bengal. It enshrines a religion which, with all its ignorance and superstition, is more free from gross immorality than that which prevails on the other side of the bay. Its people are the most heterogeneous of any upon earth. Though the proud Burman native is still the dominant power, he has now to compete with the rising intelligence of the Karens, the sturdiness of the Chinese, and the subtlety of the Hindus. These last two peoples have in late years in large numbers migrated hither. Mohammedan mosques are rising side by side with the older Buddhist pagodas. The Parsees are numerous and influential, and theosophists are not rare. Rangoon is probably the capital city of Buddhism, for here at any rate is its most splendid temple. And Rangoon is a sort of melting-pot of all races. Burmans and Chinese are intermarrying, and are producing a most vigorous offspring. Sikhs and Malays, by their peculiar dress, make picturesque the streets. I know of no greater mixture of races, unless it is in the city of New York, where we have more Jews than there are in Jerusalem, and more Italians than there are in Rome. Here in Rangoon, however, all these peoples preserve their distinctive characteristics of dress and language, so that racial differences are more apparent.
The Roman Catholics and the representatives of the Church of England have made great efforts to capture Burma. They have established noble plants in the way of church edifices, hospitals, and schools. The leper asylum of the Romanists is an impressive and worthy provision for the housing and treatment of hundreds thus afflicted. The cathedral and school of the Anglican Church show a most praiseworthy estimate of the needs of this great province of the British Empire, and breakfasting with Bishop Fyffe, the metropolitan of Rangoon, gave us a pleasing impression of his kindly Christian spirit. The Methodist Episcopal Church has also its representative here, and all of these evangelizing agencies are supplemented by the work of the Y. M. C. A., the Y. W. C. A., and the Salvation Army. Yet it is not too much to say that the Baptists have first place in Burma, both in church-membership and in education. We were the first Christian denomination upon the ground; we have leavened the country with our influence; our Mission Press has furnished the Bible in several different languages to the people of Burma; our schools are the most advanced in grade and the most numerously attended; our churches are most nearly self-governing and self-supporting. We have great reason to thank God and take courage.
All this is the growth of a single century. It was in the year 1813 that the Judsons arrived in Burma, and it was six years after that the first Burman convert was baptized. In 1828 the first Karen convert followed Christ. These two were the first-fruits from the two leading races of Burma. Since their baptism there has sprung up a flourishing Christian community which embraces representatives both of the indigenous races of Burma and of the immigrant peoples from India proper, from China, and from other lands. The Baptist churches in Burma to-day, as their official representatives inform us, enroll members gathered from eighteen different nationalities, besides members of the Anglo-Indian or Eurasian type. "The entire Christian community in Burma, according to the Government Census of 1911, numbers 210,081; of which number, 122,265 are Baptists, while 60,088 are Roman Catholics, 20,784 are Anglicans, 1,675 are Methodists, and the remainder are distributed among smaller sects. That one Protestant convert of 1819 has become an army of one hundred and fifty thousand."
We must add to this numerical statement the facts that a corps of Christian leaders has been trained and put into service; that native Christians have found their way into influential positions as magistrates, township officers, teachers of schools, inspectors of police, and clerks in all departments of the government. Christian men are prominent in business and professional circles, as traders, contractors, brokers, physicians, lawyers; and the Christian character is everywhere recognized and honored. A church, to a large degree self-propagating, has been planted in Burma. A complete system of missionary education has been organized. Modern philanthropic work for the relief and prevention of physical ills has been transplanted to Burma. The Sunday School, the Christian Endeavor Society, the temperance movement, are common methods of Karen and of Burmese church activity. An extensive Christian literature has been provided, in addition to the printing of the Bible in all the main languages of the country. In fact, a Home Mission Society, for the evangelization of the natives in the remoter sections of the country, is in active operation. When we remember that all this is the product of a hundred years, in a land where only a little while ago Christianity was a persecuted religion, we praise God for the result.
I must mention two features of my visit which claim special attention. I refer to the work of the collegiate and other schools, and to the hospitality of non-Christian gentlemen. We have inaugurated in Burma a graded system of education, under government inspection, and leading to full university training. Nothing in my travels interested me more than to see hundreds of boys and girls of Burmese and Karen families, in which girls have hitherto been unable to read or write, singing Christian hymns from books with the music and words before them. The great need of France, as the Emperor Napoleon once said, was good mothers. It is equally true of Burma, and little children carry back into idolatrous homes their love for Christ, and their juvenile protest against heathenism. I addressed several audiences of a thousand each, where the full half were girls and women, no longer secluded and ignorant, but prepared to assume responsibility as the mothers and trainers of a new race of Burmans. In these schools, exclusive of the seminaries and Bible schools, there are enrolled more than 30,000 pupils, who pay annual tuition fees of more than $80,000. The Morton Lane School at Maulmain, the Eurasian School at the same place, the Kemendine School in Rangoon, the Girls' School at Mandalay, have each of them about three hundred scholars, and they are sending out influences which will in a few years revolutionize the civilization and the religion of Burma. Other schools of not so high a grade are doing equally faithful work. Our Baptist College at Rangoon is caring for the higher grades of education, and is preparing hundreds of young men for teaching and for government service. It was inspiring to address a thousand of its scholars, under the direction of Principal David Gilmore, D. D., formerly of Rochester. The endowment of such an institution in this heathen land would be an achievement worthy of some Christian millionaire in America. And the same thing may be said for our Burman Theological Seminary at Insein under Dr. John McGuire, and our Karen Theological Seminary under Dr. W. F. Thomas.
That walls of partition are breaking down under the influence of Christianity, was made plain to us by invitations to take breakfast with a noted Parsee barrister, and to take afternoon-tea with a wealthy Mohammedan gentleman, both of them citizens of Rangoon. The courtesy and intelligence of these hosts of ours will always be a delightful memory, while their novel and beautiful homes revealed to us what art and nature can do when united in other than Christian surroundings. Our Parsee barrister had obtained his education largely in England, and the Mohammedan gentleman had enjoyed intercourse with the best of our American missionaries. The Moslem friend still maintained a sort of seclusion for his wife, and only the ladies of our party visited her in her private apartments. But when we rose to depart, he surprised us all by asking that we offer prayer, and he endorsed the prayer that was offered by uttering a hearty "Amen." As we stood ready to go, it was easy to pray for a blessing upon the house and the family which we were leaving behind us. Respect for Christianity, and a conviction that Christian education is the great need of the future, are already permeating the higher classes of Burman society.
The climax of our stay in Burma was reached when Lord Chelmsford, the viceroy of India, visited Rangoon, and the lieutenant governor invited us to an afternoon-tea in his honor. The pandal, or reception pavilion, erected at the dock where the viceroy landed and where he was received with a salute of thirty-one guns, had been filled that morning by the elite of Burman society, fifteen hundred in number, and the address of welcome had drawn from the viceroy a fitting response. All Rangoon was a wonder of decoration. Arches with Saracenic domes built by the Moslems, pagodalike structures built by the Buddhists, Parsee towers, and Hindu temples, appeared at many street-crossings, and one long avenue was lined on either side with elevated rows of benches upon which were seated thousands of children from the schools. The viceroy passed in triumphal procession between files of soldiery, with cavalry for a body-guard and a dense mass of humanity thronging the sidewalks, looking on and cheering. At night, the streets and public buildings were brilliantly illuminated, and the great pagodas glittered like gems from top to bottom, encircled with rings of electric lights.
We reached the Government House, the scene of the afternoon lawn-tea, through clouds of dust raised by four lines of vehicles that struggled for precedence. At last we emerged in the grounds before the stately edifice where the lieutenant governor resides, and we were presented to Lord and Lady Chelmsford. The viceroy and his wife were simple and gracious in manner, and they made us feel that we were conferring as well as receiving honor. A group of forty dancing-girls, in antique Burmese costumes, were giving a performance on one part of the emerald lawn, while on another white-robed servants were setting before the guests all manner of refreshments. So, amid music and feasting, the day ended. With the oncoming darkness the viceroy and his lady retired to their apartments in the great government residence, and at the same time the whole company joined in singing "God Save the King!" It was a striking close to our experiences in Burma, for fully half of the guests that day were Hindus and Mohammedans, each one of them arrayed in gorgeous garments and decorated with jewels. It left in our minds the fixed impression that the hold of Great Britain upon Burma and indeed upon all India is largely due to the Christian character of British rule, and that missionary work of evangelization and of education is to be given large credit for India's present universal loyalty to the British Crown.
This chapter would not be complete without special mention of the dinner of our Rochester men. We number thirteen of them in Burma, and they fill very important places in the work of missions. Two are graduates of our university, but not of our seminary—Mr. F. D. Phinney, the superintendent of our Mission Press, and Dr. David Gilmore, the acting principal of our Baptist College. With the wives who graced the company, seventeen persons sat down at table. Singiser presided; McGuire gave us welcome; Dudley, Cochrane, Rogers, Hattersley, Crawford, added spice to the occasion. The rewards of a teacher sometimes come late, but they are very sure. When I saw that gathering of missionary workers, and remembered Geis, Cope, and Streeter, who were prevented from coming, I felt that my labor had not been in vain in the Lord, since Burma is being transformed by Rochester.
And I shall never forget a final reception given us at an afternoon-tea by Dr. D. W. A. Smith, the president emeritus of the Karen Theological Seminary at Insein, and by his estimable wife, to whom I had had the privilege of presenting a memorial album, on behalf of all the teachers and missionaries, on the occasion of her seventy-sixth birthday. Doctor Smith and Mrs. Smith are honored and beloved by all who know them. Like myself, he has served the cause of theological education for forty years, and has now retired for partial rest. I am glad that my name can be in any way connected with his, for I am sure that his works will follow him.
MANDALAY AND GAUHATI
These two places are types of two different religions, the Buddhist and the Hindu. Mandalay in Burma is the representative of Buddhism; Gauhati in Assam illustrates Hinduism. The hill of Mandalay is crowned by a pagoda so unique and splendid that it draws pilgrims from every part of Burma; the hill at Gauhati is similarly attractive in Assam. I have thought that a description of the two, and of the worship at each of them, might serve to fix in memory the differences between these leading religions of the British Empire in India.
Mandalay was the terminus of our third excursion into the more remote parts of Burma. From Rangoon as a center of operations, we went first to Bassein, where our Burman and our Karen schools for boys and girls are beautifully located. Bassein is one hundred and ninety-two miles west of Rangoon. Maulmain, our second object of interest and visitation, is one hundred and seventy-one miles distant from Rangoon on the south and east. Here our great missionary, Adoniram Judson, began his work, and here are two of our chief schools for girls.
Mandalay is farther removed from Rangoon than are either Bassein or Maulmain. It lies three hundred and eighty-six miles to the north. It was a former capital of Burma. It contains the palace of King Thebaw, the foundations of which are reputed to have been laid upon human sacrifices, and from which the king was driven after a long and fierce British assault. Ancient tradition decreed that only sacred edifices should be built of brick. Thebaw's palace is therefore of wood, though it is gorgeous with carving and gilt. Surrounded by a wide and deep moat, there is a walled enclosure of more than a mile square, whose gateways are picturesque in the extreme, and which to all but modern cannon would be an impregnable fortress.
But it is the Hill of Mandalay that most excites the traveler's wonder and admiration. Upon its summit, commanding a far-reaching view of the winding river and of endless paddy-fields, with mountains in the distance, stands a pagoda which is in many respects more remarkable than the great Shwe Dagon pagoda at Rangoon. This one at Mandalay might indeed be called four separate pagodas, on successive heights, and connected with one another by a straight stairway in part hewn out of the solid rock and in part built of masonry. The stairway consists of eight hundred and twenty-two steps, in four different series, each series leading to a broad open platform on which rises a separate temple with a colossal image of Buddha in its center.
From below, this long stairway, with its railing of brick or concrete and its quartet of gilded pagodas shining in the sun, is a picturesque and unique object. The crowning pagoda seems almost impossible of access. It is set upon such a height, however, for the purpose of making the ascent to the altar difficult, and so of adding to the "merit" of its worshipers. The stairway, even when cut in the rock, has often forty or fifty steps so narrow, that the ascent from platform to platform is actually precipitous. The entire series of steps, from the bottom of the hill to the top, is roofed over with sheets of corrugated iron, until the whole looks like a covered way to the clouds. Going up seemed an exciting adventure. My physician had forbidden my climbing, and my wife declared that she could not attempt the walk. The problem became serious.
The difficulty was removed by bringing from the missionary's house two solid teak-wood armchairs, to serve us after the sedan fashion. Long poles of bamboo were lashed underneath them, and, after we had seated ourselves, eight men, four for each chair, lifted these poles, with their superimposed American pilgrims, upon their shoulders. Then began a triumphal march, which at every step of the ascent threatened to become a funeral march. The bearers all had bare feet, feet twice as long as the steps were broad, so that they practically went upward on their toes. A single misstep would have caused disaster—nothing less than an avalanche of coolies, chairs, and pilgrims. But my secretary guarded me, the missionary guarded my wife, and we went up in safety.
Going upward some two hundred steps, we rested upon a platform with a pagoda which enshrined the statue of a Buddha perhaps twenty feet in height and covered with gold-leaf from top to toe. Any worshiper can prove his faith by clapping a bit of gold-leaf upon the statue. The result is that the hands and feet of Buddha are thick with encrusted gold. He holds out his hands in seeming invitation. Two hundred feet more brought us to a second platform and a second pagoda in which Buddha also appears; but now he is in the attitude of teaching. Still another ascent, and we come to a pagoda in which Buddha stands, a towering form fifty feet in height, with his finger extended in expectation toward the plain. And a final ascent brings us to a colossal Buddha, now reclining, as if his work were done and he were entering upon the bliss of Nirvana. At this last stage there is also a series of waxwork figures which symbolize the vanity of life and of human desire. Four forms represent, first, the babe at its mother's breast; secondly, the youth full of vigor; then the older man haggard with care; and finally, the corpse, upon whose vitals the birds of the air are preying.
From the summit of this Mandalay Hill, another pagoda, almost as famous, is to be seen. I mean the Kuthodaw, in the plain below. This is four hundred and fifty pagodas in one, all but one of them little edifices, each with a small sitting statue of Buddha within it. An even more remarkable thing is that each of these diminutive pagodas has also within it a portion of the Buddhist scriptures, engraved upon a solid block of stone, and all of these together make up the Tripitaka, upon which the Buddhist pins his faith. In the center of the grand enclosure stands a beautiful white pagoda, with wreaths of gold about its graceful spire. The long rows of little temples, with their attempt to preserve the holy book in an enduring form, are a monument to the faith of King Thebaw's uncle who planned it. Few people, however, read the writing upon the stones. For any practical result it is necessary to have the law of the Lord written upon the tables of the heart.
The descent from Mandalay Hill was even more hazardous than the ascent, for we were in continual danger of slipping from our chairs and knocking over the bearers. We were profoundly grateful when we reached the level ground again and found that we had survived. Our experiences with Buddhism were instructive. The saffron robes of the omnipresent priests and monks undoubtedly cover much laziness and much willingness to depend for a living upon others. But every Burman boy expects to spend some time, though it may be only a week or a month, in a monastery. There he usually learns to read, though his main work is that of memorizing certain portions of the Buddhist scriptures. So far as I have been able to learn, there are no positive immoralities connected with Buddhistic worship. The example of Buddha has in it some worthy elements, such as the renunciation of earthly and sensual ambitions. But Buddhism, for all that, is a pessimistic religion. It denies to man the existence of a soul, and it gives him no hope for anything but practical extinction. Buddha no longer lives to help his worshipers. In the struggle with sin, there is no atonement for the transgressions of the past, and no prospect of perfection in the future. Hence the preaching of Christ, crucified for our sins and ever present with his people, is to the Buddhist a revelation so novel and so entrancing, that it captivates and transforms him. Christianity humbles pride, but it saves the soul. It shows the impossibility of obtaining salvation by merit of our own, and our absolute dependence upon the grace of God. Christianity awakens gratitude, and leads to unselfish devotion. It turns a Saul into a Paul, and makes him a missionary and a hero.