Rev. G. H. Bondfield reports an astonishing increase to the already great circulation of Bibles in China. During last July and August, usually slack months, the British Foreign Bible Society's depot, at Shanghai, sent out 96,000 volumes more than during the corresponding months of 1906. The total issues from Shanghai for the first eight months of 1907 were over 943,000 volumes. Mr. Bondfield adds: "I do not know where we shall be if this demand continues. It upsets all calculations, makes estimates of little value, and brings gray hairs to those responsible for meeting the demands."
Bonfire of Opium and Pipes.
In contrast to this H. B. Morgan writes that the great autumn festival which was kept all over China in the week ending September 28 was in Hang-chow by a civic function - the burning on the City Hill, in view of the whole city of Hang-chow, of all the opium pipes and wooden trays from the recently closed opium dens. Gorgeous banners floated in the breeze. Each side of the pyramid of pipes was about six feet at the base and about seven feet in height. They were wrapt in bundles of thirty or forty and the total number must have been between five and six thousand.
Mr. Morgan says:"When I arrived, at 9 o'clock, a considerable number of people had gathered, some on the balconies of tea-houses and other points of vantage. As time passed, various squads of uniformed students with the banners of their schools drew up at different spots to witness the proceedings. At 9:30 dry straw was piled around the stacks, and the whole deluged with oil. Then mandarin-chairs began to arrive, and large numbers of people poured up the various pathways leading to the hill. At the hour appointed the torch was applied, and the two piles of doomed instruments disappeared forever."
[From The Baptist World, May 21, 1908. p. 27; via Baylor U. digital collection. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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