MISSIONS TO THE CHINESE
By Henry C. Vedder, 1927
The General Enterprise
Nowhere is it more important to study missions as one great movement. "Missionary comity" has its merits and its defects, but for various reasons it has been less operative in China than elsewhere. All religious bodies of Europe and America, like the commercial interests of both hemispheres, have rushed into this country, eager to be first to occupy and foremost to exploit. The consequent confusion in the Chinese mind as to what Christianity is and what is its purpose in thus invading the country, is greater than in any other land. The character of many "Christians" has done not a little to obscure the meaning of the gospel message and hinder its reception by Chinese. The lives of many Westerners in China are an outrage on the best ethics of the natives and a libel on Western civilization.
There is some evidence of Nestorian missions in China as early as the seventh century, but they did not exert any traceable influence on the stream of Chinese civilization. Monasteries were founded, episcopal sees established, but all results of these labors disappeared. In the seventeenth century the Jesuit Ricci began a mission in Nanking, where he died in 1610. The Dominicans entered the country in 1631, and the Franciscans in 1633. The latter are said to have attempted a mission as early as 1294, but this is doubtful. In the seventeenth century these Roman missions prospered, and by 1669 there were said to be 300,000 baptized Christians in China. The preaching of the gospel was legalized by a Chinese
emperor about 1720. The Roman Church has now over fifty bishops and more than a million native Christians.
The first Protestant missionary was Robert Morrison, a native of Northumberland, who was sent out by the L M S (London Missionary Society) in 1807. He had to go by the way of New York, and arrived at Canton, September 7. The Chinese looked on him with great suspicion; they could not understand why a foreigner should be there who was not engaged in trade. To allay suspicion he wore the Chinese garb and lived after the native manner. He had difficulty in securing teachers, and so made slow progress with the language, but finally acquired an unusual mastery of it. As he was not permitted public preaching, he held Sunday evening services in his own house, attended at first only by a few English and American residents, but after a while by a few Chinese. A lifetime of earnest labor was rewarded by little fruit, and at his death in 1834 but ten Chinese converts had been baptized. He gave himself mainly to literary work, and in 1809 was engaged as official translator by the East India Company, at a salary of 500, which was later much increased. This freed him from dependence on the missionary board and gave him means to aid many literary and educational projects. His great work was the making of a complete version of the Bible, begun by an anonymous Catholic translator; and a Chinese Dictionary, in six quarto volumes, published in 1823 by the munificence of the East India Company. These were contributions of very great value, though they have been since superseded by improved books, as later scholars have made progress in mastery of the Chinese language. Morrison spent 27 years in China, and with a great labor and sacrifice laid strong and deep foundations on which Protestant missions have ever since built.
In 1829 the A B C F M (American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions) sent out Rev. E. C. Bridgman
to supervise a translation of the Bible. He proved to be an accomplished diplomat, as well as missionary, and was at one time secretary of the American legation. S. Wells Williams, who went out as a lay printer and established a mission press, became one of the most scholarly of American missionaries. He did a great work in providing a Christian literature; was secretary of legation at Peking for several years, and at one time charge d'affaires; and returned to spend his closing years as professor of the Chinese language and literature in Yale University. The Protestant Episcopal Church sent out two missionaries as early as 1835, but its effective work began with the consecration of Rev. William J. Boone as missionary bishop in 1864. It has been specially active and successful in its educational work; and Boone University and St. John's College are among the best mission institutions. The Presbyterian Board sent missionaries to China in 1837, and later adopted Canton and Shanghai as its chief stations, whence the work has branched out widely in many directions. Dr. John Livingstone Nevius was one of its outstanding early representatives, 1853-93, and was notable for his insistence on the policy of self-support, not as an ultimate aim but as the only right method from the beginning. Employing converts as workers and paying them with foreign money, he said, encouraged hypocrisy, mercenary spirit, and dissatisfaction among Chinese Christians, while it also aroused suspicion and enmity among pagans; and even when apparently successful produced a hothouse and unhealthy growth of Christianity. The experience of many years has given only too much confirmation to this view, though Boards and missionaries have been slow to learn, and are still not more than half convinced.
The work of the American Board has been very successful. One of their later appointees, Rev. Watts O.
Pye, a Minnesota farmer boy, went to the Fenchow station in 1907, learned the language so that he "speaks it like a native," and took charge of the Shansi district, on the far side of the Yellow River, which has a population of 8,000,000, and is one of the wildest regions in the world. He explored his field thoroughly, the first white man to do so, mapping the district, taking levels, measuring grades, taking note of mineral deposits, etc. His was the first real map of the region, and has been of invaluable service to all who have had occasion to enter it. He made converts, trained the promising among them and sent them out to evangelize the district. Prominent men, influential citizens among the Chinese, have been won, and the churches established are self-supporting. The work has extended beyond the Chinese Wall into Mongolia, where Mr. Pye has made tours and preached to large congregations. Christian churches have been found to be the best protection against banditry, and influential Chinese who have not themselves accepted Christianity are favorable to the missionary cause because of its observed effects. So, if there is in the coast cities an anti-Christian drift, in the interior there is a counter-movement wholly favorable to the progress of Christian missions.
The China Inland Mission was established in 1865 by J. Hudson Taylor, formerly missionary of the Chinese Evangelizing Society and afterward an independent worker. It has had three principles: (1) To use volunteers from all evangelical bodies; (2) that missionaries should be guaranteed no salaries; (3) that no solicitation of funds should be practised, but reliance should be had on voluntary subscriptions in answer to prayer. The official statements of the society would lead one to think the plan had been triumphantly successful; but other missionaries know that workers of the C I M (China Inland Missions) have often been
in desperate straits and would have starved but for aid from other workers. The Mission has done an immense amount of exploration and pioneering in central and western China, under great difficulties and hardships, mostly unnecessary. In 1903 the CIM had 509 stations in 18 provinces, with 763 missionaries and 541 native workers, and over 90,000 converts have been baptized.
Baptist Missions Bangkok
The first mission to Chinese was not originally intended for them, but for the people of Siam. Rev. John Taylor Jones was sent to Bangkok in 1832, where there were many Burmese and Chinese as well as Siamese. He had already been a missionary in Burma and learned the language; hence he could preach at once to the Burmese. He learned the Siamese language, compiled a dictionary, and translated portions of Scripture. In December, 1833, three Chinamen were baptized, and one of them became an active worker among his countrymen. In 1834 William Dean and wife re-enforced the mission. A press was established with both Siamese and Chinese types, and a part of the New Testament was printed in 1837, though not completed till 1844. A chapel was built in 1839, and work continued among both Siamese and Chinese. Mr. J. H. Chandler was added to the mission in 1843, a layman and a printer, who was also a fine general mechanic. He not only established the press on a better basis, but became an aid to the king of Siam, introducing important mechanical improvements, including a steamboat on the river Menam. The destruction of the buildings by fire and the death of Doctor Jones in 1851 were two heavy blows from which the mission rallied slowly. In 1874 occurred large additions to the outstations and in Bangkok, ii baptisms in one, 17 at another, 84 at a third; and the following year 90 were baptized. Doctor Dean
labored there 50 years, during which time royal decrees permitted liberty to missionaries and Siamese subjects in religion. But the field did not advance in fruitfulness; many missionaries were transferred to China and finally Siam was relinquished as a mission field.
South China Mission Swatow
The first mission to the Chinese in their own country was begun at Macao, a town at the mouth of the Canton River, about 40 miles west of Hongkong, which has been a Portuguese settlement since 1557. Here Rev. J. L. Shuck won a few converts, but when Hongkong was ceded to the British in 1842 the mission was removed to that town. A grant of land was obtained, and two chapels were erected, an English resident paying most of the cost. A church was organized in May, and the first Chinese convert baptized. China proper had hitherto been closed to missionaries, but now five treaty ports were opened for foreign residence and trade: Canton, Amoy, Fuchau, Ningpo, and Shanghai. These naturally became the bases of missionary operations. In 1861 Swatow was added to the open ports, a city at the mouth of the Han River, 175 miles northeast of Hongkong, one of the chief trading ports of China. This soon became the recognized center of Baptist missions in South China. Hongkong was relinquished to the Southern Baptist Convention in 1847, they purchasing the property at a fair valuation and taking over the work in that region. In 1844 a treaty between the United States and China provided for the erection of chapels and hospitals in the five open ports. The establishment of outstations in the surrounding country, though not strictly according to treaty law, was winked at by the Chinese government, and so the chief obstacles to mission work melted away. The Swatow mission is inseparably connected with the name of
William Ashmore; father and son have maintained an uninterrupted connection with it from the arrival of the elder at the station in 1863. It has become one of the best organized of our missions, and its converts have from the first been trained in self-reliance and self-support. Since 1870 the native churches have been undertaking support and direction of their pastors. All connected with the outstations were for some time reckoned part of the Swatow church, but they have been encouraged to become independent churches and are learning to stand alone. Perhaps the work of most lasting benefit done by the elder Ashmore was the making of a colloquial version of the Scriptures. In this he had the help of Miss Adele M. Fielde, who also for many years organized and directed a corps of Chinese Bible-women, who were one of the most effective evangelizing agencies of the mission. Besides the great advantage of being in the dialect actually spoken in the district, these various "colloquial" versions are printed in a romanized type, thus making it possible for illiterate Chinese to learn to read their own dialect in fewer months than the years previously required to get a reading knowledge of Chinese in the native ideographs. In 1918 an earthquake and fire destroyed a large part of the business section of Swatow. In rebuilding, the Chinese greatly improved that part of the town, widening streets and erecting more substantial buildings. Rev. Jacob Speicher, one of our missionaries there, saw the opportunity and seized upon it. Under his leadership the little chapel formerly there was replaced by a six-story concrete building. The ground floor is mostly rented and so provides for the cost of maintenance. Above are a large auditorium, classrooms, lecture-halls, and all the equipment of an institutional church. Leading business men of Swatow, recognizing the social value of the service rendered, are contributing liberally to its support. In the
report for 1924, a varied service is described: the auditorium meetings were attended by 120,000 people; 700 pupils were enrolled in the various classes; a health campaign reached 14,000 persons. Kindergartens, night- schools, athletics, a dispensary, describe some of the numerous activities. This church and the Tabernacle in Tokio are considered the best-equipped and most successful plants in the Orient.
Back from the sea, in the Swatow district, are a highland people known as Hakkas, "the strangers," appropriately so called, as they differ in many ways from other Chinese. The women have never bound their feet and dress otherwise than Chinese women in general. The men are stalwart, brave, and intelligent, well adapted for leadership. They live largely in country houses, and there are no large towns among them. Less has been done for them than for the Chinese along the coast, probably because they were less known and less accessible for a long time. But one of their number became a Christian about 1880 and began evangelizing his own people. Rev. W. K. McKibben with his wife, of the Swatow staff, was assigned to labor among them, which he did with considerable success. Something like a mass movement has been developing among the Hakkas in recent years. The missionaries have been overwhelmed with inquirers, many coming from the upper classes, the literati and people of wealth. It seems as if an adequate missionary force could reap a large harvest in this field, but so far the Board has lacked means to prosecute the work adequately.
East China Mission Ningpo
Ningpo was one of the five opened ports of 1842. It lies near the mouth of a river, in latitude 30, and has a population of 250,000 or more. It was occupied as a mission station in 1846, and a church was organized the
following year. In 1849 services were begun on the island of Chusan, about 30 miles distant, where there is a population of between 50,000 and 100,000, up to that time unevangelized. The first baptism of a convert at Ningpo was in May, 1849, and in 1857 the church had increased to only 18. Dr. Josiah Goddard was one of the most effective early workers, and in time his son followed him. The elder Goddard completed a translation of the New Testament in 1853 and most of the Old Testament before his death in 1854. By 1862 the number of Christians at the various stations had risen to about 100, and now a theological class was formed for the training of a native ministry. Hangchow, a city of 400,000, was made an outstation in 1867. The early converts of this mission had many trials because of their insistence on observing the Lord's Day; workers were discharged by their employers, and even persecuted; but the people and magistrates became increasingly friendly. The Chekiang Baptist Association was formed in 1872, with 23 delegates present from six churches. Four churches of the SBC mission united with this association in 1881. A former "Central China Mission" has been consolidated with the East.
West China Mission
A station was opened at Suichaufu in 1889 by William Upcraft and George Warner. Mr. Upcraft had been in the employ of the British and Foreign Bible Society and had learned the language and customs of this region. The Baptist young people of Minnesota became responsible for the support of Upcraft when he was appointed by the Missionary Union. Other stations were opened at Kiating and Yachow. The difficulties and dangers of this work in West China were great in these first years, and for a time missionaries found it advisable to wear
Chinese clothing and live native fashion a practise since discontinued. Mr. Upcraft was pledged to evangelization pastoral labor was to be supplied by natives and he made many long and adventurous journeys, carrying the gospel message into regions hitherto inaccessible. He had some medical skill and this often made for him an effective approach to people who might otherwise have proved hostile. The province of Szechuan, which is the field of this mission, is a fine country, with a fertile soil, a good climate, beautiful scenery, and is inhabited by an intelligent, well-to-do people. The C I M had a few workers there, but it was practically a new field. The West China mission has four centers: Yachow, Chengtu, Kiating, and Suifu. Rev. H. J. Openshaw has held evangelistic campaigns in all. Chengtu has an ordained Chinese pastor.
Missions of the SBC
When the Southern Baptist Convention was organized, in 1845, two former missionaries of the Foreign Mission Board who were from the South, decided to work with the new organization. They were J. L. Chuck and I. J. Roberts; and they gave the first start to the South China Mission, with headquarters at Hongkong and Canton. This field has an area almost equal to the three States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and three dialects are spoken on it Cantonese, Mandarin, and Hakka. In 1846 Rev. Roswell H. Graves was sent to this field and gave to it a long life and many-sided service. His work as traveler and preacher was great. In a single year he traveled 1,600 miles on Chinese boats and distributed 9,658 tracts, preaching all along the shores. He had taken a degree in medicine and found plenty of opportunity to practise the art of healing. His literary labors were as important; he compiled two hymn-books for the Chinese,
wrote books on Parables of Our Lord, Scriptural Geography, the Life of Christ, and a text-book on homiletics for his class of native preachers. In the intervals of these occupations he found time to translate parts of both Old and New Testaments.
The first church building was opened in Canton April 5, 1863, and in 1900 a new mission house was built there. In that year there were 70 baptisms; the following year the church numbered 357. From 1896 onward a mission boat named "Bearer of Blessings" was a great help. The Canton church became self-supporting in that year also. This mission has been extended among the Hakkas and been quite successful; in 1899 they had between 400 and 500 converts. A great step forward was the formation of the China Baptist Publication Society, in 1898, in the support of which all the Baptist mission stations in China unite as a common enterprise that is doing a great work in publishing and circulating a Christian literature. A new building is projected in connection with this station, to be known as the Graves Memorial.
The Central China Mission was begun in 1847 by Rev. Matthew T. Yates. Its field is the province of Kiang-su, approximately the size of Georgia. Shanghai is its central station, the most important of the treaty ports, at the junction of two large rivers, with a population of nearly 1,000,000. It may be described as China's New York and Washington in one. It has long been the chief missionary center of China, many American and foreign missionary societies having their headquarters here. Colleges, publishing houses, and hospitals have accumulated. Doctor Yates labored here more than 40 years. A church of ten was formed in November, 1847, and a few years later a house of worship was built with funds collected by Mr. Shuck in America. It was a large and striking structure, and when destroyed by fire in 1862 was rebuilt
with money contributed in Shanghai, an eloquent testimony to the progress Christianity had made in that city. During the Tai-Ping rebellion, which raged about Shanghai, Doctor Yates was compelled to confine himself to literary work; and he compiled a Chinese dictionary and wrote many tracts. Later (1887) he completed a version of the New Testament in the colloquial Chinese of the district. The mission property was destroyed during these disorders, but an indemnity was secured and re-building followed. Aggressive work was resumed after the rebellion was subdued and was remarkably successful. A Baptist Association, the first in China, was formed in October, 1881, with 13 churches represented. A Central China Missionary Conference was organized in November, 1892.
Great progress toward self-support has been made in this field. In the Chekiang-Shanghai Association, only sixteen of the forty buildings used for church services are rented; the other churches own their own houses. Nineteen of these are new and only four of these have been built by funds from America, the rest by the local churches. All the officers of the Association are Chinese, and though the missionaries still have much influence, they strive more and more to efface themselves and encourage the Chinese Christians to take full responsibility for the work and carry it on by themselves. Naturally, the teaching force of Shanghai college is prominent in this association. A home mission work is carried on by this body in Siaofong, a remote corner of Chekiang, under a Christian Chinese layman, lately ordained to the ministry and put in full charge. It is things like this that warrant the hope that not long hence Chinese Christianity will stand on its own feet, and that country will be evangelized by its own race.
In the Shantung province, 500 miles from Shanghai,
the North China Mission was begun in 1860, by Rev. J. L. Holmes and wife, with Tungchow as the chief station. A church was organized there in October, 1862, and two years later it had 18 members. Rev. T. P. Crawford and wife joined the mission in 1863, and served with much success for thirty years. Then differences of opinion developed on the field as to the best methods of missionary work, which led to the severance of his relations with the Board. Several other missionaries resigned, and joined him in 1892 in forming the "Gospel Mission." It was the policy of these missionaries to live like natives, constantly to itinerate and preach, build no chapels, establish no schools, and hire no native workers. They also held that missionaries should be supported directly by the home churches, the Board acting only as treasurer and exercising no direction or control. This controversy and schism crippled the mission for a time, but it rallied and even made a great advance, especially after the China-Japan war (1895). During that conflict the mission did an excellent Red Cross work, which was rewarded by much gratitude and confidence from the Chinese people, with whom missionaries were brought into closer sympathy. The mission suffered again during the Boxer troubles, but only in destruction of property - no missionary lost his life and only one native convert.
A Declaration of Independence
In the autumn of 1925 the A B F M S (American Baptist Foreign Mission Society) received a communication from the native churches of China that marks a new era in the religious history of that country. Their Convention, representing 5,000 native Christians within our South China field, appointed a council of 80, to have the administration of their affairs hereafter, with only counsel from the missionaries, but no authoritative direction. They hope by this action to diminish the opposition
roused among the Chinese by the anti-Christian movement that began in 1922. Concerning this feeling they said:During the months of April, 1922, there was organized in Peking the anti-Christian movement, which soon spread to other cities in China. They brought charges against Christianity, claiming that the Christian religion strangles independent thinking and fosters capitalism; it is in direct conflict with modern science and socialism. Christians are called "foreigners' slaves," "hunting dogs to the foreigners," etc. . . Not long ago, Great Britain and Japan committed very unrighteous and cruel deeds in Shanghai. This occasioned the people to speak ill all the more against Christianity, claiming that the Christian religion destroys the national character of its converts, they are denationalized and the churches are "factories" for the production of "homeless slaves." Missionaries are said to be "forerunners of invaders" of China, etc. Thus it is simply true to say that under such conditions it has become very difficult to carry on the work and affairs of the Christian church.The important features in the new policy are these:The planning and administration of the work in all phases should be handed over to the Chinese Christians who must assume the responsibility, that the self-governing, self-sustaining, and self-propagating spirit may be encouraged and developed.This new policy was received with sympathetic approval by the Board and by Baptists generally in the homeland. It was recognized as a most hopeful symptom
Inasmuch as the preaching of Christianity in China is under the protection of the treaties secured by foreign powers, people suspect that Christianity represented by foreign missionaries has a close relation with politics. Thus all the churches in the Ling-Tong district are called the "Great American Church." Since it is impossible to clear up the misunderstanding existing in the minds of the non-Christians, the Chinese church should now declare independence and cease to depend for its life upon the protection orginally [sic] secured under the treaties.
Regarding financial support from the Mission Board, the Mission and the Ling-Tong Baptist churches should make a careful study as to the best use of the money. Under present circumstances, the Ling-Tong Baptist churches find it necessary to request a continuance of financial aid but such aid not conditioned upon foreign control.
of spiritual health in the Baptist churches of China. This desire to stand on their own feet, and to conduct their Christian propaganda in their own way, shows to what extent Christianity has ceased to be a religion of foreigners and is becoming a religion of the Chinese people. For such an advance as this American Christians have been praying and hoping for several generations; and why should they be dismayed now that their prayers are being answered?
English Baptists in China
The BMS has concentrated its efforts in the central and northern provinces of Shantung, Shansi, and Shensi, each approximately the size of Great Britain. Timothy Richards began work in 1875, selecting as his base Tsing-chow, a city of 30,000, next in importance to the provincial capital, Tsinan. It is a city famous in Chinese annals, the home of Mencius, the most celebrated disciple of Confucius. Alfred Jones joined him the following year and they became the twin founders of the mission; they mean as much to this part of China as Carey and Marshman mean to India. Shantung is regarded by many as the key province, and the gospel has won special triumphs there. It is a wide plain of 700 miles, fertile, but subject to disastrous floods and droughts. By their relief-work services in such times the missionaries made their way into the hearts of the people. The faith and patience, zeal and endurance of the converts were often severely tested, but even the Boxer movement of 1900 was not more than a temporary check. Nevertheless, it was very serious; some 120 native Christians lost their lives, but most of the Shantung missionaries were safely escorted to the coast, while all in Shansi were killed.
Self-support has been practised by the churches of this province from the first; the motto of the missionaries was,
"No cash, no consul." The churches of Shantung have grown to 7,000 members, while in the three provinces there are now at least 10,000 Christians. The Shantung Baptist Union, organized some years ago, now manages successfully the affairs of these churches the problem of devolution has already been solved in this mission. Progress in Shansi and Shensi has been slower, partly due to the fact that these provinces have had fewer workers.
Educational work was felt to be a necessity from the first; an illiterate church would soon drift back into idolatry; besides, the children of Christians have an inherent claim to be educated. In 1924 there were 150 village primary schools, with 2,566 pupils. While care is taken to make the instruction thorough, special attention is given to character-building. Schools of a more advanced type were soon needed and supplied. One of these by 1904 had grown to college grade and is recognized as one of the best, a main feeder of Shantung Christian University. This fine institution was organized by Baptists and Presbyterians in 1904, and now has an Arts and Science College, a Theological Seminary, and a Medical School, with the latter also a Nurses Training School. Tsinan was chosen as the location, and just outside the walls a fine campus has been secured, on which have risen a series of buildings dormitories, halls, library, and a beautiful chapel. Women were admitted to the university in 1923, and at once forty passed the entrance examinations. Good secondary schools for girls are, however, much needed. A dozen missionary boards now cooperate in supporting this institution, from which 1,000 students have already been graduated. There is also the Gotch-Robinson Training School for older men, who have already had some experience in Christian work; and from this many of the best evangelists and pastors are obtained.
Work for Chinese women could not be undertaken in the early years, as the first missionaries were all single men. But from 1893, when women began to join the mission, both married and single, this work was begun and has increased until it is one of the most fruitful and promising features. Medical work has also been actively prosecuted during recent years. There are many encouraging features. The progress in the other provinces promises to be more rapid henceforth. Observance of Sunday is increasing in China; the Government schools are closed but the tendency is to make it a day of rest and pleasure, not of worship.
The circulation of Christian literature has counted heavily in evangelizing this part of China. Timothy Richards gave half his life to the service of the C L S (Christian Literature Society), whose work has been of the utmost value. Not only books on religion and ethics, but text-books and reference works for schools and scholars have been published and circulated in large numbers. Every enterprise would have languished but for this aid. Often the book goes where the missionary cannot go.
Persistent evangelism was the characteristic of Chinese missions in the early years; persistent education might be called its later feature. The importance of training Christian leaders among the Chinese was felt from the beginning. Morrison founded the Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca in 1818 and largely financed it during its early years of struggle. In 1845 it was transferred to Hong-kong. Missionaries like Ashmore and Graves gave much time and labor to training native preachers, and their improvised classes grew in time into theological schools. Northern Baptists now maintain two such schools: the Ashmore Theological Seminary at Swatow, and one at
Shanghai that is now a department of the Shanghai Baptist College. The Graves Theological school at Canton is maintained by the SBC, as is the Bush Theological Seminary at Hwanghsien.
Other denominations have engaged in this work, which had a phenomenal development in the last three decades. There are today 13 theological schools in China, and all but three of these are the results of interdenominational cooperation a truly surprising fact, paralleled in no other missionary region. Five of these schools conduct courses for graduates of colleges only, with 96 students, and three others have college students in attendance. The other eight require middle-school training, and have 295 students in attendance. Encouraging as these facts are, it still remains true that the proportion of advanced students to the Christian population of China is still too small. Are the missionaries at fault? Have they too much repressed Chinese leadership? We are always insisting on the need of native leaders. As they are produced are we willing to let them lead? Supplementary to these schools are 50 Bible schools for men and women, that are doing a work of great importance. The need of Bible-women in China is great, because women rarely attend public worship, being restrained thus far by custom, and so they have less opportunity than men to hear the gospel. Bible-women must take the message to the Chinese women in their own homes, at least for the present.
Northern and Southern Baptists unite in supporting the Shanghai Baptist College, one of the finest institutions of the kind in China. Its buildings are unsurpassed eight large structures and twenty smaller, in a campus of fifty acres. Among the buildings are Haskell gymnasium, Science Hall, with well-equipped laboratories, and a Women's Hall. The college activities are much like those in America. Its students number 700 and its faculty 66,
about equally divided between natives and foreigners. Besides the arts department, with 300 students, there is a middle school with 250 and a theological department with 25. Hardly a student is graduated who is not a Christian, and from 50 to 150 conversions occur among the students every year. Fully half of the Shanghai faculty (and the same is true of Judson College in Rangoon) are Orientals, many of them graduates from American colleges and theological schools. Among the many who are prominent in Christian work in China, two graduates of Shanghai may be mentioned: Herman Liu, general secretary of the YMCA, and H. C. Ling, a B.D. (Bachelor of Divinity) of Rochester Theological Seminary and M.A. of Columbia, who has been appointed by the Chinese Baptist Convention of South China to general direction of evangelistic work. A new science building has been completed recently, at a cost of $85,000 (the prewar estimate was $50,000). Much building in all our missions has had to be postponed, and it will require a decade or more to complete plans already of long standing.
The Kaifung Baptist College, in a city of that name, is supported by the SBC. It has a beautiful twelve-acre campus, large dormitory, chapel, and several other buildings. It is strategically located in the province of Honan, in the midst of a population of 35,000,000, and its field is approximately the size of Kentucky and Tennessee. There are only three other Christian schools of like grade in the province.
Baptists also cooperate with the other evangelical missions in the conduct of a number of institutions of college grade. Ginling College for girls, at Nanking, occupies a beautiful new campus that is a delight and an inspiration. Students come from eleven of the 18 provinces and from 34 different preparatory schools. Among them are 110 Christians, belonging to ten different denominations.
Four Chinese women are members of the faculty, three of them alumnae of Ginling. Chengtu, in the province of Szechuan, is the cultural heart of China – a city of 500,000 people, with paved streets, electric lights, and other modern improvements. A University is located here, and Chengtu College is affiliated with it. It occupies a campus of 100 acres, and has seven attractive buildings, in which the Chinese style of architecture has been followed, the result being quaint and unique. Van Deman Hall is a Baptist dormitory. Besides the arts department, the College maintains a normal school and a middle school; and there is also a school for the blind. The College has 47 students, and the University over 600. There is a good religious life among the students, and the entire province is feeling the influence of this institution.
The secondary schools of the Chinese mission have had a phenomenal growth. Thus Kaying, in the heart of the Hakkas, had 120 students in 1915, while in 1921 the number had increased to 530, of whom 250 were in the academic grade. A later report says that 140 girls are now in this school. Wayland Academy at Shanghai has a good location in the heart of the city, but its buildings are old, plain, and rather inadequate. The Baptist women of the East Central District gave a new building as a jubilee gift to the Riverside Academy at Ningpo. The Presbyterians and Baptists jointly carry on this fine institution. The Abigail Scott Memorial at Swatow for girls is another school of high class. A boys' academy at Hanchow is of equal importance in its field. Altogether our Baptist missions are responsible for 265 schools, with an enrolment of 8,455.
Extent of the Work
All Protestant missions have been active in educational work. In 1922 there were 7,046 schools and colleges giving
a Christian education to 212,819 students. Not only ministers but educated laymen are demanded for the future progress of Chinese missions and for the welfare of China as a whole. It is an encouraging fact that already 44 per cent, of the teachers in these institutions are natives and the proportion may be expected constantly to increase.
There are now eighteen Christian colleges in China, according to a report (1925) made by the China Christian Educational Association. They show a large increase of students, faculties, and curricula in recent years. To date they have graduated 3,320 students, and there are enrolled in them 3,901, of whom 451 are women. More than 60 per cent. (2,430) are avowed Christians. The faculties number 818 members, of whom 412 are Chinese. Only 25.3 per cent, of the Christian students came from Christian homes. The Christian middle schools gave 74 per cent, of them, the government middle schools 15, and private schools the remainder. Of the 412 Chinese teachers, 25 per cent, have had advanced education in England or America, 33 per cent, are graduates of Chinese colleges, and 10 per cent, are Chinese degree men of the old school. Of the students, 2,426 are taking its courses, 327 science, 202 medical, 113 educational, 69 theological, 147 legal, 123 business, 16 engineering, 152 agricultural, 73 chemical, and 65 miscellaneous. Only 164 of the graduates are in the active ministry, but 353 are in social-religious work, 831 are teaching in Christian schools, and 333 are in medical work. According to a recent survey, the Christian schools of China are now furnishing 25 per cent, of the constructive leadership of the country.
Protestant schools are outnumbered by Roman Catholic, of which there are 3,578 with 144,344 pupils, while there are no more than 214,000 in Protestant schools, and
4,075,000 in Government. Appreciation of the work done by mission schools is growing among the Chinese. A conspicuous instance is the school at Ding Hae, under charge of Rev. L. C. Hylbert. One Chinese merchant gave $200,000; an endowment fund of $193,000 has been contributed by others, and a budget of $29,000 is wholly raised on the field.
Industrial education has not been neglected in Chinese missions, though it has perhaps not had proportional attention. A Christian Homemaker's school at Ningpo is giving training to 60 women and 20 children in the art of housekeeping. Similar schools are located at Huchow and Kaying. These have been established mainly through the agency of the Woman's Society and its workers. The new industrial teaching has the important result of helping Christian converts to forsake their heathen ways of living and become self-supporting and self-respecting members of the Christian community.
What China Is Doing for Education
China herself is making surprising progress in education. In 1905 the age-old literary examinations were abolished, and after the Revolution of 1911 rapid advance was made toward adoption of a modern system. The Chinese classics were eliminated from the curriculum and modern text-books supplied in their place. A ministry of education was provided, which oversees the administration of the system - at its head a vice-minister, four councilors, and three bureaus, one presiding over the three branches of the system: general, technical and professional, and social education. Each province has its Commissioner of Education. The plan contemplates a course of four years in a lower or citizen school, followed by three years in a higher primary, from which the student may go on to an industrial or normal school, or he may
go to a middle school for four years and thence to a university, where again he has an option of a four-years collegiate course, or a normal or professional school. A good deal of this scheme at present exists only on paper, but it will ultimately be realized in full.
While the standard of the Government schools is rapidly rising, progress has been retarded by the fact that the authorities have selected their English and American teachers in a haphazard way, and have given no security of tenure, but are constantly changing. This makes it impossible to secure a high grade of teaching talent. "Squeeze" is the bane of schools, as of every other public institution in China. But the Chinese leaders have been sufficiently aroused in behalf of education to be ready to do for state institutions more than any founded and conducted for foreigners can do. Thus Southeastern University, at Nanking, has a financial backing quite impossible for the Christian Nanking University to secure.
The Government University of Peking has a student body of 2,000, and the teaching staff numbers 190 Chinese and some 17 foreigners. Peiyang University at Tientsin and the Institute of Technology at Shanghai have departments of applied science, including medicine, and about 1,000 students. Schools of agriculture and forestry are maintained by the Government at Peking and elsewhere; and that at the Canton Christian College is perhaps the best in the country.
After the Boxer troubles, the various nations obtained heavy indemnities from China. The United States found a large surplus remaining over, after all proper claims had been adjusted, and at the instance of Secretary of State John Hay returned the balance to China, to be set apart as a fund for the education of Chinese in America. Fifty young men have been sent here every year and educated in our colleges and universities, where some of
them have won high honors. Still others have come on provincial scholarships and their own resources. But many thoughtful Chinese are beginning to question whether this is as much of an advantage as had been hoped and expected. They think their Chinese youth are becoming too much Americanized; when they return to China they find that they have lost touch with their own country and people. A remedy would be to require their young men to finish their college work before coming here; then they would be on the footing of Rhodes scholars whom we send to Oxford, fitted to profit by an American university training, yet so well grounded in Chinese culture as to be in no danger of over-Americanization.
On the site of the old examination stalls in Canton stand the buildings of the provincial normal school. Other normal schools of this grade have been established, but the demand for qualified teachers cannot be met for a generation; China needs 2,000,000, and there are perhaps 200,000 at present available. Graduates of the mission schools are the best present supply.
On the whole, the progress of China in twenty years has been nothing short of marvelous. In 1905 there were but 1,300 students in all schools of a modern sort, while today there are 150,000 public schools, with an attendance of over 5,000,000. There are besides estimated to be more than 1,000,000 in private Chinese schools survivors of former times when all schools in China were private.
General Feng's School.
An interesting experiment in native schools is that of General Feng Yu-Hsiang, leader of one of the revolts against the central Government of China, who has been widely proclaimed as a "Christian General," and was formerly a member of the Methodist Church of Peking.
He withdrew from that connection early in 1925, but in the later months of that year issued a prospectus of a theological school to train chaplains for his army. Candidates for admission must have been baptized and become acquainted with the elements of the Bible. Half a year is to be given to a preparatory course and another half year to a regular course, on completing which students will be given a diploma and an appointment as army preachers on salary. This is to be known as the Hung Tao or Vast Truth school. Food, clothing, and lodging will be supplied by the school, for the support of which General Feng apparently makes himself and his army re- sponsible. This is a novel sort of school, the like of which is probably not to be found anywhere else in the world, and such an experiment in Christian education under native direction will be watched with great interest. It was announced at the time in American newspapers that on the Chinese New Year's Day of 1923, Methodist missionaries baptized 4,100 of Feng's soldiers. In an interview two years later, the General is said to have declared that 70 per cent, of his army are Christians, and 95 per cent, of the officers. He has 80 chaplains for his men, and the use of tobacco and alcoholics is prohibited. How far his projects are truly religious, and how far merely military and political, is yet an unsolved problem.1
The Chinese ideal of education for their women, until recently at least, was training in manners and morals, not instruction. Long ago Lady Tsao wrote books called
sup>1 One of General Feng's officers, General Chang, has recently given an order to the China agency of the American Bible Society for 8,000 copies of Bibles and Testaments for distribution among the officers of Feng's army. They are to be in half-leather and full leather bindings, and the cost of the order is $3,000. This indicates clearly that the Chinese are becoming increasingly ready to listen to the teaching of our Scriptures.
Rules for Women, Four Books for Girls, but few women could read them. Until the present generation, only one woman in a thousand could read, and even now in our Christian communities but one in 300 are literate. The first mission school for girls was opened at Singapore in 1825 by Miss Grant, an Englishwoman, who began with three pupils. The first school in China was at Ningpo in 1844 by Miss Aldersey, also English, which by 1852 grew to a group of 40. Girls in these schools were taught the common branches of our primary schools, together with needlework and the like. Soon there were girls' schools in many mission stations and among all denominations, but Chinese conservatism was for a long time a great obstacle. Parents had to be convinced that education was of any value for a girl, but after a while observation convinced many of its benefits. As schools grew in popularity, changes could be made, and self-support began. Some achieved this end by sale of embroideries, laces, etc., made by the pupils. The work was necessarily very rudimentary at first; there were no text-books, and these had to be gradually made and printed in Chinese. Teaching had to be largely memoriter; many pupils learned entire Gospels. The curriculum was gradually broadened, largely due to the demands of the Chinese themselves. English and music were introduced, and finally graded schools. Physical culture came last and has proved very beneficial. Graduates became teachers and now most teachers are natives.
Government schools for girls were not provided until 1907. In primary schools the law recognizes no distinctions of sex, and coeducation is general, though the number of girls in schools is still comparatively small. There are but nine middle schools reported for girls, with 622 students; but there are 5,203 girl students in normal schools. Until 1919, when the national University was
opened to women, there was no Government institution in which a Chinese girl could get an education of college grade, and only three such institutions under missionary auspices. The entire enrolment of women in colleges does not exceed 300. There is pressing need of educating Chinese girls, for there must be more Christian mothers and Christian homes to make healthy progress of missions possible. With all, the Chinese young woman is gaining liberty rapidly as much perhaps as she is fitted to use wisely. As an evidence of the new order of things in China, it may be mentioned that in 1923 twenty Chinese young women journeyed unchaperoned to Japan, to compete for the Far East tennis championship! Girls have been active in recent student movements.
This has also been a prominent feature of Chinese missions from the first. Morrison, though he had no medical education, had considerable medical skill, and with help of a native practitioner conducted a dispensary. The first medical missionary was Dr. Peter Parker who established a hospital at Canton in 1834. Doctor Macgowan opened a hospital at Ningpo, in 1843. In a single year (1844) he treated 2,139 cases, of whom 1,739 were men. Doctor Barchett resumed the work thus begun, and made it an important adjunct of the mission. In 1877, a sample year, 7,500 cases were cared for. The work has extended until now we have ten hospitals at strategic points in connection with our missions. Other denominations are doing their share or more, so that there are now 426 Christian hospitals in 237 Chinese cities, with 16,737 beds, treating nearly 150,000 people every year. Besides these, are 244 dispensaries for out-patients. Training of nurses is going on in most of these institutions.
A Nurses Association has been organized, which holds
a national conference, conducts national examinations of nurses, and issues diplomas to successful candidates. There were in 1925 a total of 756 graduate nurses; and more than 90 schools of nurses were registered, with 1,600 student-nurses.
Several Baptist missionaries have won special distinction in medical work. Dr. W. R. Morse was a pioneer, the first to dissect a human body in Szechuan, professor of anatomy and dean of the medical faculty of West China Union University, the only medical school for 100,000 people. Dr. C. S. Gibbs is the Baptist representative in the college of agriculture and forestry at the University of Nanking. His special job is fighting animal diseases, particularly those to which poultry and silk-worms are subject. He has developed a vaccine for rinderpest. Along with his field trips he conducts a successful evangelism.
But it becomes more and more evident that all help possible to be given to China from institutions of foreign origin is but a drop in the bucket; a Chinese medical profession is as much needed as Chinese ministers or Chinese teachers. The government established at Peking in 1906 the Union Medical College; this was originally a missionary concern, but Chinese were first invited to cooperate in its management and eventually to take over its complete conduct and support. It is a splendidly equipped institution and is rapidly training a competent corps of Chinese physicians. The China Board of the Rockefeller Institute has given large sums to the Peking Union Medical School and is founding a high-grade medical school at Shanghai, with which the mission hospitals will co-operate. The Margaret Williamson Hospital and medical school for women at Shanghai has been a union institution about five years. It has grown amazingly, both in student attendance and in buildings and equipment.
The school is one of the seven medical colleges recognized by the China Medical Association as of A grade. The William H. Doane Memorial Hospital at Suifu is in the center of a population of 2,000,000, and there is only one other like institution to minister to them. In most of the Baptist hospitals, notably those at Swatow, Ningpo, and Shaohsing, nurses are in training, to the number of about 40 in all. There are 200,000,000 women and children in China who need the help that graduates of these schools can bring them. Altogether, there are now 40 medical schools in China, of which nine are of missionary origin, the rest being government or private institutions. Of all these, however, not more than seven can be regarded as giving a medical training equal to that of the average American school.
There is a China Medical Missionary Association, inter-denominational in character, with which we can and do cooperate in an attempt to teach preventive medicine to the Chinese people. The Government is waking to the importance of this work and a Council of Public Health Education is the result; it is already carrying on work in 19 provinces. The great need of this work becomes evident when we learn that the death-rate in China is 40 to 50 per thousand, compared with 14 per thousand in the United States.
Li Hung Chang, the greatest man China has produced in our day, once said, "If the missionary ever comes to the Chinese heart, the physician will open the door."
Notable Successes of Missions
Recent progress in numbers is very encouraging. Ordained Chinese ministers (1,305 in 1922) now outnumber missionaries (1,268). Inadequately trained as they are, their average culture is as much above the average in China as the ministry of any Christian country exceeds its
average culture. The literacy of the churches is high as compared with the population; 60 per cent, of men and 40 per cent, of the women can read the New Testament and the greater portion of members are found in those country places where popular illiteracy is greatest. There is remarkable progress in reaching Chinese women. Once practically all converts were men; now there are four women to six men in the membership of the churches. Sunday schools are comparatively recent, but are making gratifying progress, and are particularly valuable in those numerous villages where there is as yet no secular school. In three provinces the number of scholars exceeds the church-membership, and in three others equals it. The number of families all of whose members are Christian is rapidly increasing, making relapses into heathenism rare. Every year sees gain in self-support; salaries of pastors and other workers and cost of building erected being met by local contributions. Still larger numbers receive aid only in support of their pastor. More people of financial means are reached, and these contribute generously. Contributions from those still heathen, or at least making no profession of Christianity, are not unknown, especially for our school work. Chinese are forming and supporting home mission societies of their own and financing these themselves a kind of activity recently begun, that may be expected to grow with the years, until the evangelization of China is wholly a native enterprise.
At the first missionary Conference in Shanghai, in 1877, it was found that missionaries were at work in 91 centers, had organized 312 native churches, which had 13,035 communicants; in all, 29 societies were at work, with 473 foreign missionaries. This Conference was followed by a great famine, in which from 9,500,000 to 13,000,000 are estimated to have perished. This offered a great
opportunity to the missionaries, of which they availed themselves so well that distrust and opposition melted away before the good-will and service, and gratitude evoked by their ministrations took the place of former hatred. But this success raised a new problem, by bringing into existence a new sort of "rice Christians," and thereby stimulated missionaries and native churches to new effort toward the solution of the old problem of self-support. Progress continued at a fairly rapid rate, and the Chinese Year Book for 1905 gave the following facts: Societies at work, 64; foreign missionaries, 3,445; native helpers, 9,904; baptized converts, 178,261; schools, 2,196; enrolment, 42,546; hospitals, 166; in-patients, 35,301, out-patients, 1,043,858. British and colonial societies still take the lead, with Americans a good second, and Continental rather a poor third.
Christianity Becoming Indigenous
Considerable progress has already been made toward a native Chinese Church. In the first national Christian Conference (1907) there were 1,000 missionaries and no Chinese; in 1913 one-third of the delegation were Chinese. The salaried workers now outnumber the missionaries six to one, and during the last seven years have increased 95 per cent. The YMCA has adopted a like policy, if indeed it did not lead the way: its national committee of 75 are all Chinese. In Shanghai, for example, of 36 secretaries but four are Americans; no addition to American secretaries has been made in ten years, and there is no present intention of adding others. The national Missionary Councils of former years have become National Christian Councils, which signifies much more than a change of names. The 25 Home Mission Societies are all Chinese, under native leadership exclusively, and native Christians are conducting propaganda with vigor. In
1918 a volume of 260 pages was required merely to list the Christian books, tracts, and periodicals.
All of this marks the state of progress toward a Christian Church in China that shall be indigenous, or at least acclimated. Administrative responsibility, the conduct of evangelizing and educational enterprises of all kinds must be transferred as rapidly as possible to. representatives of the Chinese churches. For only as responsibility is thus laid upon them, will real abiding advance of Christianity be made. Self-government will beget self-support and healthy expansion.
Foreign missions are rapidly taking on a new spirit and assuming new form. Our objective is changing. We have fortunately lost a good part of our smug, complacent sense of superiority. We are not so much as formerly trying to impose a new religion and a new ethic on an inferior civilization, but trying to cooperate with an older civilization than our own in working out for itself an improved religion and ethic, retaining all that is good in the old and taking from us whatever of good it can assimilate. Ultimately we may hope that China will become Christian, but its Christianity will not be the Christianity of Europe and the United States; it will be a Chinese Christianity, adapted to the genius of that people and its ancient civilization. Western sectarianism, or denominationalism if one prefers that word, cannot be successfully imposed on the Chinese, nor is it at all desirable that it should be if it were possible. The West is no longer so proud of its achievements in that line as to desire their perpetuation.
The numerical strength of Protestant Christianity is still less than one in 1,000 of the population of China. Much territory is yet unoccupied. There are about 10,000 "evangelistic centers," but less than half of them have schools. There are from 140 to 175 cities with a population
of 50,000 or over, and in all but 18 of these there are now resident missionaries. Until now effort has been concentrated in cities, perhaps wisely, but the time is at hand for wider evangelization, since the result of missionary effort thus far is that 80 per cent, of Protestant Christians are found in towns of less than 50,000 and in districts more rural. There is little of overlapping of agencies now, as the principle of comity is generally recognized. After more than a century of missions, about 45 per cent, of China is still whol[l]y unevangelized.
With 130 separate Protestant missionary bodies at work in China, even with " comity " there is obviously great loss from disunion. Missionaries cannot but emphasize too much the things in which they differ, aspects of Christianity that are purely Western, in which Chinese Christians cannot be expected to take much interest, and the heathen none at all. Tolerance and a spirit of fraternity are growing, but still need much encouragement. Christian schools should no longer be regarded as a bait to catch heathen children, and through them perhaps their parents, but as an educational enterprise entirely worthy in itself. The quality of the schools and their instruction is deficient in many cases. The best are still better than the Government schools, but many are not. The Chinese elementary schools are the worst, and private schools (including Christian) are much superior. China is building her school system downward from the top; it is useless to discuss this as a policy; it must be accepted as a fact. The middle schools and universities established by the state are of high standard; indeed, few of the missionary "colleges" are their equals. Numerically, the mission schools are already insignificant by comparison; it only remains to make them doubly significant in quality. This is not progressing so rapidly as it should be. If we fail here leaders of politics, commerce, and education will
more and more come from the Government schools, little influenced by Christianity if at all. Theological education is still weak, with the result that the native clergy is inadequate to present demands and is likely to become still more inadequate. Too much attention cannot be given to the training of a native ministry.
The Anti-Christian Movement
Christian missions in China seem to be slowing down, and a strong anti-Christian sentiment has recently developed. This is most manifest among the "intelligentsia" (it is only fair to say that they did not invent the name it has been thrust upon them). Christianity has become identified in the minds of Chinese with the character of so-called Christians, and above all with the policy of the "Christian nations." The World War contributed greatly to the growth of this feeling; the spread of the teachings of Darwin and Marx and such of their later disciples as Bertrand Russell has tended in the same direction; the propaganda of Russian Bolshevists, though possibly much exaggerated, has doubtless been a factor of considerable weight. Students and professors in the state universities, many of them educated in Europe and America, are most prominent in a movement, whose object, as stated in one of their manifestos, is "to actively oppose Christianity and its various expressions with a nationalistic consciousness and a scientific spirit."
The educated Chinese understand only too well the attitude of American and European Christians to such problems as war, race prejudice, and industrial evils. They are not so much resolved to reject Christ as to reject "Christians." They fail to discover actual Christianity in the conduct of "Christian nations." They see few of the traits of Jesus in the "Christians" whom they meet, other than missionaries, and not always in them.
They discover no evidence that the Christian churches of America and Europe take Jesus and his teachings with any seriousness, any real attempt to make profession and conduct correspond. Many of them have seen for themselves what a "Christian civilization" is like, and they do not desire it for China.
The thirteenth Conference of the World's Student Christian Federation held in Peking, April, 1925, was the signal for an outburst of anti-Christian feeling among Chinese students. Groups of radicals opposed to Christianity were formed in many institutions, and they flooded the Chinese press with condemnations of the Federation and the Christian religion. Soon an All China Anti-Religion Federation was organized, and among its declarations was this:Of all religions Christianity is we feel the most detestable. One sin which Christianity is guilty of and which particularly makes our hair rise on end is its collusion with militarism and capitalism. So the influence of Christianity is growing stronger, day by day, when its forces become more triumphant and the methods of capitalism are more drastic. Christianity is the public enemy of mankind just as imperialism is, since they have one thing in common, to exploit weak countries. . . It is the intelligence officer of the capitalists and the hireling of the imperialistic countries. . . What they are going to discuss is nothing more than such tricks as how to uphold the world's capitalism and how to extend capitalism in China. We acknowledge this conference to be a conference of robbers, humiliating and polluting our youth, cheating our people, and robbing our economic resources. Therefore following our inner impulse we are organizing this federation and decide to declare war upon it.Such allegations against Christianity cannot be dismissed as mere vaporings of disordered minds. Nor is it sufficient to say that Chinese students misunderstand Christianity and Christian missions. The progress of Christianity in China cannot be regarded as assured until missions succeed in divorcing themselves from these untoward manifestations of a "Christian civilization." The
Chinese must be convinced that Christianity does not mean conquest of the world by force, that it contains nothing that will not bear the white light of science, that it is not intolerant of truth from whatever source it comes, and beyond all else that it is concerned with making society righteous no less than with "saving" the individual. If missionaries shut their eyes to these things and merely try to "muddle through" in the same way they have been going for several generations, the cause of Christianity in China is lost.
Boycotts and Strikes
Japan forced from China an agreement in May, 1915, for the transference of all mining and railway concessions previously granted to Germany; and an extension for 99 years of the lease of Port Arthur, as well as joint control over certain industrial works in which she had a large financial interest. This amounted to a surrender of Shantung to Japanese occupation. The Chinese national spirit flamed up at this outrage, and the result was a national boycott of everything Japanese, which compelled that country to relinquish the greater part of the privileges it had acquired.
Student strikes in 1925 became frequent as protests against injustice, a part of the anti-foreign, rather than the anti-Christian movement. They led to clashes with foreign powers in Shanghai and Canton, and as a result there was bloodshed. Charges and countercharges followed, into the details of which it is not necessary to go. For our purpose it is sufficient to note that the result was a marked embitterment of Chinese feeling toward foreigners, including missionaries. All missionary work has thus suffered an additional and undeserved handicap.
The root cause of these late Chinese troubles is probably indignation at the attitude of racial preeminence on
the part of white residents, which had deeply wounded the racial pride of the Chinese. The white man's presumption and cocksureness, his ill-concealed sense of superiority, his patronizing method of approach, everywhere arouses opposition and indignation. Many missionaries are accused of this condescending attitude and of unfair treatment of native workers whenever their interests clash with those of the white missionaries. Many missionaries have remained silent regarding the outrages on students, and some schools have used their influence to the utmost in an attempt to suppress the student movement.
Many Americans have been utterly unable to understand this movement or its grounds. A spirit of Chinese nationality is so new a thing to them that they look on it with cold incomprehension. And it is a new thing in China; it hardly existed before the Revolution, but since that great upheaval it has flamed out suddenly. It has not been able as yet to express itself in a stable government for the whole nation, but that failure is probably due to the ambitions and quarrels of a few leaders, each of whom is unwilling to take a subordinate place. Students have been leaders from the first, and this is just what we should have expected in China, whose people have always had a profound respect for scholars, since their rulers have for generations been recruits from this class. So when the new Western learning was introduced, the Chinese naturally accepted as leaders those who were presumably best instructed in the new ideas. The merchant class have supported the students, and to a less degree artisans and farmers have followed their example. The new China has for its slogan: Anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism, anti-foreignism, anti-Christianity. For the present this seems wholly a policy of negations, but a more positive and constructive policy may be expected
as soon as certain pressing grievances are adjusted. The Chinese are a peaceful people and not inclined to adopting forcible measure of redress. They are likely to remain a peaceful people, unless Western nations, by example and precept, lead them to adopt force as the only practicable way of securing redress of wrongs and possession of rights.
These recent events have constituted an occasion for a revision of our standards of missionary fitness. What is now most needed in China, and hardly less everywhere, is the missionary who has the outlook of the international sociologist. The older missionaries have in many cases lamentably failed to grasp the situation and have withheld their sympathy from the Chinese in their new national movements. Only the YMCA and the Congregationalists have been outspoken in protest against the shooting of students at Shanghai and Canton, the maintenance of extraterritorial privileges by foreigners, and the "protection" of foreigners by gunboats and troops. Other denominations have spoken feebly or kept silence. Too often the older missionaries have accepted and approved the policy of foreign nations, and have in private spoken against the student movement. Some col- leges tried to suppress it among their students by "discipline." The result was what might have been foreseen: thousands of students signed a pledge not to return to their schools.
Christian Unity in China
In May, 1922, the National Christian Conference was held at Shanghai. It was the first gathering of the sort in which Chinese Christians had been treated as entirely the equals of missionaries and other Europeans. There were many Chinese members who could speak better English than missionaries could speak Chinese. The
object of the Council was declared to be "To foster and express the fellowship and unity of the Christian Church in China" and other enterprises that made it practically a duplicate of our Federal Council of Churches. Among its important resolutions were a standard of Chinese child labor (twelve years), the more important as there are no industrial laws in China yet. Most significant of all action taken was the unanimous passage of the following declaration:
We Chinese Christians, representing the various leading denominations, express our regret that we are divided by the denominationalism that comes from the West. We recognize that denominationalism is based on differences the historical significance of which however real and vital to the missionaries is not shared by us Chinese. Therefore, denominationalism, instead of being a source of inspiration, has been and is a source of confusion, bewilderment, and inefficiency. We firmly believe that only a united church can save China. Therefore, in the name of the Lord who prayed that all his followers might be one, we appeal to all those who love the same Lord to follow his command and be united in one church, catholic and indivisible. We believe that we are voicing the sentiment of the whole Chinese Christian body when we claim that we have the desire and the power to effect a speedy realization of corporate unity, and when we call upon the missionaries and the representatives of the churches in the West to remove all the obstacles in order that Christ's prayer for unity may be answered in China.
Chinese Christians are in advance of American Christians, apparently, in seeing that it is enough to be a Christian, and that any church becomes sectarian and schismatic the moment it demands any terms of fellowship other than Jesus makes. One whom Jesus receives as his disciple should obviously be eligible to membership in any church of Jesus. Unity is possible on no other terms. It is in China and Latin America that greatest advance toward practical Christian unity has yet been made. It was Chinese Christians who devised the slogan: "We agree to differ; we are resolved to love; we are united to serve." Theological controversy will block the wheels of
progress in missions, as it has already done at home. "Comity" has served its turn and is an outgrown expedient that no longer functions. China likes that sort of partitioning as little as the political sort. Such divisions, her people now clearly perceive, are not made for the good of China, but in the interest of foreign sects. And if these sects are to remain, a Chinaman would like the privilege of choosing between them that an American enjoys.
Future Prospects of Christianity
We are warranted in believing that Christianity still has a vital contribution to make to China, but we may well be less confident than we once were that it is the duty of missionaries to inculcate all the elements of Western civilization. It will be far wiser only to commend that which will obviously aid the life of the Chinese. It is more and more borne in upon us that no one race or nation or age can exhaust the significance of God's revelation of himself in Jesus the Christ. We are coming to see that there is truth in all religions, without any weakening of the conviction that Christianity is the crown and consummation of all religions. But can we reasonably hope for one type of Christianity to become universal, any more than one type of civilization? May not the future solution of the agelong conflict of religions and sects be rather the mutual assimilation of the best of all, and equally mutual rejection of the inferior, while racial and national types remain permanently distinct? In that sense, not in the usual sense of the words today, the kingdoms of the world may be expected to become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.
Orientals do not so much deny the truth of what is proclaimed to them as Christianity, as doubt its potency. If it has done so little for the "Christian nations," what can it offer them of real good? The skepticism is
warranted by their own experience. The conversion of the "Christian nations" to the religion of Jesus would be the greatest contribution possible to the conversion of the "heathen." How can we tell China that acceptance of Jesus and his teaching would solve all China's problems and give her peace, when it has brought no peace to Europe, and to America thus far no solution of her problems? Physician, heal thyself, may well be China's response to the kind of gospel that has thus far been offered her. That such will be her final response, if the "Christian nations" do not bring forth fruits meet for repentance, is a possibility that can no longer be ignored.
Christian missions have already accomplished much in China. They have contributed powerfully toward the intellectual and moral awakening; they have done much to educate the public conscience; they have led to wide observance of the weekly day of rest; they have reacted on other religions and stimulated them to renewed activity; they have done most to bring about the decree of 1916 for liberty in religion; they have been an effective influence to uplift Chinese womanhood, promote monogamous marriage, and lessen social vice; they have created a spirit of brotherhood and social service before unknown. Yet only the fringe of Chinese society and Chinese life is touched as yet; the great work of Christianizing China is yet to do.
[From Henry C. Vedder, A Short History of Baptist Missions, chapter VII, Judson Press, 1927, pp. 161-201. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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