The challenge to Christian missions;

ill H _SB8*o J^L2&M> Class. Book _^Ws" PRESENTED BY \ THE CHALLENGE TO CHRISTIAN MISSIONS ; WORKS BY THE REV. In R. E. WELSH, M.A. Rel...

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ill

H

_SB8*o

J^L2&M>

Class.

Book

_^Ws" PRESENTED BY

\

THE CHALLENGE TO CHRISTIAN MISSIONS

;

WORKS BY THE REV. In

R. E.

WELSH, M.A.

Relief of Doubt.

By Rev. R. Crown

E.

WELSH,

M.A.

8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

New Edition, with Introductory Note by the Right Rev. A. F. Winnington- Ingram, D.D., Bishop of London.



writes : "This little book deals with that vague atmosphere of so common, and dispels it by its clear and pointed arguments written in so racy a style that none could put it down and call it dull."

Dr Ingram doubt which

and

it is

Scotsman.

is

— "A sensible and closely reasoned argument against scepticism." — " Nothing has appeared for years that so well calculated

Methodist Times. to meet the average

is

difficulties

of the average man."

VIGOROUS SERMONS TO YOUNG MEN.

God's Gentlemen. By Rev. R. Crown

E.

WELSH,

M.A.

8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d.

— " A good, wholesome, suggestive book." — "A frank and manly book brings a young

Methodist Times. British Weekly. face with life."

;

Coulson Kernahan.

man

face to

— "Free from 'professionalism,' manly in

purpose and its fearless outspokenness. A robust book for men, written by a man who has the courage born of conscience and conviction. Here, surely, is a book to which they will give heed." utterance, pure in

The People and By Rev. R. Crown

E.

the Priest.

WELSH,

8vo, cloth,

M.A.

2s. 6d.



The Times " This is a timely, and, on the whole, temperate Welsh puts the Protestant point of view briefly and sensibly."

plea.

Mr



Samuel Smith,

Esq., M.P. " I have read with great interest your admirable book. It puts the whole question with wonderful brevity and lucidity. It is the question of the day for English people."



Manchester Courier. "Anyone desiring in a short compass a clear statement of the points at issue cannot do better than purchase a copy of this work. They will find it very readable, and so plainly written as to be easily understood."

London

:

H. R.

ALLENSON,

Ltd.,

S^SsrSSTkc

THE CHALLENGE TO CHRISTIAN MISSIONS MISSIONARY QUESTIONS AND

THE MODERN MIND

BY R.

E.

WELSH,

M.A.

**

YOUNG

PEOPLE'S MISSIONARY

MOVEMENT

UNITED STATES AND CANADA

NEW YORK 1908

,0

^>

Aathcr

TO

"THE GROUP" THIS BY-PRODUCT

OF

MENTAL COMRADESHIP;

AND TO THE WISTFUL MEMORY OF A BROKEN PURPOSE.



"

CONTENTS 1

Pag«

Introductory:

Where

the Question presses

.

13

—The Missionary in the Den— Points of View Diplomatic, Mercantile, Agnostic, Prophetic — The New Horizon — The Challenge and the The

Storni-centre

Critics'

:

Defence—The

Fire that Christ has

lit.

II

Complications

Political

:

Is

the Missionary the

Troubler of the Peace

?

-23

.

— Relentless Propagandists — Missionary Strategy Souls and the Commonweal — Why the Suspected — Foreign Agents Missionary Provocateurs— Cat's-paw to France — Lawsuits— R. C. Dictatorship — Secular Forces Lord Curzon, Lord Salisbury

is

and Missions interlinked. Ill

Many Races Many and West

is

Religions

:

West

...

" East

is

East



and O. Theology Zone System of Racereligions Heathen Britain Christianised Christ of the East in the West Miss P.





Kingsley, Kipling

— Christ



—A —

Catholic

Pantheon the Death of Christianity The Inevitable Break- up The Salt of Secular



Civilization.

41



Contents

viii

IV Good

......

Every System

in

Dark

Bibles of the

:

Page

The Cosmic Light—and

East—" The Light

of Asia

55

"

of the —Confucius, Buddha — Fragments —Cryptic Prophecies— "Some Better

Truth

Thing "—Christ's Treatment of Hebrew Beliefs—" Things-as-They-Are "— Bovine Content Elect Souls Cake of Custom Mrs Besant and Pagan Morals The





New





Creation in Christ.

V Liberal

Thought and Heathen Destinies

71

.

—Where are the Convert's Heathen Ancestors — Carey, Xavier — Relenting Hearts— The Child leads the Way — Via Media — Spirits in Prison — Principles of Judgment — Salvation B.C. — Symbols of the Unseen — Attitude Destiny — Unknown Issues. Dr Morrison

?

is

VI

Can

the

Missionary

Liberal

Motive

Missions?

Survive:

Does

.....

Thought

cut

the

nerve

of 87

— The Human Cry — The True "Damnum" and True Salvation—The Child Again — The Urgency Apostolic Motives

of Christ.

VII Chequered Results: "Counting the

Game"

.

— The Cost of a Convert — Laying Foundations — Sunk CapiFuture Returns — Indian Census — Korea, China — Have Literati 30 Believed?— Stock of the Coming Race Christian Public Men in Japan — " Christ Russell Lowell. Rules India " — Civilians' Verdicts

tal,

:

p.c.

J.

95



Contents

ix

VIII

Page

Chequered Results

"The Mission-made Man"

:



.

in

Spoiling the Natives Miss Kingsley Wastrels and Saints White Men's PreChild-races' Slow Ascent St judice Happier Jerome on Barbaric Britons Raw? Progress by Unsettlement The







March

— —



of





Civilisation

Government



R. L. S. Liquor and Lust Education The Best the Enemy of the Good? The Power of Fire-tested Converts

— —



Christ.

IX

The Men and

their

Methods



Comfortable Missionaries Zealots

— The

Julian

Ralph

Best v.



for

Capt.



and R.L.S. Questions of Races Industrial Training.



143



Wise Men and Abroad Mr Younghusband Policy Dying





X The Aim: The Coming Kingdom ' '

Outgathering "v.

tianisation "

Advent



Chris-

— Livingstone — The

—Prepare

for

159

.

" National

Second

Permanency.

XI

The

Return-Value of Missions



.165





Daring Faith The Miracle proceeding —Moffat's Vision—Dr Duff—The Social



Boon New Verification of Christianity The Triumph over Paganism The Dynamic Love of Christ.







x

Contents Appendix

A

The Powers and

as

175

.

— France, Germany, Roman Catholics — Foreign Priests Magistrates — Lawsuits — Other

Recent

and

Page

the Priests in the East Literature

Sources of Offence.

Appendix

Checks

B

to Progress in India



.

Mr

.184

Meredith Townsend's Asia and Europe Europeanising the Asiatic Caste Convinced but Unconverted A Prince Mr Kidd's " Unborn Generations."







INTRODUCTORY Where

the Question Presses

:

I

INTRODUCTORY Where

With

the Question Presses

three different types of men, the minister

modern man of

of state, the

liberal

mind, and

the civilian doing business or travelling native races, the

missionary

is

work

among

by the foreign point and a storm

carried on

usually a sore

centre.

The

utterances

of

British

statesmen

have been thrusting

international events

and this

problem before public attention. When a Prime Minister, an Indian Viceroy, and press correspondents abroad deal gravely with the complications created by mission work as " one of the practical public questions of the day," it

is

clearly a living issue of the time

cannot be ignored.

which

Is not the missionary the

troubler of the international peace, the source

This issue has been expressly raised by Lord Curzon of Kedle-

of racial embroilments ston as publicist, and as traveller

At

?

by Dr Morrison, famous

and press representative

in China.

the same time, the missionary cause

is

being called to the bar of the modern mind

H

The Challenge

and required

to Missions

to justify itself in the light of

The

liberal thought.

discovery of good things

com-

in the bibles of the East, world-travel,

merce, and the spread

of broader

Christian

sympathies and scientific knowledge have expanded our mental horizon and dispelled the old romantic conception of the heathen. A kindlier view is taken of ancient Asiatic religions and of heathen destinies.

The

citizen of the world, too

—represented

by the late Miss Mary Kingsley, traveller in West Africa, has pertinent questions to put,



concerning the actual effects of the work, which

demand courageous

On

and on board " mission-made

who knows subject

men, ladies

consideration.

the veranda or the stoep after dinner,

is

what is said as to the by the average layman among dusky races? The

ship, "

native

life

often on the lips of civilians, military

ships*

officers,

traders,

who have had

servants.

Many

travellers,

experience

of them are frankly

of the missionary and his converts.

while disappointed with

the

and

of native

results

critical

Some, of the

work, are silent because reluctant to say anything against well-intentioned Christian

effort.

Only a few of them are warm supporters of the missionary cause.

Home-keeping

churchmen,

while

quietly

faithful to the enterprise, are secretly staggered

— Introductory

15

many come back from business abroad with greater or less hostility to missions. Hence, even in the Church there are numbers, to find that so

and outside there are many, who

"

don't believe

in Foreign Missions."

Missionary work

is

challenged on the ground

that—

its

objectionable.

1.

Politically

2,

Religiously

3

Morally and socially

it is

it is

superfluous. it is

unsatisfactory in

outcome.

From shallow,

various classes of men, intelligent or

come questions such

Are not

as these

missionaries the source of racial

embroilments and social disturbance ? interfere with the religious

Why should we

beliefs of other races

?

Is Christianity the thing that will best suit

them

Can

it

?

possibly be indispensable for their

salvation

Do

not

?

enlightened

destinies

take

views

away

missionary work? Does it not unsettle and and produce but poor Missionaries

know

form a frequent dish

They do not mind

the

of

heathen

reason for

spoil the native results

?

that they and their

work

den of the critic. The Church or the

in the

that.

Society which sends them out

may mind

as

1

The Challenge

6

All of them are too busily engaged

little.

upon what

their

immediate duties to give heed to say

aliens

—aliens

down summarily

set

to Missions

whom

they perhaps

either worldlings

as

or

enemies, as in numbers of cases indeed they

And

are.

certainly the final answer to both

and

friendly

hostile

critics

must

unfaltering fulfilment of Christ's

lie

in

the

great com-

mission, in the unconquerable vitality of the

The workers must not

cause. first

to satisfy objectors

answer

them

;

the

better than

halt in order

work

itself will

arguments; there are no apologists so effectively defending the faith as those who are living it and spreading it. They feel that they are " doing a great work " and " cannot come down." Yet something is due from them to honourable questioners. Answer must be made when sinister facts and grave problems are set before us. for

It is noticeable that

all

missionaries in confer-

ence are occupied throughout with their operations and their experiences, and take no share in the controversy

which

the outside world and in

Church.

And

those at

their work raises in some corners of the

home who have nothing work are, most part in

to disturb their satisfaction with the

quite naturally, interested for the

quotable cases of converts and in missionary sketches. Is

there not

even some prejudice

in

the

Introductory

17

Church against anyone who holds parley with the critic, or who engages in discussions which appear to doubt the wisdom of current methods or examine the theology and social results of missions

The

?

by a foregone

case in these respects

is

closed

conclusion.

The Church, however, must not

close her

on the one hand by seagoing people and men in the consular and

what

ears to

is

said,

mercantile service,

who look

at the

practical

outcome of the work, and on the other by men who go deep into the problems of pagan life and religion.

Much

of the criticism current

irresponsible gossip

open

ports.

Much

who

dislike

all

dislike

Much

is

doubtless the

of clubs and camps and

comes from objectors and carry over this to the work done among the natives.

of

it is

of

it

natives

second-hand, the echo of

common

up by easy people of the Underlying some of it there is secret world. revolt against work that condemns the treatment meted out by too many white men to the native, and that " spoils " him for their use. prejudice caught

Yet, as truly, criticism

to

points and

it is

quite unjust to ascribe

these sources.

all

There are weak mission work and

problems in outcome in the native character. Occasionally a strong and courageous missionary speaks out on the subject witness what its

stiff

ethical



B

1

The Challenge

8

Dr

to Missions

Stewart, of Lovedale, has written concern-

ing the misuse and disappointing results of the

higher education of Kaffirs. 1

There are also

questions of missionary policy and methods

which are at any rate proper subjects for frank debate. And the traditional view of pagan religions and heathen destinies exposes the enterprise to easy attack and calls for correction and reconstruction. Some deduction from criticism must be made when it comes from people who have no great store of religious convictions, or who, like certain men to be named in the following pages, are infected with the sceptical

Mr

spirit.

Michie's Missionaries in China, the feeder

of so

much

other censure, has to be read in

the light of the author's disappointments and alienation from the Christian

of his ties with Li

Hung Chang.

community, and Certain press-

men, whose journalistic animadversions have been consumed by multitudes of home readers, We have to write out of an agnostic mind. allow for the personal equation in the sceptic's standpoint, and

must keep our judgment well

in hand.

Yet, even

if

the critic speak from the agnostic,

the detached, the irreligious, or the worldly

point of view, his

we

are not to put his report or

argument quite out of 1

court, as

though he

The Experiment of Native Education.

Introductory

19

had no right to give his evidence. Others have listened to him, and we must do so also, In any case, some of if only for their sake. the statements advanced against the work proceed on a basis of clear facts, and must not be waved aside or ignored. These facts must be balanced by other facts, and shown not to affect the cause as a whole when a

Many are critical larger outlook is taken. because they are ignorant of the work, or do not see the wider bearings of it and the price to

be

paid

necessarily

meanwhile

by the

Christian Church as the condition of ultimate

They must be supplied with informaand carried to the higher point of view from which the far look is taken. It is not Miss Kingsley, Lord Curzon, and Dr Morrison alone I take them only as spokessuccess.

tion



men

of a considerable public

question on us.

—who

It arises in the

within the Church because the

force this

mind of many first

romantic

and they find that the campaign is to be more protracted and costly than they expected. The glamour of the early venture is somewhat spent. The conquest of the pagan world is not to be achieved by a flying column. The Church has to brace herself for operations which will prove taxing and will last through many generations* Backward tides will check the onward flow of

period of missions

is

over,

The Challenge

20

to Missions

the age-long movement. This discovery not only gives the critic reason for his questioning,

but

it

also

makes many a

Christian

draw

breath and pause wearily to discuss the whole

campaign.

Early illusions about the enterprise, then, have been dispelled. A time of hesitancy may follow ere the Church takes it up again in steady persistence and enlightened faith. Even if it were only a case of meeting criticisms from without, we should set ourselves to realise the true nature of the work, to take a wider measure of the missionary cause as it is interlaced with all human interests, and to set pagan religions, as related to God and the Christian faith, in better perspective, and see

them

at the

modern

angle.

Like all truth, the Christian cause has a habit of going on its way independently of men's It needs no defence. And praise or blame. we do not come forward with any apology for the missionary enterprise. The primary basis of the work and the religious motives which No fluctuation inspire it remain unalterable. of thought and no criticism can affect our Lord's universal love and world-wide mission.

The devout

Christian heart

knows a

possesses a divine intuition which

cause a necessity.

A

fire

nothing can extinguish.

has been

secret

and

make

this

lit

which

Introductory Yet something has

to be

the missionary cause.

The

lined

is

of

much

fully overtaken in

chapters.

done

21 to interpret

task as here out-

too great a magnitude to be

a

little

volume of ten

brief

be enough for the writer's without going into confusing detail, It will

purpose if, he can ventilate the subject, and contribute even a little towards the provisional solution of current missionary problems.

II

POLITICAL COMPLICATIONS Is the Missionary the Troubler of the

Peace?

II

POLITICAL COMPLICATIONS. Is the Missionary the Troubler of the

Lord Curzon " It is

has said of the missionaries:

impossible to ignore the facts that their

mission

is

a source

of political

frequently of international it

is

Peace ?

unrest and

and that

trouble,

subversive of the national institutions of

the country in which they reside."

x

He

is

confessedly echoing the faithful challenge of that

who

candid

friend,

Mr

Michie,

of Tientsin,

holds the aggressive missionaries mainly

responsible for

the

civil

entanglements and

the outbreak of race-hatred which time after

time have brought such confusion and loss in the Far East. 2

According to him they have driven on their propagandism without considering the difficulties they were creating for the Chinese authorities and the foreign legations. In their meddlesome interference with the functions of

religious

the magistrate, in their intolerant defiance of 1

2

Problems of the Far East. Missionaries in China, by Alexander Michie. *5

The Challenge

26

native traditions

and

to Missions

prejudices, in their

"war

to the knife " against native faiths, they have

disregarded the religious customs and institu-

of the people, have denationalised the

tions

converts,

and

will

continue

to

constitute in

the future the chief obstacle to friendly lations

re-

between the foreign communities and

the people of the country

among whom they

They have pushed

far into the interior,

reside.

claiming the shelter of treaties which were

wrung from the Government under threat of naval guns. When native animosities have broken out and imperilled their lives, either they have appealed for protection to their own Governments, or their position has compelled

come Chamber a

these Governments to

In the French

to their rescue.

similar view has

been expounded.

Lord Salisbury tells us plainly that " at the Foreign Office the missionaries are not popular." There are plenty of men ready to extend the charge and say, "the missionary is at the bottom of all the trouble, and will continue to be so as long as he is not restrained." The summary, loud-sounding answer might be given that Christ's work must go on at all costs that His kingdom is the greatest of all Great Powers, with an imperial mission that that He is a factor in all human is paramount issues, and lays His hand on all institutions ;

;

Political Complications

and

customs

their

for

reform

that,

;

27 if

His

agents are charged with creating social and civic confusion, "

men

these

Mr

it

is

only the old complaint,

turn the world upside down."

Michie's

own

words,

"men

In

of every shade

of opinion recognise the dynamic force of a religion

which

the solid rock." aries

"

splits

He

up nations as admits that

frost

does

" the mission-

cannot cease their operations."

That governments should

Curzon,

"

fight,"

says Lord

or that international relations should

be imperilled over his (the missionary's) wrecked house or insulted person would strike him as but a feather's weight in the scale compared with the final issues at stake



viz.,

the spiritual

regeneration of a vast country and a mighty

population plunged in heathenism and sin."

And

certainly in the last issue such " spiritual

regeneration" does outweigh every other consideration.

We

are bound, however, to take the larger

statesmanlike view of the work as

it

affects

and ultimate progress of the in which it is prosecuted. Unlike communities certain missionaries who have overlooked the civic side of the Christian kingdom, we must not consider merely how to "gather out" a

the public

life

number of " souls " from a doomed world, but, like our Master, must link spiritual work with the commonweal. We must take the far look,

The Challenge

28

to Missions

and consider what will ultimately work out the joint social and moral well-being of each community.

Many of the most influential missionaries act upon this wider view of the Divine Kingdom. But undoubtedly there are some of them who have an eye for little beyond individual " souls." These are the men and women likely to make ruthless assaults on all traditions and customs knit into the fabric of the social life, and to disregard the offence and the complications they create. At home there are the same two of

classes

religious

make an outspoken and

public

social

teachers



frontal

evil,

(i)

those

who

attack on every

careless of prudential

considerations and of the impediments which their

who

vehemence

may

raise,

and

(2)

those

spread Christian principles and rely on

enlightenment of conscience for the gradual undermining of social and public evils. Publicists like Lord Curzon have good reason for calling

upon missionaries of the more

less class

to

relent-

calculate whether their present

may not arouse an undue raise obstacles which and amount in the long-run will impede the progress of the But the misguided earnestness of the cause. few who, with all their good intentions, are unwise and aggressively intolerant is no argument against the quiet, steady, many-sided intemperate methods of prejudice,

Political

work

Complications

29

on by the large better-class of

carried

Among

missionaries.

so

many

in the field, so

must always be some blindly making mistakes. Are

variously prepared, there

who

are tactless,

diplomatists themselves universally patterns of

wisdom, and have none of them followed a policy which has excited native prejudice and created disturbance? In both cases the impolicy of the misguided few hampers, but must not silence or cripple, the work of the wise.

And

even the wise (by nature) have to learn

by experience.

From

the very essence

of the

Christian

however, some measure of social disturbance and even political unrest is inenterprise,

And

evitable.

the Church does unflinchingly

hold that, after a policy of prudence has been these troubles

followed,

borne, that nothing

charge



mankind as in

is

of such

—to

must be faced and accept Lord Curzon's

moment

to

the

races of

moral regeneration, which, our own history, may involve ferment as

their

and disruption Coarse

in the process.

pamphleteers

literati issue gross

among

caricatures

the

Chinese

of Christianity

and charge the missionaries with the foulest crimes and vices. Such things cannot be averted under any Christian policy. Orphanages and medical missions are accused of kidnapping children and turning weakling

The Challenge

30

infants

hideous

to

to Missions

medical uses.

Only by

among multihumane agencies There are many

continuing their beneficent work

plying numbers can these wear down blind prejudice. such misunderstandings and animosities which are unavoidable until time and experience have dispelled them.

But against some native

prejudices,

it

may

well be, sufficient precautions have not been

taken in the past.

Lord Curzon says

:

"

The

is

admittedly correct when he

institution of sisterhoods planted

alongside of male establishments, the spectacle

of unmarried persons of both sexes residing

and

working together both in public and and of girls making long journeys

private,

into

the

interior

without

responsible

escort,

are sources of misunderstanding at which the

pure-minded may scoff, but which in many cases have more to do with anti-missionary feeling in China than any amount of national hostility or doctrinal antagonism."

Even the

Western handshake and the friendly kiss are grounds of suspicion. Mr Julian Ralph demands that on this account all women missionaries should be withdrawn from China. This cannot be; yet every reasonable effort should be made, even at the sacrifice of freedom of movement and social intercourse, to defer to

native concep-

Political Complications of etiquette

tions

and modesty.

31

But most

missionaries have already learnt prudence in

will

respects, and some misunderstanding be unavoidable until the Asiatic is brought

to a

more

these

just

and enlightened appreciation of

the Christian domestic relationships.

Much

offence has been given, at

first

un-

by the choice of sites for mission buildings where the feng shut or good luck

wittingly,

of a native house or grave has been spoilt.

and elsewhere been erected on high situations where they have been like an "evil eye," offending the earth-superstiand some of these have tions of the citizens had to be removed for this reason. Even railway lines have had to make a detour in order to escape any seeming dishonour to the graves Tokio,

In

Canton,

Pekin,

cathedrals and

churches have

;

of the dead. learnt, a few may have to learn, to treat the sacred things and even the superstitions of the people with proper forbearance and without signs of brusque contempt. On the other hand, what can the missionary do to disarm the popular suspicion that he bewitches his neighbours and is the cause of their ailments and of droughts and Much of the hostility which the floods? censors ascribe to Christian missions cannot be averted by the most prudent care, and

Most missionaries have

still

32

The Challenge

must be

and

faced

to Missions

weathered

in

patient

goodness.

But

is

the Christian religion the real ground

of native hostility ally at first

when

not understood,

?

In some measure, especi-

the missionary's motives are it

is.

That

is

to be so

expected, for reasons already indicated.

far

But

accounts for only a fraction of the antagonism aroused, as the greatest journal in the land, at a recent crisis, argued vigorously and proved. For evidence take the fact that, when native officials executed murderous edicts and refused safe conduct to foreigners taking refuge under their care, missionaries who took flight were in many instances harboured with the utmost friendliness by the humbler classes of the people, and even sheltered and helped on their perilous way by minor officials and priests who in the act were at their risk disregarding superior orders. In short, there has been no popular fury visible that

in such crises.

The missionary

in certain countries is hated,

not usually to any appreciable extent on account

own personal account found to be harmless and kind but because he is suspected of being an advance The agent of a conquering foreign power. people cannot easily understand his purely

of his religion, nor on his

—he



is

benevolent aims

—especially

where he has not

Political Complications

33

been tried by time and experience. Why has he come ? For business ? If not, then for what purpose? The answer, simple enough to us, only breeds mystery in the native mind. As Lord Curzon tells, the treaties by which the missionary travels and resides in the country were wrung from a reluctant government by shrewd scheming or armed force witness the dishonourable interpolation in the Chinese text of the French Convention made in i860.



"Christianity," says

Mr

Michie, "is therefore

inseparably associated with the humiliation of the empire (Chinese).

The

the brunt" of the animosity. is

missionaries bear

Their presence

a perpetual reminder of the hated "foreign

and seems to threaten foreign dominaLike all strangers, et dona ferentes, they are suspected of hiding treachery behind their gifts, of creating a foreign disloyal party, and of being spies and forerunners of the foreign army. 1 devils,"

tion.

1 Since these pages were composed a Secretary of Legation and Acting Minister at Pekin, Mr Chester Holcombe, has written: "It is far too commonly believed that missionaries are at once the main cause and the special object of the antiforeign feeling so universal and so intense throughout China. The facts sustain no such belief. Missionaries as such have had little to do with this bitter hostility to foreigners. They have suffered heavily from it, but it is not of their creation.

Christianity

is

objected

anity, as because

preach

it

it

is

to,

not so

much because

a Western religion.

it

And

is

Christi-

those

who

are objectionable to the Chinese, not as preachers

but as foreigners."

{The Real Chinese Question.)

!

The Challenge

34

No wonder

they are looked on as

The molested

agents.

to Missions political

or murdered missionary

has been used as the convenient excuse for military interference or for

Under

cessions."

this

:

cloak

Germany

grab " when she seized would that she were solitary in

concealed her policy of

Kiao-chau

demanding "con-

false

"

such practices

France has openly employed the Catholic mission as a mere cat's-paw.

Roman Roman

Catholics have for two centuries sought political

power

China.

in

With the

sinister

help of

France, they have lately compelled the Chinese

Government to grant them an independent and authority as high officials of the

status

empire. Is

it

Roman

known

to the British public that the

Catholic clergy have secured the right

on equal terms beside the Chinese judge, impose their own verdict on the magistrate in every case in which one of their converts, or even one of their friends, is involved ? When to sit

to

certain

high

Roman

priests

travel,

they travel as

armed, and accompanied with a armed supporters. They have

officials,

retinue

equipped

of

many

It is to

of their converts with arms.

the Romanist missionary that the

shady character goes, who for his offences wants protection against the strong arm of the law.

When

the priest takes the offender

Political Complications

35

under his wing, the case must be disposed of He can enter the courts and as he dictates. defy native authority. 1 "Bishops are entitled to demand interviews and conduct affairs with viceroys and governors, and priests with prefects and magistrates, just as if they were possessed

They

of ministerial

or consular

rank."

2

have established an iniperium in imperio.

Lord Curzon declares that

this

is

the chief

That individual missionaries of the Roman Church deserve honour for their personal devotion and work is not in question it is the policy, of the Chinese Government.

fear

;

not the individual, that 1

See Appendix A.,

is

p. 175, for

here accused. ample confirmation and

still

graver statements given, since these pages were set up, in H. C. Thomson's China

land

Dr

to

J.

and the Powers, A. R. Colquhoun's Over-

China, A. H. Smith's China in Convulsion.

See also

Ross's Situation in China, and The Chinese Crisis by

Gilbert M'Intosh. 2 Referring to the resentment against powerful bodies creating an imperium in imperio, the Times, in a remarkable pronouncement on the above lines, declares that "a distinction must be established between the missionaries of the different Protestant denominations and those of the Roman Catholic Church." The latter have displayed the same fortitude and devotion as the " But the claims set up by France, and more recently former. by Germany, to exercise a peculiar protectorate over Roman Catholic Missionaries, and indirectly even over native Roman Catholics, and the methods by which that protectorate has in cases been exercised, must give some colour to the charge that, under the cloak of religious propaganda, political objects have not infrequently been pursued and achieved." (November

15, 1901.)

36

The Challenge

to Missions

above are known to the And it was under compulsion from France that these arrogant claims were successfully pressed. Is it any wonder that the people, who, at first, class all

Such

facts as the

natives all over the land.

missionaries

together,

them accordingly? some of the most

see

and

emissaries,

political

Is

in

it

hostility of the

missionary, which

is

not

persons

and

hate

natural that

shifty citizens should seek

admission to the convenient

The

their

distrust

Roman

fold

?

Chinese to the foreign

raised in the secular press

as the hue-and-cry against the whole work,

ten times

more due

is

to this overbearing domina-

tion of native authority

by the Roman

and

insult to native

by any other cause. Let the blame be laid on the right shoulders. Let it be known that Protestant missions have never sought, and have refused to accept, privi-

justice

Catholics, backed

foreign forces, than to

leges so subversive of Chinese rule.

says Lord Curzon, "

it

"

In China,"

not infrequently happens

that a shady character will suddenly find salvation for the sake of the protection which

may be

expected to confer upon him."

it

But

Protestant missionaries have refused to take up the legal cases of their converts they will not have their churches turned into a cave of Adullam. They will not champion even the ;

Christians

whom

they believe to have justice

Political Complications

37

they encourage others outthe mission for Their the sake of the protection expected. policy, however, does not avert the animosity

on their

side, lest

side to attach themselves to

which the different tactics of the Roman Church have brought down upon the whole missionary It takes the Chinaman some propaganda. time to discriminate between the innocent Protestant and the Roman offender against native authority. It is

charged against the missionaries that

they clamour for a gunboat and the avenging sword when they are molested and in peril of

But comparatively seldom has such an outcry been heard from Protestant missionQuite as often it is the foreign Power, aries. whose subject the missionary is, which feels compelled to go to his relief or to teach the Chinese a lesson over his sufferings. It would usually be as near the truth to say that the foreign Power takes advantage of the mission-

their lives.

aries'

case for

Now

that

hospitable

its

a

spirit

own political ends. new progressive and more is

best Chinese leaders, are

turning

to

being it

is

displayed by the

significant that they

enlightened

missionaries for

and making use of the works of Western learning on history, science, and social economics, which the missionaries have translated into Chinese or have specially written.

their help,

The Challenge

38

to Missions

Already there are signs that enlightened native leaders will call to their aid in certain social

and

educational

matters

the

best

class

of

Japan availed itself of the invaluable services of Dr Verbeck when it awoke from its mediaeval sleep and opened a new epoch in its history. foreign missionaries, as

Political

complications do indeed arise at

times as the indirect outcome of missionary

work is

in certain countries.

But the converse

not less true, and true, not in China alone,

but in every foreign nation.

The

Christian cause

is

constantly complicated

by the action which governments, politicians, armies, and civilians take in their relations with yellow and dusky races. This has been seen repeatedly in the making of treaties, the waging of wars, and the general policy of governments in, for example, the French conquest of Madagascar. To be more specific, take for illustration the Government system of education in India (of which more will fall to be said later), the Cantonment system, the opium trade forced on China (which now cultivates the poppy but remembers the deadly wrong), the Glen Grey Act in Cape Colony and other laws which make it hard for the Kaffir to hold land and which drive him into



locations, the settlement of the endless Native

Political Complications Question Africa,

the

in

and

other

the

authorities.

South

besides

countries

Laws adopted by

Liquor In

39

these

and many other

matters of political policy the interests of the Christian cause are involved for better or for

worse.

Every public action works round

for

the benefit or the detriment of the moral and social life of the people, affects the prospects is

and

in

many ways

of Christian work.

It

easy to see how, for example, any unjust

treatment

meted out by Powers

nominally

Christian to dark-skinned races of the world

conveys to their minds a hostile and

false im-

pression as to the true character of Christianity.

Not with

politics

only,

however,

is

the

missionary cause interlaced.

What foreign soldiers,

traders

experience have native races had of residents

and

generally,

mercantile

as a class

of

men?

prospectors,

How

behaved to them?

have

Some

industries have been started among them which have become instrumental in their development. On the other hand what has been the effect of the cheap and fiery liquor supplied The Europeans and to them on easy terms? Americans sent out to train native forces, to

act as magistrates, or as professors in colleges,



and to build railways what influences and wholesome or deleterious, have they with them ? Has the advent of public carried

habits,

40

The Challenge

men and men

to Missions

of business been accompanied

by the dissemination of

sceptical

literature,

among the enlightened modern white man does not really

creating the impression that the

believe in Christianity? it

will

be shown

how

Later in these pages

these questions have to

be put in the same breath with the missionary question.

Enough

to indicate here that the Christian

cause, abroad as at home, is interlaced with the entire political, civil, commercial, and professional life by which it is accompanied. The world needs, not only missionaries and Bibles, but sound rule, honourable diplomacy, industries, and fair trading; and upon these hangs much of the success or failure of mission effort.

Ill

MANY "East

RACES, is

MANY RELIGIONS

East and West

is

West"

:

Ill

MANY

RACES,

"East

is

MANY RELIGIONS:

East and West

is

West"

KIPLING, when he put in everyone's mouth the " Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet," condensed what many silently think or frankly say that the gulf dividing different races cannot be bridged, that the East has its own religions which suit its peoples as our religion suits us, and that it is not for us to interfere with what dictum,



they believe. in

Men

of a philosophic turn call

ethnic science to certify that the various

religions of

mankind are

racial products,

cannot be transplanted and universalised. their

rice,

that has

clothing,

and languages, the

grown on Asiatic

soil

is

and Like faith

the proper

faith for Asiatics.

You will hear it under the punkahs and on board ship it is a sort of P. and O. theology "These Hindus, Chinese, and Japanese have religions of their own that are adapted to their conditions and mind, as we have one that fits Why should we foist our ideas on them, us. disturb their beliefs, and undermine their



43

;

!

The Challenge

44

to Missions

customs and simplicity ? " Jonah was possibly the first exponent of the principle This point of view commends itself to the

modern

mind by

travelled

cosmopolitan wisdom. of

its

look of

liberal,

It places the religions

mankind on the zone-system, relates them to and it has all the more

climate and latitude

;

attraction for the world-wise because of being, in a I.

double sense, latitudinarian. But,

solvitur

to

take

ambulando

first :

it is

the practical answer,

too late in the day to

bind Christianity within racial or geographical limits.

advance.

History has settled this controversy in To begin with, Jesus was not of

Aryan birth, with our white face His religion was not a product of Western soil, native to it was of Oriental, Semitic origin, our land as foreign to Europeans at the time of its emergence as it is to Bengal or Mongolia to-day. When St Paul's vessel crossed the ^Egean Sea, ;

;

it

cleft

asunder for ever the supposition that In is unsuited to different races.

Christianity

that short voyage

it

was transplanted as

far as

from the West, as far as Hebrew from the Greek and Roman mind was thought as far as Thibet, Japan, and New was and that Guinea are from Great Britain. When the Gospel bridged that Middle Sea, it potentially bridged all racial distinctions all the world over. the East

is

We ourselves are among

the alien races

whom

!

Many

Races,

Many

Christianity has conquered

Religions 45

and

suited.

It

was

the chief means of lifting our pagan ancestors

out

of barbarism, and has

transformed our

and national existence.

There inept, cool, if something not ridiculous, in is Christianity as an Anglo-Saxon Britons viewing property and not suited to remote alien peoples, personal, social,

when

we, a foreign race,

owe everything

Those who oppose foreign missions on

to

it

this plea

are hopelessly, gloriously in debt to missions in past times for all the blessings

their hearts, hopes,

What

lightenment.

adopted the

if

funded

in

and enearly Christians had

homes,

liberties,

—the very policy of who disapproved Gentiles — and had argued,

this racial policy

Judaising

Christians

preaching to the

own we have no right to carry on a propaganda among them and disturb their beliefs " ? Happy for us that "Greece, Rome, and Britain have their

religions

which

suit their conditions

;

they saw deeper and ignored race-distinctions Of all races in the world the Anglo-Saxon may !

what Christ can What he has done

well believe enthusiastically in

do

for every

He

for us

human

race.

can do for others

same number of



if

we

allow the

which to reap the slow harvest of moral regeneration. Let it be reiterated, written in large, illuminated letters

:

we

centuries

in

ourselves are the fruit of Christian

missions, the living disproof of the race-religion

The Challenge

46

That

plea.

fact

alone

to Missions meets

a

hundred

questions.

And

the past century's experience of mission-

among every race of mankind goes own experience. We have taken many hundreds of years to ascend from ary work far to

confirm our

barbarism to our present state of enlighten-

ment; but already, within one or two generathousands in all parts of the world have been visibly elevated in personal character, and in domestic and social life and economic tions, tens of

conditions.

Here the objector to missions has ground. It was first argued that

his

shifted it

was

vain to offer the Gospel to raw, barbaric races,

was too

and exalted for and profit by it. But after the transforming work effected in Tierra Del Fuego which amazed Darwin and made him a subscriber to the South American and in Fiji, the New Missionary Society Hebrides, Uganda, and elsewhere, the argument is reversed, and it is now said that Christianity that Christianity

them

fine

to be able to appreciate





is just fit

for raising the

savage races, but

is

not

where ancient and philoare rooted in the life and mind

suitable or required

sophic religions of the people. It

is

certainly the " publicans

and sinners

of the world-races that have been the receive the gospel



first

"

to

the Bantus, and Ainus, and

Many

Races,

Many

Religions 47

Karens, and low castes in Asia. It is among the " wise " of the world-peoples that we find the stiffest task. Yet among no people of the earth has Christianity failed to win victories of



decisive and convincing character except perhaps the doubtful case of the Jews and the Mohammedans (is this because they are our

a

"near of

or

relations,"

"arrested

repeated

it

or

is

a

also,

the racial

barrier

case

pharisaism

Signally in Japan, but in

?).

and China

because

development,"

India

has been

successfully overcome, not only in the conversion of tens of thousands, but also in the visible

transformation of the domestic and social of the

little

life

communities where Christ has

shown His renewing power. There is indeed a sufficiently deep gulf which needs to be kept in form of mission work and the expression of the message to the several races. The apostles to be sent out to the East must have aptitudes for acquiring difficult languages and wisely appreciating Buddhist and Confucian modes of thought, able to lay broad foundations for a slow process of Christianising great nations. Those who evangelise the child-races must follow simpler lines and may be men of more limited intellectual endowments. And possibly Christianity as between the

view

races,

in adjusting the

recast in the different

mould of the Eastern

48

The Challenge

to Missions

mind may turn out a somewhat different thing from ours in its type and creed-language as



witness the recent trend in the Christian Church

of Japan.

At

same

the

time, as the English language,

built for the concrete

Western mind, has not some of

resources enough to hold and express

the subtle ideas of the Asiatic mind, so that translation is sometimes impossible, it may be that only the mystical Asiatic mind will be full

able to interpret and fully realise the Oriental and mystical quantity in the Scriptures, which after all are of Oriental races, seeing

may have

The Eastern

mould.

on the side that faces the East,

it

their contribution

to

make

to the



deeper comprehension of our own faith each a beam to bring for the great world-temple of Christ.

But

all

the more

may we

confidently

expect that they will be suited by a faith which arose on their own

soil.

{Cf.

Appendix

Yet, on a larger view, Christ

is

B., p. 184.)

not the son

of the Jew, neither the son of the Orient nor of the Occident, but the Son of Man, with an

human

which are uniThose who versal throughout the whole earth. appeal to the

instincts

argue that the religion of the

West

is

not

adapted to the Eastern, and who quote Kipling's catch-word, should hear him out to the end of his verse they would find him swiftly reversing ;

their

argument

;

Many

Races,

Many

Religions 49

is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till earth and sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed,

"Oh, East

nor Birth, two strong men stand face to come from the ends of the earth."

When

The

face,

though they

surface differences naturally strike us as

enormous

but

;

all

are of one blood



for proof,

take the signal fact that children spring from

man and a woman of the most Miss Kingsley told the missionaries that the difference between the Africans and themselves was a difference, not merely of But when black and white degree, but of kind. " stand face to face," when they get down to the deeps of their being, they show ultimate identity in their moral fibre, the same desire for love and good and life, the same sins in Byron's the union of a diverse races.



language, " New times,

The same

new

climes,

new

arts,

new men

;

but

still

old tears, old crimes, and oldest ill,"—

and the same craving to know the Unseen and be delivered from death and from the fear of its

mysteries.

there

is

With

all

differences of tongue,

one language they

language of

love,

all

understand, the

a bit of kindness.

the discovery of a great Heart of in

And

it is

Love reigning

the Unseen, love that suffers in order to save,

love that cleaves the

gloom of the grave with D

— The Challenge

50

to Missions



the promise of "another

day"

Christianity which has

its

universal appeal for

men of all human hearts.

advocates of the P. and

all

is

it

this

in

breeds, for all wistful, weary If the

O. Theology had deeper insight into the naked needs of all mortal men alike, and especially if

they had a keener sense and appreciation of

what Christ has been and is to ourselves as our one Hope and the secret of our best life, they would have full faith in the universal address of the Christian message. 2.

Moreover, under the theory that Eastern

religions

are

ourselves only,

for

the Asiatics

and ours

we should be landed

for

in a sort

of Pantheon, and our faith in Christianity as an absolute verity, even for us, would gradually pale and die out. Buddha for Burmah, Confucius is

for

China, Christ

for

to create local divinities,

the

and

—that

West

local divinities

are pagan, involving either veiled polytheism or

pagan pantheism. The Hebrews, who at conceived Jehovah as their race-god over

first

against other gods, escaped from polytheism

only by at last learning to universalise their Jehovah as God of the whole earth. But they failed to universalise the scope of their religion.

And when

Christ revealed the universal Father

loving "the world,"

it

to

be

for

was

left to

St Paul to

by proclaiming Christ the whole of Gentile heathendom

carry out the principle

Many and

it

Races,

Many

Religions

51

has taken the Christian Church nineteen

centuries to rise to the height of this world-

wide outlook. If Christianity

were not

for these

outnumber-

ing millions of the race in the East, and only for us, it would and therefore in

suffer its

shrinkage in

truth and

power

scope,

its ;

it

would

its own disciples, dwindling be one of the wistful dream-fictions Ceasing to be of the human Aberglaube. universal truth, with world-wide values, it would sink to the level of a provincial, parochial cult. Our faith in it could not then long survive. Buddha for the whole world we can understand but Buddha for the East and Christ for the West conducts to a loose and easy pantheism secretly infected with the agnostic spirit. A Pantheon, where each community allows the others to have their several divinities, means ultimate death to the faith

shrink in the eyes of

down

to

;

" Heresies,"

of each in his separate religion. said

Lightfoot, " are at best ethnic

catholic."

Hence

Christianity

is

;

truth

ruled

is

by an

imperialistic policy.

Lord Curzon condemns "the single

passage

Founder of the

movement

from faith

against

all

the as

selection of a

preaching

of

the

the sanction of

other faiths."

a

But, far

from depending on the command, " Go ye into the world, etc.," the missionary movement

all

— The Challenge

52 lies

to Missions

knit in the very structure of Christ's per-

and teaching. Not only is the New Testament a collection the "Acts of the of missionary literature

sonality, work,

greater part of the "

Apostles



being a record of primitive mission

and the Epistles mostly missionthe little companies of converts gathered out of the pagan community but operations,

aries' letters to



the universal love of the universal

God



Father

world" the sacrificial suffering of Christ for mankind, the sublime ideas of the incarnation and redemption, with the vast vision of the whole Christian revela"

loved

so

the

out of

tion, are

proportion to the limited,

all

local scope allotted to

Why

by

it

agonies of love,

Our own

would become thin and

The very

away. of

it,

requires

and divine

the scale of their applica-

if

tion be not world-wide? it

this race-theory.

these supreme wonders

all

build of

feeble,

the bare truth

it,

universality

its

belief in

and melt

and

calls

for

missions to the whole world so greatly loved.

Talk of

" Little

Englanders

"Little Christians"

who

"

!

Are not they

vote against carrying

Christianity to other races

?

Moreover, it is impossible to leave these peoples alone in their simple faith and unOur commerce, with its scientific traditions. ships



common

like lot

shuttles

and

ife

weaving the web of a

—with

its

explorers, pro-

Many

Many

Races,

spectors, traders,

Religions 53

and railways

to the recesses of every country.

is

penetrating

Our

taught in their schools and books,

science,

under-

is

mining the foundations of their superstitions. They are sending their most intelligent youth to be educated further in our colleges and law-schools. Over 100,000 of the most receptive minds in India bear the mental imprint of the foreigner's tuition, and they go out into the community with their old faith shaken at The Indian Government, by proits base. viding state education

much

as

the

responsible

is

more

this

youth,

perilous, for

it

down

the

old

viding anything to take civilisation

people.

Its

is

marching

new

altar its

is

are

policy,

supplies teach-

ing in secular knowledge alone, and

breaking

as

result

The Government

missionaries.

indeed,

India's

for for

is

thus

without pro-

place.

irresistibly

Western upon the

ideas, foreign habits, revolu-

tionary knowledge, are invading their ancient preserves and even showing in their temples.

We could if

we

tried.

spite of us.

not insulate them any longer, even

The old is bound to break up in The new wine of the West will

burst the old bottles of Eastern beliefs.

And

and save the moral life of such lands when Hindu and Buddhist mythology and Chinese ancestor-worship are discredited in the eyes of the awakened millions ?

what

is

to enter in

The Challenge

54 If

we do not

give

to Missions

them pure

Christianity before

the complete break-up comes,

escape agnosticism and

The

sceptical literature of the

to be seen

in

are they to

secularism?

West

is

already

the foreign bookshops of the

of the East.

cities

how

soulless

Already large numbers of

the disenchanted are finding a refuge in the sterile

negations of unbelief.

unspiritual secularism

way

is

God

of the Christian Church.

common

well-being

is

as a

be, a godless,

incalculably worse.

the plain finger of

It is

And, bad

may

false or half-false religion

So

pointing the vital to

our

Christianity that

we

tremble to think what will befall us should that

saving salt lose

And

if

savour

its

in

that materialistic civilisation

carry degrading corruption

skinned races,

same saving

it

Christian

life.

it

life.

not to

the dark-

must be accompanied by the we must even be with the moral power of the

preservative

well ahead of

among

our is

;

IV

GOOD IN EVERY SYSTEM The Cosmic Light — and Dark

55

:

IV

GOOD IN EVERY SYSTEM The Cosmic Light — and Dark

Now

to

The all

go a

little

deeper into the problem.

pioneers of a hundred years ago viewed

non-Christian religions as unmitigated error,

either black superstitions or diabolic inventions

and

blinds.

Since their day the

"

Sacred Books

of the East" have been translated and the

cream of their contents collected in popular summaries for the casual reader. The science of Comparative Religion has arisen. Sir Edwin Arnold's "Light of Asia" has blazoned Buddha's heroic, compassionate endeavour to find a salve for the

misery of men's lust for

Fielding, in "

The Soul of a

life.

Mr Henry

People," has ex-

quisitely interpreted the mystic Buddhist ideal

as seen through

Burmese

eyes.

We have found

—reminding us of on the Mount—

ethical rules of a high order

single items in the

the

Persian,

Sermon

profound speculations

human

in

Indian, and

existence in

Chinese Scriptures, about the mystery of

Hindu

of family gallantry towards

religion,

and laws

parents in Con-

fucian teaching. 57

The Challenge

58

Many still

in

to Missions

consequence have been asking and

ask whether, after

all,

these Asiatic races

have not religious and moral light serving their needs sufficiently well whether, then, even though our faith be ideally the higher, there is any urgent reason for thrusting it upon them and upsetting their satisfaction with beliefs they hold dear. It is not only from adverse critics outside the Christian Church but from ;

enlightened worshippers within this plea for leaving these

it

that

we hear

people to the light

they already have. Now, we should greet all such light with a cheer. Our only complaint is that there is so of

little

in

To deny

it.

or depreciate the good

other faiths in the

Christianity

is

to

show

supposed

interest

of

signs of defective con*

fidence in its incomparable superiority. To attempt to make out their light to be darkness comes near committing the sin against the

Holy Ghost. The more of it the better it is much more to the good in the common stock and store it is so much more working capital :

so

;

in the resources available for further develop-

ment. the

All flying shafts of light sprang from

same source

in

the

Eternal

Sun

— the

Word." Fragments of the truth, and diverse fashions," are only parts "in many waiting to be released from obscuring encrustations and knit into the full body of " the Truth." "

Logos," or

"

Good China

in

Every System

contributes

the

to

common

59 store

and state laws, enforces the commandment, " Honour thy father and

practical domestic fifth

thy mother," better than the rest of the world, and urges the homage due to the spirits of the dead who " live again in minds made better

by their presence." x Hinduism contributes the immanence of the Eternal as the ocean of

common

being

—and

in

a

mode

of this con-

ception the Christian thinker to-day

is

finding

a deeper basis for the incarnation of Christ.

Buddha

prescribes the conquest of desire as

the secret of release for the distracted heart of man, and shows the " eternal process

moving on" by which "from state to state the spirit walks " in aeons upward or downward. Toward such segments and arcs of the rounded orb of truth our attitude cannot but be one of sympathetic appreciation. They, we claim, are prophetic workings of the Spirit. They also offer so

much more common ground between

the missionary and the Asiatic mind.

The human

heart

is

the greatest of

all

the

—the

mother of the prophets of the earth speaks in many languages of symbol and These gleams of light phrase, and never dies. are cryptic prophecies of good to come, and for prophets



See the lofty, spiritual prayers to " Shang-ti," the Supreme uncorrupted Confucianism, quoted in Dr Campbell Gibson's Mission Problems, pp. 76, 77. 1

Spirit, in

60

The Challenge

their

fulfilment

to Missions

Christianity

indispensable.

is

"Whom

ye worship

we unto

you," Paul's message to the Athenians,

is

our message to

in ignorance

all

God may

None

the

less,

blind

interpret as merely

misdirected through ignorance it

The

addressed to the material

is

shrine and symbol

and appraise

declare

superstitious worshippers

of dim symbols of the Mystery.

homage which

Him

He may esteem

;

meant

as really

for

Himself.

however, the worshipper

is

not

quickened and saved from his sin where such blind ignorance reigns. And, to meet the confused desires of his heart and spiritually

morally redeem him, that the

One

after

through the mists It

is

it is

imperative he be told

whom

he has been groping

is

here in

full

more than doubtful

articulate Christianity into the

glory.

we can ever Hindu, Buddhist, if

and Confucian systems, as it was related to the Yet the moral aims and Jewish system. yearnings underlying them Christ does fulfil. Their better contents, like the Jewish Law, may have served a temporary purpose they ;

have kept alive in some measure the spiritual sense of the devout votary, although, again like the Jewish Law, they have become materialised and have encrusted the inner life with a crampWhile not ing shell of mechanical ritual. utter, unmitigated delusions, they are often so utterly imperfect and corrupted, and so distort

Good

in

Every System

61

the truth, that wherein they have hints of good fulfilled and consummated in and wherein they are currently false and debasing, as for the most part they are, they must be supplanted by Christ. "Some that which justified Christ in better thing " superseding the Jewish religion amply justifies His Church in superseding or crowning pagan

they must be Christ,





faiths with Christianity.

The

true, is apt to be a little academic appreciations and balanced comparisons of other religions with the Christian revelation. He may, as he ought to, seize their good points, the wise things said by their own teachers, as common ground on which to start his address but the common ground is usually only a jumping-off ground. He is face to face with so much dark debasement that it seems wasted breath to talk of good things in pagan faiths. And the early apostles did not depend upon such reasoning; St Paul was usually uncompromising. Great victories cannot be won for a new, aggressive religion by genial concessions, although the manner of the fight must not be rude and ungenerous. The native convert, too, seldom has much to say about the half-truths in paganism. We must allow for the polarity and revulsion of human nature to extremes in any change of belief like his yet we cannot

missionary,

impatient with

it is

such

;

;

The Challenge

62

to Missions

but note that what impresses him

is

partial light but the utter darkness

and

not the falsity

of the old religion.

But

we

it

is

are

not the missionary and the convert

specially

addressing.

The Western

mind makes a more detached valuation of world-religions, judging them chiefly from their scriptures and absolute contents, and knowing between their pure primitive and their corruptions, such as, we remember, have in past times overlain and debased our own Christian religion. For the sake of such, the problem requires new to discriminate

form

treatment.

Why

interfere with the sacred things of the

The Hebrew religion, while only a mixed, imperfect symbolism of the truth, a stage on the way like other world-religions, surpassed them all in the amount of light and Yet our Lord did not spare grace it contained. Asiatic?

" India and the for the truth that was in it. Far East have religions of their own, with good elements in them why not leave them alone ? " People who speak thus should make a further demand " The Jews had a religion of their own, with good contents in it: why should Christ disturb their minds and upset their On that principle how sacred customs?" could Christianity ever have entered the world It must disturb something. at all on any field ?

it

:

:

Good

Every System

in

Was Copernicus not

63

to disturb the traditional

astronomy of Europe in case he should shock men's minds for two generations during the Then also it is wrong to transition time? interfere with the childish ideas of our little

and give them the

folk

develop their manhood.

fuller truth required to

The

interference

is

no

commendable when we take to the heathen, not only what fulfils their symbols and glimmers of good, but what is of momentous

less

consequence for their characters, lives, social redemption, and destinies. Christ is indispensable to them as the answer to their needs, as a revelation of the bedazing Mystery, and as a to

rest

world-weary,

their

hearts,

self-sick

bringing them a better salvation than they had ever conceived.

We have first light

and good

appreciators "

striven to deal fairly with the in these religions

among

The God

requires that

find

of Things-as-They-Are," however,

we look with open

bald realities of pagan belief and It is the

which

us in the West.

eyes at the

life.

bare truth, unfortunately the truth,

that these fine elements

are far from

being

typical of the Asiatic faiths from which they

are

drawn.

The

tit-bits

of ethical

wisdom

gathered from afar are dug out of heaps of The mass of the "Sacred superstitious rubbish.

Books of the East "would nauseate the Christian

The Challenge

64

at least as

much

to Missions

as the rare flowers selected for

We

anthologies delight him.

humane

tribute to the

Arnold's " Light of Asia article

;

it is

pay our ready But

heart of Buddha. "

is

not the native

a Western setting of the Buddha-

mould by one who

story, recast in the Christian

has unconsciously carried over Christian ideas

and

terms

for

interpretation.

its

By Mr

Fielding's

own

People "

not the every-day Burmese religion

is

confession,

his

"

Soul

of a

but a semi-poetic subtilising of it. Buddhism in its pure form is despairing pessimism, and in its

popular guise

superstition.

is

unhappily blind, idolatrous as blind envelop

Superstitions

the Chinese worship of ancestors {pace Lord

who

memorials of the Westminster Abbey), and leave the soul without a God. The ancient symbols which once held striking imagery of the Unseen are no longer transparent but opaque, and obscure more than they reveal. These races of the pagan world know no personal Father of mankind enveloping the world with conscious care and love, no redemptive suffering in the Divine heart, no salvation from sin as sin (only from the ache of 1 life ), no Spirit of grace descending to make new creatures of evil men, no pledge of vital Curzon,

likens

distinguished

1

For a sane and

dead

just

it

to the

in

statement of the reality in Chinese

temples, see Gibson's Mission Problems

•,

p. 141

ff.

!

Good eternal

life in

in

Every System

fulness of

65

manhood, no assurance

of the re-knitting of family ties broken in death



no adequate idea of salvation in its Their hopes and solaces The are but adumbrations of hope and love. in short,

rich Christian sense.

average Asiatic millions are fed with empty or with metaphysical abstractions

puerilities,

which are out of touch with human life and void of moral elements. Or they are held under the terrorism of spirits,

"

Nats," nature-spirits, departed

and magic, and are prostrated before

grotesque material images.

most

part,

alas, is

fortune-telling,

Religion for the

a matter of prayer-wheels,

mechanical

repetition

coherent words, and pathetic that

we could

report

it

of in-

mummery—would

otherwise

no wonder if these race-religions lack Where, as in China, spiritual and moral power. It is

ethical precepts are given for prudential conduct,

the loveless, impersonal code

more impotent

for

is chill

making pure

and

sterile,

hearts than

were Hebrew Tables of Stone, because lacking

God

a personal acter.

of exalted and exalting char-

Elsewhere religion

is

practically divorced

from morals. Christianity, it has been said, is the only religion which has for its aim to make men good and the saying is true, if by " good " we understand positive inward moral purity and high character. The Christian ideal of holiness is ;

substantially a new conception to the

pagan mind.

66

The Challenge

to Missions

Myriads of simple-hearted votaries visit the pagan temples but the faiths these enshrine are ;

morally decadent, moribund, the dynamic power which the deliverance of

men from

effete.

is

They

lack

indispensable for

the mastery of sin

and the weight of material things, for the creation of soul and of purest manhood and womanhood, and for working social and communal regeneration. And they appear to have no power of self-renewal. In Japan certain sects have attempted a Buddhist revival, but, in spite of one or two such spurts of " Catholic Revival," the pagan religions have no resurrection-power like that by which Christianity rose in renewed vitality and might out of the grave of

its

mediaeval corruptions.

The moral and

social life of

naturally matches their faiths.

may

see

pagan

life

pagan peoples

The missionary

too unbrokenly black, not

unnaturally having eyes chiefly for the grim

moral degeneracy which confronts him at the modern cosmopolitan mind, like Mr Fielding, makes light excuses for its ;

other extreme the

moral evils. After one's young imagination has been fed on mission literature which painted heathendom as one unqualified scene of cruelty and vice, a black romance, it comes as a surprise to see the swarthy little children playing happily and the old folk sitting contentedly in the shade, to hear sounds of domestic merriment

Good

in

Every System

67

bits of human kindness. In every one thing to read about pagan lands in books, and quite another thing to look on " the heathen " in flesh and blood in their motley life of chequered light and shade and their

and discover

way

it is

pathetic superstitions.

There are indeed kind hearts among them,

— what

brave Augustine

perversely called "splendid vices."

Here and

domestic tendernesses,

deeds

of

there are enlightened crust

devotions,

filial

self-suppression

men who

see beneath the

of superstition, disavow the worship of

material gence.

objects,

and revere only pure

intelli-

In every land there are happily select

souls, like

Neesima of Japan, and the Chinese

Chang Chih Tung, whose heart God has touched after the manner of Cornelius. But these are comparatively few and rare among the They scarcely count in superstitious millions.

viceroy,

the practical problem of heathendom (except as possible progenitors

And

lightenment).

and founts of future enthey are as

little

typical

of the races to which they belong as Seneca

was typical of

Roman and

Socrates of Greek

paganism.

The people soulless

generally are held in a state of

stagnation

and

impassive

content.

They are quite content as they are," say some, among them Lord Curzon. True and that is They are content with a sort the worst of it

"

;

:

68

The Challenge

to Missions

of bovine contentment, as a race of

men may

be who have been held under slavery that has unmanned them and taken the soul out of them. Petrified by the unintelligent custom of long ages, they have little consciousness of wanting anything. More insurmountable than the Chinese "Myriad-Mile Wall" is the impenetrable wall of proud self-satisfaction in which the people are encased. The missionary's difficulty is, not to deal with pagan religions, but to pierce the Asiatic's haughty, supercilious sense of superiority and break through "the cake of custom " and wake the torpid soul and heavy conscience to the perception of moral and spiritual need.

Generally they recognise nothing evil in the

which reign among them. Moral corruprife, and they neither hide out of sight nor raise a blush. So widely is religion divorced from morality in India that the devout priest may be vicious without remark. What wonder, when lustful and debasing practices are sanctioned by Hindu religious rites When Mrs Besant went into ecstacies over Hindu mysticism, The Rets and Ruyyet, an paper in Calcutta, said influential Hindu "When an English lady of decent culture professes to be an admirer of Tantric mysticisms and Krishna worship, it behoves every

vices

tions are

!

well-wisher of the country to

tell

her plainly

Good that sensible for gilding

men do

what

is

tion worship

is

Hinduism."

And

said, "

Our

Every System

in

69

not want her eloquence

rotten.

... In

fact

abomina-

the chief ingredient of

modern

the Daily Hindu, of Madras,

religious institutions are a festering

mass of crime, vice, and gigantic swindling." Lord Curzon and Mr Michie tell us that it takes

a

Chinese

charged

imagination,

with

brutal coarseness, to invent the horrible accusations levelled at Christian missionaries.

No

need of the

critic

to

remind us of the

vices besmirching Christendom. ence,

the

Christian

But, for differ-

conscience

always

has

protested and fought against these evils, and is

the great moral force engaged in reducing

them. illicit.

enjoy at

They have In

to conceal themselves as paganism, on the contrary, they

common

sanction

work against them

;

;

native religion

they

often

is

not

flourish

under the shelter of the gods. Yet far more serious than all these evils is the moral torpor at the back of them, the absence of conscience in things unclean. In many the first work to be done by Christianity is to create the very sense of sin, which is indispensable to the beginnings of moral renewal and the cry for holiness and this is one reason why missions, having John Baptist's preparatory work to do, take long to produce



great results.

Christ has

first

to develop con-

The Challenge

70

to Missions

personality, and wake the which both condemns and inspires. What pagan peoples Buddhists, Hindus, Confucianists, as well as barbarians most profoundly need is to be inwardly quickened, born from above them out of their moral callousness, to have soul created and the cry of the child of God waked within them. It is remarkable how, when a people, like an individual, receive Christianity, an outburst of new energy appears. It not only transforms it creates a new type of manhood character science,

establish

flying ideal





;

holiness such as the

sets up a new ideal of pagan mind never dreamt

of before.

more,

and womanhood But,

;

it

still

it

opens new springs

of vitality, awakens hope, and supplies motive-

power

for personal sacrifice

tion.

It is for

and

such work as

for personal salvation

from

social regenera-

this, sin,

not less than

that the world

imperatively requires Christ and His gift of

new

Life.

LIBERAL THOUGHT AND HEATHEN DESTINIES



LIBERAL THOUGHT AND HEATHEN DESTINIES Under

more liberal theology approved by the modern mind the ruling conception of the

Is heathen destinies has silently changed. the change calculated to "cut the nerve" of the missionary spirit? Dr Morrison, famous as Times correspondent at Pekin, 1 makes merry over China Inland missionaries who picture the hundreds of millions of Chinese hurrying unconsciously

to eternal perdition.

"They

tell

the Chinese

who never heard the gospel, has, like Confucius, perished inquirer that his unconverted father,

We

have no wish to deliver such but he must know that they are a diminishing number, at eternally."

men

least

out of

Dr

among

Morrison's hands

;

the better order of missionaries,

and that the enlightened, if they have no clear theory on the subject, at any rate utter no such sentence of wholesale anathemas.

Carey and other pioneers, be lost indistinguishably who had not known and believed in the historic It

is

holding

true all

that

to

1

An Australian

in China. 73

"

!

The Challenge

74

of

Jesus

to Missions

conceived

Galilee,

swarming

the

multitudes of fellow-mortals in heathen lands

consigned

as

indiscriminate

by the

doom

million

(By the same re" Hard Church

plucked from the burning. lentless logic the

men

a common, brands to be

to

—actually of the

had to leave to a like fate all our unfortunate little ones who had died in infancy.) If not saved and was there any Saviour except Christ? must they not be relegated to outer

— —

Otherwise

darkness ?

why

take trouble to send

them the gospel ? Jonathan Edwards even claimed that the happiness of the beatified saints would be enhanced by the thought of the outcast legions, thus making heaven take toll of hell for its keener bliss

No wonder Xavier,

and

the

asked

Japanese

Radbod, 1

of

chief

the

Francis

pagan

Frisians, asked Bishop Wolfran, whether all their forefathers were hopelessly condemned. Xavier writes in a letter in 1552: "One of 1

According to the well-known dramatic story, Radbod, a

candidate for baptism, had already one foot in the water, when he stopped and asked the bishop, "Where are my dead forefathers at present?"

Withdrawing well of

;

then will

Woden

"In

hell,

with

all

other unbelievers."

his leg, the revolted chief exclaimed, I rather feast

with

than dwell with your

Christians in heaven."

The

story

my

little is

" Mighty

ancestors in the halls starveling

band of Dutch

told in Motley's

Republic (Introduction), whether adorned or naked fact

need not here inquire.

we

Thought and Destinies

Liberal

the things that most of verts hell

is is

we

that

all

75

torments our con-

teach them that the prison of

They

irrevocably shut.

the fate of their departed

grieve over

children, of their

relatives, and they often show by their tears. So they ask us if there is any hope, any way to free them by prayer from that eternal misery, and I am

parents and

their grief

to answer that there is absolutely Their grief at this affects and torments them wonderfully they almost pine away in their sorrow." (Cf.'E. Coleridge on Xavier.)

obliged none.



That gospel, if they understand its backward must sound a strange piece of "good tidings" in their ears. Let Whittier express it— bearings,

"

Oh

those generations old, whom no church-bell tolled,

Over

Christless, lifting

To

up blind eyes

the silence of the skies

;

For the innumerable dead Is

my

heart disquieted."

This conception of heathen destinies has not been overthrown by the battering-ram of It has been imperceptibly argument. pated by the spread of a more liberal

dissispirit.

We have made discovery of certain good We had dealt elements in pagan systems. with shadowy abstract heathen under the logic of an abstract

dogma

;

with the aid of travel

The Challenge

76

to Missions

and reading we have learnt to imagine these beings in their palpitating flesh and blood, and picture the awful issues. How did

human

we manage

to close our

eyes in sleep of a

night for thinking of these torrents of ignorant

brother-men flowing unwittingly to destruction, except just by not conceiving them to ourselves in

human

face

and feeling?

came

caust

vividly before

theory

imagination, the

The

undone.

the

fell

into

made

holo-

Christianised

and

devitalised

sunshine of a warmer Christian

compassion coming from the Christ

Whenever

human

such a stupendous unintelligible

the unutterable

the dim limbo where

infinite love

dogma lie

pale

of

away

the shades of

departed creeds. Possibly

it

was the case of the

little

child

that was set in our midst to test and smile

away

this

—the

belief

little

child

dying

tender years without hearing of Christ. gracious,

illogical

exception allowed

for

in

The the

broke an opening through of stern dogma, and the opening

child's future destiny

the wall

widened to make room for child-races, for men and women who, in proportion to their opportunities, were not naturally worse than ourselves, but only less fortunate in their birthplace,

who

for the generous treatment of people could not believe the gospel since, un-

luckily,

they had never heard

it.

Thought and Destinies

Liberal

Enlightened minds to-day of judgment at once more

and

Christian

than

that

insist

on a theory

scientific,

which

77

ethical,

drove

the

earlier missionaries to the rescue.

Now any theory which either (i) consigns the heathen en bloc to " adamantine chains and penal

fires,"

or (2) claims that, since they are

own gleams of and God is good, all is well with them here and beyond, is palpably false. The iron view is not more immoral than the easy view. The latter is inconsistent with visible, grim simple innocents and have their light

realities in

the actual character of the heathen,

heaven and God's moral would strike with a rebound against God's good name and clash

and makes

The

laws.

free with

former,

if realised,

with Christ's revelation of the Father-heart. To some the question seems a gratuitous and

an

idle one.

They

are content to leave

it

out

of their horizon and obey their Lord's marching missionary orders as obey His command we must in any case. But not all can close their minds to such a problem. We do not go seekIt is forced upon ing it it comes seeking us. us by the change of thought, and by frank questioners in the Church and out of it who have a right to ask us what new theory has



;

taken the place of the old. Earnest workers, also, ought to have clear ground on which to base their enterprise.

We

are very far from

The Challenge

78

to Missions

seeking to settle particular destinies

know

is

we do not

we only know the principles be judged. At bottom our God's fairness. Yet we can and must

in a Christian land

on which they rest

;

the destinies of even the people about us

in

mark out the

;

will

lines

and

principles

far as present light takes us,

God

on which, so

deals with the

heathen.

We shall

see later that the real question

is

not

one of future destinies at all. Yet, none the less, we must meet men's questions on the subject.

Now—to



take a negative first it will not import specially for the heathen a theory of another chance in a future probation. satisfy to

However

far

that

may

be permissible as a

speculation, the Scripture about spirits in prison (i is

Peter

iii.

19),

on which

it

is

too obscure, too doubtful in

chiefly founded, its

meaning, and

too solitary in the Bible to clear up the mystery.

Moreover, to ride off along this line easy escape from the

issue.

And

is

if

to seek

the idea

got possession of average minds in the Church,

would still indeed be theoretically imperative on them to give the saving light of life to all men as soon as possible, but the working effect would be to "cut the nerve" of missionary enthusiasm. Any theory which relaxes earnest effort is thereby proved to have for us the value of a falsehood. We have no need or title positively to lay down close limits in any it

Liberal

Thought and Destinies

veiled region

where God

but there

is,

is

79

nothing

here to work with or count upon. It is

not enough, either, to

make

special bye-

"

good heathen," like Buddha and Socrates. We have to do with millions. The allowance must be regularised, the principle of treatment broadened down to the multitude and universalised. The principles of judgment are the same for the heathen as for ourselves. The standards, laws for a few exceptional

the tests, vary with varying conditions

;

but the

principles are universally the same. (1)

Judgment

is

proportioned to the good It is our Lord's own

within reach. principle,

that responsibility

portionate to what

(2)

is

pro-

is

possible to each,

to his light, capacity,

and opportunity.

The grace

of the Eternal Christ operates

beyond the area in which the historical is known. Judgment goes, not by the gross bulk of goodness attained, but by that faith in good which is the root of goodness. Destiny is determined, not by absolute present character, but by the germ which potentially is ultimate character. Jesus

(3)

from present sin and moral death, not from destinies, which are only incidental to ultimate

(4) Salvation is salvation

character.

The Challenge

80

One

result

to Missions

of these principles

is

that

we

cannot deal with the heathen in the mass and pronounce them either all saved or all lost. Invisible differences divide them, equally with ourselves.

The common idea is that all will be saved who act up to the light they have. It is half true, yet suggests a falsehood. Not one of the best of the pagan peoples ever lived

up

fully to

Equally on the small scale as on the large, there is no man who has done as well as he might, none who is without sin, none who must not at the last depend on sheer mercy. There cannot be two different grounds the light he had.

of acceptance before merit,

among

God

—one, the ground

of

the non-Christian races, the other,

are ye saved," among Christians, from under whose feet all trust in personal merit is sharply taken away by Christian

"by grace

teaching.

Take

the

Road

of the Scriptures to reach

the proper point of outlook

upon the heathen

world.

The Jews

—on

what ground were any of them saved ? We cannot speak of " the Jews " being saved en bloc, as though all who offered Jewish sacrifices were accepted in the lump, and as little can we classify the heathen and say of them in one breath that they are either all

saved or

all lost.

But how was

it

possible

— ;

Liberal

Thought and Destinies

Abraham and other devout Jews God without the knowledge

for

accepted of

81

to be

of the

It will not do to suppose on tiptoe and foresaw the personal Jesus and the Cross in the distance They had their moral law and it is not true. the knowledge of the one holy and merciful God. And they had their symbolism of sin, of sacrifice, and of self-devotion. Abraham was justified because he believed God, and This was that was counted for righteousness. not righteous ; but his faith no fiction he was in God had in it the germ and potency of In proportion as Jews were righteousness. humble-hearted and believing, making appeal to the mercy that was hinted to them through material symbols and imagery in proportion as they responded to the light that shone they had the mercy of God for their sins. The heathen to-day are B.C. What operated B.C. in God's treatment of Jews operates proportionately in Asia and every continent and island which is not yet Anno Domini. That the Jews had fuller light and clearer symbols of the

historical Jesus

that

?

they stood

;



Unseen

is

beside the point here.

or principle

is

the

same

ing with different races

God's method

for all alike, all

of them

when B.C.

deal-

The

grace which was at least within reach of the

humble-hearted Jew has always been and is

now

within reach of the Gentile in proportion

The Challenge

82

there

as

similar

is

to Missions

response

or

appeal

of

spirit.

Were

the redemptive virtues of Christ's cross,

then, delivered to the devout

Jew

in

advance

without having as yet been acquired by Christ ?

Rather

say,

more

Scripturally, that that suffer-

ing love in the Divine Heart which once for all in

history

became embodied

in Jesus

was

a timeless, eternal reality and therefore available B.C.

The Cosmic

Light, the "

Word "

or " Logos

"

of St John, "that light which lighteth every man," did not first come into existence in Jesus, but " came into the world " in Him, incarnate in

human

personality.

As

there was a diffused

through our universe before the sun, and as that diffused luminous mist became centred light

and embodied a universal

matikos

where

"

in the sun, so there

"Word"

—an eternal

in

human

or Light,

was and

—"Logos

Christ or Good.

hearts,

in

is

sper-

Every-

infinitesimal

or

considerable degree, there have been glimmerings of the Mystery and the Truth, bits of

good and love. Everywhere the touch of the Unseen has been felt, whether interpreted and

light

superstitiously here or

Men

known

intelligently there.

have cast their intuitions in the form of symbols the sun, or the image of the Great

Calm Japan,



in the still face of the

or

in

the

Jewish

Amita Buddha of

shechinah on

the

Liberal

Thought and Destinies

83

mercy-seat stained with the blood of offered

These symbols, at first luminous with have become obscured with gross superstitions yet not utterly they have continued faintly to signify something of the Unseen Good, or they have gathered up the And at the heart's dumb desires for Good. same time all men have seen fellow-men suffering and needy mankind (with whom Christ Jesus made Himself one, Matt. xxv. 45) they have met crucified before their eyes human need, and either ignored it or responded lives.

significance,



;



;

to

its

appeal to the kind heart.

Where and

in

whom among

the peoples of

both Christendom and heathendom God's allseeing eye has found the needful response to existing light and good,

How

conjecture.

no human mind can have seen an

He may

far

outstretching of the half-encrusted spirit to the

Mystery and the Pity how far any hearts may have waked to the only symbol of the Divine within sight how many or how few have shown a beat of compassion towards human want or a relenting over sin, or a humble, weary cry these secrets can be for help beneath the sky ;

;



known only

Our difficulty is not about the cosmic grace of Christ being available wherever

to Himself.

among mortal men

the

fit

response

is

Our doubt is about the likelihood of any sufficient response among many both at home

shown.

The Challenge

84

and abroad.

to Missions

But, certainly,

accepted the

man who

a symbol of his self-devotion,

He

that

if

God

All-wise

offered a slain bullock as

we may be

sure

has an eye and an ear for any symbol-

language of the human heart appealing to the Unseen wherever He finds it, whether among simple suppliants of the Merciful Virgin or

same

others of the

order.

It is

not righteous-

ness.

But, according to Scripture, God, so far

as

true,

it is

counts

it

for righteousness

for

;

it is

germ and prophecy of righteousness under

the

happier conditions to come.

For judgment goes, not by absolute present by the germ of potential character which is wrapped up in faith in Good or sympathy with Humanity. The penitent thief on his cross had not time to acquire good charcharacter, but

acter but in his appealing cry to Christ there germinated the seed of potential goodness. ;

Attitude

is

destiny.

Not absolute

attain-

have average Christians much more than their faces turned towards the light, more than mere seeds of holiness ? But, however meagre their attainments, they have taken an attitude in relation to the light in Christ; and that

ment

:

attitude

is

What

the forecast of their destiny.

lies in heart-faith,

however crudely formed,

is

the seed of righteousness, of ultimate character. If

anywhere, East and West

alike,

by dim

or clear faith the Light of the Eternal

Word

Liberal

Thought and Destinies

85

has met with response, there the grace incarnated in Christ may find the attitude of spirit

it

everywhere

is

seeking as the condition

Thus no one anywhere

of higher blessing.

is

—unrecogThee?") —and

saved except by the Eternal Christ nised perhaps,

^when saw we

except through faith or desire as the germ that grows to goodness and fruits in bliss. Whatever further scope or cycles of existence for the

development of these faith-germs or love-seeds of good may come in other aeons having their

own new

we

issues,

issue of this aeon

is

see only thus

far,

that the

determined by these attitudes

of the secret soul.

How

seldom or how often God perceives faith, either in Anglo-Saxon, Asiatic, or African, He alone can know. We step nearer being able one say who not to are among the heathen are blest and who suffer We can as little assign destinies to them loss. indiscriminately as we can to the folk who live next door to us enough and well if we can such germs of



forecast our own.

aim

in these pages.

To read destinies is not our None but the Omniscient

Heart-Interpreter has the materials for such

Yet much is gained if we can, humbly, discover the lines on which God deals with men of all colours and conditions. Even discrimination.

as to ourselves

divine

we only know

the principles of

judgment and the grounds of

faith

and

86 hope.

The Challenge And

to Missions

the discovery frees us on the one

hand from the goad of the

old,

unthinkable

horror over indiscriminate destinies, and on the other from lax latitudinarianism as to the needs

of the heathen.

VI

CAN THE MISSIONARY MOTIVE SURVIVE? Does Liberal Thought cut the Nerve of Missions?

87

VI

CAN THE MISSIONARY MOTIVE SURVIVE? Does Liberal Thought cut the Nerve of Missions ?

Does

this

modern way of viewing the heathen

relax the missionary motive

Certainly

the

older

?

conception

of

their

destinies gave a sufficiently violent reason for It held up a picture which and therefore calculated to concrete,

missionary urgency.

was

vivid,

tell

on crude or emotional natures.

On

the

other hand, the unthinkable issues for these

unenlightened and unfortunate millions, lised

if

rea-

in clear imagination, instead of offering

an inspiring incentive, would singe and sear the sensitive heart, would stun the mind and paralyse the energies. The vision would over-

whelm

us.

What

is

the motive, then, for urgency in

sending the gospel to the heathen? The same motive as we find at work in the hearts of the

New

first

apostles.

Testament do we

Not once

in the

find these ardent mis-

sionaries introducing a bare

mention of heathen 89

The Challenge

90

destinies as an

to Missions

argument

for evangelising the

Their eyes never look that way. None of their zeal comes visibly from that quarter. It is not a question of future destinies at all world.

with them.

What

impels them

the people's utter moral

is

the sense of

need and

spiritual

darkness, their religious destitution, their " lying in sin,"

men

and the burning desire to carry to

all

the blessed news of the Divine redemptive

love which has wrought such a transformation in their

own

It

the

is

moral need, destitution,

lives.

same sense of the sin, spiritual

the

world's utter

darkness, and religious

same sense of unspeakable for new life and hope,

obligations to Christ

and the same eager desire to convey to all men the grace which has brought us spiritual blessing it is this that must, and does, serve as a sufficient motive for our missionary zeal. If



this fails to inspire us,

we

it

is

a sinister sign that

lack the very essence of the Christian mind,

the love which flamed in the apostles' hearts, and that we have missed the true meaning of salvation.

Our conception of

salvation itself has been

changing at the very time when our theory of the heathen has been changing, and the one comes in aptly to interpret or correct the other.

The enlightenment which has been enlarging our sympathies has in the same process been

Can the Motive Survive?

91

deepening our insight into the true nature of Here enters our fourth principle, salvation. that salvation is salvation from sin, not from The real and urgent question is destinies. not a matter of destinies at all, one way or It is one of present moral condition the other. and character. It is not what we are coming to, but what we are becoming, that matters. Destinies,

good

or

bad,

while

momentous

enough, hang entirely on the character which constitutes their quality. is,

The

actual problem

not the man's future, but the man. Look at pagan peoples with the most God-

and there

like eye,

to appal our

surface

is

enough

hearts, if

in their condition

we can

see beneath the

natural content. However mercy of Heaven, they most palpably

of their

large the

stand in dire need of being morally saved from

degradation and spiritually enlightened and enfranchised as the sons of God. Properly we cannot speak of pagans being either "saved" or "lost" in the full Christian sense; for these words are polarised, charged with a depth of moral significance which is the creation of Christianity, and their meaning is sin's

not rightly applicable outside Christian spheres.

But we can speak of them being sunk and dark, needing the salvation that elevates and enlightens.

The

old idea about the heathen

—that

they

;

92

The Challenge

to Missions



were consigned to hell was false in its crude form, yet it was profoundly true in the moral impression

symbol of

it

conveyed.

Take

hell

as

the

moral need, of the measureless calamity of sin and inward degradation, as the awful canvas on which is flamingly projected before our imagination the unspeaktheir

and the catastrophe

able evilness of evil involves.

When men

could

it

not picture to

themselves the inward deterioration in which lay the true

"damnum"

("loss"), this

vision of future destinies gave

vivid

them the

full

measure of it, conveying the right moral impression. Because the old forecast of heathen destinies is softened away, some are being blinded to the deep moral destitution and darkness in which millions lie. What we have now to fear is the swing of the pendulum to the opposite error

—that

And

"it's

all

undoubtedly

right with

will take time to plant the new conception of salvation victoriously in the average Christian mind

the heathen."

it

and meanwhile the missionary spirit of some may cool. But the transition-time will pass, and the higher motive will become as strong a dynamic as the old one. If we have Christ's compassionate heart, we burn to save all, whether heathen at home or heathen abroad, from their sins and moral degradation, from the things which waste and

Can the Motive Survive?

93

destroy their manhood, to redeem them from the power of the flesh and the world and

Knowing

that defiles.

He

can do for

selves

and what

thirst

to see all spiritualised and

men, we made new

all

creatures in Christ Jesus, to send

which

them will

will raise full

them

in character

men completed

and enrich

free,

existence,

their

corporate

them that and make

in Christ, that

not only enlighten,

their

all

Christ precious to our-

but

and

social

which

gladden, bless, will

elevate

domestic

life

and establish the kingdom of God among them.

Such is the true missionary motive, and motive enough. Even on a less tragic ground, why is it a matter of urgent duty and concern on a parent's part to teach his child the story of

him in Christian truth and The more modern theory of the dead

Christ and train life?

child's future

—does

to impart Christian

light

love and imitate Jesus

motive now?

relax parental anxiety

it

?

and teach him to

What

is

the parent's

Simply the sharp sense of the value of Christ to every human being, young or old the perception of the child's need and peril if he does not get the saving power of the sense of the native Christ upon him worth and value of being a Christian in soul and character; the desire to lift him out of



;

The Challenge

94

"the natural

man"

to Missions

to "the

measure of the

stature of the fulness of Christ." If

that motive

be not strong enough to

inspire us with zeal for taking the blessing of Christ to the heathen, then Christ has still

much work in

to

mind and

do upon us to make us Christian

spiritual

sympathy.

VII

CHEQUERED RESULTS "Counting the Game"

93

!

VII

CHEQUERED RESULTS: "Counting the Game"

What

have

laymen, personally

acquainted

with foreign countries, to say of the effects Is that missions have had upon the natives ? the Church herself satisfied with the results

produced? travellers,

When and

sea-going people, traders, servants

civil

decry the missionary's work,

on the ground that to educate

them

is

it

it

deprecate is

or

commonly

spoils the natives, that

only to

make them

worse,

or that the converts are so few that they cost

so

many hundred pounds per head Some of the best civilians have

favourable

report

to

give.

a more

Indeed

it

is

generally the highest class of civilians, hold-

ing

responsible

positions,

who

declare

that

an immense amount of direct or indirect good. Sir Claude Macdonald, missions are doing

late British Minister at Pekin, formerly British

Agent

at Zanzibar

and on the Niger, Sir Chas.

Aitchison, Lieut-Governor of the Punjab, Sir

R. Temple, and other

men

of like position have

been steadfast supporters of mission work. G

97

Sir

The Challenge

98

Harry Johnston's

to Missions

tribute appeared but lately in

And Lord

the secular press. are not forgotten

:

"

Lawrence's words Notwithstanding all that

English people have done to benefit India, the missionaries have done

more than

all

other

agencies combined."

Their verdict the

is

But,

case.

so

pages,

fair

and

is

from

criticisms

largely introduced

censors are it

not quoted as foreclosing

as

to

mission in

these

show that men of sane

independent judgment, in the highest where they are likely to see the

quarters

work on the large scale and know its effects by long residence, express an estimate of it entirely different from the airy gossip current in

camps and

treaty ports.

Yet one must

deal with the average opinion that one en-

counters in moving about in the world. First take briefly the question of numbers.

Dr

Morrison,

who has

clearly been at school,

mirthfully reduces the outcome of the

work

to

"

Expressed succinctly their harvest may be described as amounting to a fraction more than two Chinamen per missionary per If native helpers are added, the annum. aggregate body of converts amounts to ninetenths of a Chinaman per worker per annum." 1 fractions.

Lord Curzon, more the work

is

sedately,

asserts

that

"not advancing with a rapidity 1 An Australian in China.

"Counting the Game"

99

commensurate to the prodigious money, self-sacrifice, and human

in the least

outlay

in

power."

1

their

it

is

Mr

alone who, as

game."

not the missionaries Michie puts it, "sum up as "sportsmen count their

So, then,

success" If they

do

so,

it

is

chiefly because

the Church at home, not unnaturally yet unfortunately,

calls

for

statistics

of

advance,

and expects the missionary to produce his yearly "tale of bricks." But it is the critic, even more than the Church, that demands results and "counts the game." Lord Curzon himself, like Mr Michie, shows that the test of progress does not lie "Much of their in the number of converts. work is necessarily devoid of immediate results, and is incapable of being scientifically They sow registered in a memorandum. the seed, and if it does not fructify in their day or before their eyes, it may well

He be germinating for a future ear-time." pays a tribute to the missionary's "devotion and self-sacrifice, his example of pious fortitude, the influence of the education and culture thus diffused in kindling the softer virtues and in the slow ameliorating the conditions of life but certain spread of Western knowledge the visible products in organised philanthropy in the shape of hospitals, medical dispensaries, ;

;

1

Problems of the Far East.

ioo

The Challenge

to Missions

orphanages, relief distribution, and

schools;

the occasional winning of genuine and noble-

hearted converts from the enemy's fold."

You don't get an adequate return for your money," says the man who looks on 4 per cent as poor interest for any investment, whether sacred or secular. And a return he and we are perfectly entitled to expect. But how much does he allow for the laying of "

new

the foundations required before a

order

of things can be built up?

How much

the slow progress of rubbing

down

and

distrust,

for

proving

the

for

prejudice

apostle's

dis-

heavy inertia of age-long custom, for breaking the trammelling yoke and bar of caste, and for mitigating the force of rooted superstitions and vested interested motives, for lifting the

interests

?

How much have

for

making

been the

(as

missionaries

and

for translating the Scriptures

And

is

the critic to count

it

dictionaries first

to do)

?

as nothing in

the balance-sheet that Christian missions have

been opening up closed countries to civilising influences and national development as well as to trade? (It carries no weight with the Christian mind, but it might with the commercial censor, that missions have opened many doors for trade, and have brought back in commerce far more than they have cost.) How much time, and how many lives, were

"Counting the Game" spent in cutting

down

taming and

Britain, in

101

the ancient forests of

tilling

the

soil, in

laying

roads and building bridges, and making our

island-home the rich and comely land

A

long taming,

tilling,

a similar kind has to be done races before the rich harvest of

ness and

be reaped.

In the assessment of missionary results,

much

is

ising,

educational

allowed for such preparatory,

any

view, can

fair

is?

among native human good-

piety can

enlightened

it

preparatory work of

how civil-

With all this in work? mind reckon up the out-

come at so many converts per missionary per annum, costing so many hundred pounds per head, or expect more than a moderate advance meanwhile in the numbers won from paganism ? Yet, even in respect of numbers, the results sufficiently

In

one

attest

year

the progress of the cause.

alone

(1899),

excluding

the

baptised catechumens, not less than 100,000

were added to the number of communicants. The appalling fact remains indeed, that the number added to the native population of such a country as India by natural increase is larger each year than the numbers won to the Christian fold. But the multiplication of the Christian community marches in a rising ratio, and will ultimately overtake and outstrip the native growth.

The Challenge

102

to Missions

The Imperial Census for India taken for 90 1 has been revealing the great strides made by Christianity during the previous decade. 1

The

return for the entire continent, with the

exception

Burma

of

Bombay

the

(the

statistics

appeared), shows that the Christians to

had

550,000.

1

90 1

Presidency

and

had

not

which

number of professed

from

risen

in

2,501,808

for

—had

1,952,704 risen

in

in

1891

fact

by

In these returns European Christians

are included;

but,

according to Sir Charles

A. Elliott, late Lieut-Governor of Bengal, 1 they are practically stationary in numbers, the

same

as

in

1891.

The

addition of half a

been drawn Within ten years

million Christians, therefore, has

from among the natives.

half a million natives of India have been to

the open profession of Christianity.

won The

growth in numbers has been thirty per cent, and that is four times the growth of the general population. It is not merely the large increase in itself that gratifies and reassures ;

it is

the rising ratio of increase, four times the

increase of the populace.

And

here, of course,

no account can be taken of those who during the same period have become Christians in secret, and the larger numbers who have been brought within the Christian "sphere of influence."

(See Appendix 1

B., p. 184).

Times, 3rd December 1901.

"Counting the Game" The

103

increase of course varies very greatly

In some places

countries.

in different

disappointingly small thus

far.

it

is

In Korea, on

the other hand, at Pyeng-Yang, there was only

a handful of Christians in the whole region

by 1900 there were 2,500 communicants, while the total number of adherents was 10,000. Not counting the 500,000 Chinese claimed by the Roman Catholic Church, there are nearly 100,000 Christian communicants in China. And the native Christian community attached to this church membership young in 1895

;



people in schools, catechumens, families,



is

many

In

Uganda

etc.

times larger. within a single decade the

number

of baptised Christians has risen, Bishop Tucker

from 300 to 30,000.

states,

"Why,

the captain assured

weren't

there

and

half-a-dozen

me

at

tiffin

Christians

in

that all

one meeting are more This was said by a than three hundred." passenger who allowed himself to be conChina

;

ducted

here

by a

in

friend

to

a centre of mission

work. It is

and

now

notorious that those hasty visitors

travellers,

and even white

residents,

who

declare that they have seen plenty of missionaries

to

but few native Christians have never gone

examine

are doing.

for

The

themselves what the missions Christian natives are not on

104

The Challenge

show

in the streets

they are only a fraction of

community and not

the heathen

among

:

to Missions

distinguish-

and of necessity the work is usually quiet and unobtrusive. How can the success of the campaign be known to those who only touch at open ports, or run through a country on business or for sightseeing purposes ? They depend for their information mainly on the Philistine gossip current at the clubs and the dinner-tables of residents who live almost entirely apart from the native's life and never investigate the work done by missions. " A little laudable curiosity and a braving of the smells and sounds of native streets" would reveal to them that, whatever the failures here and there, the floating reports do no sort of justice to the able

the million

;

actual results.

It is

from the lower and

less

educated

classes,

we are reminded, that the converts are drawn. Have any of those whom Oliver Wendell Holmes called the "Brahmin classes" of the community believed ? Are the literati found in the native Church?

And certainly, if Christianity

does not appeal to the enlightened, grave doubt is

raised

— but not about

Christianity

But

(i)

missions, rather about

itself.

our missionary experience simply

reproduces Christ's own.

"

The common people

;

"Counting the Game"

105

Him gladly " and critics were able to have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him ? " Yet some of the most enlightened rulers, like Nicodemus, did believe on Him, although restrained by caste-fears from at once confessing Him. It is often the educated who are the most closely encased in prejudice and, if most of the Rabbis and Herodians of India and China are the slowest to admit the new light, it is only what happened in the first days of Christianity. It is clear from the heard

;

ask, "

Apostolic Epistles that, while some of the well-

Rome and

born in

Greece belonged to the

most of the first Christians were of the commonalty, numbers of them primitive Church,

slaves. (2)

It

is

what

seizes

the

great

common

instincts of the people that proves its universal truth.

What

captures the broad base of the

triangle

shows the

power.

And

full

early

width of

missions

its

in

conquering the

Roman

empire conquered the community by working from the humbler strata upwards. Besides (3) it is from the lower-middle (not



the lowest) classes those very classes from which most of the converts are drawn that the most virile life of the community is recruited. "As the husbandman, driving his ploughshare into the soil, brings the bottom strata to the surface and turns the upper strata to the



io6

The Challenge

to Missions

bottom, so in the upheavings of Providence the lower classes of yesterday become the upper classes of to-day."

what we find in the history of races. Are not the rude African races sure to be overborne and swept away by the civilised ? " For one thing, at present these are multiplying much more swiftly than the whites. And just as the highly cultivated and luxurious Romans were spent, and were out-lived by the hardy Goths and Germanic races of the north, so the ruder earth-children and hillsmen of the modern world may have a large contribution to make to the stock of the coming race. By the same law the religion which conquers the simpler, humbler class in the community may be planting itself most securely in the generaIt is

Some

ask, "

tions to come.

But (4) numbers of the enlightened classes do respond to mission work, markedly in some countries

if

not so extensively in others.

In Japan, for example, in the year 1900 (cf. The Chinese Recorder for 1900) Mr Loomis was able to say, " The Minister for Foreign affairs

and the Secretary to the Prime Minister are Christians. The honoured President of the Lower House is a devoted member and elder and there are of the Presbyterian Church ;

thirteen

or

present Diet.

fourteen

Two

other

Christians

battleships of the

in

the

first class

"Counting the Game" Navy

the Japanese

in

107

commanded by

are

There are three Christian professors, and upwards of sixty members of the Young Men's Christian Association, in the Imperial University of Tokio. There are thirty Christian Associations and eight hundred and fifty members among the students Christian captains.

of Japan."

India fewer of the educated classes

If in

become professed

converts,

of the

of caste

are

restraints

known

it

is

partly because

— numbers

of them

to be disciples in secret, afraid of

the awful ban of the out-caste. writer and philosopher,

Mr

M.A., LL.M., has shown

being assimilated

by

S.

how

Yet a Madras Satthianadhan, Christianity

is

India.

"What,"

he wrote, "is the influence of Christianity on New India? We have first and foremost a large and influential community that has severed itself entirely from the ancient religion, and has accepted Christ as its Saviour.

Some

that India has

produced,

of the keenest intellects

men

like

Professor

Ramachander, the author of 'Maxima and Minima/ Dr Krishna Mohun Banerjee, one of the

first

Indians

whom

the Calcutta Uni-

honoured with the degree of Doctor of Laws and Pandita Ramabai, a woman of rare intellectual gifts, and well learned in Sanskrit literature [he adds other names of versity

;

108

The Challenge

to Missions

equal importance], have found in the teachings of Christ final rest and satisfaction. "

in

But the indirect influence of Christianity moulding the thoughts and aspirations of

the Indians

The unique

very considerable.

is

personality of Christ

is

having, consciously or

unconsciously, a supreme attraction for even

those anity.

who are outwardly opposed to Some who have come under though

still

within the

Brahmaism

and

Hinduism,

ary influences, even pale

visible

of

Christi-

mission-

recognise the claims of Christ as the greatest

and His right to their though they are not prepared to

teacher

religious

allegiance,

take the step family

ties,

The most

that social

made

testimony to the influence

telling

of Christianity

is

means the severance of disgrace, and isolation.

to be

to read into

found

Hindu

in

the efforts

religious doctrines

Of

the moral teachings of Christ."

this in-

corporating process the Madras thinker gives

(See Appendix B., p. 184). Baboo Keshub Chunder Sen head of the

living examples.



Brahmo Somaj, and never attached Christian Church

— asked:

What power

is

it

of India

the

India

is

at

"Who

to

the

rules India?

that sweeps the destinies

present

encompassed on

all

moment? ...

If

by Christian and Christian

sides

literature, Christian civilisation,

government, she must naturally endeavour to

;

"Counting the Game"

109

satisfy herself as to the nature of this great

power in the realm which is doing such wonders in our midst. India knows not yet this power, though already so much influenced She is unconsciously imbibing the by it. succumbing to spirit of this new civilisation Therefore India ought its irresistible influence. to be informed as to the real character of the



course of this reforming influence Christ, not the British It is

by the



Government,

Christ.

.

.

.

rules India."

and and the

diffusion of Christian ideas

of civilising and

humane

influences,

general preparatory work already done, that the progress of the cause

mission registers. of

life

and labour

investment

;

Much is

to be calculated

of the expenditure

of the

nature

of an

the large amount of capital sunk

will bring its return in J.

is

not to be measured by the numbers on

it is

time to come.

Russell Lowell, American citizen of the

world and no

make

partizan,

may be allowed to When the keen

the case acutely plain.

scrutiny of sceptics " has found a place on this planet, ten miles square,

where a decent man

can live in decency, comfort, and security, supporting and educating his children unspoiled

and unpolluted, a place where age

is

reverenced,

womanhood honoured, and held in due regard, when sceptics

infancy respected,

human

life



can find such a place, ten miles square, on

this

no The

Challenge to Missions

where the Gospel of Christ has not gone and cleared the way and laid the foundations, and made decency and security possible, it will then be in order for the sceptical literati to move thither and ventilate their views. But so long as these men are dependent on the very religion which they discard for every globe,

privilege they enjoy, they

a

little

to rob

humanity of

may

well hesitate

a Christian of his hope and

its

faith

men

that

in

Saviour

who

hope of Eternal life which makes life tolerable and society possible, and robs death of its terrors and alone has given to

the grave of

its

that

gloom."

1

And

this

brave

argument may be extended to the cause which carries the benefits of Christianity to pagan races and can do for them what it has done so 1

amply

for all of us.

the present author's In Relief of Doubt, p. 66. Also Meredith Townsend's Asia and Europe, chap, iii., a wise See outline in Appendix valuation of the situation in India.

Cf

Mr

B., p. 184.

VIII

CHEQUERED RESULTS "The Mission-made Man"

VIII

CHEQUERED RESULTS "The Mission-made Man" BUT

the natives improved

are

missions

Are the

?

by

Christian

morally and socially This, and not the matter of

satisfactory?

results

numbers, is the serious question. And it must be seriously and frankly answered. Let the lay critic as seriously consider the whole Readers situation and do justice to the case.

mind that some of the following more particularly with the among African, Polynesian, and other

will bear in

paragraphs situation

races

just

deal

emerging

out

of semi-barbarism,

while others apply to conditions which exist

among the settled Asiatic races. The late Miss Mary Kingsley what piquant travel books about West Africa she has left said that "the missionary-made man is us!





* In India and the Far East we are not allowed to forget the "rice Christians" whose change of creed has in it

the curse of the coast."

the

hope of better wages. 1

There are very

Travels in West Africa.

H

"3

H4 The

Challenge to Missions

many among

—numbers of — who declare that

community

the lay

them personally

Christians

missions only upset and spoil the native, that they prefer the raw heathen or natural coolie to the mission "boy," the "red" to the "School"

And

Kaffir.

sufficient

they have come across cases to give them reason for what they

say.

Granted

that

too

summary among

these

often

verdicts are the result of light gossip

unfriendly or

easy

men

of the world, that

frequently they are second-hand and not drawn

from personal knowledge, mere echoes which resound through treaty ports and foreign settlements and are caught up by the casual visitor. Something has to be discounted from the opinion when it comes from a certain class of European and American residents, who either (i) have little serious interest in religion and a traditional prejudice against missions, or (2) for the " blacks " which warps

show a contempt

estimate of work

their

among

"niggers," or

(3) lead a gay or money-hunting requires that the native be "kept in

which

life

his place"

as a feeder for their pleasure or for their speedy

enrichment

Yet

this

faith

only explains

much of which by men of credit.

criticism,

a is

portion offered

of the in

good

"The Mission-made Man" The

scandal

caused by two

is

115

classes

who carry the mission brand. Some who have been educated

of

natives (1)

at the

mission school or college swell with vanity or

independence, and are perhaps foolish enough

good for menial labour. Without being bad, they alienate the sympathies to think themselves too

of the white employer. (2)

There are others who have been educated

without being morally touched.

When

they

have got the education they want, they scale off all religious professions and seek only to get

some post or

clerkship with the aid of

Some turn out clever Others go away and sink lower than they were in a state of nature, adding foreigners' vices to their own, perhaps completely " going what they have

learnt.

rogues.

fantee." It is these unsatisfactory or

with

whom

the

peccant classes

shipmaster, the trader,

come into contact. "wastrels" who usually gravitate to and become known to the foreigner are often "up country." The critic

the merchant

It

is

and the

the ports ;

the best

generally

has the former in his eye, and they blind him to the existence of others of a very different type.

Of

the good, reliable Christian natives,

no worse, according to their stage of development, if no better, than approved communi*

— n6 The

Challenge to Missions

cants in our

home

churches,

more

will

be said

later.

Miss Kingsley, after paying a high tribute West African missionaries as generally

to the

brave says

and

noble-minded

men and women,

:

A really converted African is a very beautiform of Christian, but those Africans who are the chief mainstay of missionary reports, and who afford such material for the scoffer thereat, have merely had the restraint of fear removed from their minds in the mission schools without the greater restraint of love being put in its place." " He rips/ but he rips "

ful

c

by his many fetish restricpagan but if he is in that partially converted state you usually find him in when trouble has been taken with his soul then he rips unrestrained." It is on this account, carefully, terrified tions, if

he

is

;



she says, that "the missionary-made

man

is

the curse of the coast."

"When

been taken with his " rip " he is already semi-civilised, and his case differs from that but he may disappoint in his of the African own more self-seeking way, when he is not trouble

soul," the Asiatic

has

may

not





converted to his finger-tips. Such sinister cases although very far from



representing native Christians generally

—must

— "The Mission-made Man" And

be explained.

explained they can be,

we take a wide enough

We

What length tions,

of time,

we

are

if

horizon for our outlook.

must ask such questions

(1)

117

as these

:

how many genera-

to allow undeveloped

races for ascending through temporary

and moral level to which we have risen only after centuries of slow evolution ? What but unsettlement can we expect from races and individuals passing through the transition from a lower failures to the social

(2)

to a higher order of life? (3)

Are the cases complained of peculiarly the result of mission work, and in no

way connected with

the inrush of

kinds of foreign influences (4)

Is

mission work raising the character

and

life

of the majority of the converts

within the native Church 1.

all

?

We must

grant

these

?

raw,

undeveloped

cannot but take several generations before they assimilate races time

for their

evolution.

It

and incorand traditions of their common life. They must have time for painfully learning the tastes and laws of an enlightened existence and settling steadily into a higher moral and social order. Christianity, get

porate

it

it

into their blood

in the habit

n8 The

Challenge to Missions

Do we forget how many centuries it has taken us in Britain to emerge from barbarism and acquire some measure of the Christian More than a thousand years came and

mind and habit ?

passed, thirty or forty generations

went, before our race was extensively Christianised in character

and

social custom.

when " a boy, living in St Jerome Gaul, he beheld the Scots, a people in Britain, and though there were eating human flesh plenty of cattle and sheep at their disposal, yet tells

that

;

they would prefer a slice

ham

of the herdsman or a

of the female breast as a luxury."

The

produced among our barbaric ancestors by Columba, Cuthbert, Augustine, and other early missionaries were they even as good as those to be witnessed to-day in Uganda or the South Seas? We have reached our present mixed state only after Christianity has been at work on us for fifteen centuries. Are we to expect untamed races now to come to the same level of enlightenment at one swift leap ? It is preposterous for critics to measure first

results



the

ultimate

value

of mission work by the

produced in one or two generations. Miss Kingsley admits that the children of

effects

the school, with

all

their

shortcomings, are

better than the others outside. is

much, and

is

That

the pledge of more.

in itself

Has

there

"The Mission-made Man"

119

been some visible gain, some step taken upward on the long stairway of ascent ? In spite of bad cases, the majority of those who have come under Christian influence have made a clear

advance upon their previous condition. That enough to certify the prophecy of faith as much as can be expected in one generation. The world is still young. These dark child-



is

races are but beginners in

life's

career.

They

have the capacity of future maturity, as much as our own race had when Rome and Greece looked down on it with contempt. We are shortsighted judges if we pass sentence against the process of elevation at its beginning because of the blunderings of certain natives who, with no Christian ancestry or Christian environment, have failed to absorb Christian teaching. 2. " The natives are unsettled by the misEven suppose this sionary, spoilt by education? more widely true than it is. Unsettlement is inevitable during their time of transition. There is no progress for a people except through a stage of unsettlement and stumbling. Are they too independent and self-important ? Their swollen independence, with all the foolishness into which it leads them, may be the rude uprising of unbalanced manhood. They "strut" as though they were mighty; but that strut is the boy's premature attempt

120

The Challenge

to Missions

be a man, and, though it makes us smile, self-discovery and coming manhood. Their mistakes in misusing their education and to

hints

it

liberties are the first erratic

a raw people the

first

make

blunderings which

in the use of their freedom,

unsteady steps on the way to a

civilised

life.

"They are happier in nature's raw state." Perhaps they are in the sense of bovine contentment, as a Russian moujik is happier in his sluggish existence without a man's rights than a free Briton, as the ignorant are happier But such happiness is no than the wise. measure of the worth and dignity of their life. Do we refuse to educate a child because he is



when ignorant and young than when

happier

Yet they are not

be mature and wise ?

he

will

so

happy

assume

as theorists

:

they

live

under

the terrorism of their superstitions.

Are some of them

vain, superficial, unreliable,

upset by having high



"

notions

" filling

their

No one except possibly the fond heads? padre wishes to gloss over their faults and even the missionary sees these with distress. But the same thing is said of the freedmen of the Southern States. The same argument was urged against their emancipation. The same charge was advanced that they were happier and more serviceable when they were slaves,







;

"The Mission-made Man"

121

and freedom upset and spoilt them, turned their heads and broke up the old, that education

peaceful relations.

Was

charge.

And

there was truth in the

an

emancipation

then,

error,

because of the unsteadiness and blunderings of first and second generations of freedmen ? Those may think so who live uncomfortably but we who stand detached are close to them

the

;

able to take a larger,

be

benefit will

full

The unsettlement and

reaped.

In the

longer view.

course of generations the

errors

of the

and they are no ; argument against freeing and educating the transition time are inevitable

Negro.

Here

at

home

the

same thing

is

said

:

the

lower classes are spoilt by being educated

they are too proud to do menial work of getting servants!

difficulty

disadvantages patent.

of

educating

And the

Possibly they are being

educated in letters and too industries

and

little

practical work.

—see the

indeed the million

too

are

highly

trained in

But the abuse

which the lower classes make of education only incidental to their general elevation. ultimate enlightenment of the masses

is

The

worth the price which has to be paid during the is

process. If native races

unsteady

at

first

are unsettled and rendered

by

foreign

teaching

and

The Challenge

122

missions,

way

to

it is

to Missions

only the inevitable stage on the

their

maturity.

final

The

always trying. The first ideas everywhere is unsettlement.

time

is

look



across

say,

centuries as

the

we have had

foresee better days.

new

This

the

We must

universal path of progress. far

transition

effect of is

take the

same number

for our ascent

of

— and

In Sir William Wilson

Old Missionary): "A youth who starts life with such a wrench away from the order of things around him as is implied by conversion may have strange oscillations before he reaches true equilibrium or poise." Many of the Negroes who revel in Christian emotions have not yet ethicised their life. But do we not find similar cases often enough among ourselves? The last thing to be Hunter's words

{The

Christianised in

some men

in

is

their conscience

matters of practical conduct.

The American, so the old story goes, asked at Oxford how they got the College lawn smooth as velvet. " You roll it, and cut it, and and cut it, for two or three hundred and then you get it like this," said the gardener. If land newly taken in from the prairie could not quickly be reduced to soft roll

it,

years,

lawn, as

little

can

we expect

to produce rich

raw races without a long process of Christian cultivation. To change Christian character out of

"The Mission-made Man" the metaphor,

is

the

germ of the

Christian

set in the heart of native Christians

is

germ

capable of ultimately producing.

The mistake is

life

We must

?

estimate the final outcome by what that

of goodness

123

of the "Exeter Hall" idealist

that he wishes the natives to be dealt with

at once as the white man's equal, to be fully

enfranchised in Church and State, and put on a

our own race. But they are childand must be treated as such. What alienates the sympathy of many a layman is the foolish talk of fond men who want to give them the rights and social position for which they cannot as yet be fully qualified. But it is level with

races,

not the missionary usually fondling foolishness

;

it is

who

is

guilty of this

the theorist at home.

The missionary knows from

practical

and often

—witness the vagaries of Church of South Africa —that

mortifying experience the " Ethiopian

"

they must continue under guidance and control

they have been trained to and have matured as

like children, until

use their

new

privileges

full-grown men.

But that

is

no reason

for

keeping them

ignorant and Christless. 3.

Is the missionary alone responsible for the

results ?

It is

a perilous and often a calamitous

time when the old

"

cake of custom

" is

broken,

when custom-law, the sway of chiefs and

super-

124

The Challenge

stitions,

and the settled

The pagan described

it,

new moral

to Missions

tribal rule are destroyed.

order has, just as Miss Kingsley lost its restraining

hold

;

and the

order has not yet mastered the

nature-folk and wrought itself into their It

is

small wonder

if

fibre.

there be unsteadiness,

blundering, and temporary failure,

when there "one world dead, the other helpless to be born." (See Appendix B., p. 184). But even if missions were withdrawn, the old pagan order of fetish fears and tribal law is

could not possibly long

remain.

Railways,

commerce, and the whole mass of Western civilisation will in any case proceed irresistibly to break up the rule of caste and race-custom and the superstitions of the unsophisticated.

The missionary is not the only foreigner among them. By the confession of Dr Morrison and Miss

Kingsley,

humane

he

is

representative

the

best

of foreign

and

most

enlighten-

Robert Louis Stevenson said the same reSamoa and among the finest tributes he ever paid were his paeans over the missionary James Chalmers and the heroism of a native Samoan preacher. If these ment.

garding the missionaries of



rude races or old-world nations are not morally and uplifted by Christianity, the old

seized

pagan order will fall to pieces all the same, and there will be no new moral and spiritual

"The Mission-made Man" force set at

work

to create a

new and

125 better

order with finer restraints and higher law and

custom.

We

are

urged not to destroy the native

simplicity of primitive

at

large about

their

(The man

peoples.

who has seen them in the flesh smile when the bookish dreamer

indulges in a at

home

talks

simplicity as though

it

"

were idyllic !) But their so-called " simplicity does not suffer so much from the missionary the best as from foreign trade and civilisation results are to be seen where he is farthest from ;

In any event

it could not he disappeared from Our material civilisation is invading

foreign corruption.

long be preserved even the scene.

the preserves of

all

if

the primitive races of the

world, and nothing can arrest fore education

—which

its

march.

There-

should not be too high

and should be well balanced with manual, industrial training and for their actual requirements



our moral and Christian forces must be set at work among them, else they will either beall

come a

direr curse to all

who come

into touch

with them, or they will racially perish.

The proper influence of well-conducted comis in many ways wholesome and helpful in the spread of the kingdom of God. The merce

work of

raising a rude native race cannot all be done by missions and preachers. It needs

— The Challenge

126

to Missions

the merchant, the artizan, the capitalist each to contribute something to the

development of

the people's industrial and social

Some

life.

were disappointed when Livingstone, ceasing to be a mere evangelist although to the last a missionary, went forward as a pioneer into Africa to open up the country and prepare

A

a way for commerce as well as missions. statesman as well as a preacher, he saw that the people could never be elevated and enfranchised in the civilisation

merce

race without a

among them.

full

Com-

up the country, develops its new wants which compel

opens

resources,

human

being planted creates

the natives to leave their idle or hunting habits

and

settle to

basis for a

steady work, and lays the material

new

order of

life.

Yet Manchester goods, railways, and the like cannot socially and morally save them.

Commerce cannot make and often any rate,

mend

or

character

in its train corruption follows. for

good and

to every square

ill

it

pushes

its

mile of the earth, and

At way it

is

everywhere breaking up the primitive "simplicity" of native peoples.

The

British

Government through

its

schools

and colleges has supplied the best youth of India with secular education and moral failure ;

is

thus far confessedly the result

It

has turned

"The Mission-made Man"

127

who have "notions"

out clever office-seekers,

put into their heads, in many cases prove unreliable, and think themselves too good for the old menial, toilsome labour. Their old pagan order and customs are

upset

when no new

disastrously

accompanies

the

balance

unsettlement

the



all

the

religious

more power

enlightenment to it produces and

secular

begin the long process of building up good character.

Sir

William

idyll,

Wilson

Indian

in

specialist

Hunter,

affairs,

The

:

The indigenous much Your Government "

the native religions too instruction.

abstaining from

for

K.C.S.I., exquisite

his

Old Missionary^ says through his

typical hero

credit

in

schools

made

the staple of schools take

religious teaching

of any sort, and in due time you will have on your hands a race of young men who have grown up in the public non-recognition

The indigenous

of a God.

schools educated

the working and trading classes for the natural business

of

their

Your Government boy with

lives.

schools spur on every clever small scholarships and

money

allowances, to try to

get into a bigger school, and so through

bigger schools, with the

stimulus

In due have on your hands an over-

scholarships, to a University degree.

time you

will

many

of bigger

128

The Challenge

to Missions

grown clerkly generation, whom you have trained in their youth to depend on Government allowances and to look to Government service, but whose adult ambitions not all the offices of the Government would satisfy. What are you to do with this great clever class, forced up under a foreign system, without discipline, without contentment, and without a God?" There is no inferential argument here that Government ought to, or even can,

mix with

its

education

religious teaching. 1

however,

is

an

the

saving salt

Sir William

W.

of

Hunter,

independent witness to the

fact that, not the missionary alone, but the

Government tion,

is

far

more with

its

secular educa-

a disturbing agent which inevitably

breaks up the old order.

The

must be gone through there it under any policy, secularist The disturbance must be enor Christian. dured it would not be abated if mission work were to cease. And those take a very narrow and shortsighted view of the case who boggle at the present unsettlement and fail to look far ahead and see what will result when Christian enlightenment has done its slow, cumulative work upon successive generations. Many of the evils which catch the eye of the is

transition

;

nothing else for

;

1 v.

Bishop Welldon in Empire Review^ September 1901,

— "The Mission-made Man" critic

129

are part of the demoralisation always

found where

civilised and uncivilised races meet and corrupt each other. All the world over and in every century, the meeting-line of different races, high and low, dark and white,

has been the scene of surging passions, bringing The white man's vices peril to the weak.

where he has lower races at his disand the men of the brown or the black skin are apt to cast off ancestral restraints and flourish

posal,

"rip."

Have we demoralises

estimated

how

the natives

the liquor

traffic

and works round to

Miss Kingsley did " not agree that the natives of the Gold Coast would be better without spirits " she only thought apparently that they would But she be better without the mission school is out-voted overwhelmingly by witnesses of all I have seen the havoc beliefs and of no belief. wrought by " Cape Smoke " sold to the Kaffir natives mad with it. at ninepence a bottle The inflammable and unstable nature of the the detriment of the missionary cause?

!



natives

is

easily set ablaze

by the

fiery liquid.

both directly and indirectly, mars and impedes Christian work. It accounts for some of those dark degenerates who bear the brand of the mission school. Concubinage, too, has something here to

This

intoxicating

curse,

130

The Challenge

to Missions

answer for. I have had an Englishman on the China seas complacently avow the practice, defend it, and assure me that it is quite the usual thing for white contrary, one residents

knows

among

men

in the East.

well that

alien

On

the

numbers of white

races are as clean in

and as honourable as the best of us at home. Yet every layman who has mixed freely with his kind is aware of the loose lives lived by too many of his countrymen when "East of Suez, where the best is like the their lives

worst."

Such things as these are associated in the mind with "Christian" countries, and they hamper the missionary's work, and do damage to the good repute of the white man's native

religion.

"These missionaries are a curse country.

They

are spoiling

it

to

the

for the white

This was said lately by a man who man." had gone up to Livingstonia to buy cattle for the North Charterland Exploration Company, after he had stolen the natives' stock, abused women and shot men who resisted, and had been overtaken, tried upon evidence before the English resident, Mr Murray, and severely An extreme condemned and heavily fined. instance, of course, yet not without a parallel in the Congo Free State where the Belgian

"The Mission-made Man" officers

131

take their will of the natives, in the

South Seas under the Kanaka labour system, and sometimes under the British flag. There are of course good traders as well as bad but ;

too

many

less

of

them exploit the

natives (no guile-

what of that?) ways that make every

innocents, certainly, but

and use them

in cruel

true man's blood boil.

R. L.

Stevenson, while

arguing

that

the

missionary should do more to keep on friendly

terms with the trader and win partial support from him, wrote from Samoa " The missionary is hampered, he is restricted, he is negated, by :

the attitude of his fellow-whites, his fellow-

countrymen and

same

journalistic

his

" It

island."

fellow-Christians, in

the

has been observed," the

mouthpiece of British opinion has no little truth that the

recently said, " with

continuous object-lesson of kindliness, truthfulness, and integrity which the missionary conveys in his daily dealings with his neighbours,

standing,

as

it

often

must

do,

in

striking

contrast to the vices of the ruling class,

is

the

chief stone of missionary offence in the sight

of the average Mandarin

"



and, it might have been added, for the same reason the chief

missionary offence in the eyes of traders, soldiers,

"The

and

many

white

officials.

missionary unsettles and

spoils

the

The Challenge

132

to Missions

natives": in what light do

the

men who

many

(not

all)

of

say this look upon the natives?

Largely as "black labour" for the mines and the plantations, for coaling ships and bringing

down

rubber, or as carriers for travellers or

menial servants.

They

are wanted as

human

"beasts of burden," or as providing markets for

In the eyes of numbers they

our goods.

are "unspoilt" so long as they supply "cheap

and give no trouble. if not to be serfs of the white man's purpose? Perhaps they are labour," are subservient,

What

are "niggers" for

when taught in the mission when "raw." But are they for

less subservient

school than

ever to be treated as having been created for ox-like submission

and ignorance?

When

a

ship-master, a trader, a planter, or an agent of

a chartered company regards them as existing to be exploited

by the European and American,

we know what

value to attach to his judgment

that Christian It is

work

" spoils "

here again that

we

them.

see

how

our secular,

and action and our Christian work are interrelated and bound up together for better or for worse. The progress of missions does not depend alone on what the missionary is, does, or says.

social,

commercial, and political

What

is

sentatives

life

the general influence of the repre-

of Europe and America in

their

"The Mission-made Man" relations with

pagan peoples ?

The

133

legions of

Christendom, when abroad in the interests of the civil service, the army, the navy, commerce,



diplomacy, and education what sort of moral forces do they carry with them, and do they tell on the whole against or in favour of the message of the Church's agent ? On that much

of his success depends.

From

comes the

this

argument to do

force of the

we have plenty people of our own land

often advanced, that

still

before the

are Chris-

You need not go to China and Peru when there are so many close to your hand who are as black' as you could wish." If, indeed, we could first completely Christianise "

tianised.

'

our entire population and bring in the millennium by concentrating all our forces at home,

home policy would But unhappily such a plan is unworkable. The work at home and the work abroad must go on abreast, and each helps the the plea for this exclusive

have weight.

other.

All seas find the same level

;

and, in

the close communication between nations in

modern

times, the various races will rise or fall

together.

Our moral conditions

at

home

their influence far over the world.

If

spread

Europe

and America are not every way Christian, the effect will be felt wherever Europe and America exert their power.

The Challenge

134

The

to Missions

work among pagan do not depend on the missionary alone. They are affected by the entire weight, and good bad, of the commercial, social, moral, and political influence which white men bring to bear upon those whom the Christian Church results of mission

races, therefore,

seeks to Christianise.

Many

of the sinister cases charged against

the mission school are not the direct product of

mission work, but are native

Of

life

this,

indeed, so

the

full

the waste-product

by work

disorganised Christian

much

as

it

is

not the cause,

the saving corrective,

is

which

benefit of

of

foreign civilisation.

will

only appear when

successive generations have gradually absorbed

the Christian

life.

But may not the Best be the enemy of the

Good

?

The Hebrew

required

race

to

be

Monotheism and the School of Law and Kindergarten symbolism before being fit to receive the spiritual revelation of Christ. Can trained in

the uncivilised to-day dispense with this inter-

mediate stage of gradual education, and leap from the lowest to the highest ground ? Would not

a

religion

inferior

Mohammedanism and code of

with

rigid

to

its

rules

Christianity,

like

simple monotheism

and

penalties, serve

barbaric Polynesians and Africans better for

the

first

stage of their moral evolution ?

"The Mission-made Man" But

(1)

it

135

impossible to keep any rude

is

race detached under such a legal schooling, and

ignorant of the Christian faith which

march everywhere.

Mohammedanism have

cepted

and prepared thereby Christianity.

On

it

no other religion which the work of elementary drilling (3)

ac-

for the easier reception of

is

The

on the

not been trained

the contrary,

the development of every race there

is

who have

(2) Africans

it

has arrested

has won. is

And

available for

in legal ethics.

purely legal method has been tried

and has failed. Bishop Colenso made the experiment in Natal. He withheld the full Gospel from his Zulus and taught them the law of commandments, training them in simple morals and industry. When his preparatory

work was completed, his " School Kaffirs," set free to go their own way, returned to their old paganism again, reverting to type, as others have "gone fantee." The full Christian faith has proved itself the most powerful for the moral development of immature races. It has certainly to be taught them in simple, concrete form by missionaries who have Moses' gift as

much

as St John's.

some measure

to

Gospel of love, as of a child

such

among

peoples

is

The reign of law has in be retained alongside the

it is

in the Christian education

ourselves.

The

a somewhat

transition for

perilous

one.

136

The Challenge

But

it

way

to a higher

to Missions

has to be passed through on the slow

There

life.

is

nothing else for

Let two or three successive generations spirit, and it is seen that

it.

absorb the Christian the Best

own

Our when they

the best for them as for us.

is

barbaric ancestors proved

it

received Christianity and were schooled and It is the one moral training agency in the world which suits all grades of men, making men as it saves them.

elevated thereby.

4.

But are

the majority

of native Christians

work of missions ? That 1 is the paramount question. If most of the native Church members are measurably better in personal character and domestic life than visibly

improved by

the

they were as heathen, better also than heathen of the same class outside, the weak and foolish

specimens who have had mission training supply no argument against the work as a whole. It would be as preposterous to take the fools and

the religious rogues at

who have misused

their education

and

home their

Sunday School nurture and build on them an argument against the general effects and use of current education and Christianity.

candid friend " of missionaries, Mr Michie, give his evidence as to " the quality of

Let the

1

"

See Dr Campbell Gibson's calm and wise survey in Mission

Problems^ published since these pages were written.

"The Mission-made Man" "

the Chinese Christian converts."

may

be,

when

told,

all

Few as

137 they

and mixed as they

must be with spurious professors, it is a gratifying fact, which cannot be gainsaid, that Christians of the

truest type,

men ready

to

become martyrs, which is easy, and who lead helpful and honest lives, which is as hard as 1

'

the ascent from Avernus, crown the labours

of the missionaries, and have done so from the very beginning.

the Christian

adapted

to

character

is

It

religion

China,

shown that

not essentially un-

is

and

susceptible

thus

is

that to

its

the

Chinese

regenerating

power."

Numbers of the converts good and as

are indisputably

sterling Christians, proportionately

consistent

and trustworthy as the better home. A few of them

class of Christians at

have already the bright signal of the saint in their faces and their tested lives. Others have not the spiritual faculty highly developed, yet are genuinely good.

Many

of these

—cases

from every country have given clear,

could be quoted in scores



sometimes even magnanimous, proofs of their unselfish devotion and renewed life. They have abandoned evil heathen practices. They have been ostracised by their former comrades, their very cattle put under the ban of the clan

The Challenge

138

to Missions

or guild, and have borne the petty vexations that gall the heart.

They have endured

per-

secutions, suffering the loss of their possessions,

and

in

firm

the last extremity meeting death with

fidelity.

What took

tragic siege of Pekin

China

of

sufficiently

and

place in

attests

during the

many

Provinces

the

statement.

letter of thanks written by Mr Conger, United States Minister at the Chinese capital, certifies their faithfulness and their disregard of their own lives. Comparatively Livingfew lapse in such "killing times." stone and Mackay of Uganda found the same loyal devotion in Africa. In India many have sacrificed family ties and become out-caste

The the

(cf. p.

184).

They

means some own and Numbers

learn to give liberally of their

for the spread of the Christian cause, in

cases

organising missions of their

maintaining them at their of

them

are

own

cost.

proportionately more generous

than the average Christian at home.

Lord Curzon, Mr. Freeman Mitford, and the picturesque journalist remind us of those

who

"find salvation for the sake of material advantages," for occupation

wages. or blase

and the

Lively young soldiers and " citizens

of the world,"

foreigner's civilians,

who themselves

perhaps have no surplus of encumbering morals

— "The Mission-made Man" and no religion to speak

of,

139

are ready with

witty sallies at self-seeking "rice Christians."

That some should enter the fold from low is only what might be expected. How can the most careful missionary absolutely prevent some such from creeping into the Church? Protestant missionaries do their best motives

to ful

the motives of enquirers, subject doubt-

sift

cases

to

a long

probation,

various other tests of sincerity.

some

at

home who

and impose

Are there not

associate themselves with

churches from low motives, for the sake of trade-custom, or for social standing? As a

matter of fact the "rice Christians"

—profess-

ing to be Christians for the sake of their rice are comparatively few.

And

they do not dis-

credit the genuine majority. " Nothing," writes Mr H. C. Thomson as an independent lay observer, in his recent China and the Powers (p. 271), " nothing has been so remarkable during the recent revolt as the

number of converts who have most cruel martyrdom rather than Never again will it be possible to make

extraordinary suffered the recant.

use of the old sneer that they are Christians,' converts

all

'rice

only for the subsistence

which they can obtain from the missions. The way in which they have gone to a horrible death for conscience sake is the most convinc-

heroic

"

The Challenge

140

to Missions

ing testimony to the sincerity of their conversion

and to the noble work which those who have been their teachers have, as a whole, done in China."

Some, indeed, are weak and limp,

"

mixed

in their faith, with rags of their old superstitions still

Yet they are palpably and are blundering

clinging to them.

honest up to their

light,

towards a worthy life. The misdoings and defections of the weak and half-converted are no worse than the lapses of certain people in the early Christian Church

whom

the

New Testament

describes as " spots "

and backsliders. St Peter had to write, "Let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer."

some

If

in

modern mission

churches lapse temporarily into their old lying or vicious habits,

it

is

not so very amazing,

considering their previous

lives,

their present

surroundings, and the blood in their veins. Corinth, according to offenders were found.

At

St Paul, equally great Yet the early Christian

Church was none the less the most potent agency for regenerating and uplifting men in the pagan world of the time. Miss Isabella Bird (Mrs Bishop), who saw pagan lands and mission work from a detached point of view, says, "It is a remarkable thing how anxious they (the native Christians of

"The Mission-made Man" China) are for purity, and

how

against anything which

inconsistent."

who

those

is

strong they are

have their moral

err

The

gradually quickened.

a keener perception of

141

Even

sensibilities

reclaimed acquire

sin.

In spite of imperfections, these mission-made natives are stumblingly

towards

They

on the upward

manhood and the

full

incline

Christian

life.

are in the birth-throes of entrance into

the divine Kingdom.

We

plant Christ in their consciousness, sure

He

His own work in His Spirit steadying and training them in goodness. The Power which has ruled our moral and spiritual development may be relied on to achieve as great an outcome in that

will carry forward

their experience,

their experience after its

own

That Christ-consciousness, their hearts, as

it

type.

move in make the among them.

too, will

has in ours, to

Christian cause self-propagating

Already numbers of them are fired with the spirit, and " pass it on." Our only

missionary business

is

to

light

the sacred

fire

in

their

them as apostles or bishops for train some of themselves to make and time, a campaign their own. Christian the

hearts, guide

IX

THE MEN AND THEIR METHODS

*4J

IX

THE MEN AND THEIR METHODS The

target of the critic's shafts,

the

"

mission-made

"

native,

is

when

it is

usually

not the

missionary himself, or his ways of working.

And some

of those

who have

the best interests

of the cause at heart have pertinent questions

put regarding the men and women sent out and the lines of policy on which they conduct to

their work.

that free friends

It is in respect

expression

of men and methods

of opinion, alike from

within and from

critics

without the

Church, must be held legitimate and proper.

The

sacred cause in

itself

is

inviolable, the

spread of Christ's kingdom imperative, and the ultimate moral development of rude races must

But the missionaries are not when any one takes exception to the policy which determines their modes of working, he is not to be summarily dealt with as though he were touching the ark of God. In the eyes of many, the most urgent missionary question is the problem of men and be vindicated.

sacrosanct, and,

methods.

It is

not within the plan of this

volume to enter into that K

discussion.

little

It x 45

is

The Challenge

146

to Missions

enough to touch lightly upon certain practical by the average lay observer.

points raised

Dr Morrison has

1.

a passing

comfortable residences of men to be

making every

tilt

at the

who are supposed

sacrifice for the heathen.

That the missionary has "a good time" and lives in

comfort

is

the assurance one gets from

typical "birds of passage."

They

point to his

spacious house and his servants, and to the

bungalow on the

hill

to

which he goes

in the

hot season.

But

(1)

the cases differ in different places.

In the open ports and other centres where foreign civilisation

is

established, there

is

no

occasion for the missionary living in uncomfortable quarters.

of his

sight

common

The

surprise of voyagers at

establishment

romantic

comes from the conveyed by

impression

missionary literature of the old, crude the

impression that

sort,

everywhere indiscrimin-

and hardships are alike and at many mission outposts the hardships and sacrifices are heavy enough, not measured by the cubic space of the house the house itself inevitably mean, and other conditions of life, not understood at home or by the passer-by, sufficiently taxing to ately the sacrifices

severe.

But

in the interior



patience, offensive to white folks' sensibilities,

and perilous to family

life.

Further, (2) often the mission building com-

!

The Men and

Methods

their

147

bines boarding-school premises with the missionary's house.

The

writer has stayed in such

a mission house in the East, where half the spacious building

was devoted to boarding-

school purposes.

The

(3)

health of

all

white men, missionaries

as well as civilians, in hot climates demands,

where obtainable, airy room-space and verandah protection

against

the

sun.

It

is

this

that

largely accounts for the spacious appearance

some mission houses. The mission house in open ports and central points has to accommodate passing missionaries on their way to the interior or remote of

(4)

regions

whom

—and one could

tell

of lay travellers for

the missionary has brought out his best

and provided entertainment on a scale beyond what he can ordinarily afford, and who have gone their way and written about the luxury of the missionary's

There

(5)

lived for its

is

life

no virtue

own

sake.

in the ascetic life

does not impress the native It

is

quite true that

when

Poverty in the foreigner

—quite the contrary.

some men make themselves

more comfortable than the conditions

justify;

own may be found who and mission property is sometimes constructed on an unduly grand scale. But these cases are very far from being typical of the life a few

nests

feather their

;

and homes of the vast majority of missionaries,

148

The Challenge

The Vicarage and

the

to Missions

Manse

at

home

usually the meanest in the parish.

home Church may

are not

And

the

properly wish to establish

the missionary in the moderate comfort that

In any case he has usually plenty of

available.



and hardships loneliness, loss of kindred society for his family, discouragements

disabilities ,

is

which he must consume alone, and the incessant tax put upon his patience by the irresponsible, slow, "wait-a-bit" ways of the natives with whom he has to deal. 2. The thousands of male and female missionaries, as a matter of course, vary in calibre, education, wisdom, aptitudes and tact vary as much as Christian ministers and workers at home. If the incompetent, the over-zealous, and the misguided are there, it is largely because raw novices and new-caught zealots have precipitated themselves upon the missionfield, and because it has too often been thought that distinct mental endowments are not so requisite abroad as at home. Lord Curzon has cause to animadvert on "irresponsible itinerants" who are a law unto themselves, and to say that "impulsive virtue and raw enthusiasm are not necessarily the



best

credentials

Certain ticular

respect

for

a

missionary

career."

and movements in parhave something to answer for in this societies

The Men and

Methods

their

149

"On

the ship bound for China," wrote Mr Ralph as hot-haste journalist, " I was struck by the mediocre mental character of too many of the men. They are often villagers and men of the narrowest horizon." But even mere " villagers " and " mediocre men " may do laborious and useful service. Yet it is certain that the permanent success and good repute of the missionary cause can be greatly assisted by the elimination of volunteers who have little to recommend them beyond their earnest spirit. The raw and callow, untrained in the guidance of life, ignorant of human nature, with narrow view of God and His treatment of the pagan peoples, and with no room beside their "one idea" for the march of civilisation, do indeed win genuine converts and often show a heroic Julian

evangelising

spirit,

but they are the

civilian's

men

stumbling-block, and they are not the

to

grapple with the larger problems of paganism,

nor to deal wisely with the shrewd questions of the heathen critic. Are they adequately equipped if they have made no real acquaint-

ance with the mental attitude of the people whose religions they seek to displace with Christianity? teers

is

Wise

selection

from the volun-

imperative, and will contribute

much

to

And Henry Drummond

the highest success of the mission cause.

means should be so

strongly

taken, as

urged

after

his

visit

to

many

The Challenge

150

mission

fields,

which he

for

are wanted

that each be sent to the country

is

The very

to Missions

naturally

best

fitted.

that the

—broad-minded,

Church can

find

big-hearted, level-

headed men, able to grasp the larger issues of the work as well as deal with the individual soul, fired with a Christian earnestness which burns on steadily without being consumed with its own vehemence. There is need of statesmanship, generalship, scholarship, as well as of The career of a missionary in an ancient land offers the amplest

evangelising activity.

a career which

scope for the highest

gifts.

may

any young man of

well captivate

which his

will give

him the

It is

spirit,

outlet for all

fullest

powers, and which will satisfy his

best

ambitions.

There are many such men on the field, men who would have taken front rank in the homeOne cannot service of the Christian Church. know the missionaries in any country without receiving from the majority of

impression of their patient caution,

them a strong

fidelity,

level-headed

and brave unacknowledged devotion.

Men who

are as capable as the rest of their

brethren at

home

— one

feels it

an impertinence

to give them a character.

They have

their

frankly described their

own

own

special

temptations,

by Dr Wenyon.

masters as a

rule, far

They

are

from those to

The Men and

Methods

their

151

whom they are humanly responsible, and may grow languorous in hot countries, or masterful as do many white men living among dusky They,

races.

are

soldiers

like

to

liable

become

long in the

field,

weary-hearted

"stale,"

under the unrelieved pressure of hostile, immovable paganism and the way in which this immovable, contented paganism oppresses the hearts of sensitive missionaries can scarcely be



conceived by the home-Christian in a religious

Against such

environment.

to brace themselves

—none

they have

supports

mission

Divine

—and

perils

they have

the less although

and a

religious

the risks attending their depres-

commend them to general sympathy and be remembered by the intercessors at home. sion should

But, despite

all

temptations, as a class their

beyond cavil. Captain Younghusband, the experienced traveller in the Far East, wrote " Missionaries no more than other human beings are free from mistakes of judgment. But I have before now publicly testified to the noble and self-sacrificing work of missionaries which I have seen with lives are

:

my own eyes in the far interior of China. The most important and the most far-reaching .

.

.

not done by our official repreby our enterprising merchants, but by that great body of Christian men and

work

in

China

is

sentatives, nor

women too

—who are giving their



lives to

impart

The Challenge

152

to Missions knowledge of

to the Chinese the accumulated

the West." 1

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote I

am

I

in the position of

had

conceived

a

many

great

" I

:

suppose

other persons.

prejudice

South Seas, and

against

had no sooner come there than that prejudice was at first reduced, and then at last annihilated. Those who deblatterate against missions have only one thing to do, to come and see them on the spot." They will, he says, see harm done " infallibly in all sublunary affairs." But " they will see a great deal of good done they missions

the

in

I



;

a race being forwarded in

will see

and

many

direc-

they be honest persons, they will cease to complain of mission work tions,

and

I believe, if

The earlier

its effects."

missionaries

"

broke

the tabus," and generally were too radical and

The new

iconoclastic.

best to proceed far

as

it

is

by

class "think that

little

and

little,

it

is

to spare so

possible native opinions

and

set

native habits of morality, to seek rather the

point of agreement than the points of difference."

"The

true art of the



missionary, as

seems to me an outsider, the most lay of laymen, and for that reason, on the old principle that the bystander sees most of the game, perhaps more than usually well able to judge is to profit by the vast amount of moral it



1

Times, 19th Nov. 1901.

The Men and

their

Methods

153

and to expand power to new ideas and to new of advancement"

force reservoired in every race,

and

that

fit

possibilities

The missionary errs, he opinion on



thinks

this point is at least



his individual

worth recording

askance on the white traders, who are indeed of mixed character, but who, by more considerate treatment, might be themin looking

made

selves

up

"

better

and might

also be raised

a brigade of half and half supporters

But "those who have a

the work.

"

of

taste for

hearing missions, Protestant or Catholic, decried,

must seek pages."

Dr

their pleasure elsewhere than in

my

x

Morrison, Miss Kingsley, and other typical

critics

speak

The bulk

in like terms.

of missionaries, however, are above

the need of either testimonial or defence.

Their

and work speak for them. We only quote these verdicts from outside as a means of satisfying readers who discount what the Church life

says about the work. 3. On the graver questions of policy and methods we have "many men many minds." It would be vain to discuss the educational

policy

v.

evangelistic policy in India without

intimately knowing the conditions and going

thoroughly into the very serious and difficult problem and that is not for these pages. But



1

Life of R, L. Stevenson,

ii.

193,

and In the South

Seas.

The Challenge

i54

to Missions

apparently

native education has been too and been carried too far. 1 "century of experiments" has passed, and some points have become clear. scholastic

A

It is Christianity in its

(i)

primitive simplicity,

not the theological creeds of the West, that the missionary has to deliver to the pagan world.

It

is

but a small "body of divinity"

that he has to carry with

Christian essentials. their

own

him

—the

Other races

body of

will secrete

interpretation of Christ's revelation.

Perhaps the Asiatic will penetrate more deeply into its mystic meanings than has been possible for the matter-of-fact European. (2) The Bible must be set in its proper perspective, the Gospels and the Apostolic Epistles in the forefront as alone indispensable.

those

portions

of the

which we ourselves

Ought

older Scriptures over

stumble to be transon the same level of authority as the Christian documents ? Some parts of their Old Testament might be drawn from the higher prophetic and preparatory elements in their own old systems of religion. Questions of Bible criticism, of but we must so course, are not for them still

lated at once, or to be imposed as

;

1

On

the question in South Africa see

ment of Native Education students at Lovedale.

On

Stewart's Experito Kaffir

the question in India the late Sir

William Wilson Hunter has something Missionary.

Dr

—brave warnings addressed to

say in The Old

The Men and represent the

their

Hebrew

Methods

155

revelation to the native

that they shall

not have to pass through the crisis of re-adjustment which has been imposed on us by mistaken teaching in Christians

the past.

Decaying races are not to be neglected

(3)

because they

may

not survive the centuries or

The mission in the Henry Drummond, has no place in the evolutionary career of man" It belongs to the Order of the Good kind.

dominate future history.

New

Hebrides,

Samaritan.

It

said

is

a mission of pure benevo-

Our Lord had compassion, and has

lence."

taught us to have compassion, on the waste

and

useless

lives.

And

the races

that

are

need the gospel as much as single individuals. Yet it must be the supreme aim of missionary strategy to win those races that bid fair to shape the history of future likely to vanish

generations. (4)

Industrial training,

it

is

felt,

must play

a larger part in the scheme of missions than formerly. To educate raw races in their heads

measure in their hands and husbandry and handicrafts is to disqualify them for the career which most of Habits of industry are them must follow. indispensable to their progress, and it is for lack of such habits that numbers of them come Lavish Nature has hitherto provided to grief.

and not eyes



in

in equal



156

The Challenge

to Missions

needs competition and pressure from white races will enter their arena and compel them to work. In the direction of industrial equipment, happily, numbers of missionary institutions are developing their educational scheme. easily for their

Do

;

among half-barbaric much stress on getting the The "reds" in Africa are people clothed? (5)

not missionaries

races place too

healthier than the " School " natives

(who carry on their back their whole ill-matched outfit, which when soaked with wet causes illness). Yet it is in some measure true of Adamic races, as it was of Adam and Eve, that, when their eyes are opened to themselves in moral consciousness, they know themselves naked and That desire for covering means are ashamed. a discovery of shame and therefore a new

At the same numbers of missionaries seem to think

instinct or finer sense of virtue.

time,

that the natives are not properly Christianised unless taught the foreigner's habits.

This

is

not included in the missionary aim. (6)

mined is

Policy and methods of work are deterin

many

cases

when we determine what

the missionary aim and final object.

" It is the Henry Drummond reported deliberate opinion of many who know China intimately, who are missionaries themselves, :

that half the preaching, especially the itiner-

The Men and ating

preaching,

empire

amount of

carried

absolutely

is

itinerant

Methods

their

on

157

throughout the

A

useless."

preaching

is

certain

imperative,

indeed, and indispensable for pioneering purposes.

But

according

to

it

will

the

count for less or more

ruling

object

which

the

missionary has in view.

What

is

the ruling idea and aim that will

inspire the wisest missionary policy

the best methods?

and dictate

This question the next

chapter will seek to answer.

X THE AIM The Coming Kingdom



:

X THE AIM The Coming Kingdom

Was

Livingstone right in the ruling object he his missionary ideal? Those

had

in view, in

who

believe that the end of the present dispen-

Second Coming of Christ, is at hand do not believe in Livingstone's aim, which sation, with the

may

be called

"

national Christianisation."

they believe the present world-order pass away, their plan of campaign

is

As

soon to to " gather is

out" from the nations those who are Christ's " own." We are to preach the Gospel " for a witness," and, when all have heard it and had their chance, then cometh the end. " For a witness " it would seem as though the Gospel were to be proclaimed to all " for a witness " against them, to the end that they may be without excuse and God may be technically in the right in condemning them. Does not this give rather a sinister bearing to mission work ? This aim determines the whole of their mis:

sionary policy.

It is

the evangelist's business T.

i$i

;

1

The Challenge

62

to Missions and

to rapidly evangelise everywhere,

operandi

is

to

itinerate.

He

lays

his

modus

no large

foundations, because his scheme has no great

human

future.

He

addresses himself to the

individual alone, and does not seek to establish

Mere

a Christian community-life. ing"

is

"

outgather-

his aim.

Many who

labour with this as their sole

among the most devoted missionaries, and they have their own harvest and reward. They are contributing towards the great issue object are

is larger than they know. And aim and methods of working have some

but that issue their

unfortunate

No

;

effects.

the Christian aim

is

to establish the

kingdom of God among all the nations of the earth. It is to do the whole work of Christianity in individual hearts and in the national life. It is to do for Asia, Africa, the West Indies, and the Pacific Islands everything and all that Christ has been the means of doing entire



our personal and social life to achieve a corporate as well as an individual salvation. for

Among

races

now pagan

there

is

to

be the

same outgathering " as there has been among the Western races. Christ cannot get His own out of Asia and Africa unless His full kingdom "

is

broad-based there in the Christian commonHow many of ourselves would have

weal.

been "gathered out" from the world

if

the

The Aim

163

social life and national conditions of our land had not been Christianised ? The first work of the missionary is to win individual converts to the faith and service of and this effort Christ as Saviour and Lord ;

continues to the end.

But, with equal step,

he must endeavour to lay broad foundations for the social, educational, national, and economic redemption and elevation of the people to whom he is sent. The Empire of Christ has to be planted in the community-life of the nations. Only then can it put the people in a position to receive the new spiritual life, and so win the "great multitude which no man can number out of all nations and kindreds?

We

must prepare

for

permanency.

event beyond our calculation, of Christ (even supposing

it

if

If

any

another Advent

to be of an external,

dramatic character), were to arrest the work in mid-course, we should be best prepared for it

by doing the whole work of Christianity. If this work of Christianising the communities of men throughout their whole life is restrained by the expectation of an immediate Second Coming, that expectation is in the very act raising another argument against itself. Truth, when rightly understood, does not cramp the Christian aim nor limit the benefits which its spokesmen carry with them.

Some who pray

earnestly for the hastening

1

The Challenge

64

to Missions

coming of Christ hold such a theory of

of the

the course of prophetic events that their prayer

can only be answered by the hastening of the increase of wickedness and apostacy. One thing that

by

is sure,

we can

not the

"

times and seasons," but

best help Christ to bless the world

establishing His many-sided

entire

life

kingdom

in the

of mankind.

With this aim before us, our plans are laid, not for " the casual sharpshooter bringing down his

man

here and there," but for the slow,

lasting regeneration of the

method of working

is

human

race.

Our

so determined as to lay

foundations for a huge structure, to sow seed for future generations to reap.

do not

fail

And

our hearts

us in presence of slow progress and

the imperfections of the native converts.

The

upward movement is but beginning. The world moves slowly, but it moves. The kingdom of Christ comes gradually, and " without observaWhat God makes slowly he means to tion." last.

XI

THE RETURN-VALUE OF MISSIONS

I*S

XI

THE RETURN-VALUE OF MISSIONS The

past century's experience of mission work

—not to speak of

earlier times

—has

justified the faith of the pioneers.

sufficiently It required

audacious faith on their part to confront the world's gigantic heathenism with nothing but

the gospel of Jesus in their hands and call

Was

it

to

more daring than when St Paul faced the Roman Empire and Greek learning, and foresaw them yield to the Son of Man ? Yet the answer of time confirmed

surrender.

faith

ever

his faith.

To or

stand to-day in some Asiatic, African,

Polynesian

centre,

surrounded by pagan

customs, pagan temples, and pagan

be

one

apathy,

among

a few indistinguishable Christians in presence of millions who are fast-

to

bound in the universal paganism, and to stand up to it and believe that the gospel of Christ can conquer and regenerate the whole this demands the faith that moves mountains. To look on caste-bound Asiatics, and especially on raw barbarians who are, in Kipling's language,



" Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half devil and half

child," 167

1

68

The Challenge

and to

to Missions

manhood

find the capacity of full-grown

them, and foresee that out of that crude material can be wrought the rich Christian

in

—one's

character

faith

might well stagger at

the prophecy.

We

have passed

the experimental

however, and that faith

is

stage,

sufficiently attested

by the witness of experience.

It is

only as

they cast their eyes over the work of ten or

twenty years that missionaries see much measurable increase and improvement. Yet from that small arc it is possible to infer what curve and course the future is to make. There are foretokens that what Coleridge called " the miracle of Christendom " is to be followed by the miracle of Asia and Africa, the miracle of The Gospel works. The world the world. goes round the sun. We have as much to go upon for this faith as Newton had when he inferred from local observation that the law of gravitation controls the universe. We have our Newtonian principle, in the faith that the world will answer to the attraction of Christ's gospel.

Livingstone

said

that

Dr Moffat

foresaw

homesteads and railways covering Africa and steamboats plying on its lakes. His anticipation is already some distance on its way to fulfilment. From these homesteads, he said, the sound of Christian worship would be heard and we ;

The Return-Value

of Missions 169

have foretokens of that prophecy's fulfilment also.

Dr was,

Duff, " father of the faithful " though he

had not

faith

enough

womanhood could be India,

to believe that India's

enlightened.

so far

education

in

hopeless.

You might

as

I

"Female can see,

is

as well try to scale a

wall five hundred yards high as attempt to give

Christian education to either the girls

of India."

Yet already

in

women

or the

Bengal alone

there are about 100,000 girls receiving education,

of

three-fourths

them an education

under

Christian teachers.

The

beneficent social

work being wrought by

over the world

is itself alone an answer to the critic and an attestation of faith. Dr Dennis has crowded two volumes {Christian Missions and Social Progress} with the summary of the changes effected in domestic life, in the relief of sickness by medical missions, in the enlightenment and elevation of native women by lady missionaries and teachers, in the

missions

all



reduction of children's sufferings, cruel customs, oppression, and caste, and in the purifying of

the relations of the sexes in marriage and the



community in short, in the whole social life of It is here that men who have the pagan world. no faith in the religious aims of missions are at one with us in cordial approval of the work done by missionaries in ameliorating the con<



;

The Challenge

170

of pagan

ditions

to Missions

The

life.

miracle

visible

cannot be gainsaid, even by the sceptic. " All things

He

draws

grow sweet all

Him.

in

things unto an order

fair.

All fierce extremes that beat along time's shore

Like chidden waves grow mild, creep to kiss His feet For He alone it is that brings The fading flower of our humanity to perfect blossoming."

And

The

return-value of Christian missions

in the evidence

power and truth of Christianity. field

the Christian faith

our eyes.

is

seen

they give us of the world-wide is

Its universal

In the mission

being verified before

appeal to the

human

mankind under all conmoral power for the regeneration

heart, its fitness for ditions, its

and elevation of the

race,

and the redeemable-

ness of the heathen are being openly attested

anew

in

the

history

of the

world.

Faith's

ventures are returning to certify our religion as

experimentally true.

Here we have living witness of the contemporary presence and activity of the Spirit of The Gospel works; and it works Christ. moral miracles within present observation. At time when scepticism heralds the downfall of Christianity, it is demonstrating its

the very

vital force in the regeneration of races

in all nations.

and men

The Return-Value

of Missions 171

For proof of the dynamic power of Christianity in transforming continents our appeal

formerly was

made

Roman paganism

over

claims would be

its

to the victory

achieved

it

in early centuries.

weak

if

we had

But

to reach so

back in history in order to adduce evidence conquering power over the pagan world. The same conflict with paganism is proceeding now under the lead of the missionary legions, and Christianity is repeating its early triumph A fresh and in the same gradual stages. far

of

its

modern

apologia

Christianity

for

being

is

wrought out by mission work before our eyes. well, some did not see If some do not see it the miracle even when it was performed visibly by the Christ Himself in person. If the Christian Church had taken the advice of the early opponents of foreign missions, if we had "eaten our morsel alone," we should have



lacked the greatest present-day witness to the truth of our religion. If

we

ever ceased to disseminate the gospel

while paganism survived,

we had

it

lost faith in Christ

would be because and had nothing

Our missionary

to say to mankind. enthusiasm is largely the

vital

spiritual us."

life.

We

"

The

cannot

measure

of our

love of Christ constraineth

lie

without hearing

how

for all races of

men.

close it

to

Christ's

heart

beats with the passion

Those

to

whom He

is

172

The Challenge

much

will

boon

He has And

lives.

seek to

make

to Missions

all

men

sharers in the

brought into their own hearts and the results of faith's endeavour

will return to confirm their faith

and give Christ

the Saviour world-wide verification.

APPENDICES

•73

;

APPENDIX A (8ee Chapter

The Powers and

II.

pp. 88-86)

the Priests in the East

FIRST the missionary, then the the gunboat

—that

is

consul, then

the pith of what

many

What a Chinaman may be heard to say. he resents most bitterly, and what we have exposed in the text the white priest's intermeddling with native courts, and foreign encroachments on territory important books written by independent laymen, British and





American travellers and officials, as well as by reliable missionaries, are continually certi-

Among these may be specially China and the Powers, by Mr H. C. Thomson, author of a work on the Chitral The Real Chinese Question, by Expedition Mr Chester Holcombe, Secretary of American Legation at Pekin Overland to China, by Mr A. R. Colquhoun and China in Convulsion, by Mr Arthur H. Smith. France has been protector of Roman Catholics it was a French priest who inserted in the East in the Chinese translation of the Treaty of i860 a fraudulent interpolation entitling missionaries to reside and acquire property in the interior fying afresh.

named

:

;

;

;

;

The Challenge

176 and

to Missions

was under severe pressure from France 1899 an Imperial Decree was issued conferring on Roman Catholic dignitaries a it

that in

recognised "

The

official status in

China.

Mr A. H.

Smith, " adopt the rank of a Chinese Governor, and wear a button on their caps indicative of that fact, travelling in a chair with the number of bearers appropriate to that rank, with outriders and attendants on foot, an umbrella of honour borne in front, and a cannon discharged upon bishops," says

and departure." status was offered to the missionaries of the Reformed Churches, but they, backed by the British Prime Minister, declined their arrival

The same

the

offer.

Mr

A. R. Colquhoun, author of well-known

travel-books, writing as a lay investigator, says: "

The blood

of the martyrs

in

is

China the

seed of French aggrandisement. France uses the missionaries and the native Christians as agents-provocateurs)

doms

and outrages and martyr-

are her political harvest.

ponderance of her

What

commerce does

for

the pre-

England

the Catholic protectorate does for France, so that the influence of their respective positions

of the Chinese is nearly balanced; but France makes ten times more capital out of her religious material than Great Britian has Under the ever done out of her commercial. vis-a-vis

fostering care of the

French Government the

Powers and Priests become a

Catholics have

177

imperium and customs, pagan neighbours, and veritable

in imperio, disregarding local laws

domineering over their overriding the law of the land."

The

irony of the situation

Chinamen

—the

is

visible to

shrewd which

sinister fact that France,

and other Romanist missions, and displays so much zeal in backing up their protects Jesuit

propaganda, has expelled these same Jesuits from her own borders as a danger to the Republic, and has herself rejected the religion which she pushes forward in China. Their leaders know that " the presence of a Roman Catholic bishop in Annam was the thin end of the wedge which has split that country in twain and brought a part of it under the domination of France." The Chinese conclude no wonder! that Christianity is a useful political weapon, the advance agent of territorial





aggression.

With

tragic

secured that

Germany has

results

Roman

Catholics

in

latterly

Shantung This was

shall be under German protection. brought about through the agency of Bishop Anzer. " He began," says Mr Thomson {China and the Powers, p. 250), " to assume an offensive and dictatorial tone towards the Tsung-li-Yamen and to all the district governors, walking into their courts as though a superior, and reporting any official who did not cringe to him to his official

superior

and

ultimately

M

to

Pekin.

178

The Challenge

to Missions

Finally, to put the climax to his proceedings, he obtained permission to build a cathedral in Yu-Chow-Fu, where Confucius lived and where his shrine is, in the province of Shantung; and this cathedral was actually begun, and its building led to the murder of the two German missionaries, which furnished the pretext for

by Germany of the port was one of those sparks which set the Boxer patriotic movement in a flame and produced such deadly disaster. (And the horrible cruelties of the the forcible seizure

This, he asserts,

of Kiao-Chau."

Allied Troops during the convulsion in North

China further deepened native repugnance

for

the foreign religion.)

Tributes are paid by the same writers to the devotion and self-denying labours of individual

Roman

Catholic

missionaries

;

but

even good men, though they were Protestant and not Papal, could not save this policy from working havoc. And some of the better men among them are beginning to see that their Church is paying too heavy a price for the favour of political Powers. Why was Japan fast closed against Chris-

and

all intercourse with foreigners for Xavier and his henchmen had won But tens of thousands of Japanese converts.

tianity

centuries

the

?

foreigners,

following

the

usual

Roman

Catholic policy, intrigued for political power and laid their hands on the reins of govern-

Powers and Priests ment.

The

nation

—the

known

179

story and traditional

to the author as a former resident in Japan rose up in wrath, slew thousands of converts, and practically annihilated Christianity in the land, thereupon sealing the doors of their islands to all

scenes are well



two hundred and

foreigners

for

The noble

spirit of the

fifty

years.

devoted Xavier could not have averted such an issue to such a policy. What but similar revolt must follow when a similar policy is pursued in China ? Quite as acute is the Chinese resentment when foreign priests intermeddle with the courts of law on behalf of their converts. "Broadly speaking, in Chinese courts there Are the missionis no such thing as justice." aries to leave their native followers to be devoured by the "tigers and wolves" of the Yamens ? They are naturally tempted to side with their own people. But, if they do, they are enmeshed in a network of complications and animosities. Even if the wrong has all been on the pagan's side, there may have been indiscretions on the convert's and, in any case, "whether the stone hits the pitcher, or the pitcher hits the stone, it goes ill with the pitcher." With good reason the Reformed Churches, taught by some bitter experience, have for the most part refused to take up the lawsuits of their native members. The Roman Catholics, on the other hand, ;

The Challenge

180

to Missions

take advantage of their status as local magistrates to intervene in the courts when their supporters are involved. Let Mr A. R. Colquhoun state the facts.

"Whenever a

Christian has a dispute with a

heathen, no matter what the subject in question

may

promptly taken up by he cannot himself intimidate the local officials and compel them to give right to the Christian, represents the case as one of persecution, when the French consul is appealed be, the quarrel is

the priest, who,

if

Then is redress rigorously extorted, without the least reference to the justice of the demand." After citing a specific instance in

to.

detail,

prising

Mr Colquhoun

adds

:

" It is

that arbitrary proceedings

not surlike

this

should cause the Christians to be feared and hated, and we need not wonder at the occasional murder of a priest when such feelings are spread generally throughout the country." The people know that the foreign priest has this privilege; numbers of them appeal to missionaries Protestants included to be admitted members of their churches, in view of some threatened dispute or lawsuit once they are within the foreigner's fold the enemy will, they imagine, be frightened off. "Every Catholic headquarters," says Mr A. H. Smith {China in Convulsion, pp. 50, 51), " is served by able Chinese, some of whom are





:

expert in

Yamen

affairs

and act as lawyers

for

Powers and Priests whoever has a case for those

who

in hand.

...

It is

181

common

are acting as advance agents of

woods and pastures new, to let it be known that, whatsoever happens to those who identify themselves with that organisation, they will be protected in their the Catholic Church, in fresh

lawsuits."

some regions

Protestants in

and

issue

notices

tracts to prevent the expectation of such

but, in spite of all, shady help from them apply for entrance, and some falsely ;

citizens

use

the

name

of

the

missionary for their

nefarious purposes.

As is

the policy of certain Powers and priests

likely to continue the

same and

create trouble

has done in the past, let the public discriminate and justly apportion the blame. In order to avoid "offences," the Reformed Churches should do everything to sever themselves from all political backing, to prove even though it cost a great price in means, the refusal of indemnities, and personal freedom that they have no mercenary ends to serve and are absolutely disinterested in their campaign. There are certain "offences" which are inIn addition to some mentioned evitable. already, the incursion of Western commerce disturbs native industries and trade. "Fireships," telegraphs, railways of such disquieting encroachments there can be no arrest. in the future as

it







1

The Challenge

82

to Missions

a grave offence in the eyes of the the people that Christians

It is also

and

authorities

should decline to conform to the customs of

Most missionaries and converts homage paid to departed Some argue that the custom means

the country.

stand out against the ancestors. little

more than

"

paying one's respects " to the

why not, then, " bow in the house of Rimmon" to that extent? The primitive Christians in the Roman Empire had to con-

dead

:

front the

same

question.

just so far as to

Emperor's statue ?

Why

not conform

pay passing homage

to the

But, though the particular

point was small in

itself,

it

stood for their

general separation from paganism and formed the test of their religious consistency. " The refusal of the Christians to perform ceremonies which they regard as idolatrous at

the

New Year

when the

at weddings,

them

season, at the

sacrifices are offered

and especially

liable to persecution,

spring festival at the graves,

at funerals, renders

sometimes to the

extent of being driven from their homes and expelled from the clan to which they belong " {China in Convulsion, p. 34). But in all such matters of conscience the animosity aroused is inevitable in the nature of the case.

be endured

in

It

must

patience and courtesy, in the

the leavening power of gradually spread enlightenment and overcome prejudice. Not on these

expectation

that

Christianity will

Powers and Priests

183

grounds chiefly can it be said that " the missionary is at the bottom of all the trouble." " It cannot be too often repeated," writes Mr Thomson and Mr Chester Holcombe has already been quoted in the same sense {supra



p. 33)

—"that

aries

was caused, not by

the feeling against the mission-

use

made

of

them

by by the

their tenets, nor

the quiet exercise of their religion, but politically

by

their different

Governments, and still more by their harmful intermeddling on behalf of their converts in the courts of law."

APPENDIX B (Chapters

VII.

and VIIL

pp. 102, 108, 124. 138)

Checks to Progress

Mr Meredith

Townsend,

in India

of the Spectator,

in the course of a discriminating discussion of

the inter-relations between the West and the East, in Asia and Europe, makes an interesting estimate of the prospects of Christianity in

India and of the elements that hinder progress. The supernatural elements and the com-

plex creed in Christianity, present no difficulty to the

Mr Townsend says, Hindu mind. With

superhuman manifestations of deity

in

human

form the Hindu is already familiar "no miracle, however stupendous, overstrains the capacity of :

On the contrary, Christ is not so completely the Hindu ideal because not so visibly supernatural and because so like their own human ideal of humility and self-sacrifice. One serious obstacle to missionary progress lies in the attempt generally made by the workers from the West, not to make Christians Mismerely, but to Europeanise the Asiatic. sionaries insist on " civilising " the Indian after the manner of the West. They breed in him the desire of imitation, wrench him away from his faith."

i8 4

Checks

to Progress in India 185

the whole system of things in which he has been reared, create a hybrid caste, not quite

European, not quite Indian, with the originality The missionary as a European it. is divided from the people of India by race, killed out of

and incurable differences of thought, of and of language. He never can become an Indian. All this is inevitable. But colour,

habit, of taste,

Christianity civilisations.

is

capable of adapting

itself to all

And, as Mr Townsend

implies,

no attempt should be made to create the same division among native converts by EuropeAs has been argued in preceding anising them. pages, Christianity must be planted in the consciousness of the world-races, and, while tended and guided by the Western missionary, must be left to adapt itself to their racial conditions and become self-propagating along their own lines, even at the risk for a time of aberrations in the adaptation of Christian doctrines.

The

convert, too,

irrevocably. "

is

required to " break caste "

Mr Townsend

believes caste to

a form of socialism which has through ages protected Hindu society from anarchy and from the worst evils of industrial and competian automatic poor-law to begin with, tive life and the strongest form of trades union." But "caste in the Indian sense and Christianity cannot co-exist." The break-up is inevitable. The convert must eat and drink with men of

be



1

86

The Challenge

to Missions

other castes, must abandon the seclusion of his home and much of his authority over his wife

and children, and must give up many of

his

not only his religion that everything is changed for him. is changed " One can hardly wonder that many, otherwise rooted habits.

It is

;

ready, shrink from such a baptism of is,

in

as

we know

well,

on

this

It

fire."

account that

many

India remain Christians in secret.

one of India's Lieuknow of one of the ruling princes of India who probably never saw or spoke to a Christian missionary in his life. After a long talk with me on religious matters, he told me himself that he reads the Sanskrit translation of our Bible and prays to Jesus Christ every day for the pardon of his sins. are no proper or Statistics of conversion adequate test of missionary work." Moreover, the missionary in India is often ridiculed for saying that he has hearers who Sir Charles Aitchison,

tenant-Governors, said

:

" I

.

.

He is stating are converts but not Christians. the simple truth, says Mr Townsend. "The Hindu mind can believe, and does believe, in mutually destructive facts at one and the same An astronomer who predicts eclipses ten time. years ahead without a blunder believes all the while that the eclipse is caused by some supernatural dog swallowing the moon, and will beat a drum to make the dog give up the prize." He may be convinced of the truth of Christi-

Checks to Progress but the assent

anity,

is

in India 187

not a transforming

and leaves him nearly where he a baffling puzzle and a disappointment

spiritual faith,

was



to the missionary.

These obstacles alone account for much delay in the victorious progress of Christianity and for facts that feed the critics. 1 again, has been a buttress to the and the removal of the old buttresses and tribal habits sometimes leaves the converts " And," says Mr Townsend, " the unsteady. second generation often shows signs of missing

Caste,

native

;

They are the ancient buttresses of conduct. the true anxieties of the missionaries, and it from them

in nine cases out of ten that the Indian Christians is derived but European opinion about them is most unfair. They are not converts but born Christians, like any of our own artisans they have not gone through a mental martyrdom, and they have to

is

ill-repute of

;

;

be bred up without strong convictions, except that Christianity is doubtless true, without the defences which native opinion has organised for ages, and in the midst of a heathen society in

which the white Christians declare their children shall not live." 1

A

Scot,

it is

said,

was asked

He

Conversion of the Jews.

applied to for the third time,

"Confoond

it,

are thae

the application, and

when

Jews no'

is it

to support a society for the

subscribed once, twice, and was

a'

broke out.

his impatience

converted

? jj/*/

not symbolically true of

reference to the progress of Christian missions

?

" Widen many with

1

88

The Challenge

to Missions

As

to these imperfections in a small proporof the converts, the same writer wisely adds: "Christianity is always imperfect in its tion

The

beginnings.

majority of Christians

in

would have seemed to modern missionaries mere worldlings the converted Saxons were for centuries violent brutes and the mass of Christians throughout the world are even now no better than indifferents. None the less is it true that the race which embraces Christianity, even nominally, rises with a bound out of its former position, and Constantine's

time

;

;

contains in itself thenceforward the seed of a

nobler and more lasting

The

inference

is clear,

life."

as urged in preceding

We must not compare native converts newly emerged from paganism with the best pages.

found in Christian lands of the West, but with the conditions which existed in our own race when as yet the work of Christianity was only commenced among us. It is only in the course of generations, there as here, that the life

harvest of the truth is reaped. As Mr Kidd shows in his Principles of Western Civilisation^

the progressive struggles and movements of to-day are always for the benefit, not of the present generation, but of that " majority which constitutes

the long roll of the yet

generations," and Christianity

is

unborn

a vital force

in that ultimate elevation of the world. TURNBULL AND SPEARS, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH

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