Page images
PDF
EPUB

their stay. But there are also many quiet, decent great diminution under the former head (that of people, to whom the change is in every way boon. crime), and that through our instrumentality every In the sheds in which they lodge these gather together known gang of young thieves has been broken up. in the evening, when the early dusk has fallen, and A report from the Governor of Holloway Prison spend an hour or two in reading; some of them states that the juvenile criminal population has yearly bringing their own books with them, others welcom- decreased, so that instead of 136 males and 26 females ing the literature (not always the most suitable or received in 1869, the number of the present year have interesting, it must be confessed) with which kindly been only 28 males and no females.” The report visitors supply them. On entering a shed one even- attributes the decrease to the School Board. All who ing, our friend was agreeably surprised to find a poor are concerned for the elevation and progress of our woman with a candle in one hand and a copy of country in what is good and true and right must Good Words in the other, reading aloud to an rejoice in such facts as these; and although the exattentive audience of her companions. She said that pense of this great movement has added considerably she had bought the magazine at a railway bookstall to the already heavy burdens of many ratepayers, such on her journey down, and that, when better off, she had expenditure, if wisely controlled, is of the kind which taken it in. It is noticed that where personal interest gives satisfaction. The School Board, we may remind is shown in the hop-pickers by those to whom the hop- our readers, is but part of a larger movement. It is gardens belong, the moral effect is always greater than one of the forms in which a quickened interest in the where such manifestations of kindly feeling are left to young lives about us, a deepening appreciation of our mere outsiders. Religious services of various kinds are responsibility to children, and a more intelligent held in many of the hop-gardens on Sundays, and in apprehension of the best conditions of true and some cases with very happy results. Perhaps one of wholesome training, are manifesting themselves. the most useful ways of giving help to these people It is for Christian parents and for the Christian would be for persons of influence in the districts in Church to bear in mind that with the brightening of which they are temporarily employed to provide tem- these young intelligences the need of a corresponding porary savings banks into which the wages earned care over their moral and religious training becomes might be placed and transferred to their homes in increasingly urgent and important. We may add too London; for the poor as well as the rich find that the hope that this attention to the elementary educamoney is very apt, according to the old proverb, to tion of children of the artisan class will become, as burn a hole in the pocket; and many people who go the years go on, less and less an interest in a parastray do so through sheer weakness of will, and might ticular class, and that, in some suitable way, it will be “kept straight” by the kindly sympathy and help be extended to the children of all classes. We of one a little stronger or less tempted in some direc- should like to see the profession of teaching - so tions than themselves.

transcendent in its importance and influence—fenced round, as the professions of law and medicine are, in

such a way that no one should be permitted to enter On the re-assembly of the London School Board, upon its responsible duties without having given to after the recent summer holidays, Sir Charles Reed, some properly constituted public body evidences of the chairman, according to his annual custom, reviewed fitness for the task.. the work of the Board during the preceding year. The progress that has been made within the last

II.-GLANCES ABROAD. seven years in the provision of schools and educational machinery and agencies for elementary in. struction is remarkable. The school provision of the

From India the news could scarcely be better. The metropolitan district is now 505,323 as against rainfall has been general and prolonged in the dis262,259 in 1870. The most casual observer passing tricts which have been suffering so terribly from from one district of this vast city to another cannot famine, and the prospects are altogether hopeful. help observing the rapid multiplication of the spacious By February next this dark and melancholy expeand well-arranged school buildings, which have sprung rience will probably be over, and the rulers and up under the auspices of the School Board, and which, people of India will be able to gather up the lessons with their bright, substantial aspect, often pleasantly taught by the fearful drought from which millions relieve their very dingy surroundings. Sir Charles have been suffering. It is necessary to reiterate the showed by illustrative facts and figures that the warning that this prospect, while affording great general progress of the children is very gratifying, cause for thankfulness and hope, only very partially and full of promise for the future; also that very con- relieves the present distress. People cannot live on siderable reductions have been effected through the expectations, and the anticipation of a plentiful agency of the Board in the cost of juvenile crime harvest in a few months time will not satisfy the and pauperism. The following extract will be read hunger of to-day. The energy of the Indian admi. with especial interest: “The magistrates of London nistration and the liberality of voluntary helpers at and the Commissioners of Police for the city home must still be severely taxed. Meantime, we and metropolis liave all borne cordial testimony rejoice to hear that the import of rice into the Presi. 'o the fact that there has of late years been a l dency of Madras is abundant. A newspaper correspon

OUR CHILDREN AND THEIR EDUCATION.

THE FAMINE IN INDIA.

dent bas described the shore near the town of Madras of despotic government have found ardent supporters as being covered with stacks of bags, filled with this in the ranks of the priesthood. The French Constaple food of the people, fifteen feet high, along a servatives seem resolved that there shall be no doubt distance of two miles. The price has fallen rapidly, about their unwillingness to trust the people. They and we find it impossible to feel any regret when we are possessed with the idea that in political affairs hear that many“speculators’ have become serious losers the population must be treated like children, must be in consequence of the fall. The chief difficulty still is drilled into submission to whatever their rulers may in the distribution of the food, and it becomes more think good for them, and must learn not to meddle clearly certain that in order to provide against such with the true weapons of political life-free discussion calamities in future, one great necessity is for the im- and inquiry and action under a sense of deep personal provement of the means of transport. Cheap railways responsibility. The question still upon every lip is, would seem to be more urgently needed even than what course will the defeated Marshal and his irrigation works; although both will be needed in Ministers now take? In the face of the majority order to develop the resources of the country and to against them, they will be able to pass no important guard it from calamities such as those from which it measure, and there is every prospect of a complete is now suffering. How desirable, on mere financial block for a time in the political business of the country. grounds—to say nothing of gher considerations-it Meantime the attitude of the French people generally is that the Government should earnestly devote its has been such as to excite admiration, and to give the attention to these requirements is clear from the fact best ground for hope with regard to the finally sucthat the cost of the present famine is already esti- cessful issue of the struggle. As Mr. Gladstone mated at fifteen millions sterling, besides losses of observed lately, France is clearly making wonderful revenue in a more or less direct manner, and that progress in her political education. The country is within the last hundred years sixteen famines on a showing an increasing apprehension of the true nature large scale have occurred, twelve of them in the present of constitutional principles, and an increasing precentury. It is gratisying to learn that the adminis- paredness to embody them in becoming action. In tration of the Mansion House Relief Fund is pro- these pages our chief concern is to note the bearing of ceeding in a manner which gives great satisfaction to these political movements and changes on the reobservers, and is of immense service to the popula- ligious life and progress of the French people. It tion on whose behalf it is given. As we write, this cannot but be that this new order of things, which fund is rapidly mounting up to £400,000, and the seems to be coming on steadily and rapidly, will average daily amount sent in has only slightly dimi- greatly affect the action of the country with regard to nished. This is a noble evidence of sympathy and the religious institutions existing there. It would be generosity on the part of the British people, and has too much to say that there can be discerned any very produced a deep impression throughout India. This definite tokens of the growth of a deeper religious Christian kindness will, we cannot doubt, have a earnestness in France. For the moment it seems, gracious influence upon the hearts of multitudes of indeed, as if Liberal ideas in politics in that country our Hindoo fellow-subjects. It may, perhaps, con- were chiefly associated with a sceptical spirit, which tribute in some small measure to teach the lesson, not only doubts and questions, but does so with which the world is so slowly learning, that the mockery and scorn of all that constitutes the Christian mightiest power in the universe is the power of love, faith. This is the recoil from the superstitions and that it is love, not force, which shall everywhere fostered under priestly teaching and influence. But win the final victory.

we cannot doubt that the eternal verities of religion,

although they now seem to be obscured in France, THE COURSE OF EVENTS IN FRANCE.

will shine out at length all the more clearly when the The affairs of France have been so deeply interesting free air of constitutional liberties shall have yet more for some weeks past, and especially as the critical day fully penetrated French life and thought, and diffused of the General Election, October 16th, drew near, that its invigorating energies more perfectly. to some extent attention has even been diverted from

THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND TURKEY. the course of the great struggle in Eastern Europe, and the political and national possibilities associated Already the keen northern blasts, the sharp frosts, with it. Now that the elections are over, it is found the cold rains, and the occasional falls of snow, which that the result is very much like what was anticipated herald the approach of winter, have come upon the by all thoughtful observers. A larger number of the armies in Bulgaria, and have given warning of the French people have voted than ever before, and a severity of the hardships through which the hostile decisive majority of the new Chamber of Deputies is camps will have to pass during the next few months. composed of Republican politicians, while it is pro- The Turks have manifested an unlooked-for capacity bable that that majority will be yet considerably in- on the field of battle, and the Russians have betrayed creased when an inquiry is made, in the ordinary an unexpected weakness of organization and lack of course of things, into the validity of the election of generalship. The result has been that thousands of various members. The utmost efforts have been put lives have not only been forfeited, but, judging from forth by the Marshal and his friends in order to bring the observations and conclusions of military critics, about a different result; and the Conservative friends have been actually thrown away. The Russian arniv

has experienced very serious checks and disasters, the brief limits of some fifteen pages, a singularly although there still seems to be a decided preponder- affecting sketch of the life and work of the late Rev. ance of strength on the Russian side. Although Dr. Carstairs Douglas, who after more than twenty Russia's resources are by no means ample so far as years of missionary labour in China was suddenly cut money and materials are concerned, there cannot be a down, at Amoy, by cholera in June last. Dr. Douglas doubt that they are still far superior to those of was only in his forty-seventh year, but he has long Turkey, and if the war be persisted in, as appears been regarded, by those best able to judge of him sadly probable, through another summer, there can and his work, as belonging to the very front rank of be little doubt that Turkey must yield. But who can those distinguished men who have laboured with reckon up the cost of blood and treasure at which signal success in a field in which such success can be such a triumph must be gained ? As this goes to secured only by the combination of the highest press, we read of a “great victory” won by the Rus-mental endowments with rare devotedness of spirit. sian army in Asia, after a prolonged series of abortive Dr. Douglas presented this combination, and his efforts ; but the conviction seems to be settling down unlooked-for removal is not only felt as a severe blow upon the minds of observers that no decisive issue is to the mission at Amoy, of which he was the senior to be expected from the present campaign. The member, but as a great loss to that comparatively prospect is a dark one, and the reflections which it small band of European and American Christian suggests are bitter. The tidings which reach us of teachers who are seeking to spread the Gospel among the state of the armies are most melancholy. Tens the millions of China. He was the youngest son of of thousands of men are encamped on ground which a learned and excellent Presbyterian minister, and the autumn rains have transformed into a vast bed of in that quiet Scotch manse he and his brothers remud; fever, dysentery, and other sicknesses are ceived the first impressions and instructions which cutting off hundreds upon hundreds by death. The helped to prepare them for the honourable positions imagination is baffled by the sufferings which are which, as we believe, they have all attained. As a being endured, not only by soldiers in the camp and student in the Glasgow University, Carstairs Douglas on the battle-field, but also by the unnumbered thou was much under the influence of his pastor and friend, sands of women and children amongst whom, directly the late vigorous and holy William Arnot. From the and indirectly, the war is making havoc. So far as time of his arrival in China to the last days of his life the soldiers are concerned, it is some comfort to hear he gave himself with sustained and indomitable ardour that the Russian Government seems to be really in to his work, and thus, it is to be feared, prepared earnest in the endeavour to make provision for the himself to become the victim of the terrible disalleviation to some extent of the rigours of the winter. ease to which he succumbed. His knowledge of Stores of blankets, clothing, and necessaries for the the Chinese language and literature was remarksick and wounded, are being pushed forward in vastably accurate and extensive, and was obtained by quantities to supply the pressing need. Among the the most laborious and conscientious toil. He benevolent efforts being made by neutrals on behalf published in 1873 a dictionary of the colloquial lanof sufferers from the war, we note those of Dr. guage of Amoy, which gave evidence of his rare Ziemann, well known to many benevolent persons in scholarship, and is greatly valued for its practical the country, who has been long labouring with usefulness. He was an enthusiastic and indefatigable immense energy, skill, and zeal on behalf of the poor missionary, with an unquenchable eagerness for refugees of Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro. evangelistic work, with a broad and liberal intelliDr. Ziemann has been trying to arrange with the gence in his methods, and with a gentleness and Turkish Government for the safe return of these poor humility of spirit which secured him the devoted creatures to their homes, but his efforts have been affection of his brother missionaries. He died after unsuccessful. He feels that any attempt to send them a few hours' illness, calmly trustful, but leaving to back would expose them to disaster and death, and his friends that which is more precious than deathwith the cold, hungry, wet, and almost hopeless mul- bed sayings—the remembrance of a consecrated life. titudes around him, he is alarmed at the prospects of Dr. Douglas had just returned from the missionary the coming winter. Dr. Ziemann is backed by the conference at Shanghai, and one of his last acts was Manchester Evangelization Committee, the secretary to send to the treasurer of the English Presbyterian of which (Mr. Sinclair) writes begging that the Mission a number of copies of an appeal addressed benevolent would replenish the now exhausted ex- by the hundred and twenty missionaries who comchequer.

posed the Shanghai conference “to the various

mission boards, colleges, and churches of the world, III.—MISSION JOTTINGS.

for more men and women for China." He was very, THE HARVEST FIELD IN CHINA.

anxious that this appeal should be widely published We should like, with very special emphasis, to call in Great Britain and Ireland; and important and attention to the September number of the little impressive as the appeal is in itself, it will probably quarterly publication issued by the Foreign Missions be read with deeper emotion by not a few from the Committee of the Presbyterian Church of England, fact that it comes, in this case, fresh from the hand the title of which, The Gospel in China, is no doubt of one who has just fallen in the field on which he familiar to many of our readers. It contains, within had toiled and fought so well. The address speaks

for itself, and we cannot but lay before our readers in China, at the present day, to almost every form of its principal passages :

degradation, cruelty, and vice which prevailed in

those ancient kingdoms. And what aggravates the "I. China is by far the largest heathen country in case is that the literati and rulers of all grades--notthe world. Including its dependencies, it embraces withstanding occasional proclamations to the contrary a territory larger than the whole continent of Europe; | --make use of the prevailing superstitions to influence or, excluding the Mohammedan kingdoms, it is and govern the people. Thus the educated, instead about equal to all the rest of the heathen nations of seeking to enlighten and elevate the masses, only combined.

bind the fetters of ignorance more effectually upon “II. It is also beyond all question the most im- them. There is, therefore, no hope for China in portant. The discoveries of Livingstone revealed a itself. Under these circumstances millions pass into grand future for Africa; the wealth of India is well eternity every year! known; but no heathen country in the world can for "There are, however, many indications of promise. one moment be compared to China. Its mineral (1) Thirty-seven years ago, there were only three resources alone rival those of the Western States of native Christians in all China in connection with the America, and indicate that China will be one of the Protestant missions. Now there are at least twelve great nations of the future.

or thirteen thousand. (2) A much larger proportion “III. The Chinese, though the oldest nation in have applied for baptism during the past year than the world, are as full of vigour and promise as ever. in any previous year, and the candidates have been Intellectually they are fit for anything. In diplomacy generally of a higher type of character. (3) The and mercantile enterprise they have proved them- empire is more open than ever for the preaching of selves a match for the ablest and most far-reaching the Word, and the Chefoo Convention of last year, minds among ourselves. There are those among together with the proclamations agreed upon, is them who have mastered every new art and science proving a mighty instrument towards the more effecwe have set before them. Their enterprise and per- tual opening up of the vast interior. (4) Not only is severance are proverbial."

the country open to our efforts, but the minds of “IV. At the present moment one feature of the many in different quarters have been more or less Chinese character deserves special notice. They are aroused from their lethargy: (5) Multitudes are the great colonisers of the East. The natives of reading our books; and not a few are eagerly investiCambodia, Sumatra, Java, the Philippine Islands, gating the nature and bearing of Western innovaTimor, Borneo, the Sandwich Islands, &c., fall be- tions. fore civilisation. Europeans cannot cope with the “We earnestly appeal to the whole Christian world insalubrity of these climates. The Chinese alone for help. There are still eight provinces in which have proved themselves able to maintain vigorous there is not one resident missionary. In others there physical life in these regions. They are entering are only two or three; and, taking China as a whole, them by thousands, and in some cases tens of thou- we stand as one missionary for Massachusetts, or two sands, every year, and that in an ever-increasing for Scotland. ... We are in dead earnest. We do ratio. They are also rapidly colonising Manturia, not know what to do for lack of men. The country Mongolia, and Thibet. It is clear, therefore, that opens, the work grows. Think of stations with only the Chinese will ultimately become the dominant one man to hold his own against the surging tide of race in all these vast countries.

heathenism! We are ready to be overwhelmed by V. A stream of immigration has of late set in the vastness of the work. Many among us are towards Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific tempted to undertake too many duties. Hence the States of America, which is widening every year. It broken health and early death of not a few of our will prove a blessing or a curse, just in proportion as

best men. the fountain is cared for.

“We want China emancipated from the thraldom “We will not pursue this line of thought further; of sin in this generation. It is possible. Our Lord the dark features of Chinese life and character oppress has said, ' According to your faith be it unto you? us. Chinese civilisation has been set against Chris- The Church of God can do it, if she be only faithful tian civilisation. Those who draw this comparison to her great commission. When will young men cannot have mingled with the Chinese people. Un press into the mission field as they struggle for derneath their showy exterior the most pitiful, debas-positions of worldly honour and affluence? When ing, and cruel customs prevail. The highest autho- will parents consecrate their sons and daughters to rity in the land testifies to this. The Peeking missionary work as they search for rare openings of

Gazette day by day demonstrates the prevalence of worldly influence and honour ? When will Christians the grossest superstitions among all classes, from the give for missions as they give for luxuries and amuseEmperor downwards.

ments ? When will they learn to deny themselves "We will not seek to harrow your feelings by for the work of God as they deny themselves for such entering into details. Of old it was said that men earthly objects as are dear to their hearts ? Or,

changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an rather, when will they count it no self-denial, but the image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, highest joy and privilege, to give with the utmost! and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.' The liberality for the spread of the gospel among the Chinese go farther than this. They not only worship heathen ?” the dead, and idols of wood and stone, but also, in many districts, the most loathsome creatures. Mere AN ABANDONED MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE. civilisation is no criterion of the moral condition of the people. We have all read of the debasing wor- The immense difficulty and discouragements attendship of the ancient Egyptians, the horrid rites of the ing Christian efforts on behalf of Mohammedans have cultivated Phoenicians, and have stood aghast at the often formed and still form the subject of serious immorality of Greece and Rome during the most glorious epochs of their history. We do not say that and anxious inquiry on the part of the supporters the Chinese have reached the same depths of iniquity,

of missionary enterprise. We are sorry to learn that but we do affirm that, with the exception of immoral the Church Missionary Society have felt themselves rites in religious services, parallels can be pointed out compelled, in the face of the obstacles which con

front them in Constantinople, to withdraw their mis- the case, and also to the open doors presented for sion from that city. We do not doubt that this missionary labour in Africa, India, and China, the course has been resolved upon as the result of a full society have, as we have mentioned, withdrawn their and patient consideration of all the circumstances of agent and brought their effort in Constantinople to a the case; but this does not diminish the regret that close. by any part of the Christian army of evangelists, at

THE LIVINGSTONIA MISSION. any point, especially at the central seat of the

Africa has been called the “ Missionaries' Grave," Turkish power, the Christian flag should have to be and it seems as if

, as the great field of African labour lowered, and the Moslem confessed to be inconquer is opened up, the phrase were to be perpetuated, able.

proving itself only too truly descriptive of the fact. The Society's mission in Constantinople was established in 1819, in the development of a scheme Central Africa can, it is clear, only be carried to a

The efforts being made to carry the Gospel into of missionary enterprise started on behalf of the successful issue at the cost of valuable lives as well as countries of the Mediterranean a few years previously.

of severe labour. Its history has been chequered and interrupted and

It is little more than a year since Dr. John upon the whole unsatisfactory. The great hindrance

Smith went out as the medical head of the Church has been the intolerance of Mohammedanism, administered by the cruel and relentless government of Missionary Society's Mission to Lake Victoria

Nyanza. A few weeks ago the Society received Turkey. It was in 1843 that Lord Stratford Canning

a telegraphic announcement of his sudden death. (then Sir S. Canning) obtained from the Porte, after

It is just twelve months since Dr. Black, of tedious diplomatic proceedings, arising from the the Free Church of Scotland Livingstonia Mission, execution by order of the Turkish Government of arrived, with others, at the scene of labour in which some Mohammedans who had become Christians, a pledge to the following effect: “The Sublime valuable service for many years to come.

it was expected and hoped that he would render

But he, Porte engages to take effectual measures to pre too, has passed away, having fallen a victim to vent henceforward the execution and putting to death of a Christian who is a renegade.” These Black, who had originally been destined for the pro

malarious fever at the early age of thirty-one. Dr. words, however, were afterwards held to apply only session of an architect, and had studied accordingly, to the case of converts from Mohammedanism who turned to medicine, with the special purpose of fitting had been born Christians, not to Mohammedans who himself for missionary labour. He showed great had been such from their birth. It was in the course of the Crimean war that the British Government urged distinction as a medical student at the Glasgow

aptitude for his new calling, and won considerable upon the Porte, and indeed demanded, that liberty of

University. He was eminently unselfish and devoted, conscience should be granted, so that Mohammedan subjects of Turkey who became Christians should not engaging heartily in Christian service, especially

amongst the young, at the Barony Church, with which be liable to punishment In 1858 the Churcis Missionary Society, taking fired with true missionary ardour, and he resolved to

he was for some time connected. His spirit was courage from the proclamation made by the Porte, in compliance with this demand, recommenced their give himself to Africa, impelled in the choice of this

sphere of labour by the desire “ to do something mission, which had then for some time been suspended, for the direct purpose of evangelizing the original,” and “not to build on another man's

foundation.” It was within six months of his arrival Turks. During the succeeding six years some suc

at Lake Nyassa that his summons came, and his work cess seemed to attend these labours, and several

was abruptly closed. As can well be understood, converts were baptised. But in 1864, for some cause not assigned, "the Turkish police suddenly colony of Livingstonia. Dr. Stewart, writing on

this loss has cast a gloom upon the little Christian attacked the premises of the Church Missionary behalf of himself and his fellow-labourers, saysSociety, of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and of the Bible Society, and forcibly closed “We are puzzled and perplexed when such an them, seized the Christian books, and threw the event as this occurs. Here was a man in every way converts and inquirers into prison. Through the admirably qualified, by his varied previous training, intervention of the British Ambassador the converts habits, and inclinations, for the field of his choice were afterwards released, and partial redress was

and, indeed, for any mission-field. He has hardly

commenced to work when he is called on to cease. obtained; but the books were not restored, and a It is the old and oft-recurring perplexity, due entirely course of systematized obstruction and espionage was to our limited views both of God's providence, and entered upon, and “men suspected of Christian ten- our ignorance of the ends which are served by each dencies were sent off by scores into exile, and con

man's life on earth. Hence, though perplexed and demned to work in the galleys.” From that time and love, as knowing best and doing best.”

saddened, we continue to believe in God's wisdom Christian evangelistic effort has been hampered and restricted in every way. During thirteen years only These losses make a strong demand upon the two baptisms have been reported by the society's Church's faith, and form a new challenge to the missionary, and in both cases temporary arrests fol- devotion of its young men, who are summoned forward lowed. Having regard to the entire circumstances of to the vacant nlaces in the ranks.

« PreviousContinue »