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Mussulman, and yet worshipped a single God.
He told Ricci that there were twelve families of
Israelites at K'ai-feng, and that they possessed a
fine synagogue (this was, of course, before the
disaster of 1642), with a scroll of the Law over
five hundred years old ; he added that there was
another synagogue, with a still larger number of
Jewish families at Hangchow. Scattered over
other parts of China there were yet other fragments
of Jewish communities, who, for want of meeting-
places, were gradually being absorbed by the
pagans. Ricci at once sent some native Christians
to make enquiry at K'ai-feng, and found that the
story of Mr Ngai (one of the family names of the
1 163 immigrants) was in the main quite true. Pere
Nicholas Trigault, who had been in Peking for a
short time in 16 10, the year of Ricci's death,
was stationed at K'ai-feng Fu in 1623. Leaving
Figuereido in charge, he proceeded to Si-an Fu,


where he was the first European to see the cele-
brated Nestorian Stone discovered in 1623 ; during
his stay in K'ai-feng he must have had opportunities
of inspecting the Jewish inscriptions too, and possibly
also the synagogue of Hangchow, where he died
in 1627 ; but it is not on record that he ever did
so. It was not until about a century or more after
this that PP. Gozani (1707), Domenge, Cibot (1770),
and Gaubil in turn sent home abridged translations
of the inscriptions, afterwards collated by P. Brotier.
In 1850 the Bishop of Hongkong (Protestant)
took the lead in sending a deputation of Chinese
Christians to K'ai-feng Fu, and two of the Jews
were induced the following year to come to
Shanghai, bringing with them numerous beautifully
inscribed scrolls of w^hite sheepskin. But the
synagogue had by this time already ceased to
exist, and the remnant of the Jews were in a
deplorable condition of poverty. In 1866 the Rev.
W. A. P. Martin, an American Protestant missionary
(still working for the Chinese in an educational
capacity), himself visited the site of the synagogue ;
he gives a graphic account of his visit in the
Journal of the Shanghai Asiatic Society for 1866.
He also alludes to the fact that the ordinary
Chinese had some difficulty in distinguishing these
"sinew-picking Hwei-hweV from the local Mussul-
mans, who had six mosques in the city, and who,
so far from sympathising with the Jews in their
distress, rejoiced in the destruction of their
synagogue, and even denounced them as Kafirs

174 THE JEWS [chap.

(unbelievers). One solitary stone was all that was
left in the open space where the synagogue used
to be, and on the two faces of this stone were
the above described records of 1489 and 1512 ;
the stone of 1663 was in a separate place originally.
Several Jews stepped out, in answer to a call, from
the crowd which stood round Dr Martin, and their
features in his opinion unmistakably marked them
as being such ; notwithstanding these external
evidences of feature, thus surviving after 700 years
of pagan Chinese surroundings, they had lost all
knowledge of Hebrew, ceased to hand down the
traditions of their forefathers, and discontinued the
ritual. The male children had not even been
circumcised, and the wretched adults confessed
that they had been driven by want to pull down
the sacred building with their own hands. Seven
of the original immigrant families named in 1489
still had representatives there, and the whole colony
as then existing fell short of 400 souls ; but they
never assembled, had no registers, and were unable
to follow back their tribal pedigrees. One of the
men present was the son of the last rabbi, who had
died in the distant province of Kan Suh about the
year 1830. Of course the devastating T'ai-p'ing
rebellion, the back of which had only been completely
broken in 1864, was largely responsible for this

Since then several Europeans have visited the
site — Mr Libermann in 1867, the Rev. D. J.
Mills in 1898. In 1902 a party of eight Jews


visited Shanghai, and declared that the number of
adults in the colony was now reduced to 140.
Most of the rituals, scrolls, and other interesting
objects connected with these interesting people
have now been secured and deposited in the British
Museum, or in the museums of Shanghai, Hong-
kong, and places in India. The Jewish community
at Shanghai is believed to have taken the matter
in hand with a view of preserving the colony from
extinction, and one of the Jewish lads who
accompanied the visitors of 1902 is receiving
instruction at that treaty port. According to an
article published two or three years ago in the
East of Asia Magazine by Mr Edward Isaac Ezra,
a Jewish merchant of Shanghai, many of the rituals
are Persian, and there are many Persian words in the
Hebrew scrolls ; in his opinion the immigrants must
have come by way of Khorasan and Samarcand.

The modern Chinese writers on Mohamme-
danism call Christians Ou-jo-pa (Arabic Our abba),
or " Europeans," just as the Arabs of the seventh
century used the word Afrangk, in a loose way,
concurrently with " Ourobbaween " and " Al Roum "
for " the Byzantines " ; hence the West Turks, when
in the sixth century they came into intimate relation
with Persia and Byzantium, brought the word
Fuh-lin {Afrangh, Ferenghi, etc.) back with them
to China. It is a curious fact that from first
to last the Turkish race, whether as Hiung-nu,
Eptals, Turks proper, Ouigours, or Mongols, have
been almost the sole medium of connecting by

176 THE JEWS [chap.

religious links China with Europe. Even now the
Turks, besides being leaders of the faithful, are in
possession of both Jewish and Christian head-
quarters, and, in their mixed condition as Mongols
or Moguls, may be said to have held until a century
ago possession of the headquarters of Buddhism.
The same modern Chinese writers call the Jews
Chu-hu-ti, and this gives a clue by which we are
enabled with greater certainty to trace the existence
of Jews in China during the Mongol dynasty,
which was in possession of the whole empire a
century after the first immigration of the Persian
Jews in 1163. Thus in the year 1329 (midway
between the years 1279 and 1356 of the Jewish
inscriptions) a decree ordained that: "traders
belonging to the Erkuns (Christians), Shuh-htt
(in Cantonese still pronounced shtt - fut), and
Danishmends should still pay duties under the
former laws." Mention has already been made of
the Censor's recommendation of 1340 that uncles
(fathers' brothers) of the Danishmends, Buddhists,
Taoists, Mussulmans, and Chu-wu people should
not be allowed to intermarry — possibly meaning
that their children should not. In 1355 an order
was issued by the Emperor Toghun Timur calling
upon the good archers of Ning-hia (Marco Polo's
Egrigaia, where he says there were Nestorians),
and the rich men of the Mussulmans and Shuh-hu
to proceed to the capital for military service. It
might be that the repairs made (according to the
third tablet) to the K'ai-feng synagogue in 1356


were an official reward for these services in


It is also remarkable to notice that whilst the

Nestorians and Jews, both of whom clearly came
to China from Persia, were, according to the
evidences of their respective stones, eager to com-
pound with Chinese philosophy in defining their
faith, there is no evidence that the Mussulmans,
at any place in China, have ever condescended to
depart one jot from their " Allah is great, and
Mohammed is his prophet," or that they have ever
felt the need of imperial patronage. The Emperor
K'ien - lung's pompous dedication of 1767 was
purely gratuitous, and, moreover, historically in-
correct. So far from adapting the Mussulman
beliefs to Chinese ideas, he graciously sympathises
with his conquered foes for having never heard of
any literature but the Rouz Nameh.




Gradual collapse of the T'ang dynasty after the religious persecutions

of A.D. 845. — Tartars once more dominate the North. — No sign

of continued Nestorianism ; or scarcely any. — Genghis Khan

thinks of Taoism ; Christians heard of in Tartary. — Alarm in

Europe ; action of the Pope. — Carpini finds Christians in

Mongolia. — Proof of a Western physican being with Kayuk

Khan. — Rubruquis finds Christians. — Mangu Khan arranges a

religious tournament ; he mentions Christians ; comes round to

Buddhism. — Christians in Marco Polo's time. — Bishopric at

Peking under Montecorvino. — Buddhists overweening under

Hayshan Khan. — Temples of the Cross. — Travels of Friar Odoric.

— Jews and Christians mentioned in an edict. — Mussulman

persecutions. — The word " Frank " again in evidence. — Eclipse

of Christianity for three hundred years. — Franks under the new

Ming dynasty ; concerted silence of Chinese historians. — Arrival

of Portuguese Franks with their guns. — St. Francis Xavier

comes from Japan to convert China. — Unfavourable impressions

left by the Portuguese traders. — Establishment of an episcopal

see at Macao. — First missionaries in the interior of KwangTung.

— Arrival of Ricci. — Suspicions cause them to quit ; he establishes

a mission at Nanking, and visits Peking. — Success. — Juda?a

identified with Ta-ts'in. — Ricci visited by the Chinese Jews. —

Nestorian stone not yet discovered. — Ill-will of a high official

causes the expulsion of the Peking and Nanking missionaries to

Macao. —Persecutions.— Rise of the Manchu power. — Need of

Frank guns. Missionaries sent for. — Discovery of the Nestorian

stone. — Statistics of converts in 1627. — Reform of the Calendar

by Schall ; Mussulman jealousy ; Schall manufactures guns. —

The Manchus take Peking, and patronise the missionaries. —

Accession of the emperor K'ang-hi. — Efforts of Spanish regulars

in China thwarted by the Portuguese.— Mussulman malice at

Peking. — Schall sentenced to death. — K'ang-hi takes over power

u ■-


from the Regents, and patronises Verbiest. — Guns and Christianity
once more. — Louis XIV. sends more missionaries. — Gerbillon
and the Russians. — Louis and K'ang-hi subscribe to build a new
cathedral. — Unfortunate question of ancestral rites ; the Jesuit
view. — The Spanish (Dominican and Franciscan) view. — Change-
able action of the Holy See under conflicting counsels. — Decision
of the Manchu emperor in favour of the Jesuits. — Bishop Toumon
sent to negotiate with him. — The Bull Ex quo singulari brings
disputes to a crisis. — Persecutions under two succeeding emperors.
— Abolition of the Society of Jesus ; Peking placed under the
Lazarists. — The French Revolution and after. — Slight improve-
ment after the first English war. — Second English war, in which
France joins ; the T'ai-p'ing rebellion. — The pia fraus of Abbe
Delamarre. — The Tientsin Massacre. — Shifting of the Peking
Cathedral, and concession of official rank to all missionaries. —
Statistics of all the Roman Church missions in the Chinese

Soon after the persecutions of 845, in which
Manicheans and Nestorians aHke had suffered, a
series of rebellions broke out in China ; the T'ano:
dynasty collapsed ; for half a century the Empire
was divided up into a number of contending states
— almost each province claiming to possess an
emperor or a king ; — and then for 300 years (900-
1 200) Tartars of various kinds once more dominated
North China, whilst the Sung dynasty (Marco
Polo's Manzi) ruled the south. There are authentic
traces of Jews during this period, as we have seen ;
but Nestorianism seems to have absolutely dis-
appeared, so far as written records of its continued
existence are concerned. The word "Great
Virtue " only appears once, and even then almost
at the very close ; in the years 1 196-1 197 the Golden
Dynasty of Nuchen Tartars, already menaced by
the rising power of Genghis Khan, decided to raise


money by selling " salvation certificates " in order
to provide for the army expenses, and certain rules
were made limiting the age and numbers of pro-
fessed bonzes, srdmaneras, Taoists, and Great
Virtues ; at that time K'ai-feng Fu was in the
Niachen dominions, and indeed in 12 14, as the
Mongols advanced, became the Niichen capital,
so that we may well believe some stray Nestorians
had remained there, or had come in the wake of
the Jews of 1163, When Genghis Khan found
himself amongst the strange religions of the West,
he seems to have been struck with certain qualms
of conscience, so he despatched from his camp
near Samarcand one of his Mussulman generals
named Djabar Khodjo to fetch from Shan Tung
a celebrated Taoist recluse whom he wished to
consult on spiritual matters ; the journal of this
recluse is extant, and has been translated into
English ; as he was approaching a town between
modern Gutchen and Urumtsi, he was welcomed
by the chief of the tieh-sieh (the tersa or Christians).
On his return to China this Taoist enjoyed power,
even over the Buddhists, until his death in 1227;
but in 1253 a Kashmirian Buddhist named Nama
was placed by Mangu Khan over the rival bonzes,
and polemical disputations took place at court.
Such was the alarm caused in Europe by the
Mongol conquests, that after the council of Lyons
in 1245 Pope Innocent IV. despatched John de
Piano Carpini and other monks to intercede with
Genghis' son, the new Khan Ogdai. Ogdai was


dead and Kayuk was being crowned when Carpini
reached Sira - Ordo in 1247; two of the Great
Khan's ministers were found to be Greek Christians
who maintained a chapel there at the Khan's
expense. This agreeable discovery led many other
monks from Syria, Babylonia, and the land of the
Alans (Tartars of the Aral) to visit the Khan,
whose physicians, according to the Persian authors,
were Christians. This last statement is interesting,
for the Mongol history, which in one place says
Aisie was a Fuh - lin man (Frank), a linguist,
astrologer, and physician, actually asserts that he
served Kayuk, and that subsequently in 1263 was
chief physician and astrologer to Kublai ; in 1273
he is once styled a Mussulman, and his hospital at
Peking w^as officially called the " Broad Charity " :
on his death he was made Prince of Fuh - lin,
having already when alive been created Duke of
Ts'in Kingdom (Byzantine Empire). Louis IX.
despatched Bartholomew of Cremona and William
of Rubruquis to the sub-khan, Sartach (on the
Volga), where they met with some Nestorians ; and
to Mangu Khan (at Karakoram), where they
found Armenian, Russian, and Nestorian priests.
Haithon, King of Armenia, also visited Sartach
(on his way to Mangu's court), and found him a
Christian. Rubruquis says there were Nestorians
in fifteen of the Chinese '' civitatibus'' (provincial
capitals), with a bishop at Segin (probably Si-king
or " Western capital," for the name Si-ngan or
Si-an did not then yet exist) ; they were very


corrupt, and repeated their Syriac ritual like
parrots, without knowing in the least what it
meant. Mangu Khan arranged a "field-day" for
disputes between Nestorians, Catholics, Mussul-
mans, Taoists, and Buddhists. Rubruquis was
the victorious champion for the first two, but he
says nothing of Taoists. Mangu congratulated
him and said : " We Tartars recognise one God,
at whose beck we live and die, and to whom
our hearts are always converted. But, just as
God has given us several fingers to our hands,
so has he graciously granted to men many ways
leading to celestial bliss. Thus he has given to
the tieh-sieh the Mi-sh'i-ho (Messiah, Gospels),
and to us Mongols the Shamans. On the other
hand, you have now been some time in our realm ;
take steps towards returning to your own country."
This was in 1254. But in 1256 Mangu, whose
mother was a Christian, had another bout ; this
time in the absence of the doughty Christian
champion; and he decided for Buddhism, — "the
thumb," whilst Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity,
and Islam were styled mere " fingers." There are
proofs that under Kublai Taoists continued to
enjoy some credit, — even after 1285, when they
were finally humiliated by their rivals the Buddhists,
and with his official sanction.

Allusion has already been made to Kublai Khan's
decree of 1262; the persons of "other religions"
who had to give military service were Elko'en or
Erkun (Arkons) and Danishmends (Mollahs) ; it


has been proved that the Mongols used to call
Christians by this name — ye-li-k'o-iven as it appears
in Chinese — which is perhaps the Greek ^px<^v in its
Syraic form; another decree of 1264 ordains that
they, as well as mollahs, bonzes, and Taoist priests,
must pay land-tax and trade-taxes. In that year a
"Western bonze" was ordered to pray for rain,
but it is not clear what religion is intended ;
evidently neither Chinese Buddhists nor Taoists
were meant, for in 1266 these were both specially
ordered to pray for rain ; to judge by three other
decrees in 1 286-1 287, probably Hindoo Buddhist
priests or Kashmirians are intended. In 1267, and
again in 1 292, the four religious groups, and also stage-
post managers, were exempted from certain military
services. In 1270, and again in 1282, the same
four classes, if married contrary to their disciplinary
laws, were placed on a level as to taxes, etc., with
ordinary lay folk ; in the same year the student
bonzes of Tangut were prohibited from occupying
private land under false pretences. At this time
China, Tangut, Transoxiana, and Turkestan were
the most easterly four of the sixty-four Nestorian
Sees, under the Patriarch at Bagdad. In 1887
Mr Labaree, an American missionary in Persia,
discovered a Syrian sketch proving that in the
thirteenth century one of the Patriarchs had come
from China along with a second Nestorian. Marco
Polo mentions Christians at Bagdad, Kashgar,
Yarkand, and Samarcand ; also at Sacchiou (Sha
Chou), Succiur (Suh Chou), and Campichu (Kan,


or Kam Chou), all three in Tangut ; besides other
places in the modern provinces of Shan Si (where
he calls them "Argon"), Chili Li, and Yiin Nan.
Mar Nestorius was the metropolitan at Peking when
Marco first arrived there in 1275. In 1 271 Kublai
had written to the Pope to ask for a hundred
Catholic literates, in consequence of which Nicholas
III. sent some letters in reply by a Franciscan
mission (1277-1280) ; just at that time, according
to Marco Polo, Kublai sent a Nestorian, named
Mar Sarghiz, as governor of Cin-ghingiu (Chin-
kiang Fu), where he built two churches. Within
the past generation the Russian Archimandrite
Palladius has discovered confirmation of this
circumstance in a fourteenth century Chinese work
on Chinkiang, even to the name of Mar Sarghiz :

" Samarcand is a country where the religion of
the Elkoen dominates. The founder of the religion
was called Mar Elia (the Lord Elias). Ma
Sie-li-ki-sz is a follower of Him, and also built a
church at Hangchow."

Unfortunately, in 1308, the hostile Buddhists
got the upper hand in these parts, and turned both
churches into temples. According to Marco Polo,
Nayen, Lord of Manchuria, who was defeated and
slain in 1287 by Kublai near Mukden, was a
Christian, and fought under the Banner of the
Cross ; but the Chinese say nothing to suggest it.
The Quilon Christian mission in 1282 has already
been mentioned ; it was sent by U-tsa-r P'ieh-li-ma,


which suggests "the Ustdd^ Ephraim." Meanwhile
the Franciscan, John of Montecorvino, had reached
Khanbalig (Peking), founded his bishopric, and
built his church (1289); unfortunately he lacked a
sufficiency of coadjutors, and found himself seriously
obstructed by the jealous Nestorians. Kublai died
in 1294, and was succeeded by his grandson Timur.
Montecorvino was created Archbishop and Primate
of the Far East by Clement V. in 1307, and two
bishops came out the following year in order
to consecrate and reinforce him. For some
unexplained reason the next Great Khan, Hayshan,
renewed the old ordnance that bonzes, Taoists,
Arkons, and Danishmends should pay taxes like
other folk ; this order was confirmed, both as to
land-tax and customs-dues, in 1309, in spite of a
vigorous protest from the Buddhist hierarchy.
Something must have occurred to irritate the
Emperor ; probably the outrageous violence of
the Buddhist monks at Shang-tu (Xanadu) in
1 307- 1 308: the result was that the official bureaux
of all religions were entirely suppressed in 13 10.
It is not clear why the Buddhist office was also
closed, for Hayshan showed a foolish tolerance of
the ruffianly monks. Western writers mention a
Catholic bishopric in Zaitun (near Amoy, in Fuh
Kien), and a church built there by a rich Armenian
lady; the bishop, Mgr. Gerard, died about 1313.

^ The Jewish inscription, which also makes use of the Mussulman
title mollah^ uses this Persian word for " rabbi " in the form U-sz-tah^
as we have already seen.

1 86 THE ROMAN CHURCH [chap.

The Mongol history has numerous mentions
of foreign trade there ; in 1 308 a certain
Ma-ho-ma-tan-ti, who was trading there, sent the
Emperor some presents, including Turkestan
horses, etc. In 13 14 Ayulipalipatra, brother and
successor of Hayshan, once more exempted priests
of the four religions from certain taxes ; this edict,
full and translated copies of which in Mongol and
Chinese still exist, is well known to specialists. In
1315 the Arkon Temple of the Cross at Peking
was completely reorganised and raised to a higher
status :

"The seventy-two Arkon faith-managing offices
(? dioceses) within the Empire are abolished, and
their affairs are transferred to this one bureau."

In 1320 a further unimportant change in
nomenclature was made. The new Bishop of
Zaitun, Mgr. Peregrin (one of the two who had
been sent out to consecrate Montecorvino), died
in 1322. In 1324 an edict appeared ordering
that all Arkons were to conduct fasts according to
their own teaching, and that both they and the
Danishmends were to be exempt from forced
labour demands. Amongst the wandering monks
who visited China about now was the celebrated
Franciscan Friar Odoric of Frioul, whose account
of his experiences with Montecorvino at Peking
we have in our European libraries ; he also found a
Franciscan convent in existence at Yang-chou Fu,
where there were "plusieurs autres Eglises de
religieux, mais ceulz sont nestorins." It was


Odoric's intention to fetch fifty more monks to
China, but he died at Utini in 1331 on his way-
home. In 1328, or, as one account says, 1330,
Montecorvino died, and was succeeded in 1333 by
Archbishop Nicholas, who only reached Peking in
1342. He w^as unconsciously crossed on his way
by a mission from the Khan to the Pope, asking
for a successor to Montecorvino: Benedict XII.
sent back four Franciscans with these messengers
(1338). In 1329 a decree ordered Arkons, SJmh-hu
(Jews), and Danishmends to pay taxes under
former laws. It has already been stated that the
mother of Mangu (and of Kublai, a niece of
" Prester John" of the Keraits) was a Christian,
and that Marco Polo found some Christians at
Campichu : the following edict of 1335, with its
rescript, is therefore interesting : —

"The Grand Council represents that the Temple
of the Cross in the Kam Chou circuit contains the
remains of the late Dowager- Empress, mother of
his late Majesty Divus Secularis (Kublai), and
advises that the proper rites in her spiritual
honour be fixed. Agreed to."

In 1338 a Franciscan mission had been founded
in Hi by Pascal de Vittoria, but it was destroyed
within five years. Dynastic quarrels, recrimina-
tions, and murders had been going on for some
time in connection with the succession, in which
struggles, as we have seen, the Mussulmans took a
grave part. According to Catholic missionary
accounts (which, however, are not supported by


precise evidence), a cruel Mussulman persecution of
Christians took place under the last Khan Toghun
Timur (1333 -1368). Benedict XII., then at
Avignon, received letters dated 1336 from him,
and also from the Alan Tartars in his service at
Peking : the envoy bearing these letters was a
francus named Andrea : indeed, this is the mission
above alluded to which, in some way, crossed that

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