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condition of native Christians remained about the
same, and the missionaries were not allowed to
penetrate into the interior : still, the conditions were
easier, and many missionaries, as, for instance, the
celebrated Abb6 Hue and his companion Gabet,
who worked their way as Mongols through
"Egrigaia" to Lhasa, succeeded in carrying the
faith to the most remote places. In a short space
of time 30,000 Christians could once more be
counted in the empire. The Emperor Hien-feng
(husband of the present masterful Dowager, who
patronises both Buddhist and Taoist archimandrites),
was, it is said, brought up or nursed by a Christian
matron, and at first seemed, according to missionary
accounts, inclined to favour Christianity ; but during
his feeble reign (1851-1861) broke out the second
European war and the T'ai-p'Ing rebellion ; the
rebel leader at first gained some foreign (Protestant)
sympathy on account of his Christian professions ;
but when he began to masquerade as the brother
of Jesus Christ, and his followers to indulge in
promiscuous massacres, his head was sought by


Chinese and Europeans alike as a lupinunt caput.
Nanking fell in 1864, and he committed suicide.
After the final peace of i860 with the Allies, the
Emperor had promised that all the Church property
seized throughout a century or more of persecutions
should be restored to it ; the Peking cathedral was
repaired and cleaned ; and Mgr. Mouly, who had up
to that time been working in secret, then assumed
public charge of his flock. It was now that the
Abb6 Delamarre, without the knowledge of the
French Minister, introduced into the Chinese text of
the treaty the famous clause, which was only detected
by the Chinese when too late, "giving permission to
the French missionaries to hire or purchase lands
in all the provinces and to build upon such at their
pleasure." The British Ministers have always
declined to avail themselves (under the most-
favoured nation clause) of this provision. By 1870
there were 254 European and about 150 native
priests, with 404,530 converts.

The Tientsin massacre of 1870, aimed chiefly
against the French missionaries there, could not be
adequately avenged on account of the Franco-
German war having broken out ; Catholic influence
in China, which henceforth might be considered
synonymous with French influence, fell to zero, but
received some accession after the Franco-Chinese
war of 1884: it was reserved for M. Gerard,
French Minister from 1893 to 1897, to restore the
interests of the Roman Church committed to
France's care to their zenith of glory. After


prolonged negotiations, the Lazarist bishop, Mgr.
Favier,^ arranged for the transfer of K'ien-lung's
cathedral to a site outside the walls less com-
promising to Imperial Manchu dignity ; on the
other hand, he obtained from the Chinese Govern-
ment, for all missionaries, the concession of Chinese
official rank. Whether all the Vicars - Apostolic
will avail themselves of this, or will, like the
Protestants, decline to accept it, is a question which
lies with the unknown future ; the other Catholics
are certainly not bound by any arrangement the
Bishop at Peking (who is but a peer, and not even
primus inter pares) may see fit to make ; and it is
very doubtful if the wary Jesuits, who, however, are
much too shrewd to " give anything away," will find
that it is worth their while to make free use of so
compromising a gift.

At present the Roman missions in China are
divided into five regions, and the thirty-two Vicariats
of Pope Gregory XVI. have been increased to
thirty-eight, in addition to which there are two
Prefectures-General and one mere "mission." In
Chih Li there are four ; three Lazarist, and one
Jesuit. In Manchuria, two; Missions Etrangeres
of Paris. In Mongolia, three ; Missions Etrangeres
of Scheut. In North Ho Nan, one ; Missions
Etrangeres of Milan. Total, first region, about
200,000 Christians, 50,000 catechumens, 12,000
churches or chapels. In Shan Tung, three ; two
Franciscan, one Missions Etrangeres of Steyl. In

^ Died in April last almost on the day these lines were written.


Shan Si, two Franciscan. In Shen Si, one
Franciscan, one Missions Etrangeres of Rome.
Kan Suh and Sin Kiang, one Belgian. Total,
second region, about 120,000 Christians, 80,000
catechumens, 900 chapels. In Kiang Nan (An
Hwei, Nanking, and Shanghai), one, Jesuit. In
Cheh Kiang, one, Lazarist. In Kiang Si three,
Lazarist. In Hu Peh, three Franciscan. In South
Ho Nan one. Missions Etrangeres of Milan. In
Hu Nan two, Franciscan and Lazarist. Total, third
region, 240,000 Christians, 130,000 catechumens,
1700 chapels. In Kwei Chou, one; Sz Ch'wan,
three ; Yun Nan, one ; Tibet, one ; all Missions
Etrangeres of Paris. Total, fourth region.
Christians 120,000; catechumens (not given) ; 300
churches and chapels. In Kwang Tung and
Kwang Si each one, Missions Etrangeres of Paris.
In Full Kien two, Dominicans. In Hongkong
(which is not, however, China) one. Missions
Etrangeres of Milan. Total, fifth region, 110,000
Christians, 30,000 catechumens, 700 churches. All
the above are supposed to be in some way
under the ancient Diocese of Macao, which was
the only one preserved of the three original Sees,
when Peking and Nanking were abolished previous
to Pope Gregory's changes. The Two Kwang
establishments are only Prefectures-Apostolic, and
the Belgian one in Kan Suh is only a " mission."
Thus, including the thirty-eight Vicariats-Apostolic,
there are forty-two mutually independent Roman
missions, with 1063 European and 493 native

2o8 THE ROMAN CHURCH [chap. ix.

priests, 4961 places of worship, and 803,000
Christians. Formosa used to be attached to the
Amoy Dominican Vicariat (Fuh Kien) : it has 10
European priests, and 17 churches ; 1900 Christians,
and 200 catechumens ; but now it is Japanese
territory. The above figures are mostly for 1903,
many for 1904, a few only for 1902.

To give some idea of the progress made since
the returns of 1866, it may be stated that, in that
year, there were 263 European and 243 native
priests, having care over 383,580 Christians. There
were 22 Bishops and one Superior at work, including
the heads of the Two Kwang missions (then joined
in one). Chih Li (4) and Sz Ch'wan (3) were the
only provinces with more than one bishop. Shen
Si and Kan Suh were joined in one ; and Ho Nan
had only a Superior. In the year 1873 there were
278 European and 233 native priests, with 430,000
Christians, under 21 bishops, three provicars (Hu
Peh and Ho Nan), and one prefect (Hongkong);
but these figures, unlike those of 1866, do not
include Tibet, Mongolia, and Manchuria. Shortly
afterwards (1875) Hongkong and Ho Nan were
made bishoprics (Bishop Volonteri, the first of Ho
Nan died in December 1904); a third provicariat
was added to Hu Peh.



Morrison the first Protestant missionary in China. — Sir George
Staunton at Canton. — Morrison translates the Bible. — His
Dictionary. — Lockhart's medical mission. — Gutzlaff and
Medhurst. — Dr Legge and his works. — Alexander Wylie. —
Scarcity of interpreters. — New era created by the Treaty of
Tientsin. — The T'ai-p'ing Rebellion. — China Inland Mission. —
Missionary activity discouraged by British Ministers. —
"Missionary disturbances," and "gunboat policy." — Statistics
of Protestant missionaries in 1869. — A word for the "China
Inland." — Mortality amongst Protestant ladies. — Tientsin
massacre and Prince Kung^s missionary circular. — Indignation
of the missionaries. — Statistics for 1877, the year of famine ;
valuable missionary assistance. — Civilising influences of
missionaries not dependent on their religion. — China grows
aggressive with success and prosperity. — The Japanese war. —
Statistics for 1898 ; exceptional position of the China Inland
Mission. — Now as many missionaries as traders in China. —
Missionary influence in America and Great Britain . — Most
recent missionary hopes of success as expressed by a bishop. —
Regrettable squabbles between Protestants and Catholics. —
Japan's excellent examples.

It may be said, in a general sense, that no
organised attempts to convert the Chinese to
Christianity were made by Protestant missionaries
until after the second war and the Treaty or
Treaties of 1858- 1860. But that does not by any
means signify that there were none in China.
The very first Protestant missionary to land in

O '°9


there seems to have been Robert Morrison, of
the London Missionary Society, who reached
Macao in September 1807, after a voyage from
New York of 113 days. No doubt the mission
of Lord Macartney to Peking in 1793, and the
fact that his former page, George Staunton, was
in 1807 serving the East India Company as
secretary at the Canton factory, had something to
do with this new missionary enterprise. Morrison's
first notion was to Hve on Chinese food and wear
the "pigtail"; but he soon came to the conclusion
that this course was not the wisest. One of the
first things he heard from Staunton (afterwards
Sir George) was that he must look out for Roman
Catholic jealousy at Macao, which place, in fact,
the English somewhat rashly occupied for a short
time in 1808. In 18 13 his associate Dr Milne
arrived with his wife to assist, and from that date
Morrison preached regularly at both Macao and
Canton. Having studied Hebrew, Latin, and
theology, he was, after he had set to work to
learn Chinese, quite a competent man for the
task he undertook of translating the whole Bible
into Chinese ; George IV. accepted a copy from
him when he went home on leave in 1824. His
well - known Chinese dictionary, though com-
paratively obsolete since the labours of Sir Thomas
Wade and Dr Williams have placed the " mandarin "
dialects on a more scientific basis, was subsequently
printed at the cost of the East India Company.
In 1829 Morrison was again at Macao, where


at a complimentary meeting his many admirers
subscribed to present him with his portrait ; he
died in 1834. The American Board Mission sent
out Mr E. C. (afterwards Dr) Bridgeman in 1830;
and then the medical missionary, Dr Lockhart, was
sent out by the London Mission in 1839. The
first became widely known in due time as the
author of a Chinese-English Chrestomathy, and
the latter first established the hospital at Canton
which, under the subsequent able management of
Dr Hobson, Dr Carmichael, and Dr John Kerr,
has been such a powerful civilising and conciliating
agent in the south of China. Another distinguished
American, S. Wells Williams, came out as a printer
for the Board Mission in 1833.

Dr Carl Gutzlaff, a German, but of the
Netherlands Missionary Society, had done work in
Java, and also with the English missionary, Tomlin,
in Siam, before he appeared in Macao in 1831.
He seems to have spent some years in travelling
up and down the coast as an interpreter for the
opium ships, and occasionally in junks, converting,
or trying to convert the rough Chinese seamen,
and picking up various local dialects. He became
a fast friend of Morrison, who assisted him in
every possible way. He and Dr Medhurst, who
had also served as a missionary in Java, busied
themselves about a new translation of the Bible
into Chinese. He did not approve of the opium
trade, and in 1839 was glad to find more respectable
occupation as translator in serving the British


Government, then on the verge of hostilities with
China; in 1842 he obtained the post of third
interpreter, and assisted in arranging the con-
ditions of peace at Nanking. In 1843 Medhurst
established the London Missionary Society's
Shanghai branch ; he also, by his dictionary
and other labours, has left a sinological reputation
of no mean calibre behind him; he died in 1857.
Gutzlaff, meanwhile, remained in the south, where
he founded the Rhenish and Basel Missions, the
former for the speakers of the Punti group, the
latter for the speakers of the Hakka group of
dialects in Kwang Tung province; in 1847 four
missionaries, two for each German mission, were
sent out to reinforce him. In spite of his zeal
and learninor, Gutzlaff seems to have been a
simple-minded and rather credulous man, of which
fact advantage was eagerly taken by the native
colporteurs, who exploited his want of foresight,
and thus somewhat marred his reputation.

Dr Legge of the London Missionary Society
arrived from Malacca in Hongkong (which had
now become British territory) in 1843 ; besides
establishing a college and church there, he founded
a mission at Pok-lo on the mainland. His an-
notated translations of the Chinese classics, and
numerous other literary labours, have given im-
perishable lustre to his name. In 1844 a branch
mission of the same enterprising society was
established by Rev. John Stronach at Amoy,
where already in 1842 Dr Boone of the American


Episcopal Church had made a beginning ;
followed in 1843 by Dr Hepburn, M.D., of the
American Presbyterian Mission, just deceased at
the age of ninety. In 1850 Bishop Smith came
to Honofkonor, and, as we have seen, at once set
to work to discover all he could about the Chinese
Jews in Ho Nan province. One of the most
remarkable and lovable of the Protestant missionaries
of the old school was Alexander Wylie, who has
been styled the " Livingstone of China." He
originally came out in 1847 as a printer for
the London Missionary Society, for whom he
subsequently did much colporteur and general
work ; having lost his wife within a year of his
marriage to her, he thenceforth resolutely gave
himself up to a solitary life of labour and self-
sacrifice ; even the Jesuits, who are no lovers of
Protestants, habitually speak of '' le regrett^^MyYi^J'
whose splendid sinological labours take a place
in the highest rank for scrupulous care, fairness,
courtesy, and trustworthiness. He was the humblest
and most tolerant of men ; but at the same time
inexorably calm, persevering, and determined in
following out his own line of conduct. Unfortun-
ately, his immense powers were weakened by a
stroke of paralysis in 1883 ; his eyesight then
failed him, and he gradually passed away somewhat
sadly at home in 1887, at the ripe age of seventy-
one. The above list by no means exhausts the
tale of the " pre - Tientsin treaty" Protestant
missionaries, but it contains the most prominent


names from a literary and historical point of view.
The spiritual results were naturally not very great,
for in those days Chinese was very little under-
stood — at least from a literary point of view, — and
a competent interpreter for official purposes was
indeed a rara avis in '' terris coelestibusr

After the final treaty of i860, which put an
end to the Allied War, a new era opened for
China; missionaries were no longer obliged to
confine their efforts to the five treaty ports, and,
moreover, a large number of new ports were
opened, and therefore available as bases for
pioneers. The German missionaries in the south
had had to fly for their lives in 1856, but were
now able to go back to their posts in a more
legalised way. Hitherto no Protestant missionaries
had ever adopted the Chinese costume ; on the
other hand, all the Roman Catholic missionaries
had always done so. A perfect avalanche of
zealous Protestant preachers now descended upon
China, Americans adding their numbers to the
existing British and German squadrons. By the
year 1864 there were 190 missionaries belonging
to twenty - four different Protestant societies,
occupying eleven principal stations, mosdy, of
course, the thirteen old and new treaty - ports,
with about twice as many oudying pioneer posts.
The first attempts to setde in Hangchow were
made joindy in 1859 by Rev J. S. (afterwards
Bishop) Burdon, of the Church Missionary Society,
and by Dr Nevius, an American ; the T'ai-p'ings


occupied the place from 1862 to 1864, and that
circumstance of course put an end to any chance
of preaching there. When the rebellion was
completely crushed, a new prospect again opened
for China. Mr Taylor of the new China Inland
Mission appeared upon the scene in 1866 and
established stations in Ch^h Kiang province ; his
colleague, the well-known missionary, Rev. J. W.
Stevenson (afterwards at Bhamo in Burma), held the
fort at Shao-hing near Ningpo in 1868, and gradu-
ally these inland operations spread all over China.
Mr Taylor died on the 3rd June as these words
were written (1905). The distinguishing features of
the Taylor Mission, as it used at first to be called,
were that no pecuniary support was guaranteed, and
that the missioners wore Chinese clothes. There was
no objection to this so far as males were concerned ;
for indeed the average European civilian in the
perspiring East looks more distinguished, and
certainly cleaner, in Chinese dress than in his
own : but when the ladies began to don short
Chinese trousers, the combination of large feet
(which of course they could not "squeeze") and
European chignons (for of course the "tea-pot"
style was too troublesome, and only compatible
with Chinese neck pillows) had the effect of
suggesting to the prurient Chinese mind feminine
associations of a highly undesirable nature ; so
by degrees the women, more especially out of
doors, went back to European attire. Meanwhile
Sir Rutherford Alcock (1865- 1869) and his bench-


man, later successor, Mr (afterwards Sir Thomas)
Wade, found the activity of the missionaries rather
embarrassing to their diplomatic success at Peking ;
things were fairly quiet, however, until the question
of treaty revision came forward in 1867, when
the Chinese officials initiated a concerted system
of "heading off" the enterprising proselytisers,
and thus indirectly driving them back to the
treaty-ports. In 1868 there were some persecutions
in Formosa (then an integral part of Fuh Kien
province), in connection with which Bluebook No.
3 of 1869 was issued; the "gunboat policy" of
the Consul there was not approved, and he was
given to understand by his superior at Peking that
his "conscience" must subordinate itself to more
mundane considerations of policy. The invidious
expression "missionary disturbances" used by
Sir R. Alcock was not to the taste of the societies
whose members were being hustled about, and
it was even hinted by them that the interests of
the British camphor merchants in Formosa were
given remarkable prominence in a State paper
ostensibly devoted to the "missionary question."
At Yang-chou Fu, opposite the treaty port of Chin-
kiang — a place whose religious history has so often
been called to witness in this book — the literates
incited the people to destroy the Protestant chapels
of the Inland Mission ; Consul (afterwards Sir
Walter) Medhurst put the gunboat policy Into
vigorous and effective action here ; but his superiors
were by no means so pleased as the missionaries


were at his success, which brought him no official

It may be useful at this point ^ (1869) to give
some idea of Protestant development in China.
At Peking there were two British and (including
T'ungchow) five American missions, with four
and eight married pairs respectively ; besides
unmarried Americans of both sexes, making a
total of eight British and twenty-three American
missionaries. Those of the former category who
have made their literary mark include Bishop
Burdon, Dr Edkins,'^ and (medical) Dr Dudgeon ;
of the Americans, Bishop Schereschewsky and
Dr Martin. The American charge d'affaires, Dr
Williams, was an ex-missionary, and a distinguished
Chinese scholar to boot. At Tientsin there were
two British missions, five married pairs and one
bachelor ; and one American mission, one pair
and a bachelor ; total, fourteen missionaries. Mr
John Innocent and Mr Jonathan Lees are the
best known names among the British section of
them. At Chefoo there were three British and one
American missions, each with a married pair, and
an extra American bachelor. The Rev. Alexander
Williamson, a gigantic imposing man and a dis-
tinguished inland traveller, leaves the literary

^ This was the year in which the writer of these humble remarks
arrived in Peking, and consequently he had the honour at various
times, then and afterwards, to meet most of the missionaries named.
Few of them then bore the titles of honour here given to them.

- Dr Edkins, a distinguished orientalist, arrived in China in 1848,
and died an octogenarian at Shanghai last April.


honours of this batch with the National Bible
Society of Scotland. At the Russian trading
" port " of Kalgan (Great Wall), there was one
American mission of four members ; and at a
second T'ungchow (north of Shanghai) were two
American missions with five married pairs and two
unmarried ladies. There were no more Protestant
missionaries north of the Yangtsze River except Mr
J. Hudson Taylor and Mr Reid, who had just been
so roughly attacked at Yang-chou Fu. Shanghai
had four American missions to one single British
mission ; twenty - two missionaries of both sexes,
besides one American at Soochow. The Rev.
W. Muirhead (British) and Rev. Matthew Yates
(American), both dating from 1847, have left dis-
tinguished memories behind them, the former
especially in connection with the 1877- 1878 famine
relief. He died in 1901. At Chinkiang there
were only " Taylor " missionaries, this being the
only treaty-port unsupplied with " regulars " ; and
it was here that the ladies' costumes first attracted
the unfavourable notice and criticism of at least
one of their own lay countrymen : there were in
all thirty-one Inland Mission employes; but, so far,
they had not got beyond the two provinces of Cheh
Kiang and Kiang Su ; after the Yang-chou Fu
" row," word was passed round by Mr Taylor that
his missionaries were not only to depend upon
Providence for funds, but also for succour in the
event of persecution ; and that they were to give
consuls as wide a berth as possible, except in cases


of urgent necessity ; and it must be admitted that,
since then, the Taylor Mission has consistently acted
with commendable independence and dignity in the
matter of lying quietly in the often very uneasy
beds its members have prepared for themselves.
Many of the Inland missionaries have been men
of means, who have, so to speak, sold all they had
and given it to the poor (Chinaman) ; certainly
none live in luxury, or even in comfort, beyond
the requirements of decency ; and there are not
lacking members of the mission who have found
time to do good literary work too. But to return
to the ports : at Hankow, two British, and one
American mission with eighteen missionaries of
both sexes ; the fine old veteran, Griffith John,
is still there hard at work. Messrs Bryson,
Scarborough, Bryant, and Hill have left their
mark, and Dr F. Porter Smith achieved some
sinological reputation. At Kewkiang there was
one American married pair. Ningpo, including
Hangchow, was particularly strong, with twenty-
one American and nineteen British missionaries,
in four and two missions respectively. Bishop
Moule and his brother are very respected British
names at Ningpo. On the American side the
versatile Dr Lord, who also at one time acted
as U.S. Consul, was sufficiently vigorous to out-
last three wives. Unfortunately he and his fourth
wife — about forty years his junior — were carried
off together by cholera in 1887. The Chinese
Recorder and Missionary Journal, forgetful of the


three first wives, and of a certain question raised in
Holy Writ, concludes its obituary notice thus:

" What a happy surprise to each it must have
been, on entering their heavenly abode, to meet the
other there ! "

At least three others of the distinguished
scholars above named had three wives, and this
fact, so natural in a trying climate like that of
China, has led to some ill-natured remarks about
" missionary luxury " which are extremely unfair.
Archdeacon Wolfe, after forty-three years' service,
still represents the only British mission then (1869)
in existence at Foochow ; besides his wife, he had
two other married pairs to assist him. There
were seven American married couples and three

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Online LibraryEdward Harper ParkerChina and religion → online text (page 15 of 23)