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spinsters in two missions ; the Rev. S. L. Baldwin
is responsible for an excellent local Chinese- English
dictionary. At Amoy there were twelve British
workers in two missions ; eight American in one.
Dr Douglas of the English Presbyterian Mission
gave the world an excellent " Amoy Dictionary " ;
Dr. J. Macgowan, of the London Mission, and
Rev. J. Sadler are well-known local names. The
Formosa missionaries who "disturbed" Sir R.
Alcock were Mr and Mrs Maxwell and Mr and Mrs
Ritchie, also of the English Presbyterian. The
same mission had six missionaries at Swatow ; the
American Baptists four more. Dr and Mrs Legge
were absent from Hongkong in 1869, but there
were three others of the London and two of the


Church Mission. The Basel Mission counted
eleven members, including Mr and Mrs Lechler ; Mr
Lechler had joined Gutzlaff in 1847. There were
also four ladies of the Berlin Ladies' Mission. At
Canton eight British Wesleyans, and four of the
London Mission ; Dr Eitel (a German) particularly-
distinguished for profound sinological work. Dr
Chalmers, equally profound, came from Hongkong
in 1858, and seems to have been absent in 1869.
Three American missions and an "independent"
pair, thirteen in all. Dr Kerr, the much - loved
medical missionary, was there ; he died in 1901.
Dr Happer, Mr Preston, Mr Noyes, and Mr Graves
all left their mark locally as good men. The
Rhenish Mission had seven members, of whom
Dr E. Faber was subsequently by far the most dis-
tinguished. The Berlin Mission had six members.
Total for all China, 301 missionaries, including lay
and native workers.

Such was the state of affairs when, after the
Tientsin Massacre in 1870, the Chinese Govern-
ment, by way of staving off further responsibility
for "popular indignation," concocted its celebrated
circular of 1871, calling upon the Treaty Powers
to reconsider their missionary attitude : at that time
Germany scarcely yet counted as a Power, and
practically the " Powers " meant Great Britain and
the United States, so far as Protestants were con-
cerned. Prince Kung suggested that, as regards
children for orphanages (the immediate pretext for
the massacre of the French nuns at Tientsin),


charity might well begin at home ; but that if
missionaries were determined to trouble themselves
about the souls of Chinese infants, these charitable
establishments should be open to Chinese inspection
and official supervision. Women should not be
allowed to go about as missionaries, and the sexes
should be carefully kept apart in chapels and
schools, in accordance with Chinese ideas of
propriety. Missionaries should be compelled to
conform to the laws and customs of the place
wherein they might be, and should not ridicule or
cast aspersions upon Chinese religious or functional
practices. Converts and ordinary Chinese should
be in every way subject to the same laws, and
missionaries should not be suffered to intermeddle
in disputes between native Christians and the
authorities or fellow - villagers. Passports should
not be transferable, and should always name the
precise places to which the missionary was going.
Converts should be carefully enquired into before
acceptance, and their names should be reported to
the officials. Missionaries should not make use of
seals after the fashion of Chinese mandarins, and
in the presence of mandarins they should perform
the customary acts of obeisance required from
unofficial Chinese. They should not lay claim to
property under alleged old titles, and such property
as they might acquire should be registered in the
name of a native ; etc., etc. These rules were
reasonable enough if it had been possible to accept
the principle of Chinese good faith in the matter.


There was a great deal of nagging and mutual
recrimination over their preparation between Sir
Thomas Wade and the ministers of the Tsung-li
Yamen, and it need hardly be said that the
Protestant missionaries were up in arms at once
so soon as the rules "leaked out." Mr Griffith
John lost no time in vigorously pointing out that
the demands struck at the very root of the Christian
missions in China. The American minister, Mr
Low, who was, of course, more or less under the
influence of his ex-missionary secretary, Mr S. W.
Williams, officially pointed out to Prince Kung
that "the elevation of women was the glory of
western countries," and desired that both he and
his Yamen colleagues "would look into the Holy
Scriptures, where may be found those principles
and doctrines under whose influence foreign
countries have become great and pow^erful," The
Rev. John (afterwards Bishop) Burdon had already
resigned his chaplaincy at the British Legation in
disappointment at the general w^ant of religious
tone in that diplomatic and consular sanctum ; in
February 1872 he gave Sir Thomas (then Mr)
Wade an eloquent piece of his mind in the Recorder
and Missionary Journal. What with the diminu-
tion of French influence, however, and the firm
determination of Sir Thomas W^ade not to " fiofht
for" Protestant missionaries more than he could
help, a period of comparative religious calm
followed, until that minister's retirement in 1882.
By 1877 the number of Protestant missionaries


at 113 principal stations in China had reached 305,
of which 109 were British, 90 American, and
1 7 German ; but more than half the total (which
includes 41 Inland Mission) were now in the
interior of China ; that is to say, not at the treaty
ports. Including sub-stations, colporteurs, and
independent preachers, there were 473 missionaries
in all, of whom 172 were wives, 66 bachelors,
and 63 spinsters. It had been a much resented
but very favourite reproach in the mouths of
persons not favourable to missionary zeal that
Protestant missionaries lived comfortable and easy-
Sfoinof lives with their wives and families (for
increase in which they often received, child by
child, an extra pecuniary allowance) far away
from risk of danger ; but the Taylor Missions'
example was now beginning to be imitated by
other societies. In that same year, 1877, the
disastrous Shan Si famine gave the more energetic
of them an excellent opportunity to prove their
mettle ; Mr Muirhead was particularly active in
raising subscriptions and superintending the dis-
tribution of relief; there can be little doubt that,
cold and suspicious though the mandarin element
continued to be in fact of much self-sacrifice on
the part of Protestant missionaries, " Pharaoh's
heart" underwent a considerable softening from
this time. The French hostilities of 1883, and
the use made of their native Christians in Tonquin
and elsewhere by the government of the Republic,
had some effect in concentrating upon the Roman


Catholics in China most of the odium which
had formerly been shared in equal measure by
Protestants. The spread, too, of missionary dis-
pensaries and hospitals, almost invariably in the
hands of Protestants, was a movement decidedly
in their favour : the Protestant missionaries were
also more active in translating into Chinese legal,
scientific, and economic works of all kinds, and in
founding educational establishments ; the work of
Rev. Timothy Richard is particularly noticeable in
this intention. In fact, though the missionaries
themselves cannot be expected to admit it, the
influence of charity and progress would be as
great, if not greater, were religion entirely excluded,
so far as it is competitive and ''militant." After
the supposed "Awakening of China" heralded by
the Marquess Tseng from his post in London ;
the creation of a navy under the supreme direction
of the Emperor's father ; and the more or less
successful anti-Japanese policy of Li Hung-chang
in Corea, the Chinese began to grow more
confident and ao^orressive : the riots at Wuhu in
1888, at Chinkiang and Nan-k'ang in 1889, at
Yang-chou Fu, Wuhu, Nanking, Ich'ang, etc., in
1 89 1, seemed to point to a second concerted attempt
on the part of the mandarins to drive all missionaries
out of China. The unfavourable impression left
upon the European Powers by the mandarin
supineness or connivance on the occasion of these
and many other disturbances had undoubtedly a
great deal to do with the indifference with which


China's political troubles were viewed when in
1894 the Japanese had her at their feet. Instead
of celebrating her 60th birthday with triumphant
rejoicings, the Empress- Dowager had to part with
Formosa and millions by way of war indemnity.

In 1898 there were about 2500 Protestant
missionaries (representing 54 societies) distributed
over each of the 18 provinces; of these societies
only about a dozen were represented in China at
the date of the Peking Treaty of 1858. This
total included 527 ordained, 519 lay, 675 wives,
724 spinsters — in fact the British and American
women outnumber the men. There are in all
nearly 1000 Americans, over 600 British, and 145
German-Scandinavian ; but exclusive of the China
Inland Mission (nearly 700 of both sexes), which
only numbers thirty ordained members in all : not
possessing any particular nationality or society
organisation, it is usually viewed as "separate."
Last year (1904) there were almost exactly 100
Protestant societies of various sorts represented in
China alone, not counting Formosa, Corea, or
Japan ; but including asylums, hospitals, and
charitable institutions ; there are (not counting
Hongkong) certainly more missionaries than there
are traders and officials ; and, this being so, it is
not surprising to find that missionary influence
compels the local press to be more sympathetic
than it probably would otherwise be, were half its
clients not missionaries.

Missionary society influence, both at home and


in China, seems to have been from the beginning
much more powerful over the American official
body than over the British ; but at the same time
it is only within the last ten years that American
consular influence has had much independent say
in China, the interests of American missionaries
in outlying places having been readily looked after
officieusement by British consuls ; the fixed policy
of the United States had always previously been
to raise as few hornets' nests as possible in the
Far East. At a recent meeting of the Church
Missionary Society in England, Bishop Cassels
of Western China made the following remarks,
as quoted in the Times of the 3rd of May

" A few years ago China was said to be dying,
and the European Powers, like harpies, were already
beginning to divide the spoil. Those pangs, how-
ever, had been not a sign of approaching death,
but the birth-pangs of a new life. With a Literary
Chancellor exhorting students to read Christian
books and distinguish between Protestants and
Roman Catholics ; with the spread of a purely
native movement against foot-binding ; ^ with the
rise of colleges and universities, mints and arsenals,
post-offices and publishing establishments ; and with
a new attitude to Western ideas in general, there
was abundant proof of an awakening which gave
glorious opportunities for Christianity. Never before
had men so crowded to hear the Gospel. In his
own diocese, at places where a few years ago

^ Mrs Archibald Little, though a lay lady, deserves a special niche
in the Valhalla as a "foot missionary," of charming and persuasive


missionaries were howled at and robbed, and had
their houses pulled down, the gentry and officials
not only urged them to come, but lavished
hospitality upon them, and provided mission-houses
and preaching places. Unless China was leavened
with Christianity, disastrous results would follow.
Surely the Christian leaven should at least be
planted in each county; yet. in looo counties [he
means hien\ there was not a single mission station.
In Western China the mission had no hospital, no
training college, no school buildings, and scarcely
a church worthy the name. Worse than that, the
Tibetan station had been closed for six years for
lack of any man to take possession. The Chinese
had been described as second to no other nation
intellectually, physically, or commercially ; and he
believed the same would be found true of them
spiritually. It was said that there were dangers,
such as ' mixed motives ' and ' impure ideas of
the Christian Church ' ; and so there were ; but
the greatest danger was that we should fail to
seize the opportunity that China now presented
to us."

These are indeed words of encouragement ; but,
at the same time, it is regrettable to see what
emphasis continues to be laid in ghosdy circles
upon the distinction between Protestants and Roman
Catholics. Both sides are in China equally to
blame in this respect ; and the fact that two religions,
derived from one and the same source, continue to
wage an inveterate if smothered warfare one against
the other abroad is a poor example of Christian
charity to offer to a sceptical people, who, as we
have seen, have had freely offered to them for
inspection every Turanian, Aryan, and Semitic


religion in turn. When to this religious quarrel-
someness is added the political greed of the
Christian powers, small wonder if Japan, without
any Christianity at all, succeeds in morally gaining
the upper hand.



The " Ross " are converted from nature worship, and in 988 embrace
the Greek faith. — Called "Gross" by the Tartars and Chinese.^
The Mongols attack the Kipchaks and Russians in 1222. — Russia
a Chinese province. — Batu on religious grounds executes Michael
Chernigoff before Carpini's eyes. — Freedom to Russian religion
under Tartar rule. — Greek Christians distinguished by the
Chinese from Nestorians. — Clergy writs from China run into
Kipchak dominions. — Extinction of Russia's suzerain Tartar
power in 1502. — A Chinese blank between 1368 and 1640. —
Settlement of captive Russians in Peking in 1685. — In 1715 the
Manchu envoy to Russia brings a reinforcement of priests to
China. — Russian and Jesuit counter moves at Peking. — Russian
captives in a purely historical position. — Establishment in 1720
of an official Russian Church or Convent at Peking. — Russian
rites confused with Tibetan. — Russian and Chinese schools
established, and continued up to Treaty times in 1862. — Death
of Hilarion in 1717 ; arrival of the Archimandrite Antonius in
1729. — Successors during the eighteenth century. — New cemetery
of 1740 ; placed at British disposal in i860. — List of learned
Archimandrites during the nineteenth century. — No Russian
"missionary disturbances" at Peking. — Reasons for the long
period of peace and order. — Immaculate behaviour of Russian
priests. — Strict subordination of Church to State. — Dread of
Chinese power and immigration. — The ecclesiastical mission
subsequent to 1858. — The effects of the "Boxer" troubles of
1900 ; destruction of the Library. — Retaliation of the Russians
with the Mukden Library. — Success of the Orthodox Church in
Japan. — General considerations about Japan's rights in religious

The "Ross" are stated to have menaced Con-
stantinople about 1000 years ago ; their religion






up to that date was Nature Worship ; they sub-
sequently made a treaty with the Byzantine
Emperor, and a certain number of them were
converted ; churches were erected at Kiev. It was
a question with them then, as with the Mongols
who subsequently conquered them, what cultured
religion to adopt ; finally in 988 Vladimir the
Holy decided that his people should belong to
the Greek Church, itself then only 130 years old.
The Mongols have always called the people
"Oross", which name has from first to last been
also used in China ; often shortened, in accordance
with Chinese custom, to " O " ; just as the other
countries become " lug," " Fa," " I," etc., instead
of England, France, and Italy. The hordes of
Genghis Khan first invaded the Kipchaks in 1222,
and then pursued the Russians and Kipchaks
together to the River Dnieper. Nothing much
further was done then, for the conquest of North
China necessitated the recall of the Mongol troops.
In 1237 they reappeared, and captured the duchy
of Vladimir; the duchy of Kiev followed in 1240.
Genghis' grandson Batu, founder of the Golden
Horde or Desht Kipchak dynasty, fixed his capital
at Sarai on the Lower- Volga in 1242, and for
200 years after that Russia was indirectly as much
a Chinese province under the Grand Khans as
was Persia, or Tibet. We have seen that John
de Piano Carpini found Greek priests with Kayuk
Khan at Sira-Ordo near Karakoram in 1 247 ;
Carpini had himself witnessed the year before


the execution, by Batu, of Michael Chernigoff for
refusing to worship the Mongol gods. In 1249
"Saint" Alexander Nevsky, Duke of Vladimir,
who had ten years previously married a Tartar
princess, returned to Russia from his visit to
Kayuk. The Tartars as over-lords respected the
Russian religion, and, in fact, did not interfere
with the administration of the country at all, so
long as due contingents of troops were supplied,
and taxes were promptly paid to the " Bussurman "
farmers ; this Russianised word is undoubtedly the
Musu-man of Mongol history, for in 1297 the
farming of taxes, even in China, was, as already
stated, entrusted to the Mohammedans. In 1254
Rubruquis found a Russian deacon amongst the
other Christians at Karakoram. The reason why
the earlier Persian word tersa was gradually
abandoned by the Mongols in favour of the
Syro - Greek word arkon, when speaking of
Christians, manifestly is that no specifically
Greek Church was ever heard of in China until
the Russians had been conquered ; besides, there
were large bodies of Russian and Alan guards at
Pekinor throughout the last half of the thirteenth
and first half of the fourteenth century, and the
Catholics there would not be likely to encourage
the use of a Persian word which was most probably
applicable in the first instance to the Nestorians
they found so degenerated. A patent of the
Mongol ruler, Batu's grand-nephew Usbeg Khan
(1312-1342), exempted the clergy from taxation;


in 13 14 the Grand Khan AyulipaHpatra had
ordered the same thing to be done in China ;
and the writ of China had still at least a nominal
run in Russia; for in 1329, 1332, and 1334 the
Chinese (Mongol) histories tell us of Russian
regiments, Russian prisoners sent as presents,
a Russian camp of 10,000 men, and Russian
guards at Peking. In 1395 Tamerlane defeated
Russia's immediate suzerain Toktamish Khan ;
and then the rise of the rival Tartar Khanships
of Kazan and the Crimea, with which Russia
was friendly, gradually led to the total extinction
of the Golden Horde in 1502.

The above evidence is fairly precise, if incom-
plete. It is clear that there were in the fourteenth
century, and even before, many thousands of
Russians, many Greek priests, and at least one
Russian deacon in Mongolia and China ; the in-
ference that religious ministrations for the Russians
were organised there is all the more legitimate in
that the Sarai suzerains themselves dealt consider-
ately with Christians in Russia, apart from orders
received from China. From the disappearance of
the Mongols from China in 1368 to the advent on
the frontier of the Manchus in 1640, not a single
word is said about Russia in any known Chinese
document. In 16 19 two Cossacks are reported
by old Western writers to have been sent from
Tobolsk to Peking ; but nothing further seems
to be stated or known about the matter. After
the capture of Yaksa or Albazin on the Amur


River by the Manchus in 1685, a small minority
of twenty-five Russians, all of whom were
generously allowed to go free if they preferred
it, accepted the Emperor's offer to settle in Peking,
and the priest Vassily Leontyeff, carrying his ikons
and images, went with them. He died there
about the year 1700, and it was not until 171 5
that Tulishen, the Manchu special ambassador
to St Petersburg, laid before the Russian
authorities in Siberia the Emperor's request
that some more priests might be sent. At that
time the Governor-general at Tobolsk had the
say in all matters appertaining to the captives
in China. Tulishen took back with him the
Archimandrite Hilarion and nine other priests,
students, and attendants, six being the limit to
the number of priestly and literary persons set
by the Chinese Emperor. Peter the Great
originally wished to send an archbishop to
Peking, but the Jesuits there, who were at that
time getting into hot water (against their own
judgment) in connection with the ancestral rites
dispute, had already appealed to Peter, and also
to Charles VI., the Emperor of Germany, for their
good offices, so that Peter was induced to give
way on that point, in order to obtain the good
offices of the Jesuits at Peking. As it was, the
Jesuits narrowly escaped being supplanted by
Russians in their posts on the Astronomical Board ;
but they were in the end too sharp for the
Russians, whose intrigues and soft promises they


met successfully with still subtler moves. The
Russian prisoners were at once assimilated to
Bannermen, and given honourable duty as palace
guards under a fiiuru of their own. The whole
Manchu nation (it must be explained) is registered
on a military basis under Eight Banners, to which
are assimilated the Mongols and the "faithful"
Chinese who assisted the Manchu conquests ;
these two are under Banners of their own ;
every Bannerman, no matter how high in rank,
has a niurti or colonel, under whose paternal
jurisdiction he falls.

It is interesting to note that all these arrange-
ments were strictly in accordance with the precedents
of the T'ang and Yiian (Mongol) dynasties, when
Turks and Russians had been given rank as Captains
of the Guard, and had been slmiliarly cherished
either as hostages or captives, under the immediate
eye of the Chinese Court. In 1720 the Russian
envoy to Peking, Ismailoff, was instructed to
request amongst other things, permission to build
a Russian church inside the city of Peking ; this
demand, being stricdy in accordance with the
Manichean, Nestorian, and perhaps Mussulman
precedents of the seventh century, was readily
granted. The makeshift Albazin church of
St Nicholas was repaired, and a new one was
promised for the use of the Embassy. The
principal station of the Russian missionaries and
of the envoys when they came was at the Na7i-
Kwari, or " Southern Hostelry," occupying part of


a site still assigned for the lodgment of tributary
missions ^ from Annam, Corea, Loochoo, Tibet,
and other foreign states. It is in fact the present
Russian Leration, which was reconstructed for
the first time at the cost of the Chinese Govern-
ment in 1820, and still contains the old Church of
the Purification. When Hilarion reached Peking
in 1 7 16, the Nan-Kwan -wdiS turned into a cloister
for his use. This was first styled the " Convent of
Candlemas," and later the " Church " ; it was built
at China's expense in 1727- 1734 on the model
of the French church erected by Louis XIV. and
K'ang-hi for the use of the Jesuits. The Russian
popes were styled lama, which seems to show
that their vestments and rites (which are really not
unlike those of the Buddhists as seen at Lama
Miao, or Dolonor) were confused with those of the
Tantra services. Catherine, Peter's widow, sent
Count Sawa Vladislavitch in 1727 to negotiate
another treaty with China ; the fifth article pro-
vided more distinctly than before that a church
should be erected in the courtyard of the Gross
Hostel under the superintendence of the mandarin
charged with the management of their affairs ;
one /ama, and three assistant lamas were authorised
to dwell there permanently at the cost of China.
The Russians were granted freedom to practice
their worship and to perform their prayers with

* All these, however, except Tibet, have been annexed by France,
Japan, or other foreign power ; but when the writer was at Peking
he met Mongolian, Corean, and Tibetan envoys there (1869- 1870).


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Online LibraryEdward Harper ParkerChina and religion → online text (page 16 of 23)