Edward Harper Parker.

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there take the matter up. — Scrolls and other valuables



xxii CONTENTS

PAGE

placed in museums under British control. — Arabic
words for " Christian " and "Jew." — Turkish race for
2000 years a link between religious China and religious
Europe. — Clue by which we can trace the Jews of the
Mongol dynasty. — Mussulman independence contrasted
with Jewish suppleness 164

CHAPTER IX

THE ROMAN CHURCH

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 physician 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. — Mussul-
man 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 Kwang Tung. — Arrival of Ricci. — Suspicions
cause them to quit ; he establishes a mission at
Nanking, and visits Peking. — Success. — Judsea 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



CONTENTS xxiii

PAGE

regulars in China thwarted by the Portuguese. — Mussul-
man malice at Peking. — Schall sentenced to death. —
K'ang-hi takes over power 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. — Changeable action
of the Holy See under conflicting counsels. — Decision
of the Manchu emperor in favour of the Jesuits. —
Bishop Tournon sent to negotiate with him. — The Bull
Ex quosingula?-ihx'mgs 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 improvement
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 empire . . 178



CHAPTER X

PROTESTANTISM

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 disturb-
ances," and "gunboat policy." — Statistics of Protestant
missionaries in i869.^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



xxiv CONTENTS

PAGE

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 . 209



CHAPTER XI

THE ORTHODOX CHURCH

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 dis-
tinguished by the Chinese from Nestorians. — Clergy
writes 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 171 5 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 con-
tinued 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 matters. 230



CONTENTS XXV

CHAPTER XII
SHINTOISM

PAGE

Shin-to or "spiritual way" is an expression derived from the
Chinese " Book of Changes." — The Japanese derived the
expression of their notions, if not the religious notions
themselves, from ready-made Chinese thought. — Even
Chinese history allows to the ancient Japanese some
crude spiritual ideas of political bearing. — First enquiries
by competent Europeans into the nature and objects of
revived Shint5. — Evidently a mere political engine. — No
moral code ; a mere engine of mental slavery. — The
ancient Japanese history on which it is chiefly based is
itself worthless.— Mr Satow's " Revival of Pure Shin-tau."
— The word Shin-to only introduced in the sixth century
as the name of a supposed cult. — Gradually extinguished
by Buddhism. — Revival of religion after three or four
centuries of civil war. — The Japanese revivalist,
Motowori. — He denies his own alleged inspiration by
Lao-tsz. — Other Japanese attack both him and the
genuineness of Japanese ancient history. — Japan is the
hub of the universe, and Shinto is its prophet. —As a
political engine, important ; as a philosophy, a mere
copy. — Weak origin of Japanese history. — "Book of
Changes" the true origin. — Parallel lines of religious
movement in China and Japan. — Etymological and
historical evidence. — Japanese statesmen have only done
what Europeans have done. — Conflicting appreciations
of Russian, German, and other European Christians
cited to explain the Japanese attitude. — " Ian Maclaren "
on revivals. — Japanese bushi-do. — Lessons to be learnt
from Japan 247

Index 303



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



FATHER HWANG, SECULAR PRIEST (AFFILIATED TO

THE JESUITS) AT NANKING, A DISTINGUISHED
AND PROFOUND THEOLOGICAL SCHOLAR



Frontispiece



THE "temple TO MANIFESTED LOYALTY,'' AT PAGODA
ANCHORAGE (FOOCHOW), ERECTED IN HONOUR
OF THE SOULS OF THE CHINESE MARINES,
KILLED DURING THE BOMBARDMENT OF THE
FLEET AND ARSENAL BY THE FRENCH IN 1884 • To face p. 24



"IDOLS," PRESUMABLY SIVAIC, FROM A CHINESE
BUDDHIST TEMPLE IN BHAMO, BURMA

THE ju-h OR "AS YOU LIKE IT," A SYMBOL OF
RULE, ADOPTED FROM BUDDHISM

THE DAIBUTSU {i.e. TA-FUH OR "GREAT BUDDHA
OF KAMAKURA) NEAR TOKYO

THE CREMATION OF A BUDDHIST PRIEST IN BURMA

THE NESTORIAN STONE, WITH SYRIAC INSCRIPTION
AT FOOT (J)y peri}iission of Rev. A. Coloinbel, S.J.)

THE ONLY FULL JESUIT PRIEST AMONG THE CHINESE,
AND HIS COMPATRIOT STUDENTS AT SICCAWEI

STtrPA AT PEKING, NEAR THE OLD ROMAN CATHOLIC
CATHEDRAL IN THE PALACE GROUNDS

THE NEW ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL AT Si;OUL
(COREA), AND THE RUSSIAN LEGATION

A BEAUTIFUL JAPANESE TEMPLE ....

STONE FIGURES LINING A TEMPLE AVENUE AT
NIKKO, JAPAN



80

72

96
1 10

128

178

198

230
256

270



CHINA AND RELIGION



INTRODUCTION

This is an attempt to present to the general
reader, in comparatively simple sketch form, the
whole history of the religious question as it has
affected the Chinese mind. When I say that I
have throughout avoided (so far as it is possible)
the use of all personal or proper names, and the
mention of all authorities, it will be understood
that the reason why I do so is that it would be
impossible to be even moderately simple and read-
able, if the pages were too thickly interspersed
with unfamiliar, and therefore to most persons
uncouth foreiofn words. There is so small a
demand for things Chinese of an abstract nature
in Great Britain, that I have long since found
my stock-in-trade a drug upon the market, and
I have had to get many of the papers bound up
in manuscript for the convenience of my own
reference. But if curious enquirers would rather
see authorities cited for occasional passages lack-
ing the impress of authenticity, they have only
to refer to the published articles on Taoism,



2 INTRODUCTION [introd.

Confucianism, Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, etc.
— all named and described directly after the
preface — to find cited as many original authorities
as they may desire, and to satisfy themselves
that I am not unduly shirking the exhibition of
evidence.

China enjoys a unique position in the history
of religious thought, in that she possesses an
unbroken religious record of at least 3000 years,
without counting the semi-historical and legendary
periods of tradition, anterior to the time when
fleetino- thought was first committed to intelligible
literature. Moreover, samples of all the Western
religions have been presented to her in turn, and
she has thus had unrivalled opportunities of making
discriminating selections. It is surely very much
to China's credit that at no period of her history
have the ruling powers " in being " ever for one
instant refused hospitality and consideration to any
religion recommended to them as such. If there
has been hostility, it has always sprung up from
political and economical causes ; thus pure uncom-
promising Taoism, which from its inception to this
day has steadily been a strong intellectual and
moral force in educated China, soon proved too
independent and democratic for the immediate
purposes of imperial ambition and family interest :
hence Confucianism, with its obsequious recogni-
tion of "divine right" in rulers, gradually under-
mined by ridicule, and thus favoured the religious
corruption and the superstitious popularisation of



iNTROD.] INTRODUCTION 3

the older and grander scheme of thought. But
it must never be forgotten that pure Taoism and
Confucianism were both based on, and thus were
merely different interpretations of exactly the same
original texts. Both failed to arrest the de-
generation and decay of their time. Buddhism,
in consequence, was heartily welcomed, with its
entirely new conceptions of soul transmigration,
a Messiah, spiritual rewards and punishments, sin,
humility, and self-denial. But political intrigue
and priestly corruption quickly crept in, in such
wise that conservative Confucianism found ready
opportunities to check the progress of this fresh
foreign layer of thought — at least in the higher
grades of society. As China extended her
influence in Western Asia, and later on yielded,
step by step, to Tartar incursions, or was more
and more subjected to direct Tartar rule, the
Tartar religions — in many respects resembling the
Chinese semi-historical beliefs — began to compete
with Buddhism for a place in the State machinery ;
and thus the Persian religions also found a footing,
the horse - riding races of Turkish blood always
acting as conduits for the exchange between
Western and Eastern thought. Filtering into
China through the country which first gave
Buddhism to the Far East, and borrowing
Buddhist terms in order to give adequate expres-
sion to their unfamiliar tenets, these religions were
not unnaturally viewed by the Chinese as mere
"outer roads," or schismatical forms of Buddhism.



4 INTRODUCTION [introd

Brahmanism was also included in this "heretical"
group. And as the ever - changing border - land
between known Persia and the Roman Empire of
hearsay was very vague ; as the first Christians
who came to China were all either Syrians or
Persians ; and as the Chinese had never had the
least conception of the white and pink light-haired
race stocks of Northern and Western Europe, it
was quite a pardonable mistake on their part to
consider the earliest Nestorians, who in any case
had to pass through Persia, to be Persians pure
and simple. Nor must we forget that we
"Christian people" or "Franks" of Western Europe
are just as far topographically and ethnologically
removed from Syria, and have therefore as little
racial claim to be styled Christians by soil birth-
right, as then had, and now have, the nearest
Chinese dwelling on the remote eastern flanks
of the Persian political world. It is therefore
difficult to deny to the Chinese and Japanese
Emperors of to - day, if they officially adopt
Christianity, the right claimed by the rulers of
Russia and Great Britain to appoint Christian
bishops, and to constitute themselves heads of their
own Christian Church. The Chinese soon dis-
covered their error about Persia, when in the
seventh century the Turks brought first news
of the Franks, and having found out that the
Syrian Nestorians and the Persian Manicheans
were sent from different countries, they extended
equal hospitality to both ; but both continued to



iNTROD.] INTRODUCTION 5

bear within them the hereditary taint of Buddhism ;
and so when Buddhism again fell into disfavour
through priestly immorality, cupidity, and corruption,
the Syrian and Persian religions fell too, and for
want of new importations of Western blood scarcely
ever raised their heads in China again, Mazdeism
never had much chance in China, having dis-
appeared even from Persia with the Mussulman
conquests ; 90,000 Parsees, mostly in Bombay, are
the sole remnants of it now existing.

For some reason which has not yet been
made quite apparent, the Mussulmans, who were
so militant and aggressive elsewhere, and who (as
Abbasside Arabs) repeatedly fought, both for and
against China, during the Tibetan wars of 757-801
in Kan Suh and Yiin Nan, seem never to have
pressed in the least degree their claims to religious
recognition, not to say rights of proselytism in
China ; and yet their belief percolated imper-
ceptibly throughout the Chinese Empire, and
was largely accepted without political friction
by the trading classes : what is wanted, how-
ever, is the date when each region was first
inoculated. Particularly remarkable is the fact
that at no period whatever in Chinese history,
up to the time of the Manchu conquest of
Kashgaria 150 years ago, is there the slightest
mention of Mussulman religious trouble. Even in
Kublai Khan's time, when Mussulman gunners
managed the artillery, and Mussulman usurers
farmed the taxation, we hear absolutely nothing



6 INTRODUCTION [introd.

of Mussulman religious disputes. For three
centuries after that the word Mussulman scarcely
occurs in history, except in connection with
Tamurlane, Arabia, Bishpalik, Hami, and Turfan ;
it is indeed once stated that Kan Suh province
contained many Mussulmans imported in Mongol
times. Notwithstanding the numerous Mussulman
rebellions which have grown out of the occupa-
tion of Kashgaria in 1760, and out of the
infiltration of aggressive Islam into Yiin Nan,
there is no religious animosity felt in China against
Mussulmans ; a Mussulman may be a viceroy or
a ofeneralissimo, and over and over asrain within
the past two generations the emperors have said
in their official decrees : " Make no distinction
between lay - Chinese and Chinese Mussulmans.
I don't care what their belief is ; I only ask ' are
they good subjects ? ' I would as soon have a
good Mussulman as a bad Chinese — much sooner
indeed." The history of the Jews, who have
always been regarded as a strange, "sinew-pluck-
ing," schismatic group of Mussulmans, adds
nothing to the principle advanced — that the
Chinese Government has always been one of the
broadest-minded and the most liberally inclined
towards pure religion ; that it has never persecuted
to the merciless and cruel extent once so common
all over Europe ; and that when it has seemed
to persecute at all, it has really only defended
what it honesdy believed to be its own political
rights : it has never encouraged religious spite,



iNTROD.] INTRODUCTION 7

mental tyranny, or the stifling of any free opinion
that keeps clear of State policy, scandal, or libel.
European Christianity obtained three centuries
ago a reception as generous as the earlier foreign
religions had met with ; there was no trace of
sanctioned persecution until personal interests,
official appointments, and political questions came
to the fore. When Dominicans and Franciscans
abused Jesuits, ambitious princes intrigued with
priests, and Popes set about tilting with a literary
emperor on purely classical and logomachical
grounds, the Chinese Government may be excused
for having bundled the whole troublesome priestly
body out of China two centuries after their intro-
duction ; or, if not excused, its conduct may be
palliated ; if not, why did the Pope himself
abolish the Society of Jesus? And as regards
the Protestants of our day, if they can only go
about their charitable business without sneering
at the Catholics ; refrain from harshly criticising
subjects dear to Chinese prejudice ; and not allow
themselves to be made tools of by mercenary
natives, there is no apparent reason why they
should not for ever enjoy the toleration which the
Chinese have always been disposed to extend to
religion qua religion. The same remarks of course
apply to the Roman Catholics of the nineteenth
century up to the present time, and to their
behaviour towards Protestants. There are no
countries where the Romanists enjoy fuller liberties
than in Protestant England and America ; and yet



8 INTRODUCTION [introd.

the title " Lord Bishop," which they are beginning
to use in England, seems an imprudent and worldly
arrogatlon ; for it would be absurd in America,
and in any case only refers to the British House
of Lords, in which Catholic bishops have no seat.
We have only to look around us in our own
much vaunted civilised home of Europe (in which
for this purpose I include its intellectual annex
America) to see how much, despite misunder-
standings, we owe to the careless if not generous
toleration of the Chinese, upon whom it must be
remembered, we have imposed by force of arms
our so-called religious "rights," First we have
Russia, with her Armenians, Jews, Stundists,
Old Believers, Lutherans, Polish Catholics, etc.,
etc. This is not the place to criticise anything
that the Czar may be advised to do for the
supposed good of his State. But, if we put it
another way, suppose the 2500 missionaries of
innumerable Protestant sects now in China applied
for passports to go about the same work in Russia,
what would be their reception ? How would
their rights compare with those they enjoy in
China ? Next we have Russia's ally and our
own excellent friend, " most Christian " France.
What is the position at home of the Jesuits,
Missions Etrangeres, Lazarists, and other
powerful agglomerations at this moment,
enjoying as they do, " button " rank on the
footing of regularly commissioned mandarins in
China? The anointed ruler of Italy is regarded



ixTROD.] INTRODUCTION 9

as a pariah by the Vicar of Christ, who never-
theless enjoys his efficient protection. His
ApostoHc Majesty of Austro- Hungary is liable
to excommunication if he visits his royal friend
in Rome ; and his Most Faithful Majesty of
Portugal is liable to the same penalty if he visits
his kingly relative there. His Most Catholic
Majesty of Spain is presumably in the same
predicament. The recent action of the Bishop
of Barcelona, touching Protestants, shows the
measure of toleration approved in Spain. Prince
Bismarck (a term then synonymous with Germany)
was quite ready to apply force to constrain Rome
until he found that he was not strong enough to
do so effectually. The Sultan of Turkey and
his kindness to Germany in the Holy Land ; the
moves of Germany at the last Papal election ;
the protection of " Mussulman principles " in
Morocco ; the seizure of Kiao Chou ; the meeting
of the bishops and the Emperor at Metz — all
these and other episodes of a kind furnish an
object lesson, and suggest reasons why China is
so anxious not to be again turned on the flanks
by some mysterious political compulsion advancing
under ostensibly religious banners. It is significant
that after 3000 years of religious competition in
the Far East the old Chinese Shinto should find
renewed favour in Japan, and should have pro-
duced moral qualities nobler than any Christian
power can show at this moment.

Another point that commands attention in the



lo INTRODUCTION [introd.

survey of China's religious experiences is the
important but unobtrusive historical position
occupied by pure Taoism. A work of the fourth
century entitled, "How Lao-tsz converted the
Hu [Tartars and Hindoos] and became Buddha "
excited at the outset much indignation, and more
especially amongst the seventh century Buddhists ;
for there was then and still is a persistent secular
tradition in China, Khoten, and elsewhere that
when Lao-tsz disappeared towards the West
about B.C. 500, either he or his Taoist friend,
the keeper of the frontier pass, had really later on
reappeared in the shape of Buddha : it is probable,
but so far as I am aware not certain, that this
story was started by the degenerate and corrupt
Taoists, as described in the body of this work,
a century or two after the introduction of
Buddhism : they did so in order to keep their hold
on the people ; for they had already borrowed much
from the literature and liturgy of Buddhism, and
naturally after a period of neglect found it bonne
guerre to " dish " their rivals at a time when half a
dozen religions were competing for imperial favour,
and when a new dynasty bearing the same family
name as Lao-tsz recognised him as an ancestor.
But political works and priestly frauds of this
kind, which were given their final death-blow at
the religious " tourneys," held by Mangu and
Kublai Khans in the thirteenth century, have
nothing to do with the pure Taoism of Lao-tsz,
which continues to leaven the best Chinese and



iNTROD.] INTRODUCTION ii

Japanese intellect much in the same way that
Plato's " pagan " philosophy lightens up and
leavens educated Christian thought. The pure
Taoism of the Tao-teh King is as much quoted
in every age of Chinese history, officialdom, and
poetry as Shakespeare is quoted in the literature and


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Online LibraryEdward Harper ParkerChina and religion → online text (page 2 of 23)