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RIES OF
THE CHINES
MARTYRS



Y Mrs. BRYSON
TIENTSIN






'lTH SIXTY ILLUSTRATIONS



CROSS AND CROWN




THE GOD OF WAR AND BOXER ALTAR IN YEN-SHAN CITY.

(See fa^e 136.)



CROSS AND CROWN

STORIES OF THE CHINESE MARTYRS



r

BY



MRS. BRYSON

(OF TIENTSIN)



WITH SIXTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS



IL ontion

LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY
NEW BRIDGE STREET, BLACKFRIARS, E.C

Trade Agents
MESSRS. SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT & CO., LTD



BUTLER & TANNER,

THE SELWOOD PRINTING WORKS,

FROMB, AND LONDON.



PREFACE

T T 7"HEN I was at home on furlough, and met many of the young
* * people who will, I hope, read these pages, the Rev. Arnold
Thomas, of Bristol, and many other ministers and Christian workers,
told me they thought the heroic deaths and sufferings, for Jesus'
sake, of so many Chinese converts ought to be put on record. The
story, they said, was a legacy to the church universal, which should
not be lost, but should be treasured right down the ages, like the
record of the persecutions of pagan Rome.

No costly memorials have been erected above their graves ; many
of the martyrs never even received burial, their ashes being thrown
upon the winds ; but their memory will never die in the land of their
birth so long as the Christian Church grows and thrives in Chinese
soil.

I have only had space for a very few stories, though they could
be multiplied more than ten times over. And I have written only
of our London Mission Christians (with the exception of one or two
cases which are specially mentioned in the chapter " How the Youth
of China Died for Jesus "), as I thought these would be specially
interesting to the young people for whom this book is prepared.

I owe much to the kind help of all my colleagues in the North
China Mission for so abundantly supplying me with materials from



6 PREFACE

their own districts, and for carefully inquiring into every case. I
am grateful also to those who have helped me to obtain photographs
for illustrations.

My special thanks are due to Mrs. Biggin, of Peking, and the Rev.
D. S. Murray, of Tsang-chow, for their sympathetic interest and help.

The more time I have given to this work, the more grateful I have
felt to the Lord of the. Harvest for the wonderful testimony thus given
to His blessing on the woik of Missions in China. We know that God
is with us, for otherwise it would not be possible for martyrs to be
won for Christ. And since God is with us, the day is at hand when
the broad provinces of China shall call Jesus King.

And surely some of the young people who read these pages are
coming soon to help to gather in the great harvests which now, more
than ever before, wait for reapers on the soil consecrated by the blood
of the martyrs.

MARY I. BRYSON.

LONDON MISSION, TIENTSIN, NORTH CHINA.
May, 1904.



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS . . . . . .13

II. WHO WERE THE BOXERS ?....... 2J

III. Two BRAVE CHINESE GIRLS. . . . . . -33

IV. How THE CHILDREN OF CHINA DIED FOR JESUS ... 49
V. A FAITHFUL PASTOR ........ 65

VI. CHANG YUNG AND HIS WIFE ...... 77

VII. THE FIERY TRIAL OF THE PEKING CHRISTIANS ... 89

VIII. THROUGH THE STORM IN TIENTSIN . . . in

IX. How THEY DIED FOR CHRIST IN THE YEN-SHAN DISTRICT . 131

X. BEARING THE CROSS IN THE CHI-CHOU DISTRICT . . 153

XI. SOME DEVOTED PREACHERS ...... 161

XII. IN PERILS OFT .......... 171

XIII. THE STORY OF AN IMPERIAL BANNERMAN . . . .187

XIV. AFTER THE STORM . ... 197



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

The Chinese Characters on the cover signify " A Record of Tribulation."

PAGE

THE GOD OF WAR AND BOXER ALTAR IN YEN-SHAN CITY . .Frontispiece
THE MADAGASCAR MARTYRS . .. . . , . 15

A VIEW OVER THE ROOFS, TIENTSIN . . . . ... 16

A BUSY STREET IN PEKING . . . . . .17

THE LATE REV. J. STONEHOUSE IN CHINESE DRESS . . .19

A REAL LIVE BOXER . .... 24

TEMPLE OF THE CITY GOD AT YEN-SHAN . . '..''. . 26

A WALL WORSHIPPED AS THE ABODE OF THE SPIRIT OF THE Fox . . 28
WUN-E AND HER FAMILY . 34

CHWUN (" MA-LI ") MAKING LACE AT CHI CHOU . . 35

CORNER OF L.M.S. COMPOUND, TIENTSIN, SHOWING TOWER OF WALFORD

HART COLLEGE . . 37

CHILDREN OF MR. BRYSON AND MR. REES IN THE MISSION COMPOUND,

TIENTSIN . .38

MRS. TAI, THE PRESENT TEACHER OF MRS. BRYSON'S GIRLS' SCHOOL,

TIENTSIN ... ..... .40

MRS. CHEN, MOTHER OF WUN-E ........ 45

CHINESE BUDDHIST PRIESTS . . . . . . 51

STUDENTS AT THE TIENTSIN COLLEGE . . . . . . . 56

MR. YANG FENG-HSIAO, NOW EVANGELIST AT TSANG CHOW . . .58
A CORNER OF PEKING CITY . . 60

MR. Liu FENG-KANG, TUTOR OF THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE, TIENTSIN . . . 65
PASTOR SHAO ... 66

A CHINESE FARMYARD AND THRESHING FLOOR . . . 70

MR. HWANG, HOSPITAL ASSISTANT TO DR. ARTHUR PEILL . 72

A STREET IN PEKING, WITH MEMORIAL ARCH ERECTED IN HONOUR OF

BARON KETTELER, KILLED IN 1900 .... 78

MR. CHANG, WITH HIS WIFE AND CHILD .... - 79

THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA ..... 83

MRS. BIGGIN . 90

PRINCE Su, IN WHOSE PALACE THE NATIVE CHRISTIANS WERE SHELTERED 92
THE WATER-GATE THROUGH WHICH THE BRITISH TROOPS ENTERED

PEKING . . . . 93

MISSIONARIES ENGAGED IN THE DEFENCE OF THE LEGATION ... 95



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 9

PAGE

PEKING CHRISTIANS .... ..... 97

ADMIRAL SEYMOUR'S EXPEDITION RETURNING TO TIENTSIN . 99

A CORNER OF THE BRITISH LEGATION WALL, SHOWING INSCRIPTION CUT BY

ORDER OF THE BRITISH MINISTER . . IO4

A FOREIGN HOUSE IN TIENTSIN WRECKED DURING THE SIEGE . . .112
STREET IN FRENCH SETTLEMENT AFTER SIEGE OF TIENTSIN . . .113
REV. T. BRYSON AND MR. EDMUND COUSINS . . .114

THE WAREHOUSE IN WHICH THE NATIVE CHRISTIANS FOUND SHELTER . 115
A HERO OF THE TIENTSIN SIEGE . 118

THE RELIEF OF TIENTSIN. ARRIVAL OF JAPANESE TROOPS . . .119
RUINS OF MA-CHIA-KOU CHAPEL, TIENTSIN . . .121

DEACON WANG, OF TIENTSIN . . 125

DR. PEILL AND MR. MURRAY TRAVELLING TO YEN-SHAN ON THE GRAND

CANAL . . 132

GENERAL MEI . . . 133

CHRISTIAN WOMEN AT YEN-SHAN BEFORE THE OUTBREAK . . .137
RUINS OF L.M.S. CHAPEL AT YEN-SHAN . ...... 143

CHILDREN OF MARTYRED CHRISTIANS AT YANG CHIA-CHAI . . . 145
MRS. JEN AND HER CHILDREN .... . 146

SURVIVORS OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY AT YANG-CHIA-CHAI . . 148
BABY'S FIRST JOURNEY ON THE GRAND CANAL . 154

A CHRISTIAN BOOK AND TRACT SELLER ... 156

THE CHI CHOU POSTMAN .... . . . 157

GENERAL JEN, A FRIENDLY OFFICIAL IN THE T'SANG-CHOW DISTRICT . . 162
MR. Tsui, PREACHER AT TUNG-CHIA-CHUANG. . . 164

A SAILOR BOY ON THE GRAND CANAL . . . . . .166

MR. CHANG JUNG MAO . . . . . .172

A PEKING CART. .......... 174

Two PREACHERS IN THE CHI CHOU DISTRICT . ..... 175

IN A CHINESE CROWD ......... 178

A CHINESE GRANDPAPA . . . . . . . . .181

THE EMPEROR OF CHINA . . . . . . . .189

IN THE NATIVE CITY, PEKING . . . . . . . .191

A PEKING STREET . ........ 194

PROTECTOR OF THE CHRISTIANS ........ 198

GATE OF MISSION PREMISES AT TUNG-CHIA-CHUANG . . . .199

His EXCELLENCY Liu CHIH-TING, WHO SAVED OUR TSANG-CHOW MISSION-
ARIES ........... 2OI

REV. S. D. MURRAY ON TOUR AMONG THE VILLAGES IN THE TSANG-CHOW

DISTRICT .... . . 202

DEACON WANG. OF YANG-CHIA-CHAI . .... 204

DEACON WANG (STANDING BY TOMBSTONE OF SEVEN MEMBERS OF HIS

FAMILY KILLED BY -BOXERS) ....... 206



High honour theirs, to prove

Still stands redemption's sign ;
Not lost the type of love,

Not quenched the martyr line.

ENSOR.



Safe gathered Home, around Thy blessed feet,
Come Home by different ways from far and near,
Whether by whirlwind or by flaming car,
From pangs or sleep, safe folded round Thy seat.

CHRISTINA ROSSETTI.



CHAPTER I
THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS



CHAPTER I



F CAN remember well a book that had a great fascination for me
* when I was a child. It was not a beautifully bound or artistic-
ally illustrated volume, such as are prepared for young people now-
a-days. Its covers were not of bright-tinted cloth, decorated with
gilt designs, but it was dressed in sober colours and the illustrations
were crude and inartistic.

The title of this book was Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and the pictures
it contained were from the original designs. Many of them, though
strange and uncouth, told a wonderful story of what men and women
and even little children would do and dare for the sake of Christ our
Lord, and how they would rather die than deny Him.

I used to curl myself up in my father's old arm-chair and read
without weariness, and with many a thrill of admiration, of all that
the good and great of past ages had suffered for Jesus' sake.

First there were our Lord's own disciples, the men who were His
closest companions while on earth, and some of whom wrote for us
the story of His wonderful life. In nearly every case these men
suffered martyrdom. It was like writing their names in blood at
the foot of the Gospel story.

Then after them, for several hundred years, from Nero's time to
the reign of Constantine, thousands upon thousands of Christians



14 CROSS AND CROWN

died for their Lord. And they did not simply die ; they suffered
deaths of terrible agony, tortured with every refinement of cruelty
which spirits of evil could suggest to their persecutors.

I used to read of the school-boy Pancraticus, the bright young
martyr whose name has been perpetuated in one of our London churches
(St. Pancras), and of Agnes, the sweet girl martj^r of Rome, who counted
it pure joy to die for her Saviour.

Then I read of Latimer and Ridley, and how by God's grace they
were enabled to " light such a candle in England as shall never be put
out."

In those days of my childhood the martyrs were all people
known only in the pages of history. I never dreamed that I should
ever reckon as my own dear friends people who would be called to pass
through such fiery trials. Yet in the green English meadows, starred
with daisies and buttercups, I used to ask myself sometimes what
would happen if I were called upon to suffer as these people had
suffered. Should I prove faithful as they had been ? Or fearful
of the bitter anguish, should I choose a coward's life in place of a
noble death ?

The martyr stories continued right down the centuries, till at last,
in the pages of our own Juvenile Missionary Magazine, I saw a sketch
of what was happening even then to followers of Jesus. It was only
a rough wood-cut, but it imprinted the fact upon my memory for ever.
A band of Malagasy Christians stood bound at the top of a great
precipice. One by one, as they refused to give up their faith, they
were hurled from the rock and dashed to pieces before the very eyes
of their companions who awaited the. same fate.

The years rolled by, and God called me to work for Him in distant
China. One bright January day found me sailing through the lovely



THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS



Inland Sea of Japan and
past the rock of Peppen-
berg, from whose steep
cliffs in former years the
Christians in great numbers
had been dashed to pieces.
It reminded me of the
stories of my childhood ;
only now they were coming
nearer, almost into my own
life.

When I reached China
and settled down with my
husband in a great Chinese
city, I soon saw that the
Chinese Christians had not
a path of roses to tread,
but suffered much from
petty persecutions, because
they refused to worship
the false gods.

Near my first home in
Central China, without the city gates, where in the spring-time the
fragrance of the bean flower scented the air, and the yellow garlic
and dwarf lilac blossomed wildly, there were some grassy mounds,
beneath which tradition said lay buried the remains of the Romish
missionaries, the first workers in the city where my husband was the
first Protestant missionary. They had been cut down within the
court of the Viceroy's yamen many years before. We thought such
scenes would never recur, though riots and the stoning of missionaries




THE MADAGASCAR MARTYRS.
(From the Juvenile Missionary Magazine.)



i6



CROSS AND CROWN



were not uncommon, as we on several occasions ourselves ex-
perienced.

Nearly ten years later our station was changed from the banks
of the great Yang-tse-Kiang to the shores of the Gulf of Peh-chili.
Every one has heard of the Tientsin massacre which had occurred
about twelve years before. The people of the great city, wild with
anger on account of evil rumours which had been spread abroad,
declaring that the Romish nuns had been kidnapping the children
in their orphanage to use their hearts and eyes for making foreign
medicine, rose and put to the sword every one of the nuns and many
other residents.

Several times I visited the scene of the massacre, which was a large,
quiet compound, entered from a busy street. Loving hands had
erected a marble pillar at each spot where a sister had fallen. Some of




A VIEW OVER THE ROOFS, TIENTSIN.



THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS 17

them were outside among the green grass, others close together within
the ruined aisles of the church, where they had fled for refuge.

But we thought that these days had passed away for ever, even
though at times wild reports shook the city that the Christians were
irritating the gods and preventing the fall of rain, or cutting off men's
queues and causing them sudden death. Other reports accused




A BUSY STREET IN PEKING.



them of kidnapping children to place their bodies beneath the railway
sleepers or the girders of railway bridges, or to obtain fresh medicine
from their bodies.

As time passed on I came to know and love many Chinese Christians.
Some of them filled my heart with joy, for I knew them to be earnest
workers and valiant confessors of Christ.



1 8 CROSS AND CROWN

I would look into the faces of others, and wonder sometimes whether
they really understood what it meant to be true followers of the Lord.

My want of faith was rebuked, for some of these very people proved
faithful in the face of cruel agony and even death itself.

Among the martyrs, a few of whose stories I have told in the follow-
ing pages, were school-girls, whose bright young faces had been dear
to me for years, and women who had come week after week to my
Mothers' Class, and whose life stories had often awakened my sympathy
and pity. There were young men also who had come regularly several
times a week to an English class I carried on for the benefit of the
theological students and hospital helpers.

Among the foreign missionary martyrs also there were many who
were dear friends of my own. There were Mr. and Mrs. Dixon, who
with several others were hunted for weeks into dens and caves of
the earth. They endured hunger and pain and weariness, and then
by false promises were lured out of their hiding-places only to be
cut down in the city gate. " We are quite sure if we die there are
many more who will come out to fill our places" said Mr. Dixon just
before the end.

There was Horace Pitkin, whose last message, sent by a Chinese
Christian a few hours before he fell with hands uplifted in prayer, was
" Tell my wife that I want Horace, when he is twenty- five years of
age, to come out to China and carry on the work I am called to lay down"

There was Miss Coombs, the brave Birmingham High School
mistress, who went back into the burning school-house to rescue a
little lame scholar. She was beaten back into the flames by the cruel
mob, till she ascended in that fiery chariot to her reward.

There were Mr. and Mrs. Piggott and their thirteen-year-old laddie.
Mr. Piggott preached till the very last when cut down with so many
more in the blood-stained courtyard of the cruel Governor at Tai-yuan-fu.



THE NOBLE ARMY OF MARTYRS



Mrs. Piggott held the
hand of her little
son, even after the
spear had fallen,
which quickly took
his young life also.

There was Joseph
Stonehouse, of our
own L.M.S., who
was on his journey
of compassion, carry-
ing relief to the
district in which he
had so long laboured.
It was a perilous
task, but one which
he gladly undertook
to relieve their
necessities. He was
shot down, pierced
with many bullets,
giving his life for the
people he loved.

The stories of
these noble martyrs,

and many more of our own countrymen and countrywomen, have
been told by others. In this book I wish to tell you only of the
undying faith, " triumphant over death," of our Chinese brothers and
sisters.

These native converts have sometimes been called " rice Christians "




THE LATE REV. J. STONEHOUSE IN CHINESE DRESS.



20 CROSS AND CROWN

by those who know nothing about them. This phrase means those
who join a religion for their living, merely to make gain out of it.
The following pages will, I hope, make clear to you that our -Chinese
Christians are as faithful as the martyrs of old, and that right down
the ages God gives His people power to live and to die for Him.

The majority of the martyrs whose stories are told here belonged
to our own mission, but some striking instances have been included
of converts belonging to other English or American Missions, for all
are known alike by the name of members of the " Jesus sect."

I have only given you a few cases, but they could be multiplied
over and over again, for the Boxers' deadly spears shed the blood of
thousands of native Christians.

" The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church," it was said of
old ; and already we see signs of a great coming harvest. It is my
earnest desire that some of the boys and girls who read these true
stories may in years to come help to gather in the rich sheaves of the
Lord's harvest in China.

May many of you say from your hearts :

As labourers in Thy vineyard

Send us out Christ to be ;
Content to bear the burden

Of weary days for Thee.
We ask no other guerdon

When Thou shalt call us home,
But to have shared the travail

Which makes Thy kingdom come.



CHAPTER II
WHO WERE THE BOXERS ?



CHAPTER II
WHO WERE THE BOXERS?

IT is natural that those who read of the sufferings of the Chinese
martyrs should ask : " Who were the Boxers, and why did they
rise against the foreigners and the native Christians ? "

They were a body of people calling themselves by a name meaning
" United Fists." Hence they were dubbed Boxers by the Foreign com-
munity. They were not heard of in England till 1900 that year of
bloodshed and terror ; but in the interior of China they had been
active more than a year before. The Rev. W. Hopkyn Rees, of Chi Chou,
one of our large inland districts, says : " It was in the spring of 1899
that the Boxers reached our district, after a wild career in the province
of Shantung, where loot and murder marked their path. They seemed
to have made up their minds to destroy all the Missions on the way to
the capital, where it was said they had friends in high circles whose
behests they were obeying."

On three occasions they surrounded our Mission compound at
Hsiao-chang, and ladies and children hid together for safety in one
room, the men meanwhile doing sentry duty. The native Christians
stood valiantly by the missionaries, and the storm seemed to pass
over.

In the autumn the movement broke out again with renewed
fury, and four hundred Christian families were looted and fined.



CROSS AND CROWN




A REAL LIVE BOXER.



Imperial soldiers were
sent to defend the
Mission, and they
routed the Boxers at
several points.

Early in 1900, how-
ever, the Chinese Im-
perial Government
joined in the movement,
which was led by Prince
Tuan and General Tung-
Fu-hsiang, and the
soldiers were withdrawn
from the Mission. This
course was taken because
the Empress Dowager
and her advisers had
decided to drive all the
" foreign barbarians,"
as they were called, out
of the country. Ulti-
mately the Empress
issued the fatal pro-
clamation commanding
the officials to destroy
every foreigner and all
Chinese in any way
connected with them,
adding that if they



tried to escape they were to pursue and slay them.



WHO WERE THE BOXERS ? 25

It is declared on very high authority that the young Emperor
was utterly opposed to this action. He fell on his knees and implored
his great -aunt with tears not to publish the proclamation, but she
laughed him to scorn. Two high officials in Peking, who were wise
beyond the rest, seeing the grave danger to China of such a course,
took upon themselves the enormous responsibility of altering the word
meaning " destroy " to another meaning " protect"

Before this alteration was discovered many lives had been saved,
for it gave time for large numbers to escape to the coast. But the
brave officials themselves were condemned to a cruel death.

Then the terrible order was circulated throughout the Empire,
and is said to have caused the death of over 5,000 Protestant Christians,
and over 20,000 Roman Catholics. In this province of Chih-li alone,
1,150 Protestants were massacred, and over four hundred of these
were members of our London Mission churches.

Besides these native Christians, the number of foreign missionaries
put to death was 188, including many children. These numbers would
have been very much larger but for the fact that in many centres
there were brave and enlightened Chinese officials who risked their
own lives and their future chances of promotion to save the strangers
from afar, and hurry them out of the country.

As we have seen, for more than a year the north of China had been
in a state of great discontent, and there is no doubt that the Boxer
rising expressed to a large extent the general unrest of the people.
Several European countries had seized large portions of the Empire,
and Chinese officials were constantly reading translations of articles
in foreign papers discussing the " Break-up of China," and allotting
various portions of the country to different European powers. Natur-
ally this exasperated even those officials who were friendly to the
foreigners.



26



CROSS AND CROWN



There were also other causes of unrest. The Chinese believe
that the repose of the dead is essential to the prosperity of their
living descendants. They looked, therefore, with dismay upon the
numerous railways projected in all parts of the Empire the mining
operations which they thought must disturb the spirits of the earth,




TEMPLE OF THE CITY GOD AT YEN SHAN.

(The Priest standing near the entrance was one of the Boxer leaders.)

and the network of telegraphic wires which they felt certain would
trouble the spirits of the air.

Drought had devastated large tracts of country for several years,
and it was believed the gods who gave rain were witholding the season-
able showers because many of the people had become Christians and



WHO WERE THE BOXERS ? 27

no longer worshipped at their shrine. This idea was confirmed by
the fact that in several cases, within an hour or so after the missionaries
had been driven out of cities, heavy showers of rain came on suddenly.

But by far the larger portion of the Boxer armies were people who
preferred a roving and plundering mode of life to earning their own
living in a commonplace way. In many districts all law and order
were done away with, and even common labourers, if men of strong
will, led the regiments, ruling with a rod of iron.

Much superstition was mingled with what was called the Boxer
drill. It was believed that the men became inspired with the spirits
of ancient gods. They fell on the ground and foamed at the mouth.
They became rigid, and in that condition were not affected if boiling
water was poured upon them or needles pierced their flesh.

They believed themselves invulnerable, and when any Boxer soldiers
were killed, it was declared that it was because they had not fully
yielded themselves to the inspiration. Young women and girls,
generally so closely guarded in China, and confined to their homes,
joined the " United Fists," and were called the " Red Lantern Girls."
It was believed that they had the power to discover and set on fire
buildings in any way connected with foreigners.

The people, as a whole, were like frightened children to whom weird
ghost stories had been told. They would look closely and long at the
red ball of the setting sun, and then, when turning away their eyes,
they naturally saw the glowing circle appear on the grey background
of the clouds : that also was considered a miraculous indication, spur-
ring them on to further deeds of violence.

The chief Boxer centres were in Buddhist Temples. They wor-
shipped the fox, the pig, the weasel and other animals. The god of
war, the patron saint of the present dynasty, was also universally
worshipped. It was at these shrines that the hearts of Christians



28



CROSS AND CROWN



were constantly offered by the Boxers as gifts acceptable to their


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Online LibraryMary Isabella BrysonCross and crown : stories of the Chinese martyrs → online text (page 1 of 10)