William Elliot Griffis.

A maker of the new Orient : Samuel Robbins Brown, pioneer educator in China, America, and Japan : the story of his life and work online

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Last Home Coming 309

Word of God spoke to him in this wise: "If
any man provide not for the things of his own,
he hath denied the faith." Forthwith he re-
turned to China. It was uphill work attempt-
ing reform. He tried many positions, British,
American, and Chinese, but left them when he
found he could not advance his purpose of get-
ting Chinese young men educated abroad. He
went into business and amassed wealth. Finally
summoned before a viceroy, he pleased that
statesman by making the astonishing statement
that he could not be a general, nor could he take
the position or salary belonging to a military
officer. He was sent to Europe to buy arms
and machinery, and did his work well. Re-
turning to China he pressed his suit and won
over to his point of view two mandarins in high
office, and despite delays, through a period of
mourning and the Tientsin massacre, succeeded.
In August, 1871, the appropriation of five hun-
dred thousand dollars was made.

Shortly after this, at Yokohama, I met Yung
Wing and accompanied him to the deck of the
steamer. We chatted for an hour over educa-
tion in Japan and China and the prospects of the
new Orient. He was as happy as a boy, and
radiant with hope for his country. He used
English with a grace and fluency that might be
expected of a prize-winner at Yale. Afterwards,
in 1875, I saw some of the Chinese lads at their
studies. They spent two months of the year at

3IO A Maker of the New Orient

Hartford, keeping up under severe and strict
Chinese teachers their own vernacular, penman-
ship, and book language.

Although reactionary influences in Peking pre-
vailed and the Chinese lads were recalled, yet
many of them gave a good account of themselves
and have made good records. One is the new
Chinese ambassador in Washington appointed
in July, 1902.

Yung Wing afterwards fell into disfavor with
the Peking mandarins, but during the war with
Japan was sent to Europe on an important mis-
sion. Again, in 1901, the reactionaries who hate
all progress made trouble for him, but he es-
caped their clutches, and in 1902 came back to
his home in Hartford.

Nevertheless, as precedents rule the day in
China, the seed-idea of educating native youth
abroad has fallen into hopeful ground and fruit
has ripened. There are now in 1902 over one
thousand Chinese students in Japan, Europe,
and America.

While in Washington, Dr. Brown had his
photograph taken. It represents him as a sunny
white-haired old man, benignant and kind, his
whole mien suggesting readiness to listen in
order to help. One of his nieces, writing in
1901, says, *' I have never seen so beautiful an
old age, so perfect a ripening of character. In
him we could all see that

'* ' Last of life for which the first was made,*

Last Home Coming 311

as Browning puts it, in his * Rabbi Ben Ezra/
To be with him during his last days was to stand
in the glow of a light from the very throne of

An Albany newspaper reporter, who inter-
viewed Dr. Brown as to Chinese gratitude, said
of the old pioneer:

** His is one of the most intellectual faces it
is possible to meet with, and his snow-white hair
gives him a venerable appearance that is pleas-
ant to look upon, while his clear, mild voice
is one that the listener would never weary in

With what a rush of memories and upwelling
of deepest gratitude to God did the veteran
translator receive on May 11, a letter from
Japan announcing that "A meeting, to com-
memorate the completion of the translation of
the New Testament into the Japanese language,
will be held in the Rev. D. Thompson's church
Shin Sakaye Bashi, Tokio, on Monday next,
April 19, at 3.30 p. m. Rev. Dr. Verbeck will
preside and addresses will be delivered by the
chairman. Dr. Hepburn, and the Rev. Mr.
Okano." A few days later, from the Board of
Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church, came
to him a letter couched in glowing language,
congratulating him on the completion of the
New Testament in Japanese.

One able to judge by many years of life among
the Japanese, using also their language in public

312 A Maker of the New Orient

discourse, declared that Dr. Brown's fine taste
and discriminating judgment were of great serv-
ice in securing so flowing and almost faultless a
rendering of the words of Holy Scripture in
the musical and rhythmical language of the

Falling on Sleep

Falling on Sleep

THE days of the years of the life of the
sunny missionary, as numbered by the
Father, were neither " few nor evil,"
yet were not to be three score years and ten. It
was a few days short of seventy years when, his
earthly voyage ended, he was to drift into the
harbor. After twice encompassing the globe,
he found euthanasia near his boyhood's home
and the resting place of his mother and father.

Starting with his wife from Albany, in the
month of June, 1880, in order to be present at the
reunion of his Yale class, of 1832, at New Haven,
he spent a week as the guest of his old friend Dr.
Henry M. Field, at Stockbridge, Mass., for one
week, and arrived at Monson on Friday, June
18, spending the night at the home of his old
friend Mrs. Hadassah Thomipson Dewey, who
had been from childhood a close friend of the
Browns. Her husband, the Rev. Amasa Dewey,
then deceased, and Dr. Brown had been class-
mates at Monson Academy and roommates at
Yale College. On Saturday morning, driving
with his wife around the town, he found none of
his relatives living in Monson, the late Rev. Dr.
Alfred Ely and all the family having died or


3i6 A Maker of the New Orient

moved away. Again he visited his parents'
sleeping place in the cemetery — ^the most hal-
lowed spot on earth to him.

That evening having retired to bed, " He
entered into rest without a struggle, with only a
slight change in his breathing, barely sufficient
to awaken his wife, soon after midnight. The
notice of death occupied only four or five lines
in the daily papers, yet two empires had lost one
of their chief benefactors."

The brother had yielded to " the sister's call."
Years before, on the death of his beloved sister.
Dr. Brown had given utterance to the haunting
feelings that possessed him, and setting his own
verses to his own music, sang with a pathos never
to be forgotten, the poem which we here trans-


" A voice from the spirit land,
A voice from the silent tomb,
Entreats with a sweet command,

• Brother, come home! '
List, list! 'Tis a sister gone;
Unseen, yet where'er I roam,
She calls from her starlit throne,

' Brother, come home! *

'• At eve, when the crimson west
Is dyed by the setting sun,
She calls like a spirit blest,

• Brother, come home! '
Abroad in the stilly night,
A stranger and all alone,

I hear through the misty light,

• Brother, come home! *





Falling on Sleep 317

•' In dreams of the midnight deep,
When angels of mercy come,
I startle to hear in sleep,

' Brother, come home!'
When far from my father's hearth
I sail o'er the white sea foam,
I hear through the storm wind's mirth,

• Brother, come home ! '

•* By sorrow and sin oppressed,
She answers to every moan,
* Come here where the weary rest;

Brother, come home ! '
Ah! loved one, I haste to thee;
Soon, soon shall I reach thy home.
And there wilt thou welcome me.

I come, I come."

Mr. E. F. Morris of Monson recalls the
bright June day in 1880 when he last saw Dr.
Brown. The white-haired veteran had arrived
that morning and was taking a drive with his
wife amid the old familiar scenes. On the fol-
lowing morning, the Sabbath, word came that
the sunny missionary had passed away during
the night. Having often expressed a longing
to rest with his mother in his last sleep, he had
unwittingly come to his boyhood's home to die
within a few rods of her grave.

Dr. J. H. Twitchell of Hartford writes, "I
attended his funeral and walked from the church
where the service was held, to the burying
ground, with S. Wells Williams, his old com-
rade. Dr. Williams' strange talk, as we went
along, I never shall forget — it was pitched to so

31 8 A Maker of the New Orient

high a key of exultation. He spoke of how un-
profitable a use — in most men's eyes — Dr. Brown
had made of his life and powers ; of what he had
sacrificed, etc. He exclaimed again and again,

* He shall not be ashamed of it ' — glancing side-
wise at the hearse as if he wanted Dr. Brown to
hear. He seemed also to be speaking for him-
self. He fell into further reminiscence, and fling-
ing out his hand to the eastward where a long
range of hills lies against the sky, Dr. W. said,

* And when the plan of God for these great
Eastern nations is fully unrolled, Robbins Brown
will not be ashamed.' "

The memory of the pioneer and his wife is
still as green as the grass after a rain at Owasco
Outlet. Besides the year 1868, which Dr. Brown
spent there, it was hoped that when the twenty-
fifth anniversary of the dedication of the new
building was to be enjoyed, on the 27th of July,
1880, Dr. Brown would be present. Yet, though
the anniversary came, it was turned into a me-
morial service, for he who had been twice pastor
was a guest in the House of Eternity.

Concerning his chief work, the translation of
the New Testament into the Japanese, Dr. Henry
Stout writes in 1901 : "If the length of time
during which this first translation has been the
accepted standard version by all classes in
Japan — sorme portions for nearly thirty years and
the whole book over twenty — be a test of excel-
lence, then that translation must have been the

Falling on Sleep 319

product of careful, conscientious scholarship. As
the work went on his health failed. He prayed
that he might live to see it completed, and to ac-
complish this seemed to be the first ambition of
his last days. He had the satisfaction of seeing
the New Testament complete in print.

In a very happy event occurring on the Perry
treaty ground at Yokohama March 11, 1881, the
name and memory of Dr. Brown were recalled.
The King of Hawaii was welcomed in the Japa-
nese Christian Church at Yokohama, to express
their thanks to the Christians of Hawaii for the
gift of one thousand dollars to build the first
native chapel in Japan. His Majesty was met at
the station by Dr. T. W. Gulick, and in the
church the words, Aloha, the Christian saluta-
tion meaning, " love be to thee," thrilled the
members of the royal party. It was the ninth
anniversary of the organization of the First
Christian Church in Japan. The church edifice,
dedicated to the worship of God July 10, 1875,
on Lot 167, had stood six years. The Rev.
Okuno Masatsuna, the poet and hymn-writer,
made an address which was rendered into English
by the Rev. Ibuka Kachinoske, one of the five
pupils of Dr. Brown who became presidents of
Christian colleges in Japan. Mr. Ibuka ren-
dered also his Majesty's address in English
into Japanese for the benefit of the native

The Hon. Shimada Saburo, editor, historian.

320 A Maker of the New Orient

critic, and reformer, writing from Tokio June 30,
1901, of the sending of Perry to wake up the
Japanese nation from its long sleep, and of the
arrival later of missionaries to open the spiritual
eyes of his people, declares that the antipathy
and skepticism which the Japanese had against
the political policies of the foreign Powers was
removed " by the humane and warm sympathies
of these missionaries toward the hermit nation."
He shows that it took many years to make the
Japanese see that " the religion of Jesus is not
so wicked as they fancied before." When, in
1873, he came to Yokohama to study English,
Dr. Brown said to him, " If you want to study
English for the purpose of becoming the pastor
of a church, you need not pay any tuition ; but if
simply to study English you should pay for it."
Mr. Saburo was deeply impressed with Brown's
kindness and noble-heartedness, and is deeply
grateful for what he received from him.

Another student tells how he and his fellow
supported students declined at a certain period
to receive any further assistance and determined
on self-support. Dr. Brown at first thought
this proposal sprung from their inexperience and
thoughtlessness. " Yet, after knowing our hearts
more fully in the matter, he granted our request.
His pure and noble character had an unspeakable
influence over us."

Dr. Brown thought no people were as grateful
as the Chinese, and often spoke of the Japanese

Falling on Sleep 321

as those who knew and practiced the virtue of
grateful appreciation.

One who has long been among the Japanese
writes :

" Foreigners in the East sometimes speak of
the * natives ' as * ungrateful,' but expressions
used long after his death by Japanese who had
been Dr. Brown's pupils taught me differently.
They felt they had received real benefit from him,
and his memory was precious to them. No
teacher can ask a higher reward, and this was
Dr. Brown's in no stinted measure. His spirit
and his scholarly ideals are incarnate in some
of the Japanese who have been most successful
in the establishment of the Church, men who are
still leaders of their countrymen."

During the great revival of 1902 the name of
Samuel Robbins Brown was often mentioned in
Japan. For the time being, during this Taikyo
Dendo Undo, or Great United Evangelistic
Movement, sectional lines were obliterated, and
tens of thousands of Japanese made earnest in-
quiry concerning Christ and his religion. One
of the happiest omens for the future unity of
Christ's Church in Japan has been the blessing
bestowed upon this great undenominational and
truly union effort of evangelism.

One of Dr. Brown's most faithful comrades,
writing in the perspective of long years in 1902,
declared that three striking characteristics of Dr.
Brown's were, first, his tenderness of heart at

32 2 A Maker of the New Orient

mention of the Saviour's name, often bringing
tears to his eyes ; second, his real missionary zeal
— it was enthusiasm; third, his ardent beUef in
the imminence of our Lord's second coming. It:
the old hymn book so long used by mother and
son, the three places most used are those of hymns
in adoration of the Trinity, praise in Christ, and
hymns of the resurrection. His favorite was " It
is not death to die."

Dr. Brown's soul was not " like a star and
dwelt apart." His was rather like abundant
sunshine that made things grow. He raised up
disciples. He was not an Elijah, but an Elisha.
" Nothing," says Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott,
*' perhaps is more remarkable in religious history
than the strange inability of the greatest teacher
who works through his own individuality alone
to produce in others, however devoted to him,
the image of his own life." The bishop's words
have been illustrated in the missionary history of
Japan, but not in the career of Samuel R. Brown.
In this twentieth century Japanese presidents of
colleges, editors, pastors, translators, authors,
statesmen, men of affairs, and leaders in com-
merce and literature by the score are " images of
his own life/' while in three countries hundreds
acknowledged gladly the inspiration gained under
their teacher.

" Then in such hour of need
Of your fainting, dispirited race,
Ye, like angels, appear,
Radiant with ardor divine!
Beacons of hope, ye appear!
Languor is not in your heart,
Weakness is not in your word.
Weariness not on your brow.
Ye alight in our van ! at your voice.
Panic, despair, flee away,
Ye move through the ranks, recall
The stragglers, refresh the outworn,
Praise, re-inspire the brave!
Order, courage, return.
Eyes rekindling, and prayers.
Follow your steps as ye go.
Ye fill up the gaps in our files.
Strengthen the wavering line,
Stablish, continue our march,
On, to the bound of the waste,
On, to the City of God."

—" Rugby Chapel,'' Matthew Arnold.


Abeel, Rev. David, 64, 70

Adrian, Miss Caroline, 119, 120

Alabama, Confederate cruiser, 180, 189

Alcock, Sir Rutherford, 177

Alert, U. S. S. S., 283-291

Allen Street Church, 53, 63

Amboynia, 288

American Board, C. F. M., 17, 58, 269

American commerce with China, 100

American Mission Home, 249

American missionaries in Japan, 241, 269, 299

Amherst College, 36

Amoy, 142

Ando Taro, Hon., 207, 208

Anjer, Java, 139

Arai Hakus^ki, 261

Arnold, Matthew, quoted, 323

Asakusa, 155, 156

Asiatic Society of Japan, 245, 267

Auburn, N. Y,. 121, 214

Auburn Theological Seminary, 121, 131

" Ballagh, Harold," 275-277

Ballagh, Rev. J. H., 238

Ballagh, Mrs. J. H., 171, 176, 249, 267

Barker, Admiral, 284, 290

Bartlett, Rev. Shuabel, 18, 64

Benjamin, Mr. Simeon, 129

Berry, Dr., 244, 271

Bible, 172, 250, 271, 302, 311

Bible Society, 297


326 Index

Bissell, Col., loi

Bonin Islands, 285

Boone, Bishop, 51

Boston, 50

"Boxers," 189

Bridgman, Dr., 58, 61

Brimfield, Mass., 35-41

British and Americans, 15, 46, 94

British missionaries, 94

Brown, Rev, Nathan, 275

Brown, Phoebe Hinsdale, 15-20, 122, 127

Brown, S. R., ancestry, 15 ; birth, 16 ; education, 28-
31, 42-53 ; school-teaching, 32-41 ; college life, 45-49;
teaching deaf-mutes, 49, 50, 52 ; theology, 50-54 ;
marriage, 62 ; at Canton, 70, 91 ; at Macao, 71-81 5
at Hong Kong, 85-104 ; wounded, 98-100 ; love of
music, 38-41, 93-122 ; returns to America, 107, 108 ;
at Rome, N. Y., 110-113 ; pastor at Owasco Outlet,
1 1 7-124 ; builds new church, 119 ; his mechanical
skill, 121 ; love of fun, 139, 277 ; helps to start Elmira
College, 127-130 ; offers to go to Japan, 138 ; voyage
thither, 139-142 ; arrival at Kanagawa, 148 ; Chaplain
U. S. Legation, 152 ; in Yedo, 154-158 ; his ideal of a
missionary, 162, 204, 251 ; plans the British consular
chapel, 175 ; catholic spirit, 176, 177, 241-243 ; learns
photography, 179, 180 ; removes from Kanagawa,
182 ; house in Yokohama, 191 ; as teacher, 104, 207-
209, 280 ; fire in house, 213 ; in U. S. again, 213-216 ;
to and in Niigata, 220-228 ; appointed U. S. consular
agent, 227 ; habits, 228, 229 ; translator, 318 ; in
Tokio, 258, 299 ; his pupils in China, 291-294 ; in
Japan, 267-271, 298, 322 ; health fails, 271 ; picture of
translators, 276-278 ; voyage in Alert, 283-291 ; in
China again, 291-294 ; in America, 307 ; decease, 316;
summary of work and character, 322

Brown, Miss Hattie, 241, 285, 297

Brown, Mrs. S. R., 8, 62, 66, 96, 102, 104, 123

Index 327

Brown, Timothy H., 16,18, 21, 25, 97, 122
Browning, quoted, 133, 311
Bushido, 153, 265

Canton, 70, 91

Chalmers, Rev. Dr., 286

China, 20, 69-72, 310

Chinese art, 293, 294

Chinese education in America, 26, 308, 310

Chinese in America, 236

Chinese language, 66, 74, 75, 76, 144, 271

Chinese Repository, 61, 100

Christianity in Japan, 215, 248, 252, 260, 261, 268-271, 300

Clark, Rev. E. W., 261

Classis of Cayuga, iiS, 123, 138

" Colloquial Japanese," 167

Colton, Rev. Simeon, 28

Columbia, S. C, 51

Constitution of the U. S., 203

Contest, ship, 189

Cornell University, 132

Deliberative assemblages, 299

De Long, Hon. Chas. E., 236, 237

Dewey, Admiral, 291

Dewey, Rev. Amasa, 47, 315

Domine, Reformed Church pastor, 117

Dominie, schoolmaster, 117

Door, Gen., 149, 153

Dutch, 139, 188, 201, 274, 287, 288

Early rising, 48

Earthquakes, 149

Echizen, 189, 204

Education in China, 57-61, 71-80, 87-93

Ellington, 18

Elliot, Dr., 250

Elmira College, 127-130

English missionaries, 94, 102

328 Index

Forty-seven Renins, 197
Freeman, Edward A., 193
Fujisan, 237
Fujiu, Rev. I. K., 268

Gage, Hon. Lyman J., iii
Geology, 112
Gettysburg, 118
Gongs, 109

Gratitude, 19, 294, 321
Greene, Rev. D. C, 266
Griffis, Miss M. C, 231
Guam, 285
Gutzlaff, 71, 141

Hall, Mr. Frank, 143, 176

Happer, Dr., 102

Hara-kiri, 196, 197

Harris, Townsend, 152, 154, 157

Hartranft, Rev. C. D., 215

Hawaii, 319

Hearn, Lafcadio, 192

Hepburn, Dr. J. C, 87, 147, 151, 176, 202, 257, 267, 311

Heusken, Mr,, 157, 258

Hequemborg, Miss, 260

Hickory, 46

Hizakurige, 153

Honda, Rev. Dr., 279

Hong Kong, 85-87, 141, 291

Hopkins, Prof. S. M., 119

Hymns, 18, 19, 38

Ibuka, Rev. K., 209, a6&, 319
Inland Sea, 163
Ithaca, N. Y., 180
Iroquois nations, 112, 128
Ito, Marquis, 49, 194, 235

Index 329

Jamestown y U. S. S. S., 194

Japan, 20, 65, 71

Japan Evangelist, 268, 271, 280

Japanese characteristics, 162, 173, 178, 189, 191, 235

Japanese language, 144, 251

Jujitsu, 41

Kanagawa, 147-151, 180

Kidder, Miss Mary (Mrs. E. R. Miller), lao, 217, 228, 251

King, Mr. and Mrs., 65, 94

Korea, 2, 20

Krakatoa, 139

Lake region of New York, 112, 128, 131

Latin language, 29, 30, 117

Legge, Dr. James, 87

Lockhart, Dr. Wm., 70, 91

Lord, Rev. Dr., 64

Lowder, Mr. J. C, 216

Macao, 70, 72, 291

Maclay, Rev. Dr., 47

Macy, Rev. Wm. A., 102, 104

Mariana Islands, 286

Martin, E. Throop, 117

Martin, Dr. W. A. P., 172, 254, 292

McCartee, Dr. D. B., 85, 87, 98

McDougal, Captain, 180, 184

Merchants, 52, 53, 58

Merrick, Rev. James Lyman, 28

Mikado, 121

Miller, Rev. E. R., 120

Monson, 20, 22-28, 108, 206, 311

Morrison Education Society, 58-63, 72-77, 87, 90, 102-104

Morrison, Rev. Robert, j8

Morrison Hill, 85, 95, 98, 291

Morrison, ship, 61, 65, 66, 257

Motley, J. L., 274

330 Index

Music, 93, 122, 154, 301
Music in China, 267

Nagasaki, 20, 259
Nakamura Masanao, 261
Neesima, 215, 221, 222, 225-229, 298
New Brunswick, N. J., 27, 206
New Haven, 41, 42, 49, 244
Newtown, N. Y., 128
New Year's Day, 112
Nevius, Rev. John, 166
New Guinea, 286
Niigata, 216, 225-230, 278

Okuno, Masatsuna, Rev., 252-254, 255-257, 311

Olyphant, Mr. D. W. C, 61, 62

Opium, 71, 78

Oshikawa, Rev. M., 278, 280

Owasco Outlet, 117-124, 214, 318

Parkes, Sir Harry, 71, 91, 201, 205
Peiho forts, 141, 142
Perry, Comodore M. C, 93
Philippine Islands, 289-291
Photography, 179, 180, 239, 240
Pilgrims, The, 130
Pirates, 98-100
Pottinger, Sir Henry, 86, 91
Pruyn, Hon. R. H., 182

Reed, Commodore, 70

Reformed Church in America, 117-124, 138, 175, 259, 311

Rome Academy, 110-113

Roosevelt, President, 51

Rutgers College, 206, 213

Sabbath, 27
Sailors, 187, 188

Index 331

Sand Beach Church, 117, 123

Satow, Sir E. M., 165, 166

Satsuma, 206, 265

Seelye, Pres. J. H., 258

Seward, Hon. Wm. H., 121

Shanghai, 167, 292

Shimonoseki, 185, 195

Shimada Saburo, Hon., 319

Sidotti, Pere, 261

Silk culture in America, 81

Simmons, Dr. D. B., 138

Spanish East Indies, 289

Spaniards in the Philippines, 289-291

Springside, 117, 123

Stout, Dr. Henry, 132, 241, 301, 318

Sullivan's Expedition of 1779, '28

Sunda Straits, 139

Surprise, ship, 80, 138

Syle, Rev. E. W., 141, 242, 258

Tatnall, Commodore, 141, 149

Theological instruction, 197, 299

Thompson, Rev. David, 311

Tientsin, 141, 309

Tokio, 258, 299

"Tommy," 190

Twitchell, Rev. Joseph, 213, 317

Union Church, Yokohama, 177, 239

Union Church in Tokio, 258

Union Theological Seminary, N. Y,, 52, 53, 57

United Church of Christ in Japan, 270, 298

Vassar College, 130

Veeder, P. V., 38, 258

Verbeck, Dr. G. P., 120, 138, T43, 230, 311

Verbeck, Mrs. G. P., 120

332 Index

Wales, Mass., 37-41

Washing clothes in China, 97

Winn, Miss, 296

Winn, Rev. T. C, 303

Wood, Chaplain, 177

Williams, Dr. S. Wells, 60, 69, 141, 257, 311, 317

Women's education and colleges, 20, 127-131, 231

Wong, Dr., 108, 142

IVyoming, U. S, S. S., 180-185, 206

Yale College, 45-49, 302, 315

Yedo, 154-157, 172, 300

" Yokohama Band," Yokahama, 147, 188, 217, 268, 299

Yoshitsune, 187

Yung Wing, Dr., 99, 104, 108, 121, 143, 308-310

Zempukuji, 154, 225
Zenkoji Temple, 225

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Online LibraryWilliam Elliot GriffisA maker of the new Orient : Samuel Robbins Brown, pioneer educator in China, America, and Japan : the story of his life and work → online text (page 14 of 14)