Page images
[blocks in formation]

those in other work who can give only a portion of their time to educational work. Outside our own schools, there is the chance to influence government schools, through their teachers, who are friendly and appreciative of any help we can give them.

many Chinese fellow-workers. To us is given the work of training, and of directing, overseeing and inspiring. There are now under my care seven preachers, eleven teachers, two Bible women and three colporteurs. We have six men in training for the ministry. We will endeavor to open two new chapels each year and provide them with preachers. The need about us is so vast and we are able individually to do so little, that we are led to adopt more and more this method of multiplying ourselves.

5. I have found a chance for social service. Now is China's great awakening. The great empire does not move as a solid phalanx. The contest between the new and the old must be fought out in every community. The missionary will have a part in it whether he will or not. He stands as the representative of western civilization and learning, and is looked to for information and advice. Among his friends are leaders of educational, industrial reform and political movements in his district. As in his other work so in this he has a part in the transformation of a people.

I have in short found the chance I was looking for. I have said all this about my own work, not that it is in any way notable, but that you might have before you the evidence of an individual experience. What I have found in China others may find a chance to work at an opportune time in close range with illimitable need.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Chinese Youth and the Missionary 1. The Hugh O'Neill Memorial School for Boys—Shuntehfu


[blocks in formation]

forms of mission work. It is also far from the easiest.

If you .care to do so you may enter with the writer into this compound and try to think of the real nature and meaning of the work of the mission school. Our buildings are one-story buildings of a substantial character, erected one year ago through the generosity of Mrs. Hugh O'Neill, of New York City. On the corner across from the main compound where two years ago a tumble-down mud wall hung to the edge of the high land overlooking the canal-like road, a large gate stands open with stone steps leading up to it. Within where turnips were growing at that time and not far from the gate stands the administration building. Farther in, where camels were wont to lay down their packs, a company of some thirty boys sat down to their supper of rice and millet the night before the opening of the fall term. Nearby are the dormitories in an ell-shaped row and back of them to the west an athletic field.


That first night the boys were not all on the ground, nor was the number complete for many days. At present the enrollment is 85. Of these 48 are old pupils and the remaining 37 new boys just admitted. The new boys straggle in daily for two or three weeks after the opening of school.

A Native Chinese Evangelist and His Family.

each new boy is brought to us by his father or some other responsible person. Time must be spent meeting these persons, but it is not time wasted, for oftentimes we thus come to establish friendly relations with people we otherwise would not get in touch with.

The Chinese boys are lacking in self-reliance. A few days after their fathers have gone homesickness sets in for many of them, and this is not entirely confined to those under 15 years of age. Foreign children may be subject to the same affection, but they do not show it so much at least.

This school yard is to them a new world. Most of them come to us without any definite plan for the future, but some either have, or gain while here, visions of future usefulness as teachers or preachers or in other spheres. To all, the plastered ceilings, cement floors, glass windows and modern individual desks, lamps, pencils, slates, etc., mean a new civilization. The scathing lecture given them on cleanliness by our new Chinese doctor sounded a note some had never heard before and will help to germinate in some of their hearts a determination never to be drawn back entirely into the old ways. Of course there is a great difference in the degree of civilization reached before coming here, but in any case there is a tremendous adaptation to be effected. They must, among other things, learn to understand the dialect of the Shantung teachers as well as the talk of the foreigner, and they must learn to observe the rules of the school. Obedience is the hardest thing for them to learn.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

What is the meaning of the mission school deputation to preach in nearby villages. This toward the evangelization of the nation? is done by themselves without the help of

Foreigners cannot reach the bulk of the teacher or principal. Something of the same people directly to any great extent. By the nature, but on a more extended scale was the development of schools of all grades we hope summer campaign. During the summer vacathat in time an adequate native preaching tion six of the boys together with two teachers force may be raised up. The scarcity of native and the writer spent four weeks in the counpreachers is seen in the case of Shuntehfu. try. No financial profit accrued to the boys, In this whole prefecture, embracing a terri- but they were paid enough to cover their extory nearly 100 miles long by 25 wide, there pense. They were from eighteen to twentyare only three native preachers outside of the five years of age. We preached in about 200 city itself. Not all of our boys will develop villages. Audiences of anywhere from ten to into preachers by any means and we do not two hundred gathered in every village to hear believe in restricting the school to only those the message of Christ the Savior. The meswho probably will. The others will be lead- sengers were humble, but most important of ers of Christian thought and action in other all they could be understood.

Those were spheres.

good days. Some of them were thrilling days, But the school is effective as an immediate for sometimes the indifference broke and we evangelistic agency. This can be seen in two got glimpses into the souls of the people. ways. One way is the reaching of promising Then it is that one feels the need of the people boys and leading them to Christ. For instance for the Bread of Life. the president of their Y. M. C. A. would The estimates are that 30,000 soldiers have probably not have been reached had he not passed through Shunteh fu in special trains come to school. Since then he and his father during the last three days. We do not know and uncle have all come into the Church. Very much about the progress, or otherwise, of the few are they who stay with us several terms revolution at Wu Chang, but we know that who do not have the seeds of Christianity im- the more Christian schools and other forms planted in their hearts.

of Christian work are pressed, the more quickThe other way is by direct evangelistic ly will the revolution in the hearts of the peowork on the part of the schoolboys. Every ple be accomplished and the more surely will Sunday the school Y. M. C. A. sends out a the probability of bloodshed be lessened.

2. The Fati Middle School Canton


[ocr errors]

HIS cannot be an exhaustive treatise

on the subject but merely a very brief

outline. To begin with we must understand by the term Middle School we do not mean merely a high school in the American sense nor an American college. It comes in between the two and it is intended not for the educational system of America but to meet the needs in China. As it is not wise to force too much of our Western theology on the Oriental mind so it is not best to follow too closely the lines laid down in a country whose condition is very different.

We wish to take one school as a text and through it endeavor to give a fair idea of what a Christian Middle School in China is. We shall endeavor to stick to the text. The school selected is the Middle School at Fati, Canton, China. This has been a union school

to date in as far as the student body is concerned. It is now desirable to have more cooperation from other denominations. In the past the only reason it was not done was because the other denominations did not see their way clear to do so. Now there is an expression of desire to do their part in the preparation of men for leadership in the Church. The spirit of the institution has always been Christian as against the narrow definition often given for denominational schools.

This school is again an integral part of the Fati Theological College, in fact it is the preparatory department for the Seminary Department. It has always kept in mind that not all men to be church leaders must be preachers, so in its past history as at the present time men have left here to become Christian teachers, Christian doctors, and Christian lead


Fati, Canton, China, Middle School Building, including Church and two Residences.

[blocks in formation]

ers, from other walks of life. There are men now in New York, London and Singapore, San Francisco, Seattle and Hawaïi from whom good accounts have come. Thus the school, while a preparatory school, in a certain sense, for the seminary is more than that, has been more than that in the twenty-seven years of its history. It has grown from small beginnings until today it takes a prominent place in the educational work in the Kwang Tung Province as well as in and about Canton.

Christianity is emphasized and we know of few or none who have gone away because of this fact and the institution has not lacked for students because it is Christian. The Bible is taught in classes prescribed in the curriculum, the students study it each Sunday in required and in voluntary classes. They fix it in their minds by living and preaching it in school and preaching to those in the nearby villages.

Besides class-room work there are many other activities. Some of the older students teach daily classes in arithmetic in the preparatory or grammar school. They give satisfaction and lay foundations for future usefulness. The work gives them an outlet for their energies in a rational way.

The social life is not neglected. Already there have been entertainments in the teacher's home. There is a social room where vari

ous games are provided and an organ that is for use and is used. The control of this feature is placed in the hands of the Social Committee of the Y. M. C. A.

The past year has shown an enrolment of thirty-four. This may seem small, but the difficulty is getting students well enough prepared to enter, as the schools of the country are, many of them, totally unfit to prepare for entrance. The mission schools, or rather lack of mission schools has also been somewhat to blame for the dearth. This will be changed in the near future. The preparatory school at Fati is larger than the whole Theological College was in all its departments two or three years ago. There should be a large entering class next year when this is being read. There are thirty in the preparatory senior class. In the course of a few years, with more preparatory schools, the number of which is rapidly increasing, the prospect is very promising.

In a word the aim is to make manly Christian leaders in the Church for the uplift of humanity by means of true Christian intellectuality. Evangelism through the school is. the only kind that can be truly lasting. To train young men for Christian service is the best way of placing the Church on her feet in a land where the holders of literary degrees are revered, cannot be argued against. The Church must therefore do her duty and reap the rewards.

A Missionary Ducking and What

Came of it



N YE olden times venerable dames were

ducked for being witches. In these days

it is possible to be ducked for being missionaries, and this is how one case happened. Shortly before Christmas a Chinese elder and I were on our way to visit some distant group of Christians. That particular day was for us the coldest of the winter. The wind swept down from Manchuria and across the Gulf of Pichili and over the Province of Shantung biting into our very marrow. Up to that day we had taken turns in riding a horse loaned by a missionary friend.

But that day my elder friend, clad as he was in layer upon layer of wadded garments, said that he must decline to ride, as he could not "sit out the cold.” So he walked, chatting cheerily, while my teeth, from the animal's back, did their best to respond a cheerful chattering.

Suddenly, after winding around a village, we found ourselves at the brink of a river, swollen by the melted snow of a recent storm, and rushing along furiously, its thick, dirty, yellow waters high over the narrow, railless bridge. On each side of the road, a steep

« PreviousContinue »