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184 Göttingen . . . . . . . 68
135 Strassburg . . . . . . 65
121 Among the motives that draw students to Berlin is, perhaps, first, the magnificent array of professors. To take a single line of work as an example, a student of Greek Archæology will be drawn by a prospectus that announces courses by Curtius, Kekulé, and Furtwängler, not to mention several others who are pressing hard after the leaders in the struggle for attention. A catalogue of the publications of some of these men would be quite a book. Then, too, the work is supplemented by a fine working museum in which many of the exercises are held. In theology, Weiss, Harnack, and Dillmann are names that draw. But pages of names are not to our point.
Students also feel that life in the metropolis is an education in itself. To many the theatre is a strong drawing power, some looking at it as an educational factor and some as contributing to pleasure. Thus the Berlin University has become a vortex into which Germans converge from the French border to the Russian border, and “ so weit die deutsche Zunge klingt.”
Of course a good many of the six thousand students of Berlin are foreigners, but it is easy to see that the twenty-one universities of Germany are pouring out annually a large supply of doctors upon the market. Just now a note of alarm is being sounded about the overcrowding of the universities and the learned professions. “A Learned Proletariat” is the title of a recent contribution to the literature of the subject; and this “ learned proletariat " is a nightmare to many. At a meeting of the Realschulmänner in Berlin in 1888, a prize of 100 marks was offered for the best treatise on The Overcrowding of the Learned Professions, its Causes, and the Remedy. It appears that in the years between 1860 and 1888, while the population of Germany was increasing about fifteen per cent., the number of students in the universities had more than doubled. The result is that while the clergy, both Protestant and Catholic, and the medical profession are not crowded, lawyers and chemists are ruinously plentiful. But dreadful statistics show that teachers especially are making one another's lives miserable. There is a limited number of loaves, and no miracle can be expected to make them fill all the mouths.
The writer above referred to sums up the situation as follows: “One cannot avoid the impression that the danger of a learned proletariat is seriously near, and that wide circles will be drawn into a fellowship of suffering. If the number of academic students continues to increase, and the possibility of their securing a position commensurate with their gifts, their education, and the outlay which they have made to get it, continues to decrease, a disaster not only economical but especially political is upon
us. For all experience goes to prove that in such circles that high degree of discontent is reached which prepares for church and state the greatest dangers.”
This might seem to be the sensational utterance of an alarmist pamphleteer ; but Bismarck in a recent interview sums up the same view of the situation in the phrase: “ Over-education in Germany leads to great disappointments and great discontent ; in Russia it leads to discontent and conspiracy."
There are two topics uppermost in German thought which one heard viry little about in 1872–74: the Labor Question and Colonial Interests. The labor question is not discussed with as noisy demonstrations here as in America, but the feeling is deep and wide. It is a significant fact that though no German book has for a long time had a “run " such as is often seen in the English reading public, yet the book that now comes nearest to having a “ run," the book that is in every bookstore where the reading public call, is Bellamy’s “ Looking Backward” (in German). Just what the Emperor William intends to do to ameliorate the condition of the laboring class nobody can predict, but he is already known as the Arbeiter Kaiser. It is not unlikely that some laborers look to see him plant himself on a Bellamy platform. Those who have close intercourse with laborers say that they notice a difference in their bearing within the last eight months. A master-builder said in confidence the other day : “ Up to this year the relation between me and the workmen was quite confidential. I was a sort of father to them, and knew all about their families. Now they don't see why I should be authorized to inquire about their family any more than they to inquire about mine.”
Among those who seem to think that the young emperor is practicing more than a trick to catch votes for the government is Bismarck, if one may believe the report of his recent interview with the editor of the Frankfort “ Journal.” Here he says : “ If the government continues to proceed in the direction of socialism I shall be pressed into the opposition in spite of myself.” And then he makes one of the most singular declarations that a minister ever allowed himself to make about controlling the policy of his sovereign. In regard to the last measure of the emperor in the labor question, on which they seem to have parted company, he says that he stayed in office long enough to draw up the form of the proclamation, and so modify it as to impair its working all that the emperor might have intended. He says: "I was against the proclamation on principle, but if it must at all events appear – the emperor insisted on that - I wanted to put through my revision of it, in order that the proclamation might be diluted. I accordingly undertook the revision and wrote the proclamation.”
And now Germany has begun to follow vigorously in the footsteps of England as a colonizer of wild islands and continents. That the movement is an exceedingly popular one and not merely an exotic nursling of the government, no one can doubt who notices what a prominent place it occupies in conversation in Berlin. Maps of Africa and monographs on Africa are prominent in the windows of the bookstores. Last semester there was a course of lectures in the university on the geography of Africa. The minuteness with which the ordinary German knows the dark continent is surprising. Glad as the Germans were to secure Heligoland in the recent treaty with England, there were not wanting voices which declared loudly that the prize was too dearly won by concessions in Africa. · But whatever may be thought of the relative value of Heligoland and African territory, the treaty, which is already leading to a much more friendly feeling towards England than has existed in Germany for many years, is likely to prove a blessing to the whole world. The two standardbearers of culture in Europe, both desirous of peace and quiet development, standing hand in hand, will be able to enforce respect from the malcontents who are enemies of the existing state of things.
Rufus B. Richardson.
THEOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
A GENERAL VIEW OF MISSIONS. SECOND SERIES.
XI. JAPAN. WE begin our report with the commencement of 1888. It is known that momentous changes and fluctuations of public feeling in Japan have taken place since then. But it seems best to let each year communicate its own impression in the report, without anticipating the subsequent one.
The communications from Japan, for 1888, in the “ Missionary Herald,” begin with an interesting letter of several pages, entitled “A Sabbath in Osaka,” from the Rev. Charles P. Blanchard, of Brookfield, Mass., who gives an account of his visit to the four Congregational churches of that city, which is the second in Japan in population and commercial importance. Mr. Blanchard says that, on visiting the first of these churches, his attention was drawn to some two hundred inscribed wooden tablets hanging on the wall, each one some eight inches long by two broad. These, he found, made up the roll of the church. He rightly infers that this usage helps to deepen the sense of responsibility in each member, to be in his place, and to do his part among his brethren. The house looked ruinous, a sign, happily, of prosperity, as the church was straining every nerve to build a larger tabernacle, and therefore grudged all expense for repairs to the old. In the next church the sermon, delivered with great quietness, was said to be able, and Mr. Blanchard was informed that the pastor wields a large influence outside, and is beard with attention whenever he speaks, whether in Japanese or in English, of which latter tongue he has a fluent command.
At the third church there was a communion service. Seventeen new members were received, eight women and nine men. The male converts are usually in excess. The first candidate received was a soldier in uniform.
Mr. Blanchard says of the fourth church, that it was formed eight years before with nine members. Its additions in eight years had been, for each year, three, seven, fourteen, fourteen, twenty-one, forty, fifty, fifty-two.
Mr. Blanchard gathered, from his observations and inquiries, the same impression of thoroughly developed intellectual and spiritual fitness in the native pastors which is usually brought back. He ascribes this mainly to the Doshisha, or Training School of the Board at Kyoto. “To few institutions of learning,” he says, “ has it been given to do so good a work as this, in the few formative years of its history, and to few does there open a future of wider influence. It has already won honorable fame, and its beneficent influence is felt and acknowledged throughout the empire. It was again our privilege, on the following Sabbath, to witness a glad sight. Three hundred students gathered in its beautiful chapel, and at the close of the baccalaureate sermon twenty-three of them made public profession of their faith in Christ. The entire graduating class of this year, whose faces appeared in the Missionary Herald’ for November, have entered the theological department. It is from this noble institution that these trained men go forth into this white harvest-field.”
The “ Japan Weekly Mail” of October 22, 1887, speaking of the conflicting influences now at work upon Japan, remarks, as quoted in the “ Herald :” “ This conflict of two civilizations -- that which Japan, deriving from China and India, had modified and elaborated to suit herself, and that which she is now taking almost in its entirety from the West - is nowhere more conspicuous than in the educational institutions throughout the country. There the rising generation is introduced not only to knowledge that throws into strong relief the ignorance of its parents, but also to an iconoclastic philosophy that exposes the errors of Confucianism without setting up any efficient moral code in its place. The reverence that invests the relationship of parent and child is weakened by the superior attainments of the latter, and the ethical code that might still have preserved that reverence is overthrown by the criticism of science and has not yet been replaced by Christianity. The latter substitution will surely be consummated in time. Thoughtful Japanese are not incapable of analyzing the circumstances of this unprecedented epoch of their country's history. If their educated convictions compel them to be resigned to the destructive influences of Western civilization, their judgment tells them that its constructive power must also be invoked. On the débris of the system that it pulls down there must be built up an edifice in conformity with its principles. It is here that the way is widely opened to Christianity. Japan must have some substitute for the wonderful chain of family ethics that through long centuries has bound China's hundreds of millions into a homogeneous nation. The creed of Christendom offers her such a substitute, and she will accept it, at first from necessity, and ultimately from conviction. But, in the mean while, her perplexity and embarrassment are very apparent. Troubles from the same source show themselves in every branch of her administration.”
The “ Missionary Herald” for February, 1888, gives an account of the opening of a Christian Hospital and School for Nurses at Kyoto. Dr. Gordon says : “Invitations were sent to a large number of officials and influential men in the city and surrounding country, and perhaps three hundred of these were present. Governor Kitagaki occupied a prominent seat on the platform and read an excellent congratulatory address.” Each of the two mayors of the double city read one likewise, as also the president and vice-president of the provincial assembly. “ The leading physician of the city — a man not a Christian — said, in his address, that in former times, in cases of sickness, the husband cared for the wife, the wife for the sick husband, the parents for the children, and the children for the parents — all in accordance with family love. But beyond the family, as there was no love, they had no nurses or nurses' schools. Now the religion of Christ comes and puts love in the hearts of all men and between all men, and so nurses' schools are a result.” This is the city, says Dr. Gordon, “where, long after we came to Japan, a man died in prison simply for having a part of a Bible in his possession !”.
Mr. Stanford, of Kyoto, reported, in December, 1887, being about to receive forty students of the Doshisha into the college church, besides eleven that were to join one of the city churches. He then gives a sonewhat amusing note of the installation of a native pastor, saying: “ The services were quite brief (!) compared with similar services elsewhere ; there were only twenty-four parts on the programme - twelve for the morning and twelve for the afternoon, but time is worth little to Orientals, and speech flows easily."
Mr. De Forest, writing of progress in Sendai, in Northern Japan (that is, in the northern part of the main island) says, in the “ Missionary Herald ” of March, 1888, " When I first visited these northern parts last year, we had at Mizusawa seven or eight Christians. Now there are five times as many, and of these three are in the theological course at Kyoto. There were thirteen or fourteen Christians in Wakamatsu ; now there are about fifty. There were none in Fukushima, now there are twenty ; and many of the leading people are listening to Mr. Tsunajima's preaching, several of whom are members of the Provincial Assembly. We had no following here in Sendai ; now we have a little church of forty members, a school of 170 students, and at the time of this writing the Provincial Assembly is discussing the advisability of discontinuing the government school of 250 students, in order to throw that body of students into our school. In other words, we had twenty-two Christians in two stations last year; now we have over 150 in four stations.”
A letter, dated December 30, from Niigata, also in Northern Niphon (to use the old name, which, we understand, is unknown to the Japanese, to whom Dai Nippon signifies the whole land), says : “ Evangelistically, things are moving finely. Already Nagaoka has over twenty Christians, where in June there were none save our evangelist. Gosen now has sixteen active church members. Nakajo is at last awake, and the wealthiest young man in that vicinity is an applicant for baptism. There is a revival in progress here in Niigata, with twenty-seven applicants for baptism. The Boys' School sends nine, and the Girls' School three of these. The only two remaining non-Christian teachers of these two institutions are to be received into this number. Over thirty of the boys who are non-Christians have of their own accord started a daily prayer-meeting in the Boys' School. We are full of joy.