Зображення сторінки

of the Japanese young men to be advised, as it is a principle of vigor, may also become a principle of ruin. We need to pray that the spirit of Him whose divine wisdom for thirty years held itself subject to his parents, should dwell in the Japanese youth that have become his followers.

This temper touches a responsive chord in our own national character, and, as our German brethren of the “ Allgemeine Missions-Zeitschrift” mildly admonish us, tempts us to fan a Aame that needs no kindling, to flatter a tendency that needs rather a moderate repression. These brethren say well, that it does not leave an altogether pleasant impression, when American missionaries boast that, whereas elsewhere their converts are subject to their discipline, in Japan they are subject to the discipline of their converts. This does not seem to have been exactly the relation that subsisted between Paul and the churches which he had founded. Dr. Warneck is warranted in suggesting that while many individual Japanese, in trustworthiness of Christian stability, equal any men of our race (who could have been better trusted for direction than Mr. Neesima?), yet it is impossible that Japanese Christianity as a whole should as yet have the maturity, and breadth of foresight and insight, to be found in American and European Christianity. The Church of Japan is not likely to be any the worse off for avoiding a precipitate detachment from the parent stem. “ Soon ripe, soon rotten,” is a warning even for her.

The Rev. C. H. D. Fisher, of the Baptist Mission, writes from Tokyo, December 28, 1887 : “ In the three churches under my care, Tokyo, Taira, and Mito, seventy-two have been baptized during the year past."

In the Baptist magazine for March, 1888, Mr. L. P. Brockett gives a condensed geographical description of Japan, which we copy. The particulars are mostly familiar, but they serve to revivify the Land of the Rising Sun to the mind's eye. From of old, before America was known, Japan knew herself in the most special sense as the land of the sunrise, as to the west of her stretched the whole mass of the inhabited world. “ Japan, called by its inhabitants Zipangu, or Jipungu, “The Land of the Rising Sun,' and at an earlier period Yamato Zima, • The Land East of the Mountains' (both names indicating their belief that it was the most Oriental of lands then known), is wholly an island empire, and sustains a similar relation to the Pacific shores of the Eastern Continent, to that which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland bears to the western or Atlantic shores of the same Continent. It is somewhat larger, however, than the British Islands, having four large and three thousand eight hundred and forty-six small islands, which together constitute the Japanese Archipelago. The four principal islands are known to us by the names Yezo or Hokkaido, at the northeast; Hongo, the central and much the largest island ; Sikoku, at the south ; and Kiusiu in the southwest. Nippon is the Japanese name for the whole empire. Hongo is nine hundred miles long and a hundred wide ; its large peninsula, Yedo, extending to the north and west of both Kiusiu and Sikoku. The empire is sixteen hundred miles long — about the distance between the capes of Florida and Newfoundland, on our Atlantic coast. Its width varies froin fifty to a hundred miles. Its area is reckoned as 148,700 square miles, - about equal to that of New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“It lies between the parallels of 31° and 45° of north latitude, and extends from 131° to 156° east longitude from Greenwich, its general trend being from northeast to southwest. Its population in 1888 was about 38,500,000, or nearly three fourths that of the United States. The present capital, Tokyo, on the island of Nippon, latitude about 35° 31', has a population of about 1,200,000, nearly that of New York. There are about fifty cities of fifty thousand inhabitants or more. The islands are of volcanic origin ; and a backbone of mountains extends through all of the larger islands, which by their successive upheavings and subsidences show their connection with a much larger continent, now partially submerged. Some of the summits are of great height. Fujiyama, the highest, is 14,170 feet above the sea, and is crowned with perpetual snow. It is an extinct volcano, its last eruption having occurred in 1707. Thirteen other peaks rise to the height of about ten thousand feet. The general elevation of the Hokani range, in Nippon, is about six thousand feet. There are many volcanoes in this range. The mountains in Yezo are about eight thousand feet, and are covered with dense forests. Earthquakes are frequent, but not generally destructive. The coast is bold, rocky, and often deeply indented. It has many good harbors.

“ The scenery of many of these islands is surpassingly beautiful. The wide and glassy bays and harbors, the lofty and conical mountains whose summits are snow-clad, the vivid emerald green of the valleys and plains, and the depth of azure in the Oriental skies, together constitute landscapes never to be forgotten.”

At the meeting of the American Baptist Missionary Union, in May, 1888, the report of the Committee on Japan remarked : “ We note one other significant fact of the year. There have been marked and severe steps of reaction towards arbitrary government. No hostility to missions has been signified. But we are warned that a people but two decades out of despotic traditionalism, with two hundred and forty decades of it in the blood, are to be struck while the iron is hot. ... Most of us will live to see the plastic moment forever gone."

A revival which had been going on simultaneously in different parts of Japan had resulted in an increase of about a thousand in the churches of Tokyo.

"The Spirit of Missions” for October, 1888, gives the following statistics of the American Episcopal Mission in Japan. 1885 : 81 baptisms, 50 confirmations, 143 communicants, $542 of contributions. 1886: 206 baptisms, 79 confirmations, 229 communicants, $388 of contributions. 1887 : 243 baptisms, 87 confirmations, 408 communicants, $1,085 of contributions. 1888 : 493 baptisms, 242 confirmations, 657 communicants, $1,907 of contributions.

“St. Barnabas' Hospital still continues to increase in usefulness. The aggregate attendance of out-patients was 8,224 against 6,985 last year, and the in-patients numbered eighty-eight. As was the case last year, the fees ($3,022) were sufficient to pay all the running expenses and leave a balance of several hundred dollars on hand. Dr. Laning's report mentions that chiefly through the Biblewoman's work seven of the patients have been baptized, four others admitted as catechumens, besides other members of these households having been brought into the Church.

* Miss Mailes reports that her work among women the past year has grown wonderfully and is very encouraging. The 396 classes held were attended by 6,582 persons, and 1,805 persons were present at the 674 visits which were made — a goodly record! She has ten young women training for work now living with her. They are sent out daily to visit from house to house, and occasionally go to the out-stations.”

It has often been remarked that in Japan the condition of women is superior to what it is in China or in India. This is true. But it is sad enough. Miss Bull, writing in the “ Spirit of Missions” for October, 1888, says: “ They have always been considered inferior beings to the other sex. Married at an early age, without consultation of their wishes in the matter, they becoine merely a part of the property of their husbands. There is nothing in the laws or customs of Japan to keep a man true to his wife. He may even cast her off for another, turn her out of his house, keeping any property she may have brought him ; there is no redress for her. Many of the higher class women, whose husbands have more means and opportunity for dissipation usually, and who have themselves learned no means of livelihood, as their sisters of the humbler classes have, hang or drown themselves, or live an unhappy life in a divided household, often made like a · hell on earth,' as Mr. Mori strongly expressed it, by the abuse of the parents of the alienated husband, if they are a part of the family. Until recently these ladies received very little education aside from the training how to gracefully and deliberately make a ceremonial tea,' and other things of that kind. Any real work would have been beneath their station, and would have brought discredit on the family. When I realized how little there had been to occupy brain and hand of these unfortunate ladies, I wondered that Japan is not full of insane women. But I suppose they are used to these things, and do not see them just as we free and enlightened women do. They suffer, though, but mostly in silence."

The late rapid advances in education, Miss Bull remarks, have redounded mainly to the advantage of the young men, and have put the two sexes still farther apart. Christian girls' schools, therefore, are of peculiar importance.

“The Spirit of Missions " for December, 1888, gives an excellent condensed view of Japan as she is on the side of her material achievements and of her spiritual necessities. “The innovations and advancement in Japan continue to be wonderful and almost incredible. When General Grant visited that country he pronounced the Japanese system of education to be the best he had seen in his circuit of the globe, and this system has been still further improved since he uttered these words. The schools are classed as elementary, high, normal, and technical, and there is an imperial university with 2,000 students. A missionary in Tokyo writes : In Japan the progressive government leads in education as in other things. It has established a great university in Tokyo, with ample resources and all the facilities for technical education. The university has 120 professors and lecturers, and is on the model of a German university. It is thoroughly up to the times ; in fact, many of its courses are beyond the work of an American college.'

“ The Japanese have not only established a mail system and entered the “postal union,' but they have also made each post-office a savingsbank for the people. There is no better mint, dry dock, or light-house system in the world than they possess. They are said to manage railroads and steamships with less accidents and wrecking than other civilized nations. A single Japanese company owns over fifty steamers, and they navigate them on the tempestuous Japan and China seas to the satis

faction of foreign travelers. While English and French steamers go to wreck on these stormy waters, the Japanese scarcely ever lose a ship. The telegraph and the telephone are in extensive use in Japan, and telegrams may be sent in half-a-dozen languages from small country towns.

“Twenty years ago there was no Japanese public journal, but now there are more than five hundred periodicals — daily and weekly papers, and monthly magazines and reviews. Nearly all these publications are now favorable to the Christianization of Japan, though many of them when they were started were not. Many of the educated natives, however, who write that their country is ready and willing to be Christianized,' are only enlightened enough to see that Christianity is a religion that is favorable to material and moral progress, and to the bringing of Japan into the full comity of western nations, which last is earnestly desired by them. They are ignorant of the spiritual claims of our holy religion, of the spiritual worship and consecration of the true followers of Christ. There is, however, a rapid and marvelous increase in the number of Japanese who through the Holy Spirit's blessing upon the hearing or reading of divine truth have true spiritual discernment and apprehension, and become Christians, not in name only, but in deed and in truth. There are now about 20,000 communicants connected with the various Protestant missions, and they increase by five hundred a month, and this is the best of all the wonderful advancement in Japan."

Charles C. Starbuck. ANDOVER.

(To be continued.)


BELIEF IN GOD: ITS ORIGIN, NATURE, AND Basis, being the Winkley Lec

tures of the Andover Theological Seminary for the year 1890. By JACOB Gould SCHURMAN, Sage Professor of Philosophy in Cornell University. Pp. x, 266. New York : Charles Scribner's Sons. 1890.

The previous courses of lectures on the Winkley foundation having been upon sociological and historical subjects, Professor Schurman was invited last year, as an eminent teacher of philosophy and ethics, to present some topic lying in his field of inquiry, the choice of subject being left entirely with him. He presented on six successive days as many lectures on Belief in God, reading them in almost the identical form in which they are now published; but, although the thought was profound, the treatment often abstract, and the processes of argument careful and exact, the liveliest interest was awakened at the outset and continued to the end, often expressing itself in hearty applause. The fact that many of his listeners disagreed with him in some important respects gave added testimony to the ability, the clearness, and the courage of his argument. The little book containing these lectures loses the advantage of Professor Schurman's admirable delivery, but is a welcome contribution of original thought to the old yet ever fresh subject of which it treats. The aim of the author is not merely to adjust the reasons for the belief in God to the accepted and the probable theories of the philosophical and scientific knowledge of to-day, but rather, on the basis of

those theories, to plant more firmly than ever the idea of God as a rational and necessary belief.

After pointing out in the first lecture the inconsistencies of Agnosticism and its self-destructive theories of knowledge, he shows in the second lecture that the assumption made by science of the universality of law, which outreaches all experience, involves the existence of a unitary interconnected cosmos embracing all reality, that this indispensable postulate of science is only the expression of a conviction of the unity and universal inner connection of all reality, and that what the nature of this reality may be presents a question the reflecting spirit cannot possibly forego. This reality is a unity in the midst of change, and the knowledge of such a unity is given only by self-conscious spirit of which we are aware in ourselves. But men, as self-conscious spirits, are part of existence or reality, and so the hypothesis of a universal world-soul which is a self-conscious spirit is advanced, and in the discussion defended as the ground and interpretation of all reality. This theory, as it involves the cosmos as a unity and man as a self-conscious spirit, is designated anthropocosmic theism. The third lecture gives a clear description of the various forms in which the religious beliefs of the world have found expression. The fourth takes up the argument again under the consideration of God as Cause or Ground of the world. The idea of the creation of the universe in time is rejected, for we can conceive no moment of time when the universe began to exist. Causation, producing a succession of events, carries us back to antecedent conditions. We are not to think that God for an indefinite period existed without a world, and that at last He created it as a reality entirely different from himself. God is not an extra-mundane, but an intra-mundane, cause of the world. The universe is the eternal manifestation of God. Creation is the eternal selfrevelation of God. What is important is the fact that God is here and now at the heart of that reality we call the world, which, so far as we know or can conceive, is infinite both in extent and duration. Lotze's argument and symbols are employed to show that every relation of cause and effect is not something that passes over from one object to another separate object. The state of one being cannot become the state of another being. But that one occurrence is the condition of something else we readily admit so long as both states fall within the unity of a single being. The unity of being is involved in the notion of reciprocal action between individual beings. What seem to be individual beings are parts, moments, or functions of one real being, the Absolute Spirit. “In this absolute being and for it, through it, and by means of it, and, above all, for the sake of it, individual things exist, act, and cease to exist. Of these immanent existences some are mere states of the absolute reality ; others are also self-conscious subjects which in a measure lift themselves above and outside the universal basis of existence.” What causation gives is not a universe created at some point of time in the past, but a universe of reciprocal actions, all of which are manifestations of the imimanent God. In the fifth lecture the argument from intelligence or purpose in the universe is extricated from notions of mechanical contrivance, and brought into agreement with the doctrine of evolution. The tendency to definite variation, being inherent and producing complex organisms with their functions, can be satisfactorily explained only as the intended expression of an intelligent purpose. There are ends in nature. We cannot rid ourselves of the belief in them. And ends im

« НазадПродовжити »