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“ The ceremonial at the Promulgation,” says this writer, who appears to have witnessed it, “ was brief, simple, and dignified, as Japanese ceremonials generally are ; and the appearance of the Empress on the dais and in the open carriage, along with the Mikado himself, was a graceful and noteworthy innovation. As to the people, they appear to have been almost beside themselves with exultation ; the general rejoicing was only overshadowed by one most distressful and most significant event, — Viscount Arinori Mori's diabolical assassination on the very morning of the Promulgation."
The writer then goes on to consider the probable effects of the Promulgation in that respect which we must account as of the deepest moment. "The question is, how far the Mikado's example, and the wording of his oath and of his speech, may affect the minds of his subjects as regards their acceptance of, we will not say Christianity, but of even the simplest form of Theism.
“The • Imperial Oath at the Sanctuary of the Imperial Palace' says at the commencement : 'We do solemnly swear to the Imperial Founder of our House, and to the other Imperial Ancestors,' so and so; and at the conclusion, "We now reverently make our prayer to them and to Our Illustrious Father, and implore the help of their Sacred Spirits, and make to them solemn oath never at this time or in the future to fail to be an example to Our Subjects in the observance of the Laws hereby established. May the Heavenly Spirits witness Our solemn oath!' In this and in the accompanying speech it is to the Imperial Ancestors that appeal is made, though what may be indicated by the • Heavenly Spirits' remains to be elucidated. Plainly there is not (as a friendly critic writing from China remarks) any recognition of what an Emperor of China, in his worship, would surely express ; namely, a Supreme Power, designated by the term Tien, heaven, eoncerning the force of which term, however, there has been much learned discussion by sinologues of all classes, native and foreign.
“Now if this same reticence as to a Sovereign Deity characterizes the national anthem (of which we regret not having the words), it will be a very serious matter to have it learned and sung by the multitude, and by the tens of thousands of school children, whose participation in the celebration was one of its most marked features, not only in Tokio itself, but in all the places where the oceasion was availed of to express the universal joy and sympathy of the people with the government.
“ One other consideration should not be overlooked. The first generation of Japanese Christians will very properly be studiously anxious to demonstrate that their loyalty is not weakened by their religion, it being still under suspicion by reason of the early efforts to subjugate their land and its rulers to Papal authority. This will predispose them to accept all they possibly can of the existing state religion, and to blend, in their thoughts, such passages as Zech. vi. 5, Hebrews xii. 23, and Rev. ii. 1, with the Heavenly Spirits' of the Mikado's adoration.
" The result of this process will, in all human probability, be the same as has been found to take place in all cases where the gospel message is brought to a people who have had their thoughts on religion (and have brought them into a system or systems) worked up with their philosophies, and cosmogonies, and mythologies, – as much of the old will be retained as is not felt to be absolutely incompatible with the new. ...
“ Much more might be said of the very peculiar condition of affairs in
Japan at the present time ; and the lesson we might read, again and again, would be to do with our might what our hand findeth to do now for the evangelizing of the Japanese. They are a versatile people, having Athenian or Galatian characteristics, — always longing to hear some new thing, and apt to be changeable. At the same time they resemble the Bereans, in that they search and see and examine the Scriptures, whether these things are so,' which is a great ground for hopefulness. Indeed, while it is plain there are many adversaries, as in the Apostolic days, and while we know beforehand (as the spirit speaketh expressly) that evil men and seducers shall arise, yet these things may not affright and should not discourage us. Beyond question, a great door and effectual ’ has been opened, and many have entered, and more are still entering into the fold of our Good Shepherd, — whereat we rejoice and give thanks abundantly."
At Fukuoka, in the great southern island of Kiushiu, on the day of the Promulgation, the three little groups of American Congregationalists and Methodists and English Episcopalians, “ to the number of about seventy, assembled to pray for the divine blessing on this important national event. Such unanimity of feeling is very refreshing. May it long prevail,” says the Rev. A. B. Hutchinson, of the English Church Mission.
“Our people,” says Mr. Hutchinson, “ are much taken up with the approaching Synod.' I must confess that I look with a somewhat jealous eye upon the increasing tendency to be occupied in the organizing of church machinery, rather than upon questions of life and godliness, which marks the Japanese character. Nothing delights these people so much as discussion on by-laws and regulations, however trivial. I was grieved to find one of our new converts from Cita, who called on me the other day, eo full of the defects of our Church Council system, and general mode of working, that he had determined to leave us for a freer communion ; yet he had only recently been baptized, and was not yet confirmed. After a long interview he promised to reconsider his position. This love of amending and improving every matter brought before their minds extends to all classes in this country. The exact carrying out of instructions is very rarely to be met with, either among employees or pupils.” In this they seem to be remarkably like the Irish, as Irish foremen have been described by mill-managers. There is not enough of stolidity in either national character to give the requisite amount of gravitation. In this they are the exact reverse of the ludicrously imitative faithfulness of the Chinese.
Mr. Hutchinson describes, not without amusement in the contrast with England, an Episcopal visitation on which he attended the Bishop. “I have long since dispensed with a servant on such journeys, not only for economy's sake, but for sake of simplicity of life, and to get at the people better. The Christians like the opportunity of doing little services for their teacher, and there is no affectation of dignity to keep the heathen at a distance. The Bishop gladly assented to the proposal to go without a cook, but not, I fancy, without apprehension. I often wished we could have been seen at our meals in a roadside inn by those who are accustomed to associate the idea of palaces with bishops. Let me describe our way of proceeding. It is perhaps one o'clock, and the men have longed to stop ever since twelve, and gladly now do they race up to a well-known native hotel. We are at once (shoes off) ushered into
the best vacant apartment, the sliding-screens are closed, civilities exchanged with the host, and speedily the little box of charcoal is set before us with a steaming kettle resting on a tripod over it. Another small circular fireplace like a flower-pot, full of glowing charcoal, is set before us on a slab of wood to prevent sparks from falling on the mats. Meanwhile I have unfastened the luncheon basket, set out cups, and, calling for eggs, soon have an omelette ready, having meanwhile taken a cup of Liebig's beef tea. Coffee or cocoa follow, from the essence or powder, or a teapot may be borrowed and a cup of tea be ready in quick time, whilst some rice and marmalade concludes the meal. The ready maidservant washes the plates and other necessaries of civilized life, and in thirty or forty minutes from the time we stopped we are off again, the men having also had their dinner and whiff of tobacco from their tiny pipes. We pay for the clean room, so private and restful, and all the attention given us, from 6d. to 8d., according to the style of the hotel visited. But if we have to spend the night on the road, about 1s. 3d. each is expected as reasonable remuneration.”
At Oyamada they used the catechist's house as a church. “The gateposts were clothed with verdure, and on the arch above was · Welcome' in English, cleverly done in golden millet on a ground of black seeds. The door-posts of the house were a mass of evergreen, and over the lintel was a cross of seeds on a ground of daphne blossoms, bordered by pink camellias. There were seventy-five candidates here for confirmation, and as it was difficult in many cases for a whole family to be away together, the Bishop confirmed thirty-eight men in the evening, and next morning thirty-six women and one man. After a short pause, to enable as many as possible to assemble, we administered the Lord's Supper to seventysix communicants. It was a quiet, impressive, and suggestive service, which filled the heart with thankful joy. The offertory was given to the Native Mission Fund. Here was a band of believers, who, sixteen months since, when the Bishop was last with us, were heathen, now reverently and heartily obeying the Lord's command, and seeking to help extend 'the wonderful words of life’ to their fellow-countrymen. What hath God wrought!' Trials, vexations, misunderstandings, all vanish in the presence of such unmistakable proofs of the divine blessing resting on our work. In the afternoon we ascended the hillside to the crumbling and decaying Shinto shrine, whence we could see the valley spreading out for miles dotted over with villages, to several of which the catechist has already found access with the message of salvation.”
In our missionary circumnavigations of the globe, not desiring to cause our readers tedious detentions, we have given no more than two articles at most to any one country. But in view of the peculiar interest which Japan is engaging, we propose devoting to it a third, giving account of the year 1890. Of the reports from this rapidly progressive and somewhat variable people it may be said :
“ That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker ;
Charles C. Starbuck. ANDOVER.
BOOK REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
Civil GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES, Considered with some Reference to its Origins. By John FISKE.
Alorowai, tai Znuos ’EAev eplov,
Pindar, Olymp. xii.
Are all with thee, - are all with thee! LONGFELLOW. Pp. xxx, 360. Boston and New York : Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1890.
This book is intensely satisfactory. In it Mr. Fiske has really outdone himself. The genetic method of study has never been applied more happily. The little book is packed full of the present facts of our political system, which will be found most easily retainable in the memory because they are so lucidly followed down from their very beginnings in history to their present expanded forms among us. The book illustrates fully what Mr. Freeman says, that in America we see an ancient race settled upon a modern soil, and accommodating its ancient institutions to new conditions. This apprehension, once thoroughly rooted in our minds, will correct at once our false independence and our false dependence. We have never lost the continuity of our race, or of our institutions, and therefore have a perfect right to trace our history back to the first landing of the Holsteiners or Jutlanders in 449 on the isle of Thanet. Our history, therefore, is not a derivative of English history, but a divarication of it, so that the study of the latter is not a luxury to us, but a necessity. It is absurd, therefore, to talk of our having copied English institutions, for even those of which, like the Senate, this is immediately true, were in our blood. But this book gives the substructure of government first, and in this is its peculiar charm. Mr. Fiske treats with becoming scorn the shallow suggestion, that local government is a less worthy study than sovereign government. As he remarks, Science distinguishes between large and small, but not between grand and petty. Gravitation may be learned from an apple, the nature of lightning from a kite and key, and the force of vapor from a tea-kettle. “ It was not for nothing," says Mr. Fiske, “ that our profoundest political thinker, Thomas Jefferson, attached so much importance to the study of the township.” This is good doctrine for New England, certainly, where the Town Meeting and the Congregational Church have been so deeply formative. Mr. Fiske shows the Township in its earliest congelation, first on the German and then on the British side of the North Sea, as “a stationary clan." He shows this, when at last subjugated to the Norman lords, becoming the manor, ecclesiastically the parish, but gradually reasserting itself, even in England, as the Township. To some extent, at least, the distinction is made. He remarks that if age gives respectability, the office of Constable may vie with that of King. It is worth noting that in Scotland, as sometimes in early England, " town,” “inclosure,” meant simply Farmstead. Few of us knew that “ By-laws " properly means “ Town-laws,” extended, by a false etymology, to secondary laws of any kind.
The author next treats of the County, and remarks that the convenience of this subdivision is not the cause of it. As the Township is the stationary Clan, so the original County is the stationary Tribe. For three hundred years after England had one king, the counties remained virtually distinct, though subordinate, states. The shiremote was the primitive local parliament, in which the English became schooled for the greater one. Turning to this country, Mr. Fiske gives most instructive details as to how the New England system, in which the Township, and the Virginian system, in which the County, is the political unit have, in the West, commingled, with varying results, according to relative preponderance, but with a distinct tendency of the Township towards gaining strength, though nowhere does it have the specific and highly educating force of the New England Town. Mr. Fiske describes at length the “ government townships," with the meaning of principal meridian, and base line, and range line, and township line, and remarks on the salutary result of the reservation of the central sections of the government townships for school purposes, not only in advancing education, but in furnishing a nucleus of crystallization for a vigorous township life.
The author describes the original Borough as an aggregation of several townships, rising in number, dignity, and complexity, until, in London, it became a little world, is indeed, as Mr. Hamerton calls it, virtually a nation within a nation. But our first cities, the author remarks, copied, not the noble traditions of London, but the ignoble traditions of the oligarchies into which, under the Stuarts, the lesser boroughs had declined. This is one reason why our cities are so much less satisfactory than the rest of our system. Mr. Fiske highly approves the late extension of the Mayor's powers, and the unicameral common council. He especially commends Brooklyn as the model, and points out the encouraging fact that, since the great reform, more people vote there for mayor than for governor or president. He remarks that in the cities, though the unpropertied classes have often been lavish, it has been the property holders, at least in Pennsylvania, that have been the most reckless in running up corporation debts. He points out, also, that in England the mighty London, whose affairs had never been mixed up with parliamentary scrambles, was in 1835 alone found worthy to retain its ancient franchises — a lesson for our cities to lay to heart.
The author calls attention to the fact that in England City merely means a Borough, which is the seat of a bishop. Mr. Bryce remarks, however, that Westminster is a city, though it never had a bishop. He has overlooked the fact that when Henry VIII. suppressed the great Abbey of Westminster, he turned the Abbey church into a cathedral, although when its one bishop, Thirlby, died, after a ten years' episcopate, the new diocese was reincorporated with London, leaving, however, to the Abbey church cathedral rank, and independence of episcopal control, and to its Dean the precedence which his bishop had had, so that in his own church he outranks the Archbishop of York, and only yields precedence to the primate of his own province. It is probably this brief episcopate, and the abiding rank of the Abbey, that secured to Westminster the name of a city
The part of the book which treats of the State and the Nation is more familiar than the other, though it partakes of its freshness and charm. The whole is well arranged for school use, and has at the end an extended Bibliographical note, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitu