New Forces in Old China
Part 4 out of 8
was absorbing Siam and had designs on Syria; that Britain was
already lord of India and Egypt and the Straits Settlements;
that Germany was pressing her claims in Asiatic Turkey; that
Russia had absorbed Siberia and was striving to obtain control
of Palestine, Persia and Korea; and that Italy was trying to
take Abyssinia. Moreover the Chinese perceived that of the
numerous islands of the world, France had the Loyalty, Society,
Marquesas, New Hebrides and New Caledonia groups, and
claimed the Taumotu or Low Archipelago; that Great Britain
had the Fiji, Cook, Gilbert, Ellice, Phoenix, Tokelan and New
Zealand groups, with northern Borneo, Tasmania, and the
whole of continental Australia, besides a large assortment of
miscellaneous islands scattered over the world wherever they
would do the most good; that Germany possessed the Marshall
group and Northeast New Guinea, and divided with England
the Solomons; that Spain had the Ladrones, the 652 islands
of the Carolines, the 1,725 more or less of the Philippines,
beside some enormously valuable holdings in the West Indies;
that the Dutch absolutely ruled Java, Sumatra, the greater part
of Borneo, all of Celebes and the hundreds of islands eastward
to New Guinea, half of which was under the Dutch flag; that
the new world power on the American continent took the
Hawaiian Islands and in two swift campaigns drove Spain out
of the West Indies and the Philippines, not to return them to
their inhabitants but to keep them herself; and that in the
Samoan and Friendly Islands, resident foreigners owned about
everything worth having and left to the native chiefs only what
the foreigners did not want or could not agree upon. As for
mighty Africa, the Berlin Conference of 1884 was the signal
for a game of grab on so colossal a scale that to-day out of
Africa's 11,980,000 square miles, France owns 3,074,000,
Great Britain 2,818,000, Turkey 1,672,000, Belgium 900,000,
Portugal 834,000, Germany 864,000, Italy 596,000, and Spain
263,000,--a total of 10,980,000, or ten-elevenths of the whole
continent, and doubtless the Powers will take the remaining
eleventh whenever they feel like it. Well does the Rev. Dr.
James Stewart call this ``the most stupendous and unparalleled
partition of the earth's surface ever known in the world's
history. . . . The vast area was partitioned, annexed, appropriated,
or converted into `spheres of influence,' or `spheres
of interest'; whatever may be the exact words we may use,
the result is the same. Coast lands and hinterlands all went
in this great appropriation, and mild is the term for the deed.''
 ``Dawn in the Dark Continent,'' pp. 17, 18.
``Gobbling the globe,'' this process has been forcefully if
inelegantly termed. No wonder that the white race has been
bitterly described as ``the most arrogant and rapacious, the
most exclusive and intolerant race in history.''
We can understand, therefore, the alarm of the Chinese as
they saw the greedy foreigners descend upon their own shores
in such ways as to justify the fear that what remained of the
Celestial Empire, too, would be speedily reduced to vassalage.
Germany, which was among the last of the European powers
to obtain a foothold in China, but which had been growing
more and more uneasy as she saw the acquisitions of her rivals,
suddenly found her opportunity in the murder of two German
Roman Catholic priests in the province of Shantung, December
1897, and on the 14th of that month Admiral Diedrich landed
marines at Kiao-chou Bay. At that time nothing but a few
straggling, poverty-stricken Chinese villages were to be seen at
the foot of the barren hills bordering the bay. But the keen
eye of Germany had detected the possibilities of the place and
early in the following year, under the forms of an enforced
ninety-nine year lease, Germany took this splendid harbour
and the territory bordering it, and at Tsing-tau began to push
her interests so aggressively that the whole province of Shantung
was thrown into the most intense excitement and alarm.
Knowing how recently the city had been founded, I looked
upon it with wonder. It was only three years and a half since
the Germans had taken possession, but no boom city in the
United States ever made more rapid progress in so short a
period. Not a Chinese house could be seen, except a village
in the distance. But along the shores rose a city of modern
buildings with banks, department stores, public buildings, comfortable
residences, a large church and imposing marine barracks.
Landing, I found broad streets, some of them already
well paved and others being paved by removing the dirt to a
depth of twelve inches and then filling the excavation solid
with broken rock. The gutters were wide and of stone, the
sewers deep and, in some cases, cut through the solid rock.
The city was under naval control, the German Governor
being a naval officer. Several war-ships were lying in the harbour.
A large force of marines was on shore, and the hills
commanding the city and harbour were bristling with cannon.
The Germans were spending money without stint. No less
than 11,000,000 marks were being expended that year for
streets, sewers, water and electric light works, barracks, fortifications,
wharves, a handsome hotel and public buildings, while
the Government had appropriated 50,000,000 Mex. (5,000,000
a year for ten years) for deepening and enlarging the inner
harbour. But in addition to these Government expenditures,
many enterprising business men were undertaking large enterprises
on their own account. It was apparent to the most
casual observer that Germany had entered Shantung to stay
and that she considered the whole vast province of Shantung
as her sphere of influence. The railway, already referred to
in a former chapter, was being constructed into the interior
with solid road-bed, steel ties and substantial stone stations.
German mining engineers were prospecting for minerals and
everything indicated large plans for a permanent occupation.
The site of Tsing-tau is beautiful and exceptionally healthful.
While the ports of Teng-chou and Chefoo are also in Shantung,
the first is now of little importance, for it is on the northeastern
part of the promontory with a mountain range behind
it so that it is difficult of access from the interior. Chefoo,
which was not opened as a port until later, rapidly superseded
Teng-chou in importance and continues to grow with great
rapidity. But it is plain that the Germans intend to make
Tsing-tau, only twenty hours distant by steamer, the chief port
of Shantung, and as they have the railroad, they will doubtless
From hundreds of outlying villages, the Chinese are flocking
into Tsing-tau, attracted by the remunerative employment
which the Germans offer, for of course, tens of thousands of
labourers are necessary to carry out the extensive improvements
that are planned. The thrifty Chinese are quite willing to
take the foreigner's money, however much they may dislike
him. Since the white man is here, we might as well get what
we can out of him, the Celestials philosophically argue. And
so the Germans, who had ruthlessly destroyed the old, unsani-
tary Chinese villages which they had found on their arrival,
laid out model Chinese villages on the outskirts of the city.
The new Chinese city is about two and a half miles from the
foreign city and is connected with it by a splendid macadamized
road for which the Germans filled ravines, cut through
the solid rock of the hillsides and made retaining walls and
culverts of solid masonry. Some of the old stone houses were
allowed to remain, but many of the poorer houses were demolished,
streets were straightened and the whole city placed under
strict sanitary supervision. The Chinese as they came in were
told where and how their houses must be erected on the regularly
laid out streets. The houses are numbered and many
of the stores have signs in both German and Chinese. At the
time of my visit, the Chinese city had a population of 8,000,
the streets were crowded, and marketing, picture and theatrical
exhibitions and all the forms of life, so common in Chinese
cities, were to be seen on every side. Since then, the population
has greatly increased, while another Chinese city has been
laid out on the open ground on the other side of the foreign
city. There is every indication that Tsing-tau is to become
one of the great port cities of China, and the opportunities for
trade, the coming of steamships and the construction of the
railway are making it an attractive place to multitudes of
The German Government owns all the land in and about
Tsing-tau, and will not sell save on condition that approved
buildings are erected within three years. The single tax
plan has been adopted, that is, there is no tax on buildings
but there is a six per cent. tax on all land that is sold. This
shuts out the land speculator who has injured so many American
cities. No man can buy cheap land and let it lie idle while
it rises in value as the result of his neighbour's improvements and
the growth of the community. The German Government will
do its own speculating and reap for itself the increment of its
costly and elaborate improvements. It is making a noble city.
Streets, sewers, buildings, docks, sea walls, harbour-dredging,
tree planting--all point to great and far-reaching plans, while
under pretext of guarding the railroad, troops are being gradually
pushed into the interior. The Kaomi garrison, in the hinterland
eighteen miles beyond the Kiao-chou city line and sixty-
four from Tsing-tau, consisted of 100 men when I was there
in the spring of 1901. A few months later it was 1,000.
Plainly the Germans are moving in.
The ease and dispatch with which Germany succeeded in
obtaining an enormously valuable strategic point in the rich
province of Shangtung aroused the cupidity of rival nations,
and they threw off all pretense to decency in their scramble for
further territories. Russian statesmen had long ago seen that
the Pacific Ocean was to be the arena of world events of colossal
significance to the race. We have noted in a former chapter
how she had already extended her territory till she touched
the Pacific Ocean on the far north and how, partly that she
might develop it, but primarily that she might have a highway
through it to the great ocean which lies beyond, she had begun
the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the late Czar,
Alexander III, guaranteeing out of his own private funds
350,000,000 rubles towards the necessary expense. The most
southern port of Russia on the Pacific Ocean was Vladivostok,
which was therefore made the terminus of the line and rapidly
and strongly fortified. But Russia was not content with a
harbour which is closed by ice six months in the year. She
therefore began to press her way southward through Manchuria.
In November, 1894, Japan had wrested from China the peninsula
terminating in Port Arthur, and the treaty of Shimonoseki,
at the close of the war, had given Japan the Liao-tung peninsula,
opened four Manchurian ports to foreign trade, and conceded
to Japan valuable commercial rights in Manchuria,
rights which gave the Japanese virtual ascendancy. Ostensibly
in the interests of China, but really of her own ambition,
Russia gravely said that it would never do to permit Japan to
remain in Manchuria, virtuously declaring that ``the integrity
of China must be preserved at all costs.'' She persuaded
France and Germany to join her in notifying the Japanese
Government that ``it would not be permitted to retain permanent
possession of any portion of the mainland of Asia.''
Japan, feeling at that time unprepared to fight three European
powers, was forced to relinquish the prize of victory. The
solicitude of Russia for the integrity of helpless China was
quite touching, but it did not prevent her from making one
encroachment after another upon the coveted territory until
March 8, 1898, to the rage and chagrin of Japan, she peremptorily
demanded for herself and March 27th of the same year
obtained Port Arthur including Ta-lien-wan and 800 square
miles of adjoining territory. She speciously declared that
``her occupation of Port Arthur was merely temporary and
only to secure a harbour for wintering the Russian fleet.'' But
grim significance was given to her action by the prompt appearance
at Port Arthur of 20,000 Russian soldiers and 90,000
coolies who were set to work developing a great modern fortification
almost under the eyes of the Chinese capital.
As it was expedient, however, to have a commercial city on
the peninsula as well as a fortification, as the harbour of Port
Arthur was not large enough for both naval and commercial
purposes, and as the Russians did not wish anyway to make
their fortified base accessible to the rest of the world, they decided
to build a city forty-five miles north of Port Arthur and
call it Dalny, which quite appropriately means ``far away.''
Most cities grow, but this was too slow a method for the
purpose of the Slav, and therefore, a metropolis was forthwith
made to order as a result of an edict issued by the Czar,
July 30, 1899.
The harbour of Dalny is an exceptionally fine one with over
thirty feet of water at low tide so that the largest vessels can
lie alongside the docks and transfer their cargoes directly to
trains for Europe. Great piers were constructed; enormous
warehouses and elevators erected; gas, electric light, water and
street-car plants installed; wide and well-sewered streets laid
out; and a thoroughly modern and handsome city planned in
four sections, the first of which was administrative, the second
mercantile, the third residence, and the fourth Chinese. The
Russians were sparing neither labour nor expense in the construction
of this ambitious city which, by January, 1904, already
had a population of over 50,000, and represented a reported
expenditure of about $150,000,000. April 9, 1902,
Russia solemnly promised to evacuate Manchuria October 8,
1903. But when that day came, she remained, as every one
knew that she would, under the unblushing pretext that Manchuria
was not yet sufficiently pacified to justify her withdrawal
from a region where her interests were so great. As
Manchuria was at the time as quiet as some of Russia's
European provinces, the reason alleged reminds one of the
Arab's reply to a man who wished to borrow his rope--``I
need it myself to tie up some sand with.'' ``But,'' expostulated
the would-be borrower, ``that is a poor excuse for you
cannot tie up sand with a rope.'' ``I know that,'' was the
calm rejoinder, ``but any excuse will serve when I don't want
to do a thing.'' So to the concern of China, the envy of
Europe and the wrath of Japan, Manchuria practically became
a Russian province until Japan, unable to restrain her exasperation
longer and feeling that Russia's plans were a menace to
her own safety, had developed her army and navy and begun
the war which not only arrested the advance of the Slav but
expelled him from most of the territory he had seized.
Not to be outdone by Germany and Russia, other nations
made haste to seize what they could find. April 2, 1898,
England secured the lease of Lin-kung, with all the islands
and a strip ten miles wide on the mainland, thus giving the
British a strong post at Wei-hai Wei. April 22d, France peremptorily
demanded, and May 2d obtained, the bay of Kwangchou-wan,
while Japan found her share in a concession for
Foochow, Woosung, Fan-ning, Yo-chou and Chung-wan-tao.
By 1899, in all China's 3,000 miles of coast line, there was not
a harbour in which she could mobilize her own ships without
the consent of the hated foreigner.
A clever Chinese artist in Hongkong grimly drew a cartoon
of the situation of his country as he and his countrymen
saw it. The Russian Bear, coming down from the north,
his feet planted in Manchuria and northern Korea, sees
the British Bulldog seated in southern China, while ``The
Sun Elf'' ( Japan), sitting upon its Island Kingdom,
proclaims that ``John Bull and I will watch the Bear.''
The German Sausage around Kiau-chou makes no sign of life,
but the French Frog, jumping about in Tonquin and Annam
and branded ``Fashoda and Colonial Expansion,'' tries to
stretch a friendly hand to the Bear over the Bulldog's head.
Then, to offset this proffered assistance to the Bear, the Chinese
artist, with characteristic cunning, brings in the New World
power. He places the American Eagle over the Philippines,
its beak extended towards the Bulldog, and writes upon it the
phrase, ``Blood is thicker than water.''
 Reproduced in the Newark, N. J., Evening News, January 9, 1904
As far as Americans have any sympathy at all with European
schemes for conquest in China, they naturally look with more
favour on England and Germany than on France and Russia.
The reason is apparent. England establishes honest and
beneficent government wherever she goes and makes its advantages
freely accessible to the citizens of other nations, so
that an American is not only as safe but as unrestricted in all
his legitimate activities as he would be in his own land.
Germany, too, while not so hospitable as England, is nevertheless
a Teutonic, Protestant power under whose ascendancy in
Shantung our missionaries find ample freedom. But France
and Russia are more narrowly and jealously national in their
aims. Their possessions are openly regarded as assets to be
managed for their own interests rather than for those of the na-
tives or of the world. The colonial attitude of the former towards
all Protestant missionary work is dictated by the Roman
Catholic Church and is therefore hostile to Protestants, while
the Russian Greek Church tolerates no other form of religion
that it can repress. A recent traveller reports that Russia has
put every possible obstruction in the way of reopening the mission
stations that were abandoned during the Boxer outbreak.
She has already put Manchuria under the Greek archimandrite
of Peking, and has sought to limit all Christian teaching to the
members of the Orthodox Greek Church. It is significant that
Russia is strenuously opposing, under a variety of pretexts, the
``open door'' which Secretary Hay obtained from China in
Manchuria, while there is ground for suspecting that Russian
influence in Constantinople is preventing, or at least delaying
as long as possible, that legal recognition of American rights
in Turkey which the Sultan has already granted to several
other nations. As for Russian ascendancy in Manchuria,
everybody knows that it is inimical to the interests of other
countries and that there will be little freedom of trade if Russia
can prevent it.
GROWING IRRITATION OF THE CHINESE--THE
THE effect of the operation of these commercial and
political forces upon a conservative and exclusive
people was of course to exasperate to a high degree.
A proud people were wounded in their most sensitive place by
the ruthless and arrogant way in which foreigners broke down
their cherished wall of separation from the rest of the world and
trampled upon their highly-prized customs and institutions.
It must be admitted that the history of the dealings of the
Christian powers with China is not altogether pleasant reading.
The provocation was indeed great, but the retaliation was
heavy. And all the time foreign nations refused to grant to the
Chinese the privileges which they forced them to grant to others.
We sometimes imagine that the Golden Rule is peculiar to
Christianity. It is indeed in its highest form, but its spirit
was recognized by Confucius five centuries before Christ. His
expression of it was negative, but it gave the Chinese some
idea of the principle. They were not, therefore, pleasantly impressed
when they found the alleged Christian nations violating
that principle. Even Christian America has not been an exception.
We have Chinese exclusion laws, but we will not
allow China to exclude Americans. We sail our gunboats up
her rivers, but we would not allow China to sail gunboats into
ours. If a Chinese commits a crime in America, he is amenable
to American law as interpreted by an American court. But if
an American commits a crime in China, he can be tried only
by his consul; not a Chinese court in the Empire has jurisdiction
over him, and the people naturally infer from this that
we have no confidence in their sense of justice or in their
administration of it.
This law of extra-territoriality is one of the chief sources of
irritation against foreigners, for it not only implies contempt,
but it makes foreigners a privileged class. Said Minister Wen
Hsiang in 1868:--``Take away your extra-territorial clause,
and merchant and missionary may settle anywhere and everywhere.
But retain it, and we must do our best to confine you
and our trouble to the treaty ports.'' But unfortunately this
is a cause of resentment that Western nations cannot prudently
remove in the near future. While we can understand the resentment
of the Chinese magistrates as they see their methods
discredited by the foreigner, it would not do to subject Europeans
and Americans to Chinese legal procedure. The language
of Mr. Wade, the British Minister, to Minister Wen
Hsiang in June, 1, is still applicable:--
``Experience has shown that, in many cases, the latter (law of China)
will condemn a prisoner to death, where the law of England would be
satisfied by a penalty far less severe, if indeed, it were possible to punish
the man at all. It is to be deplored that misunderstandings should arise
from a difference in our codes; but I see no remedy for this until China
shall see fit to revise the process of investigation now common in her
courts. So long as evidence is wrung from witnesses by torture, it is
scarcely possible for the authorities of a foreign power to associate
themselves with those of China in the trial of a criminal case; and unless the
authorities of both nationalities are present, there will always be a suspicion
of unfairness on one side or the other. This difficulty surmounted,
there would be none in the way of providing a code of laws to affect
mixed cases; none, certainly, on the part of England; none, in my belief,
either, on the part of any other Power.''
 Correspondence Respecting the Circular of the Chinese Government
of February 9, 1871, Relating to Missionaries. Presented to both
Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty, 1872.
Meantime, as the Hon. Frederick F. Low, United States
Minister at Peking, wrote to the State Department at Wash-
ington, March 20, 1871:--``The dictates of humanity will
not permit the renunciation of the right for all foreigners that
they shall be governed and punished by their own laws.''
But the Chinese do not see the question in that light. Their
methods of legal procedure are sanctioned in their eyes by immemorial
custom and they fail to understand why forms that,
in their judgment, are good enough for Chinese are not also good
enough for despised foreigners. When we take into consideration
the further fact that the typical white man, the world
over, acts as if he were a lord of creation, and treats Asiatics
with more or less condescension as if they were his inferiors, we
can understand the very natural resentment of the Chinese,
who have just as much pride of race as we have, and who indeed
consider themselves the most highly civilized people in
the world. The fact that foreign nations are able to thrash
them does not convince them that those nations are superior,
any more than a gentleman's physical defeat by a pugilist would
satisfy him that the pugilist is a better man. It is not without
significance that the white man is generally designated in China
as ``the foreign devil.''
The natural resentment of the Chinese in such circumstances
was intensified by the conduct of the foreign soldiery. Army
life is not a school of virtue anywhere, particularly in Asia where
a comparatively defenseless people open wide opportunities for
evil practices and where Asiatic methods of opposition infuriate
men. In almost every place where the soldiers of
Europe landed, they pillaged and burned and raped and
slaughtered like incarnate fiends. Chefoo to-day is an illustration
of the effect. It is a city where foreigners have resided
for forty years, where there are consuls of all nations and
extensive business relations with other ports, where foreign
steamers regularly touch and where war-ships frequently lie.
There were five formidable cruisers there during my visit.
Surely the Chinese of Chefoo should understand the situation.
But during the troubles of 1860, French troops were quartered
there and their conduct was so atrociously brutal and lustful
that Chefoo has ever since been bitterly anti-foreign. The
Presbyterian missionaries have repeatedly tried to do Christian
work in the old walled city, but have never succeeded in gaining
a foothold, and all their local missionary work is confined
to the numerous population which has come from other parts of
the province and settled around Chefoo proper. Nothing but
battleships in the harbour kept that old city from attacking
foreigners during the Boxer outbreak. Even to-day the cry
``kill, kill'' is sometimes raised as a foreigner walks through
the streets, and inflammatory placards are often posted on the
With the record of foreign aggressions in China before us,
can we wonder that the Chinese became restive? The New
York Sun truly says: ``It was while Chinese territory was
thus virtually being given away that the people became uneasy
and riots were started; the people felt that their land had been
despoiled.'' The Hon. Chester Holcombe truly remarks:--
``Those who desire to know more particularly what the Chinese
think about it, how they regard the proposed dismemberment of the
Empire and the extinction of their national life, are referred to the
Boxer movement as furnishing a practical exposition of their views. It
contained the concentrated wrath and hate of sixty years' slow growth.
And it had the hearty sympathy of many, many millions of Chinese, who
took no active part in it. For, beyond a doubt, it represented to them a
patriotic effort to save their country from foreign aggression and ultimate
destruction.... The European Powers have only themselves to
thank for the bitter hatred of the Chinese and the crash in which it
culminated. Governmental policies outrageous and beyond excuse,
scandalous diplomacy, and unprovoked attacks upon the rights and
possessions of China, have been at the root of all the trouble.''
 Article in The Outlook, February 13, 1904,
And shall we pretend innocent surprise that the irritation of
the Chinese rapidly grew? Suppose that after the murder of
the Chinese in Rock Springs, Wyoming, a Chinese fleet
had been able to seize New York and Boston Harbours, and
suppose our Government had been weak enough to acquiesce.
Would the American people have made any protest?
Would the lives of Chinese have been safe on our streets? And
was it an entirely base impulse that led the men of China violently
to oppose the forcible seizure of their country by aliens?
The Empress Dowager declared in her now famous edict:--
``The various Powers cast upon us looks of tiger-like voracity, hustling
each other in their endeavours to be first to seize upon our innermost
territories. They think that China, having neither money nor troops, would
never venture to go to war with them. They fail to understand, however,
that there are certain things which this Empire can never consent to, and
that, if hard pressed, we have no alternative but to rely upon the justice
of our cause, the knowledge of which in our breasts strengthens our resolves
and steels us to present a united front against our aggressors.''
That would probably be called patriotic if it had emanated
from the ruler of any other people.
When with Russia in Manchuria, Germany in Shantung,
England in the valleys of the Yang-tze and the Pearl, France
in Tonquin and Japan in Formosa, the whole Empire appeared
to be in imminent danger of absorption, the United States again
showed itself the friend of China by trying to stem the tide.
Our great Secretary of State, John Hay, sent to the European
capitals that famous note of September, 1899, which none of
them wanted to answer but which none of them dared to refuse,
inviting them to join the United States in assuring the
apprehensive Chinese that the Governments of Europe and
America had no designs upon China's territorial integrity, but
simply desired an ``open door'' for commerce, and that any
claims by one nation of ``sphere of influence'' would ``in no
way interfere with any treaty port or any vested interest''
within that sphere, but that all nations should continue to enjoy
equality of treatment. In response, the Russian Government,
December 30, 1899, through Count Mouravieff, suavely declared:--
``The Imperial Government has already demonstrated its firm intention
to follow the policy of the `open door.' . . . As to the ports now
opened or hereafter to be opened to foreign commerce by the Chinese
Government, . . . the Imperial Government has no intention whatever
of claiming any privileges for its own subjects to the exclusion of
The other Powers also assented. But it was all in vain.
Matters had already gone too far, and, beside, the Chinese
knew well enough that the Powers were not to be trusted beyond
the limits of self-interest.
Some of the Chinese, it is true, had the intelligence to see
that changes were inevitable, and the result was the development
of a Reform Party among the Chinese themselves. It
was not large, but it included some influential men, though,
unfortunately, their zeal was not always tempered by discretion.
The war with Japan powerfully aided them. True, many of
the Chinese do not yet know that there was such a war, for
news travels slowly in a land whose railway and telegraph lines,
newspapers and post-offices are yet few, and whose average
inhabitant has never been twenty miles from the village in which
he was born. But some who did know realized that Japan had
won by the aid of Western methods. An eagerness to acquire
those methods resulted. Missionaries were besieged by Chinese
who wished to learn English. Modern books were given a
wide circulation. Several of the influential advisers of the
Emperor became students of Occidental science and political
economy. In five years, 1893-1898, the book sales of one
society--that for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge
Among the Chinese--leaped from $817 to $18,457, while
every mission press was run to its utmost capacity to supply the
A powerful exponent of the new ideas appeared in the great
Viceroy, Chang Chih-tung. He wrote a book, entitled
``China's Only Hope,'' exposing the causes of China's weakness
and advocating radical reforms. The book was printed
by the Tsung-li Yamen, and by royal command copies were
sent to the high officials of the Empire. Big yellow posters advertised
it from the walls of leading cities, and in a short time
a million copies were sold. It is hardly an exaggeration to say
that ``this book made more history in a shorter time than any
other modern piece of literature, that it astonished a kingdom,
convulsed an Empire and brought on a war.''
The Reform Party urged the young Emperor to use the imperial
power for the advancement of his people. He yielded to
the pressure and became an eager and diligent student of the
Western learning and methods. In the opening months of the
year 1898, he bought no less than 129 foreign books, including
a Bible and several scientific works, besides maps, globes, and
wind and current charts. Nor did he stop with this, but with
the ardour of a new convert issued the now famous reform
edicts, which, if they could have been carried into effect, would
have revolutionized China and started her on the high road to
national greatness. These memorable decrees have been summarized
1. Establishing a university at Peking.
2. Sending imperial clansmen to study European and American Governments.
3. Encouraging art, science and modern agriculture
4. Expressing the willingness of the Emperor to hear the objections
of the conservatives to progress and reform.
5. Abolishing the literary essay as a prominent part of the Government
6. Censuring those who attempted to delay the establishment of the
Peking Imperial University.
7. Directing that the construction of the Lu Han railway be carried
on with more vigour.
8. Advising the adoption of Western arms and drill for all the Tartar
9. Ordering the establishment of agricultural schools in the provinces
to teach improved methods of agriculture.
10. Ordering the introduction of patent and copyright laws.
11. Ordering the Board of War and the Foreign Office to report on
the reform of the military examinations.
12. Offering special rewards to inventors and authors.
13. Ordering officials to encourage trade and assist merchants.
14. Ordering the foundation of school boards in every city in the
15. Establishing a Bureau of Mines and Railroads.
16. Encouraging journalists to write on all political subjects.
17. Establishing naval academies and training ships.
18. Summoning the ministers and provincial authorities to assist the
Emperor in his work of reform.
19. Directing that schools be founded in connection with all the Chinese
legations in foreign countries for the benefit of the children of Chinese
in those countries.
20. Establishing commercial bureaus in Shanghai for the encouragement
21. Abolishing six useless Boards in Peking.
22. Granting the right to memorialize the Throne by sealed memorials.
23. Dismissing two presidents and four vice-presidents of the Board
of Rites for disobeying the Emperor's orders that memorials should be
presented to him unopened.
24. Abolishing the governorships of Hupeh, Kwang-tung and Yun-nan
as a useless expense to the country.
25. Establishing schools for instruction in the preparation of tea and
20, Abolishing the slow courier posts in favour of the Imperial
27 Approving a system of budgets as in Western countries.
But, alas, it is disastrous to try to ``hustle the East.'' The
Chinese are phlegmatic and will endure much, but this was a
little too much. Myriads of scholars and officials, who saw
their hopes and positions jeopardized by the new tests, protested
with all the virulence of the silversmiths of Ephesus, and
all the conservatism of China rallied to their support.
Meantime, the Yellow River, aptly named ``China's Sorrow,''
again overflowed its banks, devastating a region 100
miles long and varying from twenty-five to fifty miles wide.
Three hundred villages were swept away and 1,000,000 people
made homeless. Famine and pestilence speedily followed, so
that the whole catastrophe assumed appalling proportions.
Even American communities are apt to become reckless and
riotous in time of calamity, and in China this tendency of human
nature was intensified by a superstition which led the people
to believe that the disaster was due to the baleful influence
of the foreigners, or that it was a punishment for their failure
to resist them, while in the farther north a drought led to
equally superstitious fury against ``the foreign devils.''
The virile and resolute Empress-Dowager headed the reaction
against the headlong progressiveness of the young
Emperor. September 22, 1898, the world was startled by an
Imperial Decree which read in part as follows:--
``Her Imperial Majesty the Empress-Dowager, Tze Hsi, since the first
years of the reign of the late Emperor Tung Chih down to our present
reign, has twice ably filled the regency of the Empire, and never did her
Majesty fail in happily bringing to a successful issue even the most difficult
problems of government. In all things we have ever placed the
interests of our Empire before those of others, and, looking back at her
Majesty's successful handiwork, we are now led to beseech, for a third
time, for this assistance from her Imperial majesty, so that we may benefit
from her wise and kindly advice in all matters of State. Having now
obtained her Majesty's gracious consent, we truly consider this to be a great
boon both to ourselves as well as to the people of our Empire. Hence we
now command that from henceforth, commencing with this morning, the
affairs of state shall be transacted in the ordinary Throne Hall, and that
to-morrow (23rd) we shall, at the head of the Princes and Nobles and
Ministers of our Court, attend in full dress in the Ching-cheng Throne
Hall, to pay ceremonial obeisance to her Imperial Majesty the Empress-
Dowager. Let the Board of Rites draw up for our perusal the ceremonies
to be observed on the above occasion.''
 Pott, ``The Outbreak in China,'' pp. 56, 57.
The youthful son of Toanwong was appointed heir to the
throne and the ambitious father immediately proceeded to use
his enhanced prestige to set the Empire in a blaze.
THE BOXER UPRISING
THE now famous Boxers were members of two of the
secret societies which have long flourished in China.
To the Chinese they are known as League of United
Patriots, Great Sword Society, Righteous Harmony Fists'
Association and kindred names. Originally, they were hostile
to the foreign Manchu dynasty. When Germany made the
murder of two Roman Catholic missionaries a pretext for pushing
her political ambitions, the Boxers naturally arrayed themselves
against them. As the champions of the national spirit
against the foreigners, the membership rapidly increased.
Supernatural power was claimed. Temples were converted into
meeting-places, and soon excited men were drilling in every
The real ruler of China at this time, as all the world knows,
was the Empress Dowager, who has been characterized as
``the only man in China.'' At any rate, she is a woman of
extraordinary force of character. She was astute enough to
encourage the Boxers, and thus turn one of the most troublesome
foes of the Manchu throne against the common enemy,
the foreigner. Under her influence, the depredations of the
Boxers, which were at first confined to the Shantung Province,
spread with the swiftness of a prairie fire, until in the spring of
1900 the most important provinces of the Empire were ablaze
and the legations in Peking were closely besieged. In the
heat of the conflict and under the agonizing strain of anxiety
for imperilled loved ones, many hard things were said and
written about the officials who allied themselves with the
Boxers. But Sir Robert Hart, who personally knew them and
who suffered as much as any one from their fury, candidly
wrote after the siege: ``These men were eminent in their own
country for their learning and services, were animated by
patriotism, were enraged by foreign dictation, and had the
courage of their convictions. We must do them the justice of
allowing that they were actuated by high motives and love of
country,'' though he adds, ``that does not always or necessarily
mean political ability or highest wisdom.''
And so the irrepressible conflict broke out. It had to come,
a conflict between conservatism and progress, between race
prejudice and brotherhood, between superstition and Christianity,
the tremendous conflict of ages which every nation has
had to fight, and which in China was not different in kind,
but only on a more colossal scale because there it involved
half the human race at once. Of course it was impossible
for so vast a nation permanently to segregate itself. The river
of progress cannot be permanently stayed. It will gather force
behind an obstacle until it is able to sweep it away. The
Boxer uprising was the breaking up of this fossilized conservatism.
It was such a tumultuous upheaval as the crusades
caused in breaking up the stagnation of mediaeval Europe. As
France opposed the new ideas, which in England were quietly
accepted, only to have them surge over her in the frightful
flood of the revolution, so China entered with the violence always
inseparable from resistance the transition which Japan
welcomed with a more open mind.
Though missionaries were not the real cause of the Boxer
uprising, its horrors fell most heavily upon them. This was
partly because many of them were living at exposed points in
the interior while most other foreigners were assembled in the
treaty ports where they were better protected; partly because
the movement developed such hysterical frenzy that it attacked
with blind, unreasoning fury every available foreigner, and
partly because in most places the actual killing and pillaging
were not done by the people who best knew the missionaries
but by mobs from the slums, ruffians from other villages, or,
as in Paoting-fu and Shan-si, in obedience to the direct orders
of bigoted officials.
And so it came to pass that the innocent suffered more than
the guilty. Dr. A. H. Smith concluded after careful inquiry
that ``the devastating Boxer cyclone cost the lives of 135 adult
Protestant missionaries and fifty-three children and of thirty-
five Roman Catholic Fathers and nine Sisters. The Protestants
were in connection with ten different missions, one being
unconnected. They were murdered in four provinces and in
Mongolia, and belonged to Great Britain, the United States and
Sweden. No such outbreak against Christianity has been
seen in modern times. The destruction of property was on
the same continental scale. Generally speaking, all mission
stations north of the Yellow River, with all their dwelling-houses,
chapels, hospitals, dispensaries, schools, and buildings of every
description were totally destroyed, though there were occasional
exceptions, of which the village where these pages are written
was one. The central and southern portions of the Empire
were only partially affected by the anti-foreign madness, not
because they were under different conditions, but mainly
through the strong repressive measures of four men, Liu Kun
Yi and Chang Chih-tung, Governors-General of the four great
provinces in the Yang-tse Valley; Yuan Shih Kai in Shantung,
and a Manchu, Tuan Fang, in Shen-si. The jurisdiction of
this quartette made an impassable barrier across which the
movement was unable to project itself in force, but much mischief
in an isolated way was wrought in nearly every part of
China not rigorously controlled.''
 ``Rex Christus,'' p. 210.
So many volumes have been written about the Boxer Uprising
that it is not necessary to double the size of this book in
order to recount the details. For the full narrative, the reader
is referred to the books mentioned below. But I cannot for-
bear some description of the scenes of massacre that I personally
visited. I was unable to go to the remoter province of
Shan-si where so many devoted men and women laid down
their lives and where many who escaped death endured indescribable
hardships. But in the province of Shantung, where
the Boxer Uprising originated, I was witness to the ruin that
was wrought in many places, though the iron hand of the
great Governor, Yuan Shih Kai, prevented much bloodshed.
Then I turned to the northern province of Chih-li where official
hands, instead of restraining, actually guided and goaded the
 ``China in Convulsion,'' Arthur H. Smith; ``The Outbreak in China,''
F. L. Hawks Pott; ``The World Crisis in China, 1900,'' Allen S. Will;
``Siege Days,'' A. H. Mateer; ``The Siege of Peking,'' Wm. A. P.
Martin; ``The Providence of God in the Siege of Peking,'' C. H. Fenn;
``The Tragedy of Paoting-fu,'' Isaac C. Ketler; ``The China Martyrs of
1900,'' Robert C. Forsythe; ``China,'' James H. Wilson, ``China's Book
of Martyrs,'' Luella Miner; ``Two Heroes of Cathay,'' Luella Miner;
``Through Fire and Sword in Shan-si,'' E. H. Edwards; ``Chinese
Heroes,'' I. T. Headland; ``Martyred Missionaries of the C. I. M.,''
Broomhall; ``The Crisis in China,'' G. B. Smith and others.
After a delightful voyage of eighteen hours from Chefoo
over a smooth sea, we anchored outside the bar, nine miles
from shore, the tide not permitting our steamer to cross with
its heavy load. A tug took us off and entering the Pei-ho
River, we passed the famous Taku forts to the railway wharf at
Tong-ku. It was significant to find foreign flags flying over the
Taku forts and also over the mud-walled villages near by.
Scores of merchant steamers, transports and war vessels were
lying off Taku as well as hundreds of junks. The river was
full of smaller craft among which were several Japanese and
American gunboats. The railroad station presented a motley
appearance. A regiment of Japanese had just arrived and
while we were waiting, three train-loads of British Sikhs and
several cars of Austrian marines and British ``Tommy Atkins''
came in. The platform was thronged with officers and soldiers
of various nationalities, including a few Russians.
Nothing could be more dreary than the mud flats that the
traveller to the imperial city first sees. The greater part of the
way from Taku to Peking, the soil is poor and little cultivated.
But as we advanced, kao-liang fields were more frequent,
though the growth was far behind that in Shantung at the same
season. Small trees were numerous during the latter half of
the trip. The soil being too thin for good crops, the people
grow more fuel and fruit.
Evidences of the great catastrophe were seen long before
reaching the capital. Burned villages and battered buildings
lined the route. At Tien-tsin several of the foreign buildings
had shell holes. One corrugated iron building near the railway
station was pierced like a sieve and thousands of native
houses were in ruins. The city wall had been razed to the
ground and a highway made where it had stood--an unspeakable
humiliation to the proud commercial metropolis. The Japanese
soldiers teased the citizens by telling them that ``a city
without a wall is like a woman without clothes,'' and the
people keenly felt the shame implied in the taunt.
In Peking, the very fact that the railroad train on which we
travelled rushed noisily through a ragged chasm in the wall of
the Chinese city, and stopped at the entrance of the Temple of
Heaven, was suggestive of the consequences of war. The
city, as a whole, was not as badly injured as I had expected to
find it, but the ravages of war were evident enough. Wrecked
shops, crumbled houses, shot-torn walls were on every side,
while the most sacred places to a Chinese and a Manchu had
been profaned. At other times the Purple Forbidden City,
the Winter and Summer Palaces, the Temple of Heaven and
kindred imperial enclosures are inaccessible to the foreigner.
But a pass from the military authorities opened to us every door.
We walked freely through the extensive grounds and into all
the famous buildings--including the throne rooms which the
highest Chinese official can approach only upon his knees and
with his face abjectly on the stone pavement--and the private
apartments of the Emperor and the Empress Dowager. I was
impressed by the vastness of the Palace buildings and grounds,
the carvings of stone and wood, and the number of articles of
foreign manufacture. But thousands of Americans in moderate
circumstances have more spacious and comfortable bedrooms
than those of the Emperor and Empress Dowager of
China. All the living apartments looked cheerless. The
floors were of artificial stone or brick in squares of about
20 x 20 inches and of course everything was covered with dust.
The far-famed Temple of Heaven is the most artistic building
in China, a dream of beauty, colour and grace. For a generation
before the siege of Peking, no foreigner except General
Grant had entered that sacred enclosure, and the Chinese raised
a furore because Li Hung Chang admitted even the distinguished
American. As I freely walked about the place, photographed
the Temple and stood on the circular altar that is supposed to
be the centre of the earth and where the Emperor worships
alone at the winter solstice, British Sikhs lounged under the
trees, army mules munched the luxuriant grass and quartermasters'
wagons stood in long rows near the sacred spot
where a Chinese would prostrate himself in reverence and fear.
We rode past innumerable ruined buildings and through
motley throngs of Manchus, Chinese, German, French, Italian,
British and Japanese soldiers to the Presbyterian compound at
Duck Lane, which, though narrow, is not so unimportant a
street as its name implies. But where devoted missionaries
had so long lived and toiled, we saw only shapeless heaps of
broken bricks and a few tottering fragments of walls. At the
Second Street compound there was even greater ruin, if that
were possible. Silently we stood beside the great hole which
had once been the hospital cistern and from which the Japanese
soldiers, after the siege, had taken the bodies of a hundred
murdered Chinese. Not all had been Christians, for in that
carnival of blood, many who were merely suspected of being
friendly to foreigners were killed, while foes took advantage of
the tumult to pay off old scores of hate.
The first reports that had come to New York were that four-
fifths of the Chinese Christians and three-fourths of the boys and
girls in the boarding-schools had been killed or had died under
the awful hardships of that fatal summer. But as the months
passed, first one and then another and another were found.
Husbands searched for wives, parents for children, brothers
for sisters, until a considerable number of the missing ones had
been found, though the number of the lost was still great.
About two hundred of these surviving Christians and their
families were living together in native buildings adjoining the
residence in which we were entertained. Their history was
one of agony and bereavement. Including those who fell at
Paoting-fu, 191 of their fellow Christians had received the
crown of martyrdom, so that almost every survivor had lost
father or mother, brother or sister or friend. The Chinese are
supposed to be a phlegmatic people and not given to emotion.
But never have I met a congregation more swiftly responsive
than this one in Peking as I bore to them kindly messages from
many friends in other lands.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral was immortalized by Bishop
Favier's defense during the memorable siege. The mission
buildings occupy a spacious and strongly-walled compound in
the Manchu city. Hundreds of bullet and shell holes in the roofs
and walls were suggestive evidences of the fury of the Boxer
attack, while great pits marked the spots where mines had
I called on the famous Bishop. He was, for he has since
died, a burly, heavily-bearded Frenchman of about sixty-five
apparently. He received us most cordially and readily talked
of the siege. He said that of the eighty Europeans and 3,400
Christians with him in the siege, 2,700 were women and children.
Four hundred were buried, of whom forty were killed
by bullets, twenty-five by one explosion, eighty-one by another
and one by another. Of the rest, some died of disease but the
greater part of starvation. Twenty-one children were buried
at one time in one grave. Beside these 400 who were killed
or who died, many more were blown to pieces in explosions so
that nothing could be found to bury. Fifty-one children disappeared
in this way and not a fragment remained.
The first month of the siege, the food allowance was half a
pound a day. The first half of the second month, it was reduced
to four ounces, but for the second half only two ounces
could be served and the people had to eat roots, bark and the
leaves of trees and shrubs. Eighteen mules were eaten during
the siege. The Bishop said that in the diocese outside of
Peking, 6,000 Chinese Catholics, including three native priests,
were killed by the Boxers. Only four European priests were
killed, one in Peking and three outside. ``Not one foreign
priest left the diocese during the troubles,'' a statement that is
equally true of the Presbyterian missionaries and, so far as I
know, of those of other churches.
Clouds lowered as we left Peking, July 6th, on the Peking and
Hankow Railway for Paoting-fu, that city of sacred and painful
interest to every American Christian. Soon rain began to
fall, and it steadily continued while we rode over the vast level
plain, through unending fields of kao-liang, interspersed with
plots of beans, peanuts, melons and cucumbers, and mud and
brick-walled villages whose squalid wretchedness was hidden
by the abundant foliage of the trees, which are the only beauty
of Chinese cities. At almost every railway station, roofless
buildings, crumbling walls and broken water tanks bore painful
witness to the rage of the Boxers. At Liang-hsiang-hsien the
first foreign property was destroyed, and all along the line
outrages were perpetrated on the inoffensive native Christians.
Nowhere else in China was the hatred of the foreigner more
violent, for here hereditary pride and bigoted conservatism,
unusually intense even for China, were reinforced by Boxer
chiefs from the neighbouring province of Shantung, and were
particularly irritated by the aggressiveness of Roman Catholic
priests and by the construction of the railroad. It is only 110
miles from Peking to Paoting-fu. But the schedule was slow
and the stops long, so that we were six hours in making the
journey. Arriving at the large, well-built brick station, we
bumped and splashed in a Chinese cart through narrow, muddy
streets to the residence of a wealthy Chinese family that had
deemed a hasty departure expedient when the French and
British forces entered the city, and whose house had been
assigned by the magistrate as temporary quarters for the Presbyterian
Protestant mission work at Paoting-fu was begun only about
thirty years ago by the American Board. The station was
never a large one, the total nominal force of missionaries up
to the Boxer outbreak being two ordained married men, Ewing
and Pitkin, one physician, Dr. Noble, and two single women,
the Misses Morrill and Gould. In the whole station field
including the out-stations, there were not more than 300 Christians
and those were south of a line drawn through the centre
of the city of Paoting-fu. There were two boarding-schools,
one for boys and one for girls, both small, and a general
The China Inland Mission had no mission work at Paoting-fu,
but as the city is at the head of navigation of the Paoting-fu
River from Tien-tsin and was also at that time the terminus of
the Peking and Hankow Railway, the Mission made it a point
of trans-shipment and of formation of cart and shendza trains
for its extensive work in the Shan-si and Shen-si provinces, and
kept a forwarding agent there, Mr. Benjamin Bagnall.
The Presbyterian station was not opened till 1893, and the
force at the time of the outbreak consisted of three ordained
men, the Revs. J. Walter Lowrie, J. A. Miller, and F. E.
Simcox, two medical men, George Yardley Taylor and C. V. R.
Hodge, and one single woman, Dr. Maud A. Mackay. All
of the men except Lowrie and Taylor were married, and the
former had his mother, Mrs. Amelia P. Lowrie, with him.
With the exception of a dispensary and street chapel in rented
quarters in the city, the station plant was at the compound
where, on a level tract 660 feet in length by 210 feet in width,
there were four residences and a hospital and chapel combined,
with, of course, the usual smaller outbuildings. The only
educational work, beside one out-station day-school, was a small
boarding-school for girls recently started and occupying a little
building originally intended for a stable.
This was the situation up to the fateful month of June, 1900.
Rumours of impending trouble were numerous, but missionaries
in China become accustomed to threatening placards and
slanderous reports. Though it was evident that the opposition
was becoming more bitter, the missionaries did not feel that
they would be justified in abandoning their work. Several,
however, were temporarily absent for other reasons. Of the
Congregational missionaries, Dr. and Mrs. Noble and Mrs.
Pitkin were on furlough in America and Mr. and Mrs. Ewing
were spending a few weeks at the seaside resort, Pei-tai-ho,
so that Mr. Pitkin, Miss Morrill and Miss Gould were the only
ones left at the station. Of the Presbyterian missionaries
Mr. and Mrs. Miller were also at Pei-tai-ho, Mrs. Lowrie had
sailed for America the 26th of May, and Mr. Lowrie, who had
accompanied her to Shanghai, was at Tien-tsin on his way
back to Paoting-fu. The missionaries remaining at the station
were thus five,--Dr. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. Simcox and their
three children, and Dr. and Mrs. Hodge. The China Inland
forwarding agent, Mr. Bagnall, with his wife and little girl,
was in his house south of the city wall near the American Board
compound, and with him was the Rev. William Cooper, who
was on his way to Shanghai after a visit to the Shan-si Mission
and whose family was then at Chefoo.
It is impossible to ascertain all the details of the massacre.
None of the foreigners live to tell the painful story. No other
foreigners reached Paoting-fu until the arrival of the military
expedition in October, three and a half months later. The
Chinese who had participated in the massacre were then in
hiding. Spectators were afraid to talk lest they, too, might be
held guilty. Most of the Chinese Christians who had been
with the missionaries were killed, while others were so panic-
stricken that they could remember only the particular scenes
with which they were directly connected. Moreover, in those
three and a half months such battles and national commotions
had occurred, including the capture of Peking and the flight of
the Emperor, that the people of Paoting-fu had half forgotten
the murder of a few missionaries in June.
In these circumstances, full information will probably never
be obtained, though additional facts may yet turn up from
time to time. But from all that can be learned, and from the
piecing together of the scattered fragments of information carefully
collected by Mr. Lowrie, who accompanied the expedition,
it appears that Thursday, June 28th, several Chinese young men
who had been studying medicine under Dr. Taylor came to
him at the city dispensary, warned him of the impending
danger and urged him to leave. When he refused they besought
him to yield, and though several of them were not
Christians, so strong was their attachment to their teacher that
they shed tears.
Dr. Taylor placed the dispensary and its contents, together
with the adjacent street chapel, in charge of the district magistrate
and returned to the mission compound outside the city.
That very afternoon startling proof was given that foreboding
was not ill-founded, for the Rev. Meng Chi Hsien, the native
pastor of the Congregational Church, was seized while in the
city, his hands cut off, and the next morning he was beheaded.
The missionaries then decided to leave, drew their silver
from the local bank and hired carts. But an official assured
them that there would be no further trouble, and they concluded
to remain. It is doubtful whether they could have escaped
anyway, for the very next afternoon, Saturday, June 30th,
a mob left the west gate of the city, and marching northward
parallel to the railroad, turned eastward through a small village
near the mission compound, which has always been the resort
of bad characters, and attacked the mission between five and
The first report that all the missionaries were together in the
house of Mr. Simcox is now believed to have been erroneous.
The Hodges were there, but Dr. Taylor was in his own room
in the second story of Mr. Lowrie's house. Seizing a magazine
rifle belonging to Mr. Lowrie, he showed it to the mob and
warned them not to come nearer. But the Boxers pressed furiously
on, in the superstitious belief that the foreigner's bullet
could not harm them. Then, being alone, and with the traditions
of a Quaker ancestry strong within him, he chose rather
to die himself than to inflict death upon the people he had
come to save. The Boxers set fire to the house, and the beloved
physician, throwing the rifle to the floor, disappeared amid
the flame and smoke. But the body was not consumed, for a
Chinese living in a neighbouring village said afterwards that
he saw it lying in the ruins of the house several days
later, and that he gave it decent burial in a field near by. But
there are hundreds of unmarked mounds in that region, and
when the foreign expedition arrived in October, he was unable
to indicate the particular one which he had made for Dr. Taylor's
remains. Mr. Lowrie made diligent search and opened a
number of graves, but found nothing that could be identified.
In the Simcox house, however, the two men were charged
with the defense of women and children, and to protect them if
possible from unspeakable outrage, when they realized that persuasion
was vain, they felt justified as a last desperate resort
in using force. The testimony of natives is to the effect
that at least two Boxers were killed in the attack, one of them
the Boxer chief, Chu Tu Tze, who that very day had received
the rank of the gilt button from the Provincial Judge as a recognition
of his anti-foreign zeal and an encouragement to continue
it. He was shot through the head while vociferously
urging the assault from the top of a large grave mound near
the compound wall.
The story that little Paul and Francis Simcox, frightened
by the heat and smoke, ran out of the house and were despatched
by the crowd and their bodies thrown into a well
now appears to be unfounded. All died together, Mr. and
Mrs. Simcox and their three children, and Dr. and Mrs.
Hodge; Mr. Simcox being last seen walking up and down
holding the hand of one of his children.
It is at least some comfort that they were spared the outrages
and mutilations inflicted on so many of the martyrs of
that awful summer, for unless some were struck by bullets,
death came by suffocation in burning houses--swiftly and
mercifully. No Boxer hand touched them, living or dead, but
within less than an hour from the beginning of the attack, the
end came, and the flames did their work so completely that,
save in the case of Dr. Taylor, nothing remained upon which
fiendish hate could wreak itself. Husbands and wives died as
they could have wished to die--together, and at the post of
The next morning the Boxers, jubilant over their success of
the night before, trooped out to the American Board compound
in the south suburb. The two ladies took refuge in the chapel,
while Mr. Pitkin remained outside to do what he could to keep
back the mob. But he was speedily shot and then decapitated.
His body, together with the bodies of several of the members
of the Meng family, was thrown into a hastily-dug pit just outside
the wall of the compound, but his head was borne in
triumph to the Provincial Judge, who was the prime mover in
the outbreak. He caused it to be fixed on the inside of the
city wall, not far from the southeast corner and nearly opposite
the temple in which the remaining missionaries were imprisoned.
There, the Chinese say, it remained for two or
three weeks, a ghastly evidence of the callous cruelty of a
people many of whom must have known Mr. Pitkin and the
good work done at the mission compound not far distant.
When sorrowing friends arrived in October, the head could
not be found, but it has since been recovered and buried with
the bodies of the other martyrs.
The fate of the young women, Miss Morrill and Miss Gould,
thus deprived of their only protector, was not long deferred.
After the fall of Mr. Pitkin, they were seized, stripped of all
their clothing except one upper and one lower garment, and
led by the howling crowd along a path leading diagonally from
the entrance of the compound to the road just east of it. Miss
Gould did not die of fright as she was taken from the chapel, as
was at first reported, but at the point where the path enters the
road, a few hundred yards from the chapel, she fainted. Her
ankles were then tied together, and another cord lashed her
wrists in front of her body. A pole was thrust between legs and
arms, and she was carried the rest of the way, while Miss Morrill
walked, characteristically giving to a beggar the little money at
her waist, talking to the people, and with extraordinary self-
possession endeavouring to convince her persecutors of their folly.
And so the procession of bloodthirsty men, exulting in the
possession of two defenseless women one of them unconscious,
wended its way northward to the river bank, westward to the
stone bridge, over it and to a temple within the city, not far
from the southeast corner of the wall.
Meantime, Mr. Cooper, Mr. and Mrs. Bagnall and their little
daughter had begun the day in Mr. Bagnall's house, which
was a short distance east of the American Board compound,
and on the same road. Seeing the flames of the hospital,
which was the first building fired by the Boxers, they fled eastward
along the road to a Chinese military camp, about a
quarter of a mile distant, whose commanding officer had been
on friendly terms with Mr. Bagnall. But in the hour of need
he arrested them, ruthlessly despoiled them of their valuables,
and sent them under a guard to the arch conspirator, the Provincial
Judge. It is pitiful to hear of the innocent child cling-
ing in terror to her mother's dress. But there was no pity in
the heart of the brutal judge, and the little party was sent to
the temple where the Misses Morrill and Gould were already
All this was in the morning. A pretended trial was held,
and about four in the afternoon of the same day, all were
taken to a spot outside the southeast corner of the city wall,
and there, before the graves of two Boxers, they were beheaded
and their bodies thrown into a pit.
Months passed before any effort was made by the foreign
armies in Peking to reach Paoting-fu. Shortly after the occupation
of the capital, I wrote to the Secretary of State in Washington
reminding him again of the American citizens who at
last accounts were at Paoting-fu, and urging that the United
States commander in Peking be instructed to send an expedition
there, not to punish for I did not deem it my duty to discuss
that phase of the question, but to ascertain whether any
Americans were yet living and to make an investigation as to
what had happened.
Secretary Hay promptly cabled Minister Conger, who soon
wired back that all the Americans at Paoting-fu had been
killed. The United States forces took no part in the punitive
expeditions sent out by the European commanders, partly, no
doubt, because our Government preferred to act on the theory
that it would be wiser to give the Chinese Government an opportunity
to punish the guilty, and partly because the Administration
did not desire the United States to be identified with
the expeditions which were reputed to equal the Boxers in the
merciless barbarity of burning, pillaging, ravishing and
Still, it is not pleasing to reflect that though there was an
ample American force in Peking only 110 miles away, we
were indebted to a British general for the opportunity to acquire
any accurate information as to the fate of eleven Americans.
An expedition of inquiry, at least, might have been sent. But
as it was, it was not till October that three columns of Europeans
(still no Americans) left for Paoting-fu. One column was
French, under General Baillard. The second was British and
German under Generals Campbell and Von Ketteler, both of
these columns starting from Tien-tsin. The third column left
Peking and was composed of British and Italians led by General
Gaselee. The plan was for the three columns to unite as
they approached the city. But General Baillard made forced
marches and reached Paoting-fu October 15th, so that when
General Gaselee arrived on the 17th, he found, to his surprise
and chagrin, that the French had already taken bloodless possession
of the city. The British and German columns from
Tien-tsin did not arrive till the 20th and 21st. With them
came the Rev. J. Walter Lowrie, who had obtained permission
to accompany it as an interpreter for the British.
The allied Generals immediately made stern inquisitions into
the outrages that had been committed, which, of course, included
those upon Roman Catholics as well as upon Protestants.
Mr. Lowrie, as the only man who could speak Chinese,
and the only one, too, who personally knew the Chinese, at
once came into prominence. To the people, he appeared to
have the power of life and death. All examinations had to be
conducted through him. All accusations and evidence had to
be sifted by him. The guilty tried to shift the blame upon the
innocent, and enemies sought to pay off old scores of hatred
upon their foes by charging them with complicity in the massacres.
It would have accorded with Chinese custom if Mr.
Lowrie had availed himself to the utmost of his opportunity to
punish the antagonists of the missionaries, especially as his
dearest friends had been remorselessly murdered and all of his
personal property destroyed. It was not in human nature to
be lenient in such circumstances, and the Chinese fully expected
Great was their amazement when they saw the man whom
they had so grievously wronged acting not only with modera-
tion and strict justice, but in a kind and forgiving spirit.
Every scrap of testimony was carefully analyzed in order that
no innocent man might suffer. Instead of securing the execution
of hundreds of smaller officials and common people, as is
customary in China in such circumstances, Mr. Lowrie counselled
the Generals to try Ting Jung, who at the time of the
massacre was Provincial Judge but who had since been promoted
to the post of Provincial Treasurer and acting Viceroy;
Kwei Heng the commander of the Manchu garrison, and Weng
Chan Kwei the colonel in command of the Chinese Imperial
forces who had seized the escaping Bagnall party and sent them
back to their doom. The evidence plainly showed that these
high officials were the direct and responsible instigators of the
uprising, that they had ordered every movement, and that the
crowd of smaller officials, Boxers and common people had simply
obeyed their orders. The three dignitaries were found
guilty and condemned to death.
Was ever retributive justice more signally illustrated than in
the place in which they were imprisoned pending Count von
Waldersee's approval of the sentence? The military authorities
selected the place, not with reference to its former uses, of
which indeed they were ignorant, but simply because it was
convenient, empty and clean. But it was the Presbyterian
chapel and dispensary in which Mr. Lowrie had so often
preached the gospel of peace and good will and the martyred
Dr. Taylor had so often healed the sick in the name of Christ.
Not long afterwards, the three officials were led to a level,
open space, just east of a little clump of trees not far from the
southwest corner of the city wall, and as near as practicable to
the place where the missionaries had been beheaded, and there,
in the presence of all the foreign soldiers, they were themselves
Nor was this all, for Chinese officials are never natives of the
cities they govern, but are sent to them from other provinces.
Moreover, they usually remain in one place only a few years.
The people fear and obey them as long as they are officials, but
often care little what becomes of them afterwards. They had
not befriended them during their trial and they did not attend
their execution. The Generals therefore felt that some punishment
must be inflicted upon the city. A Chinese city is proud
of the stately and ponderous towers which ornament the gates
and corners of its massive wall and protect the inhabitants
from foes, human and demoniac. All of these, but two
comparatively small ones, were blown up by order of the
foreign generals. The temples which the Boxers had used for
their meetings, including the one in which the American
Board and China Inland missionaries had been imprisoned,
were also destroyed, while the splendid official temple of the city,
dedicated to its patron deity, was utterly wrecked by dynamite.
Not till March 23d could memorial services be held. Then
a party of missionaries and friends came down from Peking.
The surviving Christians assembled. The new city officials
erected a temporary pavilion on the site of the Presbyterian
compound, writing over the entrance arch: ``They held the
truth unto death.'' Within, potted flowers and decorated
banners adorned the tables and walls. The scene was solemnly
impressive. Mr. Lowrie, Dr. Wherry and Mr. Killie and
others made appropriate addresses to an audience in which
there were, besides themselves, fifteen missionaries representing
four denominations, German and French army officers, Chinese
officials and Chinese Christians. A German military band
furnished appropriate music and two Roman Catholic priests
of the city sent flowers and kind letters. The following day
a similar service was held on the site of the American Board
We sadly visited all these places. It was about the hour of
the attack that we approached the Presbyterian compound. Of
the once pleasant homes and mission buildings, not even ruins
were left. A few hundred yards away, the site could not
have been distinguished from the rest of the open fields if my
companions had not pointed out marks mournfully intelligible
to them but hardy recognizable by a stranger. The very
foundations had been dug up by Chinese hunting for silver, and
every scrap of material had been carried away. Even the
trees and bushes had been removed by the roots and used
for firewood. In front of the site of the Simcox house are a
few unmarked mounds. All but one contain the fragments of
the bodies of the Chinese helpers and Christians, and that one,
the largest, holds the few pieces of bones which were all that
could be found in the ruins of the house in which the missionaries
perished. A few more may yet be found. We ourselves
discovered five small pieces which Dr. Charles Lewis afterwards
identified as human bones. But their charred and
broken condition showed how completely the merciful fire had
done its work of keeping the sacred remains from the hands of
those who would have shamefully misused them. The
American Board and China Inland Mission compounds were
also in ruins, a chaos of desolation. But as the martyred
missionaries and native Christians were beheaded and not
burned, their bodies have been recovered and interred in a long
row of twenty-three graves.
The negotiations of foreign Powers with the Chinese regarding
the payment of indemnity were, as might be expected, protracted
and full of difficulties. Some of the Powers favoured
extreme demands which, if acceded to, would have ruined the
Empire or resulted in its immediate partition, even if they did
not cause a new and more bitter outbreak of hostilities. Other
Powers, notably the United States, favoured moderate terms,
holding that China should not be asked to pay sums that were
clearly beyond her ability. After almost interminable disputes,
the total sum to be paid by China was, by the final protocol
signed September 7, 1901, fixed at 450,000,000 taels to be
paid in thirty-nine annual installments with interest at four per
cent. on the deferred payments and to be distributed as follows:
United States 32,939,055
Great Britain 50,712,795
International (Sweden and Norway, $62,820) 212,490
 The equivalent of $24,168,357.
The treaty was not calculated to make the Chinese think
more kindly of their conquerors. Besides the payment of the
heavy indemnity, the Powers exacted apologies to Germany
for the murder of its minister and to Japan for the assassination
of the chancellor of its legation, the erection of monuments in
foreign cemeteries and the making of new commercial treaties.
The Chinese were cut to the quick by being told, among other
things, that they must not import firearms for two years;
that no official examinations would be held for five years in the
cities where foreigners had been attacked; that an important
part of the imperial capital would be added to the already
spacious grounds of the foreign legations and that the whole
would be fortified and garrisoned by foreign guards; that the
Taku forts which defended the entrance to Peking would be
razed and the railway from the sea to the capital occupied by
foreign troops; that members of anti-foreign societies were to be
executed; that magistrates even though they were viceroys
were to be summarily dismissed and disgraced if they did not
prevent anti-foreign outbreaks and sternly punish their ring-
leaders; that court ceremonies in relation to foreign ministers
must be conformed to Western ideas; that the Tsung-li Yamen
(Foreign Office) must be abolished and a new ministry of
foreign affairs erected, the Wai-wu Pu, which must be regarded
as the highest of the departments instead of the lowest.
China's cup of humiliation was indeed full.
The Missionary Force and the Chinese
BEGINNINGS OF THE MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE--
THE TAI-PING REBELLION AND THE LATER
THE first definite knowledge of the true God appears
to have come to China with some Jews who are said
to have entered the Empire in the third century.
Conjecture has long been busy with the circumstances of that
ancient migration. That the colony became fairly numerous
may be inferred from the fact that in 1329 and again in 1354,
the Jews are mentioned in the Chinese records of the Mongol
dynasty, while early in the seventeenth century Father Ricci
claimed to have discovered a synagogue built in 1183. In
1866, the Rev. Dr. W. A. P. Martin, then President of the
Tung-wen College at Peking, visited Kai-fung-fu, the centre of
this Jewish colony, and on a monument he found an inscription
which included the following passage:--
``With respect to the religion of Israel, we find that our first ancestor
was Adam. The founder of the religion was Abraham; then came Moses
who established the law, and handed down the sacred writings. During
the dynasty of Han (B. C. 200-A, D. 226) this religion entered China.
In the second year of Hiao-tsung, of the Sung dynasty (A. D. 1164), a
synagogue was erected in Kai-fung fu. Those who attempt to represent
God by images or pictures do but vainly occupy themselves with empty
forms. Those who honour and obey the sacred writings know the origin
of all things. Eternal reason and the sacred writings mutually sustain
each other in testifying whence men derived their being. All those who
profess this religion aim at the practice of goodness and avoid the commission
 Martin, ``A Cycle of Cathay,'' p. 275.
Dr. Martin writes that he inquired in the market-place:--
``Are there among you any of the family of Israel?'' ``I am one,''
responded a young man, whose face corroborated his assertion; and then
another and another stepped forth until I saw before me representatives
of six out of the seven families into which the colony is divided. They
confessed with shame and grief that their holy and beautiful house had
been demolished by their own hands. It had for a long time, they said,
been in a ruinous condition; they had no money to make repairs; they
had, moreover, lost all knowledge of the sacred tongue; the traditions of
the fathers were no longer handed down and their ritual worship had
ceased to be observed. In this state of things they had yielded to the
pressure of necessity and disposed of the timbers and stones of that venerable
edifice to obtain relief for their bodily wants. . . . Their number
they estimated, though not very exactly, at from three to four hundred.
. . . No bond of union remains, and they are in danger of being
speedily absorbed by Mohammedanism or heathenism.''
 Martin, ``A Cycle of Cathay,'' pp. 275, 276, 277.
There is something pathetic about that forlorn remnant of the
Hebrew race. ``A rock rent from the side of Mount Zion
by some great national catastrophe and projected into the central
plain of China, it has stood there while the centuries rolled
by, sublime in its antiquity and solitude.''
 Martin, p. 278.
In his Life of Morrison, Townsend reminds us that the Christian
Church early realized that it could not ignore so vast a
nation, while its very exclusiveness attracted bold spirits. As
far back as the first decade of the sixth century (505 A. D.),
Nestorian monks appear to have begun a mission in China.
Romance and tragedy are suggested by the few known facts
regarding that early movement. Partly impelled by conviction,
partly driven by persecution, those faithful souls travelled beyond
the bounds of the Roman Empire, and rested not till they
had made the formidable journey across burning deserts and
savage mountains to the land of Sinim. That some measure
of success attended their effort is probable. Indeed there are
hints in the ancient records of numerous churches and of the
favour of the great Emperor Tai Tsung in 635. But however
zealous the Nestorians may have been for a time, it is evident
that they were finally submerged in the sea of Chinese superstition.
A quaint monument, discovered in 1625 at Hsi-an-fu,
the capital of Shen-si, on which is inscribed an outline of the
Nestorian effort from the year 630 to 781, is the only trace that
remains of what must have been an interesting and perhaps a
thrilling missionary enterprise.
The Roman Catholic effort began in 1293, when John de
Corvino succeeded in reaching Peking. Though he was elevated
to an Archbishopric and reinforced by several priests,
this effort, too, proved a failure and was abandoned.
Two and a-half centuries of silence followed, and then in
1552, the heroic Francis Xavier set his face towards China,
only to be prostrated by fever on the Island of Sancian. As
he despairingly realized that he would never be able to set his
foot on that still impenetrable land, he moaned: ``Oh, Rock,
Rock, when wilt thou open!'' and passed away.
But in 1581, another Jesuit, the learned and astute Matteo
Ricci, entered Canton in the guise of a Buddhist priest. He
managed to remain, and twenty years later he went to Peking
in the dress of a literary gentleman. In him Roman Catholicism
gained a permanent foothold in China, and although it
was often fiercely persecuted and at times reduced to feebleness,
it never became wholly extinct. Gradually it extended
its influence until in 1672 the priests reported 300,000 baptized
Chinese, including children. In the nineteenth century,
the growth of the Roman Church was rapid. It is now
strongly entrenched in all the provinces, and in most of the
leading cities its power is great. There are twenty-seven bishops
and about six hundred foreign priests. The number of communicants
is variously estimated, but in 1897 the Vicar Apostolic
of Che-kiang, though admitting that he could not secure
accurate statistics, estimated the Roman Catholic population
It is not to the credit of Protestantism that it was centuries
behind the Roman Church in the attempt to Christianize
China. It was not till 1807, that the first Protestant missionary
arrived. January 31st, of that year, Robert Morrison, then a
youth of twenty-five, sailed alone from London under appointment
of the London Missionary Society (Congregational). As
the hostile East India Company would not allow a missionary
on any of its ships, Morrison had to go to New York in order
to secure passage on an American vessel. As he paid his fare
in the New York ship owner's office, the merchant said with
a sneer: ``And so, Mr. Morrison, you really expect that you
will make an impression on the idolatry of the great Chinese
Empire?'' ``No, sir,'' was the ringing reply, ``I expect God
The ship Trident left New York about May 15th and did
not reach Canton till September 8th. For two years Morrison
had to live and study in Canton and the Portuguese settlement
of Macao with the utmost secrecy, dreading constantly that he
might be forced to leave. For a time, he never walked the
streets by daylight for fear of attracting attention, but exercised
by night. His own countrymen were hostile to his purpose
and his Chinese language teachers were impatient and insolent.
It was not till February 20, 1809, the date of his marriage to
Miss Morton, that his employment as translator by the East
India Company gave him a secure residence. Still, however,
he could not do open missionary work, but was obliged to present
Christianity behind locked doors to the few Chinese whom
he dared to approach. In these circumstances, he naturally
gave his energies largely to language study and translation,
and in 1810 he had the joy of issuing a thousand copies of a
Chinese version of the Book of Acts.
Seven weary, discouraging years passed before Morrison baptized
his first convert, July 16, 1814, and even then he had to
administer the sacrament at a lonely spot where unfriendly eyes
could not look. At his death in 1834, there were only three
Chinese Christians in the whole Empire. Successors carried
on the effort, but the door was not yet open, and the work was
done against many obstacles and chiefly in secret till the treaty
of Nanking, in 1842, opened the five ports of Amoy, Canton,
Foochow, Ningpo and Shanghai. Missionaries who had been
waiting and watching in the neighbouring islands promptly entered
these cities. Eagerly they looked to the great populations
in the interior, but they were practically confined to the
ports named till 1858, when the treaty of Tien-tsin opened
other cities and officially conceded the rights of missionary residence
The work now spread more rapidly, not only because it was
conducted in more centres and by a larger force of missionaries,
but because it was carried into the interior regions by
Chinese who had heard the gospel in the ports.
The Tai-ping Rebellion soon gave startling illustration of the
perversion of the new force. Begun in 1850 by an alleged
Christian convert who claimed to have a special revelation from
heaven as a younger brother of Christ, it spread with amazing
rapidity until in 1853 it had overrun almost all that part of
China south of the Yang-tze-kiang, had occupied Nanking and
Shanghai, and had made such rapid progress northward that it
threatened the capital itself. It was the most stupendous revolution
in history, shaking to its foundations a vast and ancient
empire, involving the destruction of an almost inconceivable
amount of property and, it is said, of the lives of twenty millions
of human beings.
If this great rebellion had been wisely guided, it would
undoubtedly have changed the history of China and perhaps, by
this time, of the greater part of Asia, for it proposed to overthrow
idolatry, to unseat the Manchu dynasty, and to found an
empire on the principles of the Christian religion. So nearly
indeed did it attain success that if it had not been opposed by
European nations, it would probably have attained its object.
But the weight of their influence was thrown in favour of the
Government. The American Frederick T. Ward and the
English Charles George Gordon organized and led the ``Ever
Victorious Army'' of Chinese troops against the revolutionists.
Most significant of all, the leaders of the rebellion itself, freed
from the restraint which foreigners might perhaps have exerted,
quickly discarded whatever Christian principles they had started
with and rapidly demoralized the movement at its centre by
giving themselves up to an arrogance, vice, and cruelty which
were worse than those of the government they sought to overturn.
Mr. McLane, then United States Minister, truly
reported to Washington:--
``Whatever may have been the hopes of the enlightened and civilized
nations of the earth, in regard to this movement, it is now apparent that
they neither profess nor apprehend Christianity, and whatever may be the
true judgment to form of their political power, it can no longer be doubted
that intercourse cannot be established or maintained on terms of equality.''
The recapture of Nanking in 1864 marked the final turning
of the tide, and in an incredibly short time the whole insurrection
collapsed. The rebellion, vast as it was, is now after
all but an episode in the history of the great Empire. But the
fact that any man on such a platform could so quickly develop
an insurrection of such appalling proportions significantly
suggests the possibilities of change in China when new movements
are rightly directed.
Freed from this gigantic travesty of its true character, the
growth of Christianity in China became more rapid. The
following table is eloquent:
1807 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 communicants
1814 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 ``
1834 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 ``
1842 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 ``
1853 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 ``
1857 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000 ``
1865 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,000 ``
1876. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,515 ``
1886 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28,000 communicants
1889 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37,287 ``
1893 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55,093 ``
1887 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80,682 ``
1903 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112,808 ``
The number of Protestant missionaries is 2,950, of whom
1,233 are men, 868 are wives and 849 are single women. Of
the whole number, 1,483 are from Great Britain, 1,117 from
America and 350 from continental Europe. Other interesting
statistics are 5,000,000 adherents, 2,500 stations and out-
stations, 6,388 Chinese pastors and helpers, 1,819 day-schools and
170 higher institutions of learning, twenty-three mission presses
with an annual Output Of 107,149,738 pages, thirty-two periodicals,
124 hospitals and dispensaries treating in a single year
1,700,452 patients; while the asylums for the orphaned and
blind and deaf number thirty-two.
It will thus be seen that Christian missions in China are
being conducted upon a large scale. It would be difficult to
overestimate the silent and yet mighty energy represented by
such work, steadily continued through a long series of years,
and representing the life labours of thousands of devoted men
and women and an annual expenditure of hundreds of thousands
True, the number of Christians is small in comparison with
the population of the Empire, but the gospel has been aptly
compared to a seed. It is indeed small, but seeds generally
are. Lodged in a crevice of a rock, a seed will thrust its
thread-like roots into fissures so tiny that they are hardly
noticeable. Yet in time they will rend the rock asunder and
firmly hold a stately tree. Now the seed of the gospel has been
fairly lodged in the Chinese Empire. It is a seed of indestructible
vitality and irresistible transforming power. It has taken
root, and it is destined to produce mighty changes. It was not
without reason that Christianity was spoken of as a force that
``turned the world upside down,'' though it only does this
where the world was wrong side up. It is significant that the
word translated ``power'' in Romans 1:16, ``The gospel is
the power of God,'' is in the Greek the word that we have
anglicized in common speech as ``dynamite.'' We might,
therefore, literally translate Paul's statement: ``The gospel is
the dynamite of God.'' That dynamite has been placed under
the crust of China's conservatism, and the extraordinary
transformations that are taking place in China are, in part at least,
the results of its tremendous explosive force.
The scope of this book does not permit an extended account
of the missionary movement in China. It has been given in
many volumes that are easily accessible.'' Nearly all of the
Protestant churches, European and American, are represented
and their missionaries are teaching the young, healing
the sick, translating the Word of God, creating a wholesome
literature, and preaching everywhere and with a fidelity beyond
all praise the truths of the Christian religion. Self-sacrificing
devotion and patient persistence in well-doing are written on
every page of the history of missions in China, while emergencies
have developed deeds of magnificent heroism. Men and
women have repeatedly endured persecution of the most virulent
kind rather than forsake their converts, and a number ``of
whom the world was not worthy'' have laid down their lives
for conscience' sake. There are few places in all the world
that are more depressing to a white man than a Chinese city.
The dreary monotony and squalor of its life are simply indescribable.
Chefoo is usually considered one of the most attractive
cities in China, and the missionaries who reside there
are regarded as fortunate above their brethren. But even a
brief stay will convince the most sceptical that nothing but the
strongest considerations of duty could induce one who has
freedom of choice to remain any longer than is absolutely
necessary. Yet for forty-two years, missionaries have lived
and toiled amid these unattractive surroundings, their houses
on Temple Hill in the midst of the innumerable graves which
occupy almost every possible space not actually covered by the
mission buildings and grounds. But steadily the missionaries
have toiled on, with faith and courage and love, and they are
slowly but surely effecting marked changes. One by one, the
Chinese are being led to loftier views of life and while the old
city still continues to live in the ancient way, hundreds of
Chinese families, amid the numerous population outside of the
walls and in the outlying villages, have begun to conform
themselves to the new and higher conditions of life represented
by the Christian missionaries.
 The reader is referred to ``The Middle Kingdom,'' Williams;
``Christian Progress in China,'' Foster (1889); ``Story of the China Inland
Mission,'' Guinness; ``China and Formosa,'' Johnston (1897);
Record of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of
China held in Shanghai, 1890; Report of the Ecumenical Missionary
Conference held in New York, 1900; ``Mission Problems
and Mission Methods in South China,'' Gibson; ``Mission Methods in
Manchuria,'' Ross; ``Women of the Middle Kingdom,'' McNabb;
``Among the Mongols,'' Gilmour; ``East of the Barrier,'' Graham; ``In
the Far East,'' Guinness; ``The Cross and the Dragon,'' Henry; ``From
Far Formosa,'' Mackay; ``Dawn on the Hills of T'ang,'' Beach; ``China
and the Chinese,'' Nevius; ``Our Life in China,'' Mrs. Nevius; ``Life of
John Livingston Nevius,'' Nevius; ``Rex Christus,'' Smith; ``John
Kenneth Mackenzie,'' Bryson; ``Princely Men in the Heavenly Kingdom,''
Beach; ``James Gilmour of Mongolia,'' Lovett; ``Griffith John,''
Robson; ``Robert Morrison,'' Townsend; ``With the Tibetans in Tent
and Temple,'' Rijnhart.
Several schools, a handsome church, a hospital, the only
institution for deaf mutes in China and a wide-reaching itinerating
work, are features of the mission enterprise in Chefoo.
The visitor will be particularly interested in Dr. Hunter Corbett's
street chapel and museum. The building is situated
opposite the Chinese theatre and is well adapted to its purpose.
Dr. Corbett and a helper stand at the door and invite passers-by,
while a blind boy plays on a baby organ and sings.
The chapel, which holds about sixty or seventy, is soon filled.
Dr. Corbett preaches to the people for half an hour and then ad-
mits them to the museum which occupies several rooms in the
rear. It is a wonderful place to the Chinese who never weary
of watching the stuffed tiger, the model railway and the scores
of interesting objects and specimens that Dr. Corbett has collected
from various lands. Then the people leave by a door
opening on the back street, another service being held with
them in the last room. Several audiences a day are thus
handled. It is hard work, for the men as a rule are from many
outlying villages, unaccustomed to listening and knowing nothing
of Christianity. But Dr. Corbett speaks with such animation
and eloquence that not an eye is taken from him. Few
are converted in the chapel, but friendships are gained, doors
of opportunity opened, tracts distributed, men led to think,
and on country tours Dr. Corbett invariably meets people who
have been to the museum and who cordially welcome him to
their homes. He declares that after thirty years' experience,
he thoroughly believes in such work when followed up by
faithful itineration. Seventy-two thousand attended the chapel
and museum in the year 1900 in spite of the Boxer troubles.
The chapel is open every day, except that the museum
is closed on Sundays, and the attendance is now larger than
After dinner, we strolled down to Dr. Nevius' famous orchard.
It is a beautiful spot. Here the great missionary
found his recreation after his arduous labours. Yet even in his
hours of rest, he was eminently practical. Seeing that the
Chinese had very little good fruit and believing that he might
show them how to secure it, he brought from America seeds
and cuttings, carefully cultivated them and, when they were
grown, freely distributed the new seeds and cuttings to the
Chinese, explaining to them the methods of cultivation. Today,
as the result of his forethought and generosity, several
foreign fruits have become common throughout North China.
But the orchard is deteriorating as the Chinese will not prune
the trees. They are so greedy for returns that they do not like
to diminish the number of apples or plums in the interest of
At sunset, I made a pilgrimage with Mrs. Nevius to the
cemetery, where, after forty years of herculean toil, the mighty
missionary sleeps. We sat for a long time beside the grave, and
the aged widow, speaking of her own end, which she appeared
to feel could not be far distant, said that she wished to be buried
beside her husband and that for this reason she did not want
to go to the United States, preferring to remain in Chefoo until
her summons came.
The scene was very beautiful as the sun set and the moon
rose above the quiet sea. Standing beside the grave of the
honoured dead and under the solemn pines, the traveller gains
a new sense of the beneficence and dignity of the missionary
force that is operating through such consecrated lives of the
living and the dead.
MISSIONARIES AND NATIVE LAWSUITS
IN considering the effects of the operation of this missionary
force, we are at once confronted by the complaint of
many Chinese that missionaries interfere on behalf of their
converts in lawsuits. This complaint has been taken up and
circulated by foreign critics until it has become one of the most
formidable of the objections to missionary work. The difficulty
will be understood when we remember that, though the Chinese
are not a warlike people, they are litigious to an extraordinary
degree. The struggle for existence in such a densely populated
country often results in real or fancied entanglements of rights.
So the Chinese are forever disputing about something, and the
magistrates and village headmen are beset by clamorous hordes
who demand a settlement of their alleged grievances. Naturally
the Chinese Christians do not at once outgrow this national
disposition. Whether they do or not, their profession of Christianity
makes them an easy mark for the greedy and envious.
Jealousy and dislike of the native who abandons the faith of his
fathers and espouses ``the foreigner's religion'' frequently
hale him into court on trumped-up charges and the notorious
prejudice and corruption of the average magistrate often
result in grievous persecution. The terrified Christian naturally
implores the missionary to save him. It is hard to
resist such an appeal. But the defendant is not always so
innocent as he appears to be, and whether innocent or guilty,
the interference of the foreigner irritates both magistrate
and prosecutor, while it not infrequently arouses the resentment
of the whole community by giving the idea that
the Christians are a privileged class who are not amenable
to the ordinary laws of the land. When, as sometimes happens,
the Christians themselves get that idea and presume upon
it, the difficulty becomes acute. Speaking of the Chinese
talent for indirection, the Rev. Dr. Arthur H. Smith
``It is this which makes it so difficult for the most conscientious and
discreet missionary to be quite sure that he is in possession of all the
needed data in any given case. The difficulty in getting at the bottom
facts frequently is that there are no facts available, and, as the pilots say,
`no bottom.' Every Protestant missionary is anxious to have his flock of
Christians such as fear God and work righteousness, but in the effort to
compass this end he not infrequently finds that when endeavouring to
investigate the `facts' in any case he is chasing a school of cuttlefish
through seas of ink.''
 ``Rex Christus,'' pp. 103, 107.
An illustration of this occurred during my visit in Ichou-fu.
A magistrate who needed some wheelbarrows sent out his men
to impress them. The rule in such cases is that only empty
barrows can be seized. But the yamen underlings found the
father of a mission helper with loaded barrows at an inn, stole
his goods and forced him to pay them a sum of money for the
privilege of keeping his barrows. The helper complained and
Dr. C. F. Johnson yielded only so far as to write a guarded
letter to the magistrate simply stating his confidence that if the
magistrate found that injustice had been done, he would
remedy it. But that letter brought the missionary into the
case and he found himself forced to see it through or ``lose
face'' with the Chinese Christians and especially the helper
who was the son of the man robbed. He soon discovered,
moreover, that the wronged man was telling contradictory
stories about the value of goods stolen and the amount of
money he had to pay to save his barrows. The situation
speedily became embarrassing and the sorely-tried missionary,
though he had acted from the best of motives and in the most
conservative way, vowed that he would never interfere again
in such disputes, as irritation and harm were almost certain to
I asked Sir Robert Hart whether in his opinion a missionary
should seek to obtain justice for a persecuted man or should
remain silent? He replied:--
``Intervention in matters litigated ought to be absolutely eschewed. Let
the missionary content himself with making his disciples good men and
good citizens, and let him leave it to the duly authorized officials to
interpret and apply the law and administer their affairs in their own way.
Individual Christianity has as many shades and degrees as men's faces.
There are converts and converts, but even the most godly of them may
give his neighbour just reason to take offense, and the most saintly among
them may get involved in the meshes of the law. In such cases let the
missionary stand aloof. There is, too, such a thing as hypocrisy, much
better let the schemer get his deserts than hurt the church's character by
following sentiment into interference. You ask what is to be done when
there is persecution to be dealt with? First of all, I would advise the
individual or the community to live it down, and, as a last resort, report
the fact with appropriate detail and proof to the Legation in Peking for
the assistance and advice of the minister. `Watch thou in all things,
endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy
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