Ҿ˹˹ѧ
PDF
ePub

the worship of ancestors and heroes and of those spirits or agencies which may bring good or inflict evil. Their morality and their religion alike are grounded not in a love of truth as truth, but in a desire of good or fear of evil. They are not skeptical, for they do not apply reason to matters of religion, even in the way of speculation; they are indifferent as to creeds. They crave good; and what meets this want, even their conservatism will not reject. Buddhism, although imported, they embraced without reluctance.

Such a condition certainly is not forbidding to the introduction of Christian ideas. The family sentiment is a good soil in which to root evangelical theism. The promises of the gospel meet their cravings for good. The revolution of the last quarter century in the feeling towards foreigners, the awakening of a desire for Western learning and Western culture, are auspicious. The success which has attended the efforts to evangelize the Chinese in San Francisco and other Pacific cities, during the last twelve months, is most encouraging. The practical solution of this problem, it would seem, will depend not on any untowardness of the Chinese mind for receiving the gospel, but on the wisdom, the fidelity, and the zeal of American Christianity. Let the inhuman oppression which has characterized some of the legislation of the Pacific States, and the brutal treatment dealt out to the unprotected foreigner by the insolent and rude under the sanction and with the countenance of such legislation, give place to humane and equal laws, and to kind, courteous demeanor on the part of the white population; let the narrow-souled selfishness that would exclude them from our industries and arts be put away; let the tendency to settle in districts by themselves be arrested by this change of treatment; and so make the flood of migration diffuse itself into our families, our factories, our mining camps, meeting everywhere a kind, humane, Christian spirit; let a wise but earnest missionary work be begun and energetically sustained in the form of Sunday Schools, itinerant missionaries, and caste-discarding churches, and we have little to fear. The issue is plainly left to the determination of the practical Christianity of our land and age.

The call to this evangelical labor, we are happy to see, has

been heeded; and already the American Missionary Association, which has received so good a training in its great work for the freedmen, and at the same time such rich encouragement, has adopted this field of Christian effort, with a determined purpose. The American Home Missionary Society, also, has assumed a promising work in the same direction. Let these and all similar efforts be seconded by a steady Christian support, and we need not fear to have our eyes shocked by Josh temples or idolatrous rites in our free but, we trust, ever to remain predominantly Christian land.

The fourth problem brought to us by this migration, in its peculiar character and promise, is the ethnological problem. Ethnology as a science can have no valid and sufficient basis except in the principle of the common origin and destiny of mankind. It must found itself on a singleness of nature; and its races, whether three or four or five or eleven or sixty, must be varieties, not species. Neither color nor size of skull nor facial angle nor habitation nor condition nor language, nor any or all combined, are sufficient to justify generic or specific difference. Of one blood, of one paternity, even divine, the breath of God in body of clay being the one characteristic, men are for one-even for God of whom man is. His destiny as a race is to become God-like. The ultimate unification of the race can be only in universal conformity to the one highest standard of human perfection in character and in condition. This ideal of character we assume to be that given us in Christ-the son of God, the son of man; and this ideal of condition is the subjection of nature to the uses of man; the true brotherhood of the race realized in domestic affection, in social sympathy and beneficence, in political equality and freedom, in cosmopolitan liberality and courtesy; and, the crown and seal of all, the reciprocated love of God in Christ-devotion to Him in service, trust, and love, with the fullness of His favor streaming back into all the currents of experience, gladdering and perfecting all. This, we maintain, must be the introduction and the conclusion in any valid exposition of ethnological science-one origin, one nature, one destiny for man, as the offspring of God and the redeemed of Christ.

VOL. XXIX.

2

And the body of the science must necessarily be the condition of the races, in their dispersion; their departure in individuals or varieties from the primitive type; the modifications in condition and destiny through personal freedom or determining influences of society or of situation; the stages of progress, also, in the redemptive recovery and restoration to the primitive blessedness of perfect communion and fellowship with God.

We have recognized the Chinese immigration as marking an epoch in human history. The period of the dispersion and the attendant confusion of tongues has now ended. The providential ends of that dispersion and confusion have been attained. The human race has diversified itself to the utmost limits allowed by its essential nature and the earthly condition to which it is subject. One step lower in deterioration than the Hottentot and Esquimanx would take it out of the realm. of humanity into the brutal. The redemptive power of the gospel can now reveal itself in its work on the most widelydiversified character and condition possible or conceivable. It can prove its power to "save to the uttermost;" to "gather into one all things in Christ."

The earth has been compassed, and its remotest bounds have been touched by the scattering tribes and families of man. The period of the scattering has passed. The era of reunion is signalized in the landing on our Western shores of the great eastward migration. It symbolizes the moral reunion of the one human family. The characters of providential design and ordering are so manifold, so clear and significant, that we cannot hesitate in our conclusion. The world of man begins its return homeward from its long scattering; and the voice of prophecy sent up from all the developments of passing history is that Jesus, who died for this end, is now, in a sense new and emphatic, "gathering together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." The most marvelous workings of divine providence in preparing our own land and nation, as already referred to, and also in preparing the Chinese people for this era during the last half century, and especially the last quarter century, can have but one interpretation. China, already in its very birth-progress into a

true nationality, is waiting and ready for the higher, broader spiritual regeneration. The gospel has now free course into all her broad territories; it is glorified in the conversion of the individual immigrant to its saving truth. The convert turns missionary. Aheong carries back over the waters, pacific in a new sense, to his countrymen the saving creed he himself has received; and among the effective missionaries of the gospel to China are doubtless those to be prominent who have embraced the faith in their wanderings on our shores. The immigrant, so far as received with Christian kindness, yields to the Christianizing influences to which he is here introduced. The testimony is: "they are gradually, with an unmistakable progress, leaving the dress, language, food, and paganism of China, and adopting [those that are] American and Christian." The hopes of the general evangelization of the Chinese empire are strengthened by the clear effects of this immigration. And China evangelized, the grand consummation will seem to be at hand. Three-fifths of the whole race will then represent the spread of Christianity. The hundred millions of India are already reached by Christian influences. The few comparatively scattered among the islands have also received the gospel. Africa, hardly explored, waits for the divine law. But the grand fact now appears that, with the evangelization of China is accomplished the general enlightenment of the great part of the race.

The physical fusion of the races, the amalgamation of the several varieties of the human family is a part of this ethnological problem the solution of which it may be wise to leave to the future. The moral and religious harmony does not necessarily involve such a fusion of blood and family. What time may effect under the mollifying, humanizing influences of an enlightened Christianity in wearing down differences that now repel such unions, in assimilating complexion, feature, and general physical structure as well as moral habits, tastes, and pursuits, and so unifying the varieties of the race into one indistinguishable species, we need not trouble ourselves with attempts to divine. It is enough to know that caste and Christianity are utterly irreconcilable; that, as the latter prevails, the former disappears. The remotest shades

And the body of the science must necessarily be the condition of the races, in their dispersion; their departure in individuals or varieties from the primitive type; the modifications in condition and destiny through personal freedom or determining influences of society or of situation; the stages of progress, also, in the redemptive recovery and restoration to the primitive blessedness of perfect communion and fellowship with God.

We have recognized the Chinese immigration as marking an epoch in human history. The period of the dispersion and the attendant confusion of tongues has now ended. The providential ends of that dispersion and confusion have been attained. The human race has diversified itself to the utmost limits allowed by its essential nature and the earthly condition to which it is subject. One step lower in deterioration than the Hottentot and Esquimanx would take it out of the realm of humanity into the brutal. The redemptive power of the gospel can now reveal itself in its work on the most widelydiversified character and condition possible or conceivable. It can prove its power to "save to the uttermost ;" to "gather into one all things in Christ."

The earth has been compassed, and its remotest bounds have been touched by the scattering tribes and families of man. The period of the scattering has passed. The era of reunion is signalized in the landing on our Western shores of the great eastward migration. It symbolizes the moral reunion of the one human family. The characters of providential design and ordering are so manifold, so clear and significant, that we cannot hesitate in our conclusion. The world of man begins its return homeward from its long scattering; and the voice of prophecy sent up from all the developments of passing history is that Jesus, who died for this end, is now, in a sense new and emphatic, "gathering together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." The most marvelous workings of divine providence in preparing our own land and nation, as already referred to, and also in preparing the Chinese people for this era during the last half century, and especially the last quarter century, can have but one interpretation. China, already in its very birth-progress into a

« ͹˹Թõ
 »