« VorigeDoorgaan »
ONE AMONG SO MANY.
ence proves that a great change has been effected in the native policy within the last few years. Only a little more than twelve months ago foreigners were turned back from these gates, and a degree of hostility was exhibited by the people, which is rare in this part of China. My message has been listened to with great apparent interest by the various audiences which have been addressed.
"But oh! how powerless I feel myself to be in the midst of such a multitude! Only think of some poor stranger anchored at the foot of Wall Street, in New York, speaking the English language but imperfectly, and yet designing to introduce a new religion among its busy population. Such in a human point of view is the undertaking in which I am at present embarked. Surely I have infinite reason to commit my cause to God, and depend upon him alone. With him is the residue of the Spirit, and that Divine Agent can subdue the proud heart even of a Chinaman.
"As yet my labors are confined to the simple proclamation of the gospel. Taking my stand in any convenient place, either by the way-side or the steps of some temple, I do not need to wait
long for an audience. People flock in from every direction anxious to see the barbarian. Beginning with a few simple inquiries by way of conciliation, I gradually turn the conversation to religion, and then deliver a formal address, occasionally, however, putting a question, by way of testing their knowledge, and keeping alive their interest. It is a very encouraging fact that almost every such assemblage of hearers has a few who give the strictest attention to all that is said. Priests from neighboring temples are often among the hearers.
"Mr. Blodget has been with me to-day; we have had a delightful day preaching together, each of us having addressed a congregation at least six times.
"My immediate object here is to open the way for the permanent residence of some missionary families. To this end I go into the city daily that the people may become accustomed to the sight of foreigners. Of course I get abundantly hooted at by fellows of the baser sort, but this does me no harm. I am according to their language sometimes a 'foreign devil,' sometimes a 'white devil,' sometimes a 'black devil,' and
EPITHETS AND GOOD RETORT.
sometimes simply 'devil.' Perhaps you would like to know how I rebuke such persons. Generally I do not notice it, especially if it come from the lower class of the people. If those who appear respectable use the epithet maliciously, occasionally I rebuke them sharply, telling them that they have no manners, which often brings the blush to their faces. At other times I tell them that Confucius, their great sage, said, 'All men are brothers;' now if you and I are brothers, and I am really a devil, what then are you? This often turns the laugh upon them, and makes them slip away out of sight."
Bright Prospects-Suddenly clouded-Death of Mr. MacyAgain Bewildered.
THE year 1859 opened with bright prospects to the missionaries in China. Nothing was indeed directly said in the new treaties about the residence of missionaries in the interior towns and cities, but it was fully believed that what the Government would not in words permit, they would not in fact prevent. It was therefore felt that an entirely new era was about to dawn on China, and all looked anxiously forward to see how they should enter upon it. Each mission began to look to its resources, and to calculate on its share of labors and results in the new field.
None was in a better position to take advantage of this new state of things than that of the American Board. Two of its missionaries were indeed needed in Shanghai, one engaged in the
translation of the Scriptures, and one in direct labors among the people; but beside these there were two others, whose presence in that city did not seem necessary, and who had special reasons for seeking other fields. Both were in the prime of life and in the strength of their manhood; both single, and ready, therefore, the better to face many of the inconveniences, difficulties, and dangers of a new enterprise. Both indeed had been for some time preparing to plant the gospel in some city north of the Yang-tsz-Kiang, and in that direction their thoughts were now turned.
These men were Mr. Aitchison and the Rev. William Allen Macy. The latter had previously been connected with the mission at Ningpo, but had joined that at Shanghai, because of the disturbed condition of things at the former port, rendering missionary labor more difficult and less promising than could be desired. These men were not strangers; they had long known each other, and were well fitted by common loveliness of character, by ripe scholarship, both in the European and the Chinese sense of the term; by devoted attachment to the missionary work, to be true yoke-fellows, and eminently qualified to be