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Increased Demands-Touching Story.

has increased from thirty-eight to forty-two. The home missionary is on the picket-line with the advancing host, ready to seize the first opportunity to organize a congregation, that it may become a centre of religious life. Statistics show that more than seventeen Christian churches are organized every day. Our own Church is well represented in this aggressive movement. But a congregation without a sanctuary in which to conduct the orderly worship of the Most High must lead a sort of nomadic and uncertain life. A suitable church home at once gives an honorable status in society, removes from the hearts of the people an oppressive anxiety, and gives impetus to all the activities of the congregation.

THE ASSEMBLY'S ACTION. Included in the action of the Assembly upon the report of the Standing Committee upon Church Erection were the following resolutions :

That the sum of at least $150,000, exclusive of the Manse Fund, is needed for the work of the coming year; and it is hereby declared to be the duty of every congregation to make an annual offering, according to its ability, to this

cause.

That we earnestly recommend donors and churches to send all their contributions direct to the treasury of the Board, in order that thus the most equitable distribution of gifts may be made to all parties, and that such gifts may be properly secured by the usual mortgage.

That it is also recommended that in the case of special donations, designed for the benefit of particular churches, these gifts, unless given through organized presbyterial agencies, be passed through the treasury of the Board. This will cause no delay, as they will be immediately forwarded to their destination, while the report of the Board, by including them, will more nearly represent the full work of the Church in this department.

That the Assembly desires again to emphasize the great importance of the Manse Fund, and expresses the hope that the said fund may be at once increased to the sum of $50,000.

INCREASED DEMANDS.

The roll of applications for aid during the first two months of the present year indicates that the demands will be more numerous and, upon the average, for larger

[July,

amounts than ever before. Forty applications, asking in the aggregate for more than $25,000, certainly indicates a rapidly-growing field. It is an advance upon last year of more than twenty-five per cent. in the number of churches and of nearly fifty per cent. in the aggregate amount named. Should the applications continue in like ratio through the year, their number would reach two hundred and forty, and $150,000 would not be enough to meet the demands.

Therefore, thus early in the year the Board appeals to the churches not to pass it by. July is a month in which many congregations are accustomed to make their contributions to this Board. To any such notifying us, leaflets or cards will be sent in sufficient number to be distributed among the members of the congregation.

It was a great satisfaction to the Board that there was last year a decided increase in the number of contributing churches. If there can be this year a corresponding increase in the number and an advance of ten per cent. in the average amounts given, there will be every reason to hope that all legitimate demands upon the treasury of the Board can be fully and promptly met.

A TOUCHING STORY.

It is not infrequently remarked, "The work of the Board is important and ought to have full consideration, but you cannot expect to arouse much enthusiasm. There is no romance and no pathos about bricks and mortar." A good deal might be said upon this point even so far as concerns our ordinary work; but when it is remembered that missionaries have families, and that to them a home is as dear and sacred as to other men, certainly there may be romance in the building of a manse, and there may be intense pathos in the story of its destruction. To the brother who writes the following letter we are sure it is a comfort in the hour of trial to know that there is an agency of the Church that will stand by him and help him in rebuilding the home from which he and his family have been so rudely thrust:

1889.]

Bell Wanted-Thankful Appreciation.

PICKFORD, MICH., May 16, 1889.

DEAR BROTHER:-You have already learned of the sad calamity that has just befallen us, viz., the destruction of our manse by fire on Monday last. I thought I would send you a line direct from the scene of the disaster. As I write, the charred remains of our home are before me, and our hearts are crushed with grief. Only three months ago death removed my infant daughter from our circle, and now we are rendered homeless by fire. Truly "all thy waves and thy billows have gone over us;" but God is our refuge and strength, a present help in this time of trouble. Part of our effects were saved, including my library and papers. We have lost a considerable amount of our clothing, however, and our condition at present is a sad one. Our people are so poor that accommodation is very meagre. Mrs. Alleyn bears up as well as can be expected, and my little girl of three years is happily unaware of the difficulty we are in. I will write you again shortly, and inform you as to the action of the presbytery in helping us to rebuild, and as to our arrangements and comfort. Remember us in your prayers.

Fraternally yours,

W. A. ALLEYN.

WANTED-A BELL.

Simply premising that "bells" are not included in the "plan" of the Assembly for the direction of this Board, we publish the following interesting letter from the pastor of one of the Indian churches:

OMAHA AGENCY, NEBRASKA. MY DEAR BROTHER-I cannot tell you how much good our new church has done. Our congregation has more than doubled, and the interest manifested is even better than that. And it has been the means of doing much to settle us and make us more harmonious than all else together. The church has cost us, everything complete, including stoves, lamps, Bible, hymnals, etc., just $1700, and we are very glad to say that our subscriptions paid in just amounted to $1700.35. We are very

47

grateful, indeed, for the $500 from you, and know it has been the means of gaining other $500 besides, and thus enabled us to pay up in full.

Now we want a bell, and we would ask you if you ever help the churches in that way. We need a bell very much, and we have strained our purses to the uttermost in building our church. These Indians have but very few clocks, and do not keep them in good running order, and as they are scattered over a large territory it is impossible for them to be regular and punctual, especially on cloudy days, therefore we need a large bell, one that can be heard several miles. We have decided on a 650-pound bell if we can raise the money. It will cost us all complete, delivered here, in the neighborhood of $150. Will you please let us know as soon as possible what the Board can do, if anything? We will be obliged to depend largely upon outside help, and do not know where to get it as yet.

Hoping to hear from you a favorable reply, and praying God's blessing to rest continually upon you, we remain, very sincerely,

JOHN T. COPLEY.

THANKFUL APPRECIATION. This pleasant note was in type before the issue of our last number, and was left over for lack of room:

TEMPLETON, CAL.

Doubtless you have the most hearty of thanks forwarded to you "on paper" just after sending out a check. From what you have learned of me already by our correspondence, you are not apt to think me behind in this respect, and I hereby record our appreciation of the beneficent work of your Board. But thanks on paper are cheap, albeit very pleasant and appropriate. It is my earnest hope that this church will thank you and the Lord each year by sending thanks, on paper to be sure but capable of being converted into cash, and no mean sum. Would that all might not only hope, but fully realize, such a blessed reality!

CONTRIBUTED ARTICLES.

LIGHTS AND SHADES OF MISSIONARY LIFE.

A missionary to China seems to need more or less of the mental characteristics of the Chinese in order to enable him to meet fairly and squarely, with an even temper, the vexing questions that come up. He must not be elated when he succeeds; it may not be permanent. He must not be despondent when he fails; success may follow another trial. He must meet all the vicissitudes of his much-varied work with Chinese gravity and fortitude. Two things troubled me on my last trip to the country.

Before the end of last year I made arrangements for opening two boys' schools in the villages of Lo Kwan Tong and Fu Lo Kong. These villages are both most interesting centres for work, and having secured two Christian teachers to carry on the work, it was a most encouraging outlook for the new year. at Lo Kwan Tong last year, and there were several more interested in the gospel. Three converts were baptized at Fu Lo Kong last year, and the prospect was there would be more to follow before long. The first disappointment that met me was that the teacher I had engaged for Lo Kwan Tong had been persuaded to engage in other work without a thought of finding a substitute. The school had been advertised, and there were plenty of boys waiting for a teacher, eager to study. The next news was that the school at Fu Lo Kong had been opened but two or three days when the single literary graduate of the village raised such violent opposition to the Christian school that the whole village was intimidated and the school was broken up. The man in whose house the Christians have been accustomed to meet on Sunday for worship, and where I have been accustomed to administer the communion quarterly for several years, was quite severely beaten, and threatened with expulsion if a foreigner came there again, or

One convert had been baptized

a native Christian preacher. What has caused this sudden violence against Christianity on the part of this man is quite unaccountable, unless he be himself touched with the convicting power of the truth. The brethren came to me in considerable distress, feeling that the gospel had lost all chance in their village. They were divided in opinion, some being in favor of complaining to the district magistrate. At the general meeting of the native church I appointed the elders to hear the full statement of the case and report to me. We decided it were better not to complain to the magistrate, that I should not go to the village for the present, but that the elders, two discreet men, and one or two others should seek a conference with the irate "sau kai" and see if they could find out what he meant to do.

The teacher who had to give up the school at Fu Lo Kong was then left free to go immediately to Lo Kwan Tong and begin the work there. I was especially pleased to see the work at Lo Kwan Tong thus happily opened, for the reason that the Chinese Sabbath-school of the North Church at Buffalo, N. Y., have undertaken to supply the funds for the support of this school. At my visit there shortly after the general meeting of the church at Chik Hom, I found the school progressing finely, with some thirteen boys studying the three-character Christian classic at the top of their voices. The teacher, Mr. Li, is a most earnest Christian, and fearless in his defence of Christianity. He opens and closes the school with prayer, and has already taught those heathen boys the main points of Christianity, and they all repeat the Lord's Prayer with him at the opening of the school. Being thus associated with Brother Li, the faithful basketmaker, they are sure to exert a wide influence for the gospel of Christ in that region.

1889.]

Healing the Sick and Preaching the Gospel.

There is a Christian service held here every Sunday, to which the Christians of the neighborhood and sometimes others come.

The marriage of Brother Li's son in January according to Christian custom was very strange in the eyes of the heathen of the village, but no doubt very suggestive and helpful as a witness for the gospel. When I say the marriage ceremony was Christian I do not mean to say it was at all American or foreign. In the first place the day was not chosen in accordance with heathen custom by means of a fortune-teller, but according to the convenience of the persons interested. One peculiar thing was the bridegroom had the wedding day all to himself, as the bride did not put in an appearance until about nine o'clock in the evening. Somewhat before daylight with several other invited friends I proceeded to the house of the bridegroom, where one of the brethren assisted the bridegroom to put on a long blue coat; then, removing his cap and taking a comb, went through the motion of combing the bridegroom's hair and plaiting his queue without actually performing the rôle of a barber. The mandarin's hat usually worn by the bridegroom was then put on his head. A hymn was then sung, some remarks appropriate to the occasion were made, and prayer offered, the bridegroom kneeling, in the meanwhile, in our midst. A sort of soup was then served, and betel-nuts for refreshments, and some fire-crackers were exploded. All work is suspended for the day, and everybody gives himself up to feasting and a general good time, each one taking

49

pleasure in waiting upon the bridegroom. About nine o'clock in the evening the bride made her first appearance, having been brought in a bamboo sedan chair from a neighboring village some two English miles distant. She was accompanied by several friends who carried torches. She was met at the front of the village by the whole population, many bearing torches. The bride alighted from the chair and was carried on the back of one of the women into the house of the bridegroom, where a room had been made ready for her and the women who accompanied her. The bride's father followed the bride into the house amid a furioùs din of fire-crackers, and having received the bride's dowry, which in China is paid by the bridegroom to the parents of the bride, he made the feint of worshipping the ancestral tablets of the bridegroom, being a heathen; but as there were no tablets visible, this being a Christian family, that part of the ceremony was uncalled for. Early the next morning we repaired to the house of the bridegroom, where in the midst of a large company the bride and bridegroom were duly married according to Christian custom, plighting their troth and receiving the blessing before a large company of heathen, to whom I had a good chance to preach afterwards. I have heard since that many of the people present were well pleased with the exercises. The positive character of Brother Li's Christian faith is no doubt. telling for good among his heathen neighbors. W. J. WHITE.

MACAO, CHINA.

HEALING THE SICK AND This is the evening of the Latin carnival. In the morning I preached in the large hall of one of the British Syrian schools to an audience of over a hundred persons, in many of whom I recognized former patients, who were perhaps thus more inclined to give me their attention as I explained to them how the "strait gate" is wide enough to admit all men if they will but come in singly, and not try to get in by churchfuls

PREACHING THE GOSPEL.

at a time. On returning home from this. service and my morning visit to the hospital, I found a person awaiting me with an urgent message from the village of Wadi Shahrur, six miles from Beirut.

It seems that a young boy named Giorgius (George), only thirteen years old, was going home yesterday evening, driving a loaded donkey; and as he passed a little house of refreshment, a couple of miles before reach

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Liquor Saloons-Man Shot-Good Samaritans.

ing home, he was joined by a man who had just come out of the saloon, with his head all topsy-turvy from the carnival arrach which he had been drinking. After going a short distance, he pulled out a revolver and asked the boy whether he had a pistol like that. On receiving a negative answer, he said that he would show him how to use it. He incautiously cocked it, and in an instant the boy was shot in the upper part of his chest. The tipsy man had wit enough to run away, and the boy sense enough and strength enough to get to the next wayside house of refreshment, where he found persons to take him to his home. Temporary Temporary medical aid was given by two graduates of the Syrian Protestant College, and in the morning they sent for me.

My road lay through a village at the base of Lebanon, which was full of revellers. To their shame it must be said that the Christian (Maronite and Greek) population of Syria give up a large part of their Sabbaths and feast days, especially the carnival, to drunkenness and revelry. Every wayside house of entertainment becomes a liquor saloon, and the host spends his day in passing wine and arrach to the guests, who sit under a tree or awning outside the house, drinking and clapping their hands and singing lewd songs, while one of their number amuses them by a sort of reeling dance. There are so many of these places along the road from Beirut to Wadi Shahrur that we were scarcely out of hearing and sight of one before we came upon another. Just before reaching the village a young man met us, riding a spirited horse, but so under the influence of alcohol that he could hardly control his animal; so much so that he came near backing into our carriage and forcing it over the parapet of the road.

The village street of Wadi Shahrur is perhaps two miles long. Everybody was out of doors to see the doctor come, and groups of young men were drinking and making merry at the shop doors. I found that my patient was badly wounded. The The bullet had passed into the chest, just grazing the great artery which supplies the right arm and right side of the neck, and lodged

[July,

(I could not tell where) either inside the chest or behind it. After vainly endeavoring to find it by a very cautious search, I was obliged to content myself with dressing the wound and leaving the patient in the charge of one of the graduates of the college. By this time there was a large crowd, chiefly of young men and boys, in the porch and outside the house. I gave them a good temperance talk, and urged earnestly on them the duty of forming a temperance society. I enforced it by reminding them of what I had just learned, that two other persons beside my patient had been severely wounded in the revels of the first night of the carnival. I urged upon the priest, who was present, the duty of heading this movement. Unfortunately they often head or abet the very cause of all the mischief. Lebanon to-night will be the scene of hundreds of insensate brawls, the inevitable result of the merry-making which has profaned the day, too often with the tacit consent, if not the active participation, of the corrupt priesthood.

On my return, I held my usual service with my patients at the hospital. One of these patients is a poor fellow from Sabita, who has the habit, so common with Asiatics, of burying money. He earns a few piastres by porterage or gardening, and then seeks some corner of a garden or of the miserable stable where he lives and buries his coppers, thinking to preserve them against a rainy day. He is often overlooked, however, and heartless wretches dig up his small store, and leave him a sadder but not a wiser man. The other day he "fell among thieves," who beat him with clubs, robbed him of his slender earnings, and left him by the roadside for dead. Some good Samaritans found him and brought him to my house, and I took him to the hospital, where he now is, hanging, however, between life and death. He has not regained a use of his faculties sufficient to enable him to tell the story of his misfortunes. In a country with religious animosities and distinctions as sharply marked as those between Jews and Samaritans in our Saviour's time, the moral power of a hospital which disregards all religious

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