Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/201

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NEW PHASES IN THE CHINESE PROBLEM. 189

in the things that fall under their senses, that their whole life is only materialism put in action. . . .

" Lucre is the sole object on which their eyes are constantly fixed. ... A burning thirst to realize some profit, great or small, absorbs their faculties, the whole energy of their being. They never pursue anything with ardor but riches and natural enjoy- ments. God, the soul, a future life, they believe in none of them, or rather they never think about them at all." *

The Chinese maxim is " Pon-toun-kiao " (" Religions are many, reason is one : we are all brothers "). This phrase is on the lips of every Chinese, and they bandy it from one to the other with the most exquisite urbanity. It is indeed a clear and concise expression of their feelings on religious questions. In their eyes, a worship is merely an affair of taste and fashion, to which no more importance is attached than to the color of garments.

Let it not be forgotten that we are dealing with a race which holds among other singular tenets the abhorrent doctrine that woman plays no other part in nature than as an indispensable ne- cessity for the propagation of mankind ; that she has no soul, but is merely a necessary animal adjunct in the human race, serviceable for its perpetuation, for the gratification of the animal passions of men, for the common drudgery of the household or field labor, but not worthy of education and not eligible to salvation as taught by any scheme of future existence within their belief or knowl- edge. Let us make no mistake about this. It is in proof in the writings of Chinese missionaries and travelers of every national- ity. It is the one point on which they all agree. It is the belief and teaching upon which the practice of infanticide prevails in China, in which the female child is invariably the victim and

  • Since the foregoing was written, Canon Taylor, of the English Established Church, in

an article in the " Fortnightly Review," entitled " The Great Missionary Failure," furnishes the following interesting statistical information : " China is perhaps the most dishearten- ing case. The population is reckoned at 382,000,000. The annual increase by the excess of births over deaths would be about 4,580,000. Last year the Church Missionary Society baptized 167 adults. At this rate it would take the Church Missionary Society 27,000 years to overtake the gain to heathenism in a single year ! If the population were stationary, it would take more than 1,680,000 years to convert the Chinese Empire. If the progress is slow, the expenditure is lavish. Last year in Ceylon 424 agents of the Church Missionary Society spent 11,003 16s. Id. in making 190 adult converts out of a population of nearly three millions, but the relapses were more numerous than the converts, as there was a de- crease of 143 in the native Christian adherents. In China 247 agents of the same society spent 14,875 3s. in making 167 converts out of a population of 3S2,000,000. In northern India (Bengal, Bombay, and the Northwest Provinces) 715 agents made 173 converts, at a cost of 34,186 2s. 5d. And many converts are paid. In Hong-Kong there are 94 commu- nicants and 35 paid native agents. In Egypt and Arabia there are 10 communicants and 7 paid native agents. In Yoruba, after forty years of labor, not five per cent of the people are converted, human sacrifices are not discontinued, while the native Christian adherents decreased last year by 885."

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