Page:Christianity in China, Tartary, and Thibet Volume II.djvu/314

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300 CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA, ETC. still more sacred one of the same Christian ftiith, and during the whole remainder of" their lives, they eon- timjed to be the firmest pillars of the new Church of China. During the tempests that threatened its ex- istence, their house at llan-Tcheou-Fou afforded the missionaries a secure and hospitable refuge from the fury of persecution ; and in calmer, haj)})ier days it be- came a focus of Christian proj)agandism, an " up})c'r room," whence the disciples of Jesus Christ went forth anew to the conquest of souls. Doctor Leon, both in his private and public life, constantly and zealously em[)loyed his iniluence, as a ^landaiiu and a man of letters, to diffuse around him the light of the gospel, and advance the work of the ])ro])agation of the faith; and his character was especially remarkable for the decision and candour which prevented his ever attempting to enter into any compromise with the numerous superstitions by which Chinese life is perpetually environed. He was no respecter of persons, and he never hesitated to proclaim his convictions, Avithout regard to the opinion of men, whenever his conscience demanded it ; and neither the ^landarins, the men of letters, nor the public at large could ever succeed in intimidating him. A short time after his conversion to Christianity, he was sent in quality of Prefect to a town of the first class ; and, when a Mandarin takes possession of a new office of this kind, it is customary for him to go first into the pagoda of their palace, prostrate himself be- fore the idols, and implore their protection. Dr. Leon betook himself in state to his palace, according to the prescription of the Book of Kites, followed by a nu-

merous suite, and with music playing and banners