Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/292

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large, if not peculiar. He says, "Were there not a single convert to Christianity in the Chinese Empire to-day, it would still be too early to pronounce unfavorably on missions." When we remember, as the author tells us, that the Christian gospel was introduced among the Chinese as early asa. d. 300; that Nestorian Christian missionaries began work there in a. d. 639; that the Catholic Church entered upon this missionary field more than six hundred years ago; and that the Protestant Church began its missionary labors there early in the present century—the statement that, if there were not a single convert to Christianity in the Chinese Empire to-day, it would still be too early to draw an unfavorable inference as to future prospects, shows that faith pays but very little regard to the inductions of experience. The doctor, moreover, interprets success in a very liberal way, considering it rather a problem of spiritual dynamics than of mere numbers. He says, "As each idolater was held fast by the entire force of native superstition, the conversion of one was a triumph over the whole might of paganism."

As to Confucianism, the religion of China, Dr. Wheeler has no hesitation in declaring that to be a "stupendous failure," leaving the people in a wretched spiritual condition, notwithstanding its long and undisturbed ascendency. He quotes the Rev. William Ashmore, who describes the prevalence of the precepts of Confucius as follows: "The roads to honor, to wealth, and to official preferment all start out from the skill displayed in stating and applying the maxim of the sage and his expounders. The most powerful social class is composed of those who have been covered with literary honors for their proficiency in the knowledge of Confucius. Confucianism is really the state constitution; it is the state religion; it is the state etiquette. Confucius and his teachings are worshiped by three hundred million people. The words that fell from his lips form the thesis of all the literary tournaments of the empire. They are graven deep on granite monuments. They are posted on the doorways of pavilions and rest houses every year. They are written on fans that are ever in hand. They are painted on bed-curtains. They are gilded on rolls and hung up to adorn their temples and dwelling-houses. They furnish the phraseology with which men of polite learning exchange amenities with each other; and they may be heard falling from the lips of the common people in the markets when chaffering about the price of shrimps and snails."

And yet, notwithstanding all this, the moral condition of the Chinese is anything but satisfactory. The virtues of benevolence, integrity, propriety, wisdom, sincerity, with filial piety, are so far exemplified in the daily life of the people as to explain their remarkable longevity as a nation; their love of fixed and orderly modes of life; their thrifty habits; and their general tendency to practice the arts of peace. But the people are untruthful and dishonest, and, notwithstanding their ostentatious politeness, are coarse and brutal under the surface, and are loose, lewd, and polygamous.

Professor Sawyer's introduction to the volume is a brief essay on the present American aspects of the Chinese question. He considers it from the point of view of the recent treaties with China negotiated by the American envoys, Angel, Swift, and Prescott, the text of these treaties being given at the close of the volume. Professor Sawyer takes what may be called the liberal or anti-Californian view of the subject. He shows the futility of the reasons commonly offered for excluding the Chinese from the country, and in this connection remarks: "We have long endured the immigration of Celts and Teutons at a rate fifty times more rapid than the coming of the Celestials, and no political economist would dare to say that we should be better off without them, although they have made it almost impossible to govern New York and some other cities even respectably. Strange to say, these very Celts and Teutons are the men whose minds are most exercised lest we should be overrun by an inferior race; and their hoodlum sons, not the Chinese, are the disturbing element in San Francisco."

A Hand-book of Vertebrate Dissection. By H. Newell Martin, D. S. C., and William A. Moele, M. D. Part I. How to dissect a Chelonian. New York: Macmillan & Co. 1881. Pp. 94. Price, 75 cents.

The multiplication of special monographs for guidance in practical scientific study is