Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/39

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35
SCIENCE AMONG THE CHINESE

Mere education in the science of the west, mere contact with western civilization, commerce, railways, telegraphs, mines, etc., can not be expected and are not calculated to regenerate China, because they have no direct moral or spiritual value, and the Chinese seem never to have been profoundly moved by other than moral and spiritual forces.

Education which deals only with coordinated physical or mental facts, conducted however thoroughly, does not prove adequate for the regulation of the conduct of mankind. It is so chiefly intellectual, that it leaves man's highest nature unsatisfied and almost untouched; therefore it is imperative in the present intellectual and material awakening that the more subtle forces which will profoundly affect the soul of the race should be fostered side by side with these others, and that full advantage be taken of the critical state presented by this transition, in order to gain for Christianity its rightful place among the educated men of the rising generation.

At the same time care must be taken to avoid repetition of the unwarranted conflict between science and religion. Our instruction must be such that these two departments are not regarded as antagonistic, but as supplementary, not only in affecting daily life and conduct, but supplementary also as revelations of the character and purposes of God. We must also avoid the tendency to impose a system which is the outgrowth of western civilization without due regard for the oriental character and mode of thinking.

The wide diffusion of Christianity in its best form will not suddenly introduce the millennium into China, for all intermediate stages must be passed through before the goal is reached, but it will for the first time in Chinese history, realize the motto of the ancient Tang repeated so impressively in these latter days by Chang Chi Tung: "Renovate, renovate the people." Thus alone can the empire be adapted to the altered conditions brought about by the impact of western thought. Christianity has been tried as yet upon a small scale only, but has already brought forth fruit after its kind. When it shall have been thoroughly tested and have had opportunity to develop its potentialities in a manner specially adapted to the situation, it will give to China intellectually, morally and spiritually the long sought for elixir of a new life.