Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/439

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361
WORK FOR THE MONGOLS NEAR KALGAN

through it toward the north go the tea, silks, cloth, saddles, boots, etc., made in China, and all sorts of imported goods. In the summer, 300,000 sheep in a month are driven through Kalgan, en route to Peking; in the winter as many boxes of tea are taken northward on camels; and the Mongols, riding through the streets at break-neck speed, or waddling from shop to shop in their long gowns and heavy boots, fingering their beads or turning hand prayer-mills, are a familiar sight. The missionaries saw in these circumstances a fulfilment of the Lord's words, "Behold, I have set before thee an open door " (Rev. iii. 8).

The first missionary at Kalgan, Rev. John T. Gulick, of the American Board, who opened this mission station in 1865, spent his summers touring with Mrs. Gulick in the neighbouring part of Mongolia, and devoted much time, thought, and prayer to the evangelisation of the Mongols. Rev. Mark Williams and Rev. T. W. Thompson came for the Chinese work in this field, and in 1874 Rev. and Mrs. W. P. Sprague came to Kalgan, with the special design of aiding Mr. and Mrs. Gulick in their work for the Mongols. However, God's ways are not as ours. Mr. Gulick, born in the mild climate of Hawaii, could not endure the severely cold winters of Kalgan, which is as far north as New York, and 2700 feet above the sea. After ten years of service in this station he was compelled by sickness to remove to Japan, where he has spent many years in missionary work, and has achieved world-wide renown through scientific research.

Mr. Sprague, after studying Mongolian about a year, was obliged to turn aside to the work for the Chinese, owing to the sickness and withdrawal of Mr. Thompson, and the enlarging Chinese work, which could not be carried on by Mr. Williams alone. From that time to the present (December 1906) Mr. Sprague has often itinerated in Mongolia, and always welcomed Mongol visitors in his home, where he entertains them with stereopticon pictures and the phonograph, and tries to impart some teachings of Christian faith and love.