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But this home to which we are now going is deemed specially favored in the coming of a son, the firstborn. As we approach the village our arrival is immediately heralded by the small children of the place, who make all manner of remarks about me, and if not shouting and vociferating as loud as they can, they are staring at me in order to learn what my next movement will be.
The village we enter is neither the best nor the worst of its kind, but represents one of the middle class, in front of which is the much coveted pond upon which ducks may be seen. Yonder on the hillside are a number of straw stacks,
about as large as our largest haycocks in America. At one end of the village
is a schoolroom, which is the meeting place for men, where we are to partake of the feast. The houses are built one behind the other but close together, with small alleys between each row.
Our friend's house is somewhat in the rear, and so we must pass a number of other houses before entering the place where the baptism is to occur ; but what a sight is before us! At one end of the central room, where guests usually are eceived, preparations are going on for the feast. Large boilers of rice and
pork send up their steam which is mixed with the smoke from the fires beneath, for there is no definite exit for all these vapors, and hence it is not strange that we should commence to rub our eyes and long for fresh air. We can scarcely find standing place, for the throng of women and children fills up every available space far and near, and here we sing and pray and speak a few words to the women and then baptize the little one whose name is the same as that of the great Apostle to the Gentiles.
How glad we are to find ourselves once more in the open air can better be imagined than described. I say to myself, This is the reason that there are so many blind in China. The Chinese have no chimneys, and when cooking their food they are blinded by the smoke until inflammation ensues, which if not properly treated produces ophthalmia, and the result is partial or total blindness. May Western medicine soon institute a better treatment of all those afflicted with sore eyes! But the millennium for Chinese eyes will not come until their houses are differently constructed and until there are proper chimneys for the exit of smoke.
Once in the open air we hold a preaching service in which several of us take part. The sister of the happy father wants me especially to expound “the doctrine" to her, which I do in a few words, and one of our helpers talks for a long time. It is in this way that we sandwich the message of the gospel between the festive events of the day, so that our mission is not altogether a worldly one. As we are waiting for the feast a number of Chinese women, dressed in their best robes and looking like so many court ladies, enter the village single file, and proceed at once to the house from which we have come, to congratulate the happy parents and to take part in the festivities.
When everything is in readiness, eight or ten of us sit down to a table laden with meats of various sorts. Eight persons usually constitute the number seated at a Chinese table. Before the feast begins all sit silent, and then with bowed heads the blessing of God is asked upon the food. Now commences the feast. Each of the eight persons with his chopsticks takes a piece of meat from a single dish. On the table there are some eight or nine dishes, but all take from one dish. After this a little wine is sipped from the little tiny cups, which would make excellent individual communion cups in America. Each one of these contains probably not more than two teaspoonfuls of the liquor, and this is not drunk but sipped. After a sip of the wine the little “ quick lads," as the Chinese chopsticks are called, are again raised and another morsel from the same dish is taken, to be followed by another sip of wine. I do not indulge in the latter, but all the Chinese drink wine. There is little harm in this when the feast is not extended, and they do not adopt a certain game of guessing which has for its object to cause men to drink.
When one dish has been nearly exhausted another is commenced, until all have been eaten. After a time every one is by general consent allowed to partake of what he chooses, wine is drunk until towards the latter part of the meal, when rice is brought. Our feast is a simple one and consists only of some seven or eight courses, and I partake of rice through the entire meal. Scarcely any vegetables are on the table, and to eat nothing but meat is not very satisfactory nor the best thing for the digestion.
After our repast a few small coins are given the father for his son as mementos, presents having been brought as we came, and thus ends the festive
occasion, by which the heathen of the village have had an object lesson of a Christian baptism and heard in part the gospel of Jesus Christ.
THE NEW YORK FUBLIC LIBRARY
ASTOR LENOX AND
Vol. XCIV.- MAY, 1898. — No. V.
Do not fail, whatever else you miss in this number of the Herald, to read carefully and prayerfully the “Words of Cheer and Cries for Help” on pages
176-182. We are sure that these messages from our leaders at the Please Read.
front, drawn out of them by their sharp experiences of need in the midst of their successes, cannot fail to move deeply all hearts. God is working among our missions in a marvelous way, and to him we should first of all give thanks. But what he is doing in his providence and by his grace emphasizes in the strongest way his call upon those who would be fellow-workers with him. The pleas of our brethren should be heard and their needs should be supplied. Read what God is doing and consider what he now requires.
ONE case of need among our missions we may select as representing others which cannot be presented in detail. In the Marathi Mission, in Western India,
there have been received to the churches on confession the past A Typical Case.
year niore than three times as many as in any previous year. At one of its stations, Sirur, there have been blessed results of late, but Mr. Winsor has been obliged to tell the native evangelists in ten villages, now working with much success, that unless $400 should come from sources beyond anything that he could now see, their work must after two months be wholly given up. This course would be not only terribly sad for the work, but it would throw out of employment ten men and their families who have already suffered from famine and want, who have been a long time in service, and who have nothing to fall back upon. In this crisis of his work, Mr. Winsor appeals most importunately for special help that he may keep these ten evangelists at their fruitful work. Shall not this and other similar cases be provided for?
UNDER existing circumstances it is natural that our friends should inquire as to the outlook for our mission in Spain. Letters from San Sebastian assure us The Mission in that the people, while keenly alive to the serious condition of
Spain. affairs between the United States and Spain, are reasonably calm, and that the missionaries are experiencing no annoyance because of their American citizenship. No special anxiety need be felt for their safety under any ordinary contingency, and Mr. Gulick reports that the work is moving on as usual, with full numbers in the Girls' Institute. There is deep hostility to Protestantism, but otherwise there is nothing that disturbs their quiet.
LETTERS have been received from Secretary Smith, dated Canton, March 2, reporting the week spent by the deputation in the visitation of the South China The Deputation Mission. After an inspection of the work at Hong Kong, Dr. to China.
Hager accompanied the deputation, by night boat, to Canton, and thence after a journey of 120 miles, by steam launch and river boat, the country district was visited. Several services were held at San Ning and Sam Kap, in which Drs. Smith and Eaton preached to many who had never before heard the gospel. The meetings were crowded and were intensely interesting, and the deputation witnessed the examination of several persons for baptism. Great gratification is expressed at the scenes which were witnessed. Dr. Smith concludes his letter by saying: “I have learned to eat with chopsticks, to live on rice and tea, to sleep on boards, to work all day and travel all night, and thrive on it.” By the time these pages reach our readers the deputation, if prospered, will have finished its work within the Foochow Mission and will be in North China.
The friends of missions in India and over all the world will rejoice to know Appointment of that Rev. Dr. Fairbairn, of Oxford, has accepted the Haskell LecDr. Fairbairn. tureship for India, to succeed Rev. Dr. John Henry Barrows. Fairbairn is eminently fitted for the duty which he has consented to perform, and he will unquestionably have a wide hearing among the thinking people of India.
The death of George Muller, of England, might not call for a notice in a foreign missionary magazine had his work been confined to that for which he is most
noted, namely, his orphanage at Bristol. But Mr. Muller was in George Muller.
some good sense a foreign missionary. Of German birth, and a prodigal in early life, he was brought to Christ and was at once filled with enthusiasm for missionary work. Revolting from the rationalism then prevalent in the German universities, he went to Halle to be under Dr. Tholuck. After laboring for a time under the London Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews, he became a minister at Teignmouth and afterwards at Bristol. It was in 1835 that he commenced his orphan home, to be “supported by voluntary contributions.” The work grew marvelously upon his hands and funds were supplied in ample measure. While Mr. Muller expressly disclaimed any personal solicitations for funds, he was scrupulous in issuing his accounts, acknowledging the funds contributed, and indicating the use made of them. Three years ago Mr. Muller stated that the amount of money received by prayer and faith for his institutions was £ 1,373,348 65.274 d., or over six and one half million dollars, and that 120,763 persons had been in the schools connected with his institutions. But Mr. Muller has wrought in many lands. In 1892 he stated that he had made sixteen tours to the principalities and towns of the world, preaching 3,000 sermons and traveling 150,000 miles. His influence was felt in many mission fields where his spirit, if not his methods of working, has profoundly moved many disciples. Mr. Ishii's orphanage at Okayama, Japan, is the result largely of the influence of Mr. Muller. This great man, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, was extraordinarily endowed physically, mentally, and spiritually. Up to his ninetieth year he preached twice every Sunday, and at the ripe age of ninety-two God has taken him to the rest of heaven.