Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

We learn through Mr. F. S. Arnot, who though unable to return to Africa is still connected with the Garanganze Mission, that M. Coillard, the heroic

French missionary on the Zambesi, is about to return to Africa, Coillard and and will go by way of Cape Town and Buluwayo through the Arnot.

Matebele country. M. Coillard takes with him several recruits and two steel boats suitable for use on the Zambesi River. Reports have been received showing that Lewanika, king of the Barotse, has forbidden the shedding of blood and has prevented many proposed raids. The people are anticipating the coming of the British Resident, and the slaves are rejoicing, believing that the day of their emancipation is near. It is hardly to be expected that the new regime will be established without some serious disturbances.

Mr. Arnot reports concerning the Garanganze and Lovale Mission, with which he is connected in Central Africa, that there are now over thirty missionaries in the field. At Kavungu, which is six hundred miles inland from Bihe, a beginning has been made, and the difficulty in securing carriers from Benguella inland has been largely removed. As one outcome of the mission in Garenganze a station has been opened at Lake Mweru and another at Mwena, near to Msidi's old capital. Concerning these outstations Mr. Arnot writes us : “They have had the joy of baptizing converts at all these stations, but experience has proved the wisdom of making haste slowly in Africa,' lest the African bring down Christian ordinances and even the Bible itself to the level of their own fetishes. The Arab traders in years gone by have taught the native to buy pages of the Koran as a charm against evil influences.”

That France of Asia, the lively empire of Japan, has just witnessed another political upset. We learn by ocean cable that the combination

cabinet, which comprised Counts Okuma and Itagaki, the able Politics in

chiefs of the two great liberal parties in Japan, has resigned, and Japan.

that Field Marshal Marquis Yamagata, the hero of the ChinoJapanese war, has become the new premier. This is not an ordinary political change. The retiring cabinet commanded five-sixths of the voting power in the lower house of parliament, and was not driven from office by a no-confidence vote in the Diet. It fell apart through internal disagreements. Moreover it was the first party cabinet in the history of Japan, and its length of life was exactly four months and two days. The new cabinet, in which the military element is strongly predominant, is composed of men who have no connection with political parties. The change thus means a conservative reaction - doubtless only for a few months - against the idea of a party cabinet responsible alone to the representatives of the people. In personnel it is an able body of men, its minister of foreign affairs being the strong, liberal-minded Viscount Aoki, who has represented his country at different times in Washington, London, and Berlin, and once before has held a cabinet portfolio as Japan's minister of foreign affairs. His wife is a German lady, and he himself has long been virtually a believer in the truth of the Western religion. He has been a not infrequent contributor to the charities of Bancho Kumi-ai church in Tokyo and to other Christian enterprises.

How Far the

Our readers will be specially glad to know that Miss Corinna Shattuck, of Oorfa, after these years of extraordinary labors, has secured a brief vaca

tion of nearly two months, during which she visited Beirut, Miss Shattuck

enjoyed a missionary conference on Mount Lebanon, and that of Oorfa.

she returns to her work much refreshed. Though her approach to Oorfa was long before sunrise, August 20, she was met some ways from the city, first by a delegation of mounted friends, whose number increased as they neared the city, till, at the sunrise hour, long rows of widows and orphans stood waiting to receive their beloved teacher and deliverer. Will those whose hearts have been touched with admiration for the heroic service at Oorfa ponder these words of Miss Shattuck, written as she reached her home, ready to resume her work? “I feel,” she says, “ that it is not only unwise but positively wrong to run our mission with such a meager force."

A LETTER from Rev. H. C. Hazen, of Arrupukotiai, in our Madura Mission, alludes to the amount of work accomplished on very small allow

ances. The following items are given, showing how the sum of

1,799 rupees (about $600) was expended for repairs. It seems Money Goes.

that with this sum twelve new churches were built, at a total cost of $248; twenty-six old ones were repaired for $96; six new houses built for catechists, $86; twenty-eight old houses for catechists repaired, $138; one shed for a school, $3 ; five old buildings repaired for schools, $20. This amount, petty as it is compared with the amount of work accomplished by it, was quite beyond the allowance made from the Board for the purpose, and was secured in some way by Mr. Hazen. In a modest note, which seeks to explain the expenditure, he writes: “It is unnecessary to say what part of the donations the missionary gave. It is sufficient that we had enough." It will be remembered that a large portion of these buildings are thatched, and are of the cheapest construction and are often burned to the ground — not seldom through malice on the part of those who hate the Christian occupants. Mr. Hazen writes of these Christian helpers: “I have not the heart to see these hard-working native brethren left with open roofs during these terrible tropical rains. I should be a brute to leave them without shelter when I saw a possibility of covering their heads. Their life is a hard one at the best. Their comforts are few and far between. When I go to their houses and see that there is not a dry spot for one of the entire family to lie down on at night, my heart aches for them, and I wonder that they live at all, to say nothing of rheumatism, colds, dysentery, and fevers. Beds and cots they have none. It is the cold ground simply, and that needs to be dry if health is to be preserved.”

It is gratifying to know that all the European powers have assented to the proposal made by the Czar of Russia for a convention looking toward

some measures for mutual disarmament, though it is difficult to Peace or War?

see what such a convention would accomplish in the present state of affairs. It is a significant fact that while, on the one hand, the pipes of peace are thus sounding, England and France are both bristling up for war, and, while arranging for conference about disarmament, they are ordering their naval constructors to make all speed in preparing vessels of war. May the Prince of Peace control the nations !

The danger of loaning valuable manuscripts has been recently illustrated in a very trying way. Dr. Hiram Bingham, of Honolulů, during a series

of years and with immense labor, has prepared à manuscript A Great Loss.

dictionary of the Gilbert Islands language. There is no other person in the world who could have done this work, and no one but Dr. Bingham would have been likely to have attempted it. But he loaned the manuscript to an Englishman who sought to return it by an untrustworthy messenger, and the invaluable treasure is gone, apparently without hope of recovery. Our profound sympathies go out to Dr. Bingham in the loss that he and the world have sustained.

Our mission treasurer at Jaffna, Ceylon, asks for a small safe in which to keep the funds of the mission. There is no bank for safe deposit, and

robberies are too frequent to allow the treasurer and his family to A Safe for Ceylon.

rest quietly without some better care for the funds which he must

keep on hand. Is there not some business firm or individual who can spare a safe — perhaps not of a modern pattern — that could be put to good service in the work of the Lord in Ceylon ?

We are glad to note the interest expressed in various quarters in reference to the renewed proposal concerning the support of missionaries by indi

viduals or by churches. We sincerely trust that the movement Special Support.

may take such shape and exhibit such energy as shall secure a large increase in gifts for missions. But it should be remembered that the plan contemplates no interference with present methods of giving. There will be no gain whatever for a church, or collection of churches, to turn their gifts, without any increase in them, to the support of a missionary or a branch of the work. If a church is disposed to double its offering in order to have its own missionary there is a most obvious advantage in the plan, but unless there be some such decided advance in giving, the great cause will be in no wise benefited.

One of our missionaries in Japan writes us that we must not fail to keep in mind some features in the social life of the Japanese which have an

important bearing on the progress of Christianity within the empire. Morals in Japan.

As bearing upon the matter the statement is made that a native daily

paper of Tokyo, in the purpose of securing a reform, is now publishing a list of the prominent public men of the nation who keep concubines, giving a brief sketch both of the men and of the annexes to their several households — as to their number, places of abode, manner of living, etc. The list is already above four hundred and daily growing. While the object is to hold up these men to shame, doubt is expressed whether the parties are much touched by any such sentiment. The comments of the native newspapers on these public statements are significant, one of them suggesting that the journal might perhaps attain its end in a shorter way by publishing the names of prominent men who do not sin in this way. If such is the social life of the higher classes, we can form some conception of what must be the condition of the common people. The Christians of Japan are contending bravely for purity of life and the sanctity of the home, but they fight against the customs and practice of their people. Let no one say that the cultured Japanese do not need the gospel of Christ.

THE NEW ROOMS OF THE AMERICAN BOARD.

We are glad to give on the opposite page a photo-engraving showing the interior of the Rooms of the American Board in the new Congregational House, No. 14 Beacon Street, Boston. This removal of the offices of the Board is not the first which has been made within the memory of most of our friends, and it is the sixth within its history of eighty-eight years.

We find that in the early years, from 1810 to 1821, the meetings of the Prudential Committee were held, according to the convenience of the members, in Newburyport, Salem, Andover, Worcester, Boston, or Charlestown; and that the executive business was transacted in a single room in the basement of the dwelling house of Jeremiah Evarts, who was treasurer, corresponding secretary, and editor combined. In 1822 rooms were secured in the second story of a tenement on Cornhill, Boston, and here the Board's business was carried on until 1826, when three rooms were prepared in the basement of a church on Hanover Street, which was then being built for Dr. Lyman Beecher. The rent of these three rooms was provided for by a few generous friends.

Four years later this church was destroyed by fire, most of the Board's property being providentially saved. Rooms were again taken on Cornhill, which were used till the Missionary House on Pemberton Square was built by the Board in 1838. The financial reversal of 1837 proved a favorable opportunity for the purchase of land and the erection of this House, at a total cost of about $23,000, the permanent funds of the Board being invested in the building. The first and second stories furnished offices for the secretaries and treasurer. The library, which was also the committee room, was in the third story. It was believed at the time that the building of this House had much to do with strengthening the hold the Board had on the public, as well as of its financial credit throughout the world. The accommodations in the Missionary House on Pemberton Square were convenient and sufficiently ample, but in 1873 the American Congregational Association purchased two mansions on Beacon Street, Boston, and transformed them into what we now call the Old Congregational House, a building designed to represent in some sort the denomination, containing its library and archives, and also furnishing a home for various benevolent societies having their center in Boston. In sympathy with this general purpose, the Board left its own home and rented rooms in the new Congregational House at the corner of Beacon and Somerset Streets, a place with which a large majority of our readers are familiar. But in process of time it became apparent that this House was not suited to the needs of the denomination and of the societies dwelling beneath its roof. Its site was too valuable to be kept by a building of the size and renting capacity of the existing structure. The estate was therefore sold, and the Congregational Association immediately entered upon the construction, on a near and available site, of a building better adapted to the needs of its library and of the benevolent societies. The new structure was so far completed that the offices of the American Board were removed to it in August last.

[graphic]

In this building the American Board occupies the rear half of the seventh floor, which is reached by swift elevators. The door of entrance upon this floor is No. 708, on opening which the visitor will have the view presented in the engraving. The large room is somewhat obstructed by

[graphic][merged small]

pillars, but it is most conveniently arranged, with large cases for the deposit of necessary papers. On the east side of the building are the rooms for the corresponding and editorial secretaries and the treasurer, the partitions of three of them not extending to the ceiling. These rooms are light and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »