Imágenes de páginas

two parts. The first restrains us from licentiously daring to make God who is incomprehensible, the subject of our senses, or to represent him under any visible form. The second prohibits us from paying religious adoration to any images." Also in Turretin, Locus 11, Questio 10; we read; “Precepts secondo duo prohibentur, tum facere Imagines religionis ergo, tum eas colere.” The italics are Turretin's. And in the Westminster Assembly's Larger Catechism, which by the way is subscribed by a large body of Christians, we are taught, that among the sins forbidden in the Second Com. mandment is, "the making any representation of God, of all, or any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever.” In short, it may be said, that the major premise of the syllogism given above, was maintained by the Reformed in opposition to the Papists and the Lutherans. And it seems to have been the opinion of many of the Fathers. The minor premise will not be disputed by missionaries, we suppose.

There are also those who contend that in the illustrations referred to, it is not God, but the man Jesus who is represented; and therefore such illustrations are not objectionable. There remains this difficulty, however; we know that our Saviour was "God manifest in the flesh," 1 Tim. 3: 26. And does it not savor too much of a forbidden thing, if even granting the possibility, we thus try to put asunder the two natures which God has joined together in that mysterious Person?

Moreover it is said, The Second Commandment does not forbid the mere making of images of God, but the making in order to use them in worship. Well, grant this too; and still we find that those who speak thus have a feeling, that the one use made even of the representations approved of must be carefully guarded. And why? Because the History of the Church abundantly proves that the tendencies of images are dangerous. Beside, many of this class would at once reject a statue of Christ as idolatrous. But is a statue any more an image than a picture? Already the Church of God has suffered-who can tell how much ?-from a baptized idolatry. Then, shall we tempt History to repeat itself here in China ? By multiplying the representations of our Lord Jesus, we may put stumbling-blocks in the way of those we would rescue from idolatry; we may give occasion to the heathen to cast in our teeth that we too have our images; we may induce that familiarity which breeds contempt even for what is sacred. There certainly are lines of prohibition which ought to be observed. Let us seek them till we find them, and having found, let us observe them.

One more consideration ought not to be passed by. The fact is, that we are without any authentic description of the personal appearance of our Lord. It is not uncommon for biographers to tell how their heroes looked; but the Gospels give us nothing of the sort, so that their silence at once precludes and condemns the attempts of painters to gives us a true likeness of the God-man.

We may say, then, of every such representation of Jesus, that it is merely a creature of the imagination; and the probability is, that it is a lie. What if one were to make an image, graven or painted, of an ideal English lady well advanced in years, and say this is a likeness of her majesty Queen Victoria ? We would think it rather dishonest, would we not? Yet the difference between this case and the one specially before us, so far as right is concerned, is slight, if there be a difference at all.

So then, on grounds of Scripture, on grounds of expediency, and on grounds of common honesty, representations of our Saviour are of questionable propriety. Is it right for us to encourage them?

Hangchow, April 5th, 1886.

FEBRUARY 218 T, 1866–86.


In China, one can plainly see
Shonld China Weddings always be.
Unnoticed hitherto have been
Our weddings, wooden, crystal, tin;
Assemble, Friends, around our board,
List to the tale in memory stored.
This natal and this wedding day
Marks a new milestone in Life's way.

Of those who in that crowd were found,
To-day, some stand on mission ground;
Perhaps to them our silent deed
Was like a grain of goodly seed,
Which, in their hearts, then taking root,
Grew, and produced, thereafter, fruit.

To-day, just twenty years ago,
We glided o'er the crispy snow;
The great Church bell with clangor loud,
Had summoned swift an eager crowd.
Silent they sat, and did us scan,
As we the Church-aisle gauntlet ran.
Then we before the pastor stood,
In prime of man and womanhood,
Repeated each the solemn vow,
('Twas binding then, 'tis binding now,)
To cherish, keep, protect, and love,
Till death remove our souls above.

It was but twenty years ago ;
The scars of war were healing slow;
We bade our native land fare well,
And ventured on the billow's swell,
In slender, graceful, clipper ship,
That promised us a speedy trip.
One hundred days had passed away,
Ere we caught sight of Old Cathay.
We slowly crept along the coast,
The hot air stifled us almost;
At length, slow Peiho's stream within,
We anchor cast at Tsz Chu Lin.
Here we would stop, nor longer roam;
This place we planned should be our homo.

At journey's end, with gratitude

A home for bandits fierce to dwell,
We turned us to our “ Daily Food;" Or fitting place for hermit cell.
And courage Alled us as we read
The portion for the day, which said Ascending now to Mongol land,
“If thou do good and trust God's hand,

On Hannor's signal mounds we stand, Thou shalt dwell safely in the land;

Made by some lost mysterious race, In time of famine shalt be fed,

Whose wårlike habits here we trace. And always by His eye be led.”

The column tall, of signal smoke,

Full five score miles the danger ke. We struggled hard, with inward groans, To speak correctly all the tones;

Lo what a scene of grandeur wild ! To get the Northern Mandarin

Bleak mountain on bleak mountain piled, Clear cut, as spoken at Tientsin.

And stretching in a billowy maze,
In broken China was our talk;

Far as bewildered eye can gaze.
Slow we progressed, with many a balk.
But now uprose the pillar clond,

But come we now to Mongol plains
And spoke a voice in accents loud,

Refreshed by timely summer rains, “Tarry ye not in all the plain.”

And covered o'er with verdure green,

Where countless flocks and herds are seen Not heedless of the high behest,

The Mongol, on his hardy steed,
We turned our footsteps to the West; Rides swift around at break-neck speed.
Zigzagging o'er the mountains tall, Within the fold, the vast herds go,
We saw the famous Chinese Wall.

And rest secure from prowling foe.
Through rocky gap, brisk commerce flows,
Men flock for wealth-a city grows,

Then we, who have a curious bent,
Where Mongols come their goods to barter, Will want to see the nomad's tent;
And shopmen strive to catch a Tartar. So nearing, with a loud “Mendu,"

We bring the host his guests to view, Here we have dwelt a score of years, Who barking dogs sends to the rear, And memory the place endears.

And bids us lay aside our fear. Young olive plants around us stand, The traveller will thirsty be, In number half of Jacob's band;

And drink with relish poor brick tea, On shorter Catechism bred,

Or take instead, if thus he please, On healthful, highland oatmeal fed;

A cup of milk, and fresh made cheese. Shall it be said of them when grown, That Kalgan children lack back bone ? The guest who all these sights has seen,

Will not forget our mountains green, When wilting in the summer heat,

But joyfully will he repeat The Peking pilgrim turns his feet

His visit to our cool retreat. To cooler climes, we stop his quest,

Loved parents, since our marriage day, And welcome give the weary guest,

To higher realms have passed away. He, from Mt. Williams' lofty seat,

We often, walking through the street, May see the city at his feet.

Old faces miss, new faces meet. Then he should form a well-fixed plan Men quickly come, they quickly go, To quaff the spring at Tísz Er Shan;

Probation's short to all below. His fainting strength he will review

The harvest fields are fully white, Beneath the shade at Yung Fêng Bu.

Fast flies the day, quick comes the night. If tired of the haunts of men, Let him retreat to Gulick's Glen, The place of all the world the best To us 'twas given to respond To picnic with invited guest,

To call from regions far beyond; In shadow of the mountains tall,

The thought that most our spirit cheers, Beside the gorge's mossy wall.

Is that we're Gospel pioneers. Amidst the craggy rocks we view

On Mission field we've spent life's prime, The lily red, the larkspur blue.

To us remains brief space of time; If food and rest our strength restore, Onward we'll go as we've begun, We can mysterious caves explore;

Immortal till our work is done.

Kalgan, North China.




By this

VILLAGES of several hundred families of this peculiar people are

located among the less accessible hills just beyond the “North Range," fifteen miles from the East gate of Foochow. A visit to them need not occupy more than a day and a half, and might be planned as follows:-Leave Foochow (Nantai) at 12 M. sharp and go up the large Pehling road. Four miles from the summit of Pehling is a small village (consisting entirely of inns) called Muiliang. Here one can spend the night in comparative comfort, provided it is not in the tea season when every corner is occupied by tea carriers. The next morning after breakfast, Uong-tu-gaung or Lieng-bah-yong can be reached by an hour's walk, and the whole forenoon spent in the very homes of the “ Sia Bo.” Leaving them at 12 M. sharp, one can reach Nantai before dark. arrangement the traveller avoids the offensive buckets which make his recreation a torture if he is found anywhere on the road between the city and the mountains during the forenoon. May the first one who follows this itinerary meet with as kindly treatment and as much grandeur of natural scenery as fell to the good fortune of the writer ; may he meet fewer buckets, and more communicative aborigines; finally, may he like myself have a traveling companion whose interest in everything that is to be seen and learned never wavers under the hardships of traveling in Fuhkien. He will not fail to give the readers of the Recorder fuller "notes" with less introduction, than I can offer this time.

1.-We saw those of the surnames Loi (shell) and Lang (basket) only. They told us at many places that the Bwang (plate) family had “not yet arrived” but did not explain the delay. Their Chinese neighbours say that they have been granted an additional surname by imperial rescript for matrimonial convenience, but of this the Sia themselves said nothing.

2.—The men dress in all respects like the common Chinese, but the women no more so than the Japanese or Lew Chew islanders. The remarkable head-dress of the latter constitutes a real focus of curiosity and consists of a tin or silver tube from onehalf to two inches in diameter and from four to six inches in length. This is laid lengthwise on the crown of the head and the hair packed in and around it. It is pierced by the beam of a miniature anchor made of wood, silver, or horn, the head of which extends to

[ocr errors]

the shoulder blades. It is pierced at the other end by a plain piece of metal that extends about a foot in front of the eyes. From this point are suspended bright colored tassels and strings of beads that extend over the shoulders to the head of the anchor. The tassels and strings of beads together hide the face almost as effectually as the veil worn by Turkish women, and must be highly injurious to the eye-sight. It is also a badge of matrimony, the girls wearing their hair like the Chinese. Noticing some exceptionally pretty head-ornaments, we were told that the wearer had just been married. We tried to buy a set and offered a high price but the price demanded was always much beyond our figure, or they would declare that if they sold their head-ornaments they could not do up their hair next day as they had but the one set. When seen in crowds, as on one occasion while I was preaching, these women present a most picturesque appearance.

3.-The young women and the males have milder features than the Chinese; the old women remind one of the Indian squaw. The women do the hardest work and seem cheerful and happy. They gave us a serenade, and when asked what the subject of their song was, they replied : “When we gather wood on the mountains we sing of gathering wood, when reaping in harvest we sing of reaping, when hoeing in the garden we sing of hoeing. We usually sing at our work.” Their singing had all the sweetness, trills, and long even strains characteristic of impromptu composition. It bore little resemblance to the Foochow singing, but a great deal to the Cantonese I have heard.

4.— They intermarry to some extent with the Chinese, the women concerned being obliged to change their costume with their

The Chinese took pride in saying: “We take their daughters in marriage but do not give them ours." The Sia admitted that they rarely marry Chinese girls. Their marriage ceremonies &c. are in all respects the same as those of the Chinese with the exception that the bridal robe is of imperial yellow instead of red.

5.–On the 15th of the 8th moon they worship their ancestor Gó Sing Dá in the ancestral hall. There was no image of him in the house where we spent the night. Our inn-keeper at Muiliang told us that the Sia have an image of their dogheaded ancestor which they hang on the wall on the last day of the year and worship it on the first day of the new year. “After this it is kept locked up as they are ashamed to let others see it.” The common people among them converse freely on their peculiar history and customs, but the higher classes are distant and reticent. We found them



« AnteriorContinuar »