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He next criticises Ricci's conversations between a Confucianist and a Christian. He says that Ricci in adducing the testimonies of the Chinese classics to the existence and government of God knew that he must not oppose Confucianism. In attacking Buddhism he showed a desire for victory in argument.

But the metem psychosis of the Buddhists resembles the heaven and hell he himself teaches. He alters the Buddhist doctrine slightly but in its essence it is the same. In noticing another work he says that the Christians copy Buddhism when they teach that life and death are transitory, and that retribution for good and bad actions follows by infallible necossity and yet they refuse to accept as it stands the Buddhist metempsychosis, or the prohibition to kill and the injunction of celibacy. This is in order that they may come nearer to Confucianism teaching and excite no indignant opposition from the Confucian public. If this book be compared with Tien chu shi yi, the conversations just mentioned, it is not so utterly mistaken and false, and it shews more cunning in its compilation. The one is like the Buddhist books of prayers. The other is like the Buddhist books on contemplative theology.

The same critic proceeds to speak of a treatise by Julius Aloni on western academic training. To this book Aloni added an appendix on the Nestorian tablet recently discovered in his time A. D. 1683. The critic labors to prove that the religion of the tablet being the same as that of the European missionaries Persia must really be their country and the Persian religion that of Zoroaster must be their religion. The fact that this author should make an appeal to a monument of the Tang dynasty was a sufficient proof that his religion would not spread through the empire for there has never been an instance of this. They ought to have a firmer and broader basis. Unhappily, he adds, the literati of China since the reign of Wan li, A. D. 1600, have given so much attention to the new doctrine of the mind i sin biou and have printed so many works of Buddhist and half Buddhist logical discussions , yü lu, that they have had no time left for historical inquiries into facts by which they might hinder the spead of depraved doctrines. As to the idea working in the mind of the Chinese author when he wrote in this way it seems to be that the Christian religion was partly Buddhist and partly Persian and that the Confucianist by shewing this with the help of historical researches might prevent the spread of Christianity, for certainly, none of the Chinese literati when convinced of srch a fict would accept Christianity.

In noticing a work on the soul by Pi Fang-chi a European missionary and Sü Kwang-chi a Christian grand secretary he says

the soul, anima is treated of under four heads, its nature, and powers, its value, its aptitude for the service of God, the blessed. ness of that service. This he remarks is just the Buddhist teaching respecting the perception of the internal better nature, by the neophyte. At that time on account of the popularity of the half Buddhist school of Wang sheu jen and his colleagues the Europeans made a study of the Buddhist books and the system they advocate is the result. They wished to suit their doctrines to the taste of the times.

The missionaries of two centuries ago were under a great disadvantage in teaching science. They could only teach what was then current. They taught therefore the four elements fire, air, earth, and water, as they were received from Aristotle who again followed the Ionian school, and the Ionian school the Chaldean and Egyptian. The Chinese critic objects that there were five elements, and wood and metal were just as worthy of being called elements as the other three. Also the fact that there are five planets in his view proved quite satisfactorily and conclusively that China was right. He therefore condemns the pbilosophy of four elements. What would this writer say now when there are sixty-three elements? When the planets have become so numerous as they are now known to be and fire is no longer allowed to be an element because every substance may give the impression of heat if only its separate atoms are in a very rapid state of motion within a small space ?

Our position at the present time is much better. Our knowledge of nature has advanced greatly and science has immensely improved. The false science of the Chinese schools of medicine, of astrology, of geomancy, of astronomy, can now be more easily shown to be wrong than was formerly possible and the Chinese can be with less difficulty persuaded to abandon their traditional beliefs. The Christian advocate at present occupies a most favorable position and Confucian criticism if it still maintains its attack must arm itself with an artillery of an entirely new and more efficient kind.

7.-The change of attitude towards Christianity adopted by the Confucianists in our own age.

The view of Christianity now held by the literati is more moderate than in preceeding centuries. Till lately Christianity was a depraved religion classed wiih Buddhism at the best. Now it is stated in the treaties to be a religion which exhorts man to virtue and ought not to be persecuted. In the earlier published criticisms of literary men, Christianity was represented as a depraved religion. When classed with Manicheanism and the Persian religion, this classification involved its being among prohibited religions. Chinese

laws are very comprehensive. They include all possible cases and varieties of crime and leave much too great a discretion to the judge. Thus all associations for religious purposes whether Buddhist or Tanist in principle are by law prohibited. The Pai yang, Pai lien, Hung yang, Pa kwa, for instance are expressly mentioned, and the words “ with every such association” are added. All are liable to severe penalties. Witchcraft is defined as the pretended bringing down of depraved spirits from the sky, the writing of charms, the use of charmed water, supporting the phoenit while characters are written with chopsticks, praying to departed sages, together with assembling disciples to burn incense. All these things are prohibited and one general sentence is added, by which all kinds of left handed teaching and heretical principle by which the people are deluded are alike forbidden. No persons concerned in such things can find shelter under the law. The penalties are clearly expressed. Strangling for the leaders. Banishment to Mahommedan Tartary for those, who aid and abet. The very act of dressing up images, to carry in procession with drums and gongs is made a crime punishable with a hundred blows and the village elder is to receive forty. Such is Chinese law which thus prohibits every new religious movement and all special assembles for religious purposes not distinctly belonging to the three religions. This law is made obsolete and justly so by the toleration clauses in the treaties.

Hitherto the literati in speaking of Christianity and Christians have freely used such terms as Yi twan Shan hwo min jen,

A , and 15 sie chiau. By so doing they have shown that they regarded Christianity as deserving to be persecuted, for depraved instruction is illegal. Christians must as a duty, not to be foregone, meet in assemblies for worship and read religious books of foreign origin. In so doing they were before the age of treaties guilty of illegal acts. But the treaties have added beneficent clauses to Chinese legislation and by securing toleration to Christianity they have also by easy inference thrown a shield over all the native religious sects. Although humane emperors have issued edicts of a tolerant character and humane magistrates have agreed not to interfere with the prohibited sects, yet the law breathes a spirit of determined intolerance. The toleration clauses in the treaties are the first instance of an enlightened religious freedom and they really open up a new era under which the Christian religion may enjoy extraordinary prosperity. That I am not wrong in thus stating the severity of the statute book in regard to religious liberty, is shown by the penalties to which magistrates are liable under

whose jurisdiction religious meetings have been held. It is a case of mal-administration if any magistrate fails to apprehend the guilty parties in such cases or give them a document permitting them to hold meetings, or post a placard of a protective character. Magistrates of all grades up to the viceroy are punished with loss of rank or of salary, for the law intends to be severe on all religious meetings.

All these things shew that in future there will be a marked improvement, and that as an acourate knowledge of the situation extends among magistrates in all parts of the country the condition of the Christians must be greatly ameliorated. The magistrates have grown up in the use of a statute book of great severity, and of a legal language which is plentifully supplied with opprobrious epithets for respectable persons guilty of no crime. Every anomaly in religious belief can be branded at once with infamy by some ugly phrase. The magistrate does not readily change his standpoint nor do the people. But toleration clauses and treaty stipulations will gradually produce a soothing effect. Not only will the Christians share in this advantage but the native sects also, because administrative toleration will become more and more a habit with the magistrates when they reflect that to give satisfaction to the government they must exemplify themselves the tolerant spirit of the new era. Persecutors will have less of their own way and it will become more and more difficult for Christians to be robbed and imprisoned. Magistrates as they learn better to appreciate the new era on which China has now entered will be more willing than before to punish the persecutors rather than to aid them in annoying and ill using the Christians. New books will exhibit a more tolerant disposition in their criticisms and the improved tone of the Peking Gazette will be imitated in the works of new authors. Newspaper cri.icisms on passing events will help to ameliorate the severity of public comments on the foreign religion among the ever increasing class of new readers. New works

prepared by European translators will help to spread liberality of opinion and both religious and scientific teaching will exercise on public opinion year by year a more beneficial control.

We have on the whole every reason to believe that Chinese legislation will become more mild and beneficent and cases of persecution diminish in number until gradually the country and its institutions shall be completely transformed under the renovating influence of the gospel.

TIE PLEASANCE OF 0-FANG,

BY H. A. GILES., Esq.

[Built by the famous "First Emperor," soon after his accession to power, B. C. 246.

The following description is from the pen, and evidently from the imagination, of Tu Mu the poet, who flouished A. D. 803–852.]

When the Six Princes were reduced, all between the four seas became one empire. When the mountains of Szechuen were cleared, the Pleasance of 0-Fang arose.

It covered three hundred li and more. It reached upwards to the sky. From the north of the Li Hill it passed, westwards, to Hsien-yang. Two flowing rivers threaded its outer walls.

Every five steps a Kiosque; every ten, a pavilion. Verandahs below, beaked roofs above; uniting here, opposing there. Round and round and in and out, like the cells of a Honeycomb, like the eddies of a stream,-many thousands, many myriads in nuinber.

Long bridges lay over the waves ;-dragons but for want of clouds. Covered bridges spanned each gap;-rainbows but for lack of rain. There, height and depth, and east and west, were equally lost to view.

In the concert hall, warm sounds like the breath of spring. In the dancing saloon, cold breezes from swaying sleeves. In one day, in this pleasance, even the very seasons could change.

All the fair dames, and all the great nobles, leaving palace and hall, have gathered here, for song in the morning, for music at night, under the new régime.

That brilliance of stars,—'tis the flashing of mirrors. That glory of cloud,—'tis the sheen of rich tresses. That staining of rivers,-it is the wash of the rouge-pot. That dense pall of smoke,it is the burning of perfume. That jarring like thunder,—it is the roll of the chariot, heard from afar, and going one knows not whither, while there in all their beauty they stand, the Imperial ladies, watching the movements of a master it may never be their lot to see.

All that was precious, all that was beautiful, all that was rare, stolen from the people and piled up for years, one day to be no longer kept, was brought together here, were bronzes and jade and gold and pearls counted no better than pots and stone and clay and tiles, amid an abundance pushed to excess. But to the people of Ch'in what mattered this.

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