16 JUNE 1838, Page 18

nions, and language of the Chinese, he proceeded to Canton,

and, tracts. His volume contains a narrative of this voyage; a brief

" We have reached a most anxious and decisive moment," said I ; " for in a man, well acquainted with his subject, and testing and enforcing people so far as it goes, or so completely pictured their internal

"I do not know," I replied. lish acres under cultivation ; since which period, a new estimate has given " The gentleman is a prisoner like ourselves," Borsieri hastened to say ; " be 640,579,381 English acres, as the total extent of occupied land in China. Thus " When I left him—" in arable land, and devoted to the production of food for man alone. In China, " What ! then you were with this good Gaetano, whom I love as a brother, the natives make no use of butter or cheese, and very seldom of milk ; the prin- and whom I have destroyed in my anxiety to save him. Ah, were it but pm- cipal animal food is pork, which is generally home-fed ; they have few horses sib,e that be is not to share our fate ! Might we but hope from this delay that for travelling, pomp, or war ; and the only cattle they keep are such as are LB sentence is not severe. Alas, I am deceived, for here he comes." needed in husbandry : hence, there are no grazing farms, no meadows, and very Pallavicini threw himself into the arms of his friend, whom he embraced little pasture; while every acre of ground, capable of cultivation, is turned up

with emotion. Both of them then returned to us. by the spade or the plough in order to afford sustenance for the teeming Mlle- " Do you know whether Coufalonieri will come soon ?" asked Borsieri in a bitants. The few beasts of burden Of of draught which they keep, are either low tone, addressing himself to Castillia. tethered to a string by the side of the road, or turned out to graze on the hills; "I cannot tell : when I passed through the corridor, I saw the physician while they are supplied by night with a little straw or bean-stalks, which is Loeatelli enter his prison : they say that he cannot be removed, but that Sal- also their principal food during the winter. A common is quite unusual

votti will have ,him brought here, dead or alive." throughout the Eastern half of China; while parks and pleasure-grounds are "How infamous ! " I exclaimed. proportionably scarce, as the anxiety to satisfy the appetite prevails over the de-

great hall, "that it is we, his friends, who have brought him here—that without The industry and skill of the Chinese, striving to produce as many of the us he would be still enjoying liberty—that our country would not have lost its necessaries of life as possible, would also argue a dense population, ever strug. great man, its first ciez ,n—and that now he will probably die on the scaffold OD Ong against threatening want, and compelled to exert themselves for their daily

our account ! " bread. In tropical climates, where the ground is fertile and the population " His death is certain," I remarked in a sorrowful tone, scanty, the natives find that by a few months' labour they can produce suet- " I hoped that our retractations might have saved him," replied Borsieri. cient food for a whole year's consumption, and are therefore indisposed to exert

"Our retractatione, alas ! are conic too late," added Pallavicini. " Confab. themselves further. But in China, the inhabitants are incessantly employed; nieri will perish. If he should die without embracing me and assuring me of and every individual is obliged to be busy in contributing his quota to the corn'

hie forgiveness, I should abandon myself to de pair." mon weal. Every one in the least acquainted with the manners of the Chinese,

The door opened—it might be himself. We advanced—every one of us. knows that they are untiring in their exertions to maintain themselves and fa-

" It is Tonnelli," cried Borsieri. Indies. In the business of agriculture they are more particularly active, rais- A young man entered slowly, whose care-worn features, sallow complexion, ing two crops from the ground every year, extending their cultivation in every and tottering limbs announced the exaustion of all vital energy. possible direction, and bringing the most unpromising spots into use, in order "We have mistaken you for Confalouieri." that nothing may be lost. Their skill in effecting these objects is not, coot- " I am only Tonnelli of Cocaglio, wretched for having fallen into the snares dering their few advantages, contemptible. They thoroughly understand the of Salvotti, and contributed to the condemnation of one whose loss Italy must importance of varying the crops ; they know perfectly well the seasons and for ever deplore." soils adapted for certain pi oductions ; aud they are fully sensible of the lamer-

The tone of sincere repentance with which he pronounced these words had a tance of manuring the ground in order to maintain its fertility. A stranger is striking effect on all who beard them. His pale thin face resumed its anima- struck with this on first setting his foot on the shores of China. Almost every tion, as if his soul had been relieved of its oppressive burden by this confession, individual met with in the paths and fields is provided with a basket and a Supporting himself on the arm of one of his companions, he then advanced to rake; and every evening the cottager brings home a certain quantity to add to the immense chimney, where a space was left him by the gendarmes. He there the niest heap, which is a most important appendage to every dwelling. Having sat down, placed his hands ou his knees, and remained so perfectly still that he but few sheep and cattle, they ate obliged to make the most of the stercoraceous almost appeared lifeless. . -pi_ .. sl,..1-..! stock of men and swine. This is carefully collected, and actually sold at so This spectral figure, surrounded by gendarmes, whose arms reflected the light much per pound ; while whole strings of city scavengers may be seen cheerily that glared from the blazing fire—the groops of policemen, gaolers, and commis- posting into the country every successive morning with their envied aquas- series, who were talking in a low voice, or going in and out, with a kind of none; little heeding the olfactory nerves of the less interested passengers. mystery—all this assemblage of individuals, whose dress accorded but too well Every other substance likely to answer the end is anxiously collected and care' with their conditiou, gave to the gloomy chapel a most terrific aspect. fully disposed, so as to provide for future exigencies; such as decayed animal The translation is entitled to high praise. It has the force, the and vegetable matter, the sweepings of streets, the mud of canals, burnt boues,

lime ; awl, what is not a little singular, the short, stumpy human hair, shaven

freedom, and the spirit of an English original; and this merit is

from millions of heads every ten days, is iudagriously gathered up, and sold

We pushed on in our course, till we came to a row of houses which lined the beach, and had just proceeded through one small street, when the arrival of the chief mandarin and his retinue was announced : on looking round, we saw the officers landing from the boat, and found it necessary to halt, in order to receive them in a proper manner. The police tampers made is as for their superiors, by beating rutiongat the crowd, right and left, in a most unceremonious manner ; and then we could perceive three or four welbilressed amid welbfed gentlemen walking up the beach with a dignified air towards us. The officer in attendance pointed to his superiors, and wished us to go down to the beach to meet theni ; but we thought it more suitable to stand where we were, and await their ap- proach. On a nearer view, we found that one of thou was adorned with a light blue button on his cap, while the rest wore flowered gold buttons, as die

badges of their office. The first of these was ascertained to be a tsan-tseang, or sub-colonel; the second was a civil mandarin, froin the district of \Van-tang, about twenty miles off, and the rest were subalterns. When they approached, the civil mandarin became the chief speaker; and putting on a stern countenance, asked us, in an angry tone, from whence we came and what was our busiuess ? We told him to what country we belonged, and said that our object was to do good, by distributing books and dispensing mediciues. Ile suggested that we should put off to one of the junks in the har- bour, and hold a conference on the subject ; which we promised to do after our books were distributed. Having said this, we made a move, and took a few steps inland. They then placed themselves between us and the town, and said that we could not be permitted to proceed in that direction. The ground on which we trod was the Celestial Empire; and the Emperor who commanded all under heaven had given strict orders that no foreigners should be allowed to go a single step into the interior. We said, if this were the Celestial Empire, arid comprised all under heaven, then we, as dwelling under heaven, were subjects of the Emperor, and entitled to his protection ; we should therefore proceed but a little way and return.

Here they. took hold of our bands, and said that they could not allow us to proceed, as It was absolutely forbidden by the laws. I iron which we remon- strated against their rude behaviour ; and said, that those laws were made for lawless people and robbers who would injure and destroy all they came near, but we were civil and gentle persons, who came to do no harm, and designed to effect as much good as possible. With this they softened their tone, and eaid that they were far from thinking ill of us or our intentions; but such were the commands of their superiors, which they had no power to alter, and dared not disobey. Finding them a little pacified, we said that the open beach, sur- rounded by a dense crowd, was not a proper place for gentlemen to converse on matters of business; and the least they could do would be to invite us into a house and present us with a little tea and confectionary, when we might talk over these affairs in a proper way. To this the colonel replied, that we might go to the temple hard by, and sit awhile. The civil officer opposed this sternly, saying that it would be very iniproper to allow us any indulgence. We, how- ever, caught at the old gentleman's word, and said, "To the temple, to the temple !' and the crowd reechoing the expression, made way for us to pass, while some of them showed the way. The temple was situated un a rising ground, a little above the village; and we proceeded with a quick pace towards it. On arriving, we found that we were considerably before the mandarins, and that a path-way lay before Us which led further up into the country ; so, without appearing to notice the temple, or to heed the loud cries of the people, we stalked on, with stoical indif- ference and rapid strides, till we left the mandarins, policemen, crowd, anti all, far in the rear ; and kept on, over fie!ds and fume, to the foot of a hill; this we ascended, and nearly gained the sutnmit before we stopped to look round on the world below. One of the police-runnets, with great difficulty, kept up with us, complaining of our rapid pace and unusual course. By degrees, one and

This subject is further continLed in these


ID their dress, the Chinese are alike anxious to economize the soil. Barrow says, that " an acre of cotton will clothe two or three hundred persons; " and

as cotton can be planted between the rice crops, and thus vary the productions and relieve the soil, the Chinese prefer such clothing as they can raise at the least expense of ground and labour. Were the hundreds of millions of China to he clothed in woollens, an immense tract of grazing land would be required,

which would deduct materially from the area devoted to food, and greatly ex. eeed what the Chinese could tiffiod. In their dwellings, likewise, they are par-

ticularly frugal of room : living together in mm very entail compass, and crowd. jog into closely-bnilt cities, as though ground with 'them were an object of great moment. A room twenty feet square would afford sufficient space for a dozen people to eat, drink, work, trade, and sleep ; while the streets of their towns and cities are so narrow that it is quite possible to touch each side of the way with the hand as you pass along. Now if we compare this frugality with the extravagance of European nations in regard to romm—living on beef and mut- ton, and wearing woollen clothes,—we may easily see that the ground which would sustain one Englishman would he sufficient for the support of three or four Chinese. Amongst such a selfish and sensual people so much economy would not be chserved did not stern recessity compel ; and what greater neces- sity can exist than the difficulty of sustaining a crowded population from a con- tracted soil ?

Mr. MEDIIURST'S account of tile different missions to the East- ern Archipelago and China are brief, but sufficient, and contain some incidental points to which we shall presently refer. The narrative of his voyage along the coast is lively and informing ; though perhaps it adds little to our general knowledge, beyond what the trips of GUTZLAFFE ard LINDSAY have left. Where be land,d, he mostly found the people willing, and very often anxious to receive the books be eare away ; but whether all were stimulated by the desire of reading them, may be questioned, fur even in the •MissionaWs brief sojourns he saw some of the vo- lumes he had just distributed exposed for stile in a shop. Indi- vidually, a few of the public oflieers were liberal in their Views; but as a body, the laws of the empire rendered them all averse to the Missionary's intercourse with the natives. The display of this aversion varied, according to the natural disposition of the autho- rities and the strength at their conunand, from subterfuge to argu- ment and remonstiance, with an occasional disposition to passive resistance. But they were universally civil and forbearing, be their motives fear or what they might. The perseverance and diplomatic skill displajed in the following passage may be admired, and everybody must admit the excellent disposition of the Mission- ary Societies and the propriety of their objects. But we doubt the political prudence of these trips, in the present delicate state of our commercial relations with the court of Pekin, and that too in an empire so vast, so civilized—with a local governmi nt so well orga- nized that the visit of our author to one part of the coast was known at his next landing-place before his arrival.

another of his brethren came in sight, out of breath, but not of patience; and sitting down by us, asked us, very pleasantly and familiarly, if we liked the appearance of the country, and whether the prospect bore any resemblance to the scenery of our native land ?

If these roving expeditions were likely to accomplish their object, the merely prudential view might be blown aside; but it

is very doubtful whether China, in its existing circumstances, is

likely to furnish a harvest for the Christian missionary. With a

favourable Government, and the influence which springs from moral power, very little has been done in India. In China both these are against us. The Government is hostile to Christianity and its teachers, if native; and if foreign, additionally hostile as foreigners. Though the people may admire our superiority in certain points, yet on the whole they look down upon us as bar- barians—pretty much, perhaps, as an old John Bull looked down upon a Frenchman. We cannot instruct the Chinese in the arts of living, as we have instructed the savages of the South Seas;

for in many of these arts they excel us. We cannot impress them with a general notion of intellectual superiority ; because their habits associations, literature, and criticism, are so different from

ours, that they cannot without great difficulty be comprehended by the mass, and not relished by the most learned and en- larged mind. The Chinese are a generally-educated people,—

at least, education is far more widely diffused than in England; and they are quick and apt in argument. Their apathy or scep-

ticism, too, opposes an almost insuperable obstacle. It is not indeed strictly true, as some divines allege, that the Chinese are a nation of Atheists; for each of their three religions inculcates S ( me sort of theology, and allows or requires some ceremonial forms to the memory of ancestors, or the incarnated powers of nature. The people, however, are so far practically Atheists, that they consider the "be all and the end all, here ;" deny- ing all future states of existence, or rather, deeming it too vision- ary and vague fur consideration : "not knowing the state of the living,' said CONFUCIUS to a too speculative disciple, "how can you know the state of the dead? " And the main article of the most superstitious sect is, that "every thing will finally be re- solved into nothing." Another bar is the national character,— shrewd and worldly in itself, and rendered more so by the inces- sant struggle in which each man is involved for subsistence, or fur station, every post in China depending upon personal merit ; and which qualities, when engaged with the most accomplished diplo- matists of Europe, sometimes come off victorious, even without making allowance for European biases or habits of judgment.

The very language is at present against us. It is supposed that no Chit.ese word conveys the Jewish or Christian idea of God ; the term used denoting a "spirit, or intelligence." Neither can gin in a theological sense be conveyed to the understanding, its substitute being " crime; " so that those who are free from Chinese notions of crime, when they can be persuaded to consider the subject at all, meet it in limine by "I do not need a Saviour."

Present experience confirms these views. MRDHURST and GUTZLAFFE both own that, in China Proper, though they were fre-

quently listened to, few were impressed ; the people interrupted the discourse in its most important parts with some secular question; or it was found by subsequent conversation, that whilst the Mis- sionary had been aiming at saving their souls, the soul had been scrutinizing the teacher's garments. In the Indian Archi- pelago, amongst the Chinese settlers, the progress hitherto made has been small, notwithstanding the advantages of long time and constant opportunity. Devoid of the strong religious feelings which prevail in the United Kingdom, the Chinese will send their children to any school, and let them learn any

6thing. It appears that they do not even object to pay towards education establishments; and tbey contribute with tolerable

liberality to hospitals. But few converts have been made amongst youth ; and the adults generally oppose to all attempts a philoso- phical or a vulgar indifference. The majority of the so-called converts appear to look at the Scriptures with curiosity as a system of theology, or with admiration as a speculative code of morals, excellent but impracticable. If occasionally a more zealous par-

tisan takes up the cudgels against the Christians, he wields them, Mr. MEDHURST admits, very skilfully, in the judgment of the Chinese.

We will support these facts by a few extracts. Here is part of a dialogue with a Confucian, who began rather angrily, in conse- quence of an attack upon the merits of the great founder of his sect-- At length, softening down, he said, "I see, Sir, that your anxiety to instruct the Chinese originates in a kind intention; but your books are tilled with a few cunuing remarks on an abstruse subject, mixed tip with much that is unfounded. Our ancient philosophers taught the doctrine of filial piety, but left the myste• rims subject of spiritual beings alone, as not intimately connected with the happiness of the people. In your books, every expression tends to this point ; while the duties of the human relations are seldom referred to. This is neglect. ing the important and caring about the insignificant. Confucius cautioned men against paying too much attention to religious ceremonies, and forbade their flattering the gods to procure protection ; but if ignorant people will busy themselves in begging for Liles:tinge, they only squander their own time and motley and do no harm to others; why then truuble one's-self about them? The religious practices of men are as various as their minds ; let every one lot- low his own iuclinations, and not interfere with 'Ahem"

• • • • • •

When Jesus and his sufferings become the theme, the missionary is generally left to pursue his obsei 'ration* undisturbed, as they have seldom any thing to urge against the Gospel plan of salvation. This is because they cannot see themselves sinners; or at least such sinners as stand in need of eternal redemp- tion; and thus, when the undertaking of a Saviour is alluded to, they wry, "It maims nut where these men begin, they are sure to end in Jesus and bra salva- tion." Sometimes they affect to recognize a resemblance between Christ's

merits and the virtnes of the goddess Kwan-yin, who by her fasting and auste- rities rescued her family for several generation, from the pains of hell. At other times they observe, that their ancient sages did but tell them to be good, and there left them ; but the Deliverer of the West gave up himself for the sal- vation of the world, by which means pardon may be extended to the guilty, and the evil be made good. Most of them, however, pass over the subject in silence ; or in the midst of a solemn discourse interrupt the speaker with some Irrelevant question about his age, travels, or family ; evidently showing that they have no heart to the doctrine propounded. It has no charm, no interest with them ; and they say, with Esau, What good shall thin' birthright do to inc ?" • • C •

The tracts on the feasts of the Chinese, bearing so directly on their supersti- tions, had awakened all the wrath of the advocates of idolatry ; and one of them sat down to write a tint against the missionary. In this he argued, that it was monstrous in barbarians to attempt to improve the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire, when they were so miserably deficient thenuelves. Thus, in- troducini5 among the Chinese the poisonous drug, opium, for their own benefit to the injury of others, they were deficient in benevolence ; sending their flsets and armies to rob other nations of their possessions, they could make no pre- tensions to rectitude; allowing men and women to mix in society and walk arm in arm through the streets, they showed that they had not the least sense of propriety ; and rejecting the doctrines of the ancient kings, they were far from displaying wisdom : indeed, truth was the only good quality to which they could lay the least claim. Deficient, therefore, in four out of five of the cardinal vir- tues bow could dry expect to renovate others? Then, while foreigners lavished much money in circulating books for the renovation of the age, they made no scruple of trampling printed paper under foot; by which they showed their dis- respect for the invereors of letters. Further, these would-be exhorters of the world were themselves deficient in filial piety; forgetting their parents as soon as dead, putting them off with deal coffins only an inch thick, and never so much as once sacrificing to their manes, or burning the smallest trifle of gilt

i paper for their support n the future world. And lastly, they allow the rich and noble to enter office without passing through the literary examinations, and did not throw open the road to advancement to the poorest and meanest in the laud; by all which it appeared, that foreigners were inferior to the Chinese, and therefore the most unfit to instruct them.

These occurrences took place amongst the colonists. Here is an incident or two during the running voyage along the coast of China— Their anxiety to obtain books, however, must not in the least be ascribed to any knowledge of or relish for their contents; hut merely to an eager curiosity to get possession of something that came from abroad, and an insatiable cupidity to obtain what was to be had for nothing. After having supplied them libe- rally, we stood up in the midst of the threshing-floor, and, with a loud voice, proclaimed the news of salvation to the listening throng. We told them of /God's pity to mankind in sending his own Son to save our sinful race, and detailed to them the relation of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our blessed Saviour ; in obedience to whose command we were come to testify the glad tidings of great joy in their ears. One man, who had listened attentively, exclaimed, " Oh, you are come to propagate religion?" Just so, we replied ;

and happy will you be if you receive it. • • •

Finding us determined, he left us, when another began. "You speak of this Jesus as a Saviour ; pray whom does he save?" "All who believe," we re- plied. He resumed : " You talk of the forgiveness of sins ; shall I obtain the forgiveness of sins by reading this book ?" "If you follow its directions, and believe in the holy Saviour, you will." "What will this Saviour bestow on those who trust in him?" " He will take them to heaven." "Have you believed?' "1 hope I have." " Has he taken you to heaven ?" "I trust he will when I die. ' "Die! oh, you have to wait till death for all this : give me present enjoyment; who cares what will happen after death, when conscious- ness ceases?" Su saying, he turned away.

We had marked several other passages, both of a religious and a secular kind; but we must stop here, with a general recom- mendation of China, its Slate and Prospects, so that if our view is wrong the reader may set himself right. Its author is not only an able and observing man but a Christian of enlarged and tole- rant mind, who even renders full justice to the Roman Catholic missions,—a worthy servant of the London Missionary Society whose fundamental principle is "not to send any form of church government, about which there may be a difference of opinion amongst serious Christians, but the gospel, to the heathea.'