29 JULY 1905, Page 19

KENNETH SOMEILLED MACDONALD was a fighter, and came of a

fighting race. A far-away ancestor was Somerled, Lord of the Isles, who "more than once waged war on Malcolm IV., King of Scotland." His great-grandfather fought for Prince Charlie; his father came out in the Disruption. He himself had many opportunities of giving his testimony for various causes, religious and social. His education he got, more Scotico, by "hook and crook," working double tides, because he had to earn his bread while he learnt. This is an admirable discipline—for a strong man. But it takes up time. Kenneth Macdonald was twenty-three before he began his theological course, and he did not finish till he was twenty-eight, being compelled by his teaching occupations to miss a session. But he was going through an apprenticeship which, in a way, prepared him for ministerial work. He was secretary to the Free Church Temperance Society, a secretary, that is, during the University session, a missionary during the rest of the year. This latter work was done by means of long journeys on foot. He had the choice of either holding meetings or of making personal visits, and he chose the second, a decision which speaks worlds for his courage. Most men would sooner face a hostile meeting than call on a stranger of their own class and urge him to take the pledge. Mr. Macdonald recorded some amusing experiences. One minister declared that his use of alcohol was only medicinal, but allowed that this use was so frequent that he had better not join the Society ; another was willing, if only porter could be permitted to him. "Porter," as the biographer remarks, "seemed to be the moderate drinker's last ditch." It is not a position which one would defend with much * (1) Kenneth S. Macdonald, Missionary of the Free Church of Scotland, Cal- cutta. By James X. Maahail, M.A. Edinburgh : Oliphant, Anderson, and Ferrier. [5s. net.]—(2) James Legge, Missionary and Scholar. By his Daughter, Helen Edith Lags.. London: B.T.S. 8&]—(8) Dr. Komori+ : his Life and Work. Written and Edited by his Wife. London : W. Blackwood and Sons. [Lis. Sd. net.]

energy. In 1861 Mr., Macdonald became a probationer, and in the following year the desire which he had cherished for many years was fulfilled, and he went out to Calcutta. It is interesting to be told that the passage by the overland route cost £117, wine having to be paid for even if it was not consumed. At Calcutta he worked for forty years. It was a hard life in those days. The hill-stations were inaccessible. The Free Church Institution, when the new missionary was a teacher, was not furnished with punkahs ; the suggestion that a washing-basin should be provided for use in the daytime was regarded as a shameful concession to luxury. India, of course, afforded many opportunities for a man of Mr. Macdonald's temper. Dr. Johnson's dictum that the ancient philosophers "disputed with good humour because they were not in earnest as to religion" is proved, per contraria, by this biography. Dr. Macdonald was very much in earnest, and though he was not uncharitable, he was an ardent con- troversialist. He contended with the neo-Hindooism ; he contended with the Jesuits ; he contended with the Comtists, who about forty years ago seemed likely to make converts in India. When he came home for his first furlough he took an active part in the controversy of the day (1872-73), the proposed union between the Free Church and the United Presbyterians. He was on the Unionist side, but the time was not ripe. Such leaders as Drs. Begg and Horatius Bonar were adverse, and there was a strong feeling among the rank-and-file, the feeling which prompted the saying of the anti-burgher wife to the burgher husband, when articles of peace were proposed,—" We have lived a testi- feeing life a' our days, and isn't it hard we cannot end as we began ? " In 1881 Mr. Macdonald ceased to be a teacher and became an evangelist, taking for his special field the educated English-speaking community. This intro- duced him to a variety of experiences. One convert sought to impose conditions which make us realise what the struggle of Paul with the Judaisers must have been. He would be baptised, but only by a minister "who would not eat with those who are not Brahmin Christians"; for himself, besides not eating beef, in which he might have had his way, he should be allowed to "wear the Asram dress and the holy thread." He came into conflict with a great body of native opinion on "child marriages," and with the Government on street-preaching. This last was a strange affair. It was an unlucky accident that the Viceroy and the Police Commis- sioner at the time were Roman Catholics. However, after a long battle, he won his cause, which he certainly would not have done if the scene had been, not Calcutta, but Limerick. And so with a large accompaniment of literary labour, enough in itself to occupy an average man, the strenuous life went on, with enlarging sympathies and wider views. He died in harness. On July 29th, 1902, he presided at two meetings ; he was buried in the evening of the 31st, being carried to the grave by Bengali Christians. We have not had occasion to say anything of his biographer. Perhaps that is the best praise that could be given.

The life of James Legge was like and unlike that of Kenneth Macdonald. He was spared the struggle for education. His father had means, and the boy had unusual ability and energy. He finished his academic course at nineteen, winning the highest honour that his University (Aberdeen) had to bestow, —a frugal £15, half in money, half in books. He seemed marked out for a Professorship—he could translate an English passage into Latin as it was dictated—but that meant member- ship of the Established Church, and James Legge was a Seceder by birth ; and the missionary impulse dominated him. His first work was at Malacca, whither he went in his twenty- fourth year, already married. At Malacca he stayed for four years, and was then removed to Hong-kong, which had been ceded to England in 1843. Here he remained for nine- and-twenty years, carrying to completion the great work with which his name will ever be associated: the assimilation, as we may call it, of the Chinese classics. He saw that the Chinese are, in a peculiar sense, what Mahomet said of the Christians, "the people of the Book,"—i.e., of many books. "lie who would understand the Chinese nation must know its classical literature." To this work James Legge devoted himself. Eight large volumes, each edited in the best form of scholarship, with prolegomena, notes, critical and exegetical, and a translation, were the result of his labours. The best known of these are the Book of Rites—

one of the Government offices in Pekin is solely engaged in enforcing its precepts—Confucius's Spring and Autumn Record, and The Works of Mencius ; but six others came within the range of Dr. Legge's work, and he was also the editor of six volumes in Max Miiller's "Sacred Books of the East." He also busied himself in the ordinary activities of a missionary's life, and he had his share of controversy, a controversy that was curiously appropriate to his scheme of life, for it turned on the question,—what is the right Chinese equivalent for the word " God " ? The Tai-ping Rebellion was in one way the most important event in Dr. Legge's period of service. Some of us remember what hopes were raised in England of a great furtherance of Christianity by this movement. Dr. Legge always kept his head ; he knew enough of the Chinese to be sure that Tai-ping success meant increased hostility to foreigners. At the same time, his sense of justice made him protest against the help we gave to the Manchu dynasty. "The Manchus are not worthy that we should interfere in their behalf." This he wrote in 1862, and the forty-odd years that have passed since that time have scarcely falsified his judgment. A little more than ten years after this Dr. Legge came home. Three years afterwards a Chinese Professorship was established—for, him, we may say— in Oxford. He took up its duties in October, 1876, and he held it for twenty-two years. He also died in harness, keeping up his habit of rising to study at 3 a.m., though latterly with occasional intermissions, till within a month of his death. "Next to Hong-kong," he wrote to a friend, "Oxford is the most delightful place in the world." But such a man would have been happy anywhere.

This last description certainly could not have been applied to Alfred Momerie. As we read the story which his wife has told we seem to see a restless soul, too often placed among uncongenial surroundings. His childhood was spent in a home of the strictest Puritanism. He was driven in upon himself. At six—unhappy little creature !—he began to keep a diary. Of his early education we hear next to nothing, but we are told that at the age of eighteen he entered New College (Independent), and "almost immediately after- wards preached his first sermon in his father's pulpit." A sermon at eighteen ! What a perilous beginning ! There are many references to sermons, to praise and blame bestowed on them, all at a time of life when such experiences can hardly fail to be mischievous. New College did not long satisfy him. He looked to Oxford and Cambridge. But here his parents stood firm, and he went to Edinburgh, where be won various distinctions. At last Cambridge became possible, —he was then twenty-seven. (There is a certain parallelism between this story and that of Kenneth Macdonald. Both men had to struggle for their education, but Macdonald bad the happier lot, for he had to contend only with outward obstacles.) His Cambridge career was a success, ending in the senior place in the Moral Science Tripos, a University Prize, and a Fellowship at St. John's. In 1878 he was ordained by Bishop Fraser of Manchester (to whom, by the way, a most extraordinary misquotation is attributed on p. 112). In 1880 he came to London to occupy the Chair of Logic and Metaphysics at King's College. Two years afterwards he was appointed Morning Preacher at the Foundling Hospital. Neither of these appointments was a thing to be desired, at least by Alfred Momerie. At the Hospital a sermon, presumably intended for some hundreds of children, is really addressed to a miscellaneous gathering bent on an intellectual treat,—a most anomalous situation. The tenure of the Professorship ended in disaster. It is in the chapter in which Dr. Momerie describes his expul- sion from his Chair that the interest of the volume centres. The trouble began with an anecdote told by Dr. Momerie about the article " Deluge " in the Dictionary of the Bible. The Principal addressed him in a letter which is, to say the least, a little abrupt, and events moved rapidly to a conclusion. We are not going to discuss the incident. Dr. Momerie had certainly been indiscreet. A good story is a temptation which even the wisest are sometimes unable to resist; and on other subjects he had unquestionably gone beyond limits of good taste, if not of truth. To speak of the "superhuman cruelty of the Jehovah of the Pentateuch" is really absurd. What is left to be said of the Western and Eastern mythologies ? Here we may conclude our notice of this volume. It is painful reading. There is nothing in it which

forbids respect for the personal sincerity of its subject, but it convinces us that Alfred Momerie could find no Christian community satisfactory. We wonder, in fact, that after writing the exposition of views on pp. 192-96 he should have again sought a position in the Anglican, or indeed in any, Church.