« ZurückWeiter »
God, even as there is only one sun in the firmament. Without his mercy, inevitable punishment will overtake you, for having defied his authority, and given yourself up to the service of dumb idols; reform or you are lost!” The man was silenced and confounded, and only replied, “Let the sailors feast, and Matsoo po hunger.”
As soon as we were again ready to proceed, about thirty men came on board to assist in towing the juuk; they were very thinly clothed, and seemed to be in great want; some dry rice that was given to them, they devoured with inexpressible delight. When there was not wind sufficient to move the junk, these men, joined by some of our sailors, towed her along against the rapid stream; for the Pei ho has no regular tides, but constantly flows into the sea with more or less rapidity. During the ebb tide, when there was not water enough to enable us to proceed, we stopped and went on shore.
The large and numerous stacks of salt along the river, especially at Teëntsin, cannot fail to arrest the attention of strangers. The quantity is very great, and seems sufficient to supply the whole einpire; it has been accumulating during the reign of five emperors; and it still continues to accumulate. This salt is formed in vats near the seashore; from thence it is transported to the neighborhood of Takoo, where it is compactly piled up on hillocks of mud, and covered with bamboo mattings; in this situation it remains for some time, when it is finally put into bags and carried to Teëntsin, and kept for a great number of years, before it can be sold. More than 800 boats are constantly employed in transporting this article,-and thousands of persons gain a livelihood by it, some of whom become very rich: the principal salt merchants, it is said, are the richest persons in the empire.
Along the banks of the Pei ho are many villages and hamlets, and are all built of the same
m.terial and in the same style as at Takoo. Large fields of Barbadoes millet, pulse, and turnips, were seen in the neighborhood; these were carefully cultivated and watered by women,—who seem to enjoy more liberty here than in the southern provinces. Even the very poorest of them were well dressed; but their feet were much cramped, which gave them a hobbling gait, and compelled them to use sticks when they walked. The young and rising population seemed to be very great. The ass,-here rather a small and meagre animal,-is the principal beast employed in the cultivation of the soil. The implements of husbandry are very simple, and even rude. Though this country has been inhabited for a great many centuries, the roads for their miserable carriages are few, and in some places even a foot-path for a lonely traveler can scarcely be found.
My attention was frequently attracted by the inscription tsew teën “wine tavern,” which was written over the doors of many houses. Upon inquiry I found, that the use of spirituous liquors, especially that distilled from suh-leäng grain, was very general, and intemperance with its usual consequences very prevalent. It is rather surprising that no wine it extracted from the excellent grapes, which grow abundantly on the banks of the Pei ho, and constitute the choicest fruit of the country. Other fruits, such as apples and pears, are found here, though in kind they are not so numerous, and in quality are by no means so good as those of Europe.
We proceeded up the river with great cheerfulness; the men who towed our junk took care to supply themselves well with rice, and were very active in their service. Several junks were in company with us, and a quarrel between our sailors and some Fuhkeën men broke out, the consequences of which might have been very serious. Some of our men had already armed themselves with pikes, and
were placing themselves in battle array, when, happily terms of peace were agreed on by a few of the senior members of the party. Several years ago a quarrel, which originated between two junks, brought all the Fuhkeën and Chaou-chow men in the neighborhood, into action; both parties fought fiercely, but confined themselves principally to loud and boisterous altercation; the mandarins, who always know how to profit by such contentions, soon took a lively interest in the affair, and by endeavoring to gain something from the purses of the combatants, immediately restored peace and tranquillity among them. Similar consequences were feared in the present case, on which account the men were the more willing to desist from the strife; they were farther prompted to keep peace, by the prospect of trading with some merchants who had come on board for that object. Indeed, as the voyage was undertaken for the purpose of trading, our men constantly engaged in that business; and when there were no opportunities of trading with strangers, they would carry on a traffic among themselves; but, unhappily, their treasure did not always increase so fast as the cargo diminished.
My anxiety was greatly increased by our approach to Peking. A visit to the capital of the Chinese empireman object of no little solicitude, after many perils, and much loss of time,-was now near in prospect. How this visit would be viewed hy the Chinese government, I knew not; hitherto they had taken no notice of me; but a crisis had now come ;-as a missionary, anxious to promote the welfare of my fellow-creatures, and more willing to be sacrificed in a great cause, than to remain an idle spectator of the misery entailed on China by idolatry, I could not remain concealed at a place where there are so many mandarins--it was expected that the local authorities would interfere. Almost friendless, with small pecuniary resources, without any personal
knowledge of the country and its inhabitants, I was forced to prepare for the worst. Considerations of this kind, accompanied by the most reasonable conjecture, that I could do nothing for the accomplishment of the great enterprise, would have intimidated and dispirited me, if a Power from on high had not continually and graciously upheld and strengthened me. Naturally tirnid and without talent and resources in myself, yet by divine aid-and by that alone,- I was foremost in times of danger, and to such a degree, that the Chinese sailors would often call me a bravado.
Fully persuaded that I was not prompted by selfinterest and vain glory, but by a sense of duty as a missionary, and deeply impressed by the greatness and all-sufficiency of the Saviour's power and gracious assistance enjoyed in former days, I grounded my hope of security and protection under the shadow of his wings, and my expectation of success on the promises of his holy word. It has long been the firm conviction of my heart, that in these latter days the glory of the Lord will be revealed to China; and that, the dragon being dethroned, Christ will be the sole king and object of adoration throughout this extensive empire. This lively hope of China's speedy deliverance from the thralldom of Satan by the hand of our great Lord Jesus Christ--the King of kings,to whom all nations, even China, are given as an inheritance, constantly prompts me to action, and makes me willing rather to perish in the attempt of carrying the gospel to China, than to wait quietly on the frontiers-deterred by the numerous obstacles which seem to forbid an entrance into the country.
I am fully aware that I shall be stigmatized as a headstrong enthusiast, an unprincipled rambler, who rashly sallies forth, without waiting for any indications of divine Providence, without first seeing the door opened by the hand of the Lord;—as one fond of novelty, anxious to have a name, fickle in his purposes, who leaves a promising field, and
restless hurries away to another, -all of whose endeavors will not only prove useless, but will actually impede the progress of the Saviour's cause. I shall not be very anxious to vindicate myself against such charges—though some of them are very well founded, -until the result of my labors shall be made known to my accusers.
i have weighed the arguments for and against the course I am endeavoring to pursue, and have formed the resolution to publish the gospel to the inhabitants of China Proper, in all the ways and by all the means, which the Lord our God appoints in his word and by his providence;to persevere in the most indefatigable manner so long as there remains any hope of success,-and rather to be blotted out from the list of mortals, than to behold with indifference the uncontrolled triumph of Satan over the Chinese. Yet still, I am not igno . rant of my own nothingness, nor of the formidable obstacles, which on every side shut up
and impede our progress; and I can only say,—" Lord here I am, use me according to thy holy pleasure."
Should any individuals be prompted to extol my conduct, I would meet and repel such commendation by my thorough consciousness of possessing not the least merit; let such persons rather than thus vainly spend their breath, come forth, and join in the holy cause with zeal and wisdom superior to any who have gone before them; the field is wide, the harvest truly great, and the laborers are few.
gotism, obtrusive monster!-lurks through these pages; it is my sincere wish, therefore, to be completely swallowed up in the Lord's great work, and to labor unknown and disregarded, cherishing the joyful hope, that my reward is in heaven, and my name, though a very unworthy one, written in the book of life.”- I return to my detail. .
(To be continued.)