Графични страници
PDF файл
[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

The wonderful change which has In an article on “New Power in in the last few months taken place the East,” the New York Outlook under our very eyes in the status of says: “The most remarkable event Japan has excited the wonder of of this end of the century has been the world. That a plucky little the agreement upon terms of peace nation, wbich only yesterday, as it between Japan and China. The were, emerged from a mediæval feu- result of this event is not only to dalism, should challenge the oldest open China to commerce and civil. and most populous Empire in the ization, but also to establish Japan world, with a population ten times as tủe leader of Asia, and on a par its own, and in a few weeks, by an with any European State. Never unbroken succession of victories, in the world's history has there been capture its strongest fortresses and such a sudden and satisfying manimany of its great cities, has excited festation of a new power. the astonishment of mankind. We “ After tbe first encounters the low purpose giving a resumé of the organization of the forces on the one opinions of expert authorities on this side was convincingly contrasted remarkable phenomenon and some with the high organization of those of its probable consequences.

on the other: the resistance was but


that of the mollusk to the mammal. respect the present Mikado has done The Chinese have therefore suffered everything to show that he is inan unbroken succession of defeats. finitely more worthy of his rank We have come to the end of the than any of his predecessors. His war only to find that China lies steps, and those of his accomplished prostrate, an invertebrate mass—a ministers, have ever been upward. weak and vitiated dynasty, a corrupt These steps have been the humbling and tyrannical mandarinate, and a of insolent and grasping viceroys, leaderless and peculating people. the reduction of the rebellious The humiliation of China is a matter Samurai, the establishment of a which no one except a partisan of representative government and of a savagery can for a moment regret. constitution, and, generally, the inChina now enters upon a far greater troduction of foreign methods of life future for herself, with greater and progress. Within the past year profit to England.

we have seen a semi-official recog. It may be said that the Chinese nition of Christianity, the abolition are cowardly as well as corrupt; of extra-territoriality, and the asbut it must be remembered, after sertion of Japan's right to regulate all, that the dominance of Confucian- her own tariffs ratified by treaties, ism has something to do with the and comes the conquest of matter, and Confucius held all vio- China. lence to be unbecoming. To this “ This last event is far greater and must be added the power of disinte- more significant than one country's gration. The Chinese are not one mere triumph over another. For people, but a collection of peoples. the first time since the decline of The people in the south cannot Tamerlane's power we see an Orienunderstand the speech of those in tal State rise to hegemony in Asia. the north. Every province is in- This is accomplished without any dependent, and its only real con- intervention assistance from nection with its neighbour lies in a Europe or America. A year ago common submission to the Emperor. such a transformation-above all, There has thus been no real, united, such an unaided transformationvirile China. When Talleyrand said would have been deemed impossible. that Italy was only a geographical We find, nevertheless, that the new expression, he might have applied power which has thus suddenly that saying with greater force to dazzled the world proposes to be the Flowery Kingdom.

not only conqueror but leader, that “The crushing of China and the it will undertake single-handed rise of Japan have not been exactly the reconstruction of eastern Asia, simultaneous events. The one has and thus become a propaganda of occupied a few months, the other a what has already been attained by number of years, but an incredibly Japanese progress. Should this prosmall number; for the steps to this paganda succeed, a whole hemieminence have all been taken with sphere will arise out of the sloth of in the life of the present Mikado. ages. As has been shown in Japan, It is a wonderful history, that of less so in Chinesc countries Confucian than fifty years. Following Com- civilization alone will be no match modore Perry's expedition came the for a combination of that civilization realization in Japan itself that feu- with the broader, more practical, dalism must be broken down. With more intelligent, more moral proit were also broken down those gress of Christian nations. Yet, inveterate superstitions which sur- while paying full credit to everyrounded the person of the Mikado. thing gained from outside, the JapTo his credit be it said that in this anese yield to none in self-respect


and self-reliance; indeed, Count “ Japan, well named the Land of Okuma has said :

the Rising Sun,' is now that repre

sentative, and bids fair to become "The next century will see the resources

the leader of an entire hemisphere." of the European powers exhausted in

In an article on unsuccessful attempts at colonization.

“ Non-Christian Therefore, who expect to be their proper

First-Class Power,” the New York successors if not ourselves ? As to intel Independent speaks follows: lectual power, the Japanese mind is in “There is one phase of the emerevery way equal to the European mind.

gence of Japan which has not reMore than this, have not the Japanese

ceived the attention which it deserves. opened a way to the perfection of a discovery in which foreigners have not

It is that now for the first time since succeeded even after years of labour? Our

the fall of the Saracen Empire, the


[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

people astonish even the French, who are the most skilful among artisans, by the cleverness of their work. It is true the Japanese are small of stature, but the superiority of the body depends more on its constitution than on its size. If treaty revision were completed, and Japan completely victorious over China, we should become one of the chief powers of the world, and no power could engage in any movement without first consulting us. Japan could then enter into competition with Europe as the representative of the Oriental nations.'

world sees a first-class power asserting itself in the sisterhood of great nations which is not Christian.

“Nevertheless thecivilization which Japan has accepted is wholly the product of Christianity. It has been produced and perfected by Christian nations. When, in 1853, Commodore Perry opened Japan, that Empire was an absolute nonentity among the nations of the earth. Its people had never before seen a ship-of-war.



When Commodore Perry emptied on would become Christian before the shore his ship-load of presents, and end of the century. But there came among them the miniature railroad a chilling frost; and for the last train, in their delight the people two or three years there has been would straddle across the cars and very little advance in the number sit down on them, crazy to get a of converts. They have done well ride on the train, where they could that they have held their own. not get in, along the little track. There has grown up with the paThere came a craze for everything triotism a feeling of pride, not to say foreign; they called for teachers

vanity, which has made the Japfrom America and Europe; they anese say that now they have learn. sent their young men and young ed all the West has to teach, and women by the scores to be educated that they will develop hereafter here, and did not stop in affright along their own lines; that if they as China did after making the same can they will reform the old Budd. beginning. It is amazing what a hism of their common people or the revolution has been made in the Confucianism or Shintoism of the whole habit of the thoughts of the upper classes, making of it a purer people in a generation. It is enough and a better faith which shall to give serious thought to people absorb all the ethical teachings of that make so much of the influence Christianity, very much the of heredity on habits of thought. Brahmo-Somaj has attempted to

"In a few years we have seen old reform the old Brahminism of India. prejudices dissolved, old civilization “What the result will be utterly discarded, and a Christian cannot yet tell, except that we civilization adopted in its place. believe that our Christian faith has Japan has a constitutional monarch, the Spirit of God with it and will with a parliament and representa- prevail. But, meanwhile, for some tive ministry like Great Britain. It years to come we shall see the great has as large a railroad system in experiment tried of a great nation proportion to its territory as the which does not profess to be ChrisUnited States; it has quite as good tian, whose religion is becoming a school system, reaching from the simply a system of ethics. We kindergarten to the university; its shall learn how thoroughly a Chrispost-office department is admirably tian civilization can be ingrafted on conducted, and every body now knows a non-Christian or a pagan faith. that its military affairs are managed And if, as seems probable, with great wisdom and patriotism China shall feel the impulse which and honesty. If ever there was a Japan has given to her, and shall nation enthusiastically patriotic it is herself speedily accept the Christian Japan. It has the Red Cross attach- civilization of the West, there may ment to its military service under be two such powers a generation the Geneva rules and under the hence. sanction of the laws of the Empire “ We believe that our Christian -something that we cannot boast missiona ies have for the most part of in the United States. Its students acted very wisely in Japan in that of philosophy and science and medi. they have taken pains not to antagocine rank with the best, and we see nize the Japanese national feeling; all the enthusiasm and devotion and it may even be a question now, which belong to the birth of a new or very soon, whether in the interests nation.

of Christianity itself the foreign “ But not a Christian nation. Ten missionary force there should not years ago our missionaries were be reduced. It is greatly to be saying that it looked as if Japan hoped that Japan, which has thus


far shown itself so tolerant of Chris. try. Along the northern boundary tianity, even if it has not seized it a wide stretch of land was prowith the eagerness with which it scribed, and no one was permitted has adopted our civilization, may to make permanent settlement upon not league patriotism with its native it, and it became a hiding-place for faiths in opposition to the faith of criminals and outlaws from both Jesus Christ."

Corea and Manchuria, her northern Dr. Leonard, a missionary secre


The seclusion policy tary of the Methodist Episcopal led not only to the building of the Church, writes thus of Corea, now capital city inland and amid mounvirtually a dependency of Japan: tain fastnesses, but also surrounding

Seoul, the capital of Corea, con- it with a substantial granite wall. tains a population of 250,000, and is “ About five hundred years ago, much the largest city in the king. when the city was supposed to be in dom. It is situated about thirty danger from a foreign foe, a wall miles from Chemulpo, the nearest six miles in circumference, running seaport, and is surrounded by vol. in a zigzag line up and over the canic mountains, some of which are mountains on the north and south, quite Alpine in outline and altitude, and across the narrow valley on the and some are nude of vegetable life east and west, was erected. The from summit almost to base. The roads wall is from twenty-five to thirty leading from the city are over moun- feet high, and was completed in the tain passes or through narrow de- short space of nine months. It was files, the widest of which leads to doubtless a formidable defence when the river Han.

only bows and arrows were used in “ Corea has been known for cen- warfare, but in these days of heavy turies as the Hermit Kingdom, projectiles is utterly valueless. As because she has until recently re- no repairs have been put upon it for fused to have any relations with many years, it is becoming quite foreign nations. During much of dilapidated at some points, and will her history she has been tributary ultimately disappear. The material to, if not a vassal of, the Chinese in it will go far in rebuilding the Empire, and in her subordinate city in the good time coming,' when condition necessarily had political through the Gospel of Christ the relations with her superior. But Coreans shall be happily elevated to with Western nations she had no the plane of a Christian civilization. intercourse, until forced to open her "It is quite impossible to give to doors by the arbitrament of war, one who has never seen this city a less than a quarter of a century ago. just idea of either its plan or archiIn harmony with her policy of tecture. Except some of the prinseclusion she built all her cities cipal streets, that seem to have been inland, including her capital. Until originally intended to follow straight since she has been holding some lines, the city seems to have been commercial intercourse with the built without a plan. Boston, it is outside world, there were no towns said, was originally built along cowon her extended sea-coast, and even paths, which accounts for the tangle now there are but few.

of streets in its older parts that so “So far from building cities on her confuse the uninstructed stranger. coast or northern boundary, a policy But Seoul did not have the advanof desolation has been pursued on tage of even the cowpath, with its all her borders. Along the sea- graceful curves, as a guide, and so coast no sign of life was allowed for the streets run every whither, with centuries, lest seafarers might be sharp angles, abrupt endings and tempted to land and enter the coun- irregular widths. The streets, except

« ПредишнаНапред »