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Old Gate in City of Pekin. From Commander Harrie Webster's collection of Chinese pictures.

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Suchau Creek at Shanghai. From Commander Harrie Webster's collection of Chinese pictures.

to call an extra session of Congress. will be made to native Christians, whose I feel proud of my country for the rec- houses have been burned and whose reord she has established on this occa- lations have been slaughtered. Diplosion, not only taking her place among matists and military men have joined in the Great Powers who have interests as acknowledging that but for the bone and wide as the world, but showing that her muscle supplied by those native Chrisarms are long enough to protect and tians, the defense of the legations would rescue her people in all parts of the have been impossible. Though they perglobe.

formed the humble office of navvies in

building barricades, digging trenches, INDEMNITY FOR NATIVE CHRISTIANS.

and countermining against the enemy,

their services were indispensable to the The curtain has not yet fallen on the comunon safety. last scene of this tremendous drama. I cannot believe that any Christian The Empress and her court fled the city country will consent to the gross injusalmost at the moment when our troops tice which is involved in excluding them entered it, and she has taken refuge at from the provisions of the indemnity an old capital in one of the northwestern' clause. provinces. Whether the government The greatest enemy to the orderly will be reëstablished at Pekin is highly and profitable intercourse of nations is problematical. For my own part, I heathen darkness. No restriction, therethink the restoration of the young Em- fore, should in any way be placed on the peror, who might carry out his progress- operations of missionary bodies who seek ive measures under the supervision of to dispel that darkness, and to diffuse the Great Powers, offers the best solu- the light of science as well as religion. tion. The integrity of the empire would Without these our railway and mining then be maintained and possible conflicts enterprises will be insecure, and we can between European claimants averted. have no assurance that that monster, the

China must, of course, pay a heavy war dragon, who has now been cast down indemnity. It is understood that not before the Soldiers of the Cross, will not only the foreign nations, but individual again raise his head and bring about foreigners, will be indemnified ; but no another catastrophe similar to that which assurance is given that any compensation has so lately horrified the world.

1

SINGAN—THE PRESENT

PRESENT CAPITAL OF THE CHINESE EMPIRE

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VINGAN owes to its position the dis- from northern China into Central Asia. tinction of being for at least the Near the city the river is joined by a

fifth time the capital of the Chinese northern tributary, the Kingho, and Empire. The mountain valley in which then, running east, it breaks through the it is situated is marked out by nature mountains by the “gate of Tung-kuan,'' to be the center of the national life. where there is a famous fortress of the Through it flows the Weiho, along whose same name. This gives an easy access banks lies the great road which leads to the eastern and coast provinces. In

this valley also are the only practicable Though Singan contains no buildings passes, two in number,over the Tsin-ling of great antiquity—a mosque built in Mountains, which form the barrier be- the ninth century is probably the oldest tween northern and central China.

structure-the famous Pei-lin, or “ForIn consequence of these unrivaled ad

est of Tablets,” is the most valuable vantages, trade routes from every direc- archæological and historical museum or tion have converged here from time library in China. Here are tablets immemorial and made it a place of great which chronicle events of five dynasties commercial importance, famed for the from B. C. 100. Others are apparently enterprise and wealth of its merchants. mere specimens of elegant calligraphy It is the trade center from whence the and drawings of well-known mountains silk of Chekiang, the tea of Honan and and historical scenes. There are also Hupeh, and the silk and sugar of Sze- emblematical animals, sacred birds, and chuan are distributed to the markets of likenesses of their great men. Among Mongolia, Turkestan, and Russia in ex- these is a full-sized portrait of Confuchange for rhubarb, musk, medicinal cius and several of his disciples. The plants, opium, wool, and furs.

most celebrated of all are the Thirteen The valley of the Weiho is one of the Classics, cut in stone, dating from the granaries of China, and the city itself is Han dynasty, far anterior to those in in the midst of a vast wheat field. The Pekin, now so famous. The most intraveler approaching from the east passes teresting monument of past times to the through a country "like one continued Occidental visitor, however, is the Nessplendid park, with knolls and lawns and torian tablet, commemorating the introwinding paths." The road is a “fine duction of Cliristianity into China. On highway-for China, with a ditch on it is an inscription in Syriac and Chinese either side, rows of willow trees here and characters giving first a vague abstract there, and substantial stone bridges and of Christian doctrine, and then follows culverts over the little streams which cross it.” The city is surrounded by a În the time of the accomplished high wall, said to be forty miles in cir- Emperor Taitsung, the illustrious and cumference, with four huge gates flanked magnificent founder of the dynasty, by magnificent towers. The principal among the enlightened and holy men streets are well paved, and full of good who arrived was the most virtuous shops, together with palaces, imposing Olopun, from the country of Syria. Obtemples, and government buildings. serving the azure clouds, he bore the

One of the few European travelers true sacred books; beholding the direcwho have visited Singan, the Rev. A. tion of the winds, he braved difficulties Williamson, says that it appeared to be and dangers.

and dangers. In the year A D. 635 he “densely filled with houses, having arrived at Chang-an ; the Emperor sent little or no vacant ground or gardens as his Prime Minister, Duke Fang Hiuenin other cities.” At that time, 1866, it ling, who, carrying the official staff to was the residence of a Roman Catholic the west border, conducted his guest bishop, who claimed that there were into the interior. The sacred books were aboui 20,000 Christians in his diocese. translated in the imperial library, the Its population is variously estimated sovereign investigated the subject in his from five hundred thousand to a million private apartments; when, becoming souls. Michaelis, who visited it in 1879, deeply impressed with the rectitude and writes of the courteous treatment which truth of the religion, he gave special he received wherever he went from the orders for its dissemination." crowds which thronged the streets. Tlie imperial proclamation, which is

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given, commends the principles of this the Middle Kingdom by Wu-wang, the new religion and closes with these com- founder of the Chau dynasty. mands: “Let it be published throughout “No period of ancient Chinese histhe Empire, and let the proper authority tory,'

tory,' says Dr. Wells Williams, “is build a Syrian church in the capital in more celebrated among the people than the I-ning Way, which shall be gov- that of the founding of this dynasty, beerned by twenty-one priests." Then cause of the high character of its leading comes a summary of prominent events men, who were regarded by Copernicus connected with the “Illustrious Relig- as the impersonation of everything wise ion” and a recapitulation of them in an and noble.” The Emperor, with his

" ode in octosyllabic verse. At the end is father and brother, ranked “among the the date of its erection, A. D. 781, "in most distinguished men of antiquity for the second year of Kiengchung, of the their erudition, integrity, patriotism, and Tang dynasty, on the 7th day of the inventions.” It was then known, and for ist month, being Sunday," and the many centuries afterwards, as Changan, names, possibly of donors, of sixty- or “Perpetual Peace”-a name still preseven priests in Syriac characters and served as that of one of the quarters of sixty-one in Chinese.

the modern city. In B.C. 246 one of the The tablet, which is said to be the old- greatest rulers China ever had chose it for est Christian inscription yet found in his residence. This was Chi Hwangti, Asia, was discovered in 1625 and is now the first universal emperor." Though in a brick inclosure outside the city walls a boy of but thirteen years of age when he amid heaps of stones, bricks, and rub- ascended the throne, he speedily showed bish. Its preservation is due, strangely, great capacity for governing and as a to the care of a Chinese, as an inscrip- warrior. To improve the communication on the edge of the stone shows. tion between his capital and the provIt is to the effect that, in 1859, a man inces he constructed magnificent roads named Han-tai-wha, from Wu-lin, had and bridges, some of which remain to come to visit it, and had found the char- the present day. This work was caracters and ornamentation perfect, and ried on by his successor, who is said to that he had rebuilt the brick covering in have spanned the valleys of the neighwhich it stood. The last words are: boring mountains with suspension or “Alas! that my friend Woo-tze-mi was “flying" bridges, thus anticipating 110t with me, that he also might have seen western science by twenty centuries. it. On this account I am very sorry.” But the “universal emperor's" fame

The tablet is, or was—for it may have as conqueror of the Tatars and the been destroyed in the fanatical hatred of builder of these public works and the all that is foreign which has taken pos- Great Wall is eclipsed by his unwise session of the people—a striking witness efforts to secure certain reforms. He of the power which the Christian faith had become convinced that the fanatical had over the Chinese a thousand years worship of the past which characterized ago and in the nineteenth century, for the teaching of the scholars was fatal to this restorer and his friend must have progress and full of danger to the state. been native Christians.

He determined therefore to break once It is remarkable that Singan is identi- and for all with the past, and ordered fied with the greatest men whom China that all books having reference to the has produced and with the most glori- past history of the Empire should be ous epochs of Chinese history. This is burned. This decree, which was almost especially true of the time, B. C. 1122, universally obeyed, and with considerwhen it was first made the capital of able loss of life, apparently but strength

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