FOREIGN MISSIONS TO THE EDITOR.
Sib,—Mr Wong Tape, in the interview fe>. corded in yesterday's issue of the Times with, the representative of the Cromwell !Argii% : gives voice to the'opinions, not only'of his own countrymen, but also of most:of the, thinking people of our own nation, when he condemns the custom of sending missionaries to China while there is so much need of them, in our own country. < • When shall wo, as a people, realise |that toy force the teachings of our own mushroMji creeds upon a people who possess a philosdjhy that existed before the beginning of the Aryan race—a philosophy old as the world itself ', and as grand as it is ancient —is a mere impertinence, and one, moreover, that we should resent roundly if practised by any other nation upon lis? As Mr Wong Tape remarks,;" their faith has sufficed 'for'thousands'of years" ;r and his testimony, coming as it does from one.'; intimately acquainted with the lower classes - of Chinese, that they live on a higher, moist , plane than European people of the same class,; carries infinitely greater force than the current talk of the M degradation of the ChmeSft"' among people, who, not having been'to China, know practically nothing about ,it. - Similar evidence comesI'from time to time regarding; the moral status of the Hindu and the Buddhist from people.who have-lived and travelled in India. Degradation among the masses m these countries there undonbtedly »j-bpt, crime, misery, and degradation to match that of slum life in'aUg^eat Western titles exists neither in India nor in China. ... , v Far be it from my intention to cast blama on or to disparage the well-meaning entbnsiasts who devote themselves to the work ot foreign- missions.' I honour their motives, that must often spring from the blossoming - in them of the sense of the common tre_™* binds all humanity in one great brotherhood;: but a little careful thought mingled with the»r enthusiasm would show them mission; work lying at their very doors—an alien race living within a " stone's throw " of their homes, sunk in depths of misery and crime; unknown to the calmly philosophical Chinese and Hindus.., If the money, labour, and enthusiasm expended on foreign missions were concentrated for a few years on the herculean task of "cleansing the Augean stables of modern slum life that are such a standing reproach.to.our civilisation and our Christianity alike, could appreciably lessen their nameless bor-. rors, and in time eliminate them entirely. ; Then, in these days of universal travel and , intercommunication between nations, - as. an object lesson, we should do vastly more to re-. commeod Christianity than we do by our pre- , sent methods. . ;• . ; ' . ~,..:' "Go ye to all the world and preach *«. Gospel to every creature." Aye! but this nk ; junction was never meant to imply that w« were to step over the "heathen at our doors and leave "them Gospel-less, while we carry our own special " Gospel" to natwna .1 that have a very good " gospel of their Let us, then, if we; feel the missionary en'tKusiasm; look at home, and let us remember that Christianity, even in its original purity as its Founder taught it, with all its_ lofty philosophy and noble ethical system, is but,, the latest offshoot of the same parent stem which bore Confucianism, Hinduism, ; Bud-< dhism, and Zproastrianism aHke, and which1 has its root in the Eternal. '■ ■ : Therefore, let us fully convince ourselviea, by actual practical demonstration, that thn latest version of religion, fitted specially for the Western mind as the other versions are. fitted for the people to whom they are^iven, is greater than these, and more powerful for the uplifting of nations, before we dare venture to force it on peoples who do not want it—as we have done in the past, often to their detriment.—l am," etc., Caversham, Fob. 28
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FOREIGN MISSIONS TO THE EDITOR., Otago Daily Times, Issue 11360, 1 March 1899
FOREIGN MISSIONS TO THE EDITOR. Otago Daily Times, Issue 11360, 1 March 1899
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