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BISHOP ROOTS WITH THE FOREIGN STAFF AND THE CHINESE CLERICAL AND LAY DELEGATES AT THE HANKOW CONFERENCE,

FEBRUARY, 1908

THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE CONFER-
ENCE OF

OF THE DISTRICT OF
HANKOW, CHINA
FEBRUARY 13th–19th, 1908

BY E. L. ROOTS

T

HERE need no longer be any the nation, for the nation has been look

doubt about the civilization of ing forward to a representative assembly Central China. Hankow has for two years, and has not even made a

dropped into line with all the beginning, while the Church has talked other cities of the world; it has held a of it for only a year, and already has it!” conference! Delegates to this conference The subjects discussed were also rephave come from four different provinces, resentative of the whole Mission, havtravelling distances varying from 100 to ing been submitted during the preceding 400 miles in all directions, and by all weeks by delegates from all parts of the sorts of conveyances, from train and district. The committee in charge of the modern steamboat to sedan chair, programme, however, had followed the sampan and wheelbarrow. To be sure, very wholesome rule of selecting for disthe Hankow shops have not sought its cussion such subjects as represented patronage with tempting signs, nor the weak points in the work, not parts of it theatres with glaring play-bills, while on which we already felt sure of our the local paper has completely ignored its ground. existence. And yet, some day, what that handful of men accomplished may be of

An Anxious Question more moment to China than any other Besides all this preparatory work, a of that week's doings in this “Hub of committee on hospitality had arranged the Empire," for it laid the foundation that the delegate's inner man should not stones of Self-Government, Self-Support suffer while his mind was busy. But and Self-Propagation in the structure the question still remained: Would the which will soon, we hope, be the Chinese mechanism work? Or would the wheels Church in Central China.

merely go around with a buzz and a bang, But there have been conferences in

while the great machine remained staHankow before. How did this one differ tionary? There were those who rememfrom the others? And what did it ac- bered the first conference held in the discomplish?

trict, when the assembly sat, hour after

hour, while its members in order of age, A Distinguishing Characteristic

in speeches of not less than half an hour Former conferences have represented each, discussed all theology and ethics, only one order—as, for instance, the but could not be induced to say one word clergy of the district, or the catechists, of all the anxieties and difficulties that or the teachers. Or they have been only were filling their hearts. Would this be for Chinese, or only for foreigners. In the case again? this conference there were delegates of It was soon plain that the years had both races and all orders. The Chinese brought development. The first day of lay delegates, who made up nearly half the conference had been set apart for dethe total number, had been elected by votional services, beginning with a cortheir peers. As one of the delegates (a porate celebration of the Holy ComChinese), speaking at the conference, munion. These services, with their emsaid: “The Church has gotten ahead of phasis on the mutual as well as the in

seems

someone

re

dividual duties of the members of the to secure only foreigners as advisers. one Body, helped draw the members to- And since the constitution also provides gether, and by the time of the first busi- that no act of the synod shall take effect ness session, they were full of good-will. without the consent of the bishop, it Foreigners and Chinese alike had a diffi

that the infant Church is cult task before them in the attempt at sufficiently assured of parental guidance, using parliamentary language in Chi- while still strongly encouraged to walk nese, for many actually new terms had alone. The synod is also to name deleto be coined to meet the ecclesiastical re- gates to national synods of the Anglican quirements of the conference.

Communion, and its chief duty is “to The work of the week falls under two take counsel in matters that concern the heads—that upon the constitution and welfare and progress of the Church in canons for a future synod, and the dis- the district, and to establish and control cussion of papers presented on the pro- a missionary society." gramme proper.

The former occupied fully half the time, and, whether in com

No Representation without mittee or in meetings of the conference,

1axation the unappetizing morsel was attacked in

One of the most lively discussions was a manly and statesman-like way which

elicited by the presentation of the canon gave good hope for China in the days

which decides the manner of electing when she shall be governed by constitu- delegates to the synod. As finally passed, tional assemblies. As

it provides that any parish or group of marked: “The delegates showed good, parishes consisting of fifty or more comsturdy common sense. If someone did

municants may elect one delegate to the happen to make a foolish motion it sel

synod, but that "no such deputies shall dom found even a seconder.” As finally

have a vote unless such congregation or adopted, subject, of course, to ratifica

group of congregations contribute, apart tion by the American House of Bishops, from school and hospital fees, sufficient the constitution declares that the Church

money to pay all its current expenses exin Hankow is in communion with the

cept the salaries of clergy and catechists Church in America and "subject to the

and Bible-women, and also contribute bishop of that Church appointed for

twenty-five cents each year for every IIankow." It provides that the synod

communicant to a fund for the salaries shall consist of clerical and lay deputies,

of clergy and catechists, or to funds for the latter to be elected according to the other objects directed by the bishop." canons, and meeting at least every three

It was during this debate that one aged years. It orders that the synod shall

delegate remarked sadly (he was a subelect a Standing Committee whose racial

stantial layman, and a communicant of composition is not determined, but which

many years standing from one of the outmust consist of four clergymen and four stations) that we had been all these years laymen. And at the first election of such

gathering a few sheep into the fold, and a committee, which took place before the

now, when shearing time was come, the conference adjourned, two foreign and sheep wanted to run away! He was a two Chinese clergymen were elected, and bit pessimistic. A few years hence, three Chinese laymen to the one for- when more "sheep" shall have been eigner. Before the passage of this canon gathered in, and when the new organizaseveral of the foreigners had pointed out tion of the Church shall have developed to the meeting the fact that the interests their self-respect and self-reliance, we of the Mother Church were fully safe- hope that a much larger assessment may guarded by the requirement that a mis- be possible. Meanwhile a beginning has sionary bishop must appoint a Council of been made. Advice, on which he was, of course, free The discussion on constitution and

First Representative Conference of the District of Hankow 365

canons took so much time that several aggressiveness of the hymn will all be other important subjects on the pro- needed in the warfare that is to come. gramme had to be omitted. Among those that

were reached were “Work for A Demonstration in Force Women," "Parish Organization," and “Our Training Schools.” The discussion

We must not forget to tell of the great on “Parish Organization” was especially gathering in the cathedral on Sunday valuable as presenting, so to speak, the

afternoon, when the procession of bishop local application of the principles in- and twenty-seven clergy-Mr. Gilman, volved in the discussion on the organiza

of Changsha, alone unavoidably absenttion of the synod.

passed through a throng of Christians

which filled the cathedral and remained When - ?

with perfect reverence and attention

through a service two hours long and The discussion on the work for women which contained four addresses. also had its direct bearing on that greater

One other gathering should be menquestion as the delegates realized, some

tioned because it illustrates how, in spite of them perhaps for the first time, how of setbacks, the personnel of the mission little help at this crisis can be expected

has increased since the division of the from the women, and what their own re

diocese in 1902. When, during this consponsibility is for this situation. The ference, the twenty-six clergy who could call voiced during this discussion, by al- be present met one evening in the diningmost every speaker, for more women room which Bishop Ingle had built large from America, was pathetic, and especial

for just such occasions, the room was ly so to those of their hearers who had quite full, and the table which his hosbeen recently putting forth this plea to

pitable heart had had made "large gatherings of American women, and ap

enough to seat all my clergy at once" parently to deaf ears. Now the call was

was found too small, and seats for seven from the Chinese themselves-clergy- more had to be provided! And accordmen, catechists and laymen—and those ing to present prospects, if such a gatherwho listened know that in more than one

ing be held only one year from now, the case it was the voice of a husband plead- dining-room itself will not be large ing for help for his wife and daughter, enough, for there should then be thirtyas well as of the pastor who saw half his five clergy at least. One of this year's people uncared for. When will the heads company will be gone, but the six seniors of our Junior work, the leaders of Mis- in the divinity-school should have been sion Study Classes and other fit persons ordained, and two men should have come overcome the obstacles in their way and from America whose appointment is aloffer themselves for this work in which ready practically assured. So do yearsthey are already interested?

yes, generations of patient toil and At the close of the last session of the high courage struggling with heartsickconference, the delegates went in a body ness bring their fruit at last. to the grave of Bishop Ingle, near by, and The loss of one clergyman during the there sang, in a chorus that made the coming year, referred to above, is to be echoes ring, “The Son of God goes forth that of the Rev. Mr. Fu, who goes at to war,” the hymn which now has become, once, at Bishop Graves's request, to work as it were, the war hymn of the Hankow in that part of Kiangsu province where Mission. It was sung at the consecration the speaking of Mandarin by the people and the funeral of its first bishop, and at makes the Shanghai clergy useless. He the consecration of the second, and now has already been transferred to the at a fourth important moment in its his- mother district, and will make one more tory. The hope and faith and Christian bond between us.

And there were whispers among the foreigners at the conference not only of advance into the unoccupied parts of our present four provinces, but of the possible duty of the American Church to do its share toward evangelizing one or more of the provinces of China in which the Anglican Communion has, as yet, no work. How can we do more, since we have not men and women enough for our present needs?

We cannot—this year. We cannot at all unless the Church sends us help. But we believe that one

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NEW YEAR'S EVE AT ST. PAUL'S COLLEGE,

TOKYO

BY THE REVEREND ROGER A. WALKE

T

no

It was

a

HE New Year as it rushes west- to a close, and each in turn rose and

ward finds a little group of St. spoke. There in that bare, uncomfortPaul's boys hopefully awaiting able room each had told his fellows what

it and, as is proper, waiting up- was in his heart. And the stranger felt on their knees. How old the custom is onger strange, and the far-away one I do not know, but for at least four years felt, as never before, that “all are one in these youthful servants of the Master Thee, for all are Thine.” have met to consider the dying year and glorious service, and the Master seemed the things it has brought; have met to very near to us. declare their intention to strive more

This year the arrangements were a litloyally during the coming year to do the tle different. I invited the boys to meet work given them by Him they have in my room, and a good many came. We chosen to serve. Most of the boys go

were warm and comfortable, but I am un

certain whether it helped any. I inaway for the holidays, but always a few

sisted that the boys take entire charge of are left to greet the New Year thus. I remember well how I stumbled on to

the service, but consented to be one of

the speakers. Several who are not yet the first meeting of the kind that I at

Christians came. The prayers were not tended. I had been here but a short time

in very good literary form, the speakers and was sitting alone in my room wait

not always fluent, but each one who spoke ing for the New Year and feeling rather

had something he wanted to say, and a lonely, when through many closed doors

spirit of absolute sincerity breathed intervening stole in the sounds of one of

through all that was done. It was good our familiar and never-failing hymns.

to be there. I think all present must The very sound of it made me feel much

have been brought nearer to the Master's less far away, and I started out to find

feet. the source. At last I came upon them

If only the American Christians who a little group assembled in a poorly lit

do not believe in foreign missions-if and utterly unheated room; I crept in any such anomaly still exists—could and sat among them. At that meeting step unobserved into one of these little several were present who had become meetings, they would no longer ask Christians during the year then drawing “Why missions ?”

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