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These waters are gradually collected at the southern end of the valley, and come together permanently a hundred miles below, at Kiangkao, except one branch, which flows in a wayward course to the north and east, and seeks its sister waters at Luchao, three hundred miles away.
After such wonderful freaks were played by the water-nymphs, no wonder the ancient Chinaman concluded that a refractory dragon concealed himself in a fathomless pool near the disemboguement, and played his lawless pranks. But blessings be heaped upon the good Li-Er-Lang, whose other name was Ice (Ping), who came to the rescue in the Tsin dynasty, 200 B.C., renovated his life at that place, until his spiritual powers were adequate to cope with the dragon's wiles and depose him from his throne. All along the ages from thence, kings, princes, ministers and officials of every rank have done honour to the great man, until in later days his name has become King, and one of the most famous of Taoist temples, by munificent government gifts, has grown, by piecemeal, up the precipitous side of the mountain. I could but second the couplets written at the front of the temple, which read as follows: "Would that heaven always produced good men." "Would that men always performed good deeds."
We ascended to the highest temple of the series, from whence we had a grand view of the river, rope bridges, mountains beyond, and the broad fields to the east. Just beyond the temple there is a rope bridge made of bamboo splints, woven into cables fifteen inches in circumference. These cables, ten in number, for the bottom of the bridge, are twelve hundred feet long, and attached at each end to stone shafts, which rest in sockets in a square tunnel of solid stone masonry, which may be tightened at pleasure by turning the shafts. These cables are stretched over four frames of heavy timbers, which answer for buttresses. On each side there are five cables of the same size and length for railings.
Not far from this point-within the city limits-was pointed out the encampment ground for the Mantsz. or border tribe men, who come from Sung-Pan and other points to trade during the winter months. On our return we met a few of these aborigines homeward bound, laden with heavy burdens. The Thibetans, SiFans and Mantsz are very much the same in looks and dress, taller and more muscular than the Chinese, more manly in behaviour, and filthier in clothing and person. The Thibetans we meet in Chentu and Kiating, mostly belonging to Embassies to Pekin, and merchants, are a rough, dirty set, and very ignorant.
If Thibet has nothing better to offer in men and women she is poor indeed, as is her reputation among the Chinese. I was disappointed in not seeing the yak, as the herdsmen had driven the unbought ones back into the mountains for the summer. While in Kwan-hsien we put up at the best hotel in the city, and found our proprietor a genial, inquisitive fellow, very obliging and polite. Many travellers were coming and going, and we had little to complain of, except when they hitched their fractious steeds to our bedroom door.
We took a run to Tien-Tsz-Tung, twenty miles to the south of the city, and enjoyed the trip very much. We had some excitement walking log bridges and climbing almost perpendicular peaks. Tien-Tsz-Tung (Master of Heaven's Grotto) is where the first Chang-Tien-Tsz (Master or Teacher of Heaven) over eighteen hundred years ago sat in meditation to obtain the Tao-perfect way. The temples at this point are dedicated to his memory. We received anything but a hearty reception from the indolent priests. When we stated that our sojourn was for a night only, they gave us a fairly good room. But when we broached the subject of renting a few rooms from them for the summer, they bristled with opposition, but were too diplomatic to say out-andout, We will not have you. They began by stating that the people of the vicinity were a robber lot, and that it would be very unsafe for us, and then hundred of pilgrims would come daily in the summer months, and there would not be a single room for us.
We walked over the mountain peak after dinner, and just before sunset reached the foot-hills and the great temple, where resides the Taoist prior. We applied to him for a night's lodging, but he preferred not to be troubled, and we plodded on until dusk, finding only a miserable hamlet, where we, after much difficulty, secured four beds for thirteen men. We preferred to resign the four beds, after inspection, to our weary men, and extemporize for ourselves a bed out of poles and loose boards, which we were able to pick up. We put our bed in the court directly back of the Heavenly Well-an opening in the roof for light, rain, etc. The mouth of the well came within six feet of the square pool under the opening, making it rather an awkward room. Before ten o'clock we were in bed, and as the jabbering of the opium smokers ceased, and quiet began to reign within and without, the noiseless but almost tangible smells seemed to increase upon us until it became a serious question what to do—to go out into country and sit in the moonlight, or struggle through the night with shut mouths and muffled noses.
Just before midnight, as a restless sleep delivered us in part
from outward surroundings, a deafening yell was sounded in my right ear, and the door a foot away flew open, and every opium smoker rushed forth, with pipes, clothes and everything they could lay hands on, crying, as they went, that the house was on fire. We found it only too true, and knew from the character of our house that ten minutes would suffice to make it a ruin. We hastily gathered up our effects and made a dash for the street, where we prepared to stand guard. Water and wind were in our favour, and with a good squad of workers the fire was soon put out, and we occupied again our famous couch.
I cannot close without reverting to Kwan-hsien and its beautiful situation. It is an important centre for trade with the border tribes, and from its elevation, some six hundred feet above Chentu, it possesses an exceptionally cool and salubrious climate. The scenery within and without the city is a perpetual inspiration to one coming from the heated plain. Good-sized streams of pure water rush through some of the residential streets, with wellkept walks on either side. Men and boys were busy fishing in shady nooks. The mountain aspect recalled impressions I have of Kobe, Japan.
It may not be going beyond the reasonable to prophesy that this will become not only our West China health resort, but educational centre.
CHENTU, April 28th, 1894.
BY ANNIE CLARKE.
THE hands that miss a long-loved clasp
May soothe some mourner's pain,
Shall still in giving gain.
Play the high hypocrite, and seem
And let not trouble reach thy face;
Smile, though thy heart be sad;
Well mayest thou forget thyself,
VICTORIA, B. C.
BY FRANCIS HUSTON WALLACE, M.A., B.D.,
Professor in Victoria University.
ONE hundred years ago there entered upon the fourth year of the Arts course in the old Scotch University of St. Andrews, a boy in his fifteenth year, big, brawny, powerful in physique, buoyant and even boisterous in spirits. He had matriculated in the University in 1791, in the twelfth year of his age. He was the son of John Chalmers, a prosperous merchant and ship-owner of Anstruther, Fifeshire. The boy had shown no early genius. He had been a boy among boys. His early intellectual stimulus was found in the Bible, the "Pilgrim's Progress," and certain stories of travel and adventure. Early school days were not remarkably well spent. His first two years at the University gave no promise of future greatness. While without any vices, open-hearted, affectionate and a favourite among "the boys," he had never kindled into any love of study. Yet Thomas Chalmers, that inferior, unpromising student, was destined to be the greatest pulpit orator of his time, the hero of the Free Church, and the most imposing ecclesiastical figure in Scotland since the days of John Knox.
His intellect was awakened by the study of mathematics, and, when once he began to grapple with the great thoughts and problems of the universe, he pursued all congenial subjects of investigation with keenest relish, and communicated the results of his thinking with rare power of exposition.
Having from his earliest youth conceived the purpose of becoming a minister, not so much from religious as from social and ambitious motives (for to the country boy in Scotland then the minister was the greatest of men), he passed, in 1795, from Arts to Theology; and in 1799 was licensed by the Presbytery of St. Andrews as a preacher of the Gospel. But his thirst for knowledge was insatiable, and he spent two years in post-graduate study at St. Andrews, mathematics and physics being his favourite subjects.
In 1803, he was ordained minister of the little parish of Kilmany, nine miles from St. Andrews. During the winter of 1802-3 he had been assistant instructor in mathematics at St. Andrews University. His methods were too fresh and unconventional to find favour among the "dons," and, much to his disgust, his services were dispensed with at the close of the one session!
The proximity of Kilmany to St. Andrews afforded him
next year the opportunity of revenge. He formed independent university classes in mathematics and chemistry, whose high success vindicated his power and methods as a teacher. This double work, teaching during the week at St. Andrews, and preaching on the Sabbath in Kilmany, he did not continue beyond the session of 1803-4. Yet for some years to come his heart was rather in science than in theology; in the study of mathematics and political economy than in the cure of souls. In 1808, he published his first contribution to political economy, his famous "Inquiry into the Extent and Stability of National Resources." During these later years, Thomas Chalmers had been struggling. with the profoundest religious problems; now bathed in the sunshine of a clear faith in a good God; now wrapped in the deadly gloom of Materialism; verging at times upon mental derangement in the intensity of his anguish; and often heard to pray: "Oh, give us some steady object for our mind to rest upon!" Finally, his mind found repose in the Christian conception of God and the world. But a specific Christian experience he had not yet known; his ambition was still to shine in science and literature. The duties of his parish sat very lightly upon him. He declared it "his own experience, that, after the satisfactory discharge of his parish duties, a minister may enjoy five days in the week in uninterrupted leisure for the prosecution of any science in which his taste may dispose him to engage."
But in his thirtieth year there came a revolution. Out from a great crisis he emerged a new man, with a new conception of Christianity, a new personal relation to God, a new aim and object in life. "It was good for him that he was afflicted." The death of a brother beloved, of a dear sister, and of an uncle; the serious illness of two other sisters; his own dangerous illness, debarring him from public work for more than a year; a gradual process of thought, thus face to face with the dread realities of human existence, and face to face with "the Gospel of the glory of the Blessed God," all issued in his conversion in intellect, heart and life.
Before this he thought of Christianity mainly from the ethical standpoint. Now and henceforth he regards it from the standpoint of human sin, and sees in it not a mere republication of natural theology, but the great salvation. He feels intensely and he preaches fervently the fundamental truths of human sin, of redemption by the blood of Christ, of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. He is now a converted man in his own conscious life, and an ambassador for Christ in his divine commission. All the energies of a noble and powerful nature are now devoted to lead