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French, Indian, Chinese and Japanese missions, schools and missionaries.
The Board strongly recommended that something should be done to reduce the number of home missions, as some places had been missions forty years. Means should be adopted also to prevent so many Protestant missionary societies labouring in the same localities, as such proceedings involved unnecessary expenditure both of men and money.
The foreign missions in China and Japan presented many interesting features. In the former a chapel had been built, largely by the aid of a liberal friend at Halifax, N.S., also two parsonages and a dispensary
were in course of erection.
With a view to reduce expendture the number of members on the General Board has been reduced. The General Secretary has generously reduced his own salary $500. A reduction is also made in the salary of the assistant, so that the expense of management will thus be reduced $2,000.
Owing to increasing demands, the Board at its late meeting could only make grants to the domestic missions averaging about seventy per cent. of their claims. This is a great hardship. Cases have come to the present writer's knowledge, where young men, university graduates, received smaller allowances than female teachers in the public schools. It is to be hoped that during the current year there may be an increase of income. A Children's Day and collections in the Sundayschools should help to swell the amount of income to $250,000.
Embarrassed Trusts Board Report. Several trusts, nineteen in all, including St. Lawrence Camp Ground, have been aided to the
amount of $16,145.98, besides the sum of $17,454.27 paid in interest to various trusts on borrowed money. There are now only five trusts besides the camp ground, which have not been wholly relieved. An increase of one per cent. during the next four years will do much to completely relieve the embarrassment. The collections received in four years amount to $17,550.35.
Superannuation Board Report.
$206,038.83, an increase of The invested capital amounts to 038.83, since 1890. The number of claimants has increased, so that there are now 204 ministers, 151 widows, and eighty-two children receiving aid from this fund.
During the quadrennium there but a decrease from ministers' and was an increase from investments, circuits' subscriptions.
In future ministers' subscriptions salaries, on which they are to pay are to be in proportion to their three per cent., none less than $15, on salaries of $500 or under. Departments which have the services
of ministers are to contribute an
amount equal to what the circuits would be likely to contribute should those ministers be employed in the pastorate.
General Conference Fund Report.
The income for the quadrennium was $22,352.70, but the expenditure was $37,192.02. The excess in the expenditure arose largely from unforeseen expenses in connection with the Ecumenical Council, law expenses, committee meetings on union, and commission on boundaries. If the various Annual Conferences will exceed their collections during the quadrennium twenty per cent., the deficit may be removed by the General Conference of 1898.
DEAR Lord, I thank Thee Thou dost understand,
LESSONS OF CHRISTMAS.
THE Sweet Christ-month, the month that Love was born, That ever was an alien until now,
What though the blossoms hang not on the bough? What though the earth of beauty's place be shorn?
Lo in the woods, beneath the frost-kissed hill,
THE MANLINESS OF CHRIST.
BY LYMAN ABBOTT.
THE New Testament affords but one hint of the personal appearance of Jesus Christ. John is in the Spirit, it is said, on the Lord's Day. He is awakened as from a trance by a great voice like that of a trumpet, turns to see who it is that is speaking to him, and, being turned, beholds one like unto the Son of man: "His eyes were as a flame of fire, and his feet like unto fine brass, and his voice as the sound of many waters." This is not like the pictures of Christ which conventional art has furnished us-a feminine face, hair parted in the middle, long flowing locks, all gentleness, tenderness, femininity. One can imagine, from this picture, John recalling the appearance of Christ when He drove the traders from the temple, His eyes flashing fire, His firm and martial tread indicating the resistless will, and His voice of wrath deep and sonorous. As one looks at this picture he can, too, better understand some misunderstood or forgotten incidents in the life of Christ. He will remember how more than once this Christ faced a mob and the mob parted before Him, and He passed through them as Israel through the Red Sea; he will remember how the Temple police came to arrest Christ as He was teaching in the Temple, but left Him untouched and went away and reported, "Never man spake as this man; he will remember and get new light upon the declaration that Jesus Christ spake with authority, and not as the scribes; he will re
member the significant little incident recorded in Mark, that, as Christ and His disciples went up to Jerusalem, Jesus went before the rest, and they, amazed and afraid, followed after; he will remember and better understand the declaration of the evangelists, more than once repeated, that the disciples were afraid to ask Christ, and questioned among themselves as to His meaning; he will remember the night of the arrest, and how Christ went out and put Himself between His half-awakened disciples and the band of police, confronting the latter, and how they fell backward to the ground before Him, and He waited, holding the band at bay by His mere presence, until He gave opportunity to His disciples to escape; he will remember and understand the awe of Pilate before this majestic personality.
But was not Jesus gentle, and tender, and patient? Was not His gentleness, His tenderness, His patience, more than woman's, the wonder of His disciples? Yes! But what made this wonderful was that such a man as He possessed also these traits. The Lion of the tribe of Judah was the Lamb who before His shearers opened not His mouth. What amazed them was that a man with such power of wrath that the traders fled before Him unarmed and unattended, a man with such power of indignation that the Pharisees quailed before His flashing eye and sonorous utterances-that such a man as He, when personally insulted,
was silently patient, standing calm and unmoved when spit upon and buffeted. For in Jesus Christ the strength of manhood and the patience of womanhood were united. He knew how to be angry and sin not, for His anger was inspired by love, never by personal pride. He bore with unruffled patience wrongs to Himself, but His eyes flashed fire when He saw wrong perpetrated
upon others. The world yet waits for an artist who shall paint a Christ that shall answer to the vision which John saw in the isle of Patmos, a Christ through the windows of whose soul spirit flashes out in gleams of fire, whose feet have the tread of might and majesty, whose lips suggest a voice in its deep musicalness like the voice of the ocean, full of power.
Chinese Characteristics. By ARTHUR H. SMITH, Twenty-two Years a Missionary of the American Board in China. Second edition revised, with illustrations. Fleming H. Revell Company, New York, Chicago and Toronto. Price, $2.00. The attention of the world is turned to the great Chinese Empire
never before. This greatest, territorially, and oldest of nations seems to be on the eve of breaking up. Certainly it is getting such a rude shaking by contact with Japan, and the modern arts of war, that it will never be again what it has been in the past. It is probable that before the end of this century railways, telegraphs and steam navigation will open up the country to the Gospel and Christian civilization as never before.
In view of these changing conditions a recent and authentic description of the country and its people will possess unusual interest. Such description is given in the volume under review by a missionary of twenty-two years' standing and of keen powers of observation and description. In a number of graphic chapters the author describes the extraordinary economy and industry of the Chinese, their uniform politeness, their disregard of time and accuracy, their talent for misunderstanding and indirection; and, in happy phrase, their flexible inflexibility and intellectual turbidity, their absence of nerves and contempt
for foreigners, their absence of public spirit, their conservatism, patience and perseverance, content and cheerfulness, filial piety and benevolence, mutual suspicion and absence of sincerity. Chinese religions, the real condition and need of China, are the subject of concluding chapters.
From this enumeration it will be seen how wide is the range of this survey. This will be an admirable The numerous illustrations from book for mission bands and circles. The interior views especially bring original photos are exceedingly good. before us the social life of the people in a very realistic manner.
The Last Leaf. By OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. Illustrated by GEORGE WHARTON EDWARDS, and F. HOPKINSON SMITH. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Toronto William Briggs. Price, $1.50.
There is a peculiar pathos about the posthumous issue of this poem, which the genial "Autocrat" has illustrated by his own lingering life. In a fac-simile letter, dated July 12th, 1894, he says: "I am one of the very last of the leaves which still cling to the bough of life that budded in the spring of the nineteenth century. The days of my years are threescore and twenty, and I am almost half-way up the steep incline which leads me to the base of the new century, so near to which I have already climbed."
The poem has a tender quaintness of its own. "It was with a smile on my lips that I wrote it," said the author. "I cannot read it without a sigh of tender remembrance.' The illustrations are extremely sympathetic, and many of them are as quaint as the poem. The village streets, the town crier, the wintry woods, the leafless forest, the deserted graveyard, are illustrated with poetic suggestiveness. The most pathetic of all is that of the old man bending in the twilight over the mossy slab deciphering the half-effaced but well beloved name.
The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
And the names he loved to hear
Eastern Customs in Bible Lands. By H. B. TRISTRAM, LL.D., D.D., Canon of Durham. New York: Thomas Whittaker. Toronto: William Briggs. Price, $1.50.
Canon Tristram has written some of the most valuable books of travel and exploration in Bible lands. He brings to his task a thorough acquaintance with the original tongues of the Old and New Testaments, and a wide experience and observation derived from repeated journeys in Palestine. In this volume he gives us the result of his studies and observation in a series of instructive chapters. He describes journeying in the East, Feasts and Festivals, Pastoral and Agricultural Life, Costumes and Customs, Wars and Sieges, Jurisprudence, Trade, Money, Taxation, etc. He also throws much light on the ministry of Jesus as Teacher and Healer, and on many passages of the Old and New Testamient. The book will be a valuable aid to Bible study.
of years has made his home among us should have so thoroughly identified himself with his adopted home. A large proportion of the essays contained in this volume first appeared in the Canadian Monthly or other Canadian periodicals. The historical essays are marked by the wide reading, the keen insight and the felicitous phrasing, which are so striking a characteristic of this writer. Among these are noble studies of the "Greatness of the Romans," "The Greatness of England" and "The Great Duel of the Seventeenth Century." The latter is the most brilliant account of the great struggle between Gustavus Adolphus and Wallenstein and Tilly that we have ever read. Other historical papers
"Falkland and the Puritans," "A Wire-puller of Kings,"-A Character-Study of Baron Stockmar"The Early Years of Wolfe," "King Alfred," "Abraham Lincoln," and "A True Captain of Industry-Mr. Brassey, Constructor of the Grand Trunk Railway." There are also a number of papers on literary and social topics that will interest every reader.
Documentary History of Canada. From the Passing of the Constitutional Act, of 1791, to the Close of Rev. Dr. Ryerson's Administration of the Education Department in 1876. Vol. I: 1790-1830. By J. GEO. HODGINS, M. A., LL.D. Toronto: Warwick Bros. & Rutter, and William Briggs.
To few men is it given-we doubt if it has ever occurred before -to give half a century of service to the educational interests of their country. of Dr. J. George Hodgins. This has been the happy experience The present work, and the complementary volume which we may shortly expect, continued public service. Finis will be a fitting crown to this long
The preparation of this work has been a labour of love. It has involved much delving amid the records of the past, and patient collection of documentary evidence
on the important subject which he treats. This arduous labour is completed with Dr. Hodgins' characteristic accuracy and thoroughness. He goes back to the very beginnings of our colonial history, and gives personal sketches of the early governors and other public men. He recounts the modest beginnings of our educational system and its gradual development.
A conspicuous figure in this period is the Rev. Dr. Strachan, whose energy in connection with the education in his day, and especially with the establishment of King's College are faithfully chronicled. Incidentally light is thrown upon early grammar and common schools, and allusion is made to Sundayschools in Kingston in 1817, and to the founding of Upper Canada College. The companion volume treating the subsequent development of education in Ontario, the founding of Victoria, Queen's and Trinity Universities, and to the adminis tration of that greatest of Canadians, Dr. Egerton Ryerson, promises to be of no less interest than this volume.
The Dominion of Canada. By KARL BAEDEKER. Leipsic: Karl Baedeker. Toronto: William Briggs. Price, $1.25.
It is a distinct honour to Canada that the editor of the best guidebooks in the world should make our broad Dominion the subject of one of his thorough, exhaustive, and up-to-date books of travel. We have in our possession over a dozen of Baedeker's guide-books, and consider them simply ind spensable for an intelligent acquaintance with any country which they treat. This book is a model of concentration. In the 316 pages which it contains we have a brief outline of the Constitution of Canada, by Dr. Bourinot, a geographical and geological sketch, by Dr. G. M. Dawson, a piper on its Sports and Pastimes, Canadian Bibliography and chief dates in Canadian History. It describes the means of travel through the highways and byways of each province, the island of Newfoundland, and an extension of travel to Sitka, in
Alaska. It gives lists and rates of hotels and boarding houses, rates of travel by rail, steamer, ferry, tramcar; and omnibus, cab and carriage tariff, the chief points of interesteverything, in fact, that travellers need to know. It has ten clearly drawn maps printed in colours, and seven plans of the chief cities of Canada. The only error that wo have noted is crediting Mount St. Elias, the highest mountain in North America-18,200 high- to the possession of the United States; whereas the recent survey just completed places it in Canada. Even Canadians who think they know their own country well may learn much that is new to them from this volume.
From Blomidon to Smoky, and Other Papers. By FRANK BOLLES. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Company. Toronto: William Briggs. Price, $1.25.
The picturesque Province of Nova Scotia has a rare fascination for American tourists. Longfellow and Charles Dudley Warner have made Grand Prè and Baddeck classic. Mr. Bell and Mr. Kenner-of telephone and Siberian fame-have charming homes in Cape Breton. A swarm of American summer visitors haunts the quaint old towns and picturesque and bold bays and headlands of the rocky peninsula. Few of them, however, receive such vivid impressions and have such graceful mode of expression as the author of, "From Blomidon to Smoky." He grows enthusiastic over the magnificent outlook from the Look-Off over Grand Piè. "I know of no other hill or mountain which gives the reward that this one dos in proportion to the effort required to climb it." The magnificent Gasperaux Valley, the broad Basin of Minas, with its poetic associations, and the majestic outlook from Cape Smoky on the far-cast coast of Cape Breton are graphically depicted. Another chapter describes the home of the Gloscap, the mythological Hiawatha of Nova Scotia.