Bringing a biblical message from China

The Otago team, winners of the New Zealand cross-country championship at Wellington. Front row (from left): G. G. Notman, J. Beatson (winner), D. Jack. Standing: G. McKnight, J. H. List (manager), M. Mickelson. - Otago Witness, 21.8.1912. Copies of picture available from ODT front office, Lower Stuart St, or www.otagoimages.co.nz
The Otago team, winners of the New Zealand cross-country championship at Wellington. Front row (from left): G. G. Notman, J. Beatson (winner), D. Jack. Standing: G. McKnight, J. H. List (manager), M. Mickelson. - Otago Witness, 21.8.1912. Copies of picture available from ODT front office, Lower Stuart St, or www.otagoimages.co.nz

The Rev. Frank P. Joseland, who is at present on a visit to Dunedin from Amoy (China), gave a highly interesting account of his missionary labours to the young people of the King Street Congregational Church last night, the subject of his address being "Christian Work Amongst Chinese Boys and Girls." The Rev. G. Heighway briefly introduced the lecturer, who, he said, had strengthened and quickened their zeal and enthusiasm for missionary work amongst the people of China.

Mr Joseland received a very cordial welcome from the audience at the outset, and imparted a great deal of interesting information to those present. He said they had to thank the Chinese for the mariner's compass, the gift of tea as a beverage, the umbrella, and many other useful things, as well as the Punch and Judy show. The lecturer said he had taught large numbers of Chinese boys, and had examined many large classes of girls, and had found them in general characteristics to be much the same as European boys and girls, but were perhaps better behaved and more respectful when being dealt with in large numbers. Having received so many gifts from China, he thought Western people should give the Chinese something in return. They could give them the Bible, and teach them the blessings of a weekly observance of one day a week, equivalent to our own Sabbath, which the lecturer declared to be one of our best privileges.

Referring to the missionary influence in Amoy, Mr Joseland said that in the missionary sphere it could be seen that there was some Sunday observance, but elsewhere each day was alike to the Chinese. There were also indications that the Sunday might eventually be officially recognised, as it now was in Japan, and describing Chinese temples and Buddhist teachings, the lecturer compared the methods adopted by the Chinese to teach their children the Buddhist religion, with its incense burning, divination, and genuflections, with the simplicity of the Christian faith. He asked if it was worth while to try and convert these interesting and industrious people to learn how to pray and come into communion with God.

Their worship of ancestors, or spirits, was largely due to fear, and not to love.

When travelling about in the dark, the Chinese were in the habit of speaking loudly in order to drive off evil spirits, and the same influence was noticeable in their festivals and other observances, where fireworks were utilised for a somewhat similar purpose. Hitherto the Chinese had shown but slight regard for girls, as compared with boys, and evinced a callous disregard for female members of the family, especially in the case of twins, but the lecturer was proud to state that this barbarous custom was dying out, and in hundreds of schools in China girls were now getting an equal share of eduction with the boys.

• Severe frosts in the Waikaia district delayed the monthly wash-up at Muddy Terrace Sluicing Company's claims, and the return for July is only just to hand, showing 116oz 18dwt 12gr, which was obtained from the only two paddocks which could be operated. In these paddocks 10 days and 20 days respectively were all that could be worked, the frost having completely stopped operations for a considerable portion of July, thus reducing the average yield. Messrs P. Aitken (director) and R. A. Mathewson (secretary) have just returned from a visit to the claims, and report everything in exceptionally good working order and there is an abundance of gold-bearing wash available. - ODT, 19.8.1912.