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attention, and against which fewer objections could be urged, being a combination of the iwo characters into one compound term, both of which, when taken alone, are used by the Chinese for God : and taken together they constitute a phrase, in common use among themselves, to designate both the Supreme and subordinate Deities, in neither of which cases did the terin FE c'hërn choo, come up to it. Thus T'hëen te can be used generically for God, and is capable of being applied when speaking of the three persons in the Sacred Trinity : a version of the Scriptures into a cognate language patronized by the Bible Society, and approved by one of the best oriental scholars ever known, has employed a term of similar import, in precisely the same way in which we propose to employ this, and no Chinese would by any possibility misunderstand the term if so employed.
By using the term #T'hëen te, instead of " # T'hëen choo, we shall secure another advantage, besides the benefit derived from its being preferable on philological grounds, viz. the prevention of Protestants from being confounded with the adherents of the church of Rone. It is well known, that the doctrines preached by the latter have long been recognized as the # # t'hëen chov keaou, the Lord of Heaven's religion : and did Protestants ernploy exactly the same term for the Deity which the Roman Catholics have done, there would be some danger of the Chinese confounding the iwo sects, which would be as mech deprecated by the one as the other. It is true, we should not be likely to give any title to our religion derived from the name of God, but one deduced from that of the Saviour: yet we could not prevent the Chinese from giving to us and our doctrines what name they pleased. And as the term chosen for designating the Deity, would occur as frequently as that for pointing out the founder of our faith ; the Chinese would be most likely to take up with the former rather than the latter; if F T'hëen choo therefore were employed by us, as well as by the Roman Catho olics, we should be classed together. By employing FM T'heen te, however, all danger of confusion would be avoided, and the different forms of faith would stand forth sufficiently distinct.
Art. II. The character of Chinese Officers illustrated by selections
from Chinese proverbs, fc. Translated for the Chinese Reposi
tory, by T. S. P. WORDs and phrases in any language afford excellent means for studying and ascertaining the character, manners, and customs of those who have coined and used the same. T'he few that are subjoined, selected from a large collection that has been made for grammatical purposes, are brought together here to illustrate the character of the Chinese magistracy.
1. Kroan tsz' liang ko k'au; "The word officer has two mouths.” In Morrison's dictionary the word kroín, officer, is said to be derived from " a covering under which many are assembled " The top part represents a covering, while the lower parts exhibits two mouths ; hence the play upon the word; for an officer, thus furnished with two mouths, can easily change h's words, and what he utters with his lips is not to be depended upon.
2. Kwun tsing jü chi pohi " The affection (or kindness) of officers is as thin 88 paper." Though styled the fathers and mothers of the people, they are generally reported to be destitute of all regard, and often instead of protecting, feed upon, the people.
3. Tá ki puh shih sé “ The large fowl does not eat small rice;" or, in other words, the officer who occupies a high post is not to be satisfied with small bribes. By law bribes are forbidden; in practice they are necessory, first to secure office, and in the second place to secure activu from an incunibent.
有錯捉 無 錯放
4. Yi tsoh tsuh. wú ts'oh fung ; “A man may be seized (and made prisoner) by mistake ; but he may not be so released.” Once in their hands, however innocent, money is always expected ere he can go at liberty.
十代做乞兒 5. Yih tái tso kwan, shih tái
" To act the magistrate in one generation; and the beggar in ten." Those who are in official stations during one generation, shall as punishinent for the malversation be beggars for ten generations. The individuals themselves, in their transmigrations, inay suffer in this manner, or the punishment may descend upon their posterity, or they may suffer in both these ways.
生不入官門死不入地 獄 6. Sang puh juk koin mun, sz' puh juh ti yoh ;
“ While living, not to enter the gate of a magistrate; and when dead, not to enter the prison of earth;" are two things equally to be wished. So the Chinese think. T. yoh, earth's prison, is their phrase for hell.
身在帝皇邊猶如 共虎 眼 7. Shin tsrii ti hay tng ra vú gũ kung hú mien;
"To be near the person of in. erial majesty, is like sleeping with the tiger.” To be near a despotic ruler is as dangerous as to be found sleeping in the den of wild beasts.
笑點 猶他笑喝好官任我 8. Siúu ná yii tá siún mii! hru lwin jin wo wei chi!
Langh and rail! Let them laugh and rail, as much as they ple ise; but always allow me to hold a rich office." The desire for office, among the Chinese, like their thirst for gain, is strong, sunietimes sironger than death.
奇門八字開有理無錢你莫來 9 Y., mun pih tsz' h'ui, yú li 2011 tsien ni mioh lui; “The gate of an office opens like the character eight, puh N; though you may have reason on your side, and are without muoney, cuiue not near it."
Prin shi kung ming peh shi yucn; “For being honored with an official name during half an age, must be delested for a hundred generations," as a punishment for the injuries he inflicted during that period.
途 网 上 砧
1. Sung juh shang chin; “ To lay a present of meat upon the chopping-block.” To get people involved in the law and brought within the grasp of official people, is to the latter a favor, or like an offering of a piece of flesh.
" A Auck of sheep delivered over to the wolf-and-tiger shepherds." This language, it is said by Dr. Morrison, was used by the emperor Kienlung, as descriptive of the condition of the people of his empire. If it were just in Kienlung's day, what must it be now?
N. B. It were easy to add to these illustrations, but they are sufficient for my purpose,-sufficient to show that those are in error, who suppose the people of China are free from oppression on the part of their rulers. Every office in the land is venal; and every man in office (few are the exceptions) seeks mainly to eurich himself, and often with utter disregard of the means of doing this.
Art. III. A fero plain Questions addressed to those Missionaries,
who, in their preaching or writing, teach the Chinese to wor.
ship Shang-ti. DEAR BROTHER, -A view of this subject has presented itself to my iind recently, which, if correct, is so important, that I cannot refrain from laying it before you, with the request that you will give it, as the importance of the subject demands, a careful and prayerful consideration.
As my object is not to write a long argument, but to present the view to which I wish to call your attention as pointedly and in as few words as possible, I will throw what I have to suggest into the form of questions, to which I must beg you, as you go along, to furnish
1. Do you not regard the phrase Shang-tí as in effect a proper name? Or in other words, Does not Sháng-tí, in the Chinese classics and in the understanding of the Chinese literati of the present day, designate a single individual Being ?
Does not the phrase Sháng-tí, in Chinese writings and discourses, designate the individual Being called T'ien, *. as definitely, as the phrase the LORD in our English scriptures designates the true God?
If you have any hesitation in answering these questions affirmatively, I beg to refer you to Mr. Medhurst's Enquiry, p. 19 and seq. for such information on the subject as will I think satisfy your mind.
%. Is the Chinese I'ien to or Sháng-ii E Jehovah, the true God ?
Before answering this question, let me beg yon to consider that
the possession of any given nuinber of attributes in common cannot prove personal identity, provided any important and CHARACTERISTIC difference can be shewn to exist.
I can here perhaps best explain my meaning by an example. Suppose that in the account given of A. and B, in two histories such a remarkable similarity should be found to exist, as to suggest the thought, that by these different names the Historians must be designating the same individual; yet if on reading further we should learn that A. was benign and merciful and that B. was cruel and revengeful; or that A. was tall and handsome and that B. was dwarfish and ugly; either of these points of difference would be so characteristic as to set the question of the personal identity of A. and B. wholly at rest, supposing the historians accurate in their representations. No amount or degree of similarity can prove identity, where any point of irreconcilable difference can be shewn.
So in this case, I would maintain, that, if in comparing Jehovah with the Sháng-ti of the Chinese, any marked, prominent and irreconcilable difference of character can be shewn to exist, this fact is fatal to the identity of the Sháng-ti of the Chinese, with the Jehovah of the sacred Scriptures.
In making a comparison between Jehovah and Sháng-ti, I shall eall your attention to but one difference between thern, which I con. ceive is important and characteristic, and I mention only one, not be cause no others occur to my mind, but because lam persuaded many occur to your own minds and because I desire to adhere to my de. terinination to be brief,
The CHARACTERISTIC difference to which I shall refer is jealousy or abhorrence of false worship. Jehovah, speaking of false gods and images says
“thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” Of those whose hearts turn away from the Lord God to go and serve the gods of the nations He says, “ 'The Lord will not spare him, but the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him and the Lord shall blot out his name from under Heaven."
This jealousy is one of the chief characteristics of Jehovah and the one in which HE stands most prominently in contrast to all false deities. This feature of the Divine character is very prominently presented in the sacred Scriptures. It is the great sase-guard of the monotheism taught in the Bible.
A Being then, who not merely wants this remarkably prominent,