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Title: The Child in the Midst
       A Comparative Study of Child Welfare in Christian and
              Non-Christian Lands

Author: Mary Schauffler Labaree

Release Date: June 30, 2014 [EBook #46148]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Please read the Transcriber's Note at the end of this electronic text.

front cover

The Workshop at Nazareth

Picture Copyrighted and Owned by A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., and printed by their permission.

E. P. Dutton & Co., sole agents in America.


A Comparative Study of Child Welfare in
Christian and Non-Christian Lands.
And He took a little child and set him in the midst of them.
The Central Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions
West Medford, Massachusetts

Copyright, January, 1914
Frank Wood, Printer
Boston, Mass.


The Central Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions sends out the fourteenth text-book with hearty appreciation of the favor with which the thirteen already issued have been received. The phases of work which have been treated and the manner of their treatment have appealed to a large constituency of various names, resulting in an increase of knowledge and an impulse to pray and work and give.

This is not a book for children, but a book about children the world over, and with its accurate statement of facts solicits attention to the great need of new effort in behalf of children in non-Christian lands. The author, Mary Schauffler Labaree (Mrs. Benjamin W.), a missionary daughter, granddaughter, wife, and mother, was born into an environment of missionary intelligence and activity in which her girlhood was trained. Later years of experience in Persia, and subsequent association with many nationalities in our own land, have given her large opportunity to know whereof she writes with tender, sympathetic touch. If the book may lead others to know and do, its purpose will be fulfilled.

Central Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions.
Mrs. Henry W. Peabody.
Miss E. Harriet Stanwood.
Mrs. Decatur M. Sawyer.
Mrs. Frank Mason North.
Mrs. James A. Webb, Jr.
Mrs. A. V. Pohlman.
Miss Olivia H. Lawrence.
Miss Grace T. Colburn.


The Child in its Helplessness. “The place where the young Child lay” 1
The Child at Home. “Train up a child in the way he should go” 45
The Child at Play and at Work. “Boys and girls playing in the streets thereof” 87
The Child at School. “Come, ye children—I will teach you the fear of the Lord” 131
The Child at Worship. “Suffer the little children to come unto Me” 177
The Child at Work for Christ. “I must be about my Father’s business” 221
CHAPTER VII. Appendix  
The Mother and the Christ-Child. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” 259


“The place where the young Child lay.”

What do the children need?—“The Age of the Child”—All children to be included—Rights of every child and every mother—Conservation of human resources—Eugenics and heredity—Protection of motherhood—Suffering mothers—Superstitions regarding new-born infants—Twins—Infanticide—Bathing and clothing children—Feeding—Hygiene—Starving children—Infant mortality—Health—Diseases and their treatment—What missions are doing for the helpless children.

What do the children need?

“What do the children of India most need?”

The question was asked of an earnest young teacher, at home on her first furlough. It was easy to see how quickly her thoughts flew back to that school for little low-caste children which had so recently been started, and with a far-away look in her eyes she answered:—

“What the children of India need is childhood itself. They are little old men and women, and they need to learn what it means to be happy, care-free children, to play, and to have good times.”

“What do the children of Syria most need?”

This time it was a beautiful, young missionary mother who answered quickly:—

“The greatest need of the children in Syria is educated motherhood. They are born, carried around, and then turned loose to do as they please as soon as they are able to toddle. It would mean that they would be kept clean physically, would be properly fed, taught, and trained.”

“What is the greatest need of the children in Persia?”

The answer came from a father of little children who had himself been a missionary’s child in Persia and knew well the country and its needs.

“What Persian children need is proper home environment.” A splendid Christian teacher was talking with one of the boys of our Moslem school about personal purity. “That is all very well,” responded the boy, “but what do you really expect of me with my training and home life when my father has had one hundred and five wives?”

“What do the children of America need?”

We turn and ask ourselves and one another this question. And lo!—we find that the needs of childhood are very much the same the world around. What is being done to meet those needs? Ah! that is a very different question, and startling, yes, more than startling, are the contrasts discovered as the thoughtful woman studies the subject of child life.

“The Age of the Child.”

The “unity of childhood” throughout the world makes this a vital question to all fathers and mothers, to educators, religious and social workers, to every thinking man and woman. So urgent a question has it become in many Christian lands that this has been aptly called “the age of the child.” In our own land the needs and rights of the child are being discussed on every hand, and through the Public Schools, Juvenile Courts, Juvenile Commissions, Federal Children’s Bureau, Playground Movement, Child Welfare Exhibits, Child Labor laws, and numerous other agencies we are striving to deal with the problem that involves the whole future of our land for weal or woe.

All children must be included.

But just as I cannot care for the interests of my child alone, but must recognize that his life will be vitally influenced by whatever concerns his playmates and schoolmates, so I must inevitably be drawn into consideration of what is due to the children of the community, the state, the country, the world. What right have I to demand that my baby be well fed, my child be protected by laws that ensure his safety, that proper schools be provided for his education, that my daughter’s purity and girlhood be respected, unless I concede that right to every mother in the world and care whether she has that right or not?

One earnest mother heart poured itself out in these words when it was planned that the women’s missionary societies should take up the study of the children of non-Christian lands:—

“Sometimes I almost resent the absurd extremes of tenderness and care for babies here, when I think of the world of neglected children. It seems to me, our Women’s Missionary Societies are just a great, beautiful, organized motherhood for the world, and the women don’t half know or appreciate this or they would be swarming in by thousands and giving their money by millions.”

If any woman is tempted to feel that the problems of our own land are so overwhelming and so imperative as to demand all our time and strength and attention, let her read what is said on this subject by Edward T. Devine, the eminent writer and professor and social worker, who is one of the greatest leaders in all lines of child welfare and general welfare work in America. Dr. Devine links our obligations to foreign lands inseparably to our duties to our own country.

Our responsibility to foreign peoples,—our responsibility to immigrants who come to live in America, and to the negroes whom our own ancestors brought here by force, our responsibility to all those who for any reason do not fully share in that degree of prosperity and in that type of civilization which are our heritage, thus becomes clear and is seen to be at one with our direct personal responsibility towards those who for any reason need our sympathy, our fraternal co-operation, and our personal help.[1]

Testimony of Alonzo Bunker.

Couple with the utterances quoted above such words as the following by Alonzo Bunker, whose faithful labors among the Karens of Burma have worked wonders in the transformation of a race, and it seems as though no conscientious, intelligent man or woman would need to go further for proof that the awakening social conscience regarding the welfare of children in our own land must include in its study and its efforts for improvement the children of all lands.

This unity of childhood marks the unity of the human race, and the saying that “human nature is the same in all the world” gains new emphasis when studied from the standpoint of the child.

... These characteristics which mark the unity of childhood among all races, sometimes appear to be accentuated among less intelligent peoples; so that, before the fogs of sin and ignorance have blurred the image of God in which they were created, they show a strength and brightness more marked than in their more favored brothers and sisters in enlightened lands. This fact has not received due attention in ethnological studies.[2]

The rights of every child.

Every child has the inalienable right to be well-born, to be welcomed, to be properly cared for and trained through the years of helplessness and development, to follow his instinct for healthful play, to receive an education sufficient to make him a self-supporting, useful member of society, to have such moral and spiritual training as will develop the highest type of character of which he is capable.

The rights of every mother.

Every mother has the right to accept the duties, responsibilities, and sufferings of motherhood of her own free will, to be surrounded by such conditions as will help her to bring her child into the world with the greatest possible safety to her own life and health and to those of her child, and to loving care during her days of weakness and recuperation.

Conservation of human resources.

Where the rights of mothers and children are not thus recognized and guarded, we have a condition that endangers the welfare of the race and leads to its deterioration. Every nation has looked well to the conservation of some part of its human resources,—to its royal line, to its soldiers or sailors, to its wise men and astrologers, to its priests and religious leaders.

The well-known methods of ancient Sparta, which consisted in destroying all weak children and submitting all boys of seven years old and upward to the most rigorous training under state educators, resulted in producing a race of warriors. Fighting men were what Sparta wanted, and fighting men she produced. The possible heir to a throne in modern times must have no drop of common blood in his veins. Royalty must therefore mate with royalty in order to conserve the royal line. And so we might go on and prove how one country after another observes the great law of conservation of human resources along some favorite line.

Importance of the children of a nation.

But a nation to be truly great and to be sure of future development and success must realize that its greatest wealth lies in its children, its highest possibilities are wrapped up in all its little ones, its one hope for the future is in the childhood of the nation. Many earnest writers of to-day are emphasizing in one way or another this great truth in relation to children.

Mrs. Frederick Schoff in an address at the National Congress on Hygiene and Demography makes a most practical application of these principles, showing some ways in which the desired results may be attained.

It takes time to battle down the old wall of belief that mother instinct teaches a woman all she need know about child nurture.... The great functions of fatherhood and motherhood should not be ignored in the training of children for life. They should be held up as the highest and most far-reaching functions of human life....

“One generation, one entire generation of all the world of children understood as they should be, loved as they ask to be, and so developed as they might be, would more than begin the millennium,” has been truly said by that lover of childhood, Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Child Welfare is at the foundation of world-welfare. Child nurture is the greatest science of the age. To arouse the whole world to a realization of its duty to the children ... is the propaganda in which all who see the infinite possibilities of the child should unite.[3]

Eugenics and Heredity.

In a study of Childhood such as this, undertaken by Christian women in their missionary societies and mission study classes, it is not enough to begin with the child at the day of his birth, but we must consider also the pre-natal influences, the history of his parents, and, in fact, all those deep and far-reaching subjects which are engrossing the attention of students in America and England and on the Continent of Europe. In studying the subjects of eugenics and heredity, in watching the social investigator as he shows us how from one drunken, vagabond woman in Germany there were 834 known descendants, the great majority of whom were prostitutes, tramps, paupers, criminals, and murderers, let us remember that the principles arrived at apply with equal significance to the future of the citizens of China and of Turkey.

A missionary mother from China tells us that Chinese mothers make no preparation for the coming of their babies because of foolish superstitions, fearing that, if they prepare, it will bring bad luck and the baby will die. “So,” she continues, “Chinese mothers miss the delightful months we American mothers consider the best in our lives, and the babies are deprived of the right sort of pre-natal influence.”

One missionary draws our attention to the fact of the awful fears and deadly terror that haunt the lives of so many people in India, and asks if this may not well be the result of the fact that their mothers are the little, shrinking, frightened child-wives of India. “The wrongs of Hindu womanhood in all past ages,” says Edward Payson Tenney in his volume on “Contrasts in Social Progress,” “have been avenged by the propagation of a race inferior to that which would have peopled Hindustan to-day, had the domestic and social status of the mothers of a great people been of a different character.”

Dr. Charles C. Selden, assistant to Dr. John G. Kerr in the Asylum for the Insane in Canton, says that there are no statistics that will allow comparison between the number of insane in China and America. “If conditions are in any particular worse in China than in America, it is along the line of imbecility resulting from bad heredity. Under the social ideals of China every man is anxious to marry, but no man is permitted to seek a wife for himself. The contract of marriage is always made by a third party, and often a man finds himself bound to an imbecile, insane or chronically diseased wife whose father has paid the marriage broker a high price to get her a husband. There is surely a great need for the study and practice of eugenics in China.”

Protection of motherhood.

It is only within the last few decades that the protection of motherhood has been recognized in civilized lands as an economic principle. In the protection of the mother lies the welfare of the nation. But alas! the light of this knowledge has not yet begun to penetrate into the darkness of heathen and Mohammedan lands.

Intelligent Christian women will find much food for thought and material for interesting study in looking up the history of races now extinct or those that are dying out. Trace to their true source the reasons for the decadence of a race and try to discover if the principles of practical, applied Christianity, used betimes in all their truest and most enlightened methods, would tend to save and elevate such a race. In Robert H. Milligan’s recent book, “The Fetish Folk of West Africa,”[4] his fourth chapter is on “A Dying Tribe.” A few extracts will show some of the reasons for the adjective “Dying.”

“A Dying Tribe.”

This amiable and attractive people, the Mpongwe tribe, is now but a dying remnant, hurrying to extinction. It is not long since they were numbered by tens of thousands; now there are probably not more than five hundred pure Mpongwe.... The first exterminating factor was slavery.... The slave traffic was succeeded by the rum traffic; and it would not be easy to say which of the two has proved the greater evil for Africa.... Except among the few Christians, an abundance of rum is used at every marriage and every funeral and both men and women drink to drunkenness.... I have known of parents getting their own children to drink to intoxication for their amusement. It is doubtful whether there is another tribe in all West Africa so besotted with alcoholism as the Mpongwe. Physicians agree that it is one of the chief causes of their increasing sterility.

Another factor in the extermination of the Mpongwe is the demoralization of domestic life incident to methods of trade.... White traders all along the coast employ the Mpongwe as middlemen between them and the interior people, who possess the export products. The white man gives the middleman a certain quantity of goods on trust. With these he goes to the interior and establishes a small trading-post in one or several towns.... He has a wife or wives at Gaboon, and he takes to himself a wife or two at each of his interior trading-centres....

This demoralization of domestic life is even worse for the Mpongwe women than for their absent husbands. There is a large settlement of white men in Gaboon, most of them government officials.... Nearly all the Mpongwe women become the mistresses of these men.... The marriage tie in Gaboon has long ceased to be a “tie.”... The Protestant Christians of Gaboon are a very small community; but they are the best Christians I have known in Africa. They alone of the Mpongwe have good-sized families of healthy children. They are the living remnant of a dying tribe.

The sufferings of motherhood.

Two outstanding facts make the experience of motherhood in non-Christian lands a time of almost intolerable anguish, both physical and mental. The first of these facts is the absence of skilful, intelligent care previous to and during childbirth, and the second is the presence of innumerable superstitions that envelop the mother and her little one and the whole household.

It is a most interesting study to learn how customs differ in various lands and swing to extremes, from Persia, where the time of childbirth is the occasion for a large neighborhood gathering of women and children, to certain regions of China, where we are told that there is an absolute interdict on seeing mother or child for forty days after the birth, and during that time many and many a little one mysteriously disappears, never to be heard of again. In China the mother who loses her life before being able to give birth to her child is consigned by popular opinion to the very lowest hell, which is said to be reserved for the worst criminals. In a large Buddhist temple on a hill outside of Ningpo hangs a huge bronze bell, over which are tied numberless bunches of hair of women who have died in childbirth. When the bell is rung, the motion is supposed to pull the poor women out of the place of punishment. Among the Lao a woman dying in childbirth is not allowed to be cremated, for her death is supposed to have been caused by evil spirits and the victim is blamed and is not deemed worthy of cremation wherein is merit. These suffering mothers feel as if an angel from heaven had come to their aid, when the loving face of a missionary physician stoops over them, and her skilful hands minister to their needs. A few words by Dr. E. M. Stuart of the Church Missionary Society, at work in Ispahan, Persia, give a vivid picture of the need for women physicians and nurses to do this work,—a need that exists not only in Mohammedan harems, but in the zenanas of India and in the homes of other lands where women live in seclusion.

How Bedouin Mothers Carry Their Babies

In every Moslem land there are countless lives lost every year from lack of skilled assistance when it is sorely needed.... This work calls specially for women-doctors and nurses, for though Moslem women will consent to see men-doctors for many of their ailments, and will even crowd out the men-patients at dispensaries taken by male doctors, very few will allow a man to give them the assistance they need in difficult labour; were even the women themselves willing, it is very uncommon for the husbands and other male relations to consent to it. As a rule they would rather the women died than allow a man to interfere; the only comfort they give them is the assurance of the Prophet that women who die in childbirth go straight to Paradise.

Superstitions regarding newborn infants.

There is scarcely a land outside the pale of Christian civilization where the newborn infant is not surrounded by absurd, painful, or distressing ceremonies because of superstitions that may not be ignored, the “Evil Eye” that must be averted, or ceremonies that are to be observed because handed down from generation to generation. One of the most astonishing and picturesque of these observances is described by the Swiss missionary, Henri A. Junod, in his careful study of “The Life of a South African Tribe.”

The second act is the rite of the broken pot.... This is a medical treatment and a religious ceremony combined. It is performed by the family doctor on the threshold of the hut in the following way: He puts into this piece of broken pottery pieces of skin of all the beasts of the bush: antelopes, wild cats, elephants, hippopotami, rats, civet cats, hyenas, elands, snakes of dangerous kinds; and roasts them till they burn. The smoke then rises, and he exposes the child to it for a long time, the body, face, nose, mouth. The baby begins to cry; he sneezes, he coughs; it is just what is wanted; then the doctor takes what remains of the pieces of skin, grinds them, makes a powder, mixes it with tihuhlu grease of the year before last, and consequently hard enough to make an ointment. With this ointment he rubs the whole body of the child, especially the joints, which he extends gently in order to assist the baby’s growth.

All this fumigation and manipulation is intended to act as a preventive. Having been so exposed to all the external dangers, dangers which are represented by the beasts of the bush, the child may go out of the hut. He is now able “to cross the foot-prints of wild beasts” without harm.... This rite of the broken pot is also the great preventive remedy against the much dreaded ailment of babies, convulsions.

The Evil Eye.

From land to land you may travel, through Africa, Asia, and the Islands of the Pacific, and all the poor little babies and their older brothers and sisters will be found to be victims of superstitions that surround and hamper and often injure their pitiful little lives. The Evil Eye,—oh! how it is feared and how every possible and impossible means is used to avert it. You must not think of openly admiring a Mohammedan baby, or of wearing anything black on your head when making your first call upon it, for you would certainly cast the Evil Eye on it. A Maronite woman in the Lebanon mountains, Syria, had lost a baby three or four weeks old,—her first baby boy. She told a missionary that the child had died because while he was sick they opened an egg, and found therein an eye (the life-germ) and that was the Evil Eye which had killed the child.


“Children in Nyago, Africa,” we read in a Church Missionary Society report, “receive the tribal mark by being branded on their foreheads with a hot iron. Some of the front teeth are extracted as soon as the child can speak.” The teething period as well as every other part of a child’s life has to be safe-guarded from malicious influences. For instance, a child of the Thonga Tribe in South Africa has a white bead tied to a hair about the forehead as soon as it has cut the two upper and lower incisors, for, unless this is done, there is no hope that the child will become intelligent; he would shiver instead of smiling, and the other teeth would not come out normally.

Evil spirits “driven out” by the missionary.

Thank God that there are sometimes missionaries near at hand who have won the love and confidence of the mothers and who are allowed to “drive out the evil spirits” by means of applied Christianity, common sense, and cleverness. Here is an example of all three means used for a baby on the borders of Pigmy Land.

One morning a woman brought down to the dispensary a wee morsel of three weeks; it was a pitiful little object of mere skin and bone. The mother explained that it had been poisoned out of spite, or it was possessed of an evil spirit. “See,” said she, “I have done all I could to let out the poison or devil.” Looking at its body I saw it was covered with a number of small, deep cuts, and the blood had been left to dry. Low moans and a tired cry came from the poor, little, helpless mite as the flies tortured its mutilated body. After questioning the mother the “evil spirit” took the form of bananas and mushrooms, on which she had been bringing up the three weeks’ infant! Feeding bottles were an unknown luxury, and, as no equivalent had been invented, babies were compelled to lap from the hand, an art they never properly learned and thrived on very poorly. Some three dozen india rubber “comforters” were sent out to me, and these I managed to fix on empty ink bottles or medicine bottles, and so a new fashioned “Allenbury feeder” was introduced. The demand far exceeded the supply, so they could only be lent out by the month.[5]

Superstitions regarding twins.

Strangely enough the birth of twins seems to be regarded with horror or disgust, or at least as a misfortune, in almost all lands where Christ, the Lover of children, is not known. In some parts of Africa the little twin babies are stuffed into a pot and thrown into the woods to die, and their mother is considered disgraced for life or sent into exile. A missionary of the Church Missionary Society of London tells us that in West Africa the idea is that by the law of God human births should be single; therefore, if a mother has twins, she has been degraded to the level of a beast, the children are also beasts, and their death is necessary in order to preserve the human race pure and to prevent misfortune. Japanese fathers will not let a little child look into a mirror and see its double, for fear that when grown it will be unfortunate enough to have twins!

As there is no phase of life that Christian missions cannot touch and change, so among some of the African West Coast tribes, as the people have learned of Christianity, twin murder has been abandoned along with human sacrifice, though even harder to eradicate.


Were twin murder alone prevalent among non-Christian races, it would be reason enough for earnest effort and prayer on the part of every Christian mother in the world until it could be stamped out. But the crime of infanticide is so frightfully prevalent in China, India, and the Pacific Islands that it is a loud challenge to Christian parents to bring into darkened hearts and homes the knowledge of Him who considered it a capital offense even to “cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

In very few cases do we read of infanticide being practiced at the present time on boy babies. Twin murder as mentioned above, the killing in Central Africa of “monstrosities” who have been born with a tooth cut, or who cut their upper teeth first, and the putting away of illegitimate children among some Mohammedans, seem to be almost the only exceptions to this rule. The poor little girl babies, not wanted, not welcomed, considered a disgrace and an expense, must again and again pay the penalty for being girls with their lives.

“Why should the girl live?” the Pacific Islander would say to the early missionaries, “She cannot poise the spear, she cannot wield the club.”[6]

Causes of infanticide in India.

Rev. E. Storrow has made a careful study of the causes of infanticide in India, and his conclusions are worthy of our attention.

Our knowledge, at the best imperfect, is confined to the present century, the period of British supremacy.

Three causes have led to it:—

1. Great moral laxity, combined with indifference to infantine life, and a desire to conceal wrong doing, which the privacy of native habits renders comparatively easy.

2. Religious fanaticism has led to the crime in restricted areas....

3. But infanticide, springing out of disappointment at the birth of girls, because of their assumed inferiority to boys, the lowering of the family repute, and the inevitable expense demanded by usage on their marriage, chiefly requires our attention; because it grew into a system which was hardly concealed, and became prevalent in Rajputana, Gujarat, Cutch, and other great districts in Central and Western India....

The little ones were usually destroyed immediately after birth.... The reasons for such a usage, widely established among such people, and perpetuated through many generations, are worthy of close attention.

Cruelty is not a Hindu characteristic.... But the people are callous and apathetic. They would not deliberately inflict suffering and take pleasure in it, but they would not move hand or foot to rescue such as were greatly suffering.... This goes far to explain the unchallenged prevalence for ages of such atrocities as suttee and infanticide....

“A mother of sons” is one of the highest compliments that can be paid to a wife; “a mother of daughters” is one of the most contemptuous and scornful of all terms of reproach. This explains the gladness with which the birth of sons is welcomed, the disappointment manifest at the birth of daughters, and the disposition to put them away....

But whilst these were the causes generally operative, there were two special ones, which were influential among the haughty, high-caste Rajputs and kindred tribes—the difficulty of procuring suitable husbands for their daughters, when the customary age for marriage arrived; with the supposed disgrace of having unmarried daughters, and the difficulty of defraying the heavy expenses which usage demands....

Happily, the crime is abating through the persistent action of the government, and yet more because of that great wave of renewed opinion and sentiment passing over the people. But that this crime is yet frequent, and the law evaded, is evident.[7]

Was there a dry eye in the auditorium at Northfield when Mrs. James Cochran, only a few weeks before her death, told of the little girl babies in China who are thrown out to die? All could feel the throbbing love of her mother heart as she told the story in such simple words to the hundreds of young women gathered before her. Who among them could ever again be guiltless if she did not do her share towards saving the baby girls of China? Listen to her words:[8]

Confucianism wants no little girls, for they are of no use. It is very nice to have one or two, but in the part of China from which I come it is absolutely a custom, if there are more than two or three, to murder the others in some horrible way. One night one of my pupils came to my class very soberly. At first she whispered to the women about her and then they began to whisper to each other. Finally I inquired the reason. One of the women replied, “She is feeling badly because they are killing a little baby down at her house.”

“Killing a little baby!”

“Yes,” the girl replied, “they have three little girls and another girl has just come. I feel so badly because she is a dear, fat, little baby. I did not want to see her die, but my sister is determined to kill her.”

“Oh,” I said, “you go and bring that baby to me. I can take care of her.”

So she went, but before she arrived the baby had been murdered in a way too dreadful to tell.

Bathing of children.

It is rather entertaining to pick up, one after another, books and magazine articles written for children about the children of missionary lands, and to find them all starting out with the proposition, “Children are very much the same the world around.” How are we going to reconcile this statement with the fact that some children survive and even thrive upon treatment that would mean certain death to others? What would happen to the little American baby first opening his eyes on the world, if he were taken out of doors as the babies are in Central Africa between four and five o’clock in the morning, when the cold night winds are still abroad, and cold water were dashed over him, and he were left naked out there to dry? The cold water treatment of the Africans and the Lao differs widely from the baths of little ones in Japan where the water must be nearly boiling hot to be of the proper temperature. But in Persia it would be sure death to a newborn baby to be bathed at all,—he must be carefully rubbed with salt as were the properly-cared-for infants of Ezekiel’s time! (Ez. 16:4.) Then into a cradle he is not laid, but strapped, wound round and round until his little legs and arms are rigid and immovable, and the soft bones of the back of his head are flattened as he lies there day after day. Oh, how we long to pick him up and let him change places occasionally with one of the imperial babies of Japan, who must be held in some one’s arms day and night from the time of his birth until he can walk. But no, there he must lie, and, in order that he may not take cold and fall a victim to that dangerous enemy, fresh air, over the ridgepole of the cradle are thrown various coverings, most of which hang to the floor. A missionary told me that once when she wanted to look at a Syrian baby, she took off four blankets which had been thrown over the whole cradle, and then removed a Turkish towel folded double over the child’s face.

Clothing of children.

It is strange to learn in how many lands the mothers feel that they must wrap and tie and bind and swathe their babies until they are deprived of all power of motion, and lives and health are sadly endangered by too much rather than too little clothing. The Chinese mother dresses her baby in a tiny wadded jacket, then another, then another, saying perhaps, “It is five jackets cold to-day.” He is wrapped and tied up until the bundle with a baby at the centre can be rolled on the floor without hurting him, or may perchance act as a life-preserver if he falls off the houseboat into the canal. It is pretty sure to keep afloat until it can be pulled in with a boat hook.

A Persian Baby in His Cradle

Very differently clad are the “Coral Island Brownies” or the babies of Africa, who are not hampered with any clothes at all, and as they grow older simply wear a fringe of grass or a strip of calico about their waists.

It is easy to trace many of the cases of terrible eye disease among children in Egypt, Syria, and other warm countries to the utter lack of any protection to the eyes from the glaring sunlight. Often boat women are seen rowing in the bright sunlight in China with babies asleep on their backs, and nothing over the sensitive little eyes as their heads bob up and down in time with the oars.

It is often a great shock to the American missionary mother to see little heads wrapped and swathed in numerous cloths and kerchiefs, while the little feet are blue with cold. But then, the shock is reciprocal, and, while the mother is off conducting a meeting, her nurse is carefully making up for her negligence by wrapping up the head of the missionary baby until he is bathed in perspiration!

Infant mortality.

The study of Infant Mortality is now engrossing the thought and attention of many earnest men and women. It is most difficult to get vital statistics from any non-Christian lands in order to give comparative tables. In comparing the mortality statistics of the United States for 1890 and 1909 we find marked improvement in the “opportunity for life and health” granted to American children. If George B. Mangold is right in saying that “the infant and child mortality of a people is a barometer of their social progress,” then we have reason to believe that our land is making real advance in this respect.

In 1890 the total number of deaths of children under five years was 307,562; in 1909 the total number of deaths of children under five years was 196,534.

From the first mortality table of the principal cities of the world in 1912 that has been made public we learn that—

Stockholm has 82 deaths per 1,000 births.
London 90
New York 105

Contrast with these figures the following, based upon careful study and research by high authorities:—

“It is by no means improbable that more than half the whole number of Chinese children die before they are two years old.” (Arthur H. Smith.)

In Syria the infant mortality is 75% of the births.

In Persia the infant mortality is 85% of the births.

At a meeting of the National Association for the Prevention of Infant Mortality in Great Britain, the Right Honorable John Burns, P. C., M. P., speaking on “Infant Life Protection” gave many interesting facts and figures to show how infant mortality is being decreased in Great Britain through scientific and systematic efforts along many lines. One sentence is significant:

“Let me decide the food, the home, and the condition of life of every child from birth to seven years of age, and the rest of mankind can do with the children after seven years of age what they like.”

Feeding of children.

Constant and increasing attention is being paid in these days to the proper feeding of children, to the study of dietetics, to the preparation of suitable food for infants, and to the proper intervals for administering the food. Any mother of average intelligence in our land may secure one of the carefully prepared books such as Dr. Holt’s on “The Care and Feeding of Children,” or the smaller leaflets such as “What Children Should Eat,” and by making a study of them and of her child may hope to see that it is well and properly nourished. But what chance is there for the mother in Asia or Africa who, even if she cares to learn, has no means of knowing how to feed her child properly?

Ignorant mothers.

I was making a call of condolence on a neighbor in Persia who had just buried a dearly loved baby, the fourth or fifth she had lost. With such a pathetic look she said, “It seems as if we did not know how to care for our babies. You missionaries take such beautiful care of yours.” A wonderful opening, by the way, for starting a mothers’ meeting at which we used to discuss the care and training of our little ones. A mother arrived early one meeting day to tell me, “I tried on my children what you suggested last week, and it worked.”

Quite different was this set of mothers who had long been in contact with the missionaries, from the mother in a Persian village who begged a missionary to put a cent on her baby’s head and write a prayer that it might not die as six others had done in that family. The missionary replied with some severity that it was much more to the purpose to have the mother learn to take proper care of it, for the baby was not yet a year old and she was feeding it with meat and fruit.

In most if not all of the non-Christian lands whose child life we are studying there seems to be the tendency to two extremes. The children are often nursed by the mother for two, three, five, or even more years, and at the same time they are allowed to eat anything that their fancy dictates or that they can get hold of. Mrs. Noyes of China says that if the mother has no milk she cannot afford to buy canned milk, and of course fresh milk is entirely out of her reach. So she chews rice most carefully until it is soft and mushy, then takes it from her own mouth and puts it, germs and all, into the baby’s mouth. This diet is supplemented with rich cakes and the inevitable tea. Another missionary tells us that, if a child in China is ill, his appetite is tempted by rich, heavy food or fruit, and adds, “the mortality of children is frightful.”

An unwholesome diet.

Mrs. Underwood, an experienced mother and physician who has lived and worked many years in Korea, says:

Every imaginable practice which comes under the definition of unhygienic or unsanitary is common. Even young children in arms eat raw and green cucumbers, unpeeled, acrid berries, and heavy, soggy bread. They bolt quantities of hot or cold rice, with a tough, indigestible cabbage, washed in ditch water, prepared with turnips, and flavored with salt and red pepper. Green fruit of every kind is eaten with perfect recklessness of all the laws of nature, and with impunity....

But even these, so to speak, galvanized-iron interiors are not always proof. It takes time, but every five or six years, by great care and industry, a bacillus develops itself ... and then there is an epidemic of cholera.[9]

It is one of the most difficult lessons to impress on those who have become Christians that true Christianity, lived out to its logical conclusion, includes all that proper physical care of the child which, with the right mental and spiritual training, shall prepare it to take its place in the world.

Dr. Exner, recently in physical educational work in the Y. M. C. A. at Shanghai, says:—

Hygiene and the child problem.

“The need of the knowledge of hygiene has a very definite bearing on the child problem. Thousands upon thousands of children are killed simply for the lack of knowledge of the simplest elements of feeding and care. To illustrate: A well educated Chinese teacher, graduate of a mission school, fed his five months’ old daughter a piece of rich cake. It developed intestinal trouble from which it died in spite of expert medical care. When I expressed my sympathy, he said, ‘Well, it is the Lord’s will.’ I added to myself, ‘You should know better!’”

How much easier it is to say piously, “It is the Lord’s will,” than to take trouble and bear expense and lay aside age-long custom and prejudice in order that little ones may live! But we must not judge too harshly when we remember how long it has taken more enlightened lands to learn the great value of the lives of the children and how to care for these lives. Rather should we be all the more ready to send and carry to them the light and knowledge that have come to us. Then there will be fewer such scenes as one missionary mother witnessed in Syria. It was in a Jewish family where there were four little girls. The baby was a mass of sores from head to foot, and the missionary physician said that they were merely the result of mal-nutrition. But the mother said that her husband was utterly unwilling to buy a little milk each day,—“It is not worth while, for she is only another little girl.”

Special work for missionary mothers.

It is a most legitimate and absolutely essential part of missionary work,—and not one of the easiest tasks, either,—to teach parents that “children intelligently fed during infancy, childhood, and youth may hope for normal health in adult life, with natural physical strength, endurance, buoyancy.” Here is a special field of labor for missionary mothers, who have this advantage over physicians and teachers that they can teach by object lessons which always make a deeper impression than exhortation or verbal instruction. Of course the missionary mother often has the great handicap of an adverse climate in which to bring up her child. But her intelligent application of the principles she should learn in order to fit her for motherhood, and her willingness to teach these principles to the ignorant mothers so interested in all that pertains to the little foreign baby, may be some of the greatest factors in the future welfare, stamina, and development of great nations such as China and India.

Children starving.

Which is more harmful to a child, reckless, indiscriminate over-feeding or under-feeding and starvation diet? In lands swept periodically by famine or flood or devastated by war and massacre, there are thousands of little children who literally starve to death while other thousands continue to exist,—but what an existence it is! How can it but have its evil effect on the mind and morals of a child as well as on its physical well-being to be deprived of proper or sufficient nourishment during the years of growth and development? If child welfare is the legitimate, rightful responsibility of every Christian woman, then it behooves us to see that such scenes as the following cease to be possible anywhere in the world.

One mother, a widow with four children dependent on her, told me, with tears streaming down her face, how she had tried to throw away the skeleton-like little baby she carried in her arms, but she said the child always found its way back to her, and she added, “It is not easy to give one’s own child away.” She said she felt sometimes she would just have to drink poison, and put an end to her miserable existence, and one of the others asked her what would become of her children if she did that, and she said, with despair in every feature, “Don’t ask me.”[10]

In a later chapter we shall learn of what is being done through Christian orphanages for many little famine waifs and the orphans of those killed in battle and massacre, but, when we consider the untold harm to body and mind that has befallen these children before help reaches them, we realize that we must hereafter work with heart and soul at the task of prevention of these great evils if we believe in the welfare of the human race.


“Health,” we are told by Dr. E. T. Devine, “is influenced by the occupations and habits of growing children; by their play and their attendance at school; by the attention given to their eyesight, hearing, breathing, and digestion, to their spines, and to the arches of their feet, to their position at the desk, and to the type from which their text books are printed; by the readiness with which they make friends and so enter into the natural sports and exercises of childhood; by the development of their self-control, and their more or less unconscious acceptance of standards of conduct and principles of action which will be their ultimate safeguard against those diseases and weaknesses which come from indulgence of wrong appetites and desires.”


Judged by these standards, what chances have the children of Asia and Africa and the Pacific Islands for being safeguarded against disease and weakness and death? Consider the one matter of “attention to the arches of their feet” and compare such a standard of health with the age-long custom of foot-binding in China, and what hope is there for perfect, blooming health among the women of China or their children? A full description of the horrible custom of foot-binding may be found in Dr. James S. Dennis’s “Christian Missions and Social Progress” (vol. 1, p. 212). The effects of it upon the little girl victims are thus described by one who has every right to speak on the subject.

Mrs. Archibald Little, whose position as president of the Natural-feet Society has given her special reason for investigating, says in her book, “Intimate China”: “During the first three years (of foot-binding) the girlhood of China presents a most melancholy spectacle. Instead of a hop, skip, and a jump, with rosy cheeks like the little girls of England, the poor little things are leaning heavily on a stick somewhat taller than themselves, or carried on a man’s back, or sitting sadly crying. They have great black lines under their eyes, and a special curious paleness that I have never seen except in connection with foot-binding. Their mothers sleep with a big stick by the bedside, with which to get up and beat the little girl should she disturb the household by her wails; but not uncommonly she is put to sleep in an outhouse. The only relief she gets is either from opium, or from hanging her feet over the edge of her wooden bedstead, so as to stop the circulation. The Chinese saying is, “For each pair of bound feet there has been a whole kang, or big bath, full of tears.” And they say that one girl out of ten dies of foot-binding or its after-effects.”[11]

Among the changes that are sweeping over China, the Anti-foot-binding Movement ranks high in importance. It is receiving daily impetus by reason of all the new things Chinese women and girls want to do, which are impossible to accomplish unless they can walk instead of hobble. When this movement has really conquered the custom and “fashion” of centuries, there will be a better health report from the girls of China.

Utter carelessness or ignorance of the first principles of cleanliness is responsible for much ill-health and death. A “swat-the-fly campaign” would save thousands of unprotected baby faces from being covered with loathsome disease or disfigured with dangerous eye trouble, but it would encounter not only hopeless inertia,—it would arouse serious religious opposition. In some countries the “sacredness of life” means,—Protect the fly, no matter what happens to the baby.

Medical practice in non-Christian lands.

One subject, upon which Dr. Devine has not touched in his list given above, is the necessity for the protection of well children from contagious diseases, and of skilful, tender care of the sick. We might easily fill a chapter with the study of so-called “medical practice” as conducted in non-Christian lands,—a practice composed largely of mingled superstition, ignorance, cruelty, and avarice—but a few pages on the subject in addition to our earlier study of what takes place at the time of childbirth will suffice, we trust, to make earnest Christian women desire to study it further. It is easy to shrink from contemplating the sufferings of innocent children, and many a woman is tempted to say, “I am too sensitive, I cannot hear about such things.” But are we more sensitive than the little, shrinking, pitiful children to whom these things happen daily? Therefore, not to encourage morbid curiosity, but in order that as Christian mothers and sisters we may lift the burden from little shoulders unable to bear it, let us fearlessly face the facts as they are.

Contagious diseases.

The frightful ravages made by smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and even the milder “children’s diseases,” such as measles and whooping-cough, often devastate whole towns and carry away the larger part of the children in a community. Smallpox, for instance, is so common in Korea that it is not considered worth while to try to escape it. It is caused by the visit of a very great and honored spirit, and while he remains the children are addressed in high sounding terms in honor of their great guest. When he is about ready to return to the south land, i.e., when the child has nearly recovered, a feast is made in honor of the visitor and he is provided with a wooden horse for his journey.

On an itinerating journey in Korea Dr. and Mrs. Underwood with their little boy stopped at a village called Pak Chun and had a rather disturbing experience.

Just before leaving, I saw a child quite naked, covered with smallpox pustules in full bloom, standing near our door. I asked one of the natives if there was much of that disease in the village at present. “In every house,” was the concise reply. “Why, there is none in the house we are in,” said I with confidence. “Oh, no, they took the child out the day you came in order to give you the room,” was the reassuring answer. We had eaten and slept in that infected little room, our blankets all spread out there, our trunks opened, everything we had exposed. We had even used their cooking utensils and spoons and bowls before our own packs had arrived. For ourselves we had been often exposed, and believed ourselves immune. Mr. Underwood had nursed a case of the most malignant type, and I had been in contact with it among my patients,—but our child! So we sent a swift messenger with a despatch to the nearest telegraph station, twenty-four hours away, to Dr. Wells, in Pyeng Yang. He at once put a tube of virus into the hands of a speedy runner, who arrived with it a week later.

We found the country full of smallpox, measles, and whooping-cough, and added to our smallpox experience an exactly similar one with measles.[12]

The loud death wail goes up from a village home in Persia where a little life has been snatched away by diphtheria. Instantly every mother in the village seizes her baby and the next-to-the-youngest toddles after, and all gather in the family room of the little mud home, where the body lies, and show their sympathy by adding their voices to the general din. Fortunately custom decrees that burial take place as speedily as possible, but the mischief has already been done, and echoes of the death wail are heard from far and near.

Call over the roll of physicians of your own Board. A wonderful report it would be if each could respond and give the number of epidemics through which he or she has worked unflinchingly, bringing hope and comfort and life to hundreds and thousands stricken down not only by the diseases already mentioned but by typhus, cholera, and plague. Call the roll of the countries where no law demands isolation or precautions of any kind, and one after another would respond, if it could, in terms of loving gratitude to missionaries who have introduced or freely used vaccine, anti-toxin, cholera serum, and other products of medical science. Many lands are now awaking to the possibility and desirability of using preventive measures, and vaccination, for instance, is very prevalent in China. It is good to hear Dr. Estella Perkins of China say, after an epidemic of scarlet fever, “I must say, however, that these young mothers have been very obedient to orders. I know by the number of dispensary cases of sequelae in patients I did not treat, that the careful following of directions by the mothers of my children must have saved half of them from bad results of the disease. It is a comfort to be able to do something more than prescribe a little medicine.”

Cruel treatment of sick children.

We spoke above of the ignorance, cruelty, superstition, and avarice that compose so largely the medical practice of the Orient. Disease is very frequently considered the work of an evil spirit which must either be appeased by offerings or driven out by harsh and cruel treatment. And so the tender little bodies are branded with hot irons, pierced by needles, or burned with rags dipped in oil and set on fire. While the little one suffers, a witch doctor may be called in to use his incantations, or the mother may take a little rag from some article of the child’s clothing and tie it to a sacred tree already covered with hundreds of these rags, or the string of beads or the entrails of a beast are consulted to see if the omen is favorable for administering medicine. Let me give just one case from Central Africa which can be duplicated many times over from the records of other lands.

As an example let me give the case of a lad who was suffering from tuberculosis. He had consulted the witch doctor, and after having paid his fee was told that he had been poisoned. Whereupon the “surgeon” drew his knife out from his belt and made a number of small incisions. He then declared he could see the poison inside the youth, and took it away. But the lad was not cured, and so came down to give the European’s wisdom a trial.[13]

Christian help for sick children.

Thank God, there is a brighter side to the story. In the name of the little Child of Bethlehem the little children of sorrow and darkness and suffering are being reached and helped and cured and loved. In many a mission hospital and many a humble home the blind are receiving sight, the crooked limbs are being straightened, the burning fever is checked, the hollow cheeks are growing round and rosy. The last word picture of this chapter shall be from the pen of Mrs. Gerald F. Dale, the mother-saint who presides over the women’s and children’s hospitals in Beirut, Syria.

Children’s Pavilion, Beirut.

The Children’s Pavilion is the arena which calls into play the whole gamut of one’s emotions. Such poor, wasted faces; such robust, jolly faces; so much pain; so much fun; twisted limbs before operation, straight ones after; noses and mouths cobbled and mended, a stitch here, a fold there, and what a change! It requires the standpoint of the East to unravel the full meaning of little Hindiyeh’s exclamation, who, gazing in admiration at her straightened legs, looked up with a merry laugh and said: “Curse the religion of the father of my legs as they used to be!” A baby-boy was to have no say in the matter of his poor crumpled-up little club-feet, for the mother begged that only one might be straightened, in order to save him from military service in the future.... The children’s favorite game is “operations,” the patient being in turn a real child or a doll. Everything is reproduced to the life. A pin stuck into the doll’s mouth is a thermometer; sawdust stuffing makes a most realistic draining wound; bits of wire and gauze are twisted into a mask, and chloroform is poured from an empty spool. The scientific bandaging of head, legs, and arms shows how intently the little brains have observed. They are busy with other things too; hymn after hymn is learned, the commandments, verses, psalms.

Everything that is dropped into these receptive minds stays, and once there will be shared, who can tell by how many? It is the little child who shall lead, and it is the handful of corn whose fruit shall shake like Lebanon.[14]

The Christ-Child and these little ones.

“The place where the young Child lay” was the place where the brooding mother love shining from the tender mother eyes hovered over the little One to guard and protect and care for Him in His appealing helplessness. And from those lips, once cooing in sweet babyhood, come down to us the words,—“Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these little ones, ye did it unto Me.”

Little Abraham found living alone in a ruined house, and brought to the door of the Mission Hospital in Persia

Abraham 18 months later, ready to be dismissed from the Hospital



Mary V. Glenton, Wuchang, China, writes in the Spirit of Missions for July, 1902:

Recently I was called to a case of childbirth away out in the country. My native assistant had asked for a holiday; she had gone that morning. After a long ride in the chair through country roads, past the pagoda, I was ushered into a small house of two rooms and then into one of these rooms to my patient. When I shut the door to keep the crowd out, and had thrown water out the window several times for the same purpose, ineffectually, I found that I must have some light and also some air; so I stationed one chair coolie at the door and another at the window, and started in. I had to give chloroform myself, as well as do the rest of the work. But after four hours’ hard work, so hard that while my feet were cold on the earth floor (it was February), the upper part of my body was in profuse perspiration, I got through, and saved the woman’s life.

Immediately there arose a most tumultuous screaming, shrieking, stamping, calling, flapping doors back and forth on their hinges, and any sort of noise that could be made. I had never heard such a din in my life. What was coming I could not imagine. I was miles away from home; it was growing dark; I had no one with me, whom I knew or could reason with, but the chair coolies, one of whom was a mere boy, the other a perfect goose, who thinks himself unusually intelligent. I managed to make myself heard after a while, enough to ask what they were doing, and found that all the din and racket were to frighten away the spirit of the dead baby that had just been born.


During the Balkan War a number of Bulgarian soldiers came into a village which had been deserted by the Turks, and there they found eight little Turkish babies who had been left behind,—girls of course. They were in a dreadful condition, but the tender heart of one of the soldiers could not bear to leave them so. He found a tub, and they undressed the babies, bathed them, and, taking some cloth from a store, bound them all up again in Oriental fashion. The tiny ladies, being very hungry, continued to cry. The dilemma was how to find food for these eight babies, all under a year of age. The kind-hearted Bulgarian was equal to the emergency. Dispatching one of his comrades to a neighboring village for some milk, he proceeded to kill eight geese. Removing and cleaning the crops from these, he filled them with the milk, using goose quills for nipples, and soon the eight babies were fast asleep. Then they sent them on into Bulgaria to be cared for, with greetings from Turkey.

(Told by Mrs. E. E. Count of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in Bulgaria.)


“What manner of Child shall this be?” Luke 1:5–14, 57–66, 80.

The little child greatly longed for—promised by God’s messenger—rejoiced over at birth—named “Jehovah is gracious,” not according to custom but with peculiar significance—grew in stature—waxed strong in spirit—God’s hand was with him.

“When I see a child he inspires me with two feelings: tenderness for what he is now, respect for what he may become hereafter.” Louis Pasteur.


O Lord Jesus Christ, we beseech Thee, by the innocence and obedience of Thy Holy childhood, guard the children of this our land and of all lands; preserve their innocence, strengthen them when ready to slip, recover the erring, and remove all that may hinder them from being really brought up in Thy faith and love; Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.


1. What do you consider the greatest need of the children of your community?

2. How does this need compare with the needs of children in the mission land in which you are most interested?

3. Name the organizations in your community that deal with Child Welfare (i.e., milk station, children’s hospital ward, etc.). How many of these exist in non-Christian lands? By whom were they introduced?

4. What can a ruling power like the British Government in India do to bring about better conservation of motherhood?

5. How would you go to work to eradicate harmful superstitions in a Mohammedan land?

6. If you were conducting a series of six mothers’ meetings in China, what topics would you select?


Child Problems, George B. Mangold—Macmillan.

“European Institutions for Protection of Motherhood,” etc. Theodore L. Smith, Pedagogical Seminary, Mar., 1912.

The Problem of Race Regeneration, Havelock Ellis.

Parenthood and Race Culture, Saleeby.

The Family and Social Life, E. T. Devine.

Fifteen Years Among the Top-Knots, L. H. Underwood—Am. Tract Soc.

Home Life in Turkey, Lucy M. J. Garnett—Macmillan.

Fetish Folk of West Africa, R. H. Milligan—Revell.

Jungle Days, Arley Munson, M.D.—D. Appleton & Co.

Our Sisters in India, Rev. E. Storrow, Chapter vii—Revell.

“The Unbinding of Bright Blossom’s Feet,” Everyland, March, 1913.

The Light of the World, R. E. Speer, Infanticide, pp. 353, 354.

Christian Missions and Social Progress, J. S. Dennis, Infanticide, vol. i, p. 133.

When I Was a Boy in China, Ian Phon Lee—Y. M. C. A. Press.

Village Life in China, Arthur H. Smith—Revell.

Village Life in Korea, J. R. Moose—M. E. Church, South.

The Chinese at Home, J. Dyer Ball—Revell.

On the Borders of Pigmy Land, Ruth B. Fisher—Revell.

“The Training of a Japanese Child,” Francis Little—Century, June, 1913.

For leaflets and Children’s Magazines see Bibliography for Chapter II.

Much valuable material will be found for this and the following chapters in all the earlier text-books of the Central Committee on the United Study of Foreign Missions. These books, studied with special reference to The Child, will bring new light and interest to their readers.


“Train up a child in the way he should go.”

A Mohammedan home in Persia—A heathen home in Africa—A Christian home in Zululand—The home the centre of a nation’s life—Christianity’s gift to non-Christian homes—Greatness of the task—Disorderly homes—Moral influences—Need of teaching the mothers—Lack of proper discipline—Lack of innocence coupled with appalling ignorance—Sex knowledge—A missionary mother’s “dream”—Position of fathers—Fathers transformed by Christianity—Motherhood—Christian wives and mothers—Child marriage—Betrothal customs—Dying child-wife—Child widows—Homes of the world need Christ—Vocation of a missionary wife—Missionary homes.

Scene One: A Mohammedan home in Persia.

A Mohammedan home in Persia.

The women’s apartments opening onto an inner court-yard present an animated scene, for some ladies from another harem have come with children and servants to make a call; i.e., to spend the afternoon, drink unlimited quantities of tea and pussy-willow-water, smoke unnumbered cigarettes alternating with the water pipe, and nibble at sweetmeats and fruits provided in large abundance. The greetings are conducted with due decorum by women and children, and then, while the servants and concubines of the home move to and fro with the proper refreshments, and while the children dispose of large quantities of sweets, the gossip of the neighborhood is discussed with animation. The conversation,—no, it cannot be repeated here, for it is not fit for the printed page; but little girls sit eagerly drinking it in, and little boys stop in their play to wink at each other with knowing looks as they catch the drift of the talk. A mere baby crawls up to attract his mother’s attention and, not succeeding, slaps her with all his tiny might as she sits on a cushion on the floor. “Oh brave boy! oh splendid boy! just see how he hits me when I do not listen to him!” And the little boy is hugged and his wishes are granted while he learns well his lesson of the inferiority of a woman,—even his mother. Presently a little girl begins to scream vigorously, having been pounded and scratched by a small boy in the party. The lad is rewarded for his manliness with a big piece of saffron candy, but the girl, being a visitor, must be consoled; and so the delightful promise is made: “Never mind; stop crying, and we will find you a nice husband. Now wouldn’t it be fine to arrange a marriage for her with the son of ——?” and so the whole matter is discussed in the child’s hearing, and she too learns her lesson,—that the one ambition of a girl must be to get married as early as possible, and the more valuable she is, the greater settlement must her prospective husband make upon her, to be paid in case he wishes to divorce her.

It is evening, the visitors are gone, and the head of the home with the older boys will take his evening meal in the anderun (women’s apartment). No cloth is spread for the whole family. The husband and sons are served on large copper trays by the women of the household, who eat later what is left. The husband is in a wretched mood and vents his anger right and left. Even the favorite wife, a young girl who has recently superseded in his affections the mothers of his children, trembles for her position when the rice is not to his taste; and suddenly at some further provocation he turns upon her, and with the words, “I divorce you,” sends her cowering from him, a divorced woman of fifteen, amid the sneers and insults of those who served and fawned on her earlier in the day.

Scene Two: A hut in Central Africa.

A heathen home in Africa.

Soon after sunrise a number of women and girls, laden with hoes, baskets, and babies, start out from the grass hut which is home to them, and make their way to the field to work all day in the hot sun. Having leisurely smoked his pipe in preparation for the day’s labors, the man of the house starts with sons and neighbors on a hunting expedition, or goes to a neighboring town to exchange his stock for some coveted article. Towards evening all is bustle and confusion about the home, as the women have returned and are preparing the evening meal. All goes merrily, for here comes the head of the house in an excellent humor. Picking up the nearest baby, he fondles it and says, “A man in the next town has just bought this baby of me as wife for his son. Being strong and fat and lusty, she has brought a good price.” Whereupon a small brother shouts with delight, for this means that the dowry for his wife is provided and the girl on whom he has set his affections can be procured without further delay. His mother is pleased,—the prospect adds to her importance,—but the seventeen year old mother of the fat, cooing baby turns away to hide her face and surreptitiously to hug her two other children. “Anyway, they are boys; they cannot be taken from me.”

The boy who is to profit by the sale of his little sister is not suited with his evening meal, and, catching a chicken, he cuts off one leg and demands that it be cooked for him. No thought of the suffering fowl interferes with his appetite, any more than of the little sister so soon to be sent out on the forest trail, her little brown body carefully oiled, to be subjected to the blows and ill-treatment of an unknown mother-in-law. But even before the little one goes, she has learned her life lessons,—that a lie is a crime only if it is discovered,—that if she does not like her husband she may console herself with some other man so long as she is not found out. And, after all, the relation may be of short duration, for, if her future husband is unkind, one of his wives will surely be an adept in the art of poisoning, and then all of them will be inherited by his brother. And so the little brown baby, fondled, petted, spoiled today, is sent out tomorrow with foul words on her tongue and foul thoughts in her heart, to be a wife and the future mother of little brown babies whose possibilities are infinite, whose opportunities are to be,—what?

Scene three: A Christian Home in Zululand.[15]

A Christian home in Zululand.

“I have already given you a peep at the life in a heathen kraal. Now repair to a Christian home. Here we find everything simpler and more quiet. Here polygamy, with all its attendant sensualities and riot, has given place to restraint of passions and a purer union. Here is but one house and one wife. The Christian man’s love is now undivided, and all his efforts are centred in one objective. The single house is no longer a stack of grass enclosing a dungeon of darkness, but a square-walled building, humble indeed, but airy and bright. In place of being obliged to crawl like animals on our knees into the heathen hut, we may enter erect as becomes the dignity of man, through swinging doors. We come not into a smoky darkness, but into a dwelling flooded with the light of glazed windows. In the kraal we found the whole family, old and young, male and female, huddled together night and day in the one small room; here we have a dwelling with separate rooms, so that parents and children and strangers may each enjoy some privacy. The air is not only light with sunshine; it is also pure and clean, for no cooking operations are performed herein, but in a special kitchen outside. In the heathen hut, whether for sitting or sleeping, we were accommodated on the floor; now we may sit more respectably on chairs, eat our meals from a table, and rest our weary bones on a raised bed.

“At four or five o’clock in the morning, according to season,—for the Zulu is an early riser,—all are up. We hear a gentle murmur from within. Ah! it is the familiar sound, so sweet to us, but never heard in the heathen kraal. It is the hour of morning prayer, when husband and wife and little ones join their hearts and voices together in a fervent hymn of praise or hopeful supplication for protection and aid.”

The home, the centre of a nation’s life.

The home is the centre of a nation’s life. More and more emphasis is being laid in enlightened communities on the need of proper home environment and on the grave risks and great dangers that accompany the lack of such environment. If one studies the labors and writings of the great social and religious workers of today, this note of emphasis on home life and training will be heard to ring out loud and clear, above all other sounds of harmony or discord,—a call to meet a definite need.

Dr. Devine has voiced this thought and enlarged upon it in its various phases in his recent book, “The Family and Social Work,” in which he claims that “To maintain normal family life, to restore it when it has been interfered with, to create conditions more and more favorable to it, is thus the underlying object of all our social work. Efforts to relieve distress and to improve general conditions are shaped by our conception of what constitutes normal family life.”

Christianity’s gift to non-Christian homes.

Any candid woman who has studied the “home-scenes” at the beginning of this chapter and has then proceeded (as it is hoped and expected that she will) to study home conditions and surroundings in other lands, will surely be ready to admit that the greatest gift Christianity has to offer to a non-Christian land is the introduction of the power of the Christ life into the homes of that land. Dr. Dennis lays great emphasis on the necessity and opportunity for missionary endeavor along this line.

The reconstruction of the family, next to the regeneration of individual character, is the most precious contribution of missions to heathen society, and we may add that it is one of the most helpful human influences which can be consecrated to the service of social elevation. In the effort to hallow and purify family life we stir the secret yearning of fatherhood and motherhood; we enter the precincts of the home, and take childhood by the hand; we restore to its place of power and winsomeness in the domestic circle the ministry of womanhood; and at the same time we strike at some of the most despicable evils and desolating wrongs of our fallen world. Nothing in the history of human society, except the teaching and example of Jesus Christ, has wrought with such energy and wisdom in introducing saving power into social development as a sanctified home life. If parental training can be made loving, faithful, conscientious, and helpful, if womanhood can be redeemed and crowned, if childhood can be guided in tenderness and wisdom, if the home can be made a place where virtue dwells, and moral goodness is nourished and becomes strong and brave for the conflicts of life, we can conceive of no more effective combination of invigorating influences for the rehabilitation of fallen society than will therein be given.[16]

Greatness of the task.

The task fairly staggers us with its greatness and its limitless scope; but let us be big enough to look even beyond all this, and, with the glorious capacity for motherhood that lies in every good woman’s breast, let us see not only the millions of homes that are in darkness and sorrow and degradation today, but also realize that the children of today are to be the fathers and mothers of tomorrow. Our work as a “great, beautiful, organized motherhood for the world” must include the preparation of these children to assume the duties of parenthood in the future, and to raise from generation to generation the standards of individual and home and national life “till we all attain unto a full grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”

Disorderly homes.

The physical conditions of a home, and the moral and spiritual characters developed in the home act and re-act on each other with clock-like precision. Would you expect a neat and orderly housemaid if you engaged a girl from a home in China which Mrs. S. C. Perkins thus describes?—

The great mass of the people live in what can only be called hovels, the family occupying one room, shared with pigs and chickens; damp, dark, unventilated, and unclean. Even in the houses of the rich there is a certain cheerlessness owing to the lack of carpets, the absence of sunlight, and the stiff arrangement of the furniture. The odor of incense in all houses renders the atmosphere close and unpleasant. The people will not use whitewash, because white is an unlucky color; indeed, their many superstitions interfere with the comfort of the poorer classes quite as much as does their poverty. In Northern China every house has its kang, a platform of stone about two feet high, underneath which a fire is kindled for warmth and for cooking, the heat being carried through it by a flue into the chimney. Here the family sleep at night, sit by day, and on it they cook their food.[17]

How much ambition would one be able to arouse in a school girl coming from this home in Burma?

The home of one of the mission school girls is described in this way: “It is a large teakwood house, and we walk right in, for there is no door bell. The large hall is half filled with piles of wood, for the family lives on the second floor. A servant tells us to go up, and we climb the long stairs. At the top we find the lady of the house sitting on a mat smoking. She motions us to be seated. In the large room are two mats, two chairs, and two tables.”[18]

Absence of innocence.

Innocent childhood, modesty, purity can hardly be counted on in the unnumbered homes of Africa, India, Persia, Korea, and other lands where the whole family lives in one room, where sons bring their brides to swell the number of those whose every act and word is seen or heard by the whole patriarchal family. If further evidence is needed of the inter-relation of the physical home surroundings and the formation of character, study the history of those savage communities that have come under the power of the Gospel, as for instance the New Hebrides Islands, and it will be very evident that “godliness is profitable for all things,” even for introducing a comfortable, tidy home in which one can stand upright and enjoy some degree of privacy!

Moral influences.

In order to learn what should be done for little children in non-Christian lands, we must know in addition to their physical needs something of the moral and spiritual influences that surround them. Of the spiritual influences we shall speak in a later chapter, and, though the moral effects on life and character have already been touched on in various ways, it seems wise to sum up briefly some of the special home influences that affect child life in the lands of which we are studying. We must be humble and teachable too, for it is true that we Americans could well be learners when it comes to the lessons in filial piety taught to Chinese children, and the careful attention to etiquette and social graces which form an important part of the training of Japanese girls.

The Chinese Mother Ideal.

In a most interesting and enlightening study of “The Chinese Mother Ideal”[19] Mrs. Gammon shows that “even a cursory glance through Chinese literature reveals teachings which if carried into effect might transform the whole empire.” But alas! “to the majority of the women of China the printed page is a sealed book,” and in many of the moral as well as the spiritual teachings we find minute instructions for outward observances, but no life-principles upon which true character may be built.

Evil influences surrounding the children.

Immodesty, shocking impurity, dishonesty, lying, disobedience, foul and abusive language, quarrelsomeness, bad habits, cruelty, anger, jealousy,—we might go on with the long terrible list of influences that surround the child from babyhood up, that are a part of his heritage, and are not treated as evils to be uprooted by careful training and wholesome example, but as qualities to be emulated. One of the “Sacred Books” of Burma says, “A statement constitutes a lie when discovered by the person to whom it is told to be untrue!” In the same way millions of children are today being taught that sin is sin only when it is found out or when it inconveniences a superior avenging power. How to teach the mothers so that their example and precepts may produce different children, that is our great problem. We hear of a convert in India who told a missionary that she “often prays for power to forget the words she heard and the things she saw and the games she played when she was a little child in her mother’s room.” I often recall an impromptu mothers’ meeting held on the mud roof of a village home in Persia, where the text was furnished by a self-righteous mother whose child had misbehaved at the afternoon service conducted by my husband. The mother boasted that she had dragged her child out of the meeting and beaten him on the head till his nose bled.

Lack of proper discipline.

Of real discipline,—punishment administered in love, not in anger, for the purpose of teaching great life principles, I have yet to discover a trace in homes untouched by the love of Christ in the lands of which we are speaking. Love there is, and how often the unexpressed yearning of the mother heart finds utterance at last when she comes into contact with a mother who knows of these things. “No plan.” A young missionary mother from China told me about a pleasant gathering of women in her parlor after her youngest baby was born. One woman said to her, “I wish I knew what to do when my children are naughty. I have no plan.” The poor woman was nursing her fourth baby, and worn by wakeful nights and constant nursing was in no condition, physically, mentally, or morally, to rule wisely her mischievous, disobedient, crying children.

Miss Holliday on child training in Persia.

From the vast amount of interesting information which our missionaries are glad to share with us the moment this subject is broached, it is difficult to select something for the limited space in this chapter. In this as in other instances, the intention is rather to whet the appetite for more, than to make an exhaustive study of the subject. Miss G. Y. Holliday of Persia says,—

I find children passionately longed for, much loved, though not at all wisely; often the tyrants of the household. It is a sad commentary on the depravity of human nature, that no matter what outrage a child commits or how abominable his conduct may be, it is considered an all-sufficient excuse to say, “He is a child,” as if there were no such things as good and well behaved children, and nothing else was to be expected but disorder and disobedience from them. The atmosphere of a Moslem home is so bad for them, with the continual swearing and vile language. I was talking one day to a small boy, the idol of his grandparents, with whom he spends most of his time. The subject was family discipline; I said, “Parents sometimes find it necessary to punish the children.” He replied with emphasis, his eyes opening wider and wider, “Yes, parents whip, they kick, they strike.”

Lack of innocence coupled with appalling ignorance.

One of the most terrible results to children of the lack of proper home life and training is loss of innocence coupled with appalling ignorance. This condition existing also in our own land is being faced in these days with new purpose and determination by earnest, conscientious men and women who are seeking in many ways to find and apply a remedy. From the many strong, true writers and speakers on this subject we select a few words written by Professor E. P. St. John of the Hartford School of Religious Pedagogy.

Prof. St. John on sex knowledge.

It is unsafe to leave a child ignorant about sex. The writer firmly believes that a majority of the evils that appear in connection with this phase of human nature could be avoided by simple, frank instruction of children and youth. The great trouble has been that parents who have clean ideas about sex and its relations have kept their lips sealed on the subject.... Even if it were desirable, children cannot be kept in ignorance of these things. Through the parents’ neglect their thoughts of these matters have too often been perverted and impure from the first. The aim should be to pre-empt the ground for cleanness and truth.

A missionary mother’s “dream.”

All honor and assistance be given to the missionary mother who, feeling the horrible need of China’s children and youth in this respect, is spending much of her furlough year in working out a plan,—a “dream” she calls it. Will you listen to her dream, and then see if it is not in your power to help the missionary mothers whom you know to make this dream a great and living reality in many of the dark habitations of the earth? “A Chinese child knows all there is to be known about the deep life truths, and knows it without the beauty of life being impressed on him. I am going to tell you a dream I have. Perhaps it is not necessary to speak of it, but it will show how strongly the awfulness of conditions has forced certain truths on me. I am inquiring among my friends, those who would know, what are the best books of sex knowledge for men and women, and especially the books or stories for children. I am already beginning the little nature stories with my own boys and intend to teach them scientifically all the truths about themselves so beautifully and so naturally and so early that they will never know when they weren’t acquainted with these facts, and will never have aught but the deepest love for the knowledge I give them. I think I can do it, with plenty of study and determination. Then as I know Chinese better, I want to conduct classes for mothers and for children, and also to get hold of our school boys and talk to them or put literature in their hands that will make better men of them. If I stayed in this country, I should push such knowledge at every turn. I expect to keep a library that I can loan to American sailors and other young men. I thoroughly believe that the propagation of such information will do more to change the life of children and the atmosphere of the Chinese home than anything else. For with this knowledge one learns the beauty and wonder of a God that could make such a beautiful human body. It is wonderful to see what Christian homes are doing, but how much more they could do with knowledge, scientific Christian knowledge, in the hearts of the parents!”

Position of the father.

The position of the husband and father in most non-Christian lands is that of supreme ruler and despot in his home. In many cases he has the power of life and death over his children, during infancy at least, and where polygamy exists many a wife has suddenly disappeared, never to be heard of again; but no one thinks of questioning the rights of the husband in the matter. His attitude toward the mothers of his children is the “sample copy” for his boys to imitate, and right faithfully do they follow his example.

An Egyptian father.

In the native quarter of Alexandria, Egypt, I saw a little boy who was very fond of making mud-pies in front of the house. One afternoon his mother stepped into the doorway and called:

“Come in, darling; don’t get your clothes so dirty. Come in, sweet one.” No answer from the four-year-old.

The mother stepped into the road, looking about to see that there were no men near to watch her, and laid a kind motherly hand on the child to take him into the house.

“Come, little one. I will give you sweets; come!”

Her husband at that moment came around the next corner, and stood still to see what would happen. The child turned on his mother, and, doubling up his little dirty fist, he beat her right in the face, and snarled, “Bint el kelb!” (Daughter of a dog), tearing himself loose.

The father stepped up, and, in place of giving the little scoundrel a thrashing, he patted his son on the back, smiled upon him, and said: “Brave little fellow! Thou magnificent little fellow!” Proud of the son who could treat a woman thus![20]

An African father.

Through the jungle of Africa strides the man carrying his pipe and a big hunting knife; after him comes his wife with a baby slung at her side, stooping under the great pack on her back, to lighten which he will not lift his little finger. Fathers transformed by Christianity. Oh! it is a sight to make angels rejoice when the grace of God touches the heart, and manliness and chivalry are aroused in him who had all his life seemed absolutely callous to the needs and sufferings of those dependent on him! In a Persian village where a missionary lady was touring, a man came to evening prayers and slipped a note into her hand that read, “Receive M. B. with love,—he is a brother.” Several years later she again visited the village, but though she had no opportunity to talk with M. B. she saw something that spoke louder and more forcibly than a dozen conversations would have done. When he was ready to go home from the meeting in the missionary’s rooms, he said to his wife, “Give me the child,” and took the heavy, sleeping boy out of her arms. In all her long years of work among Mohammedans this missionary had never seen a Mohammedan man do such a thing.

Mother and Child in Egypt

“A Japanese woman whose husband is a Christian,” writes Miss Ransome, “though she is as yet only an inquirer, said recently that the change for the better had been so marvelous in her husband that she had decided to try to rear her boy in such a way that he would eventually become an evangelist. She wanted others to know of the power of Christianity which could change a quarrelsome, drinking man to a kind, sober, industrious father.” That boy’s chance for a happy, useful life was the direct result of what the knowledge of Christ had done for his father.


The sacred vocation of motherhood is regarded almost entirely from a commercial or social standpoint in non-Christian lands. The free woman who remains unmarried is wellnigh an impossibility,—she has no chance for winning respect or position in this life, and, according to Mohammedan belief, has a very inferior place in heaven. The woman who marries and has no children needs one’s sympathy almost as much as does her unmarried sister. In many cases she may be divorced after a certain number of years if no child has been born to her, or she lives in dread of having another wife brought into the home, who will make her life miserable with taunts such as Peninnah heaped upon Hannah in days of old. And there is no hope that her lord and master will comfort her as Elkanah comforted Hannah, offering her the devotion of ten sons.

A mother of girls.

But the unmarried woman and the childless wife are not alone in their degradation and distress. Never can I forget my feelings when told of a neighbor in Persia who had just given birth to her seventh daughter. Her husband on visiting the room crossed over to where she lay on her bed on the floor, looked at her with disgust and disapproval, spat in her face and covered it with a cloth to show that she was a disgraced wife. To be the mother of sons is the great wish of a woman’s heart, to have many daughters-in-law brought into the home to serve her and cower before her tyranny is her fondest ambition, and when she attains it her influence is indeed great, and in one respect at least she is queen of her home.

Foundations of family life.

Is it a mistake in this study of child life to pay so much attention to the subjects of fatherhood and motherhood? Nowhere can we find the real remedy for the evils that degrade and debase and oppress and crush the sweet innocence and dependence of childhood unless we go back of the child to the very foundations of family life. Many great authorities in America and Europe, as well as those who have labored and studied in Oriental lands, will testify to the truth of this statement. Rev. J. Sadler of Amoy says, “You would be profoundly impressed if you could realize how the strength of heathenism is in the women. From earliest years they teach their children concerning demons, and to be early eager as to inheritance, and thus inspire selfish and quarrelsome ideas leading to divisions and life-long conflicts. The importance of women’s work cannot be estimated. The destiny of the country is largely in their hands.”[21]

Training Christian wives and mothers.

This is one side of the picture. The other is equally true. Dr. Daniel McGilvary, for half a century a missionary among the Siamese and Lao, tells of the wonderful result of a school for girls that provides Christian wives and mothers.

Notwithstanding our disappointment in the delay of the school for boys, it proved a wise arrangement that the girls’ school was started first. A mission church is sure to be greatly handicapped whose young men must either remain single,—which they will not do,—or be compelled to take ignorant non-Christian wives.... After marriage the almost universal custom of the country has been that the husband lives with the wife’s family.... Where all the atmosphere of the family is strongly Buddhist, with daily offerings to the spirits and gala days at the temple, the current would be too strong for a father, with his secondary place in the family, to withstand. For a while it was feared that Christian girls would have difficulty in finding husbands. But, on the contrary, our educated girls become not only more intelligent, but more attractive in manners, dress, and character; and therefore, have been much sought after. The homes become Christian homes, and the children are reared in a Christian atmosphere. The result is that, instead of the wife’s dragging the husband down, she generally raises the husband up; and, as a general rule, the children early become Christians.[22]

The Mohammedan girl educated in a Christian school, even though she must marry and live her life according to Mohammedan customs, takes with her to her father-in-law’s home new ideas and customs that are going far to break down the old walls of prejudice. Mrs. C. M. Wherry of India writes:—

One of the most interesting facts that has come to light during recent years is this: We do not know of any educated Moslem girl who has spent four or five years in our schools,—and I include those of the British workers too,—who has ever been subjected to the indignity of a second wife brought into her home. They seem to have gained strength of character and graces enough to hold their own against the bad influences of Mohammedanism. More and more we hear of Moslem families who practically adopt the Christian idea of marriage, that is, one woman in the home: these families frequently in giving away their daughters take pledges from the bridegroom that she is to be the only wife, while still more encouraging is the fact that many of these educated girls absolutely refuse to be given in marriage unless their parents insist on this single wife.[23]

A little Mohammedan girl had attended for a few months a small day school on the mission premises. Years afterwards her missionary teacher found her in a village, and the woman gathering her children about her led them in the Lord’s Prayer, explaining that she and the children prayed together every day.

A Christian mother in Syria.

Who can foretell the influence that will go on down through the years because of one mother in Syria who has recently passed to her reward at the age of ninety years? She was the mother of eight children, two of whom were ordained pastors, two licensed preachers, one the wife of a pastor, another a helper in the Sidon Missionary School, one is employed by the Church Missionary Society in Nazareth, and two more are teaching and preaching in the German Orphanage in Jerusalem. Think what the land of our Saviour’s sojourn would have lost had not that one mother learned to love and follow Him, and to train her children as a Christian mother should.

Child marriage.

Many chapters might easily be devoted to the subjects of child marriage and child widowhood and their frightful effect on past, present, and future generations. They have, however, been treated quite fully in recent mission study books, and so much authoritative literature on these subjects exists that it does not seem best to dwell on them at length in this connection.

But every Christian mother should pause and ask of herself earnestly, “What if it were my daughter, my son, how could I stand it? Would I not move heaven and earth to see that some remedy were found for this monstrous evil?” What if your daughter were that widowed teacher in a missionary school in China who had been married at nineteen to a boy of twelve, and who every morning after washing his face and combing his hair had to see that he started off properly to school, often crying and protesting, and then turn to her weaving, in order to earn money for his education?

Testimony of an Egyptian.

Are we overestimating the evil because of our Occidental customs and prejudices? Listen to the words of an Egyptian, translated and re-printed from a Cairo daily paper.

I am an Egyptian, and speak of that which is customary in my land; yet I wait to be shown that the Moslems of India, of Yemen, of Syria, or of Persia are in any better case....

The first step in our faulty marriage system is that of marrying boys of thirteen to girls not more than ten years of age, as is the custom. This custom is like making a fire of tender green branches; you benefit not by its warmth, but you suffer much from its smoke. How many of us have suffered from this cause? The excuse given for it is that it is to preserve our youth from impurity. But what a feeble excuse! Silence were better than such.[24]

The betrothed boy in Korea.

Strange customs prevail in different lands regarding betrothal and marriage. Their effect upon the life and status of the boy seems to be peculiarly marked in Korea.

The matter of becoming a full-fledged man does not depend upon years, but is a matter to be decided on its merits by the parents or guardians of the subject in hand. The badge of manhood is none other than the topknot, which is made by combing all the hair to the top of the head and making it into a coil about an inch and a half in diameter and four or five inches high. From the time the boy’s hair is long enough, it is plaited into a straight braid and left hanging down his back. When the time comes for him to be engaged to marry, his topknot is put up, and from that time forth he is recognized as a man. This usually takes place between the ages of ten and twenty, though he is not likely to be so old as twenty....

In a Korean Home

As long as a boy wears his hair plaited and hanging down his back, he is addressed in low talk. His age has nothing to do with the form of speech, but the style of his hair settles that. It sometimes happens that a very poor family will not be able to contract a marriage for their son, and so we occasionally meet a man thirty years old with his hair still hanging down his back.... But the boy who is honored with the precious topknot is addressed in middle or high talk, though he may be only eight or ten years old.[25]

Customs preceding marriage.

A girl’s hair receives special attention among the Persian Mohammedans, and must be banged when she is taken to the public bath on the day preceding her marriage. In one of the islands of the New Hebrides the struggling girl is held down by several old women while her two upper front teeth are knocked out as a necessary preparation for marriage.

Among the Lao, where marriage is much more honored and considered more sacred than in many other countries, the boys are freer to do their courting in person, and both boys and girls have far more voice in the selection of a life partner than in countries where women live in seclusion and where polygamy abounds.

The burden of motherhood.

Through long years there has run in my ears the brief story of a Christian servant in one of the missionary homes in Persia. “I was married at twelve years and had a baby when I was thirteen, and, oh! how glad I was when it died!” Glad? Of course she was glad. What child of thirteen would want the burden of motherhood?

Who of us who has witnessed the agonies of the little dying child-mother can ever for a moment think with carelessness or indifference of the awful custom of child marriage?

A dying child-wife.

“A girl of fifteen was dying,” writes a friend from India. “Her husband, a man of fifty or more, is a man of good position and considerable means. The girl lay in a bare room with nothing but an unbaked earthenware vessel near her. Her second baby had been born a few days or weeks before and something was wrong.... But she was a purdah woman and could not see the doctor. He had asked a few questions from outside and had diagnosed the illness as tuberculosis, was treating it as such,—and had given it as his opinion that she would die. Our pastor’s wife, dear Mrs. Roy, had somehow gone to see her. Even her non-professional eye saw that a mistake had been made, and she tried to persuade the mother to send for a woman doctor. ‘What was the use? She was doing to die.’

“Mrs. Roy expostulated indignantly with the mother for having married this child of twelve to a grown-up man, just for money. The poor child seemed so sad. Mrs. Roy told her of the Christian’s hope and a Saviour’s love. The child listened with the tears running down her face. Then she asked, ‘May I touch you?’ (Being a mother of a few days she was still unclean and no one would touch her). So Mrs. Roy went to her and held her hands and stroked her face and hair and tried to give her comfort for the journey for which she was so little prepared. Thus is the ‘hope of India’ MURDERED by custom and carelessness and greed. Oh, India is horrible!

Statistics from India. Child-marriage; Child-widowhood.

From the Missionary Review of the World (August, 1911) we quote the following statistics, each word and figure of which cries out to us Christian women, “How long, oh, how long, shall these things be?”

The figures are appalling in respect of child-marriages. The census of 1901 showed 121,500 married boys and 243,500 married girls, whose age was under five: 760,000 boys and 2,030,000 girls between the ages of five and ten; 2,540,000 and 6,586,000 between ten and fifteen. Of these, all except a certain number of girls under the last class were married before they were able to realize what marriage is. The most deplorable result of such marriages is seen in the number of widowed children; 6,000 widowers and 96,000 widows were between five and ten; 113,000 widowers and 276,000 widows between ten and fifteen.

The homes of the world need Christ.

The homes of the world need nothing so much as the presence and blessing of the Christ who brought cheer to the home in Cana, comfort to the widow’s home at Nain, resurrection and life to the home at Bethany, vision to the home in Emmaus. How are we to help to make it possible that fathers, mothers, and children in homes where He is not known should hear Him as He stands at the door and knocks, and shall open to Him that He may sup with them and they with Him? Three methods of bringing Christ to needy homes. There are at least three practical methods by which Christian women may help to bring about this result.

First: Through Christian schools which take children and youth in their impressionable years and train them to be the Christian fathers and mothers of the future. We have briefly alluded to this method and shall speak of it more at length in a later chapter.

Second: In Zenana work and other forms of visiting in the homes, in crowded cities, and isolated villages, taking to each individual home the story of the Christ who gathered the little ones in His arms, and the practical, homely lessons of efforts that Christian civilization is making in behalf of home life.

Third: Through the great object lesson, the missionary home.

Never again let it be asked in church or missionary society of a young woman starting for the foreign field, “Are you going out as a missionary, or only as a missionary’s wife?” At a conference for outgoing missionaries, a beautiful, talented college graduate, leader in many activities and full of capacity and consecration, said to a returned missionary,—“I am to be married, and have listened and listened at this conference to know what particular work is waiting for me, but there has been nothing for me as yet.” When it was pointed out to her that by means of her paramount duties and obligations as wife and mother in a missionary home she would have an opportunity of living the missionary message such as few of her fellow missionaries might have, her beautiful face lighted up with a look that illumined it. The making of a missionary home was a vocation indeed to call forth all the highest powers of her consecrated womanhood.

E. A. Lawrence on missionary homes.

Mr. E. A. Lawrence has stated so clearly the possibilities and opportunities of the missionary home that he is worth quoting at length.

There is an element of missionary life which is seldom presented, yet most important. It is the mission home.... It underlies the whole of the work, and discloses the ideal of Protestant missions more clearly than any other point....

The first thing the Protestant missionary does among the heathen is to establish a home. He approaches them not as a priest, not simply as a man, but as the head of a family, presenting Christianity quite as much in its social as in its individual characteristics. This Christian home is to be the transforming centre of a new community. Into the midst of pagan masses, where society is coagulated rather than organized, where homes are degraded by parental tyranny, marital multiplicity, and female bondage, he brings the leaven of a redeemed family, which is to be the nucleus of a redeemed society.... It is on this mission home that everything else is founded—the school, the college, the kingdom itself....

When they are at their homes, this new institution, with its monogamy, its equality of man and woman, its sympathy between child and parent, its co-operative spirit of industry, its intelligence, its recreation, its worship, is at once a new revelation and a striking object-lesson of the meaning and possibility of family life. Whether they come to his church and school or not, the natives seem always ready to visit the missionary’s home, and to remain there so long, and to conduct themselves so familiarly, that it sometimes becomes necessary to teach them by object-lesson another feature of the Christian home—its privacy....

If the family in its very existence is an important missionary agent, having a distinct work to do, not only for its own members, but for the natives, ... then there must be a distinct acceptance of this office by its members, and it must play its part in the outreaching work of the missionary. The natives must be brought in contact with this domestic sphere. The walls of the home should be at least translucent, that its light may continually shine through to them; its doors should be often open, its table often spread for them; a distinct social as well as Christian fellowship should be cultivated.[26]

At the missionary’s table.

“Given to Hospitality” might be the true epitaph on the headstone of most missionary wives, and untold lessons in love and deference between husband and wife, obedience of children, interesting and profitable table conversation, self-control, and courtesy, are taught in the missionary dining room as they could never be taught in church or school room.

Planning the day’s work.

“Won’t you write an article on the orderly management of a home for the paper published by the mission?” begged a young Christian teacher who was spending her vacation week as a guest in the missionary home. “The work of each servant and person in this house is arranged for every day, and everything goes on quietly and regularly. Our women have no plan for their day’s work, and I wish they might know how you do it.”

“I was taking dinner at the home of Mr. C.,” said a native pastor, “and his little boy cried for some more of the food he liked. Instead of giving it to him, his mother actually sent him away from the table to stay until he could be pleasant! I never heard of such a thing, but I went home and told my family about it.”

Learning to cook.

Mrs. J. C. Worley of Matsuyama, Japan, writes: “One woman whom Mr. Worley baptized a year ago walked thirty-five miles over the mountains and carried a baby on her back to get to us so she could learn foreign cooking in a week. I could not do too much after she had made such an effort. She came over every morning into our kitchen, and we proceeded to cook; she with paper and pencil in hand and watching with both eyes. I am wondering what I shall be expected to eat next time we go there. I taught her some new songs for the Sunday School she and her husband hold in their little mountain village. I just wanted to fill her up with good thoughts and helps to take home, as she had made such an effort to get here.”[27]

The baby who made her smile.

Even the little missionary children may have their unconscious share in kindling a new light that shall shine in palace and hovel, and be reflected in the faces of parents and children who have long since lost the radiant look they were meant to wear. A woman of high position was making a very formal call in the missionary home, accompanied by many retainers. Every effort was made by the ladies of the station to entertain her fittingly and to bring some gleam of interest to the weary, hopeless face. The piano, beautiful pictures, the wonderful writing machine (typewriter), dainty refreshments,—all were acknowledged courteously, but, neither interest nor heart was touched. At last in desperation the tiny baby in her dainty, long dress was brought out from the bedroom, and, as the visitor’s arms were stretched out eagerly for the cunning form, so different from any baby she had ever seen, the little face looked up into the sad, wondering eyes, and a beautiful smile crept into the baby eyes and hovered about the rosebud mouth. “Oh, see,” whispered the servants in eager watchfulness, “our lady is smiling,—smiling for the first time since her brother died. God bless the little baby who made her smile!”

Ah yes! God bless the missionary babies, and the missionary fathers and mothers, and every one of the men and women whose hearts glow with the love of the great Father whose supreme will it is that “not one of these little ones should perish!”



Christianity will call into existence a sympathy between parents and children hitherto unknown, and one of the greatest needs of the Chinese home. It will teach parents to govern their children, an accomplishment which in four millenniums they have never made an approach to acquiring. This it will do, not as at present by the mere iterative insistence upon the duty of subjection to parents, but by showing parents how first to govern themselves, teaching them the completion of the first relations by the addition of that chiefest one hitherto unknown, expressed in the words Our Father. It will redeem many years during the first decade of childhood, of what is now a mere animal existence, filling it with fruitfulness for a future intellectual and spiritual harvest.

It will show Chinese parents how to train as well as how to govern their children—a divine art of which they have at present no more conception than of the chemistry of soils. (Dr. Arthur H. Smith, “Village Life in China.” Revell.)


I have been much interested in our Mothers’ Meetings this winter. They meet at our house twice a month, and we have been trying to have some very practical talks which shall help them to be better mothers and women. The need for such talks is very great, and I wonder more and more that so many children escape physical and moral wreck. Our more intelligent women realize their need for instruction and help, and are very grateful for the opportunities given them by these meetings, but a large number come only out of curiosity. Some of the young women say, “You ought to have these meetings for our mothers-in-law instead of for us. They govern the house and our children. We would like to try these methods. We know they are right, but we are not allowed our way.” But I know it is hopeless to do anything with the grandmothers, and I believe that at least these young women will learn enough to keep their hands off when their turn comes to be mothers-in-law! It’s a long look ahead, but well worth while to plan for the future generation, even though we cannot do all we long to for the present one. (Mrs. Henry Riggs, Harpoot, Turkey.)


In a small village near Hoi-How lived Sitli Nin, a poor woman, worn out by a life of hard work, bitter poverty, and sorrow. Her husband had become a victim of the opium habit, and squandered what little property she had. When her eldest boy was eight years old, the inhuman father, in order to gratify his cravings, sold him to a Hong Kong boatman, and the mother never heard from him since. Eight times she had attempted suicide, three times by drowning, three times by hanging, and twice by taking opium; but in the latter case she had failed to take enough, and the other times love for her children restrained her at the last moment. By some chance the ladies of our mission found her. Her husband was persuaded to take the opium cure at the hospital.... While he was in the hospital, she attended the services at the mission, and was genuinely converted. Her husband was cured, and they went home rejoicing in their new-found happiness. (Josephine P. Osmond, “Home Life in Hainan,” leaflet of Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church)


Sir W. W. Hunter says, “In Bengal, out of every thousand girls between five and nine years of age, two hundred and seventy-one are married. More than ten boys in every thousand between five and ten years old are bridegrooms; while of girls, twenty-eight in one hundred are wives or widows at an age when, if they were in Europe, they would be in the nursery or infant school.”

In England, out of every hundred females of twenty years of age and upwards, 25.80 are single, 60.60 are married and 13.60 widows.

“A Brahmin of Bengal gave away his six aunts, eight sisters, and four daughters in a batch of altogether eighteen, in marriage to one person—a boy less than ten years old. The brides of three generations were in age from about fifty years to three months at the lowest. The baby bride was brought to the ceremony on a brass plate.” (Quoted from Times of India.)

The origin and authority for early marriage are worthy of inquiry. Like so many Hindu customs, it claims a quasi-divine authority, and is based on certain reasons which, from the Hindu point of view, are of great weight. “Reprehensible,” says Manu, “is the father who gives not his daughter in marriage at the proper time.” And all commentators say the proper time is before the age of puberty.... A high legal authority, Mr. Justice Moothoswami Iyer, recently said, “According to custom now obtaining, a Brahmin girl is bound to marry, for fear of social degradation, before she attains maturity. Marriage is of the nature of a sacrament which no Brahmin is at liberty to neglect without forfeiting his caste.”... Thus a religious or sacramental purpose has been operative here, as in most other departments of Hindu life and thought.... There has been one strong incentive to early marriage, which in the past might be urged in its justification. The unsettled, precarious conditions of life, from the remotest times until the establishment of British power, encouraged parents to have their children married as soon as possible. (Rev. E. Storrow, “Our Sisters in India.” Revell.)


The usual age for a Mohammedan girl to marry is thirteen or fourteen, but in many places they marry as early as eight.... Poor little girl wives! They are taken away from home before they are grown up, and although they are now married women they cannot help behaving as children. There was one young wife of a Government official who received her visitors with the utmost dignity and propriety, and then could not resist the temptation to pinch the old black woman who was handing the tea and make her jump....

A Little Goanese Bride in India

Even when the children grow older their mothers, grown-up children themselves, do not know how to manage them.... One woman bit her little boy’s hand till it bled badly. He was about seven, and had cried to have his best coat on when he went to see the missionary. Another woman bit the cheek of a poor little consumptive girl of eight or nine so that there was a great bruise and the skin was broken. She told a neighbor, with a laugh, that she had got angry with the child because she was tiresome about taking her medicine, which was very nasty.

There is no command in the Koran that girls should be married so young, but the mothers declare that it was the command of Mohammed, and certainly he himself set the example by marrying a girl of nine....

The man is absolute master in his own house, and unless his wife has powerful relations he may do what he likes to her and her children, and no one will take any notice. I knew one woman whose husband treated her like a slave. He forced her not only to do all the work of the house, but the work of the stable too, for he was well enough off to keep a horse. He killed one child in her arms, and twice stole another away from her, sending it once to a town a week’s journey off, and once to another part of the town. Finally he divorced her, without giving any reason, and left her ill and destitute. And she had at no time any redress....

Little Bagum, the child-wife, was deliberately and cruelly burnt by her husband, and was brought to the mission hospital. There was no hope of recovery, but all was done that was possible to relieve her pain and brighten her last days. She had heard something of the Gospel story from a missionary who had paid a visit to her native village, and she had been so interested that she asked two Persian children to teach her more. When she was brought to the hospital even the terrible pain she was suffering did not make her forget the wonderful story, and she begged to be told more and more. And, resting in the love of Christ and trusting wholly in Him and His salvation, she loved to sing of the joy to which He was going to take her, and kept begging for “Here we suffer grief and pain,” until even the Mohammedan women would sit beside her and sing the hymn that comforted her so much....

“I have a foolish husband,” said one little girl, “He says he will beat Jesus Christ out of me, but he can only beat my body, and Jesus Christ is in my heart, so he cannot beat Him out.”

(Mrs. Malcolm, “Children of Persia,” Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.)


Psalm 128

v. 2. The busy father working with joy for the maintenance of the home.

v. 3. The happy, willing, successful mother, striking the keynote of the home.

v. 3. The vigorous young children growing up in the home.

v. 4, 5. All this is the token of God’s rich blessing to him who puts God first, and who is interested in the growth of God’s kingdom as well as in his own home.

v. 6. Not only as parents but as grandparents God’s blessing will be enjoyed.


We thank Thee, O Lord,

For the sweet and silent years of the Holy Childhood.

For the light and gladness brought into the world by little children.

For Thy servants who, by word and good example, are protecting and guiding Thy lambs in the dark and waste places.

For the Christian nurture, Christian homes, and Christian parents, which are the gifts of the Christ-Child to our nation; the strength of its life and the hope of its future.

For Thine assurance that inasmuch as we have done it unto the least of Thy little ones, we have done it unto Thee.

For the growing interest and co-operation of the children of the Church in the up-building of the world-wide Kingdom.

May it please Thee—

To guard and protect the innocence of children, and by their example to win men and women to a worthier life.

To bless family life, and direct parents in their sacred task, that Thy children may have a fear and love of Thy Holy Name.

To bring to the mothers of the world the knowledge which alone can sanctify their joy and soothe their sorrow.

(Spirit of Missions, February, 1910.)


1. What is the saddest part of the life of a girl in India?

2. What do you consider the greatest sorrow of Mohammedan motherhood? Of heathen motherhood?

3. What methods can you suggest for effecting a beneficial change in the home life of the Chinese?

4. What feature of home life in Mohammedan lands most needs to be improved?

5. What effect would it have on your boy to be married at the age of fourteen?

6. If you could make marriage laws, what would you set as the lowest marriage age for boys? For girls?

7. Name the missionary wives and mothers of your acquaintance. In what ways do they serve and help the communities in which they live?



Home Life in China Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church.
Home Life in Syria
Home Life in Siam
Home Life in Persia
Home Life in Hainan
Home Life in Korea
Home Life in Africa
Home Life in India
Home Life in Japan
Child Life among the Lao
Other Children
Being a Boy in Korea Woman’s Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church.
Selma (Beirut)
A Faithful Follower
Auntie’s Explanation
Child Life in China Woman’s Presbyterian Board of Missions of the Northwest.
Story of Satabia
Child Life in Burma Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Foot Binding in China
Little Daughters of Islam
Motherhood in Heathen Lands
Young Ladies here, Young Ladies there
Childhood in Heathen Lands
Child Life in Turkey Woman’s Board of Missions of the Congregational Church.
Chih, the little Chinese Girl
Sister May’s Impressions Woman’s Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church in America.
Village of the Milky River
Sorrows of Heathen Motherhood Woman’s Baptist Foreign Missionary Society.


World Wide American Baptist Publication Society, Ford Bldg., Boston, Mass.
Over Sea and Land Pres. Bd. For. Miss., 156 Fifth Ave., New York City.
Day Star Woman’s Bd. of For. Miss. Ref. Ch. in Am., 25 E. 22d St., N. Y.
Lutheran Boys and Girls Lutheran Board, 1424 Arch St., Phila.
Children’s Missionary Friend Woman’s For. Miss. Soc. of the M. E. Church, 581 Boylston St., Boston, Mass.
Everyland Everyland Publishing Co., 156 Fifth Ave., New York, N. Y.

See magazines of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Boards.

See also Bibliography for Chapter I.


“Boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.”

Questions concerning play and work—Two great movements, Playground movement and Child Labor movement—The importance of play—Children at play in Japan—Games known the world over—Children at play in Africa—In the desert—Why play stops so early in non-Christian lands—Need of the “Spirit of Play” in children and parents—The message of a doll—Child labor—Bedouin and African girls at work—Children at work in many lands—Child slavery—Rescue homes for slave children—Defective and dependent children—Orphans and orphanages—Famine waifs—Blind, deaf and dumb children—Homes for untainted children of lepers—A crime in the name of civilization—The Child in the Midst.

What is play?

How would you answer these questions?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of play?

At what age would you wish your child to stop playing?

What would be the physical and moral consequences to a child who practically stopped playing at or before the age of ten years?

At what age would you advise that a child begin to work for commercial profit?

If it is good for the children in whom you are interested to have time and opportunity for play, how far would the same rule hold good for other children in America? For children of other countries?

Name the countries in which defective and dependent children may be neglected or overworked without danger to world-welfare.

Reversing the stereotyped text-book arrangement, we place our questions at the beginning rather than at the end of this chapter. Every thoughtful woman is begged to stop and answer these questions,—in writing, if feasible,—as fully and as honestly as possible, and then, after carefully studying the subject, to see if her opinions have altered in any particulars.

Two great movements.

Two of the great movements that are sweeping over our land,—the Playground movement and the movement to create and enforce proper laws concerning Child Labor,—are engrossing the attention of some of our greatest and wisest men and women. The abundance of literature on these subjects, the time devoted to them in great conventions and in lesser gatherings, the very opposition encountered in the ranks of those who profit by the exploitation of America’s growing children,—all go to prove that they belong to the living issues of the day. Our grandmothers would doubtless have been shocked beyond words to be told that the subject of their children’s play belonged to the “Child Problems” studied by the country at large through its Juvenile Commission, and had become a matter for legislation and financial appropriation by state and municipality! But so it is, and Hygiene and Psychology and various other learned sciences each claim a voice in the subject of the play and the work of the nation’s children.

The importance of play.

A few extracts from earnest writers and thinkers on this subject will illustrate their view point.

All animals play. Play is likewise one of the fundamental instincts of the child. If there are any inherent rights of childhood, the right to play must be considered one of them. It carries with it immeasurable benefits, but the exact results still remain comparatively uncertain. It is unquestionable, however, that play promotes the physical and mental development of the child, and that it is no mean factor in his social and moral elevation.... The ancient attitude toward play was that of toleration of the ebullient spirits of the growing boy.... The utilitarian function of play was undreamed of. The physical weakness of the child and his incapacity for concentrated thought and endeavor saved to him the enjoyment of play until his parents could use his services in some gainful occupation.... Play—the most enjoyable right of childhood—was unduly curtailed, and even at the present day its value is minimized by many who do not recognize its varied functions....

Whatever be the correct theory of play—that it is practice in the line of future methods of conduct, that it is simply the discharge of the surplus energy of the young, or that it is for the purpose of relaxation and recreation only—whatever theory be adopted, the inestimable value of play to the child and to the nation cannot be gainsaid. Play is an irrepressible method of self-expression....

The social and moral influences of play produce indelible effects upon the child mind.... The recognition of mutual rights is one of its initial values. These rights are but little understood by the unthinking child, and when brute force permits, are often entirely overthrown or perverted into a mere toleration of privileges.... On the supervised playground a new regime is put into operation.... The growth of the instinct of co-operation is perhaps the most valuable result of play.... Ability to co-operate spells ability to excel.[28]

Jane Addams on Play.

Miss Jane Addams of Hull House, Chicago, speaks with no uncertain sound and with undisputed authority on this subject.

This stupid experiment of organizing work and failing to organize play has, of course, brought about a fine revenge. The love of pleasure will not be denied, and, when it has turned into all sorts of malignant and vicious appetites, then we, the middle aged, grow quite distracted, and resort to all sorts of restrictive measures. We even try to dam up the sweet fountain itself because we are affrighted by these neglected streams; but almost worse than the restrictive measures is our apparent belief that the city itself has no obligation in the matter, an assumption upon which the modern city turns over to commercialism practically all the provisions for public recreation.[29]

Professor St. John on the little girl and her doll.

Singling out one type of the play instinct, the little girl and her doll, Professor St. John of the Hartford School of Religious Pedagogy says:—

Altruistic feeling had its origin in motherhood, and it has reached no greater heights of self-denial and service than in that same relationship. In playing with her doll the child is in thought and feeling making that experience her own. At a very formative period of her life it gives her much the same training that the race has received through the actual experience.... Every impulse toward loving care of the doll should be encouraged. To the child in her play it is a living child, and hence the experience provides the same kind of emotional training that would come from the care of a baby, without the obvious disadvantages to the infant.

Kate Douglas Wiggin says, “Every mother knows the development of tenderness and motherliness that goes on in her little girl through the nursing and petting and teaching and caring for her doll.”[30]

If we agree with an axiom laid down in the first chapter (p. 7) of this book, that one of the inalienable rights of every child is to follow his instinct for healthful play, it is now our privilege and pleasure to watch the little ones of many lands with their tripping feet and merry voices and lithe little bodies. We instinctively turn to Japan, “the paradise of children,” where annually at the “Feast of Dolls” the whole home becomes a big playhouse for the girls of the family, and where the “Feast of Flags” is the day dedicated to the boys of the nation. We certainly must stop long enough to see what is done at these feasts.

Feast of Dolls.

And then there is the feast most loved in the whole year, the Feast of Dolls, when on the third day of the third month the great fire-proof store-house gives forth its treasures of dolls,—in an old family, many of them hundreds of years old,—and for three days, with all their belongings of tiny furnishings, in silver, lacquer, and porcelain, they reign supreme, arranged on red-covered shelves in the finest room of the house. Most prominent among the dolls are the effigies of the Emperor and Empress in antique court costume, seated in dignified calm, each on a lacquered dais. Near them are the figures of the five court musicians in their robes of office, each with his instrument. Beside these dolls, which are always present and form the central figures at the feast, numerous others, more plebeian, but more lovable, find places on the lower shelves, and the array of dolls’ furnishings which is brought out on these occasions is something marvelous....

Feast of Flags.

As the Feast of Dolls is to the girls, so is the Feast of Flags to the boys,—their own special day, set apart for them out of the whole year. It comes on the fifth day of the fifth month.... When the great day at last arrives, the feast within the home is conducted in much the same way as the Feast of Dolls. There are the same red-covered shelves, the same offerings of food and drink; but instead of the placid images of the Emperor and Empress and the five court musicians, the household furnishings, and toilet articles, there are effigies of the heroes of history and folk-lore.... Behind each figure stands a flag with the crest of the hero in miniature. The food offered is mochi wrapped in oak leaves, because the oak is among trees what the carp is among fishes, the emblem of strength and endurance. The flower of the day is the iris or flag, because of its sword-shaped leaves,—hence the name, Shobu Matsuri, feast of iris or flag.[31]

Playground movement in Japan.

It is a matter for heartfelt rejoicing that the Japanese Government has seized upon the idea of the Playground Movement as one of the really essential activities of some of the great Christian nations, and is introducing playgrounds for the benefit of Japanese children, who certainly deserve a suitable place and opportunity to follow their instinct for play. We hope that hammocks and sandpiles for babies will soon eliminate one feature of the play hour which is described by many missionaries and tourists.

“We have such hosts of children here in Tokyo,” writes Mrs. J. K. McCauley. “We go out and see boys on high stilts, with babies on their backs, and we tremble lest they fall and drop the baby; but I have never heard of one who did; and we see girls, jumping the rope with babies on their backs, and playing battledore and shuttlecock, dodging, hopping, stooping, and the wee baby’s head bobbing up and down, laughing, and sometimes crying; but the playing goes on, winter, summer, no matter how cold, unless raining or snowing. The streets swarm with children, with bright colored kimonos, bright eyes, rosy cheeks, and on wooden shoes, making such a clatter; but seldom are they noisy in their play, but fun-loving as any children in the world!”[32]

Other lands feel the need of play.

That other lands than Japan are beginning to be aroused on the subject of Child Play by America’s example is proved by the fact that in April, 1913, letters were received by the Playground and Recreation Association of America from Persia, Russia, China, and Uruguay regarding recreation in those countries. The suggestion is made that perhaps as Rome gave to the world law, and Greece gave art, so America may contribute play as her share towards the world’s progress.

Games that are known the world over.

There are some games that seem to be as instinctive to mankind as are the processes of eating and sleeping. Kites, tops, and marbles appear at their proper seasons in Korea, India, and Persia, the rules of “Hop-Scotch,” “tag,” “hide and seek,” “crack the whip” seem to be very similar whether played by the Lao children or European immigrant children on an American pavement. Jack-stones and “Fox and Geese” are popular among the small, bound-footed girls in China. The rhythmic movement and exciting choices of “London Bridge” are recognized in the very heart of Africa in a game so prettily described by Miss Jean McKenzie that we long to join in the fun.

African “London Bridge.”

A mother and her children file under the arms of two players. The child caught is drawn aside for the choice between a cake of gourd seed or a peanut porridge, a necklace of beads or a bow and arrow—we all know the phantom bliss of such choices. The children are caught and ranged until there remains none but the mother and one who is now called “the only child.” This remnant of a once numerous family takes to the bush, but the mother sallies forth from time to time and tosses a handful of grass toward the company, who ask her in chorus:

“How big is the only child now?”

“The only child creeps,” says the mother.

“Hay-a-a!” exclaims the astonished chorus after this and all other complacent maternal announcements.

“How old is the only child now?”

“The only child walks.”


To this chorus of astonished approval, the only child comes to be a young girl, has a sweetheart, is married, and has a baby!

Having achieved so much success, the only child ceases to figure in this drama, and the grandmother is plied with questions about the child of the only child.

“How old is the child of the only child now?”

“The child of the only child creeps.”


He walks, he sets traps, one day he has killed a little antelope, another day he has killed a big antelope, and now he has killed an elephant!

Here surely is a climax. “Hay-a-a!” The chorus disintegrates; one after another comes to beg a piece of elephant meat from the child of the only child, who emerges from hiding. One after another is refused, until that one comes who pleases the child of the only child. He gives her a piece of elephant meat for a sign that she is his sweetheart—and they are obliged, of course, to run away. After them the entire company is, of course, obliged to follow.

Here, you see, is a rehearsal of life as it is to be. Here is the dissension, the gossip, the greed, the romance, and the adventure of life.[33]

“London Bridge” at the Midori Kindergarten, Japan

African children’s play.

“Kidd in his book on ‘Savage Childhood’ describes the Bantu children of Africa as showing great power of imagination in their games. Before the missionary they appear dull and unresponsive, but when no stranger is about they delight in playing missionary, holding a play service, singing hymns, and mimicking the padre’s bad dialect. The insistence of the motor idea is strong in the native; he likes to play games involving motor skill, is fond of acrobatic tricks, of mimicking animals, and delights in dolls and play animals. In fact, the whole picture is that of an intensely human little animal, decidedly attractive, and one feels pity that it should grow up into an unattractive and troublesome Kaffir problem.”[34]

Children of the desert at play.

How invariably true is the child’s instinct for imitation, for making his play largely a “rehearsal of life as it is to be.” The little Bedouin boys, each with a pet locust harnessed to a bit of string, enjoy the exciting races of their “fiery steeds,” and prepare eagerly for the great game in which the bigger boys show their budding manhood. A dweller in the region of the Dead Sea thus describes some of the games of the desert:

“The boys of the desert are glad when the first of the month comes. For that day their fathers allow them to have a horse each and ride away from their black tent homes into the open desert, their athletic field. A few of the men, heroes of the tribe, meet there with the boys and act as judges in the horse-racing. They divide the boys in two rows, and then select a boy from each side, and start off this first pair in their race (on horseback) to the distant goal, a pole with a prize on it such as eggs, money, or clothes. The one who arrives first takes the prize off the pole or knocks it down with his staff. The judge keeps the conqueror on one side, the conquered on the other. A new prize is put up, another pair races, and so on till all the victors are on one side, and the poor defeated ones on the other.

“A sham battle takes place, the conquerors shooting the conquered with paper or some harmless shot. Then the beaten soldiers are taken captive and led to their homes, while the proud victors are allowed to go to the meeting place of the men and drink coffee with the heroes of their tribe.”

Why play stops so early in non-Christian lands.

All too soon the games of childhood merge into the stern realities of life, and, as we watch and listen and smile, we suddenly wonder why the laughter is hushed, why the smiling, girlish lips are covered by a woman’s thick veil, why the little backs stoop beneath loads far too heavy for them. Then from far and near comes the testimony of those who have lived and worked among the children in non-Christian lands. The physical director of a Y. M. C. A. says:—“One of the strongest impressions made on me in China was by the lack of opportunity which the average child has for normal physical development and for the adequate expression of its play instinct.”

Deaconess Phelps of St. Hilda’s School for girls in Hankow says: “When Chinese girls come to our mission schools we find it difficult to teach them how to play, and in the case of elder children we often fail completely, because from time immemorial the idea of learning and scholarship has been entirely inconsistent with fun and good times.”[35]

So great an authority as Dr. Arthur H. Smith says: “The outdoor games of Chinese children are mostly of a tame and uninteresting type. Even in the country Chinese lads do not appear to take kindly to anything which involves much exercise. Their jumping and climbing are of the most elementary sort.”[36]

Mrs. Napier Malcolm after discussing the play life of Persian children adds:

“But when all is said, the games and toys are very few in Persia as compared to those you are accustomed to. No great distinction is made between children and grown-ups, and really there is not so much difference as we find at home. The children are taught to take life very seriously ... and they have no time to grow up into proper men and women. The result is that we find the children too grown-up and the grown-ups too childish.”[37]

Need of the “Spirit of Play.”

“Little old men and women” the missionary called them in her plea that to the children of India might be brought the gift of CHILDHOOD, and so we must not be surprised that our missionaries find the lesson of “HOW TO PLAY” one of the most essential and one of the most difficult to teach in many lands. They have been at it for many years in a quiet, unpretentious way, these pioneers of thought and action. Now that the whole American public is being aroused as never before to the value and need of play for all children, let us see to it that all necessary facilities are in the hands of our missionaries, and that their numbers are sufficiently reinforced so that the “Spirit of Play” may flit from land to land and bring smiles and joy and health and lessons of unselfishness and co-operation to little children who have long since forgotten how to play.

Parents ought to know how to play.

Not only because they are children today, but because they will in a few short years become parents, must we give the little ones this opportunity. If the fathers and mothers of the near future know how to value the development of the play instinct at its true worth, there is great hope for their children. If they can enter into the play spirit with their boys and girls, there will be a revolution in home ideals and companionships. That the lesson is not an easy one to learn or to teach, we are assured by Elizabeth Harrison, who says, “How many parents and teachers are there who can enter into this world of play and not spoil it? In my classes for mothers I have found that one of the most difficult things I have had to teach many of them has been how to play simply and genuinely as a child will play.”

But whether the parents themselves know how to play or not, the quickest and surest way into their hearts is through sympathy with the play instinct of a little child. The missionary who can enter into even that realm of the life of a child has the wondering appreciation of the parent. A little mountain girl lay dangerously ill at the girls’ school in Urumia, Persia. The principal, who was tenderly caring for her in her own room, came to ask if by any chance I knew how to get hold of a dollie for the little child, who had seen such a toy in the possession of a missionary’s child. Yes, a thoughtful friend had tucked a couple of dolls into one of my boxes for just such an emergency, and the one whose head had survived the eight thousand mile journey was found and sent to the little girl. Such rapturous smiles, such motherly hugs and caresses, such appreciation when her schoolmates gave up their recreation hours in order to make proper Persian clothes to replace the queer American garments! And when the little one went to be with Him who “gathers the lambs in His arms,” her weeping parents selected according to custom her chief treasure to lay into the casket,—in this instance, the cheap little American doll that had travelled so far to bring joy to the heart of a dying child. Up into the rugged Kurdish mountains the crude casket was carried on the back of a sure-footed horse, and at every village where there were friends of the family the caravan was halted for a last glimpse of the little face and a wondering look at the fascinating toy. “How they must have loved her!” was the text from which the doll preached many a sermon that day.

Need of public sentiment concerning child labor.

In order that the “Spirit of Play” may have full right of way, a great, united, preliminary effort is needed, that the little ones of all lands may come into their rightful heritage. What time, what strength, what zest is there left for play when the children have to work and contribute toward the family support? With shame we confess that the Christian nations are far from guiltless in this matter,—the blood of thousands of their children cries to God from the ground. But, thank God, they are aroused, and changes are taking place with wonderful rapidity, and nations like China and Japan are looking to us as examples. Shall we fail them in their hour of crisis, or shall we lead and help and encourage them and other lands awaking from age-long sleep in this matter of their duty to the children?

Prominent among the rights of the child must be the right to abstain from the task of earning money either for his own support or to increase the family income. Premature child labor is an absolute evil and is wholly without justification.... The enlightened view of today refuses to regard the child as a mere commercial asset of the parent. On the contrary, the relation of the two is exactly reversed. Until children reach a certain age it is absolutely necessary that they be supported by their parents, and society must enforce this obligation.[38]

Bedouin girls at work.

“How hard the Bedouin girls have to work,” we read in “Topsy-Turvey Land,”[39] “treated like beasts of burden as if they had no souls! They go barefoot carrying heavy loads of wood or skins of water, grind the meal and make fresh bread every morning, or spin the camel’s hair or goat’s hair into one coarse garment.”

One little Bedouin girl said, “I tote my two small brothers on my back all day long, and they kill me a thousand times with their crying.” Another said, “What do I do? Why, nothing but work—that’s what children are for.”[40]

The familiar Chinese proverb,—“A child of six should earn his own salt,” is an indication of public opinion that needs revision.

On the African girl the burden falls early and heavily, while her brother, joining the men in their occupations, finds life much easier and more enjoyable than she does.

The burden of the African girl.

“The girl follows her mother to the plantation (distance one-half to one mile from the village), imitating her mother in carrying a basket on her back, its weight supported by a broad strap going around it and over her forehead. Some burden is always put into that basket, often one beyond the child’s strength, as a jug of water. The little one staggers under it, leaning far forward to lessen the direct traction over her forehead. With that daily bending the child would become deformed, were it not counteracted by the carrying at other times of a log of firewood or some lighter burden on her head.”[41]

Children at work in many lands.

The little coolie children of Hong Kong toiling up a steep road under the broiling sun with great loads of bricks slung on either end of a bamboo pole; the thousands of Chinese children gathering and carrying home great loads of fuel and manure; the Japanese girls sitting closely on their heels and painting cheap crockery for $1.00 a week; the little children of a Japanese village helping to support themselves by making match boxes for the sum of eight cents a thousand; the mere babies picking tea leaves under the hot sun in Bengal; the seven year old girls working from five in the morning to six at night in the cotton and silk mills in China;—these and countless others seem to be calling to us in the name of the Child of Bethlehem to lighten in some way their heavy load.

Little Manure Gatherers in a Persian Mountain Village

And, oh, what heroic efforts your missionaries are making to lessen the great evil, but how powerless they seem in lands where no law, no custom, no religion gives the child any rights. Once more we turn to Mrs. Napier Malcolm for a vivid word picture from Persia.[42]

The little carpet weavers of Persia.

But for the horrors of child labor in the carpet trade we must turn to the factories of Kirman.

These factories are filled with children from four years old upward, underfed, overworked, living a loveless, joyless, hopeless life. The factories are built without windows lest the children’s attention should be distracted, and the bad air, want of food, and the constantly keeping in one position produce rickets and deformity in nearly all. Of thirty-eight children examined in one factory, thirty-six were deformed.

One of the Governors of Kirman forbade the employment of children under twelve in the factories, but the order did not last beyond his governorship. The same Governor gave the order still in force, which forbids the employment of children before dawn or after sunset, thus reducing their working hours to an average of twelve hours a day. A recent Governor added to this an order limiting the Friday work to about two and a half hours, “from sunrise to full sunshine,” so now the children share in part the general Friday holiday of Mohammedanism.

One of our medical missionaries was called to attend the wife of the owner of one of these factories, and consented to do so on condition he made windows in his factory to allow the children air and light. He objected at first, saying that it would prevent their working, but finally consented, and admitted afterwards that the children did more work with the windows than they had done without them.

The factory owners are glad to get the children, for they say children work better than grown-up people at carpet-making, and of course they expect less wages. But how can the parents allow their children to live this cruel life? You will find the answer in the Persian saying that “of every three persons in Kirman, four smoke opium.”... Over and over again comes the terrible story, the father and mother smoke opium; the little deformed child toils through the long days to earn the money that buys it.

Is the picture sad enough, are the colors gloomy enough, are the weary cries loud enough to reach and touch every womanly heart in a Christian land,—every mother or sister or teacher who has ever loved or helped or taught a child? Ah, but we must go into darker depths than these if we are to be even ordinarily intelligent concerning child life and its needs. What of the little slave children who are stolen from their homes “in darkest Africa,” who are sold by their parents in China and Assam, who live lives of unspeakable misery in Korea, in Siam, in Turkey, Morocco, and Arabia? Paid child labor is terrible enough, but the countless slave children of the world live under a far more cruel system.

In his revelations concerning “The Crime of the Congo,” A. Conan Doyle gives proof of the atrocious crimes perpetrated on little children as well as on men and women by employees of the Congo government. The selling, beating, mutilation, and murder of children were proved to be common occurrences.

It is said to be difficult for even the missionaries to realize the awful extent of the traffic in girls in China. In famine times girls may be bought for a mere song, sometimes being peddled about the streets in a basket and sold like poultry. In Siam the problem of slavery has assumed such large proportions that the king issued an edict a few years ago that thereafter all children born of slaves should be free.

Rescue Homes for slave children in Arabia.

“To set at liberty them that are bound” is still the work of Jehovah’s servants, and here and there throughout mission lands will be found Rescue Homes for slave children where new life and hope and opportunity are given to children who have been stolen from their homes or deliberately sold into slavery. The rescued-slave school in Muscat, Arabia, was started by the Rev. Peter Zwemer for some African slave boys caught by Arab traders, who were in turn caught by a British consul whose servant saw the slave-dhow and reported it. The rescued children were turned over to Christian people, most of them being cared for and trained for useful Christian manhood at the Muscat school.

In China.

The Spirit of Missions for June, 1905, tells of a woman’s conference held at Shanghai at which one of the subjects chosen for discussion was “Chinese Slave Girls.” A successful effort was made to enlist the co-operation of non-missionary ladies, and the result was the opening of a home for slave children under the direction of a committee on which the missionaries and the foreign residents were represented. After four years they were able to report the presence of fifteen girls, most of them very young and looking even younger than they really were because stunted by harsh treatment and lack of sufficient food. Not a child in the home but had been taken from a life of pain and cruel hardship, and none is too wretched or maimed or low to be received. They are taught to sew, to read and write in their own language, and to know and love Christ who put it into the hearts of His children to save and help them.

Result of saving a slave-child.

If you are tempted to query,—Can a stunted, maimed, degraded slave child ever repay such an outlay of effort and toil and expense?—please read the following extract from a letter from Miss Muir of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in China.

One year ago last spring Dr. B. was called to see a little slave girl in one of China’s most prominent official’s families. She was five years old. She was caught napping when she should have been fanning one of the young ladies of the family. This young lady, sixteen years old, a spoiled pet, struck the child over the head and face, leaving deep scars, tied her hands and feet together, and threw scalding water upon her. When Dr. B. saw her he persuaded them to let her go to the Hospital, where her feet and all fingers except the stump of her right thumb had to be amputated. Then Dr. B. wanted to put her into the school, and so he told this official he would have to settle a certain amount of money on her for life or he (Dr. B.) would expose him to the public and the foreign countries where he had lived. After he had tried in every way to creep out of it, Dr. B. holding fast, $3000.00 was settled upon the child as long as she lives, but whatever has not been spent of it at her death goes back to the family. This is poor little Mary, who is compelled to walk on her knees the rest of her life just because she was too sleepy to keep awake one afternoon when only five years old. But her influence in the school cannot be estimated. Her being there has helped to soften and make more kind and thoughtful every girl from the oldest to the youngest. It is beautiful to watch the little ones try to carry her or pick her up when she falls. It has been the redemption of “Pontsi” (Fattie), who used to be the mischief of the school: she would not study for any teacher, and was the hopeless case of every one. “Pontsi” appointed herself the guardian and caretaker of Mary as soon as Mary came to school; she is Mary’s partner in the line; she wheels Mary in her little chair; helps her up and down from the bench in chapel; and is always alert to do the many little helpful things where Mary needs help. She has become very studious and good in her classes, no more in mischief. But Mary has such a bright, happy disposition that she is a great help to herself, and many a time will beat half a dozen with two good feet running across the compound on her knees.

Chinese Mary

A Cripple for life, because she took a nap at the wrong time

Defective and dependent children.

We started our chapter with children at play; we found that all too soon in countless instances the play must cease and hard grinding work must begin; we learned that in many lands great masses of little children are in hopeless slavery. One other large group of pathetic little ones claims our attention, sympathy, and help in this connection,—children who know little or nothing of play and fun and laughter,—for whom no provision is made in lands where Christ is not known. These are the defective and dependent children,—cripples, deaf mutes, the blind, orphans, famine waifs, children of lepers. Why is it that until missionaries started to work for these classes of children, or governments were inspired to such efforts by the examples of Christian governments, there was no chance or hope for the great mass of defective and dependent children in non-Christian lands? Why is it that blind girls in Korea had no other prospect than that of being sold to be trained as sorceresses, or that parents of blind Chinese girls find a ready market for them in brothels? Search diligently and find out if you can what would have become of the famine waifs of India and China, or the massacre orphans of Turkey, had not Christian missionaries considered their need a call to new and more difficult service, and had not Christians in Europe and America heard and answered the call for more funds to support the new work.


The World Atlas of Christian Missions, published in 1911, gives the statistics for Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands as follows:

Missionary Orphanages 266
Inmates 20,303
Homes for Untainted Children of Lepers 21
Inmates 567
Armenian massacre orphans.

The Armenian massacres in 1894–96 cast some fifty thousand children in Turkey without warning onto the care of the missionaries, who had to face the alternative of letting these children die or drift hopelessly into lives of wretchedness and vice, or else of caring for them in some adequate, systematic way. Many pages might be written to show how Christian missions rose to the occasion, but one instance must suffice as an illustration of the task, how it was met, and its consequences. We quote from a letter written in 1912 by Rev. George C. Reynolds, M. D., for forty-four years a missionary in Van, Turkey.

“In 1896 occurred the great massacre, when for a week our premises became the place of refuge for the Armenians, of which from 10,000 to 15,000 availed themselves. And then our streets became filled with helpless orphans, whose plaintive cry for help we tried to voice as an appeal to Christian philanthropy in America and Europe. Thank God, the appeal brought response, and we were enabled to gather in a few of these helpless waifs to feed and shelter and clothe and educate in books and trades. For fifteen years this God-given work was continued, and several temporary buildings were erected for its accommodation. When our German friends withdrew their part of the institution to separate quarters, promising sufficient orphanage provision for the province, the American Orphanage was allowed to pass into history; but we feel as we review this history, that this effort at least was worth while. Nearly a thousand children were rescued from the streets to find a loving Christian home, and the elevation which it gave them over the mass of even well-to-do villagers from among whom most of them were taken might almost make them thankful for the massacre. Forty-five of the five hundred and seventy-five boys have graduated from our high school, thirty-nine of whom have given some years of their lives to teaching. A good number have continued their studies in higher institutions in this country or abroad. Two have secured the degree of M. D. in America, and are engaged in successful practice of their profession there, while others are on their way to the same goal. One has just taken his M. D. degree from Edinburgh University, and another is soon to graduate from London University, while three or four are successfully pursuing university studies at Harvard. Three have graduated from colleges in Turkey. Political and economic conditions in this land not being attractive, many have emigrated, of whom fifty are now in the United States, and two in South America. Most of these are fully making good. This orphanage episode of my life brings me much of joy and satisfaction.”

Mohammedan children in need.

Seventeen years pass, and the scene changes. Then it was Christian children, helpless and starving because the Mohammedans had killed their parents. Now it is Mohammedan children homeless and suffering because Christian nations have devastated their land by war. Then and now it is the Christian missionary who sees the need and realizes that “it is not the will of our Father that one of these little ones should perish.” “Some of these children are simply irresistible,” writes Professor Arthur Reed Cass of the International College, Smyrna, “The stories they tell are sad indeed. Hundreds of Moslem babies are being born on transport ships and in schools where lessons have been suspended to make room for homeless folk. Here is a chance for American Christianity to prove its recognition of need regardless of lines of race and creed.”[43]

The “Polishing Jade Establishment.”

Reports full of thrilling interest come to hand concerning the work of Christian orphanages in non-Christian lands,—institutions founded and maintained by those who consider it their privilege to act as the human agents of Him who is the “Father of the fatherless.” We are told that St. Mary’s Orphanage maintained in Shanghai, China, by the Episcopal Board of Missions has been dubbed by the Chinese, “The Polishing Jade Establishment,” which is a reference to their own classic teaching that as jade must be cut and polished to be of value, so children must be taught and trained.

Orphanages in India.

The plan of establishment of orphanages in India under the Methodist Episcopal Mission dates back to 1857, and is a fine example of how Christian missionaries are on the lookout for suitable openings for work, and how to them is apt to be granted the far vision that labors for the present and future generations and for eternity.

The orphanage for girls was first established in the city of Lucknow, but up to the close of 1860 only thirteen orphans had been received. Owing to the famine that spread over the land after the great mutiny, it became an easy matter to secure girls, and the following year the number increased to forty-one.... At the close of the mutiny, Dr. Butler made application to the government for a number of girls to be placed in the orphanage, to be cared for by the mission. The government was very willing that the children should be thus provided for.... Dr. Butler says:

“Upon reaching the city we found that the Mohammedan officers connected with the magistrate’s court, at whose disposal the girls had been placed, had distributed many of them in houses of infamy throughout the city to be brought up to a life of sin. This matter was presented to the governor, and the children were ordered to be immediately recovered and forwarded to the mission. They were sent in large carts, each containing twenty girls. The oldest was probably twelve or thirteen years, the youngest a mere babe; but three-fourths of them were under eleven years of age. Each driver had his list for his load. He lifted out the largest one first and laid her down, then the rest, placing them around her as if building them into a bee-hive shape. Then the heaps were counted and the signature affixed to each list, and the carts moved out.

“The children were all untidy, and their countenances bore the traces of the hunger through which they had passed.... But these were girls, and the glad thought was that they were our own to save and train and elevate. We accepted them as a trust from God. All hands were soon at work in loving labor to change the aspect of things. The missionary women and their native helpers before the sun went down had accomplished a delightful transformation. Bodies were washed, clean clothing put on, and a hearty meal of wholesome food banished the gloomy looks and brought forth the first smiles on those little faces.”[44]

Basket of Babies from the Orphanage, Guntur, India

Famine waifs.

Not only are orphanages established, but missionaries use many other means to provide for helpless, dependent, or neglected children who are thrown on their care. After one of India’s great famines the Rev. Rockwell Clancy of Allahabad formed a distributing station for famine waifs and collected and placed hundreds of them in various schools and institutions throughout the land. A new missionary to China after only a month’s study of the language had rather an interesting trip with his collection of famine orphans. He writes:—

“The trip to Nanking, including a ten-mile trip on the Presbyterian motor boat to the railroad station and the one hundred miles by rail, was full of wonders to these little country lads. On the cars when eating our slim lunch, consisting of a bun and a boiled egg for each boy, one of the boys who was a little older than most of them politely offered part of his share to the people who were occupying the same seat with him, and this in spite of the fact that he had been going hungry for weeks or months.

“After entering the city wall at Nanking we drove the seven miles to a rented Chinese house where I was living, which was to serve as their home for the time being. One of the drivers told the boys that we were going to dig out their eyes and cut out their stomachs. This awesome news, coupled with a little homesickness, was probably the cause of two of them running away the very next day. We had to send four or five to the Methodist hospital to be treated, and two of the older boys who were allowed to go along ran away. But their places have been filled by three others, two of whom I had to leave in the hospital at Hwai Yuan.”[45]

A Persian “Helen Keller.”

What provision is there for the blind, the deaf and dumb, the crippled children in non-Christian lands? Would you care to know the number of children whose fate is like that of the Mohammedan girl who was brought by her grandmother to the missionary dispensary in Persia? She was deaf, dumb, and blind, and her grandmother pleaded with the lady physician to do something to cure her. The girl shrank in fright as a strange hand touched her and then every tense muscle in her body showed amazement and relief when the hand proved to be gentle and loving. Again the grandmother brought her, saying, “You must find a remedy. There is nothing we can do with her. Must I kill her?” and the missionary’s heart was broken because she could not cure and there was absolutely no institution to which to take the girl. Some years later a younger deaf and dumb girl was brought to the dispensary by a woman whose face seemed familiar and who turned out to be the despairing old grandmother. “Where is the older girl?” asked the doctor. “Oh,” exclaimed the old woman, while the tears rained down her face, “I had to kill her. There was nothing else to do!”

Who knows what there was behind that wall of blindness and deafness,—who knows what might have been the result had the Mohammedan Helen Keller had her fair chance? Which members of the “organized motherhood for the children of the world” will see to it that there are means and workers enough to give these children their inalienable rights? The work is barely begun, but is full of promise.

Blind children in India.

“According to the last census, the number of blind persons in the Indian Empire is 600,000. Little was done for them until Miss Asquith, superintendent of the school for Tamil girls in Palamcotta, founded a school for blind children a few years ago. Her success was so great that she resigned her lucrative position and gave herself and all her time to the care of the blind. Now the English Government will aid her in the erection of two substantial school buildings, one for boys, the other for girls, that she may give both a more complete education.”[46]

Work for the deaf.

“The Martha A. King Memorial School for the Deaf has been started as a department of the work of the Woman’s Board of Missions at Marsovan. The oral method is used, and it is the intention to teach each pupil the language of his own home. The present year the Greek department has been opened, an Armenian department will be opened in September, 1911, and one in Turkish as soon as there is a demand for it.

“Children (both boys and girls) will be received at from six to eight years of age. Older children may be accepted, but it is important for the attainment of the best results that pupils begin the work within the age limits named. Miss Philadelpheus, the teacher, has spent two years at the Clark School for the Deaf, Northampton, Mass., in preparation for this work. Both the home and school life of the children are under the most careful supervision.”[47]

Deaf and dumb school in China.

One in every five hundred of China’s vast population is estimated to be deaf and dumb. The only school in China for such unfortunates is in Chefoo and was started in 1898 as an independent work by Mrs. A. T. Mills, for many years a member of the Presbyterian Mission, which heartily approves of the school, but has no funds with which to support it. Boys and girls are taught in this school to read, write, and speak, and are given as much elementary knowledge as is possible, while being trained to useful occupations by which they may hope to be self-supporting. Such constructive work for children who are handicapped is considered absolutely necessary in America and Europe. Is there in your opinion any necessity for multiplying such agencies in non-Christian lands?

Does it pay to help in Christ’s name even one of these little ones? Are they worth helping? Which one of us could do the work of the blind reader of Amritsar in India?

The blind reader of Amritsar.

“A peculiarly bright, happy-looking girl of about eighteen, sitting down at the beginning of the morning in one of our Amritsar dispensaries, with her large Gospel of St. Matthew, in Dr. Moon’s system of raised characters for the blind, open on her knees; she can see nothing, but her fingers move swiftly across the page, and she begins to read better than some persons who have the use of their eyes! As the morning goes on, all the sick who come for medicine will listen with astonishment and pleasure, and she will have opportunities of witnessing for Jesus to those who ask her a reason for the hope that is in her. She was once herself in the darkness of Mohammedanism, and in the Blind School found Christ. She is now a rejoicing and consistent Christian. Do you think that, as we stood and watched her delight in reading the comfortable words of our Saviour Christ, we asked ourselves if to bring such to the Lord were work worth doing? Rather, is it not a service which angels might envy?”[48]

A leprous mother.

A leprous mother, outcast of society, doomed to spend the rest of her life in a leper village and to drag out a miserable existence among those who are afflicted and suffering like herself! What, oh what, shall she do with her children, as yet untainted by the frightful disease, but sure to develop it if they too go to the leper village? And yet who is there in the wide world to care for her little ones? Her husband is up at the village, hands gone, sightless eyes, disfigured face,—he cannot help. No relatives or neighbors will be bothered with the children of the outcast, and yet that mother heart beats with an intense, despairing mother love as yours or mine might,—with a love that can bear all suffering and even slow death for herself if only her children are safe. Hark, a neighbor calls to her from a safe distance,—“Do you know that those foreign Jesus people have a place where they take the children of those who are accursed of God like yourself? They take them and feed them and teach them their Jesus religion and train them to earn their living.” Oh, it is the one word of hope and courage, the one ray of light in utter darkness, and the little children are left on the threshold of the Home for Untainted Children, and the leper mother learns of a Home where she herself may go and where she and her husband may receive loving care and unheard-of comfort, and where the years of suffering are illumined by the knowledge of another Home where she may meet her darlings once more, and “where the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.”

Homes for untainted children of lepers.

“Twenty-one Homes for the untainted children of leprous parents in which about five hundred boys and girls are being brought up to healthy and useful lives and saved from adding to the terrible total of diseased outcasts,”[49] this is the record of the work of Christian missions thus far. Compare with it the record of what in this modern day has been done in the name of an attempt at civilization which leaves Christianity entirely out of account.

In the name of civilization, but without Christianity.

“Wellesley G. Bailey of Edinburgh, the superintendent of the Mission to Lepers, has received authoritative information concerning the terrible massacre of lepers by government soldiers which was perpetrated at the city of Nanning, the remote capital of the province Kwang-si in southern China. The massacre was instituted under the direct orders of the governor general of the province.... In this case the offense of his cruelty is aggravated by the fact that, taking advantage of the trend to modern ideas in China, the vicious old general pretended to be acting in the interest of scientific hygiene. The excuse he has made for the massacre is that leprosy is a great menace to humanity and the destruction of those afflicted with it is the surest way of stamping out the scourge....

“The English Missionaries had been anxious for some time to build a leper hospital, but could not spare the energy for it from their other work. And for a long time the Catholics seemed entirely indifferent to the needs of lepers. But finally, there arrived in the latter mission a very earnest and sympathetic priest, whose attention was early attracted to the collection of miserable hovels outside the city, where the community of suffering had drawn together a larger group of outcast lepers. The priest determined that something must be done for them....

“But it appears that the intrusion of the French into the matter angered General Luk so much that he took measures immediately to dispose of the question in another way. Soldiers were sent out to dig a deep trench near by the leper village, and early on a Saturday morning soon after a large body of troops completely surrounded the lepers’ wretched huts. Shouts brought them out of the door of their hovels, and immediately the soldiers opened fire, shooting relentlessly until the whole community—men, women and children—were dead or helplessly wounded. Then the whole mass, many still living, were dropped into the trench, kerosene poured over them and the pile set alight. The victims at this one point numbered fifty-three. Of course there was immense excitement in the city, and to defend himself the governor general issued a proclamation urging that all lepers should be put out of the way, and advising that those who did not voluntarily kill themselves should be killed by their friends and relatives. How many more died in this way is not known.

“Many crimes have been committed in the name of civilization, as of liberty, but perhaps never one quite so monstrous as this in the name of ‘hygiene.’ Certainly the incident illustrates how keenly China needs not civilization simply, but civilization based upon Christian religion.”[50]

“The child in the midst.”

“The child in the midst,” playful, trustful, loving, helpless, exalted by our Saviour into a type to be admired and copied if one would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven! The Master placed him in the very midst of His disciples, where he might find shelter, protection, and love. But today we find the little ones, thousands, millions of them, in the midst of suffering, neglect, vice, crime, torture, despair, danger to body and soul. And ever and anon the Master’s voice echoes in our ears, “Whosoever shall receive one such little one in My name, receiveth Me.”



What Christmas Day, with its toys and sweets and merry-making, is to the Christian child, the Moslem Feast Day, at the close of the Ramadhan Fast, is to the little men and women of Arabia. At that time every child must have a new gown of some bright color. On that gay day, in the bazaar, are sold delicious sweetmeats made only on this one occasion in the whole year. Every one is happy, for the weary month of fasting is at an end. Friend meets friend with the greeting, “May your feast be blessed,” and is answered, “May your day be happy.”

Out on the edge of the town, where the houses end and the desert begins, some enterprising Arab, who has “seen Bombay,” has constructed the crudest and most dangerous of Ferris Wheels, and a merry-go-round to match. Here the youthful inhabitants congregate, with their precious coppers, eager for a ride on these wonderful machines. There are big boys and little boys and middle-sized boys. There are little girls with their faces uncovered, and a few older ones with their faces veiled, but most of the larger girls must stay at home, as it would be a shame for them to appear in public. There are the proud sons of the rich Arab merchants, and the children of the wild Bedouins. What better opportunity could one have to study the rising generation?

If a Westerner, wearing a hat, passes through the crowd, he is immediately followed by a mob of impudent, mischievous boys, calling out in Arabic:

“The English, the English!
They don’t pray!
Even the chickens
Are better than they!”

The Moslems say that the chickens are praying when they raise their heads before swallowing water. (Letter from E. T. Calverley.)

The Merry-go-round at an Arab Fair


We have 110 girls in school this term, over half of them boarders, and they are so gentle and tractable it is a pleasure to work with them. It is pitiful to see how little they know about playing. Their greatest pleasure is watching us play tennis. A few evenings ago I heard an unusual noise under my window, and, looking out, saw a towel tied across the walk between the hedges. On either side of this stood a girl with a flat stick in her hand, and they were knocking across the towel a bundle of rags which they had tied up in some semblance of a ball. Later we took them out, and let each one have a few minute’s real play with real racquets and balls, and, when I put the racquet in a girl’s hand, she would gasp, as if to say, “Can this be really true, or am I dreaming?” (Miss Lucy Starling in Foreign Post, May, 1910.)


The first two dolls that arrived in Toro met with a very mixed welcome; the children howled and fled in terror, but their mothers showed a most profound admiration for them. At first they held the doll very gingerly, but finding that nothing happened to either one or the other, and the doll still smiled at them like the Cheshire cat, they became great friends, and begged that they might borrow it for a few days to play with.

Whether it was the large circulation that those two dolls got, or the gradually increasing confidence of the Toro children in the white ladies, the fact remains that in a few months all childish prejudice had disappeared, and often a little voice was heard asking for “a child that causes play.” When this was known in England, over one hundred dolls were sent to me from two working parties. I never saw such a wonderful doll show as they made. They were all displayed on our verandah, and the house was literally besieged with men, women, and children for some days.

A bride, beautifully dressed in white satin and kid shoes, who even in her wedding attire cried “mamma” and “papa,” was sent to little Princess Ruth, but the report reached me that King Kasagama had constituted himself guardian, and kept it locked up in his study for slack moments!

Apolo, our faithful native deacon—confirmed bachelor—asked me in secret if men ever played with dolls, and beamed with satisfaction as he most triumphantly carried one off, peacefully sleeping.

The others were given out to the little girls who had been most regular at the school, and were noted for having come with clean faces and bodies.

When the boys saw that the dolls were only given to girls, some borrowed their sisters’ garments to try and appear eligible! I did not know till then they were versed in such cunning! It was so pretty to watch the joy and even playfulness that those dolls brought into the lives of so many little ones who had scarcely known what this meant till then. Christianity has completely revolutionized child-life in Toro.


Rev. F. E. Lund, of Wuhu, tells this incident in connection with a visit to the out-station at Nanking:

“On going back to the school about ten o’clock at night I found in a dark corner on the street a poor boy, half frozen to death. His piteous groaning attracted my attention. His legs were already numbed and his feet swollen and covered with chilblains which made him quite unable to move. He told me he had been driven out from his home a few days ago, as his father and younger brother were on the point of starvation. His mother died last year in the famine. I knew that it was up to me to save him. There was no one else to do it. The cold night would have finished him. So I had him carried to our school, where we gave him a warm bath and put him into new wadded clothes. During the night he was in great pain and delirious, but in the morning he seemed hale and hearty, and proved to be a most straightforward and clever little man. He is ten years old, but very small for his age. It was most interesting to see how heartily our Chinese neighbors endorsed this little bit of charity. One gave me $2.00 to help pay for the clothes. Another brought two pairs of socks. Some one sent a hat, and an innkeeper sent bedding. If we only had a trade school to put such boys in, we could do a little work along this line and it would certainly meet with the approval of the best class, who would be sure to give substantial help. At any rate, it would be a work that the best Chinese would appreciate and understand.” (Spirit of Missions, April, 1913.)


“The Child in the Midst,” Matthew, 18:1–6, 10–14.

Christ commends the humility of the little child and the spirit of those who receive a child gladly, whether into the home, the school room, or into any part of their sphere of influence. There is no place in Christ’s Kingdom for the one who “does not want to be bothered with children” or who provokes, injures, neglects, despises, or causes one little one to sin.

“The feature of child-nature which forms the special point of comparison is its unpretentiousness. What children are unconsciously, that Jesus requires His disciples to be voluntarily and deliberately.” (A. B. Bruce.)


Grant, O Heavenly Father, that as Thy holy angels always behold Thy face in heaven, so they may evermore protect Thy little ones on earth from all danger, both of soul and body, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Father of the fatherless, let the cry, we pray Thee, of the orphan and the destitute enter into Thine ears; rescue them from the perils of a sinful world and bring them to the refuge of Thy Heavenly Home, for the sake of Thy Holy Child Jesus, our only Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.



Christian Missions and Social Progress, Vol. ii, J. S. Dennis, (Revell.)

Centennial Survey of Christian Missions, J. S. Dennis, (Revell.)

Gloria Christi, Chap. v, “Philanthropic Missions,” Anna R. B. Lindsay, (Macmillan.)

Children at Play in Many Lands, Katherine Stanley Hall, (Missionary Education Movement of the United States and Canada.)

The Chinese Boy and Girl, Isaac T. Headland, (Revell.)

Village Life in China, A. H. Smith, (Revell.)

Japanese Girls and Women, Alice M. Bacon, (Houghton Mifflin & Co.)

The Happiest Girl in Korea, Minerva L. Guthapfel, (Revell.)

Village Life in Korea, J. R. Moose, (Smith & Lamar.)

The Laos of North Siam, Lilian Johnson Curtis, (Westminster Press.)

The Jungle Folk of Africa, R. H. Milligan, (Revell.)

Congo Life and Folklore, J. H. Weeks, (Religious Tract Society.)

Home Life in Turkey, L. M. J. Garnett, (Macmillan.)

Children of Persia, Mrs. Napier Malcolm, (Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.)

Topsy-Turvey Land, E. A. & S. M. Zwemer, (Revell.)

Recreation.—A World Need. C. M. Goethe in Survey, Oct. 4, 1913.


The Bareilly Orphanage Woman’s Foreign Missionary Soc. of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Ai Mei’s Busy Fingers
As They Play in China
O Kei San, the Child With No Hands
St. Mary’s Orphanage, Shanghai. Board of Missions (Episcopal).
March Third in Japan Board of Missions of Pres. Church.
Home Life in Africa Woman’s Foreign Missionary Soc. of the Presbyterian Church.
Other Children
Autobiography of a Successful Life Woman’s Bd. of Miss. of Interior.
My little Blind Neighbor
Chinese Slave Girls Woman’s Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church of America.
Of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven


“Come, ye children—I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”

The call for schools from Mission Lands—Is missionary educational work still needed in the awakening East?—Divergent views on education—Reasons why missionary education should be continued—Comparative illiteracy—Testimony from Japan—From China—From India—From Mohammedan lands—Can we refuse the united demand?—Kindergarten Union in Japan—The impressionable years of childhood and the call for Christian Kindergartens—Inventive and adaptable missionaries—Primitive education among backward nations—Lack of power of concentration—Evils of the memorizing method—Old methods hard to discard—Education of girls—Early marriage a barrier—Now is the time to educate the future mothers—Mission schools and physical training—Building up a “great personality”—The need for good literature—Industrial training in mission schools—Extent of American missionary education—Where shall we put the emphasis?—How mission schools lead children to Christ—Mission school-children in after life.

The call for schools from mission lands.

Four little boys less than ten years of age came trudging over the muddy Korean road three long miles to school. In their chilly, little, bare hands they carried bowls of cold rice for dinner. But cheerfully they marched along, for the daily six-mile walk took them to and from the mission school, and oh! what a wonderful privilege it was to be able to study,—a privilege not enjoyed by all the boys of their village.[51]

The closing session of a school for Jewish children in the heart of Asia was being held, and many mothers listened with awe and admiration as child after child took part in the simple exercises. “See,” the mothers exclaimed to each other, “see how our daughters are learning to read, instead of growing up to be like donkeys as we have done!”

A woman in the capital city of Persia, head of a Bahaist school, insisted on sending her little daughter to the American mission school, paying all tuition charges gladly. “Lady,” she said to the teacher in charge, “whenever I come into this school my life is renewed.”

Over the African trail came a young man who had given his heart to Christ and was now ready to enter the Bible Training School in order to fit himself for a life work that no foreign missionary could hope to accomplish. Earnestly he pleaded with the missionaries to let him bring his little eleven-year-old wife to be taught and trained so that she might some day be a true help-meet in his work. But there was no boarding school for girls, no available place for the child. Think what that future home and work might have been had the little wife received a Christian education!

A missionary was returning from an evangelistic tour over one of the lonely roads of Palestine. Suddenly he was accosted by several armed men in disguise, who demanded that he should promise to grant their request before it was stated to him. He naturally demurred, but, becoming convinced that they were not robbers, he finally consented, realizing that his journey could not otherwise be continued. Whereupon they demanded that certain mission schools which had been closed for lack of funds should be re-opened, promising to give as much as possible towards the necessary sum. “It is like depriving our children of bread and water and air,” they exclaimed, “to deprive them of the opportunity for religious teaching and useful education.”[52] A peaceful missionary held up by a set of masked bandits in a Mohammedan land, who demanded, not his money nor his life, but a Christian education for their children!

Loud and clear and insistent are the voices from country after country. In many tongues they call to us Christian women,—“Give us a chance to learn, let us children have what our parents never had, put books into our hands, train our hands and eyes and ears and hearts as well as our minds, show us how people who love that Jesus whom you tell about may read of Him and may make their lives good and happy and useful!”

Is missionary educational work still needed in the awakening East?

It may be the honest conviction of many that with advancing civilization and the great political, social, and educational awakening in many lands, there is no further need for mission schools or for pushing missionary educational work. Japan has her public school system with six years of compulsory school attendance, and higher courses combining cultural with practical education in a way that Western nations might well follow. China has done away with the old educational regime and is patterning her new system after those of Christian lands. In India we hear that “Mr. Gokhale’s bill for universal primary education has stirred the whole country and will be a constant issue until it is an accomplished fact. Already the government has voted to increase immediately the number of primary schools from 120,000 to 210,000.”[53] The demand for education of girls as well as of boys in Persia, Turkey, and Egypt has caused a marvelous overturning and re-arranging of custom, prejudice, public opinion, and government action. In view of all this and much more in the same line, has the time come when the matter of education can be left in the hands of the awakening East, and does our obligation to the little ones of non-Christian lands cease at the door of the school room?

Divergent views on education.

In order to arrive at a fair answer to these questions it might be well to study and discuss some divergent views on education and then to learn how these questions are answered by those who were born in non-Christian lands or who have lived and worked there for many years.

Some Views on Education

“To educate a girl is like putting a knife into the hands of a monkey.” Hindu Proverb.

“The hope of our country is in the education of our girls, and we shall never have statesmen till the mothers are educated.” A Persian Nobleman.

“Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God has gifted the one above the other.” The Koran, Sura 4.38.

“No scheme of education for primitive races can succeed that neglects the woman’s influence in the family and the tribe.” E. W. Coffin.[54]

“When a man does not ask, ‘What shall I think of this and of that?’ I can do nothing with him. Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.” Confucius Quoted in “Oriental Religions,” Samuel Johnson.

“Education should lead and guide man to clearness concerning himself and in himself, to peace with nature and to unity with God.” Froebel.

“The aim of female education is perfect submission, not cultivation and development of the mind.” Confucius.

“Not knowledge or information, but self-realization is the goal. To possess all the world of knowledge and lose one’s own self is as awful a fate in education as in religion.” John Dewey.

The Head Master of an English school declared it to be his ideal of education to create an atmosphere of loyalty that should teach the pupils to adapt themselves to the sphere in which their lives should be cast, at the same time giving them self-reliance through the knowledge that they are responsible for doing the things that are worth while, and arousing their ambition to achieve that which is highest and best.

As a practical basis for the study of our topic, “The Child at School,” write out if you will your own definition of the scope and ideals of education, drawing up a list of those members of the human family who would benefit by such an education.

Reasons why missionary education should be continued.

Referring again to the question of whether our missionary obligation ceases when the child’s education begins, we must first of all realize clearly how recent has been the awakening in most of these lands, how appalling is the illiteracy, how long it will take the most advanced government to meet the need without assistance, and how infinitely more a Christian education will do for the little ones than a merely secular education can possibly accomplish.

Statistics of illiteracy.

From the new Cyclopedia of Education[55] the following latest available statistics are taken:—

Country Illiterate Basis Year
America 7.7% Pop. over 10 yrs. 1910
England & Wales 1.8% Marriage 1901–1910
German Empire 0.03% Army Recruits 1904
Ceylon (all races) 78.3% All ages 1901
India 92.5% Over 10 years. 1901
Cape of Good Hope
(Other than European.)
86.2% 1904
Egypt 92.7% 1907

Quoting further from the Cyclopedia we learn that “in Turkey, India, and China we find a high illiteracy among the males, and an almost complete illiteracy among the females. The least illiteracy today is to be found among the people in the countries to the north and west of Europe, and of Teutonic or mixed Teutonic stock. It was in these countries that the Protestant Revolt made its greatest headway and the ability to read the Word of God and to participate in the church services were regarded as of great importance for salvation.”

Sir J. D. Rees on illiteracy in Asia.

Sir J. D. Rees, an official of high position and distinction in India, makes this significant statement in his volume on “Modern India,” dated 1910—“While it is true that only half the boys of school-going age were following a course of primary education when the last census was taken, it is extremely improbable that in any other part of Asia anything approaching that number has been ever attained, or in any Oriental country under European control.”

Education in Japan.

Let us go back to Japan as to the one of all non-Christian lands that has made the greatest advance along educational lines. After a visit to Japan with many opportunities for observation and study of the subject, Miss Kate G. Lamson says:[56]

Education for the masses has long since justified itself to the Japanese. That education is universal and compulsory is abundantly proved by the crowds of school children seen in every part of the country. This naturally leads the observer to question the need of outside help, especially missionary help, along educational lines, and outside of two or three large centres our Board has applied itself largely to the development of church organization and evangelistic work. Yet the experience of years has revealed an imperative need of the missionary even in the ranks of education in Japan....

With schools everywhere, under an able and full staff of instructors, with up-to-date appliances for every branch that is to be taught, moral and religious training are not provided for, and the well-polished husk of educated manhood and womanhood without the inner life is the result. The dangers attending non-religious education have not failed to make themselves apparent to the watchful Japanese....

In every land we believe the hope of the nations lies largely in the training of little children. Christianity in Japan has laid hold upon this and has set the pace in the establishing of kindergartens....

Although education in Japan is compulsory, it is a fact that it is beyond the reach of the poorest people. This anomalous situation is caused by the charges for tuition and books imposed upon all scholars. These charges are so high as to be prohibitive for the very poor, and the result shows in the absence of their children from school. In this lies a direct invitation for missionary effort.

Opinions of a leading Japanese.

These words from a Christian observer and student of missions find an echo in the remark of a leading Japanese, himself a non-Christian, to one of the team of workers of the Men and Religion Movement:—“I am convinced that Japan must become Christian or she will never become a great nation.”

Educational awakening in China.

So much is being said and published about the wonderful developments in China and the new system of education that is taking the place of the old, time-honored memorizing of the “Four Books” and the “Five Classics,” that we need not here go into the subject in detail. Where shall the teachers be trained? But we must stop to query:—Where is China to procure the hundreds and thousands of teachers who are needed to train not only the children at present but the teachers of future generations of children? For many long years she must look largely to missionary schools to prepare her future educators. From a report on the Educational Work of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions we quote the following:

The wisdom of the West in matters of courses of study, together with methods of teaching, discipline, etc., are brought directly from our best institutions and freely offered upon the altar of Chinese regeneration. The results of these years have also proven that these best things are adapted to the young Chinese minds, and that they appreciate them when they once come to know them. The products of these years show that our Christian schools have been getting hold of some excellent material, and that there is such true worth and high possibility that all effort to develop these bright minds and sincere hearts is well worth while, and that in doing so a great service is rendered to China.... A number of young women of fine type have been educated in the schools for girls, who are proving themselves apt to teach and work for their own people in the conduct of boarding and day schools and women’s classes.

Indian grants to mission schools.

So highly does the Indian government prize the work of the missionary schools that each of them which is held to the required standard of efficiency receives a grant for partial support. The American Board Bulletin says, “Our tremendous school system in Ceylon of more than ten thousand pupils is carried on practically at government expense.”

In a village in India the parents’ request for a school was answered by the statement that if such a school were opened, the Bible would be taught in it. Quickly the reply came, “Teach your religion, but educate our boys.”

New demand for education in Persia and Turkey.

When the century opened, Persia and Turkey were asleep. Suddenly came the awakening, the reaching out for something new and different, and, as in the case of China, one of the first thoughts was,—Our children must be educated. Instinctively they turned to the missionaries who for long years had quietly, steadily, sown the seed, prepared literature, set up printing presses, trained preachers and teachers. Boys and girls began to flock into the mission schools.

Messages from Persian parents.

“Fathers sent pleasant messages,” wrote a missionary in Teheran in 1911. “One said, ‘Your girls make better wives and mothers and in every way better women, than others.’ Another, ‘I wish my wife had been educated, but I am determined my daughter shall be.’ An Armenian of wealth and influence is reported to have answered to a remonstrance against sending his little daughter to us instead of to their national school: ‘Did I ever refuse to give you money? I will continue to help support our national schools, but I must send my daughters (he has five) where they can really obtain an education. They can learn in one week all you can teach them about going to theatricals and dances.’ A friend was telling us that her sister would send her girls to us. ‘Why?’ ‘Because every Moslem in this city understands that your school is the only one where girls really learn. Why should my sister be the only fool?’”[57]

New schools for girls in Teheran.

These messages are significant in view of the fact that in a brief time seventy girls’ schools were reported to have sprung up suddenly in Persia’s capital city, with an enrolment of five thousand pupils.[58] But scarcely half a dozen of those at the head of the schools had ever been to school themselves, and the testimony from all over Persia was the same as that at the capital,—“The missionary schools are the best.”

Here is the eager call from Turkey:[59]

The call for teachers in Turkey.

The gradual awakening of the villages to the need of better schools increases yearly the calls for teachers. The Sivas Normal School reports that the work of the past summer was very hard. “We were obliged to refuse calls for more than forty teachers, not a few of them from places to which we had never supplied teachers. The following quotation from a letter from the Armenian Bishop of one of our large cities is a fair sample: ‘We wish to call for the Armenian schools of our city the following teachers: a principal, a lady principal, teachers for Armenian, Turkish, and French, and three teachers for scientific branches. If you have among your experienced teachers or among the new graduates persons to recommend, please inform us at once in order that we may invite them.’”


Who walked a month’s journey to get an education, and returned to teach these children in this Turkish Schoolhouse

A Kurdish father.

One hardly knows whether to laugh or to cry over the Kurdish father up in the wild mountains of Kurdistan who brought his boy to the little school taught by a native helper, whacking him with a stick to make the reluctant youth walk in the paths of learning, while he declared, “I am not going to let my boy grow up in the street.”

Can we refuse the demand?

When great governments, ecclesiastical authorities, wealthy noblemen, and fierce warriors from the mountain fastnesses all clamor for what the missionary schools can do for their children, have we a right to refuse their request? Can we claim freedom from responsibility?

Rather let us glory in the unparalleled opportunity for giving to the needy children of non-Christian lands that which has proven to be the only true source of mental preparation for life-work,—a Christian education. Hear the testimony of Dr. F. W. Foerster, author and special lecturer in Ethics and Psychology in the University of Zurich, a man who began his educational work with sympathies strongly socialistic and entirely aloof from all forms of religion. In the author’s preface to his book, “Marriage and the Sex Problem,” he speaks with no uncertain sound of his own experience and conviction.

Dr. Foerster on Education and Christianity.

The author of this book comes from the ranks of those who dispense with all religion. But as the result of long experience, theoretical and practical, in the difficult work of character-training, he has been led to realize for himself the deep meaning and the profound pedagogical wisdom of the Christian method of caring for souls, and to appreciate, through his own experience, the value of the old truths.... He has absolutely no doubt that modern education, in discovering the extraordinary practical difficulties of character-training, will be increasingly cured of its optimistic illusions and led back to an understanding and appreciation of Christianity.

How about the children themselves? Do they enjoy and appreciate school privileges offered them by the missionaries, and does the work show results that are worth while?

Kindergarten work in Japan.

If, as Miss Lamson claims, “the hope of the nations lies in the training of little children,” there is hope for Japan in the ninety-eight mission kindergartens that are maintained by fourteen Protestant Boards and have an enrollment of four thousand and sixty-eight children. The report of the Kindergarten Union of Japan is a most fascinating volume, with its presentation of opportunity, need, method, and the result of teaching the tiny children who are to be the future parents, teachers, and leaders of thought and action in that Empire. A few extracts will give a little idea of what is being done for the children and through them for their homes and friends.

A Japanese teacher on Christian kindergartens.

The kindergarten in our country today is at its most critical stage, and therefore needs the best and most profound thinkers who can put their ideals into practice most tactfully. This must be accomplished by native Christian kindergartners. Education without religious foundations is like an egg without the germ of life in it. Most of our public and government kindergartens, which have the purely so-called educational views of today, are leaving the very springs of child life untouched, and therefore are not fulfilling the real meaning of education. They are not disciples of Froebel, because he based his philosophy on the Christian faith. (Fuji Takamori of Holy Love Kindergarten, Methodist.)

Results of sending the children to kindergarten.

A teacher writes, “A little girl whose father and mother were Christians entered our school. At first a little nursemaid brought her, then her grandmother came with her. This grandmother was a devoted Buddhist. She would not even look at the foreign teacher, much less listen to anything being taught, but at last she began to listen, and eventually became convinced that she needed Christ for her Saviour. Today she is a truly converted woman.”...

The blessing asked at the noon lunch seemed to make a deep impression on some children, and doing it at home attracts the parents’ attention, so that a number of them have been known to come to the church services to hear more about the meaning of prayer and praise. (Mrs. A. D. Gordon.)

We are told that the songs, the games, the stories, and sometimes the prayers, are household exercises in many homes. On a recent morning, which we spent by invitation of the wife of the Governor in her garden, the little son of the family, not yet of kindergarten age, took an active part with the other children. His mother told me that the older sister comes home and “plays kindergarten” with her small brother, and that, when they have guests to entertain, the children are often called in to give some kindergarten exercise. I did not tell her how strongly I disapprove of “showing off” children before company. I only prayed that “a little child might lead them.” (Mrs. Genevieve F. Topping, of Morioka Kindergarten, Baptist.)

An amusing incident happened one day when the children were off on an observation trip. They had to stop to let a detachment of soldiers pass, and spontaneously burst out singing “Soldier Boy, Soldier Boy,” to the great amusement of the soldiers. Then they all saluted the officer in proper fashion, but he only smiled. “Sensei, we saluted politely, why didn’t he return the salute?”

Later as the soldiers were drawn up in circular formation on the parade ground, the children said, “Oh, now they are going to play just as we do in kindergarten, let’s watch!” So the expedition which started out to study insect life changed into a lesson on soldiers and their absolute obedience to orders. (Alice Fyock of Sendai Aoba Yochien, American Episcopal.)

The call for missionary kindergartners.

A similar Kindergarten Union is being formed in China, and from all missionary lands comes the urgent cry for trained kindergartners who can not only start schools, but, far more than this, can train native kindergartners to take up the work. It would be hard to overemphasize the importance of this particular service which missions are rendering.

Dr. Balliet on the early years of childhood.

Dr. Thomas M. Balliet of New York University voices the opinion of modern educators when he says, “All the more recent studies in child psychology emphasize the great plasticity of the early years of childhood. The habits which the child then forms, and the attitude both intellectual and emotional which is then given him, are more lasting and more determining for his adult life than was even suspected some years ago.”[60]

Why is the Christian kindergarten needed?

After a hasty mental review of what has been studied in earlier chapters regarding the home life and training of little children in non-Christian lands, it is surely a mild statement to make that the Christian kindergarten is an absolute necessity if these little ones, so cunning and capable and helpless, are to have any chance at all for proper development. The words “Christian kindergarten” are used advisedly, and agree with utterances of experts such as Elizabeth Harrison, who says,—

“The foundation of the kindergarten is based upon the psychological revelation that, if man is the child of God, he must possess infinite possibilities, and that these possibilities can only develop as he, man, makes use of them—that in other words, man is a self-making being, that his likeness to the Divine Father consists in this power within him to unfold and develop his divine nature.”[61]

Children of backward races respond to early training.

Students of primitive and backward races tell us that the small children show as much promise and as many signs of undeveloped capability as do children of civilized lands, but before many years a cloud seems to overcast their minds, while selfishness and sin and passion take possession of their moral natures. Never again is there the same chance to make them what they might have been, as there was during those first early days when the kindergarten should have opened wide her doors to receive them. This argument would in itself seem sufficient to urge missionary Boards to speedy, thorough action in this matter, but there is another far-reaching argument to be considered. All through the East, wherever there are missionary kindergartens, mothers come to them to learn how to train their children, and countless homes have caught and passed on a reflection of the Christ life because of what the mothers have heard and observed and what the children have taken home with them. Make a flying trip to the Fuchow Kindergarten and watch “the irrepressible John.”

“This little lad’s father died, after a period of faithful service in Miss Wiley’s kitchen, and when the widowed mother came back to Miss Wiley from her country home to earn a living for herself and John and baby Joseph, John was already master of the situation and of his mother, and enforced his will on that by no means weak-minded woman by kicking, biting, pulling her ears, and similar methods. Now Miss Wiley is a famous trainer of boys, and she soon taught the young mother that the masculine will is not necessarily law at the age of two plus; the kindergarten carried out the same idea, and now John devotes vast energy and determination to the shaping of inanimate clay into pigs and other fascinating things, and treats animate nature as a well-mannered and kindly little gentleman should.”[62]

Kindergartners must be inventive and adaptable.

It would be most interesting and instructive to make a tour of missionary kindergartens for the purpose of seeing how ingenious our missionary teachers are, how they adapt Froebel’s ideas and methods to the most extraordinary circumstances which would have made that great educator gasp, how they must not only translate and adapt songs and tunes and games, but compose and create and invent,—all in an acquired language which has perhaps been only recently reduced to writing by some pioneer missionary. It might be pertinent to ask if all Women’s Boards provide the kindergartners and other teachers whom they send to the foreign field with a first-class outfit of all needed material, and if they remember that such an outfit needs to be replenished at least as often as a similar one does in the home land. It is not fair to require a missionary to make bricks without straw.

A West African kindergarten.

A visit to a West African Kindergarten will show an inventive and adaptable missionary in charge.

We have a new primary Sunday-School room which will be my kindergarten. It is a low wall covered by a round thatched roof high enough to leave a good big space for air. The floor is mudded and marked in squares. It looks very nice, but I shall take pains to get the cracks filled up, for they catch too much dirt and jigger seeds. The benches are not yet made, so the children who were cleaned up for Sunday went after leaves to sit on. The classes have to go out under trees to separate, but it is a great improvement upon the dirty and dangerous saw pit where they have met for so long. The only advantage about the saw pit was the roof for shade and pieces of wood and logs to sit upon. The big folks have been getting most of the attention and all of the advantages, but we feel that the children should have most because they are in the future. They do not show such shining results at once, but work with them will lay a foundation which is greatly needed here for really effective work....

I have a box cupboard, a sand table, two long low tables marked with squares, and strong benches. I have not much kindergarten material, but I do not need more at present. My first “gift” is a basin of water. They march in singing “Good morning, kind teacher” (only I am thankful to say the Umbundu words leave out the “kind”). Then we sing another song or two, and the prayer with bowed heads. I have no music, so I have to learn the tunes myself before I come to school. The children are the dearest, cunning things and they do want to learn.[63]

Primitive education among backward nations.

There are lands such as large sections of Africa and many of the Pacific Islands where no education whatever existed, where the language was not even reduced to writing, until Christian missionaries began their work. Other countries gave a certain so-called education to their boys or to the sons of certain privileged classes, leaving the girls absolutely illiterate. They agreed in principle if not in expression with that man in the mountains of Kurdistan who was asked by a missionary to send his bright little daughter down to the mission school at the beginning of the fall term. “Do you want my girl?” questioned the man in amazement and disgust. “Why don’t you take my cow?”

Again in other sections girls have a brief chance to learn, but are not expected to keep pace with their brothers or to attain to anything beyond the rudiments of book learning.

Lack of concentration.

A missionary educator from Turkey says that one of the greatest difficulties in school work arises from the fact that the children have no power of concentration, no idea of how to think and study on one line for any length of time. It often takes five or six years for a child really to learn how to study. Obviously, the earlier these preparatory years occur in a child’s life, the more benefit may he hope to derive from his education.

Evils of the memorizing method.

Then again, if children learn their first lessons in the native schools of Turkey, Persia, Korea, and various other countries, they will become fixed in the habit of memorizing without giving any intelligent thought to what they learn. Dr. S. M. Zwemer says:

“A Moslem lad is not supposed to know what the words and sentences mean which he must recite every day; to ask a question regarding the thought of the Koran would only result in a rebuke or something more painful. Even grammar, logic, history, and theology are taught by rote in the higher Mohammedan schools.... Thousands of Moslem lads, who know the whole Koran nearly by heart, cannot explain the meaning of the first chapter in every-day language. Tens of thousands can ‘read’ the Koran at random in the Moslem sense of reading, who cannot read an Arabic newspaper intelligently.”[64]

How utterly this differs from the theory and practice of Dr. Montessori, who “calls a child disciplined who is master of himself, and therefore able to dispose of or control himself whenever he needs to follow a rule of life. The liberty of the child must have as its limit only the collective interest. To interfere with this spontaneity is, in Dr. Montessori’s view, perhaps to repress the very essential of life itself.”[65] How can a child be master of himself who is not even allowed to inquire into the meaning of what he reads and studies?

Old methods hard to discard.

It is not always easy for the missionary suddenly to introduce changes of method and practice, and many a missionary school which is infinitely superior to the native institution might shock an American school superintendent beyond recovery. A missionary from China wrote,—“I found I must still keep many old methods or the Chinese would not send their children. I have found it necessary to let them learn portions of Scripture and classics and shout them at the tops of their voices, then gradually work in music, geography, and arithmetic.” Another argument for beginning as early as possible with the children who can so easily adapt themselves to ideas of a quiet, orderly school if they have never enjoyed exercising their lungs in one of the other kind!

Education of girls in Persia.

In speaking of primitive education among backward nations, mention was made of the scant attention given to girls as compared to boys. The London Times not long ago stated in commenting on the women of Persia, “As a matter of fact, probably not one girl in a thousand twenty years ago ever received any education. When the parents were rich enough, tuition of a sort was given at home, but in the case of poorer persons it was enough if their sons were taught to read and write.”

In contrast we learn that in the spring of 1913 about one thousand children from Moslem homes were in attendance at Protestant missionary schools in Persia, over two hundred of them being girls.

Early marriage a barrier to education.

In Mohammedan and other lands the custom of early marriage is an almost insuperable barrier to an adequate education for a girl. That this custom must be changed, if men are to have worthy wives and if children are to be properly trained, is a truth that is beginning to be realized. The recent great awakening and desire for education is creating a marvelous change in age-long customs.

Lord Cromer on conditions in Egypt.

Lord Cromer says: “The position of women in Egypt, and in Mohammedan countries generally, is a fatal obstacle to the attainment of that elevation of thought and character which should accompany the introduction of European civilization, if that civilization is to produce its full measure of beneficial effect. The obvious remedy would appear to be to educate the women.... When the first efforts to promote female education were made, they met with little sympathy from the population in general.... Most of the upper-class Egyptians were not merely indifferent to female education; they were absolutely opposed to it....

“All this has now been changed. The reluctance of parents to send their daughters to school has been largely overcome.... The younger generation are beginning to demand that their wives shall possess some qualifications other than those which can be secured in the seclusion of the harem.”

In 1912 Lord Kitchener states that “There is probably nothing more remarkable in the social history of Egypt during the last dozen years than the growth of public opinion among all classes of Egyptians in favor of the education of their daughters. The girls’ schools belonging to the Ministry of Education are crowded, and to meet the growing demand sites have been acquired and fresh schools are to be constructed, one at Alexandria and two in Cairo. Very many applications have, however, to be refused.”[66]

Mission schools in the lead.

To these quotations Dr. Sailer adds the significant words,—“The missionary schools for girls are yet in the lead in their moral atmosphere. The government officials were prompt in acknowledging that missionary teachers brought to their work a spirit which money could not buy.”

Scant justice can be done in these few pages to the whole vast subject of the education of girls in the East, and the rapid changes that are taking place in regard to it. A careful study of the subject will well repay the thoughtful woman. Now is the time to educate the future mothers. As all roads lead to Rome, so all reading and observation along this line will lead the candid student to one conclusion:—Now is the time to determine the character of the mothers of the next generation of children in non-Christian lands. What those little bright-eyed baby girls of Africa and India, Turkey and Korea are to be and do, what their homes are to be like, what start in life their children are to have, will be largely determined by what we Christian women do or fail to do for them today. If it is too late to do much for their mothers before these children have left their homes, why not gather the children into kindergartens and primary schools, why not teach the little ones now while their minds are plastic and impressionable? Why not do our share toward bringing Christian civilization into darkened lands by educating in Christian schools today the mothers of tomorrow?

Teaching children to play.

In the preceding chapter great emphasis was laid on the necessity for teaching the children of many mission lands how to play, not only for the benefit of their health and to bring joy and brightness into their lives, but also in order to teach them what “fair play” and co-operation mean. It is the missionary school, from kindergarten up to university, that gives the golden opportunity for this teaching, as is shown by the testimony of a missionary from Tientsin, China:—“We believe that such games teach them to be honest in business dealings later, to be truthful, unselfish, quick-witted, and self-controlled. The change which I have seen in these little, un-taught, ill-cared-for children after five years in the mission school is due in part, I believe, to the lessons of ‘fair play’ learned in their games.”

But the school must go even further than this and include in its curriculum physical education of a very definite kind if it is to meet all the needs of the children it is serving. Taking as an example of all mission lands, China, whose system of education antedates by many centuries all our western civilization, let us observe through the eyes of the former physical director of the Shanghai Y. M. C. A. what the real situation is.

Physical training.

Physical training should be dignified by giving it an equal place with the sciences, philosophies, and languages in the curriculum, and the same careful provision of means and trained men to direct it. No educational system is adequate which does not aim at the whole man, which does not recognize the physical basis of intellectual and spiritual efficiency. Professor Tyler of Amherst says, “Brain and muscle are never divorced in the action of healthy higher animals and in healthy men. They should not be divorced in the education of the child.”...

It is clear that physical training, in the largest sense, must play an important part in the making of the “New China.” The questions involved in her uplift are most largely physical questions. The personal, domestic, and public observance of the laws of health and life is a physical question; the combating of that terrible scourge, tuberculosis, is a physical question; the checking of the fearful infant mortality is a physical question; etc....

The progress which has been made in physical training in China must be viewed in the light of the fact that physical exercise for its own sake has had no part in the national life of China for centuries. It has been considered improper for a Chinese gentleman to indulge in it. The popular conception of a Chinese scholar has been that of a man with a great head, emaciated body, and hollow chest, sitting and contemplating the problem of life by thinking dissociated from doing. Until ten years ago athletics were almost unknown. When foreigners were seen playing football the Chinese were greatly puzzled, and wanted to know how much these men were being paid for cutting up such foolish antics, conceiving it as out of the question that any one would work so hard without being well paid for it. All that is rapidly being changed. Physical training is changing China’s conception of a gentleman. The ideal of all-round manhood, well-balanced in its physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, is rapidly gaining ground.[67]

Could all China’s children today be taught this ideal, the task would be far easier than it will be when they have reached adult life.

“The athletic method in Kashmir.”

The story of the Missionary School for Boys in Srinagar, Kashmir, is as thrilling as a novel, and illustrates to a remarkable degree how body, mind, and soul must be trained and disciplined and developed in order to realize the ideal of the Principal, the Rev. C. E. Tyndale-Biscoe, who says, “We are making citizens, of what sort remains to be seen. But we hope without wavering that these citizens will be Christian citizens, for Christ is our ideal.” Some of the difficulties are thus described:

“To teach the three R’s in Kashmir is easy work. The boys are willing to squat over their books and grind away for as many hours a day as nature makes possible. To get an education means sedentary employment cum rupees. And that to the Kashmiri is living.

“But to educate is a very different matter. To make men of a thousand or more boys who care nothing for manliness; among whose ancestors for hundreds of years, chicanery, deceit, and cruelty had been the recognized and honored paths to success, while generosity and honesty had been the mark of a fool; to try to quicken and develop the good in such boys,—boys coming from impure homes, squatting in unclean rows, with bent backs and open mouths—was flatly pronounced folly by many a visitor to Kashmir.”[68]

The story tells how boxing, swimming, rowing, and gymnastics are required of the students as a most necessary and vital part of their education, and how they are trained to be proud of using these accomplishments in helping others. By the time a Brahmin boy,—they are almost all Brahmins in this school,—has saved a child from drowning, rescued a family of despised sweepers from the roof of their flood-swept house, delivered a poor woman from being beaten, and helped clean up the streets and alleys of a city during a cholera epidemic, he has received an education such as no books in the world can give him, and Kashmir is one step nearer to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Building a “great personality.”

“Train not thy child,” says Emerson, “so that at the age of thirty or forty he shall have to say, ‘This great work could I have done but for the lack of a body.’” Elizabeth Harrison, after quoting Emerson, adds, “Is not this carelessness as to health one of the ways in which we are not conserving the forces that make for righteousness and truth, one of the ways in which we are neglecting to build up ‘a great personality’ in our children?”[69]

Up to this point our study of The Child in non-Christian lands has shown that the missionary must touch the home life, the customs and ideals handed down from remote ancestors, the play and work and education and physical development of the child, in order to give him his inalienable rights, while in the next chapter we shall dwell on his right to know of Jesus Christ, the children’s Friend. It may seem to the reader (as it does to the writer) that the chapters overlap one another in spite of the heroic effort to treat each subject by itself. But most of us find,—do we not?—that it is a bit difficult to attend to the spiritual culture of our boys when they are clamoring to go out and play ball, or to get our little girls to tell what they learned at school, when they are hungry for their dinner. The mother must train all parts of her child’s nature by attending to the need that is uppermost at the time,—the missionary must do the same for her foster children, and the woman at home, behind the missionary, has to recognize the same inseparable inter-relation of body, mind, and soul in the little ones of whom she is studying. Our divisions into “subjects” must be more or less artificial. However, to this particular subject of “The Child at School” belong naturally two more matters which must be touched on briefly.

The need for good literature.

When the Turkish girl has learned to read, when six thousand boys have annually been trained in that great chain of Anglo-Chinese schools started by the Methodists in Malaysia, when Korean children have acquired a taste for reading and study, where are they to find suitable, interesting books? The Cyclopedia of Education pays a wonderful tribute to what one Book has done for Korea, saying that “the translation of the Bible into Korean and its rapid distribution, and revivals marked with habitual study of the Bible, compelled many to learn the alphabet to master a sacred library so rich, and has constituted a national school of intelligence and culture.” But other books than the Bible must be translated and written in order to give clean, interesting, wholesome literature to the children of countless thousands who never had any use for a literature for themselves. As Miss Lilian Trotter of Algiers says,—“Those who have been patiently toiling over the schooling of Moslem girls and women begin to feel that the powers of reading gained in school days should be used as a means to an end, not left to lapse in the first years that ensue for want of following up. Letters from the whole reach of the Moslem world give the same refrain,—the girls drop their reading largely because there is nothing published that interests them. The few upper class women who read, read little but newspapers and French novels. Could not some one who understands child minds work out bright beginnings for the use of their waking powers in stories and pictures with colored lettering and borders? Easterns must have color to make them happy!”[70]

Here is a call to missionary work for some one who never dreamt that her particular literary and artistic talents are absolutely needed today by the children of the East.

Industrial training in mission schools.

The second matter mentioned above is the need for industrial training. Great progress has been made in this respect in recent years, but much more progress is needed, and trained teachers and suitable equipment are required. As a missionary in Persia says when urging that more industrial training be given the school girls,—“A woman may be able to read, but, if unable to bake or prepare a good meal, her husband will not care if she reads about the Bread of Life. She may play the organ, but, if she cannot wash, mend, make the children’s clothes, and make a happy home, he will have little interest in hearing her play or sing ‘The Home over there.’”

Extent of American missionary education.

There is abundant testimony to prove that America is already doing great things in the line of missionary education. Here is the testimony of a traveler and newspaper man.

The number of mission schools and colleges supported by Americans with American money is nearly as large as that of all the schools conducted by the missionaries of all other countries combined. We have approximately 10,000 schools in lands that are not under our flag and from which we receive not a cent of revenue.

If a man in quest of material for an American educational exhibit were to sail out of San Francisco Bay with a phonograph recorder, he would come up on the other side of Sandy Hook with a polyglot collection of records that would give the people of the United States a new conception of their part in the world’s advance toward light. His audience might hear a spelling class recite in the tuneful Hawaiian tongue or listen to Moros, Tagalogs, and Igorrotes reading from the same “McGuffey’s Reader.” A change of records might bring the sound of little Japanese reciting geography, or of Chinese repeating the multiplication table in a dozen dialects. Another record would tell in quaint Siamese the difference between a transitive or an intransitive verb, or conjugate the verb “to be” in any one of the languages of India. One might hear a professor from Pennsylvania lecturing on anatomy to a class of young men in the ancient kingdom of Darius; or a young woman from Massachusetts explaining the mysteries of an eclipse to a group of girls in Constantinople; or a Princeton man telling in Arabic the relation between a major and a minor premise. And when the audience had listened to all this and to “My country, ’tis of thee” in Eskimo and in Spanish, the exhibit of American teaching would have only begun.[71]

Languages used.

One American Mission Board alone (the Presbyterian) uses the following languages and dialects in its educational institutions:—Arabic, Armenian, Beng, Bulu, English, Fang, French, German, Hainanese, Hakka, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laos, Mandarin (and many dialects in our eight China missions; the dialects of China are as diverse as the languages of Europe), Marathi, Mpongwe, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sanscrit, Siamese, Spanish, Syriac, Tagalog, Turkish, Urdu, Visayan.[72]

Where shall we put the emphasis?

But in spite of all that is being done, we continue to make our plea for the little children. Whatever emphasis may be laid on the need for boarding schools, colleges, normal, and industrial training schools, let us remember that those who are taught while small will make the most hopeful students in these more advanced schools, and the best workers in the future.

How missionary schools lead children to Christ.

How quickly and easily and naturally the little ones learn of Jesus, the children’s Friend, and their relation to Him, we have already seen illustrated in the kindergarten work of Japan. A little six-year-old Greek boy in Syria, who had attended the missionary kindergarten, spent the summer in the mountains and became dreadfully wild and profane. On his return to school the teacher asked why he had been so naughty. He replied, “I didn’t pray during the summer. Now I’m going to pray and be a good boy.”

To Mrs. Pitcher of Amoy we owe the following incident:—

A scholar in one of our schools, whose relatives were all idol worshippers and very ignorant, was led to give her heart to Jesus, and became a most active little Christian; but one day she was taken very ill with plague, and during her last hours she was so happy singing hymns she had learned at school and telling her parents and old grandmother about the Home beyond, where she would soon be with the Lord, that all that heathen family were led by this dying child to believe in a God of love, who could so comfort His little child, and save her from the terror and dread of the many evil spirits in whom they had blindly trusted.[73]

Mission school children in after-life.

This chapter cannot end before we follow into their later life some of the children whose early and perhaps whose only education was received in missionary schools.

“The home in Syria whose mother was taught in a school can always be distinguished at a glance, whether it belongs to the Protestant community or to one of the old Christian sects. Neatness and good taste prevail, the children are more carefully trained, the members of the family work for each other’s benefit. One of our school girls, who was married to an uneducated man, told us years after: ‘Letter by letter I taught him to read, figure by figure I taught him arithmetic, and then I drew him down upon his knees and word by word I taught him to pray.’”[74]

Boys of West Africa.

From the Spirit of Missions we quote the following about the boys at Cape Mount, West Africa:—

“These people can be reached by Christianity best in their childhood, before superstitions, belief in the Gregre, or the influence of the life of a Mohammedan has become grafted into their lives. If allowed to grow up in their native villages they often become leaders of tribal wars, and, unknowingly, men of the vilest character. In one tribe from which several boys are at the mission, the mother tattoos curious marks on the forehead of her babe, in order that if during war he is captured and in after years she becomes able to redeem him from slavery, she may be able to recognize her own child. With the influence and training of a Christian mission, even though the boys go back to native life, they do not go back to all of its vileness, and one can soon distinguish between them and the un-Christianized heathen.”

It takes faith and hope and love and a vision far into the future to teach boys like these. But it pays, and the “bread cast on the waters” is often found again in most unlikely places, such as those described in a letter from Mr. W. C. Johnson of West Africa:—

“Everywhere I find in the village schools sources of Christian influence. In one village where I stayed all night, all of the boys and all but two of the women were Christians. This was entirely the work of Christian school boys. In another place a young man told me that there were only two young men in the community who were not trying to lead Christian lives. This too was the work of the Christian school boys.”

A few months at school and what they accomplished.

A little Mohammedan girl attended for a very few months the mission day school in a near-by city street. Her cruel step-mother persecuted her bitterly, throwing her school books on the floor and trampling them under foot to show her contempt of Christian learning. Some kind friend at the school gave the child forty cents,—unheard-of wealth to the little one,—and the missionary suggested that a teacher should help the child spend it for something she greatly needed before the mother could take it away. “No,” said the little girl, “I don’t want to spend it in that way. I want to give it all to the Lord and then I shall have treasure in heaven. I learned that at school.” She was married,—without any choice in the matter,—to a man who had known Christians and was favorable to them, and the little wife lived a consistent Christian life and died trusting in Christ as her Saviour.

Only a few months at school for a few hours of each day, but they made all the difference for time and for eternity! How many children are having such an opportunity because of us and our missionary society? How many are deprived of the opportunity because it is “not our business” to help them realize the truth of what was said in days of old,—“Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”



American missionaries were the pioneers in true educational work in Siam. They gave to Siam its first real school. They aided Siam in establishing the Government Educational system, and encouraged the Department of Education to establish normal training schools. They introduced the printing press into Siam, made the first Siamese type, and taught Siam the art of printing.

American missionaries gave Siam its first newspaper in the Siamese language, and gave the first Geography, Astronomy, Anatomy, and Physiology, Chemistry, Arithmetic, and Geometry in the Siamese language.

When the King of Siam made the first move for the establishment of a school system over Siam, he placed an American missionary at the head of the work. The present Minister of Education was at one time pupil of a missionary, later on he became fellow student of one of the missionaries in Sanscrit, and still consults the missionaries on educational questions and literary subjects.

In the past twenty-five years the Presbyterian Mission at Siam has received more money from the Siamese king, princes, nobles, and common people for the maintenance of educational work, than it has received from the Presbyterian Church in America. (Educational Work of the Bd. For. Miss. of the Pres. Ch.)


An English boy learns to read his own language first, and does not always go on to a foreign language. A Persian boy learns to read a foreign language first, and does not always go on to his own language. When a little Persian boy goes to school he is given a big Arabic book, with a great many long words in it, and he is not taught how the words are spelt, but is told what they are, and made to repeat them from memory, pointing to each word in the book as he says it, and gradually he gets some idea of which word is which.... The Mohammedans think that reading the Koran, quite apart from understanding it, is a very good action, so the little Persian boys work away at it, and they do not think it hard lines because all men and big boys began in the same way, so it seems the natural thing to do. And perhaps it is a little consolation to know that when they reach certain points they will be given sweets. One little boy who was asked how far he had got in the Koran, said that he had just got his first sweets.

Having finished the Koran, our little Persian boy goes on to Persian books. These, too, he studies in much the same way as he did the Koran, but it is more useful, because now he understands what he reads. After plodding through the Koran it is a pleasant change for little Ghulam Husain to turn to the “War between the Cats and Mice” or the “Hundred Fables.” Later on he reads the poems of Hafiz and Sa’adi, and other great Persian poets.

The Persians do not apparently think much of their own system of education, for they are always laughing at their schoolmasters. They have a story of a charvadar, or muleteer, one of whose mules strayed one day into a school. It was quickly driven out, and the muleteer claimed damages to the extent of half the value of a mule. The schoolmaster indignantly asked on what he based his claim. The muleteer turned to the crowd which had gathered to listen to the argument. “My beast,” said he, “went into his school a mule and it has come out a donkey.” You see, a donkey counts half a mule in caravan traveling, just as child counts half a person in train traveling.

When a boy is caned in punishment he lies on his back and holds out his feet instead of his hands. Sometimes his feet are held in a kind of stocks while he is caned across the soles. They call it “eating sticks” or “eating wood.” (Mrs. Napier Malcolm in “Children of Persia.”)

A Persian Boys’ School and the Favorite Mode of Punishment


There is no more extraordinary feature of the work among the Bulu than the readiness with which this little forest creature submits himself to the discipline of school. From a heritage of liberty he comes to knock at the Mission door and to set his little jiggered feet upon the new way of order. He who came and went at will keeps the commandments of the school drum. He who has been bred to inter-tribal hatred eats out of the pot with his hereditary enemy. He earns his food in all honor under the Mission law of labor. He permits himself to be “tied” with “ten tyings” to a standard of conduct which is the reverse of his racial standards.

In the rude school house, with his alphabet before him, or in the open, cutlass in hand, he performs daily acts of order and discipline, and these little tasks are regenerative. His little sister is beside him and subjected to the same process. The presence of the Mission in a Bulu community is a great blessing to a little girl. It is a kind of sanctuary and a police patrol. I cannot think that you would like to know from what perils it saves her.... Such little girls, following in the paths after their brothers, have come to own a slate, to own a primer, to ply a needle, to sleep at night in peace under a Christian thatch and in innocent company. (“Other Children” by Jean Mackenzie, Wom. For. Miss. Soc. Pres.)


Ever since coming here I have talked to both men and women, as occasion offered, about the folly of not allowing girls to learn anything. When I felt pretty sure of two little girls, I announced one Sunday to the women who were gathered in my room that on Thursday I should begin a girls’ school for any who cared to come. What was my surprise and delight on Thursday to have one of the Kashas (Old Church pastors) come bringing, not two but four little girls who promptly walked up to me and kissed my hand. The next day another, who had not heard of the school the first day, came. After three days one girl disappeared. On Saturday I visited her home and found they were keeping her to work, and this, according to my idea of the circumstances, seemed very unnecessary, for I keep them only two hours a day at present. When I expostulated with the father, he said, “Why should I take the trouble to let her go to school, when after a little time I’ll marry her into some other family?” Here girls are married very young, at twelve years, many of them. All I could say was of no avail. During all this conversation poor Rachel sat between us, the tears running down her face, and saying repeatedly, “Father, let me go.” The father was too selfish to be moved by her pleadings. (Letter from Mrs. E. W. McDowell.)


Deut. 11:18–21 with 2d Tim. 1:5 and 3:14–17.

The natural, constant teaching of God’s commandments in the daily life of the home by parents and grandparents will prepare the children to lead prosperous, successful, useful lives. What is learned in childhood “furnishes” the man or woman for life.

“Therefore if to the goodness of nature be joined the wisdom of the teacher in leading young wits into a right and plain way of learning, surely children, kept up in God’s fear, and governed by His grace, may most easily be brought well to serve God and country both by virtue and wisdom.” (Roger Ascham in the year 1570.)


O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Child of Bethlehem, bless, we beseech Thee, the children gathered in Christian schools; may they be truthful, pure, obedient, and ever ready to do their duty in that state of life to which Thou shalt be pleased to call them, Who livest and reignest with the Father and Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


1. Give five reasons for multiplying kindergartens and primary schools in non-Christian lands.

2. In the missionary Forward Movement in China, should the emphasis in advance educational work be put on primary or on secondary education?

3. Give the reasons for and against an increase in Missionary educational work in Japan. What is your personal opinion on the subject?

4. Should the missionary teacher aim to secure a large number of scholars, or to give more time and personal attention to a few? Give your reasons for your answer.

5. If you were facing a school of fifty little children who had absolutely no idea of education, cleanliness, manners, morals, or Christianity, what would you try to teach them during the first week? How would you go about it? (This takes it for granted that you know their language.)


The School and the Child, John Dewey.

Stages in Missionary Education, T. H. P. Sailer, Woman’s Work, Sept., 1912.

Christian Missions and Social Progress, J. S. Dennis. (Revell) vol. ii.

“On the Education of Backward Races,” E. W. Coffin, Pedagogical Seminary, March, 1908.

Report on Educational Work of Bd. For. Miss. of Pres. Ch.

Daylight in the Harem, Van Sommer and Zwemer, (Revell.)

Children of Persia, Mrs. Napier Malcolm, (Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.)

Education of Girls in Persia, Moslem World, Oct., 1912.

The Education of the Women of India, M. G. Gowan, (Revell.)

Modern India, Sir J. D. Rees, (George Allen and Sons.)

The Athletic Method in Kashmir, Henry Forman, Outlook, Sept. 24, 1910.

Village Life in China, Arthur H. Smith, (Revell.)

The Education of Chinese Women, Margaret Burton.

Possibilities of the Kindergarten in China, L. Pearl Boggs, Child Welfare Magazine, Feb., 1913.

“The Opportunity and Need for the Mission School in China.” F. L. Hawks Pott, D.D., Intern’l Review of Missions, Oct., 1912.

Report of the Kindergarten Union of Japan.

Fifteen Years among the Top-Knots, Mrs. Underwood, (Am. Tract Soc.)

The Land of the White Helmet, Edgar Allen Forbes, (Revell.)


Into a New Life Woman’s Board of Missions of the Congregational Church.
Kwuli, a South Sea Maid
The Story of Aghavnitza
The Children’s Gardens
The Story of the Imadegawa Kindergarten
The Cesarea Kindergarten
Coral Island Brownies
Ling Te’s Letter Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church.
The New Persia Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church.
Our Investments in India Woman’s Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church in America.
Schools in the Arcot Mission, India
Hindu Girls’ School in Arcot Mission
Key to Hindu Homes
Educational Work in Japan
From Kindergarten to College Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
A Peep into Yokohama Day Schools
A School Day at Aoyama
How Orthodox Mohammedans Educate a Child Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church in America.
Messages to Mass. from Blackmer Home, 1912 Woman’s Universalist Missionary Society of Massachusetts.
Story of Matsu Koyama
Midori Kindergarten
Concerning the Blackmer Home Woman’s National Missionary Association, Universalist.


“Suffer the little children to come unto Me.”

Children worshiping—The child at worship in Thibet—In India—In Mohammedan Lands—In Africa—Religious needs greater than all others—The place of the child in non-Christian religions—In the Koran—In the Hindu Vedas and Shastras—Confucianism and Christianity—Failure of non-Christian religions to influence lives for righteousness—Religious acts and their results to children—Temple girls of India—Heathen mothers and their dead children—Only the Bible gives the child a place—The motive for teaching the children about Christ—The means to be used—Sunday-Schools—Christian Endeavor Societies—The power of God’s Word—Christian hymns—Obstacles to bringing children to Christ—“After many days”—Our great privilege.

Children worshiping.

What wonderful pictures flash before the mind as one repeats the words, “The Child at Worship”! The picture, familiar to childhood, of the boy Samuel, kneeling in the temple with folded hands and uplifted eyes; the picture on the nursery wall of vested choir boys or earnest-faced children singing praises in the sanctuary; the bowed heads of little ones in the primary room at Sunday-School, while with hushed voices they sing their prayer song; the hour far back in childhood when you knelt at your mother’s knee; or the sweet moment when your sleepy baby cuddled in your arms and learned to lisp, “Now I lay me.” All that is sweetest, purest, holiest in childhood seems to find full expression and highest reality as we see the child at worship, for “except ye turn and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven, ... for their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

The Child at Worship in Thibet.

The Child at Worship! Far off in distant Thibet today thousands of children are praying morning, noon, and night, joining their parents in the constant repetition of one six-syllabled sentence, “Om mani padme Hum” (“Om! the Jewel in the Lotus! Hum”!) This prayer they are taught from earliest childhood to use as “a panacea for all evils, a compendium of all knowledge, a treasury of all wisdom, a summary of all religion.” It is engraved on the outside of metal cylinders, written on rolls within rolls of paper inserted into the cylinders, which are held in the right hand and whirled round and round like a child’s toy,—each revolution storing up merit to the worshipper. But alack! if the careless boy whirls the prayer cylinder in the wrong direction, i.e., not with the sun, he is adding to the debit side of his account, and the more zealously he “prays,” the less good will his prayers do him.[75] “They think they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

The Child at Worship in India.

The Child at Worship in India! “All the way up the bank they are killing and skinning their goats. You look to the right and put your hands over your eyes. You look to the left, and do it again. You look straight in front of you and see an extended skinned victim hung from the branch of a tree. Every hanging rootlet of the great banyan-tree is hung with horrors,—all dead most mercifully, but horribly still....

“We see little children watching the process delightedly. There is no intentional cruelty, for the god will not accept the sacrifice unless the head is severed by a single stroke. But it is most disgusting and demoralizing. And to think that these children are being taught to connect it with religion!

“With me is one who used to enjoy it all. She tells me how she twisted the fowls’ heads off with her own hands. I look at the fine little brown hands, and I can hardly believe it. ‘You, you, do such a thing!’ And she says, ‘Yes; when the day came round to sacrifice to our family divinity my little brother held the goat’s head while my father struck it off, and I twisted the chickens’ heads. It was my pleasure.’”[76]

Truly, “the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty!”

The Mohammedan Child at Worship.

The Mohammedan Child at Worship! From the minaret of the Sunni Mosque or the roof of the Shi’ite Mosque sounds the call to prayer. Children of seven or older are supposed to join their elders in obeying the summons five times a day,—in the early dawn, at noon, two hours before sunset, at sunset, and two hours later. The religious law, however, provides that no child shall be beaten for neglecting his prayer until he is ten years of age.

Praying, however, is not as easy a task for the Mohammedan lad as for his Thibetan cousin. He must first wash his face, hands, and arms, feet, and legs, learning which side of the face, which hand and foot to wash first, whether the arms should be stroked from the wrist to the elbow or in the opposite direction. His prayer will not count before the great “Allah” if the ablutions are not correct. Then he must learn the words of the prayers, and these are in Arabic, which three-fourths of the Mohammedan children of the world cannot understand. Turning toward Mecca, he must stand, kneel, and bow himself with his forehead to the ground, at just the proper intervals during the prayer. At the age of twelve he begins to observe the month of Ramazan, and his nine-year-old sister must do the same, when from sunrise to sunset no morsel of food or drop of drink may cross their lips. “Is such the fast that I have chosen? wilt thou call this a fast and an acceptable day unto Jehovah?” With deep insight into the truth has Mrs. Malcolm said:—

“Here again we see Mohammed giving his people what we may call ‘nursery rules,’ treating them as children, while our Master expects us to grow up so that we can arrange these matters for ourselves. The very fact that the detailed rules of Mohammedanism are binding through life shows that the Mohammedan is not expected to grow up as we understand growing up.”[77]

The African Child at Worship.

Once more the Child at Worship, this time in the African jungle! “Ancestor-worship is the highest form of African Fetishism,—the usual fetish is the skull of the father, which the son keeps in a box. The father occasionally speaks to the son in dreams, and frequently communicates with him by omens. He helps him in all his enterprises, good and evil, and secures his success in love, in hunting, and in war. All those who have skulls are a secret society, which is powerful to rule and to tyrannize over others. Young boys are initiated into this society by rites and ceremonies that are revolting.... In the mild ceremony of the more civilized Fang towns, the boy who is to be initiated is made very drunk and taken blindfolded to the bush, to a place set apart for the use of the society. The ceremony continues several days. In one part of it the bandage is removed from his eyes at midnight, a low fire is burning, which gives a feeble light, and he finds himself surrounded by members of the society with faces and bodies frightfully distorted, and all the skulls of their ancestors exposed to view, together with the heads of persons who have recently died. Some one asks him what he sees. He replies that he sees only spirits, and solemnly declares that these are not men....

“Further up the river, a boy during initiation is usually placed for several days in a house alone, after being made to look so long at the sun that sometimes he faints, and when he is taken into the house he cannot at first see anything. Meantime the door is closed, and they all go away. Gradually he sees things around him, and at length discovers opposite him a corpse, in an early state of decomposition. He is kept there day and night during the ceremony. The men visit him and subject him to all sorts of indignities, in order to impress him with the necessity of absolute obedience to the society.... They believe that the skull of the father or other ancestor, when it has been properly prepared, becomes the residence of the ancestor. The son ... will keep the skull comfortably warm and dry, occasionally rubbing it with oil and red-wood powder, and will feed it bountifully.”[78]

Religious needs greater than all others in non-Christian lands.

Our hearts are touched by the child in its helplessness, by the suffering and sorrow of neglected little ones, by the agonies of child wives and widows, and the yearning cry for teachers and books, but how can we endure it when all that is sweetest and holiest and best in the beautiful child heart is defiled and polluted in the name of religion; when senseless repetition in an unknown tongue takes the place of the trustful words, “Our Father”; when sticks and stones, ancestral tablets, spirits and devils are worshipped by those to whom the Christ cries out in yearning love, “Suffer the little children to come unto ME”? If our hearts are touched, not to the breaking point, but to the acting point, then these horrors must cease, and the children will be taught to worship aright, and Christ “shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied.”

“The people in the country from which you have come have a religion of their own, is it not good enough for them? Why should you insult them by trying to foist your religion upon them?” The place of the child in non-Christian religions. These and many similar questions meet the missionary on furlough, and cause her more woe than does many a hard experience on the mission field. The best answer to such questions is to induce the questioners to study carefully what the non-Christian religions have to say regarding children, and the direct result of their systems on child life.

In the Koran.

A careful search in the Koran, the sacred book of the Mohammedans, is rewarded by finding several passages strictly enjoining kindness and justice to orphans, and a set of minute regulations regarding inheritance in which children, parents, husbands, and wives shall share, prefaced by these words: “God hath thus commanded you concerning your children,” and followed up later by the remark: “Ye know not whether your parents or your children be of greater use unto you.” (Sura IV.)

“Children,” says Rev. S. M. Zwemer, “are scarcely mentioned in the Koran; of such is not the Kingdom of Islam.”

In Hindu Vedas.

“The Hindu Vedas enjoin that by a girl, or by a young woman, or by a woman advanced in years, nothing must be done, even in her own dwelling place, according to her mere pleasure; in childhood a female must be dependent on (or subject to) her father; in youth, on her husband; her lord being dead, on her sons; a woman must never seek independence.” (Manu V, 158.)

In Hindu Shastras.

“The Hindu Shastras have made no provisions of affection and regard for a daughter. She is viewed by them, as far as her parents are concerned, merely as an object to be ‘given away,’ and that as soon as possible. She is declared by them to be marriageable, even in her infancy, to a person of any age; and of course without her own choice or intelligent consent.... According to the letter of the law, the parents are not to sell their daughters, but they may receive valuable gifts, the equivalent of a price, on her behalf.” (Manu III, 51.)[79]

The code of Manu further teaches that by honoring his mother a son gains the terrestrial world, by honoring his father, the ethereal,—intermediate,—and by assiduous attention to his preceptor, even the celestial world of Brahma.[80]

How different are the words of the Apostle Paul regarding the relation between parents and children. “Fathers, provoke not your children that they be not discouraged. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. Honor thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with promise.”

Confucianism and Christianity.

The Right Reverend Logan H. Roots, Bishop of Hankow, has illustrated so forcibly the difference in the practical working out of the precepts of Confucianism and Christianity, that it is well worth while to quote him at length.

In conversation with a group of Chinese gentlemen some time ago, I made the remark that outside the Jewish and Christian religions there was no serious recognition of the inherent dignity of children, and that no sage had ever made a statement comparable to that of our Lord.—“Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Such a remark as this on my part would have elicited scarcely any interest a few years ago. The warm discussion it aroused this time was a sign of the new life that is now stirring among the Chinese. The keenest of these gentlemen were in sympathy with Christianity, but they were all inclined to look upon Confucianism as a real preparation for Christianity, and one after another brought forth sayings of the Confucian sages which they thought could be reasonably compared to that of Christ.

They quoted the praises of King Wen in the “Great Learning,” where it is said, “As a father he rested in kindness”; the sayings of Confucius himself in the “Analects” as to his own wish: “In regard to the young, treat them tenderly”; the advice to a ruler in “The Great Learning”: “Act as though you were watching over an infant”; and the fine saying of Mencius: “The great man is he who does not lose his child’s heart.”...

The eagerness of these gentlemen in discussing the question with me, to find a place for their worthies in the ample folds of Christian teaching is far from unwholesome or blameworthy, especially when there is such readiness as they showed to appeal to Christian teaching rather than to the sages as their standard, and to prove the greatness of their sages by their agreement with the Christ....

My purpose, however, is not to give an exposition of these classical gems, but rather to contrast them briefly with certain popular Chinese conceptions of childhood which are foolish or cruel, but which these lofty sayings of the sages have been powerless to correct.

Should a child fall ill, his relatives or friends very likely remark, “His spirit has gone seeking another incarnation.” Or some one suggests, “Some ghost has frightened the child to the point of losing its soul.”... Should the child die, the parents will grieve as surely and as sorely as parents any where; but ... they will be told, “Never mind, the child was misguided to your home, and was not intended for you.” Or, “It was only a creditor collecting a debt you owed in a former existence.” Or, “Don’t grieve, it was but one of those demon spirits that always die young.”...

I put these popular sayings beside the exalted sentiments of the Chinese Classics, not to disparage the sages, but to show how utterly dark the popular mind is, in spite of these sayings which seem so full of light. Is not the difficulty that the sages after all could not go to the root of the matter? They knew nothing of God as Father.[81]

Failure to influence lives for righteousness.

What is here illustrated of the failure of Confucianism to influence lives toward righteousness and faith is true of the other non-Christian religions. Even the young Mohammedan girl realized the power and claim of Christianity as she was a chance listener to the Gospel story while a missionary toured in central Persia. “Why, lady,” she exclaimed, “if one understands clearly that Book, there is nothing left but to obey!”

The direct results of the way children are taught to worship in non-Christian lands deserve careful, unprejudiced study, with the question constantly in mind, “Is this religion good enough for my children, or for those in whom I am interested?” If the study results in a negative answer to the question, it is fair to ask further, “Is it good enough for any children in the whole wide world?”

Result to the child of religious acts.

What should be the results, physical, mental, moral, and spiritual, of a child’s religious acts? Which of all the world religions produces these results? Study Mohammedanism, for instance, of which we have already noted some of the religious acts expected of the child. These must necessarily inculcate formalism, thoughtless repetition, deep-rooted superstition, and the idea that God can be appeased and sin can be forgiven through certain acts unconnected with life and character.

“When I die,” said a poor, blind Mohammedan girl, “I shall be visited by two angels, the chief of whom will make an examination of my deeds, and remind me of everything I have done, and left undone; he will then cut off a piece of my shroud and record upon it my good and bad deeds, and attach it firmly to my neck with a piece of rope. If my good deeds outweigh my bad ones, I shall go straight into heaven. If my bad deeds outweigh my good deeds, my intercessor Mohammed will easily get permission for me to enter heaven, so it does not much matter how I live.”[82]

Mohammedan month of mourning.

The annual month of mourning of the Shi’ite Mohammedans is observed by children as well as by adults, and little ones with their heads covered with straw or ashes, or wearing chains, are borne on horseback in the processions that close the series of passion plays. A missionary in Persia saw a mother carrying her boy of five or six years in the bloody procession, cutting his head with a curved sword, while blood streamed from five or six gashes. Poor, eager, zealous mother, trying to store up merit for her baby boy against the day of wrath!

Fear and horror in idol worship.

Fear, dread, and horror are inseparably associated in the minds of thousands of children with the worship of their gods. From earliest childhood others grow so naturally into the forms of ancestor, idol, and spirit worship that this becomes one of the most difficult factors in leading them into Christianity. From the Mission Day Spring we quote a few words about “how Chinese children worship.”

We must go up a flight of wide stone steps at the entrance of the temple, and as we enter we shall see two tall images with very ugly faces and brilliantly painted coats, which are called “Guardians of the Gate.” The mothers bring their little children forward, and teach them to clasp their hands and bow down, knocking their heads to the ground as they worship the image. If it is the first time, the children are afraid and often say, “Oh, I can’t do it, I never can do it!” Then they have to watch closely while their mothers once more show them how to worship. Afterwards they are sometimes rewarded with little presents, which they are told have been given them by the idol. If they are still too afraid to worship, stories of the terrible things that happen to people who do not ask the protection of the idols are repeated to them.

Up on the mountain slopes of the Hakone District in Japan, is the great children’s god, Jizo, carved centuries ago out of the solid rock. The heathen mother has been taught that, when the souls of her little children pass over the sullen stream of death, they must be saved from the clutches of a cruel hag residing on the banks. She steals their clothes and forces them to the endless task of piling stones at the river side. In order to induce Jizo to save them from the hag, the weary heathen mother climbs the steep paths leading to the children’s god, and there makes her supplication. And the little one tied to her back or led by the hand, with highly strung nerves and weary limbs, shrinks in terror at the sight of the ugly idol, and at the stories of dire vengeance which will befall her unless she worships properly.

Death from fright and exposure.

Many children die from the effects of fright and exposure connected with religious rites, as in the case of some of the African boys whose initiation into ancestor worship was described above.


Worse than all the results yet mentioned are the deep soul-stains, the utter ruin of all moral and spiritual character, which fall to the lot of countless thousands of innocent children through the direct influence of their religion. One longs to turn away from scenes like these, but we mothers, sisters, and daughters of Christian homes cannot be honest with ourselves and with our God, unless we are willing to know things as they really are, in order to help to make them as they really ought to be. Such conditions exist to a larger or smaller degree in many lands, but to be really understood in their baldest, most revolting form, it is only necessary to visit India. Bishop Caldwell says that “the stories related of the life of the god Krishna do more than anything to destroy the morals and corrupt the imaginations of Hindu youth.” Temple girls. The temple girls, nautch girls, and muralis are living witnesses to India’s need of a pure and holy religion.

The nautch-girl often begins her career of training under teachers as early as five years of age. She is taught to read, dance, and sing, and instructed in every seductive art. Her songs are usually amorous; and while she is yet a mere girl, before she can realize fully the moral bearings of her choice of life, she makes her debut as a nautch-girl in the community.

Khandoba is the deity of the Marathi country and is popularly believed to be an avator, or incarnation of Shiva. Muralis are girls devoted to him by their parents in infancy or early childhood. Outside the main entrance of the temple court, a stone column stands on the wall on the left side. It is about three feet high, and on the head of it is cut a filthy design. The column is called by the name of Yeshwantrao.... He it is who gives children to barren women.... It is to this image the poor deluded women promise to sacrifice their first-born daughters if Khandoba will make them mothers of many children. Then after the vow, the first-born girl is offered to Khandoba and set apart for him by tying a necklace of seven cowries around the little girl’s neck. When she becomes of marriageable age she is formally married to the Khanda or daggar of Khandoba, and becomes his nominal wife. Henceforth she is forbidden to become the wedded wife of man, and the result is that she usually leads an infamous life, earning a livelihood by sin.[83]

The stories told by Amy Wilson Carmichael and many others corroborate and emphasize the facts stated by Mrs. Fuller, and tell of what the British Government and Christian missions are trying to do to counteract and stop the monstrous evil. From the Missionary Review of the World for February, 1913, we quote:—

Legislation to abolish young temple girls.

“A bill lately introduced into the viceroy’s legislative council by Mr. Dadabhai, the Parsee member of that body, touches upon some of oldest and darkest social evils of India. It proposes to make it criminal for a parent or other lawful guardian to dedicate a girl under sixteen years of age to ‘the service of a deity,’ which always means dedicating her to a life of infamy, and to make the crime punishable with ten years penal servitude. It prohibits under very severe penalties, the practice which obtains whereby priests enter into temporary alliance with young girls thus dedicated, in order to initiate them into the life of professional profligacy.” To this we may add from an authoritative source that in 1913 the native state of Mysore had already abolished dancing girls from all its temples.

While the British Government is trying to prevent any of India’s daughters from being hereafter ruined, body and soul, in the name of religion, what is being done for the thousands who through no fault of their own have already become “the servants of the gods”? Is it possible to do anything to redeem the lives of these children whose earliest memories cluster about the most hideous forms of evil?

Rescuing the servant of the gods.

Another picture. A group of women lounging within the temple enclosure in the cool shade of the fragrant cork trees. A beautiful little girl of five years is running up and down the great stone steps of the tank, laughing and playing. Now and then one of the women calls the child to her and tries the effect of some article of jewelry against the bright little face. Little Moothi, the Pearl of the Temple, as she is called, is full of life and happiness. Too young to understand the sin and wrong about her, she loves the bright jewels and silken garments, the excitement of the dancing and singing. The daily exercise on the whirling wheel is only fun for her. She never grows dizzy and falls off as do her stupid companions, to be beaten by cross old Ramana, their teacher. “She will bring plenty of money by and by,” said one of the women to Moothi’s mother. “You had better let her go to the Christian school in the village. She will be taught to read and sing without any expense to you, and there is no danger of her remembering what she hears of that foolish religion.” But the mother’s face did not light up in response. Sitting in her little hut she has listened to the Gospel as it was told to a group of outcast women who had gathered weekly in the village palim on the other side of the wall. The wonderful story had penetrated her dark heart. But it is too late for her. She is too old to change, but oh, that her little Moothi, her beautiful one, might be spared the life of sin and shame to which she is doomed as a dancing girl devoted to the service of the temple. What can she do? Through the long nights she thought and thought, until finally she came to the decision to part with the little one though her heart break. One night she took the child with a little bundle of clothing and stole away. After weary miles of travel she appeared at the home of a missionary and begged her to take the little girl. “I give her to you,” she said, “to be taught your religion, and to be your child, but she must never know who her mother was.” She laid down twenty rupees which she had saved toward her support, and disappeared, leaving no clue to her name and village.

There was consternation among the women of the temple when it was discovered that Moothi was gone, but the mother gave no sign, and it was finally concluded that some one had stolen her because of her beauty, and such things are too common in a heathen land to cause a disturbance. As Moothi grew and developed into a beautiful Christian woman and earnest worker, the missionary often wondered whence came the God-given trust so strangely sent. Now and then, but less frequently as the years pass on, a woman, growing increasingly old and bent, was seen near the school, whom they associated with Moothi, but no one knew until upon her deathbed she sent for the missionary and told her story. Only a heathen mother, degraded and heart-broken, parted from her only joy in life, watching hungrily in the distance for a sight of the loved face. Can we not believe that the Christ of love was revealed to her heart also?[84]

What Christian mother will make it possible that some other heart-broken heathen mother may hear the Gospel message, and may find a place of refuge for her sweet, innocent child?

Heathen mothers and their dead children.

While our hearts go out in tenderness to the heathen mother deprived of her living child, what can we do or say to comfort the mother whose little one is cold in death? Our statistics of infant mortality in Chapter I give some slight idea of the vast multitudes of mourning mothers for whom there is no hope, no knowledge that,—“around the throne of God in heaven, thousands of children stand;” no vision of Him who “shall gather the lambs with His arm and carry them in His bosom.” Nowhere but among Christians do hope and faith and self-control and comfort abide in the house where death has come, and none but the Christian cemetery is a place of order and beauty and peace. Among the Thonga Tribe of South Africa, the mother who loses a baby is considered deeply contaminated with the defilement of death. She must bury the child alone, not even her husband helping her. Mrs. George Heber Jones said recently that in all her many years of life in Korea she had never seen any funeral service for a child of non-Christians. The baby is buried anywhere at the back of the house as a dog would be, or put up in the branches of a tree for the vultures to find. Do the mothers have hearts and feelings? Listen to the experience of Mrs. U. S. G. Jones of India, and answer the question for yourselves.

“I went into a Brahmin home where several widows were gathered. One old woman with eyes that were dimmed from much weeping said, peering into my face, ‘Yes, it is the same, I was sure of it. You came here some ten or twelve years ago, and told us how when your beloved were taken from you, you did not mourn and wail as we did. When my daughter died, I tried to recall what you had said about another life and hope beyond the grave, but I could not remember. Tell it all again now.’ So I told her again of our glorious hope and of the resurrection. How earnestly they all listened! Poor, poor things!”[85]

Only the Bible gives the child a place.

“The Child for Christ” must be the watchword of our “organized motherhood for the children of the world.” The Bible is the only sacred book that gives the child a place of importance. Christ was the only founder of a religion who raised childhood into a type of those who were fit to enter His Kingdom. As E. G. Romanes says, “Tenderness toward child life, appreciation of the simplicity and the helplessness of children, affection of parents for their children, and children for their parents;—all these are features of the Bible which the most superficial reader cannot fail to observe.”[86]

The motive for teaching the children of Christ.

In his “Challenge to Christian Missions,” R. E. Welsh utters these significant words,—

“Why is it a matter of urgent duty and concern on a parent’s part to teach his child the story of Christ and train him in Christian truth and life?... What is the parent’s motive?... Simply the sharp sense of the value of Christ to every human being, young or old—the perception of the child’s need and peril if he does not get the saving power of Christ upon him; the sense of the native worth and value of being a Christian in soul and character; the desire to lift him out of ‘the natural man’ to ‘the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.’ If that motive be not strong enough to inspire us with zeal for taking the blessing of Christ to the heathen, then Christ has still much work to do upon us to make us Christian in mind and spiritual sympathy.”

The means to be used.

If it is our duty and privilege to win the children of the world to Christ, how is it to be done? What special means are our missionaries using to bring about this result? All missionary work for children, in the homes, in day school and boarding school, in church and Sunday-School, in hospital and orphanage, must have the great two-fold aim ever in view,—to win the child to Christ, to train the child for Christ. It remains for us to study briefly several agencies not yet touched upon, that have been greatly blessed in their effect upon children of many lands.

Sunday-School statistics.

First in the list of these child-winning agencies stands the Sunday-School. From a series of statistics appearing in the January, 1913, number of the Missionary Review of the World, we take the following figures, concerning Sunday-Schools conducted by the Protestant Missionary Societies of the world.

  Miss. Soc’s U. S.
Of other
No. Heathen Children baptized 1912 27,997 68,567
No. Sunday-Schools 19,230 11,375
No. Pupils in same 908,007 580,012

Would that every Christian woman who glances at these figures could dimly realize what they stand for,—the efforts, the time and energy and love expended, the disappointments and trials, the encouragements and victories. One must never be discouraged, one must never lose faith and hope, one may never stop sowing seeds in little hearts, even though the work seems as small and insignificant as it did in the Japanese Sunday-School at Kawazoe.

Japanese Sunday-School.

Every Sunday at twelve o’clock the children begin to clatter up on their wooden shoes to a Sunday-School which does not begin till two o’clock.... When it begins they sing hymns vigorously if not tunefully, and listen as patiently as any children of the same age. The nurse girls, aged ten or eleven, come with babies on their backs, and, if the babies remonstrate too vigorously, they are trotted out in the sunshine for a breathing space. An average of forty children come every Sunday to hear the Christian stories, and often, passing on the street, one hears the familiar tune and unfamiliar words of “Jesus loves me.” One, two, or more Sunday-Schools seem like but a drop in the bucket in a town of twenty thousand people, but we can only hope that through hymn, or story, or picture, or card, the good news of the love of God may be spread more widely.[87]

But many “drops” fill a bucket, and some day Japan is going to feel the mighty power of the children who have been taught in mission Sunday-Schools. Here is a prophetic instance:—

A Sunday-School rally in Japan.

The teachings which produce the sweetest and most beautiful things in the lives of children, and will make them the truest and best “soldiers and servants” are those given in the Sunday-Schools which are multiplying in Japan. Therefore there is no work better worth doing than that in the Sunday-Schools, and no service more valuable than that of the missionaries who teach the children of Japan.... On the Campus of the Reformed Church College, Sendai, there was held last summer a union gathering of the Sunday-Schools of the city. Some of them were Saturday Sunday-Schools, as there were not hours enough on Sunday for the Christian teachers to instruct all those who are eager to learn, and it is not unprecedented for two or three Sunday-Schools to be taught by the same persons. When the pupils in the Christian schools of Sendai came together they were one thousand seven hundred strong. An eye-witness says:—

“I wish you could have seen them! Our own four Sunday-Schools furnished one hundred and fifty of the number. It did my heart good! Do missions pay? Oh, my, no! One of our students in the training school is the direct result of the Sendai Sunday-School, and another from that Sunday-School enters next year. And to hear those one thousand seven hundred children sing! And back of that great gathering was the story of long and patient labor, days of constant effort, and nights of discouragement.”[88]

A Sunday-School with practical results.

With such a view of the value of the Sunday-School to Japan, it is interesting to note that in May, 1913, there were one thousand seven hundred Protestant Sunday-Schools in Japan, with an enrollment of about 100,000 pupils. If the question is asked, Do the Sunday-Schools have any effect on the lives of the children? it is a pleasure to answer with a brief extract from the personal letter of a new missionary to Japan:—

“This afternoon a lady called whose mother belongs to the nobility and has older ideals, but her father is American. She is a most earnest Christian and has done a great deal. She has access to the nobility’s children and is forming a Sunday-School, but she has many discouragements. At one village they had started a school of two hundred, and the children were showing its influence, but the schoolmaster feared just this and so managed to frighten the parents that all were withdrawn. This village was built in terraces with a long flight of stairs, down which many blind people went. The boys used to hang cords across so as to trip them. But now they have begun to take these poor people by the hand, and lead them down.” A Sunday-School that can teach such practical Christianity to mischievous boys must be a power in the community.

A Sunday-School Parade in Peking.

In October, 1911, the city of Peking, China, witnessed a Sunday-School parade in which two thousand children took part. With banners flying, and led by the Methodists with six hundred children and a band, the parade passed through the most important streets of the city to a large church where a children’s mass meeting was held.

A noteworthy “forward movement” was undertaken by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1913, when the Rev. Wallace H. Miner, son of a missionary, sailed for China, to become a Sunday-School worker and organizer in that new republic. His work will be to assist the missionaries in promoting the work of the Sunday-Schools, to instruct native preachers in methods of Sunday-School organization and administration, and to train local teachers and native field workers, introducing modern methods into Chinese Sunday-Schools as far as they are adapted to Chinese conditions.

A Sunday-School Union in India.

Would that India had more men like the rich coffee planter who gives his services to Christian work, and who travels from end to end of India organizing Sunday-Schools. The statistics of the Sunday-School Union of India are deeply significant, as is also the fact that there is such a Union. “The Sunday-School Union of India has a membership of 458,945, being an increase of 37,866 on the previous year. The Union stands for the very best in Bible instruction, equipment, and management. It publishes 10,000,000 English and vernacular pages of Scripture illustrated expositions, nearly all of which are based on the international syllabus. To meet the needs of Sunday-Schools in fifty languages, there are about fifty editions of ‘helps’ in twenty languages. A prominent feature of the Union is that it stands for salvation through Jesus Christ, and membership in the church to which it belongs.”[89]

An African Sunday-School.

It would be fascinating to visit the Sunday-Schools in various lands, and to hear the same dear children’s hymns sung in many languages by black children and white, red, and brown. We have time for only a peep at an Egyptian Sunday-School, but even this glimpse shows how naturally and inevitably the love and power of Jesus Christ can change the heart and life of a little child.

At 2 P. M. the beating of the bell has the desired effect, and presently there rises up from the edge of the river a crowd of some of the dirtiest and yet some of the prettiest little boys and girls you ever saw. Nearly every little girl carries perched on her shoulder a baby brother or sister. They rush without ceremony into the compound, but there they are intercepted, and made to walk quietly and orderly into the classes provided for them.

A kind Syrian nurse from the Hospital takes her place in a class of some thirty or forty girls, and, if only you could peep behind the scenes, you would hear such sad stories connected with the lives of several of her girls. Some have been married and cast aside by their husbands for some trivial fault, and then how glad they are once more to find their way back to school, where they know they are loved and cared for.

A blind girl sits among a class of the very naughtiest but sweetest little folk, who try her patience to the utmost. A kind missionary takes another class, and I am sure that, although she is accustomed to teaching all through the week, she has never taught such pieces of humanity as those before her. Still another class of mischievous little boys is taught by one of the day-school boys, who sometimes has to appeal to the superintendent to restore order.... Now the bell has to be beaten, gently too, and, after much noise, all shaggy heads are bent in prayer, then sentence by sentence, the Lord’s Prayer is said, and a very elongated “Amen” comes in at the end. Now three rooms are occupied instead of one, for if all the classes were kept in one room the noise would be deafening. What are all those dirty little bags hung around the children’s necks? Ah! those bags contain the most precious thing the children have, viz., an old Christmas card which serves as a register. If by some unfortunate chance that ticket gets lost, genuine tears form a streamlet down the troubled little face of the owner, for he or she knows it is just a mere chance if the superintendent will relent so far as to provide another, and yet without it admittance to the yearly Christmas tree is a thing impossible.

These registers are marked and a tiny box handed around to receive many little widows’ mites, for although the children are of the poorest, we try to teach them that it is more blessed to give than to receive. And now we are all in the room again, and a time is spent in catechising the whole school so as to make sure they have been listening to their lesson. The story had been told of the ten lepers, and the ingratitude of the nine, who went away without saying “thank you.” Z., a very regular member, looked up with glowing eyes, and said, “I would very much like to say thank you to Jesus for all He has done for me, but I am afraid He would not care to bend His hand from heaven to let a little girl like me kiss it.”... Another little girl is all eagerness to speak. Her name means “Cast Out,” and when her turn comes she says, “I love pickles, oh! so much, and when my mother said, ‘Go to the market and bring back pickles in vinegar,’ I used to dip my fingers into the vinegar all the way home,—they would creep into the basin in spite of myself,—but now since my teacher has told me it is like stealing, I try not even to look at the basin, but run all the way home with it to my mother.”[90]

Junior Christian Endeavor Societies.

It would take pages to tell what Junior Christian Endeavor Societies, Epworth Leagues, and similar organizations are doing for the children of Asia and Africa, and how through them the children of Christian households are being trained to live and work for Christ,—a training which most of their parents lacked in childhood. A missionary from Japan tells how a little fellow prayed at the Christian Endeavor meeting, “Oh God, I just want to thank you for the good time we had last Saturday, I can taste it yet; help us not to forget what we promised then.”

Japanese Children at Worship

A Junior Endeavor Society in the Madura District in India helps to support a Sunday-School in a near-by village, the children bringing their offerings of one pie each (one sixth of a cent) with noble regularity. In one boarding-school in Persia, four or five Endeavor Societies flourished some years ago, and, when the girls went home for their vacations, they led the singing in the village churches, teaching the congregations new hymns learned at school. Each girl saw to it that a Christian Endeavor Society was formed in her village during the long summer vacation. Often the school girl would be the only member of the Society who could read, but she gathered the village children about her, and taught them to repeat Bible verses, sing hymns, and offer simple prayers, and a great deal of training and teaching can be accomplished in one summer vacation!

The power of the Bible.

What marvelous power there is in the Word of God! A Mohammedan boy in a fanatical Persian city, which had often been visited by colporteurs and missionaries, went one day to the bazaar where he saw a New Testament being torn up to serve as wrapping paper. He remonstrated with the shopkeeper, and finally bought what was left of the Book. Through its influence both he and his mother were led to Christ. In another Persian city, the missionary holds a Bible lesson for boys under fifteen every Friday, when they do not have to be at work. Picture cards sent by thoughtful friends in America are earned by boys learning the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, or verses from the Sermon on the Mount. Some of the boys always repeat the lesson at home to their mothers, and some say openly, “If what the Bible says is true, the Mohammedan religion is vain and useless.” Truly, “the entrance of Thy word giveth light.”

Do American children prize their Bibles as does this Korean boy?

A Korean boy and his Bible.

Every day in the village of Nulmok there is an exodus of small boys to the mountain for fuel. Wood being scarce, it becomes necessary for each household to furnish a fuel gatherer. This army of boys is winding its way to the mountains some five miles off. Each boy has tied to his jikcey, or rack carried on his back, a small package of rice. This is his dinner, for it is an all-day job. As they make their way up the well-nigh barren slopes, one boy notices that his friend Kaiby has a second little bundle tied to his jikcey, and so he hails him to know why he is carrying two dinners.

“Oh, one is for my body, and the other is dinner for my soul,” he replies.

After a morning spent in raking over a small area of the mountain, each boy has succeeded in getting together his bundle of dried grass, and all sit down beside a mountain brook to eat of their dinner of cold rice and a relish of greens or pickled cabbage in season. Soon Kaiby has finished his meal and is untying his second bundle; taking out a book he begins to read aloud, slowly, while the other boys gather around to hear. It is about a great Man, who, when the people wanted to make him king, went to the mountain to pray.

Day after day at rest time Kaiby got out his book and read from it, and the other boys were interested. About this time, Ki Mun Ju, the Bible Society agent, came again to the village with Bibles. After supper, Kaiby, accompanied by several other boys, asked if there was not a smaller copy of the New Testament, as a number of the boys wanted to buy a Bible, but their only opportunity to read was at rest time on the mountain, and a smaller copy would be more easily carried. Needless to say, the colporteur did not fail to bring some on his next trip, and now many of the boys have their own, and frequently the hymnbook which they treasure next is tied up with it.[91]

Hymnbooks and singing.

Korean boys are not the only ones who treasure the hymnbook and love to learn and to sing Christian hymns. The missionary who can play and sing, and the one who knows enough about music to translate hymns and adapt tunes, has marvelous opportunities to work effectively among children. Miss Ford’s experiences in Palestine illustrate the truth of this:—

“I should like to say a word about the use of the organ. We are able sometimes to have very large Moslem audiences in the villages. Scores of boys will gather around to hear. When we propose to teach them a hymn or chorus they eagerly agree to learn. The subject of the song is always salvation in Jesus Christ, and the way of life is pointed out. We often hear the children afterward singing these hymns in the streets.... God has given us large numbers of little children to bring to Him. They learn hymns and psalms, chapters of the Gospels, and verses from the Bible with great facility, and they love to sing the hymns. Now also we can use with profit, large, illustrated, highly colored pictures of the life and teachings of our Lord, as well as Old Testament stories.”[92]

Obstacles to bringing children to Christ.

Lest anyone be tempted to think that the work is always easy, that one has but to sow the seed in order without further work and prayer to reap a bountiful harvest, it is but fair to mention a few of the obstacles that missionaries must constantly meet while trying to win children to Christ. Heredity, age-long custom, superstition, fatalism, the shackles of caste and prejudice, the home influences that so quickly counteract what a child learns during a few brief hours at a mission compound,—all these and many other hindrances must be reckoned with and overcome. Miss Carmichael graphically describes some of these experiences of effort and disappointment in India.

Miss Carmichael on discouragements in India.

“Often we hear people say how excellent it is, and how they never worship idols now, but only the true God; and even a heathen mother will make her child repeat its texts to you, and a father will tell you how it tells him Bible stories; and, if you are quite new to the work, you put it in the Magazine, and at home it sounds like conversion. All this goes on most peacefully; there is not the slightest stir, till something happens to show the people that the doctrine is not just a creed, but contains a living Power. And then, and not until then, there is opposition. In one village there was a little Brahmin child who often tried to speak to us, but was never allowed. One day she risked capture and its consequences, and ran across the narrow stream which divides the Brahmin street from the village, and spoke to one of our band in a hurried little whisper, ‘Oh, I do want to hear about Jesus!’ And she told how she had learned at school in her own town, and then she had been sent to her mother-in-law’s house in this jungle village, ‘that one,’ pointing to a house where they never had smiles for us; but her mother-in-law objected to the preaching, and had threatened to throw her down the well if she listened to us. Just then a hard voice called her and she flew. Next time we went to that village she was shut up somewhere inside.”[93]

“After many days.”

Sometimes God grants that bread cast on the waters with loving, lavish hand, is found again after many, many days. Often a Bible verse or the words of a hymn, or the recollection of what was seen and heard in a missionary home, has not been forgotten, and has borne fruit in after life. “A rich Japanese silk merchant sent for the missionaries in his town, and entertained them most hospitably. He told how as a child he had attended a Sunday-School. ‘Very often,’ he said, ‘right in the midst of my business the words of the hymn, “Jesus loves me, this I know,” come to me, and, try as I may, I can’t get them out of my mind.’ He then repeated the hymn from beginning to end, and added, ‘Though I have lived my life without religion, I feel that it is the most important thing there is, and I want my little girl to be a Christian; and it is for that purpose,’ he added emphatically, ‘that I have placed her in the mission school, that she may become a Christian.’”

Ours is the greater privilege.

Do we realize the privilege and opportunity that is ours to pray and give and go, to send our money and our sons and daughters, that the children of many Christless lands may learn to know and love and serve the children’s Friend while they are young, and hearts and minds are plastic and teachable? Have we as keen an insight into the great truths of Christian privilege as had the little Chinese girl, who, after being publicly baptized, was asked by her teacher, “Are you glad of the privilege of attending a school where you can hear of the Lord Jesus?” Quickly she responded, “Are you not glad, teacher, that you are in China, where you can teach of the Lord Jesus?”[94] Yes, ours is the greater privilege, and we must see to it carefully that we do not miss any part of the joy that the Master has in store for us. Our own children are so cunning and lovable, so full of wonderful possibilities, and in need of so much care and watchfulness, that it is easy to forget the other children who also need our love and help. In the Saviour’s eyes there is no difference,—He loves and cares for all children. Shall we imitate Him in this respect?

A missionary’s dream.

A weary missionary fell asleep, and as she slept she dreamed a dream. A message had arrived that the Master was coming, and to her was appointed the task of getting all the little children ready for His arrival. So she arranged them on the benches, tier on tier, putting the little white children on the first benches, nearest to where the Master would stand, and then came the little yellow and red and brown children and far back on the farthest benches sat the black children. When they were all arranged, she looked, and it did not seem quite right to her. Why should the black children be so far away? They ought perhaps to be on the front benches. She started to rearrange them, but just as all was in confusion, the children stirring around, and each trying to find his proper place, footsteps were heard, and lo! it was the Master’s tread, and He was coming before the children were ready. Overcome with shame and confusion she hung her head. To think that the task entrusted to her had not been accomplished in time! So she stood while the footsteps drew nearer and nearer, till finally they paused beside her, and she was obliged to look up. And lo! as she did so, and her eyes rested on the children, all shades of color and difference had vanished,—the little children in the Master’s presence were all alike!



An English missionary in Swatow, China, heard sounds of bitter weeping by the wayside one night. Looking for its source, he found a heathen woman bowed over a child’s grave, upon which, according to the local custom, lay an overturned cradle.

A heathen baby,—that is all;—
A woman’s lips that wildly plead;
Poor lips that never learned to call
On Christ, in woman’s time of need!
Poor lips, that never did repeat
Through quiet tears, “Thy will be done,”
That never knew the story sweet
Of Mary, and the Infant Son.
An emptied cradle, and a grave—
A little grave—cut through the sod;
O Jesus, pitiful to save,
Make known to her the mother’s God.
O Spirit of the heavenly Love,
Stir some dear heart at home today,
An earnest thought to lift above,
For mother-hearts so far away.
That all may know the mercy mild
Of Him who did the nurselings bless:
The heathen and the homeborn child
Are one in that great tenderness.

(Clara A. Lindsay in Woman’s Work.)


In the village of the Wind a young girl became known as an enquirer. Her Caste passed the word along from village to village wherever its members were found, and all these relations and connections were speedily leagued in a compact to keep her from hearing more. When we went to see her, we found she had been posted off somewhere else. When we went to the somewhere else (always freely mentioned to us, with invitation to go), we found she had been there, but had been forwarded elsewhere. For weeks she was tossed about like this; then we traced her and found her. But she was thoroughly cowed, and dared not show the least interest in us.... Take a child of four or five, ask it a question concerning its Caste, and you will see how that baby tree has begun to drop branch rootlets....

The young girls belonging to the higher Castes are kept in strict seclusion. During these formative years they are shut up within the courtyard walls to the dwarfing life within, and as a result they get dwarfed, and lose in resourcefulness and independence of mind, and above all in courage; and this tells terribly in our work, making it so difficult to persuade such a one to think for herself. It is this custom which makes work among girls exceedingly slow and unresultful.

A few months ago a boy of twelve resolved to become a Christian. His clan, eight thousand strong, were enraged. There was a riot in the streets; in the house the poison cup was ready. Better death than loss of Caste. In another town a boy took his stand and was baptized, thus crossing the line that divided secret belief from open confession. His Caste men got hold of him afterwards; next time he was seen he was a raving lunatic. The Caste was avenged! (Amy Wilson Carmichael in “Things as They Are.”)


Spirit-worship, as existing among the Lao, is not reduced to a system as is Buddhism. It has no temple, but it is enshrined in the heart of every man, woman, and child in the country.... Children are seen with soot marks upon their foreheads. These are placed there by spirit-doctors and are to ward off evil. They also wear around their wrists charm-strings. This belief is by no means confined to the peasantry.

Every person is believed to have thirty-two good spirits pervading his body, called kwan. As long as these kwan all remain as guardian spirits within, no sickness or mishap can befall the person. But alas! these kwan are freaky, vacillating spirits, and may leave the body without a moment’s warning, and at once sickness or accident befalls. Much time and money are spent trying to keep these kwan in a good humor, so that they will not desert the body....

The folk-lore of this people is pregnant with this belief in magic and spirit-worship, and so the children at the knee learn to reverence and fear both, and in after years when the saner reason of maturity would assert itself, this belief has become a habit too deeply ingrained in the mind to be cast aside. (Lillian Johnson Curtis in “The Laos of North Siam,” Westminster Press.)


I wish some of you might be here tomorrow to go with me to my Sunday-School for heathen children. This is a school which had to be discontinued for some time, and I re-opened it on Easter Sunday, with the assistance of nine of our older girls and pupil teachers. One hundred were present last Sunday, including some girls from our two mission schools, and a few visitors. The majority of the children are very poor and dirty, and they are learning to sing “Jesus loves me, this I know,” with as much gusto as though they were as clean as pinks, and they carry away with them a lesson leaf and a picture card, to try to tell at home what they have learned that day. I quite forget they are Chinese children, for their human nature is very like that of the children at home. One Sunday, two little girls from our mission school, clean and comfortably dressed, were sitting on the front seat, when I brought in three little heathen girls, soiled and untidy, to sit beside them. Whereupon one of the clean little girls drew herself off in one corner, gathering her clothes close about her for fear of touching the others; while the second clean little girl moved toward the soiled children and shared her hymnbook with them, pointing out each character as we sang. Did you ever know any little children at home who acted as did these two Chinese children? (Edith C. Dickie in The Foreign Post.)


“Suffer the little children.” Mark 10:13–16.

Various ways in which Christ’s disciples hinder the children,—consider them too young,—too irresponsible,—feel that adults have the first claim to Christ’s time and attention.

How different was Christ’s attitude! “In His words over the little children, Christ has lifted childhood into a type of character, and has given children their share in the Kingdom of God.” (Shailer Mathews.)

The touch of Christ on a little child’s life brings blessing. Are we bringing the children to Him or forbidding them? “The place for the lambs is in the fold.” (Woelfkin.)


Dear Heavenly Father of all the children of the earth;
Have mercy upon us.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst become a child to redeem all nations;
Have mercy upon us.
That in all the families of the world parents and children may learn to have a fear and love of Thy Holy Name;
We pray Thee, dear Lord.
That a blessing may rest upon the homes of all missionaries, and that protection may be granted to all missionary fathers and mothers;
We pray Thee, dear Lord.
That we may earnestly desire to bring some child who does not understand, into the light of the Star of Bethlehem;
We pray Thee, dear Lord.
That homes and hospitals which minister to the needs of children may be blessed, and their number multiplied;
We pray Thee, dear Lord.
For Christian nurture, Christian homes, and Christian parents;
We thank Thee, dear Lord.
For the Babe of Bethlehem in the manger, and the Christ-Child in the carpenter shop;
We thank Thee, dear Lord.

(Spirit of Missions.)


1. What would be the moral and physical effects on a boy, of the religious rites of ancestor worship as practiced among the Fang tribe of Africa?

2. What can we learn from Mohammedan methods in teaching their children the Koran, and establishing them in the doctrines and usages of their faith?

3. What are the principal difficulties met by representatives of Christianity in efforts to come in contact with and influence Mohammedan children?

4. Suggest methods best adapted for overcoming these difficulties.

5. What methods have been most successful in reaching the children in the missions of your denomination?

6. What estimate should be placed on the Sunday-School as a factor in the evangelization of mission lands?

7. What are the greatest needs for better equipment in Sunday-School work in the lands where your Board is at work?

8. What can American children be trained to do in meeting these needs?


Children of Persia, Mrs. Napier Malcolm, (Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.)

Children of Egypt, Miss L. Crowther, (Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.)

“Little Wednesday,” Everyland, June, 1913.

“A Social Settlement in the Slums of Okayama,” Missionary Review of the World, Dec., 1912.

Sketches from the Karen Hills, Alonzo Bunker, (Revell.)

On the Borders of Pigmy Land, Chaps. 9, 10, 19–25, Ruth B. Fisher, (Revell.)

The Light of the World, Chap. 6, R. E. Speer, (Mission Study Series.)

Lotus Buds, Amy Wilson Carmichael, (Geo. H. Doran Co.)

Things as They Are, Amy Wilson Carmichael, (Revell.)

Overweights of Joy, Amy Wilson Carmichael, (Revell.)

The Call of Moslem Children, Missionary Review of the World, Oct., 1913.


Ought-to-have-been-a-boy Woman’s Baptist Foreign Missionary Society.
Sorrows of Heathen Motherhood
How Chinese children learn to worship idols Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Boys and Girls in Korea
Christmas in India
How Koharu learned to worship
A Little Girl and the Lions
A Sunday-School picnic in India
The god of Hindu children Woman’s Board of Missions of the Congregational Church.
Three in a Temple
How a bamboo helped to overthrow idol worship
Ping-ti’s discoveries
A Road and a Song Woman’s Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church.
I come to stay
Pen notes and pictures Woman’s Board of Foreign Missions of the Reformed Church in America.
Story of Ozeki San
How we do evangelistic work in Japan


“I must be about my Father’s business.”

Christ needs all the children of the world—Work for the children in awakening lands, Japan, China, India—Work for the children in lands convulsed by war and revolution, Turkey, Persia—Work for the children in lands asleep—The world’s tragedies—What a slave boy accomplished—Need for trained workers—How Bishop Selwyn obtained and trained them—Children at work for Christ—Children from mission lands helping to save America—Missionary children at work—American children have a share in the working and giving and going—The world needs the Holy Child.

The Children of the World need Christ.

Christ needs the Children,—all the Children of the World.

Christ needs the children.

Unless the children of today are brought to the Master and trained for His service, the outlook is dark indeed for coming generations. If every child now living could be brought under Christian influences, receive a Christian education, and be sent out to live and work for Christ, what a marvelous transformation this world would experience! In a conspicuous place on the wall at a recent Sunday-School convention hung a banner with the words “Childhood is the Hope of the World,”—the same thought that was embodied in the remark of a prominent Japanese Christian, who said to a missionary, “The grown-up people are so ignorant and set in their ways, they will not become Christians, but the hope is in the children.”[95]

“He who helps a child,” says Phillips Brooks, “helps humanity with a distinctness, with an immediateness, which no other help given to human creatures in any other stage of their human life, can possibly give again.” Here is a challenge to all who believe that the world needs hope, that humanity needs help, that God needs human agents to carry out His plans, that Christ needs the child!

Work for the children in awakening lands.

What is there for the child of today,—the man and woman of tomorrow,—to do in countries that are awaking out of age-long sleep?

Changes in Japan.

Sixty years ago Japan was in darkness. What great transformations have taken place since Commodore Perry sailed for Yedo Bay in November, 1852! As a commercial, military, and naval power Japan has been taking her place with the important nations of the earth. We have already learned that her educational system contains much that might well be copied in Western lands. The manner in which Japan is “catching up” with nations that have had centuries of advantage over her reminds one of the educational experimenters who claim that a child need not be bothered with mathematics until he is ten or twelve years old, and that he will then speedily “catch up” with children who have toiled over their mathematics since they were of kindergarten age. During the serious outbreak of bitter feeling in Japan regarding the proposed Alien Land Holding Bill pending in the California Legislature, a large reception was tendered in Tokyo to Dr. John R. Mott, Hamilton Wright Mabie and Dr. Peabody. In the course of his address, Count Okuma, who is not in any sense a Christian, remarked that diplomacy, the courts, and commercial interests were alike helpless to maintain peace on earth and good will among men. “The only hope,” he said, “is in the power of Christianity and in the influence of Christians to maintain peace and righteousness in the spirit of brotherly love.”[96]

Religious census in Imperial University.

Not only from a political point of view, but far more from an intellectual and religious point of view, is Japan in great, urgent need of what Christianity can give her. “It seems from the figures of a religious census recently taken in the Imperial University of Japan at Tokyo, that of the students in attendance, three-fourths of them declare themselves agnostics, while fifteen hundred are content to be registered as atheists. That leaves only five hundred of the whole student body to be accounted for: and of these, sixty are Christian, fifty Buddhist, and eight Shinto.... The educated classes of Japan have practically broken with Shintoism and Buddhism, and are looking around for some better basis for ethics and faith. The issue in Japan is no longer between Christianity and Buddhism, but between Christianity and nothing.”[97]

Kindergarten children in after-life.

Side by side with this pregnant statement we place a few sentences from the Sixth Annual Report of the Kindergarten Union of Japan.

“What influence has the kindergarten on the lives of its graduates in later years? From many churches we hear of them as church members doing active service, like one young man who has a class of twenty-five boys in Sunday-School. As teachers, as mothers, in many walks of life, they are showing the power of Christ in their lives, and all, whether Christians or not, are better men and women for their training in Christian schools.”

The inference is so obvious that we need not comment upon it. Rather let us do our share to multiply the agencies that can embody in their reports such incidents as the following from the American Church Mission Kindergarten at Sendai:—

“More than ever before have we emphasized Christianity as the center of our thought and life, and feel much encouraged to go much farther next year. Yearning over our graduates, who, when they leave us, may be separated for a long time from Christian teaching, we earnestly desired to see Christianity move definitely forward in their hearts, so far as may be for little children. So we based the last month’s work on Phil. 2:6–11. This seems deep, but was found helpful by the teachers.... Just before graduation, in the free talk at luncheon hour one day, a boy whose parents were about to move to Akita said most disconsolately, ‘There won’t be any God to take care of me when I go to Akita!’ ‘Oh, yes, there will,’ said Taguchi San, who, seeing his need of a broader understanding of the Omnipotent God, told of the God of all the earth, and that He cared for us wherever we go, even when farther than Akita.”[98]

China’s awakening.

China’s awakening has been so sudden and so rapid that even while the Christian women of America were studying “China’s New Day,” many facts in that up-to-date text-book became ancient history. A few of the startling contrasts between the Old China and the New were indicated in the Congregationalist of April 24, 1913.

Associated Press despatches from Peking on Thursday of last week reported that the Chinese Government has made an appeal to all the Christian churches in China to set aside April 27—next Sunday—as a day of prayer for the Chinese National Assembly, for the new Government, for the President of the new Republic yet to be elected, for the constitution of the Republic, for the maintenance of peace and for the election of strong and virtuous men to office. Representatives of provincial authorities are instructed to be present at these services....

Thirteen years ago this coming summer the Imperial Government of China hunted and slew her Christian subjects like wild beasts and brought all of the resources at her command to aid in driving the hated religions of the “foreign devils” from her shores. Today the new Republic solemnly and officially sets apart a day and urges all her Christian subjects, as well as foreigners, to assemble and, in the presence of the officials, intercede for those things which Christian nations seek and supremely value.

In 1900 a despatch was sent from the throne to all viceroys of all the provinces to exterminate all foreigners, and the streets of Peking were placarded with posters threatening with death all who provided them refuge. A few weeks ago the President of the Republic, Yuan Shi Kai, addressing in Peking an assembly of delegates to the Annual Convention of the Y. M. C. A., said:

“You, my friends, who are members and delegates to this Christian Association from every province of the Republic, are examples for the men of every class of society. By the help of your guiding light and uplifting influence, millions of young men, well equipped, morally, intellectually, and physically, will be raised up in this nation to render loyal service to the Republic in her time of need, and lift her to a position that shall add to the civilized world an undying luster.”

China is doing her part to make amends for the past and to demonstrate to the entire world the sincerity of her purpose. Undoubtedly this is the first time in history that such an appeal has been made by a non-Christian nation. With commendable promptness both the Federal Council and Committee of Reference and Council of the Foreign Missionary Societies of North America have asked the churches to intercede for China.

Was there ever a more striking proof of the presence of God in the life of the world and of His purposes for men in Jesus Christ the universal Saviour? Was there ever greater encouragement to use the mighty enginery of united prayer for a specific end?

Sun Yat Sen.

Listen to the testimony of the son of a prominent Christian official in China:—

“Where did the Chinese Republic ever come from? You say from the reformers and revolutionists. You don’t go back far enough. Dr. Sun was in a large measure responsible for it all, but where does he come from? Where did he get his principles of freedom and equality? These were instilled into his heart by a missionary, and who was he? He was a follower of Jesus Christ, and in China for the direct purpose of teaching how Jesus came to save the world.... Blot out of China today the education which owes its origin to Jesus Christ, and where will China be? In the depth of deepest ignorance.”[99]

Sun Yat Sen, by many considered “the first citizen in the hearts of his countrymen,” spoke with no uncertain sound of China’s greatest need in this time of her crisis. “Brothers,” he said, when addressing a number of Chinese students, “applied, practical Christianity is our true need. Away with the commentaries and doubts. God asks your obedience, not your patronage. He demands your service, not your criticism.”[100]

Applied Christianity in China.

“Applied, practical Christianity,” is what the missionaries are trying to give China, and can any part of their work be more practical or more important than what they are doing for the children who are soon to be the statesmen and educators, the military and social leaders, the fathers and mothers of the great new Republic of the East?

Dr. Li Bi Cu.

Many pages might be filled with true tales of how Chinese children, won to Christ in early life, have brought blessing and uplift to hundreds in their land. The story of Dr. Li Bi Cu and her mother is a wonderful illustration of what might be multiplied many thousands of times if there were always some one ready to rescue girl babies and to give them a fair chance.

Dr. Li Bi Cu is one of China’s new women. A forceful speaker, using perfect English, with a charming personality, Dr. Li Bi Cu never fails to win the hearts of her audiences. Those who heard her at Northfield can never forget the appeal made by the little woman in Chinese dress, to the women of the United States to come to the help of her countrywomen. The mother of Dr. Li Bi Cu was rescued from the street, where she had been thrown to die, when only a day or two old, and taken to a mission school, where she was cared for, educated, and trained as a Bible woman. She married a Methodist minister, Mr. Li, and her daughter, Li Bi Cu, grew up in a Christian home. One of the missionaries, seeing unusual ability in the young girl, brought her to America for a more thorough education than China afforded. She studied in Folts Institute, and later entered the Women’s Medical College in Philadelphia. Graduating with honor, she returned to China after eight years’ residence in the United States and was sent to the Fukien Province, where the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church had opened a hospital, and where she has cared for the souls and bodies of thousands of patients.[101]

A charming sequel to the story shows how this splendid Chinese woman is ready at a moment’s notice to do her duty as a Christian citizen of the world. She was passing on her return to China a point not far from Chicago, when the train struck a track laborer and suddenly stopped. The injured man, a Russian by birth, was brought aboard, and Dr. Li, hearing of the accident, volunteered her help. Then was seen the curious combination of a Chinese Christian woman physician caring for a wounded Slav in an American baggage car![102]

Chinese mothers in council.

“Applied, practical Christianity” is being taught to the mothers of China, and some of them are responding in a way that augurs well for the future of their children and their land. Mrs. T. N. Thompson of Tsining writes of a recent women’s convention to which Christians came from far and near, some from a distance of sixty miles. Women spoke from the platform with ease, spirit, and eloquence. Some of the subjects discussed were:—Equal authority of husbands and wives—Partiality between sons and daughters—Duty of sending girls to school—Cleanliness and order of the home as taught in mission schools—Dedication of children to the Lord. The subject of marriage engagements was thoroughly canvassed, and many laughed heartily at reminiscences of old heathen days when children were betrothed in babyhood.”[103] “Old heathen days!” And yet it is but one hundred years since Robert Morrison baptized his first Christian convert, and but fourteen years since the great Boxer uprising tried to rid the land of all Christians. Thus it was ordained long centuries ago when God “appointed a law in Israel, when He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born, who should arise and tell them to their children.” (Psalm 78:5, 6.) From father to son, from mother to daughter, the knowledge of God’s love and Christ’s salvation is to be transmitted, and those who gain that knowledge in early childhood are the ones on whom China can surely depend in the important years to come.

Work for the children in India.

“The children born of Christian parents in India,” says Rev. E. A. Arnett in the Sunday School Times, “are probably not more than half a million, but upon the thorough and systematic character of the religious work done among these depends the hope of the future of the church of India. These are to be the army for India’s conquest. The day of opportunity is soon to come to India as it has come to Japan and to China. A great crisis is approaching when there will be a death-grapple in the open between Christianity and the opposing forces. Then will be needed as never before an Indian church, rich in men and women able and fit for the fight.”

An Indian girl redeemed.

That India’s children with all their handicaps are capable of being made “fit for the fight” can be abundantly proven. A letter from a missionary friend tells of a little Indian protege, now a grown woman, who was the child of a drunken father and a half crazy, evil-tempered mother, who, in a brawl, lamed her poor baby for life. The child was sent away to school after her father’s death, and it seemed as if it were to prove her salvation. But at the age of fourteen the old evil propensities broke forth. She became foul-tongued, irreverent, disobedient, and diseased. She was sent to visit her mother, then an inmate of an insane asylum, where the girl was placed under observation and declared to be a moral degenerate. The fact that she was perfectly satisfied to stay at the asylum was a cause of great distress to her missionary friend, and soon a number of earnest workers banded themselves to pray for her “literally night and day.” A wonderful change came over the girl; the seed sown in earlier years sprang up and bore fruit. She asked to be allowed to leave the asylum, and soon after taking a position she gave her heart to Christ. Far out on the western frontier of India, a woman, growing in grace and character, is compounding medicines, and otherwise helping in a mission hospital, occupying a difficult and trying position. Oh! was she not worth saving,—that little, lame, degenerate baby, born in the degradation of darkest India, and accomplishing a work today that you or I could not do?

Work for the children of Turkey and Persia.

What is there for the children to do in lands that have lately been convulsed with war and revolution? Who will fill the places of able-bodied men, maimed and slain in battle? Who is to reconstruct and upbuild and guide through long years to come the countries that have been shaken to their very foundations? The only hope of Turkey and Persia is in their children, and what is done by Christians for these children today will determine very largely the course of history in the “near East.”

Persian school boys.

The boys’ school at Teheran, Persia, has won the name of a “factory”! Among the Mohammedan boys brought here, is a little fellow whose father said to the missionary, “I hear this is a factory where you manufacture men. Do you think you can turn out a man from my boy?”[104] Such “factories” are needed throughout Turkey and Persia, and those who know the boys of these countries will assure you that they are capable of turning out to be men if they have the proper opportunities. When the self-supporting Christian boarding school for Mohammedan boys was started in Teheran, the missionaries naturally felt a good deal of concern as to the results of such an experiment. The actual results are thus reported,—

“Not only has it been somewhat more than self-supporting financially, but, thanks to the co-operative plan initiated from the beginning, into which the boys entered with enthusiasm, and in which they showed a most admirable spirit throughout the year, a good share of the management and government was taken by the boys themselves in a most efficient manner,—of course under the close supervision of my wife and myself.”[105]

Testimony of Wm. E. Curtiss.

The following testimony of William E. Curtiss, the world-famous correspondent of the Chicago Record Herald, written after an extended visit to the Orient, would seem to be convincing proof that missionaries can give and Turkish children can profit by that which will re-mould and upbuild the remnants of the Turkish Empire.

“The influence of the American schools has been carried to every corner of the Empire. Every student leaving these American schools has carried the germ of progress to his sleeping town. He has become a force for the new order wherever he has gone. This influence has been working for a half century or more, and has been preparing the minds of the people for the great change that has recently come over them. The missionaries do not teach revolution, they do not encourage revolutionary methods; but they have always preached and taught liberty, equality, fraternity, and the rights of man.”[106]

Syrian girls at work in summer.

It is well to remember that the children under missionary influence are being trained not only for what they can be and do in the future, when they are grown up, but are being taught to use now what they have learned, for the benefit of others. Listen to the report of what some Syrian girls did during a summer vacation.

“An hour ago I came home from Sunday-School which we are having this summer. We began it the first summer we came to K. ... and twenty children attend. We are teaching them lessons from the Old Testament, and I think I can say that our school is a real success this year.”

“I am teaching some children Bible stories and have given one of the boys two papers to make a study of some chapters which I have appointed for him.”

“I brought a new Bible with me, and I try to teach our servant to read it.”

These few extracts are from letters which I have received this summer showing how Beirut school-girls are trying to give expression to the pass-it-on spirit. All over the country they are busy according to their opportunities. I know of one little girl who last year was in the lowest class of our Preparatory Department, but this year has a school of seventeen every Sunday afternoon during the vacation. One of her older brothers and a boy cousin taught classes, but she was both organizer and superintendent.

One of the pleasantest gatherings we shall have this fall will be the Report Meeting, when we shall hear from all the pupils about results of their summer efforts for others. Fourteen took certain Bibles home with them, promising to use them in teaching others to read.[107]

Is there anything for children to do in countries where as yet no great awakening or startling political upheaval has taken place, but where missionary influence has been quietly, steadily at work? What about those “unoccupied mission fields” where not even a beginning has been made toward giving the Gospel message? Does Christ need the children of these lands to be at work for Him?

The World’s Tragedies.

“Some one thus summarizes ‘The World’s Tragedies’:—

207,000,000 bound by caste—from Hinduism.

147,000,000 permeated with atheism—from Buddhism.

256,000,000 chained to a dead past—from Confucianism.

175,000,000 under the spell of Fatalism—from Mohammedanism.

200,000,000 sitting in darkness—from Paganism.”[108]

Let us try to realize that each unit of these vast figures stands for a life that was once an innocent little child, born into conditions or surroundings similar to those of which we have been studying in this book. Think of the future tragedies that may be averted if each little child today is redeemed and begins to work for Christ. What a slave boy accomplished. Why should there not be thousands of averted or transformed tragedies like those surrounding the life of the little black boy, born in 1806 on the West Coast of Africa? Because of certain peculiar circumstances at his birth it was prophesied that he was not to be a devotee of any idol, but one “celebrated and distinguished to serve the great and highest God.” At one time when the house of his prosperous father caught fire, the little boy rushed in and saved the idols. Whereupon it was commonly said,—“This child will be a great worshiper of the gods; he will one day restore the gods to our nation.”

When the child was about fifteen, a raid was made upon the village by Mohammedans, and a large number of women and children were led away captive with ropes around their necks, young Ajayi and his mother and grandmother among the number. Sold from one person to another, often bartered for rum or tobacco, he finally fell into the hands of Portuguese traders. He and his fellow slaves were rescued by an English man-of-war from the Portuguese vessel, and he was educated by the Church Missionary Society. He became a school-master, then preacher, and finally Bishop of the native Church on the Niger. Fourah Bay College, where he pursued a part of his studies, was founded as a result of the conviction forced upon the Church Missionary Society that, if Africa were to be evangelized, it must be done chiefly through native agency, because of the devastating effects of the climate on foreigners. In other words, Christ needs the children of Africa, to be trained for Him in places where no one else in the wide world can accomplish the task.

The Hope of Africa

A West African Baby

A Group of Fang Boys, Africa

On the beautiful white monument, erected over the grave in Lagos, Sierra Leone, can be read these words that give a brief outline of the noble life work of the little slave boy whom some one thought worth saving and training for Christian service.

Sacred to the memory of


A Native of Osogun, in the Yoruba Country;
A Recaptured and Liberated Slave;
The First Student in the Church Missionary Society’s College,
At Fourah Bay, Sierra Leone;
Ordained in England by the Bishop of London, June 11th, 1843;
The First Native Clergyman of the Church of England in West Africa,
Consecrated Bishop, June 29th, 1864.
A Faithful, Earnest, and Devoted Missionary in Connection
With the Church Missionary Society for 62 Years,
At Sierra Leone, in the Timini and Yoruba Countries
And in the Niger Territory;
He Accompanied the First Royal Niger Expedition in 1841;
Was a joint founder with others of the Yoruba Mission in 1845,
And Founder of the Niger Mission in 1857;
And of the Self-Supporting Niger Delta Pastorale in 1891.
He fell asleep in Jesus at Lagos, on the 31st December, 1891,
Aged about 89 Years.

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, ... Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matt. 25:5.

“Redeemed by His Blood.”[109]

Trained native workers necessary.

Our story of The Child will not be complete unless we pay close attention to one of the great fundamental policies of Christian missions,—alluded to above,—that the work of world evangelization must be accomplished chiefly through trained natives of the countries where the Gospel is not known. And these agents, in order to be most efficient and successful should be won to Christ in early life. The methods used by Bishop Selwyn in the New Hebrides were so successful and interesting and illustrate this point so thoroughly that it will pay us to study them.

Methods of Bishop Selwyn in the Pacific Islands.

Bishop Augustus Selwyn, of the Episcopalian Church of New Zealand, proposed to secure children of the natives in the new fields, educate these children in schools of a Christian country, and send them as pioneer missionaries to their own peoples. He proposed, also, that, after these children had overcome the pagan opposition, white missionaries should be introduced for co-operating with them. “The white corks,” he said, “were for floating the black net.”

With this in view, in 1848, he made a voyage of exploration in H. M. S. Dido as far as to the Loyalty Islands. Observing that the Fijis, the Southern Hebrides, and several other groups were occupied by other religious denominations which were doing successful work, he chose for his field the groups not thus occupied. These were the Northern Hebrides, Banks, Santa Cruz, Torres, Reef, and Solomon Groups....

Over these islands the trail of the Serpent has extended. A wilder, more besotted, and fiercer people than their inhabitants it would be hard to find. With the exception of the natives of the Santa Cruz and Reef Islands, they all were formerly cannibals, and those of them in the Solomon Group were also head-hunters....

The work of procuring boys proved to be difficult and perilous. By great tact and a kind and courteous manner the Bishop secured in his first trip five. In process of time he was able to employ the boys, who had been some time in his school, to do the soliciting, and then he was more successful. Each succeeding year the natives received him with greater cordiality, and more readily supplied his vessel with stores of taro, yams, and fruit. The number of boys in the school has been one hundred and fifty to two hundred.

On Norfold Island a thousand acres of land were purchased for the school at a cost of ten thousand dollars. In this tract a beautiful chapel was built, and around it houses for the teachers and pupils. The land was very fertile, and was easily made to produce almost all the food the school needed. The boys were taught the gospel of work. They were trained in the mechanic trades, the cultivation of the ground, and the care of livestock; and to each of them was committed a small garden for him to cultivate for himself. They were kept in the school six to ten years, and then taken, as teachers, to their homes or to other islands.

In 1854 Rev. John Coleridge Patteson joined the mission. He had been moved when fourteen years of age, by a sermon of Bishop Selwyn, to devote himself to the missionary cause. In 1861 he was consecrated as the First Bishop of Milanesia....

The Milanesians who have embraced Christianity have ceased from their cannibalism, their head-hunting, and their warfare, and have become an humble, upright, and peace-loving people. In 1905 the number of baptized persons in the groups of the mission was 2,811, of white missionaries, 41, of native teachers, 689, of mission stations, 200.[110]

Children at work for Christ in Korea.

The Child at work for Christ! Would that it were possible to give to the women of our American Missionary Societies and to the young women of our schools and colleges a vision of the children of many lands who are today at work,—realizing as did the Christ Child that they must be about their Father’s business. In Korea, we shall find that a question asked of each man, woman, and child who wishes to become a church member is,—“Have you tried to win a soul for Jesus Christ?” Not long ago the children in one section of Korea demanded a half holiday, and in the leisure time thus obtained the five hundred children won eight hundred others into the church.[111]

In Burma.

Away up in the Karen Hills of Burma the first mission tour of exploration to a certain point was made with a company which included a number of school boys, among whom were some sweet singers. On associating with the Red Karen children, they quickly made acquaintance and were valuable workers. Great was the enthusiasm among the little Red Karens when classes were formed in reading and singing, and with surprising quickness they learned from their eager young teachers, who were glad to pass on to other children what they had so recently acquired themselves.[112]

Generous givers in Japan.

Not only are the children under missionary influence trained to work, but they are also taught the joy and privilege of giving. Here is the method employed by Mrs. McCauley of Japan.

The Sunday-School children in Keimo No. 1 and No. 2, Tokyo, under Mrs. McCauley, take up a collection every Sabbath.... The children coming from heathen homes cannot ask their parents for money to put into this collection, so must practice self-denial to be able to give. The money for a boiled sweet potato purchased near the school building from a vendor, two rin, is saved by taking a smaller potato, and the lunch is none the less palatable because the child has made a little sacrifice, and these two rin, as they rattle in the collection box, are music in his ears and joy—the joy of giving,—in his heart. I happen to be one of the Auditors of the accounts at the Leper Home, and this year we closed the books with deficit,—a debt of two hundred and sixteen yen,—and we were troubled, having no resources. I looked over the Sunday-School collections, and found we had in the treasury nearly twenty-five yen, and I told the scholars about the dear little girl just thirteen, who is a leper and can never again be well, but is the light of the Home. When the women get discouraged and cry, this little angel puts her arms about them and says, “Auntie, dear Auntie, don’t cry; we will soon, all of us, have new bodies.” Two boys of fifteen are there—their companions like themselves are lepers. “Now, children, we need money; you have some; will you give it there, all or some part of it? How many say all? Let us see the hands”: and every little hand, kindergarten and all, went up, and we made it twenty-five yen to send to the Treasurer of our Leper Home. I then told them to tell their parents of how we spend the money given by the little ones, and we reviewed the places we had helped from our mite: For five years an Ainu School; Red Cross Society, two years; Charity Hospital, two years; Okayama Orphanage, two years; destitute soldiers, one year; comfort bags during war; famine sufferers, one year; flood sufferers, one year; earthquake sufferers, one year; Lepers’ Home, this year; medicine for sick pupils, often; help at funerals for poor families of school.

These children when they grow up and enter the church will be systematic givers and know what benevolence is.[113]

Missionary gifts in mission lands.

It brings tears to the eyes and joy to the heart to see how eagerly children of one mission land devote their little gifts to sending the Gospel to children of some other land. It seems the most natural thing in the world to lead them into missionary giving, and many a children’s band in America might be put to shame by the joy and spontaneity of those who are themselves objects of missionary giving.

“One day early in the fall,” writes Miss Alice B. Caldwell of Marsovan, Turkey, “while walking in the school garden I noticed two little girls strolling up and down the path arm in arm. They were chattering in their vivacious way, and one of them was making her crochet needle fly as fast as her tongue. On my inquiring what she was making, she held up a dainty bag, and several little interpreters informed me that it was for the Christian Endeavor Bazaar. After that day I saw many busy fingers on the playground making the most of the hours out of doors.

“The Junior Endeavorers help to support a little girl in a Chinese school, and they were getting ready for a bazaar to help make the money for their adopted child.”[114]

Children from missions fields helping to save America.

If we are touched by such stories as the above, which can be multiplied many times over, what is our feeling about those who are serving and helping our own Christian land because they were won to Christ in childhood on the mission field? We are thinking of one young woman whose parents became Christians under missionary influence, and who grew up in a Christian home among many persecutions and adverse circumstances from without. When, in the course of time, her widowed mother immigrated to America, the girl, already a devoted Christian, entered a training school in this country. Today she is working in six languages for thousands of immigrants in a New England city,—doing a work that few Americans could ever hope to accomplish. Merely as a business investment or a patriotic effort, the money contributed to the Mission Board, which brought about this result, has been more than profitable.

Here is the record of another good investment made in China:—

Some years ago there entered the True Light Seminary a bright little girl of thirteen, who, under the wise and gentle training of Miss Noyes, gave her heart to Christ and united with the church, becoming thereafter one of the best pupils in the school. Her great desire was to become a teacher, but since three years of age she had been betrothed by her father to the son of a heathen family—the betrothal by Chinese law being almost equivalent to a marriage—it became her duty to fulfil the promise made for her, and at the completion of her course of study she married the man of her father’s choice. The marriage did not prove a happy one; the husband’s business took him much away, leaving his wife alone, and at the end of three years he died suddenly of plague. The young wife, thus unexpectedly set free for service, at once took up her desired work, and after teaching for three years in Hongkong was called to a position in a Congregational school in Canton....

In the spring of 1910 it came about that one of the benefactions of Mr. Andrew Carnegie came to the Occidental Home in San Francisco, and when the question arose as to what should be done with the gift it could but seem that the long-sought opportunity had come to secure a Chinese teacher to live with the girls in the Home and to train them in their own tongue.

So it came to pass that Yeung Mo Owen, or Mrs. Yeung, as she is known in America, led in these various ways, became an inmate of the Mission Home in San Francisco, teacher of Chinese to the girls, both in the Home and in the Occidental Board Day School, and incidentally a blessing not only to the Home and to the Chinese Church, but also to Chinatown, and to the Board itself....

“I have never seen such a lovely face, never been so impressed by a Chinese woman,” said one long in the work in California. “Now you see what our native Christian women are like,” quickly responded a missionary who was present.[115]

Missionary children at work.

The story of the Child at Work for Christ would not be complete without making mention of the missionary children who in such large numbers are trying to do their share toward bringing the Kingdom of Christ to this world. “If one life shines, the life next to it must catch the light,” and the joy and privilege of mission service in all its beauty,—and in all its trial and discouragement as well,—are well known to the missionary boy and girl. Even little four year old Annie had her share of discouragement when her parents returned to their field of work after a furlough during which Annie had forgotten all languages but English. When she heard her mother speaking of women’s meetings and various forms of work as she took them up, one by one, Annie decided to do her share also. Picking up her dolly, she trotted down to the gate to be a missionary to the little Turkish girls next door. Sadly she came back again to report, “Mother, the children cannot speak the American language.”

Let no one think that because missionary children are “used to” the country and the language, the climate and food and presence of the “natives,” it is always easy and natural for them to return to their parents’ field of labor. Just because they have been familiar with it all from childhood, the surroundings and opportunities of the homeland,—their own rightful heritage,—seem desirable beyond words and hard to relinquish. To the missionary children who return to the field, the halo of romance surrounding the step is non-existent,—they go with open eyes to what they know about. And yet they go, large numbers of them, and it might be well to ask of your Mission Boards whether their services are valuable to the cause or not. A newspaper clipping a few years ago gave these statistics:—

“Nearly one-third of the missionaries of the American Board of India and Ceylon are the children or grandchildren of missionaries who were sent out by the Board two or three generations ago. In the three India missions, including Ceylon, there are now ninety-five American laborers, nineteen of whom were children and eleven grandchildren of missionaries.”

It would be interesting to get the statistics of other Missions and Boards on this subject and to compare the results of their work with some of the psychological statements quoted in the early chapters of this book regarding heredity and early training.

American children at work for Christ.

What part are our own precious children in Christian America to have in this great subject,—the Child at Work for Christ? Are they alone to be left out, or to have but a paltry share in the glorious work of giving the Gospel of Christ to the whole world? If the work is worth doing, if the result justifies the effort, if the children of the world need Christ, then it is unjust, unfair, un-Christian, to deny our children a share in the labor and the reward. Nor may we deny them the training and teaching that will make them realize not only the need, but—the one only adequate way in which that need may be satisfied. A few words from the pen of Dr. William Adams Brown emphasize very practically the need of this “only adequate way.”

The one great need of the world.

There are many persons today who are ready to recognize the beneficent work done by foreign missionaries for the social welfare of the peoples among whom they have been working, who have no sympathy with the religious motives which animate them. Why, they ask, can we not have the hospital and the school without the doctrines that go with them? They forget that it is faith in the realities which the doctrines express which alone has made the missionary enterprise possible. Had it not been for the belief that man is an immortal spirit capable of communion with God, and meant for fellowship with Him throughout all eternity, we should have had no Livingstone or Moffatt or Paton. James Russell Lowell saw this clearly when he spoke the striking sentences which have often been quoted, but which will bear quoting again:—

“When the keen scrutiny of skeptics has found a place on this planet where a decent man may live in decency, comfort, and security, supporting and educating his children unspoiled and unpolluted, a place where age is reverenced, infancy protected, womanhood honored, and human life held in due regard,—when skeptics can find such a place ten miles square on this globe, where the Gospel of Christ has not gone before and cleared the way and laid foundations that made decency and security possible, it will then be in order for these skeptical literati to move thither and there ventilate their views. But so long as these men are dependent on the very religion which they discard for every privilege they enjoy, they may well hesitate to rob the Christian of his hope and humanity of its faith in the Saviour who alone has given to men that hope of eternal life which makes life tolerable and society possible, and robs death of its terrors and the grave of its gloom.”[116]

Children trained to systematic giving.

Is there anything more beautiful and spontaneous than the generosity of a child who has learned to give to others because of its love for Christ? The churches that are systematically training their children to give have a great future before them.

Says The Spirit of Missions: “There is an old Scotch proverb that ‘Mony a mickle maks a muckle.’ Nowhere is this more effectively demonstrated than in the Lenten offering given each year by the Sunday-Schools of the church. This movement was begun thirty-five years ago in the diocese of Pennsylvania, and almost at once it spread throughout the church. Year by year the volume of gifts has grown, until for the whole period they have reached the amazing sum of $2,618,290.86. The gifts which have produced this result have come from all quarters of the earth and from all manner of children. Youngsters in Alaska have shovelled snow and others in California have raised flowers to earn their money for this purpose. The negro boys and girls of Africa, the peons of Mexico, the Igorotes of the Philippines, and the brown and yellow children of Japan and China have gathered the odd coins of their several countries in common with the children of the mountains and prairies, the small towns and the great cities of the United States.”[117]

One who had spent some years in India tells of an experience in Chicago that brings the quick tears to one’s eyes.

From Chicago to India.

“I had been telling the children at Olivet Institute in Chicago of the little girls in Fatehgarh who called Christmas the Great Day and who had never had any Great Day to look forward to at all until they had come to the mission school; of Gunga De, who had worked so hard to deserve a doll on the Great Day and learned the Beatitudes and her psalms and prayers, only to have her Hindu father take her away to bathe in the Ganges so that she would miss the prize giving, and of her joy when she found the doll waiting for her the next day. Afterwards as I stood waiting for the car on a dreary sordid Halstead Street corner, a little stranger who had wandered into the meeting came and stood beside me. A thin shawl was over her head, and the hand that held it together under her chin was thin and blue with the cold. There were dark circles under her eyes, and the little face had no look of childhood about it.

“‘Say, missus,’ she began, ‘you forgot something.’

“‘What did I forget?’ I asked, puzzled.

“‘You forgot to tell us how we could send things to those children out in India. I’ve got a doll—she has no head—but I like her—and two picture cards. Maybe I will get some more, so I would like to send those.’”[118]

We can almost hear the Master say of the little, pitiful, weary-eyed child, “Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Giving our children.

Perhaps some mother may fear that if she trains her child to feel a personal responsibility for the children of far-off lands the day may come when the dear one will look into her face and say, “Mother, I must go. I hear the call to tell others of the Christ whom I love!” Blessed is that mother who can answer, though there may be a sharp catch of the breath and a tightening of the heart strings, “If He call thee, thou shalt say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.’” A mother can never afford to let her child lose out of its life the very best and highest possibility, and when God calls to a service, there is nothing greater that can come to a life than the blessing found in the pathway of obedience.

What do the children of the world most need?

Who is going to supply that need?

How is it to be accomplished?

How quickly shall it be done?

In the name of the little Child of Bethlehem let every Christian woman answer these questions honestly and prayerfully, opening wide her heart of hearts to love and care and work for The Child in the Midst.

The world needs the Holy Child.

A traveller was visiting several missionary lands, and while in Korea had the joy of training twenty-four missionary children for an exercise in the Gospel of Luke. She says, “As one little boy stood before an audience to repeat the lines quoted below, it seemed a call to the Christian world for the children:

“The world was dark with care and woe,
With brawl and pleasure wild;
When in the midst, His love to show,
God set a Child.
“The sages frowned, their heads they shook,
For pride their heart beguiled.
They said, each looking on his book,
‘We want no Child.’
“The merchants turned toward their scales,
Around their wealth they piled;
Said they, ‘‘Tis gold alone prevails;
‘We want no Child.’
“The soldiers rose in noisy sport;
Disdainfully they smiled;
And said, ‘Can babes the shield support?
‘We want no Child.’
“Then said the Lord, ‘O world of care,
So blinded and beguiled,
Thou must receive for thy repair
A Holy Child.’”[119]

The Children of Tunis are Worth Helping



Sometimes little children learn about Jesus in some way and become Christians before their parents do. Three years ago, after a meeting in the country at a place called Top Chai, in Korea, two small boys, each nine years old, came up and told me that they were friends and had been believing in Jesus for a year, but that none of their parents had been Christians. They said, “We want you to pray every day with us that our parents may believe in Jesus.” I wrote their names in a little book and did pray as they asked me to, and every time I met the boys after that I would ask if their parents had become Christians yet. “No,” they would say, “not yet, but they are going to.” Last spring, just before I left Korea, I went to Top Chai to say good-bye, and one of the boys came to me with the brightest smile you ever saw and said, “My father has been sick for a long time but is better now, and has promised to come to church just as soon as he is able.” And back of him stood the other boy holding a smaller boy by the hand. “Pastor,” he said, “this is my younger brother, who has become a Christian, and my father has been coming to church all winter.”

A bright, manly little fellow in my church in Pyeng Yang had been a Christian only about a year when he succeeded in getting his mother to come to church with him. Soon after the mother decided to be a Christian, this boy became very sick and his mother was very angry at God about it. “See,” she said, “this is what I get for being a Christian.” He plead with her not to feel that way about it, and tried to get her to pray with him; but she refused, saying, “I will never pray again.” One day, just before he died, he held out his hands to her, saying, “Mother, come pray with me now,” but she turned her face away and sat down in a corner, and he began praying alone in Korean, “Hanale Kai sin, uri abage,” “Our Father who art in Heaven,” and, as he was praying, he died. The next day his poor mother came to our house and told my wife all about it and cried as if her heart would break because she had let him die without praying with him. I think God will let this boy know in some way in heaven that his mother did repent after he went away. (W. N. Blair, The Foreign Post, May, 1910.)


In 1888, Rev. W. Wyatt Gill, in a meeting in London, gave a statement of his work as a missionary in the Hervey Islands since 1851. “He spoke of the former condition of the people, of their love of revenge and of their human sacrifices, of the bloody feuds that existed among them, of the rule, followed by all, of keeping alive only two children in the family, and of the whole aspect of their lives as something fearful; and stated that all this had been changed through the influence of Christianity. He remarked that to see a people who were once cannibals partaking of the Lord’s Supper has been most delightful. Looking around upon the assembly gathered for this purpose he had seen the bread administered by one to a man whose father that man had murdered, or the reverse. He stated that the work of evangelization in many of the South Pacific Islands had been done almost entirely by natives trained in the Avarua School; that hundreds of these natives have sacrificed their lives to carry the Gospel to their brethren, and that sixty of Mr. Gill’s own church have been killed while acting as missionaries.” (Alexander, “Islands of the Pacific,” p. 121. Am. Tract Soc.)


Once a month we give each girl a picture card. These were sent to us by children in American Sunday-Schools, and each time we explain to the child that the card was sent by a little boy or girl in far-away America. One day on our way home we stopped at a shop, and two of our little girls seeing us drew near with the cards in hand. A man sitting by asked one, a clever little girl, where she got her picture. She didn’t say, “My teacher gave it to me,” but answered, “A little girl in far-away America sent it to me.” His next question, “Why did she send it to you?” To which she replied, “Because she loves me!” Then, as he continued to question her, she began to explain the picture. It happened to be Christ delivering the Sermon on the Mount. It was only a child-like explanation given by a child of seven or eight years, but the man was really interested. As we wended our way I thought of the hundred and twenty-seven cards we had given out that day, and the many hundreds that had been given in days past, and wondered how many real Christian sermons had been preached by little Hindu and Mohammedan girls by means of these small cards. (Woman’s Work, April, 1912, Bessie Lawton, Fatehgarh.)


Revealed unto Babes—Expressed by Babes.

Luke 2:41–49. Matt. 11:25, 27. Matt. 21:14–16.

The things that are hidden from the wise and prudent are understood by children. How near a child is to the Heart of the Great Infinite; how naturally he expresses his love and praise. As the twelve-year old Boy in the Temple understood His connection with His Father’s work, as the children in the Temple comforted the sorrowing Saviour with their praise, so the children of today may understand and do for Christ what the wise and prudent cannot.

“We are facing tremendous problems and great contests which our children have got to settle. Can we not educate these men and women of tomorrow in the world brotherhood that goes back through all the centuries and finds its beginning in the heart of the Boy of Twelve?” L. W. Peabody.


We beseech Thee, O most merciful Father, for all Thy little children who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of evil that is in the world; that it may please Thee to have pity on them, and to gather them by the kindly hand of Thy true servants, into the light of the Christian fold, that they may sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him. So let Thy truth be manifest from generation to generation, and the whole family of mankind rejoice together in Thy mercy, through Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer.)


1. What are some of the problems that must in all probability be confronted fifteen years hence in China? in Japan? in India? in Thibet? Turkey? in Central Africa?

2. What agencies, native and foreign, are preparing children to solve these problems?

3. How are the children of your home and church and community being trained along missionary lines?

4. What are you doing to help them?


A Little Child Shall Lead Them. Wom. Bd. For. Miss. Ref. Ch. in Am.

The Black Bishop, Jesse Page. (Revell.)

The Islands of the Pacific, Alexander. (Am. Tract Soc.)

See current newspapers and magazines for up-to-date material for this chapter.


“Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”

It is suggested that at some convenient time during the Christmas season a mass meeting be held for the mothers of the community. Special efforts should be made to gather all mothers, as far as possible; carriages might be sent for the old mothers, for special love and deference is due to them; and arrangements should be made for care of babies, so that young mothers may be free to attend.

If so desired, the program may include selections of stories and quotations from the foregoing chapters, and some of the prayers may be used. Let all Christian mothers gather to pray and plan for the children of the world, in the Name of the little Child of Bethlehem.


Luke 1:26–35, 38, 46–55 & 2:19, 51.

The angel addressed the holy mother as “highly favored,” “the Lord with thee.” God’s presence in her life was a reason why she could be trusted with the greatest responsibility ever given to a woman, to bring up, to teach and guard the most wonderful child ever born. Contrast how royal princesses are seldom entrusted with the care and training of future kings and emperors.

Vs. 46–55. Mary’s appreciation of what God had done for her personally,—her wider vision of what her experience was to mean to the world. She accepted the trust and believed the amazing promise, (v. 38) but realized that the present and future generations were to share in the blessing (vs. 48, 54, 55.)

Ch. 2:19, 51. Mary kept in her heart all the strange, wonderful occurrences, pondering them, trying to understand God’s dealings, and to bring herself and her actions into line with them. She realized that hers was an unusual task, and set herself to watch and understand its meaning.


Oh Lord, our Heavenly Father, we pray for Thy rich blessing upon this gathering of mothers, and upon the mothers of this community. Grant to each one of our children those blessings of body, mind, and soul which Thou seest they most need. Grant to each father and mother the wisdom, love, and courage, and, above all, the personal acquaintance with Thee that shall enable them to train their children for useful, happy, Christian manhood and womanhood, and to love and serve Thee for time and for eternity.

We beseech Thee, in the name of the Holy Child of Bethlehem, to remember our homes and the homes of the whole earth with Thy Fatherly blessing. Guard little children throughout the world from sin and sorrow and suffering, from cruel neglect and oppression, from growing up in vice and ignorance. Stir the hearts of Thy servants at this glad time of the Children’s Festival, to take the knowledge of the blessed Christ-Child to the remotest corners of the earth, that all children may learn to know Him, and may grow up into His likeness.

We ask it in the name of Thy Holy Child Jesus. Amen.

“Holy night! peaceful night!
Through the darkness beams a light
Yonder, where they sweet vigils keep
O’er the Babe, who, in silent sleep,
Rests in heavenly peace.
“Silent night! holiest night!
Darkness flies and all is light!
Shepherds hear the angels sing—
‘Hallelujah! hail the King!
Jesus Christ is here!’
“Silent night! holiest night!
Wondrous Star! oh, lend thy light!
With the angels let us sing,
Hallelujah to our King!
Jesus Christ is here!”

What a significant fact it is that, of all religions, Christianity is the only one which lays emphasis on the childhood of its Founder! Mohammedan tradition weaves the most marvelous and fantastic tales about the infancy and childhood of the man who founded it, though none of these are mentioned in the Koran. But how different are these extravagant and often disgusting stories, from the wonderful Gospel story of the Christ-Child.

No other child ever born into this world has had such honor done to the event of his birth, or has been able to inspire in millions of hearts through generation after generation the joy of remembering others, the delight of expressing love by gifts, the glory of “goodwill among men,” that mark the Christmas time.

Few of those who live in a Christian land can realize the effect of the mere observance of the Christmas festival on those who never heard of Christ. Christmas Day, although of course not celebrated by non-Christians, is nevertheless called in India “the great day of the year,” by thousands of Hindus and Mohammedans. Dr. Badley of Lucknow, in commenting on the fact, says:—

“The heathen people of course do not celebrate Christmas; they know that Christians do, however, and this simple fact, so constantly observed, causes them to think about the power of Christianity. Many are led to ask, ‘Who was Christ? What did He do? Why do the Christians observe His birthday?’ These inquiries call forth various answers, discussion follows, and thus the whole nation with its many millions of people, is thinking and talking about the world’s Saviour.”

Would that every mother in America might have a vision today of a Christless home in a Christless land, and then of that home transformed, and taking its share in the festival of the Christ-Child! When once the spirit of the blessed Christ has touched a heart or a home or a community, there is a transformation. Is there any other anniversary that inspires the blessed joy of giving that belongs to the Christmas season? The Missionary Link gives a sample of what Christmas has come to mean to some Japanese children in Kyoto, and the consequences of their celebration:—

“Last Christmas the children used the money they had collected in Sunday-School to buy charcoal for the poor. As they did not know to whom they should give it, they asked the policeman to give it to the poorest people he knew. They did not hear any more about it for some time, when one Sunday an old woman came to Sunday-School, and asked if this was the place where poor people were helped. She then thanked the children for the charcoal, telling them it had kept her warm most of the winter. She told them she lived in a tiny room with another old woman, and, although she worked very hard sewing, she could only earn about three cents a day. She had no money to buy charcoal to keep her warm, and about Christmas time thought she would throw herself into the river, as she was of no use to any one. Just at that time the children sent her the charcoal, so she felt that some one really cared for her. She helped in the heathen temple for a little while, but said the people were so unkind to her she could not stay. Now she is studying about Jesus, and goes every week to the Sunday-School.”

If such effects follow when little heathen children are taught the story of Christmas and its significance, why, oh why, should not we mothers send the beautiful message to every little child in the world?

I see them come crowding, crowding,
Children of want and pain,
Dark sorrow their eyes enshrouding,
Where joy’s touch should have lain.
They stand in silence beseeching,
Gaunt faces lifted up,
And wan little hands outreaching
For Love’s forbidden cup.
Their hearts are restless with yearning,
The hearts of my own are stilled,
Their lips are parched and burning,
The cups of my own are filled!
I cry in love unsatisfied
For these without the fold,
My mother’s arms are open wide
These weary ones to hold.
What though my arms are open wide,
Only mine own lie near,
Without still stand those long denied,
Compassed in want and fear.
Bowed with the crown of Motherhood,
I seek that Shepherd of old;
“How can mine own receive the good
With some left out of the fold?”

(Isabel Kimball Whiting in The Survey. By permission.)

Is it enough for us to plan that our own children and those near and dear to us shall be made happy by our Christmas tokens of love and remembrance? Truly it is such a busy, rushing time that even our regular church work must often be set aside that the Christmas obligations may be met. But a true mother heart is big enough to take in more, and ever more, and the blessing of growth is bestowed on each heart that opens to admit new objects of love.

“Recently,” says the Outlook, “a tender, gentle, refined woman who has identified herself with those movements which seek to improve the conditions of child life, said, ‘I have had a new thought come to me that has made me accept the loss of my little girl with patience, almost with resignation. God never meant that a woman should be the mother to just one little girl. He meant that every woman should be mother to every child in the world.’”

“How I wish I could give a Christmas present to Jesus!” said a loving little girl, her eyes dancing with Christmas joy as she surveyed the small gifts, so long planned and carefully prepared for her dear ones. For her the very essence of Christmas was its expression in visible tokens to those whom she loved. If we mothers long to “give a Christmas present to Jesus,” what could be more acceptable to Him, than the dedication of an hour of this busy, happy Christmas season to loving prayer and thought for the mothers and children in our own community and throughout the wide world? Thus shall we be drawn near to the heart of the great Father, and, if during this hour some angel messenger whispers to our hearts of a special task which He is willing to entrust to us, may we be ready to answer with Mary of old,—“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word!”

What blessings shall we ask for the mothers of the world? What do we need for ourselves? Unselfish love, infinite patience, wisdom and insight, tact and sympathy, health to bear the daily strain, quiet nerves, a sense of humor that smooths rough places, a sweet, strong cheerfulness, a likeness to Christ that shall be reflected in the lives of all the members of the household. “According to the riches of His grace,” He is waiting to bestow His blessings on the mother hearts waiting here, before Him, and through their intercession, on the mother hearts of the world.

What blessings shall we ask for the children of the world? The same that we ask for our own as we kneel at their bedside, and our eyes are dim with tears of yearning love, while we pray that our darlings may be kept from harm and accident, from all soul stains, that they may “grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Is there any blessing you ask for your boy and girl that is not needed by the other children of the world?

“Prayer is cheap,” some say, “it costs nothing to say a prayer for missions.” Real prayer is not cheap,—it costs the deepest, strongest thought one can expend; it costs time; it costs the willingness to help to answer one’s own prayers in terms of interest and gifts and service. In Christ’s name, then, let us pray, and let us not rest nor be satisfied until every mother in the world, clasping her child to her bosom, is truly a holy mother, and every little child is a holy child.



[1] E. T. Devine, “The Family and Social Life,” p. 51.

[2] Alonzo Bunker, “Sketches from the Karen Hills.” Revell.

[3] Child Welfare Magazine, Feb., 1913, p. 195.

[4] Fleming H. Revell.

[5] Ruth B. Fisher, “On the Borders of Pigmy Land.” Revell.

[6] Alexander, “The Islands of the Pacific.” Am. Tract Soc.

[7] E. Storrow, “Our Sisters in India.” Revell.

[8] Record of Christian Work, Sept., 1912, “How Chinese Religions Fail.”

[9] L. H. Underwood, “Fifteen Years among the Top-Knots.” Am. Tract Soc.

[10] Missionary Review of the World, June, 1911, W. D. & A. T. Bostick.

[11] M. E. Ritzman in Missionary Review of the World, Feb., 1911.

[12] L. H. Underwood, “Fifteen Years among the Top-Knots.” Am. Tract Soc.

[13] Ruth B. Fisher, “On the Borders of Pigmy Land.” Revell.

[14] Woman’s Work, Dec., 1911, p. 271.

[15] John L. Dube, Orange, Natal, Missionary Review, June, 1912, p. 410.

[16] J. S. Dennis, “Chr. Miss. & Soc. Prog.,” vol. ii, p. 176. Revell.

[17] Mrs. S. C. Perkins, “Home Life in China.” Pres. Wom. Bd. of Miss.

[18] Mrs. O. W. Scott, “Child Life in Burma.” Wom. For. Miss. Soc. M. E. Ch.

[19] Life and Light, Aug., 1912.

[20] Missionary Review, June, 1912, Karl Kumm, F.R.G.S.

[21] Missionary Review of the World, Oct., 1911.

[22] Daniel McGilvary, “A Half Century among the Siamese and Lao.” Revell.

[23] Mrs. C. M. Wherry in “Daylight in the Harem,” Revell.

[24] M. Fadil, Atbara, in Missionary Review, Feb., 1912, p. 131.

[25] Robert Moose, “Village Life in Korea.” Pub. House of M. E. Ch. Soc.

[26] E. A. Lawrence, “Modern Missions in the East,” Chap. viii. Harper’s.

[27] The Continent, April 17, 1913.

[28] George B. Mangold in “Child Problems.”

[29] Jane Addams, “The Spirit of Youth.” Macmillan.

[30] E. P. St. John, “Child Nature and Child Nurture.” Pilgrim Press.

[31] Alice Mabel Bacon, “Japanese Girls and Women.” Houghton Mifflin & Co.

[32] The Foreign Post, May, 1910.

[33] “Other Children,” Jean McKenzie. Wom. For. Miss. Soc. Pres. Ch.

[34] “On the Education of Backward Races,” E. W. Coffin, Pedagogical Seminary, Mar., 1908.

[35] Spirit of Missions, Feb., 1911.

[36] “Village Life in China.” Revell.

[37] “Children of Persia.” Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.

[38] George B. Mangold, “Child Problems.”

[39] A. E. and S. M. Zwemer. Revell.

[40] Dr. Ira Harris in Over Sea and Land, Dec., 1912.

[41] Rev. R. H. Nassau, D.D., “Home Life in Africa.” Wom. For. Miss. Soc. Pres. Ch.

[42] “Children of Persia.” Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.

[43] The Congregationalist, May 8, 1913.

[44] Mrs. J. T. Gracey, “Bareilly Orphanage.” Wom. For. Miss. Soc. M. E. Church.

[45] John Magee in Hotchkiss Record, Jan. 21, 1913.

[46] Missionary Review of the World, Feb., 1911.

[47] Missionary Review of the World, April, 1911.

[48] Barnes, “Behind the Pardah.”

[49] Missionary Review of the World, May, 1911, John Jackson, F.R.G.S.

[50] The Continent, March 27, 1913.

[51] Told in “Among the Top-Knots,” Mrs. Underwood (Am. Tract Soc.)

[52] Told in Missionary Review of the World, Nov., 1911.

[53] “Foreign Mail Annual,” 1913, For. Dep. Int. Com. Y. M. C. A.

[54] Pedagogical Seminary, March, 1908, “On the Education of Backward Races.”

[55] Edited by Paul Monroe, 1912. (Macmillan.)

[56] Life and Light, Oct., 1912.

[57] Woman’s Work, Aug., 1911. Cora C. Bartlett.

[58] Told by Miss A. W. Stocking in Moslem World, Oct., 1912.

[59] Congregationalist and Christian World, Dec. 26, 1912.

[60] “Kindergartens and ‘Near Kindergartens,’” Child Welfare Magazine, Sept., 1912.

[61] “Mountain Tops and Valleys of Humanity,” Child Welfare Magazine, Dec., 1912.

[62] “The Children’s Gardens,” Woman’s Board of Missions, (Cong.)

[63] Life and Light, March, 1912. Janette E. Miller.

[64] “How Orthodox Mohammedans Educate a Child.” Bd. of For. Miss. Ref. Ch.

[65] “The Montessori System,” Theodate L. Smith. (Harper.)

[66] “Education of Girls in the Levant.” T. H. P. Sailer in Woman’s Work, Aug., 1912.

[67] “Physical Training for the Chinese.” M. J. Exner, M.D.

[68] “The Athletic Method in Kashmir,” Henry Forman in Outlook, Sept. 24, 1910.

[69] “Mountain Tops and Valleys of Humanity,” Child Welfare Magazine, Jan., 1913.

[70] “Daylight in the Harem.”

[71] “The Land of the White Helmet,” E. A. Forbes. (Revell.)

[72] “Educational Work of the Bd. For. Miss. of the Pres. Ch.

[73] “A Little Child Shall Lead Them.” Wom. Bd. For. Miss. Ref. Ch. Am.

[74] “Home Life in Syria,” Elfreda Post, Wom. Pres. Bd. For. Miss.

[75] Told in “Buddhism,” by Monier-Williams. (Macmillan.)

[76] “Things as They Are,” Amy Wilson Carmichael. (Revell.)

[77] “Children of Persia,” Mrs. Napier Malcolm. (Oliphant, Anderson, & Ferrier.)

[78] “The Jungle Folk of Africa,” R. H. Milligan. (Revell.)

[79] “The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood,” Mrs. Marcus B. Fuller. (Revell.)

[80] Quoted by E. Storrow in “Our Sisters in India.” (Revell.)

[81] Spirit of Missions, Feb., 1912.

[82] “Children of Egypt,” Miss Crowther. (Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier.)

[83] “The Wrongs of Indian Womanhood,” Mrs. Marcus B. Fuller. (Revell.)

[84] “The Sorrows of Heathen Motherhood,” Helen D. Newcomb.

[85] Woman’s Work, July, 1912.

[86] Hastings Bible Dictionary.

[87] Spirit of Missions, March, 1906.

[88] Spirit of Missions, February, 1911.

[89] Missionary Review of the World, January, 1911.

[90] “Children of Egypt,” L. Crowther. (Oliphant, Anderson, & Ferrier.)

[91] Over Sea and Land, April, 1913.

[92] Miss M. T. Maxwell Ford in “Daylight in the Harem.”

[93] “Things as They Are,” Amy Wilson Carmichael. (Revell.)

[94] Told in Missionary Review of the World, December, 1911.

[95] Woman’s Work, July, 1911.

[96] Told in Missionary Review of the World, June, 1913.

[97] Told in Missionary Review of the World, June, 1913.

[98] Sixth Annual Report of the Kindergarten Union of Japan.

[99] “Testimony of a College Student,” Wom. For. Miss’y Soc. Pres. Ch.

[100] Rev. C. R. Mayes, M. D., in N. American Student, May, 1913.

[101] Missionary Review of the World, March, 1913.

[102] Record of Christian Work, March, 1913.

[103] The Continent, June 12, 1913.

[104] Told in Foreign Post, Dec., 1906.

[105] Rev. S. M. Jordon in “The New Persia,” Pres. Bd. For. Miss.

[106] Missionary Review of the World, August, 1911.

[107] Missionary Review of the World, August, 1911.

[108] New York City Mission Monthly, May, 1913.

[109] “The Black Bishop,” Jesse Page, p. 379. (Revell.)

[110] “Islands of the Pacific,” Alexander. Am. Tract Society.

[111] Told in Over Sea and Land, April, 1913.

[112] Told in “Sketches from the Karen Hills,” Alonzo Bunker. (Revell.)

[113] J. K. McCauley in Foreign Post, October, 1908.

[114] Life and Light, April, 1912, p. 168. Alice B. Caldwell.

[115] Woman’s Work, June, 1912, p. 144. Mrs. E. F. Hall, Berkeley, Cal.

[116] “The Christian Hope,” W. A. Brown, p. 200. (Scribner.)

[117] Missionary Review of the World, April, 1913, p. 315.

[118] The Continent, March 27, 1913, “Dolls from Chicago to Fatehgarh, India,” Louise Atherton Dickey.

[119] Miss Caroline L. Palmer in Missionary Review of the World, Jan., 1918.


Obvious typographical errors repaired. Punctuation, spelling, hyphenation and stylistic presentation standardized when a predominant preference was found in this book. Otherwise left as printed.

Where possible, illustrations have been moved next to the corresponding text, otherwise placed at section breaks.

In the original book, outlines of each chapter were printed on separate pages, preceded by chapter headings. These chapter headings were then repeated before the chapter text proper. In this electronic book the repeated chapter headings are not preserved.

For less common abbreviations and Roman numerals, title attributes have been provided for the convenience of screenreader users.

Page 80, ‘Tyer’ changed to ‘Iyer’ (Mr. Justice Moothoswami Iyer).

Footnote 34, ‘Caffin’ changed to ‘Coffin’ (“On the Education of Backward Races,” E. W. Coffin).

Page 134, ‘plead’ changed to ‘pleaded’ (Earnestly he pleaded with the missionaries).

Page 147 (sidenote), ‘year’ changed to ‘years’ (Dr. Balliet on the early years of childhood).

Page 189 (sidenote), ‘religous’ changed to ‘religious’ (Result to the child of religious acts).

Page 192, ‘then’ changed to ‘than’ (Worse than all the results).

Page 194, ‘jewlery’ changed to ‘jewelry’ (some article of jewelry).

Page 272, ‘American’ changed to ‘Armenian’ (Orphans, Armenian massacre).

On page 231, there is an orphaned double quotation mark after ‘babyhood’. The opening mark should probably be before ‘Women spoke from the platform’ etc.

End of Project Gutenberg's The Child in the Midst, by Mary Schauffler Labaree


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