Letter from a Japanese Christian Lieutenant to Rev. Thomas Barclay


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The Chinese Recorder, vol.26 (July,1895) p.333

Rev. Thomas Barclay from Taiwanfoo, Formosa. to the Editor of “The Chinese Recorder” 20th May, 1895,

FromChina and Formosathe story of a mission / by the Rev. Jas. Johnston. 1898. p.324-325.;(  .) added by LES.,

 .............It was a great pleasure to read of the way in which the Christians among the Japanese officers and soldiers acted towards the Missionaries and the converts during the war. They treated the one with respect and the others as their fellows and equals, and they all sat down together at the Table of the Lord as brethren, even before peace was proclaimed between the two countries. The following letter, written in English, from a Christian officer in the Japanese army to Mr. Barclay(巴克禮), shows the fine spirit in which the Christian officers and soldiers did what they thought their duty in fighting the battles of their country, and yet loved, and fraternised with the Christian Chinese : —

Letter of Japanese Officer.  Ma-kung(馬公), May I2ih, 1895,

" * Rev. Pa Tohma ' [Mr. Barclay's Chinese name (巴多馬,即巴克禮).

" ' Dear Sir, — As I heard of you from Khaw Teng-hong (許廷芳), I write you this letter. I am a young officer in the Japanese Army (Reserves). I was educated in a Methodist School at Aoyama, Tokyo, and became a Christian some years ago. I

am your brother in the Lord.

" ' I am sorry that this war broke out. But it was a necessity that we should fight. I believe that there is a Divine guidance in this war, which leads Oriental nations to leave their old civilisations and seek the new and spiritual one. I believe firmly in the Divine Mission of Japan, and I fought this war to fulfil my duty. Now the battles are over. We are here in Pescadores(澎湖). We do not know what will be our future. But

at present we are doing our best to help the Chinese Christians in this place. They are keeping their Sunday services with us in the Lee-pai-tong [the Chinese word for chapel(禮拜堂)].

" ' We Christians in this detachment are not many ; yet we made ourselves into one body in His name, and we earnestly pray that the great Truths of the Lord might be revealed in this part of the world, and strike into the dark bosoms of China and her Continental neighbours, and thus quicken the day of His Kingdom. When we captured this island we did not know that here was a church.(教會) At first our men did not know of it, and used it ; but now the church is restored to the native Christians. There is a photographer among us who is a Christian too. Some days ago he took a picture of Chinese Christians and us assembled before the church ; after that, we Christians of both nationalities had a happy social meeting.

" ' I will not tell you much of ourselves, for Khaw Teng-hong (許廷芳)says that he already wrote you. We shall be very glad if you would come here to visit the native Christians and us. We are sure that you will be safe. We are reading Chinese " Sin- lok " and singing " long-sim Sin-si " [New Testament and hymn-book(新約.養心神詩)]. If you can send us those books, and let us send them to our Christians friends at home, we will be very

glad. A new era has come for us in the Orient. Great duty lies on us who believe in God.

" ' Sincerely yours in the Lord,

"'Lieut. .'"




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