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tenets be corrupt when they are incorporated, they are not likely to be improved by the force of public opinion.
With the very limited information we possess, the conclusions that have been formed of the ultimate issue of the rebellion appear over-sanguine and hasty. Even apart from the rumour of an irruption of Mongul Tartars, who would probably turn back the tide of conquest, it is far from impossible that the insurgents may yet receive a check, and of the disposition of the people at large towards the new creed we know absolutely nothing. All ordinary experience is against their throwing up their ancient superstitions at the mere bidding of an army who are but a handful of the vast population, and if the rebels win the prize it is no unlikely alternative that they will compromise their creed to consolidate the throne. Dr. Gutzlaff speaks of a prediction in the Pâli books of the Buddhists, to the effect that a religion coming from the West shall supersede the national Buddhism ; and in consequence of this prophecy his appearance at Siam caused great alarm to the natives, who fled in all directions at the sight of him. An impression of this kind might weigh with the Chinese and facilitate the change, but we can draw no sure inferences from such partial indications. The most that can be said is, that there is a better prospect than ever existed before, and the consequences that must result are momentous, that we must be prepared to take advantage of any opening which presents itself. With the successful termination of the rebellion the religious question will receive its solution ; and unless we are ready at the critical instant with our measures and our agents, the whole arrangements will have passed beyond the sphere of our influence before we can bring it to bear.
The first duty is with our English Government, who should have a negociator of the highest order on the spot to watch the course of events. Politically it is of importance that we should be on the alert, for other nations have ambitious projects and would lose no opportunity of securing exclusive advantages. Russia, as active on the sea of Okhotsk as on the Black Sea, the Caspian and the Baltic, is said to have offered to barter assistance against the rebels for certain Chinese provinces, and America is equally watching the favourable moment to obtain her own particular objects. Commercially it is of the highest consequence that we should have freedom of trade and intercourse with a country numbering from four to five hundred millions of inhabitants, all of them laborious, many of them consummate artificers, capable of furnishing ourselves and our colonies with admirable mechanics, and who, while receiving the produce of our arts and manufactures, would have their own industry enormously VOL. XCIV. NO. CLXXXVII.
developed by the importation of our machinery and our science. Religiously it is equally essential that the country should not again be closed to foreigners, and the united skill of European diplomatists will be far more efficacious in procuring the abrogation of restrictions than anything which can be said or done by the missionaries.
The duty of our church is not so simple. If the vast empire of China is to be thrown open to the preachers of Christianity, the want of persons who understand the language, or practically we may say languages—for from the extreme dissimilarity of pronunciation the people of different provinces cannot understand one anothermust, for a long period, cripple our exertions. The most obvious method of employing to advantage a part, at least, of our small resources, is to establish institutions in China under European superintendence for the training of a native clergy. Funds, we are certain, would be forthcoming for the purpose the moment the way was open and specific plans could be framed. If the profession of Christianity is really to become at once universal throughout the nation, travelling missionaries may be indispensable for organising communities and guarding against the admixture of heathen abominations. But we must wait the issue of the struggle before we can determine what is best to be done, and in the meanwhile we should be gathering together our present materials, and providing more abundant agents for the future. It would be worthy of our ancient Universities to appoint professors of Chinese, who should not only teach the language but endeavour to direct the youthful zeal of those who volunteered for the purpose to a practical end. The munificent individuals who are distinguished for their acts of costly charity would probably come forward to endow a chair which was to promote the evangelization of a mighty empire. The children of our great seminaries would be the most efficient nursing fathers of the Chinese church. Their scholarship would attract the admiration of natives who venerate knowledge, and win additional favour for the doctrines which accompanied it. The basis of the Eastern establishment, as with our own, would be laid in (sound piety and useful learning, and the wild flames of a precarious fanaticism would be converted into a pure, a steady, and a perpetual light. Even if the hopes which have been raised should be entirely disappointed and the dawning twilight be succeeded by a second night, these preparations will not have been thrown away, for the effects already produced will be a stimulus to exertion, and China will properly occupy more of our attention in the future than it has hitherto done.
The bare chance of present success is worth, at any rate, the cost of providing against contingencies, and if Christianity is to have a place among the living institutions of the empire, we must trust chiefly to extraneous influence to produce the results. Unless we act with promptness and energy the best that can happen is, that the imperfect system of the rebels should prevail, and it is probable that still less favourable consequences will ensue.
The truth now imperfectly received may be relinquished ; Confucian philosophy again form the creed of the Court and the literati; and the masses be left to their pagan superstitions. Christianity, it must be remembered, was once professed at Pekin, which had its Nestorian Archbishop and its Emperors who countenanced the gospel. But the nation, after a while, relapsed into heathenism. Under the surprising exertions of the Jesuits the influence of the Church was once more widely spread; the heir to the throne received his education at their hands; the mother, son, and wife of the last of the Ming dynasty were Christians; and yet, after a time, the faith was again proscribed. Or a second state of things may occur. Christianity may be accepted and recommended by those in authority, but left, like the doctrines of Lao-tze, to the choice of the people. In this case, it is to be feared that it will be recognized by the rulers of the Empire simply as a creed, and will be practised only so far as it does not interfere with Confucian principles, under which as the state religion, the Empire will continue to be governed, and the people will remain essentially unchanged. Or a third alternative may arise. Should the reception of the Christian faith develop itself into anything resembling a national creed, and require, as it will require, its frame-work, its hierarchy, and its code of laws, as well as formularies of faith, to fall in with the native genius, the watchful missionaries of the Roman Church may step in with its claim to antiquity, its pliant code, its imposing ceremonial, its compact government, and manifold machinery, and then the new-born energy which has issued from the reception of Christian truth, may sink under the aggression, and China be again doomed to religious bondage and stagnation.
Art. VI.- Mathias Alexander Castren, Travels in the North :
containing a Journey in Lapland in 1838 ; Journey in Russian Karelia in 1839; Journey in Lapland, Northern Russia, and Siberia, in 1841-44. Translated into German (from the Swedish), by Henrik Helms. Leipzig : Avenarius and Men
delsohn. 1853. WE E are willing to take for granted the accuracy of Mr. Helms
as a translator; and making this concession, albeit a blind one, to acknowledge our obligation for his labour. He would, however, have much enhanced that obligation if he had favoured us with some prefatory biographical notice of the enterprising traveller, whose narrative he has rescued from the comparative obscurity of a Scandinavian text. This task Mr. Helms bas omitted to discharge. His translation, in the edition which has reached us, is not accompanied by preface, or by a word of information beyond that afforded in the title-page, in one or two unimportant notes, and a sketch map of the route of the later journies, an extension of which to the two former would be very desirable. From the fact announced in the title-page, that the original is in Swedish, we might naturally have inferred that Mr. Castren was a native and subject of Sweden. We are enabled, however, upon inquiry, to inform our readers that he was-we wish we could say is—a subject of Russia, and a native of Finland. Those who go through the account of his travels will learn, with more sympathy than surprise, that the adventures it records undermined its author's constitution, and led to his premature decease. He is entitled to a share in the regret with which the announcement of the loss of another distinguished Finlander, the Oriental scholar and traveller, Mr. Wallin, has been received in the scientific world. We are told nothing of his decease by the translator, but a note casually informs us that Mr. Castren lived to accomplish, under the auspices of the Russian Government, a very extended journey through Siberia and other parts of the Russian Asiatic dominion, as far as the frontiers of China, not noticed in this work, but which, we hope, may be the subject of a future publication.
Of the many motives and pursuits which separately, or in combination, are daily leading explorers into the distant recesses and dark holes and corners of the earth, one of the most creditable, the love of science, was Mr. Castren's. He was born in a Finland village, not far from the northern extremity of the Gulf of Bothnia. His education was obtained at the Alexander's College of Helsingfors, which, since its transference to that city from Abo, bas, we believe, done credit to the liberal endowment
of the Russian Government. He seems, from his earliest years, to have formed the intention of devoting himself to the illustration of the literature and antiquities of his country; and the main object of the travels recorded in the present volume was to trace the affinities of the languages of the coterminous Lap, the Samoyede, and the Ostiak, with his own and with each other. For this, and for the kindred purposes of investigating the habits, the history, and above all the superstitions, of these rude tribes, he faced the summer mosquito of the Lapland swamp, and the wintry blast of the Tundra, which not even the reindeer can confront and live. For these objects he traversed the White Sea in rickety vessels with drunken crews, and fed on raw fish and sawdust, and accepted shelter in the hut of the Samoyede beggar. The present volume contains the journal of three such expeditions. The general reader may open it without fear of encountering the detailed results of the author's philological or other scientific researches. These must be sought elsewhere by the curious in Finn inflexions and Lap or Samoyede terminations, in the records of scientific societies, Russian and Scandinavian.
Having thus early chosen his path of inquiry, Mr. Castren occupied himself for some fifteen years of his student life at Helsingfors with assiduous study of the Finn and other cognate languages, so far as books could enable him to pursue it. The aid, however, to be derived from books for such investigations as these was limited, and he long sighed in vain for pecuniary means. and opportunity to visit the regions, the languages and manners of which he wished to explore. In the year 1838 the desired opening was at last presented to him. Dr. Ehrstrom, a friend and medical fellow-student, proposed to accept him as a companion, free of expense, on a tour in Lapland. They were subsequently joined by another alumnus of the Alexander University, Magister Blank, a professor of natural history, and by a preacher named Durmann, charged with a mission to the Enarè district of Lapmark. With these companions he started from a village near Tornea on the 25th June, 1838.
In the early part of this journey, before they had overstepped the limits of Finnish civilization, they found their accommodations somewhat improved by preparations for the reception of an expected French scientific expedition. These had, we presume, been made by special suggestion of Russian authorities, for the guests were not looked forward to with pleasure. French scientifir. travellers had, it appears, on some foriner occasion, given offence and trouble to their entertainers. Englishmen bore a better reputation. They indeed, like the French, had given trouble, and been particular as to their accommodation,