A Hoa’s first call.

 

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A Hoa’s first call.  [請參見《教會史話》249青年阿華就近馬偕 ]


Fri.19. April, 1872

In the forenoon a young looking man called on me and looked all around very minutely asked many questions and was about to depart when I said ‘Come this evening and have a talk with me’ If I can I will" he answered. Our usual day's work was coming to a close when in he came. Sat down and looked at all the books etc. I had to Show him. Talked for a while left and promised to come again. I presented him with a hymn book. however just  When going out the door -- I couldn't tell why;, but took a great liking to him and prayed a great part of the night for him. as I slept very little- Also thought much how to influence him so as to embrace the Gospel…

Sat. 20.

Forenoon studied without a break, then began to prepare for eve. when in the afternoon there was a great excitement on account of great disturbance between some Chinese Soldiers and a few Foreigners. The former greatly excited were running Just in front of my humble dwelling with guns and swords, threatening to kill the "Foreign devils". A fight took place, a few noses broken and clothes torn etc. but nothing very serious as the Mandarin appeared on the spot and punished the offending soldiers--

In the eve. A-hoa appeared with a graduate who began a sort of discussion I saw what was coming, met him as best I could on the spur of the moment and they left evidently with the intention of coming back again. I slept none that night but prepared for battle with the Literati! Towards eve. I went through a Chinese graveyard. Saw a man taking the bones out of a grave and placing them in order on the grass-- The skull had white cloth wrapped around with a band of red. There the man stood waiting for the Spirit to return. Then all the bones were wiped clean and dry and put into a "pot". making "potted ancestors". Here the idea of a man having three souls came out.                    

Sun 21

Spent the day teaching those around me and sing hymns--

Mon 22

Studied to the utmost of my ability all day and at 5 P.M. went out for a stroll amongst the herd boys, took rice for my evening meal and paced my little dwelling anxiously-- we began worship when in came A-hoa and six graduates. They kept quiet until I was through and the servants went out, then one began. I was ready and pushed him on their own ground and attacked their systems, their “Religions” Tauism(道教), Buddhism(佛教) and Confucianism(儒教). They were "thunder struck", stayed only a short time and left. I set up all night preparing for further attacks--

Tues 23

Walked out the greater part of the day meditating and observing. In the eve. A-hoa with the same party as last night and six more marched in with their long gowns etc. After. Reading, singing and praying we began. Those who came first remained silent, whilst the new friends attacked Foreigners and Christianity. I replied by questioning as to their knowledge of both. They soon gave up. I kept on by questioning them on their own three Religions. on these subjects also they caved in. The whole number looked at each other, bowed and walked out. No Sleep that night either. Drilled on the classics and Buddhism--

Wed. 24.

I pasted a Commandment Sheet on the door of my dwelling. crowds gathered. talked aloud, blustered, threatened etc. and tore it off. I put out another. The crowd got more excited and angry. threw mud against the door and finally daubed the Sheet with it. When They scattered. I put out another. they left it alone; but made many threatening remarks when passing. In the eve. A Ku-jin - M.A. in the west- with A-hoa and over 20 graduates and Teachers walked strutting in. I never felt so anxious for a conflict and had not long to wait. We slashed right and left vehemently until one by one was silent. the Ku-jin(舉人) in 15 minutes-- They got settled down and said there was no use they really knew nothing etc. etc. etc. Begged of me to explain the doctrine to them right or wrong I confined myself to one idea viz. God the Creator. I spoke for two hours then they politely bade me good night and walked out. A-hoa followed them a short distance, then left them came in again. I read the hymn " A days’ march more nearer home". He was convinced, impressed and declared he was ready to suffer misery of all kinds if only he could learn more of this heavenly doctrine. He said “What you just read suits me, O. I love the words--so comforting, I’m tired of idols and Superstition etc.” Come tomorrow I said, do some work such as getting me food to eat, keeping the whole place clean and helping when I

begin to give medicines to the people and I will teach you. "I will tell you in the morning" he replied and left.--