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THE EMPIRE PACIFIED. 627
the Eleuth forces. The results of this signal success against the army of Tse Wang Rabdan proved, we are told, "equivalent to the conquest of Tibet." This achievement brought to as satisfactory a termination as the circumstances admitted the wars which Kanghi had waged for so many years in the heart of Asia. It showed that Kanghi's ardour and energy had not abated since the day when he first took up the pursuit of Galdan and decreed his ruin.
In Formosa, too, the same year was marked by an insurrection against the Chinese authority, and by its prompt and summary suppression. The Pekin authorities attributed it to the malice of the Dutch, but in this calumny we may detect another proof of the revulsion against foreigners which marked the last days of Kanghi's reign. Both on the mainland and in the possessions beyond the sea the military power of China was firmly asserted and maintained. Kanghi's achievements in war entitle him to rank as a great conqueror, but they derive their principal importance from the fact that they were turned to the realization of magnificent administrative purposes. The Empire pacified by Wou Sankwei's overthrow, the Mongols and Khalkas confirmed in their allegiance by the vigour and presence of the young Emperor, the Eleuths and the other hordes of Central Asia driven back to the distant territories where they could do little to disturb the Chinese borders, Tibet annexed, Formosa pacified, Corca's friendship assured, and the Japanese overawed by the spectacle of superior might,—these formed the record of military achievements and their consequences during Kanghi's eventful reign. The grand result ensured was the security of a mighty Empire, and the prosperity of an industrious people, leaving to posterity a page of interesting and instructive history, and all the benefit that may be extracted from the consideration of a great and difficult task successfully and honourably performed.
After the subversion of the power of Wou Sankwei and the other Chinese princes in the South, Kanghi was left undisturbed to carry on the administration of all the provinces of the country. The arduous campaigns in the interior of Asia, in Tibet and Mongolia, and the very large sacrifices both of men and money that they entailed, did not affect the general tranquillity or prosperity of the realm. Kanghi ruled a contented people, who were actively engaged in the numerous industries provided for them by the varied resources of the country, and who were, moreover, quite content to accept his views as to the advisability and necessity of giving the Empire an assurance of peace by the vigorous prosecution of wars with external enemies. The fact is clear enough, although the want of details renders it difficult to describe the prosperous state of China during the forty years that Kanghi continued to reign after the overthrow of the great Chinese vassals in Szchuen and Kwantung. Perhaps the strongest evidence of this will be found in the fact that the Chinese people, although there was always an influential party at Pekin in favour of the abandonment of the pursuit of Galdan, and of the cessation of all active campaigning beyond the desert, remained well-disposed towards the established Government . The absence of the greater portion of the Manchu and Mongol armies beyond the frontier afforded a favourable opportunity to revolt, but no inclination to do so was revealed.
Among the principal and most interesting features of THE MISSIONARIES. 629
Kanghi's long reign must undoubtedly be placed his relations
with the Christians who, in the persons of the Roman
Catholic missionaries, had penetrated into the interior of
China and established themselves at the capital and in the
chief cities of the Empire. It has been already seen how,
after passing through several vicissitudes of fortune, the
Jesuit fathers obtained permission to reside in China and to
preach their gospel to the people. Kanghi personally had
benefited by their instruction in a peculiar and exceptional
degree. The more important part of his education had been
entrusted to their care, and his Christian tutors had placed at
bis disposal much of the lore of Europe. The intercourse he
held with them during his earlier days led him to regard with
a friendly eye a race from whom he had nothing to fear, and
from whose superior knowledge and exceptional attainments
he might expect to derive many advantages and to obtain
much assistance in the task of government. The Christian
missionaries, the representatives of the Church of Rome, were
therefore employed in numerous capacities. As the price of
the privilege to preach their religion they were required to
make themselves as useful as they could be, and to give their
word to think no more of a return to their native country.
This company of excellent and high-minded individuals gave
the required promise, and devoted their lives to the work
they had voluntarily accepted. Few instances are there of a
worldly sacrifice more nobly performed and undertaken than
this dedication of the Jesuit missionaries to a lifelong exile
in a strange land; and well would it have been for the
prospects of foreign intercourse if the Dutch and the
Spaniards, as other exponents of European civilization, had
more closely imitated their example.
It is not in accordance with the human character for the representatives of an existing system to feel or to evince much sympathy for one coming in a foreign guise and asserting views of a conflicting nature to everything they have been in the habit of accepting as true and indisputable. The intensity of national antipathies becomes inflamed when the subject in dispute is the one upon which we all feel most strongly, the question of religious belief. The philosophical calmness and political sagacity of Kanghi led him to tolerate the presence of men whose ethics he could appreciate with an academic pleasure, and whose services he knew as an administrator were highly valuable. But what commended itself to the judgment of an intelligent prince found very little favour in the eyes of a people antipathetic to the foreigner and incited by an official class jealous of possible rivals, and discontented at the spectacle of many of their favourite posts being filled by Europeans. The reign of Kanghi was marked throughout by the conflict of these two elements. Thanks to the staunch support of Kanghi and to his enlightened tolerance, the Jesuits more than held their own. The antiforeign party was compelled to conceal the full bitterness of its venom, and to await with such patience as they could muster the time when the Emperor should grow tired of his favourites. For more than fifty years the Jesuits remained prominent among Kanghi's trusted councillors. They were employed as envoys, and as astronomers, as doctors, and as geographers. Their maps served to bring under Kanghi's eye the full extent of the territories he ruled, the artillery they constructed contributed to give him the victory over his enemies, and their medicines saved on more than one occasion the life of their benefactor. Kanghi's sympathy had been gained by his respect for their persons and their character, but his undeviating support was secured by the practical work they did for him—work which he felt there were none others to do so well, if at all.
In the year 1692, after a long discussion, during which the anti-foreign party spared no effort to thwart the personal views of the Emperor, and to impose restrictions on the persons and practices of the Christians, the Tribunal of Rites agreed upon an edict in favour of the strangers. Permission was given by this proclamation, which received the sanction and warm approval of Kanghi, to the missionaries to perform their religious rites, to burn incense and to preach their doctrine in the churches which they had already erected. It was also permitted to all persons to attend those services. The proclamation of the Tribunal of Rites in the year 1692 became the charter of Christianity in the Chinese Empire, and THE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH. 631
the faithful execution of its provisions was rendered the more certain by the recovery in the very same year of the Emperor Kanghi from a bad attack of fever by means of the medicine and attention of the French missionaries after his life was despaired of by his own doctors. Eight years after this incident Kanghi, who had previously allowed the missionaries to reside within the precincts of the palace, gave them permission to build a church adjoining their place of residence. Not merely did he grant them the site for the proposed building, but he presented each of the missionaries with the sum of fifty golden crowns, or more probably taels, to enable each to subscribe that amount towards the cost of construction. Such princely generosity and consideration have rarely been equalled.
The position of the Christian missionaries was, therefore, not only secure, but also of considerable influence and profit during the greater portion of Kanghi's reign. This unprecedented success—for elsewhere in Asia Christianity made but slow and fitful progress—encouraged the members of the Jesuit order to believe that in the dense masses of China they had found fit and willing subjects to receive the great truths of the simplest and most beautiful of inspired religions. Had there been danger in the path they would not have held back from the adventure, but the very friendliness of Kanghi offered a further inducement to them to attempt it. Every year was marked by the arrival at Canton of recruits for those who were spreading the truths of Christianity, and it became the order of the day at Paris and at Rome to seize the opportunity afforded by the presence on-the throne of Pekin of a sovereign sympathetic in his views, and of an exceptionally just cast of mind. The policy was intelligible and would have been sound, had there been any real leaning towards Christianity among the Chinese. As there was none, but only a contemptuous indifference towards "the men from over the sea," this undue haste and precipitance in snatching at what seemed a prize provoked dangers that might have been averted by a more cautious and circumspect manner of proceeding. Kanghi's friendship alone enabled them to hold their ground, and with each succeeding illness after the