High Church Anglicans and American Presbyterians in Shantung University
By Arthur Judson Brown.
From The Constructive Quarterly, 1913, pp. 777-794.
The Editor of THE CONSTRUCTIVE QUARTERLY has asked me to describe the course of the American Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions in dealing with a concrete case of co-operation in educational work in China with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel of the Church of England. It has seemed wise to make the statement substantially in the form in which it was prepared at the time for the American Presbyterian Mission in Shantung. As the object was to explain why the Presbyterian Board advised its missionaries to withdraw their objection to the admission of the Anglican Mission into the educational union on the terms stated by the Rt. Rev. H. H. Montgomery, D.D., Secretary of the S. P. G., the reader will understand why no attempt is made to argue the question with that Society or to speak for the English Baptist Society, which is also a party to the union.
We approached the question from the viewpoint of a conviction that present sectarian divisions are not in accord with the mind of Christ, and that the widening recognition of the necessity for closer co-operation is one of the most notable evidences of growing obedience to the Spirit of God throughout Christendom. The World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910 brought into clear relief the fact that these divisions are seriously hindering the effort to make Christ known [777/778] to the non-Christian world, and it led all who attended it to feel that redoubled efforts toward unity and cooperation should be made. The Conference was in itself a telling demonstration of this longing for unity and of the further fact that foreign missionary work is the most promising sphere in which it can be made practically operative under present conditions.
The widest separation is between the High Church party in the Anglican Communion and the other Communions. These two streams of Christian thought and life have flowed apart for centuries. They have now begun to touch in a practicable co-operative effort in the Arts College of the Shantung Christian University in China. The circumstances were of special interest and led us to ask: If Anglicans and Presbyterians cannot get together in college education in Shantung, what ground is there for believing that they can get together in anything anywhere? The reasons which apply against co-operation in this particular instance are general in their application, and if they are decisive here must be deemed decisive elsewhere. The question, therefore, which confronted the Societies concerned was of unique and perhaps historic significance.
In 1908, the Rt. Rev. Geoffrey D. Iliff, Anglican Bishop of the Shantung Mission of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, intimated a desire to unite with the American Presbyterian and English Baptist Missions in higher educational work as represented by the Arts College of the Shantung Christian University at Wei-hsien. We remember with gratification the cordial spirit which he manifested and the equally cordial spirit in which he was met by the Presbyterian and Baptist missionaries. God evidently moved in all hearts, and a mutually satisfactory arrangement was easily and amicably made, in accordance with which Mr. H. S. Cousens, of the S. P. G. Mission, entered the faculty of the College and students from the Anglican Mission were sent to the institution.
 The S. P. G. in London wrote to Bishop Iliff that the Society could approve the arrangement only on condition that the Anglican Mission should have a separate hostel, including a dormitory and chapel, for its own students. I well remember the conference which I had with the University Council and Bishop Iliff when I was in Wei-hsien in November, 1909, and the brotherly candour and mutual good-will which characterized the discussion. No difficulty was experienced in coming to a satisfactory adjustment with that truly catholic Bishop. A few Presbyterians had doubts, but February, 1910, the University Council formally approved the proposal, and the Presbyterian Board, not without misgivings on the part of one or two of its members, but with the clear conviction of a large majority that it was better to have union with the hostel than not to have union at all, took the following action, May 16, of that year:
"The Board approved the action of the University Council of the Shantung Christian University agreeing to the proposal of the Anglican Mission of the S. P. G. to erect a hostel for its students in connection with the Arts College at Wei-hsien; with the understanding that a hostel includes a separate dormitory, chapel and residence for the professor representing that Mission; and with the further understanding that the students will take the regular classes in religious subjects, attend the daily morning devotional services, and fully share in the common life of the College as represented by the Literary Societies, the Y. M. C. A., and athletics."
This yielding on the part of the University Council and the Presbyterian Board appeared to remove all difficulties in the field. In the following October, Bishop Montgomery, Secretary of the S. P. G., visited Wei-hsien and further conferences were held. His own sense of duty and his fuller knowledge of the views of his Society and its constituents led him to state the conditions of the S. P. G. in stronger terms. In response to a request by the missionaries to put them in writing, he gave them the following statement, dated October 2, 1910:
"The position of the S. P. G. in regard to joint educational enterprises is as follows:
 "It is prepared, though with opposition from certain members, to adopt the hostel plan as known in Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto, and other places, interdenominational and not undenominational. Our definition of these two terms is as follows: Undenominational means sinking differences as far as it is possible in order to meet on some common ground, a least common denominator of Christianity. Interdenominational is uniting on a different principle, namely, not desiring to sink any differences, but to ask each denomination to come with its full dogmatic system not watered down; on religious subjects no compromises; but to join in general education, in games, etc., while conserving a full Church life, and teaching the Faith dogmatically and wholeheartedly; always providing that all who are not in communion with them are treated as worthy of all respect, courtesy and honour.
"On these lines, it would appear that an Anglican hostel at Wei-hsien must be one that develops its own full, daily, religious life on quite strong lines: daily worship twice a day in a Chapel properly vested and consecrated, celebrations of Holy Communion on all appointed days whether on week days or Sundays, all the fasts and festivals of the Church's year faithfully kept, but all so arranged that there should be no interference with the educational curriculum of the College. There would be no room for common daily worship on non-Anglican lines, but occasional meetings for prayer would, no doubt, be arranged profitably on the lines of the students' union. It would appear to be absolutely necessary that there should be a chaplain in Holy Orders.
"Our idea is that these ideals are demanded of the Anglican Church. A truncated Anglicanism we have no use for. Our system is nothing if not dogmatic. Many questions of orders, creeds, etc., are closed for us; ours is a system based on the Sacramental basis. But we are dogmatic on the positive side; we do not indulge in anathemas against others. We give to others the freedom we claim for ourselves.
"A perusal (for the first time) of the resolutions of the Wei-hsien Council seems to show that they really contemplate an alliance on the undenominational basis, with some slight exceptions. They do not contemplate frank and full interdenominationalism. If I may put it humorously and without offence, I think Wei-hsien College is really ‘dogmatically undenominational,' and that any deviation from this dogma is painful. In that case, I think Wei-hsien, for its own sake, must consider whether it is wise to insert into its system the Anglican pill. It may have great purgative results. It may lead Baptists and others to claim like privileges. On our side, we should welcome this as settling the interdenominational principle; but it seems to me that it is a new principle at Wei-hsien. I have been asked whether common meals break the principle. I am far from saying that it does. At present, I think the Anglican pill would have greater effect if taken at meals.
"We desire to have our full influence on any college we are allied with, but with perfect respect for others.
"In all I have said, I have tried to speak for S. P. G. and must guard myself from dictating to the Diocese of Shantung. Our influence only comes in because grants are asked from us for students at Wei-hsien. We are not in charge of any diocese and control no diocese. But there are times when we have to say to a diocese with utmost respect: Our supporters would not approve of a grant for such and such a purpose.
"(Signed) H. H. MONTGOMERY, Bishop."
 Bishop Montgomery afterwards wrote that he had no idea that his memorandum would "become a state paper," that after "a delightful evening with the missionaries at Wei-hsien, at which we spoke most frankly to each other with plenty of fun and laughter about our differences," he was asked "to send them a draft of his position," and that he did so in the same spirit of genial fellowship in which they had been talking; but that if we would bear this explanation in mind, he was not sorry that the document had gone to our Board. We thoroughly appreciated this, and we were heartily glad that it came as it did, for, as he well said, "it makes things so plain."
His statement, however, considerably upset the Pres: byterian Mission and it passed tale following resolution:
"Inasmuch as the statement of Bishop Montgomery, Secretary of the S.P.G., dated at Wei-hsien, October 2, 1910, indicates that the Anglican Mission is not prepared to enter the Arts College on the lines defined by the University Council, January, 1910, we feel that union at this stage is impracticable. We appreciate the clearness and candour of Bishop Montgomery's communication. We also rejoice in the fraternal spirit of Bishop Iliff and of Mr. Cousens, so abundantly manifested in their efforts to effect a union in educational work, and we continue to hope that some way may yet be found to bring about such a consummation."
This action of the Mission, together with a copy of Bishop Montgomery's statement, then came to the Presbyterian Board in New York for review, and it fell to me to handle it as Executive Secretary for northern China. I felt that when Bishop Montgomery's statement was examined leisurely and carefully the first unpleasant impression was somewhat modified. It became evident that he was under a misapprehension as to what we believed that the union involved; that he imagined that the S. P. G. was expected to compromise its historical position on points which it regards as vital; and that he felt obliged, in loyalty to his Society and its constituents and in order that future misunderstanding might be avoided, to state his views in frank and almost aggressive [781/782] terms. Making due allowance for a certain natural vehemence of expression in the circumstances, was not his essential position. that which some stalwart Presbyterians would insist upon if the proposal were to send Presbyterian students to an institution whose large faculty and student body were distinctively High Anglican? Would they not stipulate that they did not abandon their Presbyterian convictions and that they reserved the right to give their students separate religious instruction? Non-Conformists have such rights at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and Princeton University today, while making attendance at Sunday services obligatory, excuses Episcopal students who wish to attend their own service. Bishop Montgomery was quite right in referring to the American Baptists as a probable instance in point. The difference between Presbyterians and Anglicans is really less fundamental than the difference between Presbyterians and Southern Baptists. If the Missionary Society of the Southern Baptist Convention accepts our cordial invitation to enter the College union in Shantung, it will undoubtedly do so without changing one iota of its convictions on the points which now prevent its members from recognizing our baptism or communing with us in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper; but no Presbyterian would think of excluding them from the college on that account. It is well known that each of the larger communions includes liberals and conservatives, high churchmen and low churchmen, and that each party laments that the other is "making shipwreck" of the faith. Liberal and conservative Presbyterians are quite as far apart as the Anglican and Presbyterian communions, and so are High Church and Low Church Anglicans. But they are in organic church union and expect to remain so. Can a communion consistently demand, as a condition of interdenominational co-operation, a unity of belief which does not exist in its own ranks?
 Let us rid ourselves of the idea that union means uniformity, that a Church or an educational institution must be confined to those who think alike in all things. This wrong and non-Scriptural conception--this idea that a Church is composed only of those who think exactly alike or are personally congenial--has split the followers of Christ into hundreds of sects. Any one can co-operate with those who fully agree with him; there is no merit in that sort of co-operation. But it takes a big soul, a mind and heart pervaded by the spirit of Christ, to work with those who differ with him. This is the sort of co-operation which, in the Providence of God, missionaries in Shantung have been given the opportunity to demonstrate as practicable.
Bishop Montgomery's distinction between the terms "undenominational" and "interdenominational" is in accord with the convictions of multitudes of thoughtful men in all communions. Some of us would not talk of entering a co-operative enterprise with a "full dogmatic system" and of "teaching the faith dogmatically;" but we agree with Bishop Montgomery when he says that we do not want to reduce our convictions to "a least common denominator of Christianity." I believe with the Rt. Rev. Charles P. Anderson, D. D., of Chicago, when he said at the Men's National Missionary Congress in May, 1910:
"It is not what we can give up, but what we can give. I have a horror of that kind of unity that would be based'on a sort of residuum. I am not attracted by unity on the basis of an irreducible minimum. I do not want to belong to a Church of minimums; I want to belong to a Church of maximums--maximum beliefs, maximum duties, maximum sacrifices. The Church of minimums is incapable of producing martyrdoms. There, are things that we can give up, but nobody is asking anybody to give up anything that is of value."
There are of course limitations to this line of argument which Bishop Anderson would be among the first to recognize. One of the chief reasons why the people of God are divided into so many sects is because so many [783/784] man-made interpretations of Scripture, forms of organization and methods of procedure are conscientiously exalted as if they were fundamental verities. A union which would include all these artificial idiosyncrasies of faith and practice, and which does not ask anybody to give up anything, would be an ecclesiastical zoological garden, a mere mechanical joining of unrelated and unrelatable elements which would be quite as bad as our present divided situation. We shall not get very far on the road to the unity for which Christ prayed until each of us reconsiders upon his knees the points which separate him from his Christian brethren and solemnly and searchingly asks himself whether these points are as vital as had been imagined; whether it is probable that the Christ who promised to be with His disciples "alway," and the Holy Spirit who was to "guide" them "into all the truth," made a particular group of believers the only recipient of these Divine blessings and left all other groups to their own devices, so that the only way to unite the followers of Christ is for all the others to give up their ideas and come over to its communion. Probably most of us and on both sides have some thinking and praying to do along these lines. But if we give the phrase "anything that is of value" the large meaning which Bishop Anderson evidently intended, we must heartily concur in his view.
Meantime, those of us who are not Anglicans should do that justice to their principles which we expect them to do to ours. The Anglicans have a noble vision of the union of the people of God, a union which is to include all the historic branches of the Christian ChurchProtestant, Roman and Greek. For that union they ardently hope and earnestly pray. They recognize as we do the impossibilities involved in the policies of the Vatican and the Holy Synod. But they nevertheless believe that a time will come when these impossibilities will no longer exist. They firmly hold that the Anglican [784/785] Church affords the best basis that is now known for the reunion of Christendom. They therefore conceive it to be their sacred duty to preserve that basis inviolate, at least until some better one appears. They seem unyielding to Non-Conformists because, they feel that any impairment of their position to suit a particular communion on one side would jeopardize to that extent the ultimate acceptability of their position to communions on the other side, and that they have no alternative but to adhere to their historic Church through good and evil report, in the confidence that in time the scattered and separated groups of Christians will find in that Church their common point of rally and reunion. I am aware that it may be said that this is simply common sectarianism the world over, that every sect confidently expects to inherit the earth. I åm aware too that many Non-Conformists feel that some Anglicans hold their position with a superciliousness toward others which is more pharasaic than Christian. But I could name other communions of whichil these things might also be said, and of which they have been said from the days of John Knox and Cotton Mather down to the "Wee Frees" of modern Scotland and certain Presbyterians and Baptists in America whom a desire to live at peace with my neighbours prevents me from indicating by name. At any rate, we, too, long for the union of true believers; and while we may not share the conviction of many Anglicans that it will come on the basis of their Church, we are not prepared to hold aloof from them because they adhere with unflinching fidelity to the Church which they reverently believe is called of God to be the unifying principle of a divided Christendom. Let us rather work with them, honouring their loyalty to their faith as we expect them to honour ours, and joyfully believing that the Spirit of God will in His own way and time bring us all to the desired haven of Christian fellowship.
 We may remember in this connection that, while Bishop Montgomery and his Society were dealing with questions which they regard as fundamental, these questions from our viewpoint relate to method or expediency. Would we have been justified in destroying a union rather than compromise on points which we deemed of subordinate importance as compared with the essential verities of our Christian faith? It is our belief in God, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Scriptures, in sin, repentance, salvation and service which are fundamental to us. When brethren agree with us on all of these points, why should we refuse to co-operate with them because they differ with us about the orders of the Church?
After all, what was it that we were asked to give up? Nothing. Our own freedom was not to be impaired in the slightest degree. Non-Anglicans would still form about nine-tenths of the faculty and probably more than nine-tenths of the student body. The university life would go on as before. We were simply expected to recognize the right of the Anglican professor and students to have separate worship and religious instruction, which we knew would be as loyal to the teachings of God's Word in the things which we count essential as our own instruction would be. This consideration should be thrown into a strong relief. We were not asked to give up anything, but merely to permit Anglicans to enter the College without compromising convictions which they deemed sacred. We were therefore unwilling to be put in the position of demanding concessions of others which we did not intend to concede for ourselves, unwilling to admit that anything which we counted vital to our faith might be jeopardized if we recognized the right of other loyal servants of God to worship Him in the way which they deemed necessary.
It was objected that the Anglican hostel would have a bad effect upon the students by advertising our [786/787] differences. But does any one seriously imagine that these differences could be concealed by shutting Anglican students out of the College? That would only advertise them the more widely, and give the Chinese the impression that we are hopelessly divided. The Chinese already know that Christians differ among themselves; what they now need to know is that Presbyterians at least do not regard these differences as vital enough to prevent co-operation.
Is there not danger that we may magnify the harmful consequences of union on such terms? Would one or two Anglican professors in a faculty of a score or more, and a few dozen Chinese youths, who probably care little about the point at issue and who are a small fraction of a student body of several hundred men, be likely to exert a large divisive influence? The whole current of university life would be against such an effort if made. If there was any risk, it was on their side, not ours. Bishop Montgomery unhesitatingly avowed his readiness to take that risk, and confidently predicted that "the little Anglican pill may have great purgative results." But we were not prepared to admit that our own position is so weak and the force of our Christian conception so slight that we dared not enter into co-operative university relations with a sister Society, even though it could send a considerably larger number of students than we knew that it could send. The resultant separations would probably not be as wide as those which result from the secret fraternities in America and the social clubs which split into rival cliques the students of institutions which do not permit fraternities.
An analysis of Bishop Montgomery's statement shows no material change from the position explained by Bishop Iliff in the conference at Wei-hsien in November, 1909, and approved by the Presbyterian Board, May 16, 1910; with, perhaps, the exception that the instruction in religious subjects should be made by the Anglican member [787/788] of the faculty. But this exception is a minor matter. What we deem essential is that religious instruction should be given by a Christian professor. It is a mere detail whether the Anglican students get it separately or in the general classes. The vital thing is that they get it. We naturally prefer that all students should be taught together; but surely this point is not important enough to justify the severance of our relations. If the American Baptists enter the union, as we hope they will, they will almost certainly feel, as Bishop Montgomery suggests, that their students must have some special religious instruction which they alone can give.
Bishop Montgomery's references to "fasts and festivals of the Church's year," "a chapel properly consecrated and vested," "a chaplain in Holy Orders," and "celebrations of Holy Communion on all appointed days," sound portentously controversial to men of Puritan ancestry. But a saving sense of humour will enable us to remember that Presbyterians observe such "fasts and festivals" as Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Easter, and, in an increasing number of places, Good Friday, on which day business in New York is now generally suspended, while New England makes it a legal holiday. "A chapel properly consecrated" is simply a dedicated church. "Vestments" have been officially adopted for the clergy in the chapel of our most conservative Presbyterian theological seminary at Princeton, New Jersey, and a large and rapidly increasing number of Presbyterian pastors wear them every Sunday. "A chaplain in Holy Orders" means an ordained clergyman of the Church of England who, from our viewpoint, has the same status as our own ordained men who can trace their ecclesiastical lineage back through the Church of Scotland to the same source as the Anglicans trace theirs. "Celebrations of Holy Communion" are observances of the Lord's Supper, which we count quite as "holy" as the Anglicans do. The frequency with which [788/789] this Sacrament should be observed is a question on which Presbyterians themselves widely differ, historic practice having ranged all the way from once a month to, once a year. We need not get excited because Bishop Montgomery applies the terminology of the Church of England to things that are in more or less common use in all the Churches. If he puts a different significance into some of them, we continue free to practise our own interpretation. His statement that "ours is a system based on the sacramental basis" indicates a principle which apparently works out into wider differences; but, as I have already intimated, these differences are as wide within the Anglican communion as they are outside of it. If they are compatible with union in a Church, they are certainly not incompatible with co-operation with Presbyterians in a college, especially one which does not teach theology or ecclesiology.
We should remember at this point that, under the rules of the Church of England and the S.P.G., the operation of an educational union does not rest with the Society in London but with the local Bishop. Bishop Montgomery frankly admits this in the closing paragraph of his statement, distinctly stating that his "influence only comes, in because grants are asked from us for students" and that "we are not in charge of any diocese and control no diocese." Whatever the theory, the practice will be determined by the Bishop and his appointee on the faculty. Everyone in China knows what kind of a man Bishop Iliff is. Many of our missionaries have spoken in the highest terms of the breadth and warmth of his Christian spirit and the great satisfaction which they have found in co-operating with him. It is true that a change of Bishops might bring in a man of narrower outlook; but if experience should ever prove disastrous, Article VIII of the Basis of Union provides an easy way of ending it on due notice being given by either party. Bishop Montgomery's statement did not indicate the slightest [789/790] desire to press the matter, and probably the arrangement could be cancelled almost any time by our purchase of the Anglican building. Meantime, we did not need to make up our minds in advance that the plan would not work. It could at least be tried.
This article should not be interpreted as a criticism upon missionaries who believed that union on Bishop Montgomery's terms was impracticable. So far from being sectarian, the very essence of their position was a desire to keep the College free from sectarianism. Many of them voted as they did with deep grief, for they were eager to have all the Missions in the Province unite in the work of the University. The first impression which the reading of Bishop Montgomery's statement made upon us was probably about the same as the first impression in Shantung. This is a very difficult and complicated question, and there are undoubtedly two sides to it. Those of us, however, who object to the Anglican position may discreetly remember that such an objection may work both ways. It will hardly do for us to protest against the Anglicans doing what they desire, while we reserve our right to do what we please. Bishop Montgomery's statement indicates his belief that the shoe was on our foot, for he said that we were "dogmatically undenominational." If we did not relinquish any of our convictions, but asked him to relinquish some of his, what was the advantage of our position? At any rate, if the effort to co-operate was to fail, let it not be said that Presbyterians were responsible for the disaster. Even if others did seem to be aggressively sectarian, was that any reason why we should be? Let us be catholic Christians ourselves, no matter what others are; and if the attempt to work together does not succeed, let the full responsibility rest elsewhere.
The alternative of admitting the Anglicans to the University on their own terms would be that this first [790/791] and only practical effort to unite Anglicans and Presbyterians on any kind of a platform would fail; that Chinese students of the Anglican Mission would be shut out of the University; that a principle would be adopted which would probably exclude some other communions; that instead of developing a University which could exert a united and commanding Christian leadership in Shantung, we must see its natural constituency limited and perhaps divided; and that we must rest under the implication that Presbyterians insist on full rights for themselves but are not willing to work with others who insist upon theirs.
I do not wish to be understood as defending the position of the S.P.G. It is not my place to do that and I have no inclination to attempt it anyway. If it be said that my presentation of the case is one-sided, that I urged Presbyterians to yield but apparently justified Anglicans in rigidly adhering to their position, I reply that it was "a condition that confronted us and not a theory"--a concrete question whether Presbyterians should consent to co-operation in educational work on certain terms, or have no co-operation at all. We had to deal with the matter as Presbyterians addressing Presbyterians. It was therefore incumbent upon our Board to go as far as it could without sacrificing any essential position. This article is designed to explain what we did and why we did it. How far the S.P.G. ought to have gone toward us was a separate question which lay beyond our jurisdiction. If that is to be discussed, an Anglican should discuss it.
But we were not thinking primarily of the S.P.G. but of co-operation and the promotion of unity, and they appear to us to be far more important to the cause of Christ than hostels and vestments. I am aware that it may be objected that co-operation and unity are precisely what Bishop Montgomery's statement rendered impossible; but we felt that this should not be assumed in advance.
 Governed by these considerations and with the cordial concurrence of my executive colleagues, I presented the following minute to the Presbyterian Board December 19, 1910, and it was adopted with only one dissenting vote:
"Consideration was given to a written statement dated October 2, 1910, by the Rt. Rev. H. H. Montgomery, D.D., Secretary of the S.P.G., London, England, and then in Wei-hsien, China, in conference with our missionaries regarding the terms on which the S.P.G. could unite with other Societies of Foreign Missions in the Shantung Christian University. His statement was read to the Board and also the action of the West Shantung Mission which deemed union on such terms impracticable.
"The Board does not understand that when a Society unites with other Societies in educational work, such union necessarily implies any surrender or compromise of the essential principles and methods of the Church which the Society represents. We are none the less Presbyterians because we heartily co-operate with our fellow-Christians of other communions. As the foreign missionary agency of the Presbyterian Church, the Board has neither the power nor the inclination to change the essential tenets of that Church. We cordially recognize that union in such an enterprise should be on terms large enough to include reasonable variations, and not on terms so narrow as to exclude or belittle what any co-operating Society deems vital. The Board holds, nevertheless, that as Christian men confront the tremendous problems of the non-Christian world, they should feel that the questions of faith and practice on which they are in substantial agreement, and for the inculcation of which they are in China, are far more important and fundamental than the questions on which they differ. The Board regrets that Bishop Montgomery deemed it his duty to insist so strongly on these differences, but it unhesitatingly believes that his object in doing so was to guard in the spirit of Christian candour against what he feared might be a misunderstanding of the historic position of the S.P.G., and not to intimate any disposition to enter the educational union in a divisive spirit. We are the more encouraged to take this view because of the fact that union in higher education with the Anglican Mission in Shantung has been in practical operation for two years, though as yet without the separate hostel, and that by the cordial testimony of our missionaries, Anglicans, Baptists, and Presbyterians have worked together in perfect harmony for the main purpose for which the College exists, and without any sacrifice of the convictions on other matters for which the different communions stand. The desire of the Anglicans to have a dormitory for their own students and to cultivate their religious life in their own chapel does not impress the Board as a sufficient reason for not welcoming them to a place in the University; especially as the S.P.G. proposes to bear the expense which its plans involve and as its students are to form an integral part of the common student body in recitations, literary societies, athletic exercises, meals, social life, and ‘occasional meetings for prayer on the lines of the Students' Union.' We are not asked to modify our convictions or our practices in any particular. The University life goes on as before. We have the same freedom to cultivate the religious life of our students as the Anglicans have to cultivate the religious life of theirs. [792/793] Admitting Non-Conformists with their separate chapels to Oxford University did not make trouble there, and we are unable to see why admitting Anglicans with their separate chapel to the Shantung Christian University should make trouble in China. The Board not only favours the coming of the Anglicans, but it is cordially prepared to favour the admission into the University of the American Southern Baptists on the same terms, if the Baptists desire them. Union in educational work and ecclesiastical uniformity are not synonymous. The Board would deem it a calamity and a grave departure from the best traditions of the Presbyterian Church if we were to close the doors of our University to Christian brethren for no other reason than that they wish at their own expense, in their own way, and in courteous recognition of the rights of others, to conserve the teachings which they deem sacred.
"The Board therefore reaffirms its action of May 16, approving the entrance of the Anglican Mission to the University, and it expresses its entire confidence that the Presbyterian missionaries in Shantung will be willing to give the union a fair trial, and to avoid anything which could lay at their door responsibility for the failure of an effort which, however imperfect in some respects, is nevertheless the only practicable way at present of making a beginning in co-operative relations which may have larger historic significance than we now comprehend. The spirit of Christ in all hearts can make almost any basis of union a blessing to China and to the world."
It may be that our geographical distance from the region of operations, while enabling us to view the question in some broader aspects and with a more adequate recognition of the gravity of the issues involved, may at the same time lessen our ability to appreciate the local difficulties which must be adjusted on the field. We realized that it was easier for us in New York to approve of such a union than it was for missionaries in China to carry it out. But we well knew the depth and earnestness of their Christian spirit. We were sure that they were most cordially doing everything that could reasonably be done to make this union effective, and that even those who were most seriously troubled by its terms were at least willing to give it a fair trial.
The result has abundarltly justified our faith both in the plan and in the missionaries who were to carry it into effect. Although the erection of the hostel awaits the removal of the Arts College to the new University center at Tsinan-fu, the capital of the Province, the union in educational work at Wei-hsien has been in successful [793/794] and happy operation for three years since our Board's action was taken, and, including the two prior years, five years in all. If we cannot get together on all points, we are at least getting together on some; and perhaps others will develop from them. Enough has already been accomplished to prove conclusively that American Presbyterians, English Baptists and High Church Anglicans can harmoniously and effectively co-operate in educational work without any sacrifice of principle, where the men concerned have the mind of Christ. Each of these great communions is carrying into the University "its full dogmatic system," and the result is not discord but large and catholic concord.
The experience should be helpful elsewhere. The co-operation which we all desire will never spring full orbed into being. A beginning must be made, small perhaps and very imperfect; but when an opportunity opens to make that beginning, let us meet it with deep solemnity and a willingness to make any adjustment which does not involve disloyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ. He who prayed with unutterable yearning that His disciples might "be one" will surely help them in any effort to walk together in loving service in His Holy Name.