Project Canterbury

Charles Perry Scott
First Bishop in North China

By the Right Reverend Bishop Montgomery, D.D.

[London] Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1928.

Chapter VII. Life from 1901-1913.

The bishop returned to England from Nagasaki, accompanied by the Rev. Roland Allen, Deaconess Jessie Ransome, and Miss Grimwade, arriving on November 3, 1900. He made his home with his eldest brother in Wanstead, finding it necessary, however, to do no public work for a month or two, except attendance at committees of his Association.

(The following breathes peace.)

"December 16,1900, YORK.--The Minster is a great joy to me: I heard special Advent music on Friday, from The Last Judgment; a most exquisite passage unknown to me (the Saints before the throne, with Amen, and Psalms--and the wiping away the tears,--and their song of 'Hail, Redeemer'). It was quite overwhelming, and to think that not only my dearest one, and those martyred priests, but some of the rough 'troublesome' Chinese Christians were understanding what it all really meant, while we only saw and heard, and sang 'through a glass, darkly.' Oh! how darkly. Sometimes I wonder if those just gone from us do know much more than they knew here, or whether the increase of knowledge comes very gradually, as here. Vain surmisings!"


The bishop dealt fully with this question in England, and all will agree that he mingled mercy with justice. In March, 1901, he wrote for his magazine: "I am not fully informed as to how far pledges to recant were exacted from the Christians of our own Communion. One of the Protestant missionaries in Shantung relates how, when the demand was made by the magistrates that all the Chinese Christians should renounce their connexion with Christianity, the pastors went to the Yamen and offered their lives as substitutes for those of the whole flock. They were told that their lives were forfeit already, and that they could not therefore atone for others; they were required to sign a paper promising (1) to read no foreign books, (2) never to enter a church or have intercourse with foreigners, (3) cease to persuade people to become Christians. On the pastors signing this paper the whole of their people would be held to have recanted. It was stated that this was a temporary expedient, to be repudiated when happier days came. Under these circumstances the men signed."

But Yuan Shih kai, the distinguished Governor of Shantung, issued an Edict repudiating the action of the magistrates, as follows:--

"Their orders were not on my instructions ... all pledges to recant ... or promises of whatever kind to the same effect are null and void. . . . You have been preaching in China many years, and without exception exhort men concerning righteousness: your Church customs are strict and correct, and all your converts observe them. ... I propose hereafter to have lasting peace. With wishes for your happiness.

At the Annual Meeting of the North China Mission Association, in June, 1901, the bishop handled important subjects.

According to reports received he said that a very large number of Christians had been put to death, and that others had lost all they had rather than recant; and continued: "So far as my own experience goes we have not found many of these latter, if any, among those Christians whom we have brought into the Church. This is a very sad thing to have to say, but I prefer to say it, and to say it here, because it is right that things should be known as they are. ... I take it that the form in which the temptation was presented to many of the Chinese Christians was this: 'You have only got to sign your name or to burn incense; we know perfectly well you believe in Christ just the same as you did; a week hence, or a month hence, when the trouble is over you will again be able to worship him as before.' Thus the tempter comes.... Would you feel that all your work with these people had been in vain; that these are no Christians? No, I would say; no more than I should feel that your Christianity is vain if you have failed on one or two occasions to stand up and speak for Christ, even when you have not had hanging over you the prospect of instant death. . . . We know how our Lord received back St. Peter, and we know that was a part of his training for a splendid and glorious future for the Church of Christ."


An important question called for an answer, and without delay: namely, were any claims for compensation to be made on the Chinese Government for losses recently sustained? In this matter the S.P.G. and Bishop Scott cordially concurred in resolving that the North China diocese should neither claim nor accept any compensation. The bishop had, indeed, instructed Mr. Norris to prepare a statement of losses, this being needful for those at home who would have to appeal for funds. But no request was made to the Chinese authorities. In order, however, to make the situation quite clear, it must be stated that claims were made for Tientsin and for Yung-ching--not by the Mission, but by the British Military Expedition. In the case of Tientsin a claim was made on behalf of the British Community; consequently the Mission in Tientsin received some aid. The case of Yung-ching was more complicated. The British military authorities had, on their own initiative claimed £6000 from the town and district, "in compensation for the murder of Messrs. Norman and Robinson," and without the knowledge of the Mission. Apparently, in the opinion of the Legation, it was impossible to withdraw, once the claim had been made; but every effort was now made by Mr. Norris to ensure that the money should be spent as far as possible in Yung-ching for the relief of the Chinese Christians. The details are given in full in The Land of Sinim for July, 1901, and need hardly be put down fully here. It is sufficient to state that a small sum was spent on the Mission compound, and also to restore the value of the property of the murdered missionaries; the rest was devoted to Chinese widows and orphans, to schools, to compensation for destroyed Chinese houses and such other objects. The British Minister highly approved of the action taken by the Mission in not claiming any sum whatever for the total destruction of Mission property in Peking, or for the loss of the personal property of missionaries in that capital: Sir Claude Macdonald, indeed, sent a handsome donation to the Mission funds in recognition of the course taken.

The Annual Meeting of the North China Association in that year was also marked by some other important announcements. Lord Colville, after serving as President since 1874, retired in favour of the Bishop of S. Andrew's (Dr. Wilkinson).

At the same meeting it was also announced that an anonymous donor had provided funds for the income of a new missionary bishop in Shantung, and that it was proposed to create that district into a new missionary diocese. Today we know that the capital sum for the episcopal stipend of the new bishop, handed to the Colonial Bishoprics' fund, and amounting in the end to £10,000, was provided by Bishop Corfe. To this was added a certain sum from the North China Endowment by Bishop Scott.

The Archbishop of Canterbury now offered to consecrate the Rev. F. L. Norris as the first bishop in Shantung, but Mr. Norris felt compelled to refuse the offer after much consideration.

Again, consequent upon the relief thus given to North China on one side, Bishop Scott accepted on the other side, jurisdiction over Anglicans in Manchuria, thus in turn, relieving Bishop Corfe in Corea of a very heavy responsibility.

That memorable Annual Meeting did not close without a very warm recognition of the labours of the Rev. Mackwood Stevens, as Secretary, throughout the troubled times.

The time had now come for Scott to return to his charge. Ere he starts, let us look back on that year at home. Mrs. Cockin, his sister, says of the bishop: "When he came home in 1900 after all his sorrows, I cannot describe to you the beautiful patience and cheerfulness with which he lived among us all, not allowing his personal sorrow to spoil the pleasure of all the young people with whom he was thrown."

We can well believe it. Patience was doing its perfect work, and he would return--almost like Nehemiah in this matter--to rebuild the sanctuaries. A mellowed, a deeper character, returned in the autumn of 1901 to China, followed by all the workers who had come home for their furlough.

And here I may add, that the English bishops, with the help of the Rev. John Storrs, at St. Peter's, Eaton Square, subscribed together to present the bishop with a fresh library in place of what he had lost. Nearly £100 were thus spent and the books were chosen by the Bishop of Gloucester (Dr. Gibson).

A general appeal was also made for books for all the missionaries who had suffered similar losses--and with good success.


Perhaps I can best show the advance now made by first stating some of the chief events of the next twelve years.

1902--Jan. 1, Conference in Peking to survey the field.

New quarters chosen in Peking. All Saints', Tientsin, consecrated in July; the work of A. C. Moule and G. D. Iliff.

1903--G. D. Iliff consecrated first Bishop of Shantung on SS. Simon & Jude's Day.

1904--The Chapel of St. Faith added to All Saints', Tientsin, Jan. 15: a memorial to the late Mrs. Scott, consecrated by Bishop Scott.

St. Faith's Girls' School opened on the new Mission premises in Peking, May 17.

Bishop Corfe resigned his See of Corea on St. James' Day.

1905--Three Chinese deacons ordained.

Three "standard bearers" passed to their rest: Deaconess Jessie Ransome, Oct. 2; Professor Montagu Burrows; Mr. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission. (No apology is needed for mentioning the last-named.)

The first Diocesan Synod, in November. The Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Episcopate of Bishop Scott, celebrated by the determination to build a Cathedral in Peking, with the bishop as architect and clerk of the works; a chapel at the east end to be in memory of Deaconess Jessie Ransome; the whole to be a symbol of the spirit of hope for the work of God.

1906--St. Peter's Theological College, for Chinese Students, opened at Chefoo, under the Rev. F. Jones.

Ping-yin Church (St. Stephen's), consecrated; the work of the Rev. Henry Mathews.

The Church Anti-opium movement inaugurated by the five European Chinese bishops in China.

Canon John Scott passed away at Wanstead, August. 28.

Bishop Corfe arrived in Peking to act for a time as chaplain of the British Legation.

1907--First Conference of Clergy and Laity held in Peking, May.

First Conference of the Anglican Communion, held in Shanghai in April.

Bishop Wilkinson, Bishop of St. Andrews, and Primus, passed to his rest, Dec. n. The Bishop of Gloucester (Dr. Gibson) became President of the North China and Shantung Mission Association.

Consecration of the Cathedral of our Saviour, Peking.

1908--The Bishop was at home for the Lambeth Conference and the Pan-Anglican Congress.

1909--Meeting in Shanghai to prepare for the General Synod of the Chinese Church, the meeting to be in 1912.

1909.--Honan cut off from the North China diocese, and made a separate diocese supported by the Church in Canada.

The old Mission site in Peking cleared, and a boys' school for higher education begun to be built,--made possible by the gift from the Pan-Anglican thank-offering.

Bishop Corfe acting-chaplain at New-chuang.

1910.--A church at Moukden opened.

1911.--Outbreak of pneumonic plague in North China, Manchuria and Mongolia. The Revolution in China; Republic set up October 10.

1912.--The Rev. Frederick Day killed at Chi-chou by mutinous soldiers on March 4, the Rev. F. S. Hughes escaping as by a miracle. Formal Constitution of the Chung-Hua-Sheng-Kung-Hui (China - Holy - Catholic - Church). Bishop Scott the first President.

1913.--Resignation of Bishop Scott on SS. Simon and Jude's Day, the day also of his Consecration. The Rev. F. L. Norris his successor.

The Emperor of China and the Empress Dowager returned to Peking, making their entrance on January 6, 1902: a sight never to be forgotten by the foreign community. Nothing like it was possible in any other part of the world. And the event settled an important point for the Mission. Its centre would now remain in the Capital city.

(Comment on some of the events mentioned above.)

The Conference on January i, 1902, was epoch-making for the Mission. The bishop and his whole staff faced the future, and emphasised one leading conviction, namely: every effort must be made to establish a Chinese Ministry and to encourage the Chinese Christians to take fullest responsibility for the creation in time of their own Chinese Church. No need therefore for many more foreign clergy; the greatest need a Chinese Ministry. Only a few well qualified men from England were needed for training the Chinese. All money supplied by Chinese Christians to be kept separate from foreign contributions, and for the present no Chinese schools to be built with foreign money, or Chinese workers paid except by Chinese contributions.

These details will give a general idea of the policy now deliberately formulated.

Also, "in lawsuits arising from purely civil causes, the missionary (foreign) shall abstain--both directly and indirectly--from interference on behalf of Chinese Christians or others, and that this policy be made plain to the Chinese Christians and enquirers."

All Saints', Tientsin.--A beautiful church, and in 1910 I was glad to be able to worship in it--(the nave not completed). The greatest credit is due to the Revs. A. C. Moule and G. D. Iliff. I felt the same thrill of joy when I knelt in St. Stephen's, Ping-yin, the fine creation of Rev. H. Mathews. At the same time it is difficult to believe that the hand of the bishop cannot also be traced as helping behind the scenes.

The Ordination of three deacons in 1905 (the previous ordination of a deacon had taken place seventeen years before) was also the occasion for a letter to his clergy by the bishop, from which I quote what seems of permanent importance. He first thanked them for all suggestions, then spoke of Externals in Worship: how to keep the balance true; it was right to have a standard of worship, not to consider that "anything will do"; at the same time to secure that the Chinese brethren should not consider united worship impossible without certain accessories, and not to place the provision of such accessories above the infinitely more important duty of supporting the ministry and propagating the Faith. Further, that all churches for Chinese Christians must be in part built by Chinese contributions. Again, in cases of discipline, the opinion of the Christian community to be obtained in order that all such sentences might receive the moral support of the Church.

Another point of utmost importance. I give it in the bishop's own words:--

"Relations with Officials."--"I must content myself with earnestly asking you to keep in mind the spirit of the recommendations, and I would specially emphasise these points: (1) should you in any case feel it essential to communicate with a magistrate on a case of persecution, you should do so, not as exercising a right in which you can demand to be backed up, but as one gentleman dealing privately with another, in the hope of settling satisfactorily a matter which might otherwise breed trouble. (2) Before any such step, take all pains to find out, from a third party if possible, the facts of the case and the antecedents. (3) If the magistrate obviously does not intend to 'meet' you in the matter, it is not desirable to persist with a view of forcing him to do so.

"The priest must be ever on his guard . . . lest while nominally only the chairman and mouthpiece of the councils, he continues in fact to be dictator. ... He must be prepared to stand aside. . . ."

As has been already mentioned, the first Diocesan Synod was held in 1905. Under that head, and by the help of Bishop Norris, I set down Scott's chief contribution to the Chinese Prayer-Book.

Bishop Norris tells us in The East and The West, for April, 1927, that even in 1923 there were eight versions of the Chinese Prayer-Book in eleven dioceses. Bishop Scott brought out a revised edition of a version by Bishop Burdon in "Mandarin" in 1889. (The whole of this edition perished in the Mission compound in 1900.) In 1910, by immense labour, he produced, really single-handed, a revised book. Much later in time, after his retirement, he prepared the English form of Prayer for the State, afterwards put into Chinese by a Chinese scholar. The following is a translation of the Chinese back into English.

"Almighty God, Source of all power and might, Lord of every nation under heaven, look down upon the rulers and people of our country. Give to our rulers wisdom, righteousness and integrity: give to our people self-control, obedience, sincerity and every virtue, that they may pursue their callings with all diligence, in all contentment and peace. Grant that thus our rulers and people may so severally do their duty as in thy sight, that righteousness and peace may be established among us, and true religion and virtue be spread abroad throughout the world, for Jesus Christ's sake.--Amen."

For the book of 1910 (prepared by Bishop Scott), Archdeacon Armine King sent a contribution to the Prayer "for the Church." His is so revered a memory in Tokyo, and far beyond, that I hope I may append the few special sentences that are his in the Chinese Prayer book: "We beseech thee for the peace of the whole world; for all kings, princes, and governors, and especially thy servant our emperor "... (after "especially to this congregation here present"), "and those who are absent for any just cause" . . . (after "sickness or any other adversity") . . .

"Bring to repentance, O Lord, those who have erred and gone astray; lead forward the catechumens; convert them that are in darkness and error. Remember, O Lord, all that travel by sea or by land--sail with them that sail, journey with them that journey, giving them the fulfilment of their just desires. Further, we pray thee, O Lord, to bless the fruits and crops of the earth, that receiving the abundance of thy good things we may continually praise thee who givest food to all flesh. And we give thee thanks, O Lord, for thy manifold mercies vouchsafed to us and to thy whole Church. Amen."


I revert once more to this problem. The bishop writes in 1902, from Yung-ching: "It was deeply touching to have the Christians in, one by one, to tell me the history of their own bitter trials, their temptations, their weakness and their fall, or their escape from falling. This was preparatory to their Christmas Communion, at which we welcomed back those who had been cut off for more than a year from Communion and were anxiously desirous to 'keep the feast.' One of the oldest and most responsible men, one who had most reason to feel ashamed of his want of steadfastness, told me how he had been led on, and how he had deceived himself by the argument that so long as they did not bid him to renounce 'the Lord Jesus,' he might renounce 'the Church,' and promise to forsake it. Alter a long talk and prayer with him . . . as we knelt together, after a pause, I rose and stood waiting for him. He did not move, and after some length of time, he burst into tears and said: 'Pray, bishop, give me your blessing.' I felt no inclination to withhold it then."

The Church of our Saviour, Peking.--SS. Simon and Jude's day has surely been linked with the North China Mission in an unique manner. On that day, in different years, four bishops of Chinese dioceses have been consecrated. The Church of our Saviour, and the Ch'ung-te school chapel were consecrated, and Bishop Scott both began and ended his official episcopate on it. In 1905 the clergy of the North China diocese presented an address to their father-in-God, his twenty-fifth anniversary of consecration.

I quote a few lines: "Whether our time of service has been long or short, we are of one mind in wishing to record our gratitude for the fatherly love, the tender consideration, and the unfailing courtesy which your lordship has ever shown towards your clergy."

The cathedral was to be built to commemorate this episcopate, and also to be an earnest of future effort. Therefore it was to be large, holding perhaps 600, and there was to be a side-chapel for 150; also an immersion font--and Bishop Scott was to be its creator and builder, the foreman, the clerk of the works, everything, assisted however, by the Rev. Walter Canner.

It is also generally considered that this church was his best architectural achievement. I will anticipate and quote from two letters of his when the church was completed. "The new church will interest you much when we can get some good pictures. It rather astonishes me! I wonder where it came from! Plenty of faults, no doubt, many of which I see too well, but it has character, and is not the same as all other churches. It is more to look at than the first sketch made from rough plans would lead one to think." And later: "I am once more running about the country, having finished my church building, the most interesting bit of work of the kind I have ever had to do."

Later again in time, the nine small windows in the apse were filled with stained glass, in memory of three beloved benefactors, and indeed, founders--Bishop Wilkinson, Canon John Scott and Mr. Dudley Smith.

It is indeed amazing to know that the whole cost amounted to no more than £1,533, a proof of how cheap Chinese labour was in those days. At present rates in England the church would have cost more than £10,000. The various fittings for chancel and sanctuary were individual offerings. The chapel behind the altar screen is the "Ransome Memorial Chapel." The whole length of the church is 135 feet.

Reunion.--In 1905 the bishop addressed his staff on the question. "We have to decide whether it is not necessary for us to meet more than we have done with Christian men of various denominations, in order to convince them that we, as Anglican churchmen, care at least as much about the unity of Christ's people as any of them can do, and have held all along that a unity, to be final, must not be accelerated by the easy process of excluding the whole of the ancient historic churches of Christendom. Patience--immense patience--is needed to heal the breaches of the church."

I must insert here two stories, which used to give Scott intense amusement. An English merchant and his wife were travellers and arrived in Peking. The wife, in course of conversation, enquired sympathetically of the bishop's niece: "Do the Dissenters do much harm?" This, to one who knew the splendid work and fine buildings of the American and English Nonconformist Missions all round the very insignificant Anglican Mission, struck him as a most humorous question.

The other story is Brereton's. Some traveller asked him at the legation chapel: "Does not the Emperor come to service here? No? What! Is he not a churchman?"

Bishop Wilkinson.--The following letter was written to Bishop Scott by his best of friends, and received just before his death on December n, 1907.

October 22, 1907.--"My dearest Charlie, . . . I have put down the names (3) on my intercession list, and have written to Mackwood Stevens to tell him that if I can be of any use to them I hoped he would tell me. ... As regards the new Peking church, I should like an immersion font . . . and now, dearest bishop, good-bye. May the Lord bless you and keep you now and evermore.

P.S. Now that I have finished my letter I am sitting quietly, thinking of all the old days at St. Peter's. How good God has been to us amidst all the changes and chances of our lives, in spite of all our mistakes, failures and sins."


1909.--For the Mission itself, the year 1909 will ever be famed for the splendid accession to the Mission Staff, and almost entirely from among his own people. It is a joy to set out their names. The following four priests with good English experience:--Thomas Arnold Scott.--Second son of Canon John Scott (now Bishop in Shantung).

Percy Melville Scott.--Son of Canon S. G. Scott, descended from the Commentator's second son, Thomas.

Charles Wilfred Scott.--Son of Canon Cooper Scott.

Frederick Stephen Hughes.--(Whose wife was sister of Percy Scott), a fifth Crichton McDouall, who had had experience in New Zealand.

Last, and equal in reputation, in her own way, to all above, Mary Scott, eldest daughter of Canon John Scott, who went out in 1903 to join the Staff of All Saints' School, Tientsin. When the Mission was unable to keep this school open, she went in 1905 to live with the bishop in Peking, as a daughter as well as housekeeper, helping all the while in various ways as a missionary. Making a home for the bishop in the Chung-te School; an untold blessing to him, she was at his side when he passed away suddenly in Shanghai.

It is difficult to moderate one's enthusiasm into words which the Scott family would best approve. Did any bishop ever receive from his own relatives a better contribution to his work and a better testimony to the affection he aroused?

(Beginning with his journey to China, 1901.)

December 26, 1901, Nagasaki.--"Sister Jessie and I just went up the well-known road to the cemetery and spent a quiet half-hour of moonlight there, bringing away a few of the last blossoms of autumn from the neighbouring shrubs."

Chefoo.--"I went to the cemetery, and pondered at dear old Greenwood's grave, where a small white stone, modest as himself, has been put up in his memory."

Peking, XL Sunday after Trinity, 1902.--"I have just been reading the 'Keble' for the day, the last I ever read to Frances as she lay on her bed, already a little out of sorts on that Sunday, in Tientsin, when we gave thanks for Peking and Tientsin deliverances. It surprises me afresh every time I read it, to think that such an extraordinarily appropriate thing should have come to remain with me to the end. All around us still were the signs of ruin and war, and our hearts full of such thoughts as those expressed in the text from Jeremiah at the end. A fortnight after I was saying Evensong with Allen and Sister Jessie by her grave. . . . On this Sunday, too (XI. after Trinity), she received her last Communion on earth, for she was too ill the next Sunday."

Peking, March, 1902.--"It interests me to see how untiringly yet gradually kind nature works with us all, to ease the heartstrings, from the time when the first children go to school, to the last scattering of the family over the world. It is a curious thing when you can get outside it, as it were, how absolutely essential it seems to be for our best interests and due development that somehow or other we should become 'detached,' while yet family affection is the most beautiful and sacred thing we know on earth."

Peking, October 14,1905 (The death of Deaconess Jessie Ransome).--"You will be grieving with us at the unspeakable loss which has befallen us in the death of our dear Deaconess Jessie. The illness and death all so like dear Frances', as she, the deaconess, observed more than once. Mary and I and several of the others were watching with her, and we were holding her hand all through the narrow gate of death which leads to the unknown glories beyond. She was only ill (seriously) for five days, and alarmingly for one day. She had her Communion at 1 p.m. on Monday, October 2, and from then to the end we were constantly with her, going in and out, and kneeling for the last hour and a-half by her bedside. She was conscious almost to the last breath, and during the afternoon gave many loving messages of farewell, and had many of her dear Chinese women and the domestic servants in to say good-bye. The funeral, on the 4th, was all as beautiful as could be, and the Chinese Celebration in the church before it; and lovely October weather favoured it, and every one behaved well. Mr. Shih, one of the new deacons (her last Sunday in church was their ordination) writes: 'There was no family without tears: we have lost our dearly-loved, Venerable Mother; we trust the bishop will not be swallowed up with grief, and that Sister Edith may be comforted. We cannot understand these things. May God have mercy upon us.' It is a great blessing to have dear Mary with me at this time. The deaconess was a very real 'sister' to me, and as such I mourn her; but I am feeling even more the tremendous gap her removal makes in the Mission Staff. This too, however, God understands, and it may be left to him who 'makes no mistakes.'

"It was wholly unexpected; she had been so well and bright and brisk at St. Hilary's three or four weeks before, and was full of keen ability in preparing for the coming of the new women workers, and her dear sister, and in working at every detail of the plans about the newly acquired property of St. Faith's. But God who knows, saw that her work was really done; and a wonderful bit of work it has been. She has died right at her post,--nothing to indicate that she was 'worn out.' 'He giveth his beloved sleep.'"

China (Peking), November 5, 1911.--The Revolution.--"It is the truth in Napoleon's speech about China that makes the greatest danger. The nations of the world all have such a stake in this great country that they cannot afford to see chaos; and at any time they or one of them, may be driven to interfere, and then the question would become a 'foreign' one again. 'China is moving, and the world is moved.' . . . Some persons say 400,000 people have left Peking--half the population. ... I should not be surprised to learn that from 100,000 to 200,000 have done so."

Peking, December 15, 1911.--"I went out to St. Hilary's for our wedding day this year and took with me all the correspondence (with her) that was left, mainly our letters between Tientsin and Wei-hai-wei in the last two months of her life. All so fresh and alive and full of interest, with so many pointed touches on her everyday experiences of people and things. But, as you say, they do not produce sadness at our age. One may sometimes feel 'the passion of the past,' very interesting in younger days, but for long years there has never been a day when one would have 'gone back,' and never a thought which would have brought any one whom one loved back to this awful world: one has to live in the future as much as possible, and for the present, live 'day by day' until it is over. The great difficulty is to endure it patiently and with a decent amount of courage: 'from my youth up thy terrors have I suffered with a troubled mind.' How very strongly our Lord, and the New Testament writers speak of the necessity of patience, and what severe things are said about 'the fearful.' I remember weeping bitterly as a little boy because life would be so long, and it would be so dreadfully hard to 'be good' all that time! And so I have found it; but, in spite of it all, I am fain to acknowledge that 'goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life.' "

After this quiet revelation of the mind that was in him, I pass to his part in the first meeting of the Chung-Hua-Sheng-Kung-Hui.

Ten days were spent in Shanghai: April 18 to 28, 1912. From North China there went with the bishop, the Rev. F. L. Norris, the Rev. T. Arnold Scott, two Chinese deacons and four Chinese laymen. Ten bishops attended, Bishop Lander only being absent. Some eighty delegates in all. For three years the draft constitution and canons had been before the various dioceses, and when all met, there was little difference of opinion on the main questions. Bishop Scott presided, the Rev. F. L. Norris being the Secretary.

(An appendix by Bishop Norris and Bishop Graves gives further details.)

One word as to the name adopted. The Spirit of Missions, the American Church Magazine, puts it tersely and clearly: "In choosing a name, which is as nearly as possible the Chinese equivalent of the words, 'Holy Catholic Church,' there was no desire to assume an exclusive attitude or make exclusive claims. As a matter of fact, the Conference did nothing more nor less than preserve, as it alone could, for the future united Christian Communions of China, the name of the historic Creed. The Protestant denominations, several and separated as they are, could not preserve the name, and moreover, had, in some instances, frankly intimated that they would hardly dare choose any name in which the word 'Catholic' was included. The Roman Communion is practically prevented by its earlier history in China, from assuming or using the name."

I believe the nearest translation of the name into English is "China, Holy Catholic Church."


I have tried to keep within as small a compass as possible the record of the thirty-three years' episcopate of one greatly beloved: years teeming with events of first importance in Chinese political history, and in the annals of the Church in its world progress.

But the record of the bishop's life in China is by no means ended. There follows one of its most beautiful periods. After the constitution of the General Synod, Scott considered that others, younger and more vigorous, ought to lead. In 1904, Bishop Corfe had resigned, for reasons which were convincing to him. Now his close friend, Charles Perry Scott, for quite other reasons, begged to be released from responsibilities which began in 1874 and culminated in 1912.

Let him speak for himself.

Peking, February 26, 1913.--". . . I am thankful to say it is not in consequence of ill-health that I have felt constrained to take this step. ... I am convinced that it will be in the true interests of the work in North China that a younger and therefore more 'adaptable' man should have the guidance of the Mission. . . . New departures are required . . . wholly new problems have to be faced. . . . The Archbishop of Canterbury with his great knowledge and experience of men and things . . . has been pleased to release me . . . on SS. Simon and Jude's Day in this year, 1913."

On Trinity Sunday the bishop ordained his first Chinese priests, Mr. Lei and Mr. Li. Both celebrated their first Communions in the Ran-some Memorial Chapel ere they went to their stations. Bishop Iliff, on the same day, ordained his first two priests at Tai-an for his diocese of Shantung. What a climax it all was!

Still more so when Frank Norris, the trusted friend of Scott, was chosen to succeed him. Norris was consecrated in Canterbury Cathedral by the Archbishop, on the Festival of the Circumcision, 1914; Bishop Scott remaining in Peking till the new bishop could return. The day and hour of the new bishop's consecration on January i, were beautifully kept at Peking. Bishop Scott writes: "I took the consecration service as the basis of intercession. ... At the close of the service I vacated the bishop's 'Seat,' and after the benediction, laid aside the diocesan staff, helping us to realise the transfer of responsibilities. . . ."

Scott started for England, by Siberia, on March 24, 1914, with his nephew, Rev. C. Wilfred Scott, and made his home at St. John's Rectory, Chester.


It may be permitted me, ere we come to the end of the bishop's chief activities, to give some account of his charm as a traveller. I have never known a more cheery one. I set down from my diary a few of the memories of five weeks in his company in China and Manchuria.

On September 18,1910, Lanchester, my companion, and I arrived at Moukden at 5 a.m. Scott was on the platform and conducted us to the (suitably named) Temple of the 'Protecting Spirit,' where we were lodged with him. It was Sunday morning, and a little church was to be consecrated (30 feet by 18) built at the expense of Bishops Corfe and Scott. But I am not telling here about the deeper and spiritual side of our tour. To learn and to help was my object in coming, and never were there for me more moving moments. There is no space here for that aspect of my journey: I speak of my dear friend just as a traveller.

After wonderful Manchurian experiences, including walks all over Port Arthur, we landed at Chefoo, and Scott began to tell stories to enliven us after a cheerless voyage from Dalny in a very small steamer. . . . Here was the place where an Englishman was displeased with his servant. "I told him, sir, to take my horse to the stable, and here he is still doing nothing." The more qualified Chinese scholar asked the servant why he had not done as he was told. "You were told, were you not? to take the horse to the stable." "No, I was not." "What then?" "I was told to fry his mother!"

We came presently to a sign board pointing to a boot-maker's shop. The notice added a useful phrase to the English language: "Li--bootmaker, slantly opposite." And it was really on one of these early days that Scott kept up our spirits by "Things to remember." For example: in famine time in China, Mr. Bullock wired from S.P.G. to Dean Butcher, the secretary of Relief Funds in China: "Bullock to Butcher. Draw for the famine." Scott thought Mr. Bullock lacked humour.

Again he pointed out a spot near the Port where a placard was erected, announcing "No admittance." But it was put infinitely more picturesquely--"Here is the inhabitant: Everyone is not allowed to come in."

And the Autumn air of Chefoo! One never seemed to feel fatigue. One day I rose at 4 a.m. Wrote twenty foolscap sheets; walked all the afternoon, and remained vigorous all day.

Most moving it was also to go to the cemetery and stand beside the grave of "dear Greenwood," and then where Dr. and Mrs. Nevius were laid; then to see the Chinese house where Scott and Greenwood lived. A little baby was asleep in the room that was their chapel.

But I pass on. The day came when I was to be introduced to wheelbarrows. I had longed to enjoy what was obviously an ideal conveyance in the back blocks of China. But first we had an entrance into Tai-an-fu, which tried even the cheeriness of that best of travellers. I quote from my diary. "A Chinese road in the dark! It was too dark to be carried any further, we must walk. Since it is not raining it is possible. Had it been raining it would have been impossible in the soil of that region. There before us glimmered the white streak of path; one forgot at first the holes, two feet deep; every other sort of trap was also set. One had to prod with a stick; water courses had to be negotiated: occasionally we came to 100 yards of quagmire, and had to climb a rocky bank and balance on a ridge 10 feet high. All around were fields, stacks of grain, beautiful threshing floors--everything swept up and tidy; but the roads--China does not mend her roads."

There followed in due time two days of unalloyed enjoyment. The bishop and I on the same wheelbarrow, conversing, enjoying life, doing our 30 miles the first day, towards Ping-yin. The weather autumnal. Part of the humour consisted in the bumps we received on the roadless trail. I calculated that they amounted to 25,000 that first day--or, was it two days? An occasional groan used to come from Scott.

Bishop Norris also records his memories of the bishop as a travelling companion. He writes: "In former days, travelling in North China was a much slower business than it is to-day, and in some ways much less comfortable. Carts, boats, barrows; and the shortest journey from Peking a day and a-half, to Yungching; the longest, say, just under a fortnight to Tai-an-fu. Between 1890 and 1905 I shared many a journey--short and long--with the bishop. Four things stand out in my memory as characteristic. He revelled in what he called his 'toy': whether it was 'Dunkley,' a huge deal packing-case, which carried his gear for a boat trip (kitchen, pantry, storeroom and furniture included), or the toy par excellence, for cart journeys, containing tea-pot, tea, milk, and sugar, butter and jam, knives, spoons and forks, mustard, pepper and salt, washing things and a looking-glass, and in winter always a telescopic toasting fork. All these packed into an absurdly small space, and yet room found, inside the teapot, for a jar of Liebig. It was exactly what he needed at the mid-day stop: the 'toy,' a stout little wooden box, came off the cart, and nothing else!

"Secondly, I recall the books he read--which I shared. L'homme de neige was a delight to us both--the book itself not more so than the amusement of posing each other as to some French idiom! And, perhaps most famous of all, The White Company. He read aloud a good deal of the more humorous parts of this on a boat journey going out; and I re-read them in my turn on our way back--and how we both laughed! and loved the book and any reference to it for years afterwards.

"Thirdly, there was his humour, which always 'rose to the occasion' when things were going wrong. Just as at home, a resort to the piano and 'his one tune' would turn many an ugly moment with its humorous side uppermost, so when travelling a joke always came to the surface when bedding was wet, inns were beastly, carters drunk or surly, boats leaking or draughty. To the end of his life he never forgot the joy of hearing one new arrival, who was struggling with the first joys of the Chinese language, shout out in his sleep as he lay by the bishop's side in a dirty inn, the three words, 'Ding poo hao' (very beastly!). To the end of my life I shall never forget how often and how long he made me laugh, piling joke upon joke, when we should otherwise have been sulky and cross and travel-weary.

"And lastly, there is always the memory of his somehow finding time for his daily office; and, still more vivid, of the kneeling figure on the k'ang (or brick-bed) in the inn, spending the last minutes in the semi-darkness while carts were being packed and harnessed, wrapt in prayer."

Project Canterbury