THE China Mail, published in Hong-kong, has this to say about the attitude of the churches in America towards the anti-Chinese law:—
Now that it is too late, the various churches are very indignant and emphatic against the Geary law. The Methodists announce that they have decided to make a “vigorous fight” against it. If they had fought with only a little vigor a year ago, and brought the great political power of their denomination to bear on Congress and executive, they could have beaten the Exclusion act easily. The General Association of Congregational Churches of Massachusetts adopted a resolution at Boston on Thursday in which they “beg the Chinese to suspend judgment upon Christian ethics until the Christian people of the land have asserted themselves.” What were the Christian people of the land doing when the Geary law was pending? They were moving heaven and earth to avert the judgments of the Almighty on a nation that would open a World’s Fair on Sunday. They were asserting, as a distinguished Congregational clergyman has said, that it was a great boon to a Christian nation to have a President who began the day with family prayers in the White House, no matter whether he rose from his knees to sign or veto a bill that outraged religion and humanity alike. This was the real display of “Christian ethics” upon which the Chinese are now asked to suspend judgment. Perhaps they will consent to do so, though the Founder of the Christian religion did not feel compelled to in his day, and had some particularly unpleasant things to say of the pious and respectable churchgoers of his time who made long prayers for a pretense, and were especially sound on the Sabbath question, but cared nothing about justice and mercy.
The criticism is just. If one fourth the effort had been put forth in opposition to the Geary law that was expended to secure governmental recognition of Sunday sacredness, the churches would not now be deploring its existence and its probable destructive effects on Christian missions in China. But if the missions in China are devoted to inculcating the superficial Sunday “Christianity” which has of late become so popular in this country, their destruction would be small loss to the cause of vital piety. However, we do not believe that the religion of the cross, so far as it is represented in heathen lands, has degenerated as it has in this country. Not having the civil arm upon which to lean, Christians in China have not yet forsaken their Lord for Baal, nor gone down to Egypt for help. It is only in “Christian” lands that the followers of Christ thus deny him.