“What’s in a Name?” American Sentinel 10, 7, pp. 50, 51.

IN view of the recent massacre at Port Arthur, it seems strange to read in one of the most influential religious papers of this city, the statement that “the civilization which Japan has accepted is wholly the product of Christianity;” and again, that in a few years, “we have seen old prejudices dissolved, old civilization utterly discarded, and Christian civilization adopted in its place.” But we may not understand just what is meant by “Christian civilization.” Certainly the massacre at Port Arthur was as far from being Christian as anything could be, and it was equally foreign to what civilization bearing the name Christian could be. However, if we condemn the civilization of Japan, we likewise condemn the civilization of Europe; for have not European soldiers committed just as grave offenses against civilization? Even as recently as the British occupation of Matabeleland, the atrocities committed by the soldiers of the British South African Company were scarcely less disgraceful than was the Port Arthur massacre; though we believe that actual prisoners were not murdered, and probably women and children were not ruthlessly killed. But the so-called war was little more than a slaughter of helpless people. The following lines recently written by Robert Buchanan, the Scottish poet, aptly describe alike the slaughter of that campaign and the motive [51] of the Chartered Company in waging the war:—

Just study my dear, the records here of the mighty deeds we’ve done.

The hundreds en masse mowed down like grass, to our English loss of one.

Then loot, loot, loot, as we stab and shoot, ‘mid the shrieks of the naked foe.

When murder and greed on the fallen feed, up, up, my stock must go.

And the best of the lark, you’ll be pleased to mark, is the counter-jumper’s cry.

As he clutches his shares, and shrieks his prayers, to the Jingo god on high.

With Bible and gun the game is won, at home and over the sea.

Now I’ve turned myself, in the reign of the Guelph, to a Chartered Comapnie.

Nor did the iniquity cease with the carnage. Had that been the end of it, we might dismiss it as due to the heat of human passion, and quite apart from human greed; but after events show that so-called Christian men—men standing high in the councils of a “Christian” government, and by that government clothed with plenary authority—deliberately reduced to abject poverty and to virtual slavery a whole people, by robbing them at once of both their lands and their cattle. Elder S. N. Haskell, a missionary writing from Matabeleland to the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, says:—

The Chartered Company that conquered the Matabeles in the late war, claim their cattle as well as their land to pay expenses. The cunning Matabeles, however, have secreted many thousand head in the bush, which from time to time are found and sold by the Chartered Company.

And this was done, not by heathen Japanese in the excitement of war and smarting under indignities done to their fellow-soldiers, but done deliberately by “Christian” men, the representatives of a “Christian” government, professedly in the interests of so-called Christian civilization. Truly there is little in a name; and with “Christians” persecuting Christians in America, in Europe, and in Australia, with Greek “Christians” massacring Roman Catholic “Christians” in Russia, as was done only a year or two ago; and with “Christian” soldiers of a “Christian” power slaughtering helpless natives in Africa and robbing them of all their living; we can only stand in silence and contemplate the massacre of Chinese by Japanese, and the massacred of Armenians by Turks, and realize that after all it is not the name that makes men Christians indeed, but having Christ formed within; and that without this, to wear the name or to give it to this or to that system that obtains in lands where the gospel is preached, is only to bring reproach upon the name of Christ and to put him to an open shame. [51]

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