Young John Allen Documents

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[Letter from Young John Allen (recipient unknown), March 14, 1869]

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The letters of Bros. Atticus G. Haygood and George G. Smith have nerved my heart to do and suffer yet more and greater things for Christ's sake. Bless God for such friends, and in such places. I need them much, but the Church needs them more, and should appreciate them better. They are true sons of Emory, and the faithful servants of the Church. Long may they live to honor their Alma Mater and bless the church they serve so well.

You seem to be still "in the woods". There is no burden like a debt. You say, "if we can only bear with you another (this) year, the debt will be removed and the Board able to do great things for the China Mission." I am happy to congratulate you on the prospect. We shall be able to support ourselves this year. Our hands have already found something to do, and we are not fearful or of faint heart. Do your best this year. Our ability to sustain ourselves becomse less and less every year, and there are doubts of the next.

My school opened on the 9th inst. It is a great success. My first class, or rather a part of it, will leave next month for the capital. So far, they have distanced all competitors from the School South. Most of them are Chinese A.B.'s well grown, intelligent, and of high and influential families. This is the sixth Annual Session, and my fourth year in the School. There was an effort to put me out, and substitute a man from Canton, for the present year; but the Toutai of Shanghai would not hear to it. He has all the time been a staunch friend and was much annoyed by my displacement in 1864. He desires me to continue as long at least as he is Toutai at Shanghai, but says he cannot guarantee
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for a longer term than his own term of office. He was greatly gratified last year when the news of the success of my pupils at Pekin reached him, and all the pupils and teachers were ready to fall upon their knees to me the day the despatch from the foreign ofice reached the School. Since then, the younger classes have been more studious and obedient -- seeing that there is a reward to their studies. I am greatly pleased with the school for two reasons, particularly -- it gives me an ample means of support, and it enables me to do a work, which though not partaking of the character of mission work, is yet not distantly allied, and could not be accomplished in any other relation.

Besides the School, I continue to edit the two Chinese newspapers -- the importance of which you are better able to appreciate than I am to express it. I hope soon to be in receipt of all the Missionary Reviews and other organs of the several Missionary Boards in Eurpoe and America, from which I can glean important details and items of interest to the work in China. Will you not, my dear Brother, give me your assistance in this matter? It is my intention to make the Kia way sing ban not only interesting, but an indispensable agent in our work. Its influence and circulation are steadily increasing, and I hope soon to get its subscription up to a thousand. It is already self sustaining at the price of one dollar, and it is desirable for the second year, either to lower the price by a half, or else materially to enlarge it. All doubts as to its ability to sustain itself have disappeared, and not a few of the Missionaries have tendered their congratulations. If friends
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at home and in China would guarantee any deficit that might be occasioned at first, by reducing it to even a quarter of the present price, I think they would be doing a great work; for at a quarter of the price I have no doubt that thousands, both in and out of the church, would be glad to subscribe. I have not the courage, however, to make the trial, unless I could have two or three hundred dollars guaranteed as a sort of reserve fund. If I were able, I would willingly undertake it at my own expense.

If you think the suggestion a good one, why not propose that some of the Sabbath-schools, who intend to contribute for Schools in China, place the above amount in my hands, to secure a Church paper to all the Christians who can read. Would it not be, think you, a worthy and useful appropriation?

That I write for the Church or religious paper is also copied into the Tri-weekly as an exchange, and hence it has double circulation --- yea more -- for it is also copied into the Hong King and Canton papers, whereby it is still further circulated.

I mention all these things the more carefully, because I know they will not only interest you, but let you know what we are doing, and the feelings with which it is done. We do not pretend to underrate preaching, but do all of it we can; yet embarrassed as we are in that particular, it is well that we find something so well adapted as a substitute and to which we can give our time and energies with some hoe and prospect of good.

Notwithstanding our hands are full and our labors almost withdrawn from the regular work of preaaching, we are not without encouragement. Several have been baptized this quarter and others taken
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on probation. Schools are being opened for the year, and we hope to see new life instilled into the Mission very soon.

We are rallied, by seeing our friends awakening to the interest of this work, and we shall leave nothing undone, in our power to do, to secure the most ample testimony of our faithfulness in the Lord's vineyard, and reassure the fainting, doubting hearts of those who have ceased to hope for any good from our Mission in China.

I never did believe in humbug, nor in medicating the truth, nor in garnishing lies, nor in elongating veracity, and what I have written heretofore has doubtless done despite to some who, without coming to our aid, have nevertheless expected great things of us, and been discouraged and ready to abandon the mission, because of the disappointment of their baseless expectations.

I shall always restrain my pen from any indiscreet speculations which are only calculated to mislead, and endeavor to present the true aspect of our mission work and its prospects. Artificial excitement may sometimes do good in other matters, but I doubt the propriety of trying to resuscitate a Church or prolong its life by any such expedients. The signs of the times are always bad. He that regardeth the wind shall not sow and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. Oh, that our people would meditate pon the example of the husbandman, and as a suitable text I would suggest Ecclesiastes xi: 6.

Young J. Allen.

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