Now, however, with what sinking hearts must these faithful workers contemplate the prospect before them! Suppose one of them were to meet an intelligent Chinaman, and speak to him of the gospel of peace and good-will. What is he to say when, with that imperturbable and exasperating coolness which the race know so well how to assume, this benighted heathen asks him if he come not from where they exemplify the teachings of this gospel, and uphold the kingdom of the Prince of Peace, by murdering his poor countrymen in cold blood; when he asks him how, in the name of all that is good, he can preach this gospel in China, while proclaiming himself a citizen of the United States; and when he bids him go home and convert his own countrymen before he presumes to teach the Chinese?
In these our missionary relations, we have indeed fallen upon evil times.
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Of course there is something to be said on the other side of these questions, or there would be were our relations with the Chinese as they were a few years ago; but the laches on their part in the matter of treaty observance are so insignificant, in the light of recent occurrences, as not to be worth mentioning. Of these same occurrences it remains to speak.
The treatment of the Chinese who have had the misfortune to come to this country has been very bad indeed, and culminated in a perfectly logical way. Other people, notably other aliens, have objected to their presence, and set themselves to work to make the lives of these “moon-eyed lepers” as unbearable as possible. The poor wretches have been disgracefully, abominably, and cruelly maltreated, harried from place to place, cursed, beaten, and stoned; but it was reserved for certain residents of the Territory of Wyoming to cap the climax of cowardly and brutal dealing by such deeds of darkness as ought to make our people shrink with horror from their very recital.
A number of these unfortunates ran the long gauntlet of suffering from the Pacific coast to this inland Territory, to work in the coal mines. The white people, the Caucasians, similarly employed, requested them to join in a strike, which they were disinclined to do. Then these same white men took Winchester rifles and shot them down in cold blood! I could not and would not here narrate the ghastly details of this dreadful massacre, but they can readily be imagined. Those, indeed, who were killed at once had the easier fate; for the wounded died lingering deaths in the surrounding desert. It will be remembered that these murderers are not Geronimo, Natchez, and their followers, at whose atrocities the country stands aghast; but they are far worse. The Indians are seeking revenge for some fancied, but many real and grievous wrongs; these others are carrying to its legitimate conclusion the favorite Western theory that “the Chinese must go.” They seem to have earned the good will of their neighbors, for it cannot be ascertained that, up to the present time, any one of them has received punishment, nor even a meed of disapprobation. Upon our diplomatic, business, and missionary relations with China, as just outlined, these doings will have a fatal effect.
There are those who call this a Christian nation; and they will admit that, if it be such, it is liable to the retributive justice, the certain punishment, prepared for countries as well as individuals who sin against knowledge. Furthermore, let a word of warning and prediction, from one who knows the Chinese well, be here recorded. Their memories are long, and time is fleeting. Some day they will collect their bill, — and it will be made up with compound interest.