In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

5 Su n Yat-sen's Baptism and Some Christian Connections A significant even t for Sun Yat-sen during his middle school-days in Hong Kong was his baptism by the American missionary, the Revd Charles R. Hager. This event influenced hi s future lif e and relationships. Immediately, it provided him with a surrogate family during hi s several year s as a school-boy i n Hong Kong . H e en tered an intimate fellowship bound together by a new commitment for, as a very small, new Christian congregation, its fellowship was close and binding. This congregation was the result of the missionary concern o f oversea s Chinese . The connectio n wit h oversea s Christian communities was later used by Sun Yat-sen in his journeys to raise funds and enlist support for his revolutionary cause. His acceptance of Christianity linked him with a distinct group of interconnected familie s o n the Chin a coast an d overseas. I t was through this group that Sun met his one-time secretary and second wife, Soon g Ching-ling . Thes e thre e differen t aspect s o f Sun' s baptism will be considered in turn. The Establishment of the American Board Mission in Hong Kong In 1873, at the age of 14 , Sun Yat-sen left hi s home village near Macau to join an older brother in Hawaii. There he entered th e Iolani School, which was conducted by churchmen. They aroused in Su n a desire t o accep t th e Christia n fait h publicly . Thi s was vigorously opposed by his older brother, who was supporting him and paying the school fees. To remove the boy from Christian influence , hi s brothe r sen t hi m bac k t o hi s hom e villag e i n th e Hsiang-shan (now Chung-shan) District of Kwangtung. This move, from the brother's view, was not altogether successful . Sun' s attractio n t o Christianit y an d rejectio n o f traditiona l Chinese religious practices were reinforced upo n his return by a fellow villag e youth who had recently come back from Shangha i with similar attitudes. The two offended village opinion by a minor mutilation of an image in the local temple. Out of favour in their home village, Sun Yat-sen and his accom- 88 CHINESE CHRISTIAN S plice i n th e escapade , L u Hao-tung , foun d thei r wa y t o Hon g Kong. There they met the Revd Charle s R. Hager , who recalls in 'Some Persona l Reminiscences ' publishe d i n th e Missionary Herald o f 12 April 1912 the result of a meeting with the young Sun: 'Of course , I coul d no t hel p askin g hi m whethe r h e was a Christian , t o whic h h e replie d tha t h e believe d th e doctrin e o f Christ . "Then why do you not become baptized?" "I am ready to be baptized at any time", he replied; and so after som e months of waiting he receive d th e ordinanc e i n a Chinese schoo l roo m wher e a fe w Chinese were wont to meet with me every Sunday. ' Sun Yat-sen wa s baptized eithe r a t th e close of 188 3 or early in 1884. As a professed Christian , Sun entered int o his new life with enthusiasm. Hage r sai d that , 'Afte r Su n becam e a Christia n h e immediately began to witness for Christ, and such was his earnestness that i n a short tim e tw o of hi s friends accepte d Christianity . This was at a time when few convert s were made an d when man y feared t o identify themselve s with Christians. But so great was the influence o f Su n tha t h e wo n thes e me n t o th e truth . I t wa s th e same power that he always had of making men accept his opinion'. The tw o friend s wer e L u Hao-tun g an d Ton g Phong . Ton g ha d been a friend an d fellow-student o f Sun's in Hawaii.1 The first name on the register of the Revd Charles...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.