The Protestant Missions — June 17, 2011 at 1:18 am

Progress with the Ainu in Piratori. 1893!


Ainu Chief

A great advance was made in the Church Missionary Society’s work among the Ainu. In 1893 there was an increase from eleven church-members and two catechumens to two hundred and nineteen members and one hundred and fifty-one catechumens. The number of villages containing Christians increased from two to ten.

Of one village Mr. Batchelor wrote:

“Every woman in Piratori has accepted Christ as her Savior. That is a glorious triumph of the Cross, for the women hitherto have never been allowed to have any religion; the men only have worshipped God. Just think of old women over seventy years of age, now for the first time in their lives, praying — and praying to Jesus only”

A Methodist missionary who visited Hakodate in January, 1903, wrote of the harmony that existed among different denominations in that city. He said:

“It is customary here in Hakodate for the Christians, not only to unite during the week in prayer, but also on the second Sunday of the Week of Prayer, and partake of the Lord’s Supper together. One year the Lord’s Supper is observed according to the Episcopal form, the next according to the Presbyterian, and the next according to the Methodist. . . . These Sunday ‘Union’ services are always held in the Methodist Church, because that church building is the largest. … I was invited to preach the sermon. . . After the sermon Mr. A., a missionary of the Church of England (a Low Churchman), conducted and administered the Holy Communion, wearing his surplice. He read the service in Japanese according to the order of his Church, inviting the pastors of the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches (both Japanese) and myself within the railing around the pulpit. After partaking of the emblems himself, he administered them first to us three, and then invited us to assist him in administering to the people as they gathered about the railing.

Footnote from Mr. Otis:

If this book has any reader fifty years from the date of its Publication, he will probably think it strange that space should be granted to a paragraph that speaks only of such fellowship as followers of Christ would naturally be expected to have in remembrance of their one Lord; but in these dark days, though most Protestant denominations readily unite in communion services, there are some in which most of the clergy discourage such fellowship. It is the saddest of irony that the Lord’s supper, which should be the great symbol of union between all Christians, had become the point of the greatest separation, not only between the three great divisions of the church, but at times between the sub-divisions of Protestantism.

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