Confucianism and Christianity: The First Encounter by John Young

By John Young

The booklet centres round a big topic: the 1st 'confrontation' among the best final (or T'ien) of the Confucian cosmological order and the Christian anthropomorphic God as conveyed to the chinese language literati via the Western missionaries.

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He keeps contriving them [obstacles] in swarms , one after another . 78 Xavier's fever worsened as the days went by , but he never gave up the idea that he was sent by God to conve付 the world and that the Millennial Kingdom would come within his lifetime. On 21 November his condition worsened; the Chinese merchant did not appear. He was attended by a faithful Chinese servant named Antonio. 79 ln the early morning of 3 December , Xavier died , still believing that: . . Jesus Christ , our Saviour and Redeemer , will expose to the scorn of the whole world the enemy of mankind , disappointing his wishes and making his vain hope void; and the glory of the Divine M 司 esty will shine all the more brightly because the wonder of these wonders will be one so mean , because that by means of me , the least and the vilest of men .

But what fills us with confidence is that the design has been inspired by God himself . 13 Xavier left Goa in April 1552 and landed in Malacca one month late r. v iceroy in India to appoint Diego Pereira , a Portuguese merchant in Malacca , as the ambassado r. The embassy , however , had to be abandoned when the mariti n:"l e authorities in Malacca refused to permit Pereira to sail either as an envoy or as a private merchan t. Personal animosities and jurisdictional problems forced Xavier to attempt to enter China on his own , illegally.

1 am not certain whether 1 should go back to India, or to the King of Siam , who , they tell me , is preparing a solemn embassy to the Chinese Emperor , and possibity 1 might find some place or other in its train. 74 Xavier continually questioned whether the merchant would keep the arrangemen t. He knew that it was a ‘capital crime for a foreigner to enter any pa吋 of China without a passport'. 75 Therefore , at no time was he sure if the Chinese merchant would risk his life for Xavier's own. Xavier's last letters to Goa were written on the twelfth and thirteenth of Novembe r.

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