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ing scourges, which have greatly thinned the population. Among these we must reckon pestilence and famine, as well as the ravages of wild beasts, whose numbers are truly frightful, and which, it is said, devour at least one thousand of the population yearly. But the miserable divisions of this unhappy people, and their want of energy form, one of the principal causes of their wretched state. The country has been divided for years between two rival factions; and whichever can succeed in placing a king on the throne, wreaks its fury on the partisans of the other side, and on all whom they have favoured, however inoffensive their conduct may be. Many persecutions against the Christiansa for Christianity has penetrated into this dark regionhave had no other cause than this, that they had been tolerated by the opposite faction. On these occasions Christian blood flowed in torrents. Then, however, have men seen what a change the true faith can work in the heart that receives it. The degraded Corean, exhibiting usually no spirit or energy, save in persecuting the Christian, become a new man in Christ, has bent his neck with holy joy to the executioner's sword. Even children have come forward begging to die with their mothers; the very judges fearlessly confessed the faith, and offered their hands to fetters ; princesses descended with Christian fortitude into loathsome dungeons, and endured untold tortures, such as pagan fury, urged on by the devil, alone can invent, and then knelt meekly down with their slaves to receive the eternal crown of martyrdom. We may

form some idea of the difficulties with which the Christian converts have bad to contend in this country, even under the most favourable circumstances, when there has been a cessation of active persecution, from the following facts. They are unable to assemble for the

purposes of devotion, since they would be instantly attacked ; and if a priest come among them in the towns, he is seized the moment his disguise is detected. Moreover, the Christians are very generally forced to abandon their only means of subsistence. Many are workers in silver, copper, &c., or merhaps they are cabinet-makers ; hence they are constantly

ired to make objects of superstition or idolatrous worship. They must on suchi occasions either violate their consciences, or expose their faith to immediate discovery, which is the signal for handing them over to the judge. The poor Christians, therefore, mostly quit the cities, and live in barren deserts, preferring rather poverty and the company of wild beasts with Jesus Christ, to the perils their faith encounters in the midst of abundance. Hundreds have thus perished annually from famine and misery. Does not this heroic detachment of heart from the world, this jealous guarding of the precious treasure of the faith, bring to shame our lukewarmness and indifference to danger in these matters, where some little worldly comfort or advantage is concerned? In these dreary solitudes the priest finds it easier to visit his flock. But I have not yet mentioned their chief distress—and I may well call it so, for it is a spiritual, not a bodily affliction; I mean the difficulty which meets the missionary in his endeavour to enter this inhospitable country. I do not mean the ordinary difficulty wherever our holy faith meets with persecution, which of course falls with its most bitter fury on the priest, but some peculiar obstacles which exist with respect to Corea. The Chinese and the Coreans detest each other, and the communication between them is consequently very limited. The two territories are divided by a neutral and desert tract of land, fifteen leagues broad. Most of this is covered with thick and impenetrable forests, the undisturbed domain of the tiger and other fierce animals, and there are in fact only two points of contact: one is a road through the woods ending at the sea of Japan ; the other, more southerly, is not

from the shores of the Yellow Sea. An embassy from the King of Corea to the Emperor of China passes twice a year along this latter road; once to wish him a happy new year, and the other time to ask him for the calendar. The government of Corea kuowing that missionaries had passed this way, a few years ago doubled its precautions to prevent any stranger from entering the country; a great object with them at all times, owing to their national antipathy to their neighbours. Over a long extent of the Corean frontier, posts of soldiers are placed at stated distances ; and woe to the stranger who should attempt to penetrate without a pas

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