New Haven (Conn.) Register

The originality of the Japanese people is again shown in the religious field. Seven years ago the Mikado appointed a commission to travel in search of the true religion that should be adopted by the Japanese people; but the war with Russia and the diplomatic strained relations preceding the war called attention away from this religious mission. The Mikado has resumed this work and re-appointed the commission and has notified the European powers to that effect. This action seems in keeping with the character and systematic methods of the Japanese.

The story of the wise men from the east in search of the star of Bethlehem seems to be repeated in substance. The ancient wise men were evidently dissatisfied with their own religions and desired better. The Japanese, always tolerant of religions so long as they do not interfere with civil order, are evidently not sure which one among them is the best. Buddhism, during one period the religion of the nation, did not satisfy. Accepted in the ninth century, it was disestablished virtually Jan. I, 1874. Confucianism from China, and Mohammedanism from Turkey are inadequate to meet the wants of the Japanese, and Shintoism, the native religious belief. is waning.

What the Japanese commission evidently will look for are practical results. The Christian religion has considerable influence in Japan, but the people have only the long-range view. They are not quite sure that the Christian lands are altogether the delightful abodes of such men as the Christian missionaries who are among them teaching ethics and religions. These wise men from the east believe that what they see for themselves at short-range view will have greater weight with them. The best testimony to the worth of a religion is the behavior and moral condition of a people. The commission wish to see whether the principles of Christianity are illustrated and demonstrated in the life of Christian lands. If missionaries have taught them about the love of Christ, they want to see how far this extends in the national deeds of Christian nations. They may expect to find the Sermon on the Mount beautifully fulfilled in industry and politics. They may be puzzled to find so many varying phases or denominations of Christianity, but they can be trusted to regain their composure and find their way out of the labyrinth.

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