This book is the life story of Dr. Virgil Hart, who felt the need to assist his fellow human from 1865 - 1903, whom he thought were in need of modern educational training, western medical care, and Christian spiritual enlightenment.

He dedicated his life to helping the Chinese toiling against the oppression of dynastic tyranny and corrupt, opportunistic Western opium induced influences, providing them with the little comfort missionaries could along the countries interior of the Yangtze and Min River’s.

Although he contributed greatly to alleviating much suffering, in the end he saw his work destroyed by the ungrateful natives who participated in the forced expulsion of Westerner’s from Sichuan Province in the early part of the 19th century. 

These sample chapters helped to set the stage for a life time of work.

这本书是维吉尔哈特博士说,谁觉得有必要从1865年协助他的同道中人的人生故事 - 1903年,被他认为是需要的现代教育培训,西部医疗保健,和基督教精神启示。




听从召唤 / 预言灵验

1854年,我的高曾祖父Dr. Virgil C. Hart还是美国纽约州北部的一个青年,当时他响应教会的召唤,去为上帝的子民服务。1865年他从加勒特神学院毕业后,接受美以美会的任命,来到中国福州做传教士。Dr. Virgil C. Hart把被任命的消息告诉了认识仅几个月的女友Adeline Gilliland,并对她说只要她愿意去中国生活,就一定嫁给自己。巧的是,一位占卜师曾预言Adeline Gilliland将要去很远的地方,会生育五个孩子——四个男孩,一个女孩。这个预言后来得到了灵验。

初出国门 / 莅临九江


华中创业 / 劫后余生

有位苏格兰传教士,花了周六整晚的时间来劝说一个酒鬼,以至第二天没有足够的时间去圣保罗教堂布道。Virgil Hart也被请去拯救这个痛苦酒鬼的灵魂。这也成为了Hart先生在中国热切布道二十年的契机。

虽然当时的中国人有很强的排外心理,但是仍有三户人家给予了Virgil Hart先生很大的帮助。Hart先生创办的学校很快成立了,消息传出去没几天,学员便有最初的三名增加到十四名。一些不明事理的人传言说外国人会鞭打中国小孩,并挖去他们的眼睛。学校从当地请来一位教师,让他与家长沟通,使家长了解学校的真实情况,以此得以继续办学。

Hart 先生刚到九江不久,便见到一位中国人,他请Hart先生下乡一趟,那里有很多人迫切的想要见Hart先生。向南行几天后,他们来到一座寺庙,庙里全是等着见牧师的人。Virgil Hart在九江生活的第一年里便有过五次类似的经历。那时去乡下的路很难走,因为当时中国的公路系统远不如今天发达。水路行得通时坐船便是首选,如果路面宽敞平坦,就选择坐轿子,而道路狭窄时就只能用独轮车(红车)了。遇到陡坡多的路,马便成了最合适的交通工具。

 小轿  西北教会大院图片
Enclosed Sedan Chair   (NWMC) Photo

与Mr. Hart一同下乡的有一两个苦力,他们带着食物、被褥及一些回收的旧书。夜里他们就睡在庙里或愿意收留“洋鬼子”的百姓家中。要安全地经过村庄并不是一件容易的事,因为总有些人对“老外”有敌对情绪。那些人会扔石头来骚扰他们,有时甚至会打伤他们。一次当Virgil Hart一行人经过一座大桥时就发生了这样的情况。他们逃过了围攻,在一座寺庙里休养了几天之后才又上了路
The Call / Fellow-Farers True

My great-great-grandfather Dr. Virgil C. Hart felt a calling to serve his fellow human as a young man in upstate New York, U.S.A., in 1854. After graduation from Garrett Biblical Institute in 1865, he accepted an appointment from the Methodist Episcopal Church to serve as a missionary in Foochow (Fuzhou, Fujian) China. He proposed to his sweetheart of only a few months named Adeline Gilliland, who had been told by a fortune teller that she would travel to faraway places and have five children, four of them boys, a prophecy later fulfilled. Virgil told her to only consider his proposal if she was willing to spend her life in China.

Outward Bound / the First Field

After spending a harrowing six month trip aboard a schooner, Mr. and Mrs. Hart spent a year in Foochow, Fukian learning the Chinese language.  Then they were told their first place of residence would be Kiukiang, Kiangsi (Jiujiang, Jiangxi) which had become a treaty port in 1860. Upon arrival, there were only 30 Americans and English nationals mainly involved in the customs and Consular office affairs who were occupying a concession of land by the river facing the western walls of the city.  Kiukiang was where the Methodist Missions of Central China built the first western hospital in the province that is today the #1 People’s Hospital.

Central China / On Furlough
There was a Scottish preacher who spent more time consoling a liquor bottle on Saturday night, than amongst his lowei flock and the Chinese people that came to St Paul’s Church on Sunday.  Virgil Hart was asked to relieve this tormented soul and thus he began to eagerly discharge the sermons there for the next 20 years.

The anti-foreigner sentiment was strong but there were three Chinese families that aided Virgil Hart greatly.  A day school was quickly organized and begun with 3 students that swelled to 14 after a few days of the word getting out about its existence.  This was contested by evil men who gossiped that the foreigner would whip the children and cut their eyes out, to be used as telescope lenses, so that to continue a native teacher was hired to educate the children.

Soon after arriving in Kiukiang, Mr. Hart was sought by a Chinese man who had heard about his being there and requested he make a journey inland to meet other men anxious to see him.  After a day’s travel south, they came upon a temple where many had gathered to hear the “Mu-Si” or great foreign teacher.  Virgil Hart made five journeys similar to this his first year in Kiukiang.  These journeys into the countryside were by no means easily undertaken for the Chinese road system was unlike today.  Boats were the easiest when water was available, or where the road on land was broad and fairly level, a sedan chair was the main mode of transportation offered.  As the pathway narrowed a wheel barrow became an alternative means, and when the gradient became steep, a horse was the most efficient mode of moving forward, if available.
Accompanying him were one or two coolies to carry the food, bedding and supply of books on forays.  Sleep would be found in a temple or accommodating home for the “Foreign Devil.”  Passing though hamlets was not an easy task as agitators who held a grudge against a lowei, could entice stone throwing or physical harassing of the coolies, to bring on injury.  One such instance occurred when they were ambushed while trying to cross a long bridge.  After getting away from the mob they required a convalescence stay in a temple for several days before Virgil Hart could return from the journey.

Not being easily intimidated Virgil Hart would return to the very spot upon where the altercation had taken place just to prove he could not be driven from the field, and through humor and reason gained the respect of the Chinese natives.

 The Printing Staff in Kaiting
 Virgil Hart with his printing staff in Kaiting 

Trackers hard at work pulling a ship upstream
Trackers hauling a ship UP the Yangtze River

Riding the rapids downstream
Running the Rapids at the 3 Gorges.

Opium Smokers
Opium Smokers

 Wheelbarrow Transports
A stylish way to transport through the dirty street. Children on their way to school

Dr. Hart with Wei Ching - Abbot of Mt. Omel
Virgil Hart with the Master Monk at Mount Omei Shan

The Yangtze at Ichang Gorge

Beginning Here