Page:My life in China and America.djvu/119

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the three cups of tea, — he said that they were intended as a thank-offering, and were not propitiatory in their character.

“Whenever we drink a cup of tea, we offer thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father. The three cups of tea have no reference to the Trinity whatever. One cup answers the same purpose. The number three was purposely chosen, because it is the favorite number with the Chinese, — it is even mentioned in the Chinese classics.”

As for redemption, he said, — “No sacrificial offering can take away our sins; the power of redemption is in Christ; he redeems us and it is our duty to repent of our sins. Even the Tien Wong is very circumspect and is afraid to sin against God.”

In the matter of the soldiery keeping aloof from the people in time of war, he said, — “It has been an immemorial custom, adopted by almost every dynasty, that the people should go to the country, and the soldiers be quartered in the city. When a city is captured or taken, it is easy to subjugate the surrounding country.”

The places we saw in ruins, both at Suchau and all the way up the canal, were partly destroyed by Cheong Yuh Leang's troops in their retreat, partly by local predatory parties for the