日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

An Ardent Longing for our Home in Heaven


by Shimada Masayoshi

Former Director of University Religious Activities

Aoyama Gakuin University


“Instead, they were longing for a better countrya heavenly one.” (Hebrews 11:16)


Dora Schoonmaker, Julius Soper, and Robert Maclay, the three missionary founders of Aoyama Gakuin, left their country behind them and set out across the ocean, as did the pilgrim fathers of the U.S. However, it was not the Atlantic Ocean but the Pacific Ocean that they crossed to stand on the land of Japan. We refer to these three missionaries in the order of Schoonmaker, Soper and Maclay, because of the founding order of the predecessors of Aoyama Gakuin, namely the schools to which they were called: the Girl’s Elementary School, the Kokyo Gakusha Boys’ School and the Methodist Mission Seminary.


The last one, Maclay, was indeed the oldest and most experienced and, at that time in the Methodist Episcopal Church, the person at the center of Far East evangelism. In 1848, at the age of 24, Maclay embraced a vision for evangelism in China and, after 166 days aboard a ship from New York, arrived in Fuzhou in Fujian Province. He could not speak the language, had no place to live, and was starting from nothing. Then for over 25 years, Maclay poured out his heart and soul for the evangelization of China. He compiled and published a Fujian language dictionary, founded a school, and built a hospital as well as two large churches. His first baptism service was held the ninth year after he began evangelistic work in China, which indicates the extent of his hardships. (In contrast, during the second year after his arrival in Japan, Soper baptized Tsuda Sen and his wife Hatsuko, and while in her second year in Japan, Schoonmaker led four of her students to baptism.)


Maclay had hope and persistence that brought flowers to bloom. However, this was accompanied by great sacrifice and sadness. He and his wife Henrietta had eight children, but during the couple’s period of evangelism in China, four of them were called to heaven. Furthermore when he worked in Japan, his fourth son George, who was studying at Syracuse University to become a missionary like his father, also passed away.


So of their eight children, five died. While the child mortality rate was certainly high 150 years ago, having to bear such loss must have been a very severe cross to bear! Without the hope of reunion in our heavenly home, how could anyone ever endure such an ordeal?


Maclay and his wife arrived in the port of Yokohama on June 6, 1873. They had been engaged in evangelism in China for some 25 years, and their mission was producing a fruitful harvest. Thus, it was time to make way for younger men, so Maclay came to Japan to serve as superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church’s Japan mission, which had been experiencing many difficulties. His lifestyle certainly did not include seeking a pleasurable cozy spot where he could put down roots. Maclay was 49 years old, so he would be handicapped by trying to learn a new language. Nevertheless, he discontinued use of the Chinese language he had mastered and came to Japan.


In 1879 Maclay founded the Methodist Mission Seminary, and then in 1881, he changed the name of the Kokyo Gakusha Boys’ School to Tokyo English School. The following year, the Methodist Mission Seminary was merged into Tokyo English School. In 1883 that school’s name was changed to the Tokyo Anglo-Japanese College and was moved to its present location in Aoyama. This was made possible by the continuing support of his close friend John F. Goucher. Goucher’s enormous financial backing of Japanese evangelism and education was realized because he had such a trustworthy prayer partner. In the 21st century, Aoyama Gakuin, which is probably built on the most expensive land in the world, developed to its present state through the support of these two persons’ friendship in the Lord.


Maclay was further given a vision for evangelism in Korea. At the age of 59 he studied Korean and was appointed superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Church’s mission in Korea. In actuality, Maclay spent only 24 days in Korea but guided the work in Korea from Japan. Thus, Robert Maclay, founding chancellor of Aoyama Gakuin, indeed went far beyond the framework of Aoyama Gakuin, leaving great footprints as a pioneer of Far East evangelism in China, Japan, and Korea.


Maclay returned to the U.S. in 1888 to become dean of a seminary in San Fernando, California and held that position for 14 years until his retirement at the age of 78. [This school later became the Claremont School of Theology.] What we are prone to forget is that in their latter years, those who devote their lives as missionaries encounter difficulty and loneliness. Their memories are of a period when they poured out their lives, body and soul, in missionary work, and there are no colleagues with whom to share these memories.


Two years before Maclay’s death, when he was 81years old, Rev. Ukai Kichijiro visited him and wrote about the experience as follows. “I entered the single room of the boarding house he was renting and saw him living alone. There was only one bed and a dresser, a sink, and toiletry items. In one corner was a dirty, damaged bag and trunk. The sparseness of things in the room made it appear humble, and as I looked over the condition of the elderly teacher in his later years, I could not help being choked up with tears of sympathy.”


The man who had laid Aoyama Gakuin’s foundation, a pioneer of Far East evangelism who had done such a great work, spent his latter years so very simplistically and humbly. But beyond doubt, the man himself possessed a spirit-filled peace. Why? Because he “...was longing for a better country—a heavenly one,” and he knew without a doubt that he was a temporary resident on earth. (Tr. RT)


—Summarized by KNL Editor Kawakami Yoshiko





 元学院宗教部長 嶋田順好

ヘ ブライ1116


ドーラ・スクーンメーカー、ジュリアス・ソーパー、ロバー ト・マクレイ。青山学院の三つの源流にたたずむ宣教師たちは、ピルグリム・ファーザーズのように故郷をあとにし、海にこぎ出しました。ただし大西洋ではなく、太平洋をわたって日本の地に立ちました。青山学院では、女子小学校、耕教学舎、美會神学校の設立年にしたがって、スクーンメーカー、ソーパー、マクレイという順 序で三人の宣教師の方々を呼ぶのが恒例となっています。最後のマクレイ先生こそが最も年長で経験豊かで、時のメソジスト監督教会にお ける東洋伝道の中心となっていた人物でした。マクレイ先生は、24歳であった1848年、中国伝道 の幻を抱き、ニューヨークから166日間にわたる船旅を経て中国福建省の省都福州にたどり着くのです。言葉もしゃべれず、住む家もなく、ゼロ からの出発でした。その後、25年間にわたり先生は中国伝道のために全身全霊を注がれたのです。福建語の辞書を編纂・出版し、学校を創設 し、病院を建て、二つの大きな教会堂を建設しました。先生の苦労がどれほど大きなものであったかということは、中国伝道を開始してか ら9年目にして最初の洗礼式を行うことができたという事実に端的に示されています。(ソーパー先生は、来日二 年目にして津田仙とその妻初子に洗礼を授けることができました。スクーンメーカー先生も、来日二年目にして4人の教え子を洗礼へと導 いています。)マクレイ先生は望みと忍耐をもって花開かせることができたのです。しか し大きな犠牲と悲しみが伴いました。ヘンリエッタ夫人との間に8人の子供が与えられましたが、そのうちの4名が中国伝道中、天に召されたのです。更に日本で伝道している時も、父の志を継承し、宣教師となるべくシ ラキュース大学で学んでいた四男、ジョージをみもとに送っています。8名のお子様のうち5名が召されたのです。乳幼児の死亡率が高かった150年前ではあっ ても、なんと辛く厳しい十字架だったことでしょう。天にある故郷で必ずや再会できるとの希望なくして、どうしてその試練に耐えられる ことでしょう。

1873年6月11日、マクレイ 先生夫妻は、

横浜港に上陸しました。四半世紀にわたる中国伝道が軌道に乗り、果実を収穫できる段になったら、後進に道 を譲り、メソジスト監督教会日本宣教総理として、より困難に満ちた日本伝道を担うためにやってきたのです。自分の快適な居心地を求め て根をはろうとする生き方とは無縁です。先生は49歳でした。新しい言葉を身につけるためには大きなハンディですが、堪能となった中国語を用いる道を断ち 切って、日本においでになりました。

マクレイ先生は、1879年に美會神学 校を設立し、1881年に耕教学舎を東京英学校と改称、1882年には美會神学校を東京英学校に合併し、翌年には青山の地に東京英和学校として校舎移転を果たしました。 背後には常に親友ジョン・F・ガウチャー先生の支えがありました。ガウチャー先生の日本伝道と教育に対する莫大な献金は、信頼に足る 祈りの友がいたからこそ実現したものでした。21世紀に、多分世界で最も価高き土地の上に建てられている青山学院は、二人の主にある友情に支えられて今日 を得ているのです。

先生は、更に朝鮮伝道の幻を与えられます。59歳で韓国語を学び、メソジスト監督教会朝鮮宣教総理にも任命されるのです。実際に先生が朝鮮に出向いたの は、24日間にすぎず、大方は日本からその指揮をとっておられました。しかし青山学院初代院長ロバート・マクレイ 先生こそは、青山学院という枠をはるかに超え、中国、日本、朝鮮に大いなる足跡を残した東洋伝道のパイオニアであったのです。

1888年にアメリカに戻った先生は、カリフォルニア州サンフェルナンドの神学校の校長に就任し、78歳で引退されるまで14年間にわたり その責任を全うされました。私たちが忘れがちなことは、宣教師として生涯を捧げた人々が晩年に遭遇する厳しさ、寂しさです。異国の地 で、全身全霊を注いで宣教活動をした時代のことを記憶し、思い出を分かち合う仲間がいないのです。

マクレイ先生が召される2年前、81歳の時に鵜飼吉次牧師が訪問し、次のようにしたためておられます。「或る貸間の一室を借り受け給ひて独り 起臥し給ふと見え、一個のベッドと鏡台と洗面具と洗面用の器具とあるのみ。其片隅に汚く損じたる一個のバックとトランクとありき。余 等は其室内のあまりに単純にして粗末なるを見て、老師の晩年の身の上を想ひ、同情の涙にむせばざるをえざりき

。青山学院の基礎を築き、東洋伝道のパイオニアとして偉大な 働きをなした先生の晩年は、その働きに比してなんと簡素にして慎ましいものであったことでしょう。しかし先生自身には、霊に満たされ た平安があったに違いないのです。なぜなら先生は「更にまさった故郷、すなわち天の故郷を熱望し」、地上では仮住まいの者であること をよくわきまえておられたに違いないからです。(川上善子KNL編集委員長まとめ)

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