During the year 1848 he sent a letter to the Society of Inquiry of the Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
“It is yet a ‘day of small things’ with us. Our work thus far has been chiefly of a preparatory nature. This will probably be the case for some time to come. There have been just enough conversions to teach us that God is with us and will own the instrumentality which He Himself has appointed for the salvation of men, and to encourage us not to faint in our work. We have a vast amount of prejudice and superstition to remove—prejudice and superstition which has been growing and consolidating for forty centuries, and has become an essential ingredient in the character of the people and part of almost every emotion and conception of their minds. At present both officials and people are very friendly, and we are permitted to preach the Gospel without hindrance. But we cannot tell how long this state of things will continue. When the operation of the leaven has become manifest, we must expect opposition. We cannot expect that the great adversary of God and men will relinquish this the strongest hold of his empire on earth, without a mighty struggle. We must yet contend with ‘principalities and, powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.’
“The system of idolatry is as closely connected with the civil government of China, I suppose, as ever it was with ancient Rome. The emperor may be called the great High-priest of the nation. He and he only is permitted to offer sacrifice and direct worship to the Supreme Being. The description which Paul has given of the ‘man of sin,’ with but little variation may be applied to him.
“’He exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.’ He has arrogated to himself the title which expresses the highest thought of divinity known to the conceptions of the Chinese mind. He is superior to all gods, except the great Supreme. All others he appoints, designates their business