The U.S. Minister Plenipotentiary to Japan reports to the Government at Washington a remarkable religious movement in Japan. The natives, who had adopted the Presbyterian faith, concluding not to await the revision of the Confession proposed by the Presbyterians of the United States, have revised their creed to suit their own ideas. They also made an addition to the so-called Apostles' Creed by inserting the following as a preamble:--
"The Lord Christ, whom we worship as God, for us men and for our salvation was made man and suffered. He offered up a perfect sacrifice for sin, and all who are one with him by faith are pardoned and accounted righteous; and faith in him, working by love, purifies the heart. The Holy Ghost, who, with the Father and Son, is worshiped and glorified, reveals Jesus Christ to the soul, and without his grace, man, being dead in sin, cannot enter the kingdom of God. By him the prophets and apostles and holy men [R1300 : page 62] of old were inspired; and he, speaking in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the supreme and infallible Judge in things pertaining unto faith and living. From these holy Scriptures the ancient Church of Christ drew its confession, and we, holding the faith once delivered to the saints, join in that confession, with praise and thanksgiving."
The American and European Presbyterian missionaries, seeing that the Japanese were determined, assented to the proceedings--no doubt fearing a general deflection toward some other denomination in case of opposition.
Minister Swift's report says that it is a frequent and common claim made by native Christian converts that the spirit and meaning of Christianity, in its broader and more universal scope, has never been properly comprehended among Western nations, and that the faith needed to be transported to Japan for final development and perfection. Consequently he apprehends that this change will be followed by other and more radical changes. We congratulate the Japanese on their progressiveness.