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Huang Zihing, c. 1935.

From Adventism in China Digital Image Repository. Accessed Novemer 10, 2021, www.adventisminchina.org. 

Huang, Zijing (1877–1938)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: August 4, 2020

Zijing Huang1 (黃子敬) was a Chinese scholar and ordained minister who served in his homeland province of Sichuan, and later at the denominational training school in the province of Jiangsu. He was murdered by Japanese invasion forces in 1938.

Education and a Secular Career

Zijing Huang was born December 26, 1877, at Ganhezi (甘河子) in the Chinese province of Sichuan near Tibet, of father Huang Jiawei (黃家瑋) and mother Xia Shoushan (夏守善). He had three brothers and seven sisters. One brother died as a teenager, and a sister died due to dystocia. His other sisters unfortunately also lost their lives as infants due to nutritional deprivation. His grandfather and father taught in their private school and were also purveyors of herbal medicines. Zijing and his older brother were educated in the family private school. When Zijing was twenty years old he went to the provincial capital, Chengdu, and sat for the Imperial Examination, gaining second place as Xiucai (秀才). In 1898 he married the talented Dong Sihui (董嗣徽), eldest daughter of the scholar Dong Yushan (董玉山).2

Rather than travel to America for his graduate studies, Zijiang was advised by his father to study in Japan. He chose to major in railway engineering, beginning in 1903. The acquisition of English and Japanese languages became additional benefits during his studies. He also took an active part in Sun Yat-sen’s National Party meetings on campus. Their aims were to unite China as a republic and equalize land rights for the Chinese people. Zijiang returned to Sichuan in 1911 and was elected president of the Sichuan Provincial Assembly. At the same time he taught mathematics and mechanical drawing at the Chengdu Railway School. He and his wife were blessed with three sons and two daughters.3 Soon after his return from Japan Zijing also had a part in designing a railway memorial that stands today in Chengdu People’s Park.4

A Path with the Seventh-day Adventist Church

About 1921 Zijing came in contact with Seventh-day Adventists and began to study their tenets of faith. He and his family were baptized in 1924. He was encouraged by Sidney H. Lindt, Sichuan Mission treasurer and evangelist, to join the ministry without delay.5 He received a missionary license in the West Szechwan (Sichuan) Mission.6 In 1927 he guided Elder John Effenberg through the Sichuan mountains on a tour to explore possibilities for mission expansion.7 Zijing was ordained soon after this trip and was found nurturing the believers in Chengdu amid strong opposition from the local public.8

In 1933 Dr. Denton Rebok, president of the China Training Institute (formerly the China Junior Missionary College), invited Zijiang to head up the Chinese Department and on occasions to teach mathematics and religion at the China Training Institute at Chiao Tou Tseng, Jiangsu Province.9 By 1934 he had transitioned to the specialist role of lecturing on the Chinese language and Chinese literature.10 In this capacity he included units of study in the ethics of Confucius and Mencius, both philosophers highlighting the imperative of justice, kindness, sincerity, benevolence, and high moral standards in social relationships. Zijiang was a highly-principled man who gained the respect of the students, the church members, and the public community near the Institute.11

Martyrdom

The Japanese invasion and occupation of northern China in the 1930s created significant disruption to mission activities. As Japanese forces advanced south and east towards Jiangsu Province in 1937, the China Training Institute closed and most of the students and staff fled to Hong Kong, where a temporary school was established. Zijing, fellow teacher Teng Xuechun, and six others, chose to remain at the institution to care for the assets.12 Being familiar with the Japanese language, Zijing was qualified to negotiate the protection of property and personnel. However, the Japanese were in no mood for negotiation. Their army had captured the capital, Nanking, raping tens of thousands of women and killing an estimated 300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians. On the evening of March 16, 1938, Zijing’s campus was stormed and the eight caretakers were put to death.13 A memorial bell tower was erected at Hong Kong Adventist College to commemorate these martyrs.14

Several months before Zijing’s death he wrote to a son who was studying in Shanghai, quoting Romans 8:35-37 as if he had a premonition of what was to come, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”15

Sources

“Chengdu People’s Park.” Travel China Guide, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2021. https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/sichuan/chengdu/peoples-park.html.

Effenberg, J[ohn H]. “Still at Work in Szechwan.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1927.

Huang, Zike. “Huang Zijing.” Chinese SDA History, Samuel Young (editor), 2002, Chinese Union Mission: Hong Kong, China. English translation accessed August 8, 2021. https://ccah-collection.weebly.com/huangzijing.html.

Hughes, Alton E. “Back Into the West Szechwan Mission.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, April 1928.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1934-1938.

Su, Joseph. “Hwang Tze-ging.” China Division Reporter, July 1938.

Notes

  1. Note: In denominational literature he appears as Hwang Dzi Gin and D.G. Hwang.

  2. Zike Huang, “Huang Zijing,” in Chinese SDA History, Samuel Young (editor), 2002, Chinese Union Mission: Hong Kong, China. English translation accessed August 8, 2021, .

  3. Ibid.

  4. “Chengdu People’s Park,” Travel China Guide, 2020. Accessed August 6, 2021, https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/sichuan/chengdu/peoples-park.html.

  5. Zike Huang, “Huang Zijing,” in Chinese SDA History, Samuel Young (editor), 2002, Chinese Union Mission: Hong Kong, China. English translation accessed August 8, 2021, https://ccah-collection.weebly.com/huangzijing.html.

  6. E.g., “West Szechwan Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1926), 167.

  7. J[ohn H.] Effenberg, “Still at Work in Szechwan,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, September 1927, 4-5.

  8. Alton E. Hughes, “Back Into the West Szechwan Mission,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, April 1928, 19.

  9. Zike Huang, “Huang Zijing,” in Chinese SDA History, Samuel Young (editor), 2002, Chinese Union Mission: Hong Kong, China. English translation accessed August 8, 2021, https://ccah-collection.weebly.com/huangzijing.html.

  10. “China Training Institute,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1934), 223.

  11. Zike Huang, “Huang Zijing,” in Chinese SDA History, Samuel Young (editor), 2002, Chinese Union Mission: Hong Kong, China. English translation accessed August 8, 2021, https://ccah-collection.weebly.com/huangzijing.html.

  12. Ibid.

  13. Joseph Su, “Hwang Tze-ging,” China Division Reporter, July 1938, 7.

  14. See entry “Hong Kong Adventist College” on http://www.encyclopedia.adventist.org

  15. Joseph Su, “Hwang Tze-ging,” China Division Reporter, July 1938, 7.

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Hook, Milton. "Huang, Zijing (1877–1938)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. August 04, 2020. Accessed December 01, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=B8FF.

Hook, Milton. "Huang, Zijing (1877–1938)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. August 04, 2020. Date of access December 01, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=B8FF.

Hook, Milton (2020, August 04). Huang, Zijing (1877–1938). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved December 01, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=B8FF.