A native of Guangdong Province, Lu was born into a merchant’s family in the neighborhood of Sun Yet-sun’s home. In 1883 he first received from Sun aspects of Euro-American culture and democratic revolutionary ideologies and determined to get rid of all ill-founded customs. In November of the same year, he destroyed idols in the Northern Precincts of the Village Temples and was pursued by the wealthy landlords. He escaped to Hong Kong, where he was baptized into the Christian church. Later he went to study at the Shanghai Telegraphic School. Upon graduation he became a translator at the Shanghai Telegraphic Office, later becoming its chief.
He returned to Guangdong in 1890 and traveled between Guangdong and Hong Kong to assist with Sun’s revolutionary activities. In 1894 he drafted the petition letter to Li Hung-zhang and also traveled north with Sun to Tien-tsin for the petition. The trip achieved nothing, and they returned unhappily to Hong Kong, where they organized the Revive China Society, which was officially inaugurated in February 1895. Lu designed the Revolutionary Army’s official flag, which depicted a white sun against a blue sky. An action date was set for October, but word went out unexpectedly. While Lu was preparing to destroy the party’s membership list, he fell into enemy hands at his office. He was executed on November of the same year. Sun called Lu “the first person to have been martyred for the Republican Revolution in China.”
This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright © 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.