Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/107

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61
THE PROVINCE OF FUKIEN

be possessed "here as elsewhere in China, and it is possible to travel long distances across our fertile plains and over our lofty hills, and enter town after town, without finding any trace of Christianity or meeting with a living exponent of its doctrines.

We rejoice that so much has been done; we thank God for the numerous churches established in our midst; we praise Him for the evident tokens of His presence which we see on every hand; we remember with deep gratitude our noble band of native workers, both men and women; we note with humble pride that about one quarter[1] the number of Christians in the whole of China are to be found in this province, and we are determining by God's grace and in His strength to take possession of the land yet unoccupied, assured that He is with us, and that His word to His Church is now, as of old, "Go forward."

It is confidently hoped that one result of the publication of these sketches of the different provinces of China, and the efforts being made to make Christ known to the millions who inhabit them, will call forth much earnest prayer both for the work and for the workers; and that such prayer may be definite and intelligent, I will enumerate briefly some of the special difficulties which confront the Christian missionary as he carries on his work in Fukien, and also some of the encouragements which cheer him on and stimulate him to further persevering efforts, asking my readers to remember that the difficulties and encouragements here mentioned refer not only to one part of China, but to the whole.

Difficulties

(a) The variety of spoken dialects, which confine a missionary's efforts to a comparatively small area, and demand a multiplication of colloquial Bibles and other books, thus largely increasing the work of translation and publication.

(b) The satisfaction of the people generally with their

  1. This is according to the figures given by Hartmann in the Allgemeine Missions Zeitschrift for 1904.—Ed.