Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/116

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without the necessity of visits from the foreigner, became more and more pressing. With a view to maintain the independence and dignity of these ministers as being ecclesiastically on a par with the foreigner, we have required, as in our mainland Missions, that the entire amount required for their salary should be raised by the people from the very first.

In the case of the unordained preachers we do not insist on this, though we urge it as an ideal. In some cases the entire salary of these preachers is borne by the congregation where they labour. In one district of our field, for the last two years, by means of an augmentation fund, to which members of congregations subscribe over and above what they give directly to their own preachers, sufficient funds have been raised to pay the salaries of all the regular preachers working in that district, though the salaries of evangelists, colporteurs, etc., still remain a charge on the mission funds.

With a view to the organisation of the Church, about ten years ago the elders belonging to the various congregations in South Formosa met together and constituted themselves into a Presbytery, which since then has met regularly twice a year. The foreign missionaries were invited to sit and act along with the Presbytery as full members, without their relation to the home churches being affected thereby. In 1905 the North Church similarly organised itself, and proposals have already been made for the union of the two churches into one.

The cession of the island to Japan in 1895, as a condition of peace between China and her victor, has naturally produced very marked effects on the conditions of life among the people, and has also affected not a little our church work. The general results of the change of government need not be dwelt on here in detail. The occupation by Japan was strenuously objected to by the people, some of whose leaders set up a mock republic on the departure of the Chinese rulers. This required an armed occupation, which resulted in much suffering and loss of life and