Doubtless if the rebel army had been permeated with the Gospel leaven of truth and righteousness, that host might have become a great reforming force. As it happened, there was not sufficient goodness in the mass to save it from corruption. We must rejoice that an end was put to the unspeakable atrocities of the Taipings, but we may be allowed to ponder regretfully "What might have been" had Hung Siu-ts'üen and his followers been imbued with even a modicum of Christian virtue.
The first Protestant missionary to visit the province of Kiangsu was Karl Friedrich Gutzlaff, who sailed along the coast of China in a sailing vessel in 1832 and visited Shanghai during the trip. He distributed Gospels to the people, who received the books courteously.
To the London Missionary Society belongs the honour of commencing settled work in Mid-China. Dr. Medhurst first visited Shanghai in 1835. In 1843, in company with Dr. Lockhart, he took up his residence there, renting premises outside the east gate of the native city. Here he erected the first printing-press and engaged in evangelistic work. It was here too that, on November 13, 1845, the first two converts were baptized. In 1843 Dr. Lockhart rented premises outside the south gate and established the first Mission hospital in Mid-China. Since 1843 the Mission work of this great Society has been continued without intermission in the city and surrounding country.
The Rev. T. M'Clatchie of the Church Missionary Society rented a house inside the native city of Shanghai in 1844. Bishop Boone of the American Episcopal Church arrived in 1845. Rev. M. T. Yates of the American Southern Baptist Mission, and Drs. Carpenter and Wardner of the Seventh Day Baptist Mission, arrived in 1847. The American Methodist Episcopal Mission (South) commenced work in Shanghai in 1848, and the American Presbyterian (North) in 1850. The China Inland Mission rented its first house in Shanghai in 1873, and other Missions have followed since, until there are now about