Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/147

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91
THE PROVINCE OF KIANGSU

of the same Mission. Besides these conspicuous buildings there are, of course, the usual churches, chapels, and outstations of these and other Missions.

These are the principal centres of missionary work in the province, but from these centres the work has gradually spread to the neighbouring cities. Mention ought to be made of the city of Tsingkiangpu, at the confluence of the Grand Canal and the Hungtse Lake, and of Soochow, a large prefectural city near the borders of Shantung. Both of these are well-manned missionary stations.

The main lesson which this brief review emphasises is, not that a great work has been accomplished, but that, in the providence of God, we are on the threshold of a success which has hitherto been only dreamed of in Christian Missions in China.

Sixty years have elapsed since missionary work was commenced in Kiangsu, and since that date, as we have seen, almost every strategic point in the province has been seized on and is now to be the base of a farther advance. Missionaries in the early days were men of an heroic faith, but they necessarily lacked knowledge of China and experience of the Chinese. To-day the missionaries are no less zealous than of yore; they are also wise with the experience of half a century, and in their ranks are not a few who are reckoned cultured Chinese scholars even by the literati of China.

The Christian literature which has been issued from the printing presses set up in the province of Kiangsu has been of such dynamic force that it has rent asunder the bands of the old conservatism which bound China hand and foot. It also provides a spiritual food for those who are born (regenerated) into the Church.

Schools, colleges, and hospitals have been established, where leaders of the Church of God in China have been and still are being educated; but, above all, a Church has been called out of heathenism, and it is to this agency rather than to the foreign missionaries that we look for the future evangelisation of Kiangsu.