Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/148

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It is significant that a Chinese independent Church has been formed in Shanghai. It is composed of Chinese church members of all denominations, and aims at spreading the Gospel without recourse to the aid of foreign governments or consuls. The Tao-tai of Shanghai has issued a proclamation in favour of this body, and they have received considerable financial help from their compatriots in America. The officers of the Church are able and energetic men, and though the formation of this Church has been viewed with suspicion by some missionaries, who see in it a premature attempt to throw off the restraint of foreign control, there can be no doubt that it indicates the healthy vitality of the native Church. The promoters of the new Church are likely to make mistakes. They will be very unlike the directors of all other religious organisations if they do not! Nevertheless, the inception of the Chinese independent Church marks the beginning of a new era in the history of Missions in China, and is a significant forward step which will have far-reaching consequences.

We therefore say thankfully, "What hath God wrought!" and we look forward with hopefulness to the future, knowing that Jesus is with us "alway, even to the end of the world."