Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/291

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THE PROVINCE OF SHANSI

of church government and discipline, and this in spite of the fact that the missionaries concerned represent nearly every section of the evangelical churches.

As yet the work is largely confined to the farmer and labouring classes, the Gospel having won but few converts from among the merchants and scholars.

The work received a serious check in the Boxer rising, from which in many districts it is recovering but slowly. On the other hand, there are distinct reasons for encourage- ment and hope in looking forward to the future.

The work commenced by the late Pastor Hsi, and still being carried on by his co-workers, enables us to realise what God is able to do through our native brethren, if they but consecrate their gifts and lives to Him. Then the prominent place taken by the native leaders, and the large measure of self-support and self-government already attained in several of the larger churches, is full of promise for the future healthy development and extension of the work.