Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/300

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the distinction is this:—Taking the Kialing river, which enters the Yangtse opposite Chungking, as the boundary, all the cities, towns, and villages east of this belong to the "East Szechwan" branch of the Mission, which is worked on distinctively Church of England lines; while all the districts west of the Kialing river belong to the "West Szechwan" branch of the China Inland Mission, and are, generally speaking, worked on Free Church lines.

The one striking feature of this period (1877-1886) is the persistence and tenacity of the pioneers. Many difficulties and disappointments attended their efforts; the people were either indifferent or hostile, and the results of their labours were very small indeed. Sickness and death were constantly occurring to hinder and even threaten the existence of the work, yet these pioneers were strong in faith, and believed in the ultimate success of their efforts to evangelise the teeming millions of this "Garden of the West."

Much seed was sown during this period, but prejudice, ill-feeling, and suspicion presented serious hindrances to the work, and eventually the riot of 1886 at Chungking almost extinguished the little churches which had been gathered by the two Missions.

III. Progressive Period.—After the settlement of the Chungking riots and the re-establishment of Mission work in that city, a period of unprecedented prosperity set in. The probable reasons for this season of prosperity seem to be threefold. First, the faithful and persistent work of the pioneers during the preceding period; second, the widespread and systematic itinerations which followed the riot; third, the semi-awakening of the people. As to the first—the faithful and persistent work of the pioneers—very little can be written, as records are somewhat meagre; but workers now on the field who followed these pioneers are able to testify to the permanent work done by this faithful band. As regards the second — the widespread and systematic itinerations — the work done by two members of the China Inland Mission in the Kiating Fu district during this period may