Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/301

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THE PROVINCE OF SZECHWAN

be given as a specimen. " After selling books till we could sell no more in the city (Kiating Eu), we took the villages and market towns — all within 5 miles, 1 miles, 2 miles — and gradually we spread over what we called the Kiating district, which consists of 8 walled cities and 350 market towns or villages. We continued this work for six years and a half, constantly travelling round these villages and towns. During that period we travelled not less than 30,000 miles."

The third reason given for the prosperity of this period — the semi-awakening of the people — demands a few words of explanation. During the last few decades the people of China have passed through several periods of awakening — times when her well-wishers hoped that at last she was entering upon a new life and seriously desirous of progress. Such a period was the one under review. After the wave of anti-foreign feeling which swept over Central China in 1890 had subsided, there set in a more hopeful state of things, and this feeling having taken hold of Szechwan, the attitude of the people was decidedly more friendly towards missionaries and their work, and this may largely account for the unprecedented progress made. But there were other causes which doubtless contributed much.

During this period no less than five additional missionary societies commenced new work in Szechwan. In 1888 the London Missionary Society, whose representative. Dr. Griffith John, was the first to enter the province in 1868, took up permanent work in Chungking. In 1890 the American Baptist Missionary Union also arrived and commenced work in the west of the province, having Suifu and Kiating as their chief centres. In the same year (1890) the English Friends' Mission also began work in Chungking. The year 1892 saw the Church Missionary Society, under the leadership of Mr. Horsburgh, commence a new work east of the province, which eventually led to the occupation of that region, which had hitherto been unreached by any other Mission. Then finally, in 1892, the Canadian Methodists opened up