Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/302

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work in the west, having Chengtu and Kiating as their headquarters.

During this period the Methodist Episcopal Mission had extended its operations to the capital and other cities near Chungking, and on the Great East Road towards Chengtu. The China Inland Mission had also opened up no less than nine centres in various parts of the province east and west.

Another important factor was the employment of native agents and the opening of out-stations. By the judicious use of native agents the missionaries, who were all too few to cope with the growing work in the larger centres, were enabled to open up new work in other cities and towns, and thus commenced a work which if persisted in will enable them to occupy all the more important towns and villages of the province, and thus secure the evangelisation of its scattered millions.

The establishment of a Mission Press during this period must not be overlooked. Dr. Virgil Hart, who, by his book on Western China, was instrumental in directing the attention of the Canadian Methodist Mission to West China, also was the means of establishing the first Mission Press in those parts. Dr. Hart, perceiving that the almost insurmountable difficulties presented by the rapids and whirlpools of the Yangtse made it very difficult to get books, tracts, and other literature to the west in large enough quantities to supply the increasing demands, determined to start a press for West China, which would supply the literature so much needed in the evangelising of this vast and needy field. This press, after very many difficulties, was established at Kiating, and continued to do valuable work till, sharing the fate of the rest of Mission work during the riots of 1895, its work was brought to a close for the time being.

IV. Opposition Period (1895-1898-1900). — The Yangtse Valley riots of 1890 threatened to spread to the west, and although no disturbances actually occurred, yet seeds of suspicion and ill-feeling were sown which eventually