Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/303

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
233
THE PROVINCE OF SZECHWAN

caused trouble and riot. The China-Japanese War was the culminating point. The news of China's utter defeat was the sign for much anti-foreign feeling, which led to the attack on Missions in the capital and other cities in the west of the province in 1895. After the settlement of these riots, and the re-establishment of the work in all the stations rioted, there appeared to be a return, for a while, to the calm and quiet of the preceding and progressive period; but this was only on the surface. Rumours of a bad nature were persistently circulated in the capital and other large cities which were intended to stir up the populace to attempt the destruction of Mission property and the expulsion of all foreigners; but through the vigilance of the officials and the efforts of the better-intentioned of the people, actual riot and disorder were prevented. In 1898, however, riots suddenly broke out again, and got quite beyond the control of the local officials. The troubles were called the Yü-man-tse Rebellion, because one of the principal leaders was a man named Yü. This uprising was chiefly directed against the Roman Catholic Church; the Protestants not coming under the wrath of the rebels, though subject to persecution and petty annoyance from local rowdies.

During the Yü-man-tse Rebellion a Protestant Conference (January 1899) was held at Chungking, the results of which have proved beneficial to many parts of the work. The fact that some eighty missionaries, representing eight Missions and three Bible Societies, could meet in Chungking for a conference was in itself cause for much encouragement to the workers, especially those who as pioneers had seen the small beginnings and had experienced the many trials and troubles of the early days.

Three permanent results of the Conference are worthy of notice : —

1. The establishment of the West China Missionary News.

2. The invigoration of the West China Tract Society.

3. The formation of an Advisory Board for West China.