Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/307

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THE PROVINCE OF SZECHWAN

Mission in the province, which give promise of turning out bands of thoroughly equipped men to take charge of out-stations, and become pastors of the native churches which are springing up in all parts of the province.

The progress of Mission work in this province may be summarised as follows:—

Prior to 1877 there was no resident Protestant missionary; now, if the main waterway from Ichang in Hupeh to Chengtu, the capital of Szechwan, be followed — a distance of, roughly, 1000 miles — twenty-one walled cities will be found, each with a resident worker, either native or foreign.

If the Great South Road from Chengtu to Tibet be traversed, seven walled cities will be passed within a distance of 300 miles, each of which has either a resident missionary or Chinese evangelist. If the Great North Road from Chengtu to Shensi be taken, eight walled cities will be reached within a journey of 250 miles. Each of these cities is occupied either by the Church Missionary Society or the China Inland Mission.

Should the Great East Road from Chengtu to the treaty port of Chungking be chosen — a road passing right through the heart of the province with its teeming population and eight walled cities— the cities would be found occupied by the American Methodist Episcopal Mission. Further, on the mid -province waterways — the three rivers running from the east of the province down towards Chungking — fifteen of the twenty cities located there are worked by various Societies. Nevertheless, there are some three thousand towns and villages still unoccupied.