Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/42

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things for God, moved the heart and arm of Him who is the great Disposer of kings and peoples to give the victory to British arms, only eternity will fully show.

Dr. Morrison landed in Canton in the autumn of 1807, having previously prepared himself for his future work, so far as that was possible, by some preliminary study of the Chinese language, by the transcribing of a Chinese manuscript of part of the New Testament found in the British Museum (see p. 379), and by making a copy of a Chinese and Latin dictionary. Confronted by a closed land and mountains of difficulty, he, to quote the words of his subsequent colleague. Dr. Milne, with "the patience that refuses to be conquered, the diligence that never tires, the caution that always trembles, and the studious habit that spontaneously seeks retirement," laid the foundations of all subsequent missionary work.

From 1807 to 1834—the same year that the East India Company's charter ceased—he laboured on practically alone, for Milne, who reached China in 1813 and died in 1822, was not allowed to live at Canton. Shortly before his death, however, he was cheered by the arrival of three workers from America, Bridgman[1] and Abeel, who reached Canton in 1830—though Abeel shortly afterwards left for Siam—and Wells-Williams,[1] who reached Macao the year before Morrison died. Thus for twenty-seven years, with the exception of his furlough in 1824, he laboured on at his great task, in loneliness, often in sickness, and amid almost overwhelming discouragements. The love and courage of the two women—for he was twice married—who shared his toils and sorrows must not be forgotten. Among his trials must be mentioned the long times of painful separation from wife and children, once for six unbroken years.

It is true that the London Missionary Society had sent out more than ten men whose aim was the evangelisation

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dr. Bridgman started the Chinese Repository in 1832, and Dr. Wells-Williams became the author of The Middle Kingdom, and was afterwards the Secretary of the U.S.A. Legation in China.