Before we pass to the developments of the later 'sixties, it should be mentioned that in 1863 the S.P.G. sent out two men to China, but these only remained on the field for a few months, the permanent work of that Society being commenced at a later date. In 1864 Bishop Smith of Hongkong, after fifteen years of service, resigned this office, and the Kev. C. R Alford was consecrated Bishop of Victoria, while W. A. Eussell was appointed as C.M.S. Secretary for China. Bishop Alford threw himself heartily into the work of the C.M.S., visiting all their stations on the China coast, and travelling up the river Yangtse. So great was his zeal for the evangelisation of China, that he even proposed the founding of a new Society for that special purpose. The proposal, however, was not favoured at home.
The express object which lay behind the formation of the C.I.M. was the occupation of Inland China, there being at that time eleven inland provinces without any Protestant missionary. In 1866 two inland stations were opened in the province of Chekiang, by J. W. Stevenson, who had preceded the Lammermuir party. Three more inland stations in the same province were opened in 1867, and the city of Nankin, capital of Kiangsu, was occupied by Mr. Duncan in September of the following year.
Kiangsi was the first of the eleven "unoccupied provinces" to be opened to the Gospel, and this was by the American Methodist Episcopalian Mission, which commenced work at Kiukiang in 1868, the C.I.M. following in 1869. Anhwei, another of the "unoccupied provinces," was opened in January 1869 by the C.I.M., the cities of Chinkiang and Yangchow in Kiangsu having been opened by the same Mission in 1868. It was at this latter city that the terrible riot of 1868 took place.
- The Duke of Somerset's bitter attack upon Missions, made in the House of Lords at this time, received a crushing reply by Bishop Magee; the same Duke's subsequent attack on African Missions, also made in the Upper House, being answered by Archbishop Benson. Mr. Stock has pointed out that both of these replies were maiden speeches.