Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/65

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
25
INTRODUCTION

Among the most important events which transpired between 1870 and 1875 should be mentioned the settlement of the long-delayed question of a Missionary Bishopric in connection with the C.M.S. This was accomplished by the consecration of Bishop Russell as Bishop for North China, and the regretted resignation of Bishop Alford; J. S. Burdon being consecrated as Bishop of Victoria in 1874. In 1871 the Canadian Presbyterians commenced their work on the Island of Formosa; and in 1874 the S.P.G. definitely commenced its China Mission by the appointment of two men to that field, one of whom is the present Bishop C. P. Scott. It was also in 1874 that the C.I.M. opened its station at Wuchang as a base for its advance into the interior. The same Mission also opened Bhamo in Burmah in 1875, with the hope that it might soon be possible to enter China from the west. It was also during the same year that the C.I.M. commenced its itinerations in what were to prove two of the most difficult provinces to be opened to the Gospel, the provinces of Honan and Hunan.

During this period an important advance was made in the intercourse of foreign nations with China, Ambassadors of the various powers being allowed audience with the Emperor Tong-chï, who had just attained his majority, without performing the usual Chinese prostrations. The missionaries had also been considerably perplexed by the difficult and vexed controversy over the terms to be used for God and Holy Spirit, concerning which subject more will be found in the chapter entitled "The Bible in the Chinese Empire."

With the year 1875 Missions in China entered upon a new and wider sphere. The murder of Mr. R. A. Margary, an English Consular Official who had been sent across China from east to west to escort an exploring party under Colonel H. Brown from Burmah into China, led to the relations between England and China being strained to their utmost. After more than eighteen months of diplomatic negotiations, with an ever-increasing tension, the