Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/76

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Chinese"; of the creation of a Chinese national army in contradistinction to provincial troops; of the courageous crusade against the opium curse; or to the many other developments in almost every department of Chinese life. These things are all known to those who have even superficially followed the course of events, which during the last few years have been re-shaping the Far East, and many of them are referred to, more or less in detail, in the separate articles which follow.

A perusal of the Table of Foreign Publications (see opposite page), translations of which can now be bought nearly all over China, will show at a glance how wide is the gulf between the but recent past, when all that was good was thought by the Chinese to be contained in Confucian literature, and the present, when they hungrily devour every variety of literature that the West can supply.

China has entered upon a new era in her history, and he would be a bold man who would dare to prophesy what the future has in store for the world in consequence. That China has immense and deep-seated evils to combat, her best friends know, and that she cannot make any serious progress without confronting many dangerous situations and fighting many a battle, is evident to all. He, therefore, who would be a friend to that land, and thereby a friend to the world, must be willing, at some sacrifice to himself and may be nation, to earnestly assist China in her desires for better things. "The elevation of China is not a thing to be afraid of, but her degradation is." Let the nations deal with her righteously; let England in particular cease her opium trade, and offer a helping hand to her in her present struggle with those evils which threaten her life; above all, let the Church of Christ take to heart more seriously than she yet has done the overwhelming needs and claims of that great Empire, and China with its countless millions may yet be spared to bless the world.