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0021 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 21 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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partial knowledge scarcely quenched. Familiarity of late years has had something of its proverbial result ; and closer examination of a civilisation in decay has discerned how much rottenness now exists at the core of the vast and fantastic structure.

When we see communities that have long passed the zenith of their civilisation and genius going down simultaneously in population and in moral power, there seems little of mystery in their future. But in regarding a country like China, in which moral and intellectual decay and disorganisation have been accompanied by an increase of population so vast as to amount to nearly a third of the world's inhabitants, the field of speculation as to its destiny is dark indeed. Though under forms sometimes doubtless most imperfect, the influences of Christianity, the Divine Regenerator of the nations, have entered China on at least three several occasions. Twice they appear to have been choked and extinguished ; on another occasion we have seen them perverted to the purposes of a vast imposture. The future is with God. Of the clouds that are gathering round the world's horizon China has its share. The empire which has a history coeval with the oldest of Chalda seems to be breaking up. It has often broken up before and been reconsolidated ; it has often been conquered, and has either thrown off the yoke or absorbed its conquerors. But they derived what civilisation they possessed from the land which they invaded. The internal combustions that are now heaving the soil come in contact with