MY LIFE IN CHINA AND AMERICA
utmost indifference, as was seen subsequently, when the government had decided to take the bull by the horns and resorted to persecution as the final means to break up this religious, fanatical community. In their conflicts with the imperial forces, they had neither guns nor ammunition, but fought with broomsticks, flails and pitchforks. With these rustic and farming implements they drove the imperialist hordes before them as chaff and stubble before a hurricane. Such was their pent-up religious enthusiasm and burning ardor.
Now this religious persecution was the side issue that had changed the resistance of Hung Siu Chune and his followers, in their religious capacity, into the character of a political rebellion. It is difficult to say whether or not, if persecution had not been resorted to, Hung Siu Chune and his followers would have remained peaceably in the heart of China and developed a religious community. We are inclined to think, however, that even if there had been no persecution, a rebellion would have taken place, from the very nature of the political situation.
Neither Christianity nor religious persecution was the immediate and logical cause of the