"> '); Prevailing Intercessory Prayer : Hudson Taylor in Early Years - Growth of a Soul | Ch. 31-42

J. Hudson Taylor in Early Years - Growth of a Soul

Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor

PART VI, Chapters 31-42

Marriage and Settled Work



A BRIEF absence was all that Hudson Taylor anticipated when he parted from Mr. Burns in Swatow. He was badly needing change while the hot season lasted, and this journey to fetch his medicines fitted in very well with the plans they had in view. What was his surprise and distress, therefore, to learn upon reaching Shanghai that the premises of the London Mission had been visited by fire and that his medical outfit left there for safety was entirely destroyed.

What could it mean ? Why had it been permitted ? Never had he needed these belongings more. Everything in Swatow seemed to depend upon the medical work they were now in a position to undertake-and Mr. Burns was alone waiting for him.

But what was the use of returning without medicines ? And where was a new supply to come from, or the means to obtain them ? Purchase in Shanghai he could not, on account of the extravagantly high prices of imported articles, and six or eight months might be required before they would reach him from home. It was a difficult position, and the young missionary, as he tells us, was more disposed to say with Jacob, " All these things are against me," than to recognise with cheerful faith that " All things work together for good to them that love God."

" I had not then learned," he records, " to think of God as the One Great Circumstance in whom we live and move and have our being, and of all lesser circumstances as necessarily the kindest, wisest, best, because either ordered or permitted by Him. Hence my disappointment and, trial were very great."

The only thing was to write and tell Mr. Burns what had happened, and to put off his return until he could go to Ning-po and see what Dr. Parker could do to help them. If he could spare a small supply of medicines to go on with, they might still be able to begin work as soon as the great heat was over. So in the hope of retrieving his losses, Hudson Taylor set out for the neighbouring city.

And then a whole set of new difficulties began. Three or four days under ordinary circumstances would have taken him to Dr. Parker, but on this occasion he found himself three weeks after he first started no nearer his destination than at the beginning. True he had made the trip as much of an evangelistic journey as possible, preaching and distributing literature along the first part of the way. But this was not the reason of his ending up where he began, penniless and destitute, without having reached Ning-po at all or communicated with Dr. Parker.

" It is interesting to notice," he wrote long after, " the various events which united in the providence of God in preventing my return to Swatow and ultimately led to my settling in Ning-po and making that the centre for the development of future labours."

But during this trying summer and the many unsettled months that followed, the young missionary was sorely perplexed to understand the way divine providence was taking in the ordering of his affairs. Life turns at times on a small pivot, and in looking back one is startled to realise the importance of what seemed a very little thing.

How could Hudson Taylor have imagined, for example, that the robbery that left him in such distress upon this journey was to result in the deliverance of the entire Mission he was yet to found, during a period of financial danger ? How could he suppose that the upset of all his plans and the severance of a partnership in service more precious than any he had ever known was to prove the crowning blessing of his life on the human side, bringing him into association and at last union with the one of all others most suited both to him and his work ?

But so it is God leads. His hand is on the helm. We are being guided, even when we feel it least. The closed door is as much His Providence as the open, and equally for our good and the accomplishment of His own great ends. And one learns at last that it is not what we set ourselves to do that really tells in blessing so much as what He is doing through us, when we least expect it, if only we are in abiding fellowship with Him.

" There was no water beyond Shih-mun-wan," he wrote in relating the latter part of this journey, 1-{1-1 Up to this point Mr. Taylor had distributed with his usual care as many as Zoo copies of the New Testament and 3000 other books and tracts. He had been two weeks upon his way (July 22-August 4) and was able to write : " Never since I have been in China have I had such opportunities for preaching the Gospel."The account that follows of the rest of the journey is taken from letters to his mother and to the Secretary of the C.E.S., published in part in The Gleaner for December 1856.} " so I paid off my boat, hired coolies to carry my things as far as Ch'ang-an, and before sunrise we were on the way. I walked on ahead leaving my servant to follow with the men, who made frequent stoppages to rest, and on reaching the city of Shih-men I waited for them in a tea-shop outside the North Gate. The coolies came on very slowly and seemed weary when they arrived. I soon found that they were opium-smokers, so that although they had only carried between them a load that a strong man would think nothing of taking three times the distance they were really tired.

"After rice, tea and an hour's rest, including, I doubt not, a smoke of the opium-pipe, they were a little refreshed, and I proposed moving on that we might get on to Ch`ang-an before the sun became too powerful. My servant, however, had a friend in the city and proposed that we should spend the day there and go on the following morning. To this of course I objected, wishing to reach Hai-ning (the point of embarkation for Ning-po) that night if possible. . . . We therefore set off, entered the North Gate, and had passed through about a third of the city when the coolies stopped to rest saying they would be unable to carry the burden on to Ch'ang-an. Finally they agreed to take it to the South Gate, where they were to be paid in proportion to the distance they had travelled, and my servant undertook to call other coolies and come along with them.

" I walked on before as in the first instance, and the distance being only about four miles soon reached Ch'ang-an and waited their arrival,meanwhile engaging coolies for the rest of the journey to Hai-ning. Having waited a long time I began to wonder at the delay, and at length it became too late to finish the journey to Hai-ning that night. I felt somewhat annoyed, and but that my feet were blistered and the afternoon very hot I should have gone back to meet them and urge them on. At last I concluded that my servant must have gone to his friend, and would not appear until evening. But evening came, and still there was no sign of them.

" Feeling very uneasy, I began diligently to inquire whether they had been seen.

"` Are you a guest from Shih-mun-wan,' a man at last responded. " I answered in the affirmative.

" ` Are you going to Hai-ning ? '

" `That is my destination.'

" Then your things have gone on before you. For I was sitting in a tea-shop when a coolie came in, took a cup of tea, and set off for Hai-ning in a great hurry, saying that the bamboo box and bed he carried, just such as you describe yours to have been, were from Shih-mun and he had to take them to Hai-ning to-night, where he was to be paid at the rate of ten cash a pound.'

" From this I concluded that my goods were on before me ; but it was impossible to follow them at once, for I was too tired to walk and it was already dark.

" Under these circumstances all I could do was to seek a lodging for the night, and no easy task I found it. After raising my heart to God to ask His aid, I walked through to the farther end of the town, where I thought the tidings of a foreigner's being in the place might not have spread, and looked out for an inn. I soon came to one and went in, hoping that I might pass unquestioned. , , . Asking the bill of fare, I was told that cold rice-which proved to be more than `rather burnt'-and snakes fried in lamp-oil were all that could be had. Not wishing any question to be raised as to my nationality, I ordered some and tried to make a meal, but with little success.

" While thus engaged I remarked to the landlord,

" ` I suppose I can arrange to spend the night here ? '

To which he replied in the affirmative. But bringing out his book, he added

" ` In these unsettled times we are required by the authorities to keep a record of our lodgers. May I ask your respected family name ? '

" My unworthy name is Tai,' I responded;

"And your honourable second name ?"

"My humble name is Ia-koh' (James)."

"What an extraordinary name ! I never heard it before. How do you write it ?"

" I told him, and added,' It is quite common in the district from which I come."

" ` And may I ask whence you come and whither you are going ? ' "`I am journeying from Shanghai to Ning-po, by way of Hangchow.'

"What may be your honourable profession ?'

"I heal the sick."

" ` Oh ! you are a physician,' the landlord remarked, and to my intense relief closed the book. His wife, however, took up the conversation.

" ` You are a physician, are you ? I am glad of that ; for I have a daughter afflicted with leprosy, and if you will cure her you shall have your supper and bed for nothing.'

" I was curious enough to inquire what my supper and bed were to cost if paid for, and to my amusement found they were worth less than three-halfpence of our money.

" Being unable to benefit the girl I declined to prescribe for her, saying that leprosy was a very intractable disease and that I had no medicines with me.

" But the mother brought pen and paper, urging, ' You can at least write a prescription, which will do no harm if it does no good.'

" This I also declined to do, and requested to be shown my bed. I was conducted to a very miserable room on the ground-floor where on some boards raised upon two stools I passed the night, without bed or pillow save my umbrella and shoe and without any mosquito netting.. Ten or eleven other lodgers were sleeping in the same room, so I could not take anything off for fear of its being stolen. But I was by no means too warm as midnight came on."

TUESDAY, August 5.

Early in the morning I rose, cold, weary and footsore, and I had to wait a long time ere there were any signs of breakfast. After this there was another delay before I could get change for the only dollar I had with me, in consequence of its being chipped in one or two places. More than three hundred cash also were deducted from its price on this account, which was a serious loss in my position.

I then sought throughout the town for tidings of my servant and coolies, as I thought it possible that they might have arrived later or have come on in the morning. The town is large, long and straggling, being nearly two miles from one end to the other, so this occupied some time. I gained no information, however, and footsore and weary set out for Hai-ning in the full heat of the day. The journey (about eight miles) took me a long time, but a half-way village afforded a resting-place and a cup of tea, of which I gladly availed myself, When about to leave again a heavy shower of rain came on, and the delay thus occasioned enabled me to speak a little to the people about the truths of the Gospel.

The afternoon was far spent before I approached the northern suburb of Hai-ning where I commenced inquiries, but nothing could I learn of my servant or belongings. I was told that outside the East Gate I should be more likely to hear of them, as it was there the sea-junks called. I therefore proceeded thither, and sought for them outside the Little East Gate, but in vain. Very weary I sat down in a tea-shop to rest, and while there a number of persons from one of the Mandarin's offices came in and made inquiries as to who I was, where I had come from, etc. On learning the object of my search one of the men in the tea-shop said,

" A bamboo box and a bed, such as you describe, were carried past here about half an hour ago. The bearer seemed to be going toward either the Great East Gate or the South Gate. You had better go to the hongs there (business houses) and inquire ? "

I asked him to accompany me in my search, promising to reward him for his trouble, but he would not. Another man offered to go, however, and we set off, and both inside and outside the two gates made diligent inquiries, but in vain. I then engaged a man to make a thorough search, promising him a liberal reward if he should be successful. In the meantime I had something to eat and addressed a large concourse of people who had assembled.

When my messenger returned, having met with no success, I said to him

"I am now quite exhausted. Will you help me find quarters for the night, and then I will pay you for your trouble ? "

He was willing to befriend me, and we set off in search of lodgings.. At the first place or two the people would not receive me, for though on our going in they were ready to do so, the presence of a man who followed us, and who I found was engaged in one of the Government offices, seemed to alarm them, and I was refused. We now went to a third place, and being no longer followed by the Mandarin's messenger we were promised quarters. Tea was brought and I paid the man who had accompanied me for his trouble.

Soon after he had left some official people came in. They did not stay long, but the result of their visit was that I was told I could not be entertained there that night. A young man present blamed them for their heartless behaviour and said

" Never mind : come with me, and if we cannot get better lodgings you shall sleep at our house."

I went with him, but we found the people of his house unwilling to receive me. Weary and footsore so that I could scarcely stand, I had again to seek quarters, and at length got a promise of some, but a little crowd collecting about the door they desired me to go to a tea-shop and wait till the people had retired, or they would be unable to accommodate me. There was no help for it, so I went accompanied still by the young man and waited till past midnight. Then we left for the promised resting-place, but my conductor could not find it. He led me about to quite another part of the city, and finally between one and two o'clock he left me to pass the rest of the night as best I could.

I was opposite a temple but it was closed ; so I lay down on the stone steps in front of it, and putting my money under my head for a pillow should soon have been asleep, in spite of the cold, had I not perceived a person coming stealthily towards me. As he approached I saw he was one of the beggars so common in China, and had no doubt his intention was to rob me of my money. I did not stir, but watched his movements, and looked to my Father not to leave me in this hour of trial. The man came up, looked at me for some time to assure himself that I was asleep (it was so dark that he could not see my eyes fixed on him), and then began to feel about me gently. I said to him in the quietest tone, but so as to convince him that I was not nor had been sleeping,

" What do you want ? " He made no answer, but went away.

I was thankful to see him go, and when he was out of sight put as much of my cash as would not go into my pocket safely up my sleeve, and made my pillow of a stone projection of the wall. It was not long ere I began to dose, but I was aroused by the all but noiseless footsteps of two persons approaching ; for my nervous system was rendered so sensitive by exhaustion that the slightest sound startled me. Again I sought protection from Him who alone was my stay, and lay still as before, till one of them came up and began to feel under my head for the cash. I spoke again, and they sat down at my feet. I asked them what they were doing. They replied that, like me, they were going to pass the night outside the temple. I then requested them to take the opposite side as there was plenty of room, and leave this side to me. But they would not move from my feet. So I raised myself up and set my back against the wall.

" You had better lie down and sleep," said one of them, " otherwise you will be unable to work to-morrow. Do not be afraid ; we shall not leave you, and will see that no one does you harm."

" Listen to me," I replied. " I do not want your protection. I do not need it. I am not a Chinese, and I do not worship your vain idols. I worship God. He is my Father, and I trust in Him. I know well what you are and what are your intentions, and shall keep my eye on you and not sleep."

Upon this one of them went away, only to return with a third companion. I felt very uneasy but looked to God for help. Once or twice one of them came over to see if I was asleep.

" Do not be mistaken," I said, " I am not sleeping."

Occasionally my head dropped and this was a signal for one of them to rise. But I at once roused myself and made some remark.. As the night slowly wore on, I felt very weary, and to keep myself awake as well as to cheer my mind I sang several hymns, repeated aloud some portions of Scripture, and engaged in prayer . . , to the annoyance of my companions, who seemed as if they would have given anything to get me to desist. After that they troubled me no more, and when shortly before dawn of day they left me I got a little sleep.

WEDNESDAY, August 6.

It was still quite early when I was awakened by the young man who had so misled me on the previous evening. He was very rude and insisted on my getting up and paying him for his trouble, even going so far as to try to accomplish by force what he wanted. This roused me, and in an unguarded moment, with very improper feeling, I seized his arm with a grasp he little expected and dared him to lay a finger on me again or to annoy me further, This quite changed his manner. He let me quietly remain till the guns announced the opening of the gates of the city, and then begged me to give him something to buy opium with. Needless to say this was refused. I gave him the price of two candles that he said he had burnt while with me last night, and no more. I afterwards learned he was connected with one of the Mandarin's offices.

As soon as possible I bought some rice gruel and tea for breakfast, and then once more made a personal search for my things. Some hours thus spent proving unavailing I set out on the return journey, and after a long, weary and painful walk reached Ch' ang-an about noon. Here also my inquiries failed to bring any trace of the missing goods ; so I had a meal cooked in a tea-shop, got a thorough wash and bathed my inflamed feet, and after dinner rested and slept until four in the afternoon. I

Much refreshed I then set off to return to the city at the South Gate of which I had parted with my servant and coolies two days before.. On the way I was led to reflect on the goodness of God, and recollected that I had not made it a matter of prayer that I might be provided with lodgings last night. I felt condemned too that I should have been so anxious for my few things, while the many precious souls around me had caused so little concern. I came as a sinner and pleaded the blood of Jesus, realising that I was accepted in Him-pardoned cleansed, sanctified-and oh the love of Jesus, how great I felt it to be ! I knew something more than I had ever known of what it was to be despised and rejected and have nowhere to lay one's head, and felt more than ever I had before the greatness of the love that induced Him to leave His home in glory and suffer thus for me-nay, to lay down His very life upon the Cross. I thought of Him as " despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." I thought of Him at Jacob's well, weary, hungry and thirsty, yet finding it His meat and drink to do His Father's will, and contrasted this with my littleness of love. I looked to Him for pardon for the past and for grace and strength to do His will in the future, to tread more closely in His footsteps and to be more than ever wholly His. I prayed for myself, for friends in England and for my brethren in the work. Sweet tears of mingled joy and sorrow flowed freely ; the road was almost forgotten ; and before I was aware I had reached my destination. Outside the South Gate I took a cup of tea, asked about my lost luggage and spoke of the love of Jesus. Then I entered the city, and after many vain inquiries left it by the North Gate..

I felt so much refreshed both in mind and body by the communion I had on my walk to the city that I thought myself able to finish the remaining six miles back to Shih-mun-wan that evening.. First I went into another tea-shop to buy some native cakes, and was making a meal of them when who should come in but one of the identical coolies who had carried my things the first stage. From him I learned that after I left them they had taken my luggage to the South Gate. There my servant went away, saying on his return that I had gone on, that he did not intend to start at once, but would spend the day with his friend and then rejoin me. They carried the things to the friend's house and left them there. I got him to go with me to the house, and there learned that my servant had spent the day and night with them and next morning had set off for Hang-chow. This was all I could gather, so unable to do anything but proceed on my return journey to Shanghai with all expedition, I left the city. It was now too late to go on to Shih-mun-wan. I looked to my Father as able to supply all my need, and received another token of His ceaseless love and care -being invited to sleep on a hong-boat, now dry in the bed of the river,

THURSDAY, August 7.

The night was again very cold and the mosquitoes troublesome. Still I got a little rest, and at sunrise was up and able to continue my journey. I felt very ill at first and had a sore throat, but reflected on the wonderful goodness of God in enabling me to bear the heat by day and the cold by night for so long, I felt also quite a load taken off my mind. I had committed myself and my affairs to the Lord, and knew that if it was for my good and for His glory my things would be restored. If not, all would be for the best, I hoped that the most trying part of my journey was now drawing to a close, and this helped me, footsore and weary, on the way.

When I got to Shih-mun-wan and had breakfasted, I found I had still eight hundred and ten cash in hand. I knew that the fare by passenger-boat to Ka-shing was one hundred and twenty cash, and thence to Shanghai three hundred and sixty, which would leave me just three hundred and thirty cash (twelve pence and a fraction) for three or four days' provisions. I went at once to the boat-office, but to my dismay found that goods had been delayed owing to the dry state of the river, and that no boat would leave to-day and perhaps none to-morrow. I inquired if there were no letter-boats for Ka-shing, and was told that they had already left. The only remaining resource was to ascertain if any private boats were going in which I could obtain a passage. My search, however, was in vain ; and I could get no boat to take me all the way to Shanghai, or my difficulty would have been at an end.

Just at this juncture I saw before me, at a turn in the canal, a letterboat going in the direction of Ka-shing. This I concluded must be one of the Ka-shing boats that had been detained, and I set off after it as fast as hope and the necessities of the case would carry me. For the time being weariness and sore feet were alike forgotten, and after a chase of about a mile I overtook it.

" Are you going to Ka-shing Fu ? " I called out. " No," was the only answer.

" Are you going in that direction ? " " No."

" Will you give me a passage as far as you do go that way ? " Still " No," and nothing further.

Completely discouraged and exhausted, I sank down on the grass and fainted away.

As consciousness returned some voices reached my ear, and I found they were talking about me.

" He speaks pure Shanghai dialect," said one and from their own speech I knew them to be Shanghai people.

Raising myself I saw that they were on a large hong-boat on the other side of the canal, and after a few words they sent their small boat to fetch me and I went on board the junk. They were very kind and gave me tea, and when I was refreshed and able to partake of it some food also. I then took off my shoes and stockings to ease my feet, and the boatman kindly provided hot water with which to bathe them. When they heard my story and saw the blisters on my feet they evidently pitied me, and hailed every boat that passed to see if it was going my way. Not finding one, after a few hours sleep I went ashore with the captain intending to preach in the temple of the God of War.

Before leaving the junk I told the captain and those on board that I was now unable to help myself ; that I had not strength to walk to Ka-shing Fu, and having been disappointed in getting a passage to-day I should no longer have sufficient means to take me there by letterboat, an expensive mode of travelling ; that I knew not how God would help me, but that I had no doubt He would do so, and that my business now was to serve Him where I was. I also told them that the help which I knew would come ought to be an evidence to them of the ,truth of the religion which I and the other missionaries in Shanghai preached.

On our way to the town, engaged in conversation with the captain, we saw a letter-boat coming up. The captain drew my attention to it, but I reminded him that I had no longer money enough to pay for my passage. He hailed it nevertheless, and found that they were going to a place about nine miles from Shanghai, whence one of the boatmen would carry the mails overland to the city.

" This gentleman is a foreigner from Shanghai," he then said, " who has been robbed and has no longer the means of returning. If you will take him with you as far as you go, and then engage a sedan-chair to carry him the rest of the way, he will pay you in Shanghai. You see my boat is now lying aground for want of water and cannot get away. I will stand surety, and if this gentleman does not pay you when you get to Shanghai I will do so on your return."

Those on the letter-boat agreeing to the terms, I bade farewell to my kind friend and was taken on board as a passenger. As I lay down in the bottom of the boat how soft the planks felt, and how thankful I was to be on the way to Shanghai once more !

Long and narrow in build, these letter-boats are very limited as to their inside accommodation, and one has to lie down all the while they are in motion, as a slight movement might upset them. This was no inconvenience to me, however. On the contrary, I was only too glad to be quiet. They are the quickest boats I have seen in China. Each one is worked by two men who relieve one another continuously day and night. They row with their feet and paddle with their hands, or if the wind is quite favourable, row with their feet and with one hand manage a small sail, while steering with the other.

The ninety li 1-{ 1- Thirty miles, a good day's journey by ordinary houseboat.}to Ka-shing Fu were soon passed, and shortly after dark we again left the city-letters having been received and delivered by one of the men, while the other prepared our evening meal.

FRIDAY, August 8.

Morning found us at Ka-shan, and while letters were being attended to I went on shore, had my head shaved, and addressed the people who assembled. We then Breakfasted and got off. In the afternoon we reached Sung-kiang, and here again I had a good time preaching in an unfrequented quarter.

SATURDAY, August 9, 1856.

About 8 A.M. reached Shanghai and the hospitable- abode of Mr. Wylie of the London Mission, completing a journey full of mercies though not unmixed with trial. Never since I have been in China have I had such opportunities for preaching the Gospel, and though the termination was far from what I desired it has been greatly blessed to me, and I trust the Word preached and distributed may bear fruit to the glory of God.


AND now the question arose as to what was to be done about the servant who had made off, apparently, with Mr. Taylor's belongings. There was just a possibility that official interference might lie at the root of the matter, and that Yoh-hsi was in detention in one of the Yamens. Before concluding therefore that he had acted dishonestly a messenger was sent to make careful inquiries. But it soon transpired that the case was one of deliberate robbery, Yoh-hsi's own letters bringing the final proof. For the recovery of the property it would not have been difficult to institute legal proceedings, and Mr. Taylor was strongly urged to secure the punishment of the thief ; but the more he thought about it the more he shrank from anything of the sort.

Yoh-hsi was one whose salvation he had earnestly sought, and to hand him over to cruel, rapacious underlings who would only be too glad to throw him into prison that he might be squeezed of the last farthing would not have been in keeping, he felt, with the spirit of the Gospel. Finally concluding that his soul was worth more than the forty pounds worth of things he had stolen, Mr. Taylor decided to pursue a very different course.

" So I have sent him a plain, faithful letter," he wrote in the middle of August, " to the effect that we know his guilt, and what its consequences might be to himself ; that at first I had considered handing over the matter to the Ya-men, but remembering Christ's command to return good for evil I had not done so, and did not wish to injure a hair of his head.

" I told him that he was the real loser, not I ; that I freely forgave him, and besought him more earnestly than ever to flee from the wrath to come. I also added that though it was not likely he would give up such of my possessions as were serviceable to a Chinese, there were among them foreign books and papers that could be of no use to him but were valuable to me, and that those at least he ought to send back. " If only his conscience might be moved and his soul saved, how infinitely more important that would be than the recovery of all I have lost. Do pray for him."

In course of time, and far away in England, this letter came into hands for which it had never been intended. Mr. George Muller of Bristol, founder of the well-known Orphan Homes, read it with thankfulness to God, finding in the circumstances an exemplification of the teachings of the Lord Himself. His sympathies were drawn out to the young missionary who had acted in what he felt to be a Christ-like spirit, and from that time Hudson Taylor had an interest in his prayers.

But more than this. As soon as the incident became known to him, he sent straight out to China a sum sufficient to cover Mr. Taylor's loss, continuing thereafter to take a practical share in his work, until in a time of special need he was used of God as the principal channel of support to the China Inland Mission. And all this grew out of one little act, as it might seem, of loyalty to the Master at some personal cost. Only there are no little acts when it is a question of faithfulness to God.. And it was just his simple adherence, in every detail, to Scriptural principles that gradually inspired confidence in Hudson Taylor and his methods, and won for the Mission the support of spiritually minded people in many lands.

This matter settled, it only remained to set out once more to obtain from Dr. Parker the supplies needed for the medical work at Swatow. This time the journey was accomplished in safety ; and. just before setting out Mr. Taylor was encouraged by an unexpected letter that relieved him of what might have been financial embarrassment. For he had declined the generous offer of fellow-missionaries in Shanghai to subscribe towards replacing the most necessary things he had lost. Their own resources as he knew were none too ample, and he felt sure the Lord would provide without drawing upon the little they could spare. The sale of furniture left at the South Gate brought in something, and then-how wonderful it seemed-just as he was starting came this letter that had been eight or ten weeks on the way

" Please accept the enclosed," it said, " as a token of love from myself and my dear wife." Arm the enclosed was a cheque for no less than forty pounds from Mr. and Mrs. Berger.

Posted long before Mr. Taylor had left Swatow, it arrived by the very first mail after the robbery : for the promise still holds good, " It shall come to pass that before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear." 1 (1- Isaiah 65:24)

" The City of the Peaceful Wave " in which the young missionary now found himself proved even more interesting on this occasion than on his previous visit 2- {2 Arriving at Ning-po (the " City of the Peaceful Wave" as the Chinese characters imply) on August 22, Mr. Taylor remained for seven weeks with Dr. Parker, taking an active share in his work.} Then an attack of illness had obliged him to seek the cooler air of the hills. Now though it was again summer he was able to throw himself heartily into all that was going on, prepared by the experiences of another year in China more fully to appreciate both the missionaries and their work. Never before had he realised the comfort and advantage of labouring among comparatively friendly people, not embittered against the missionary simply on account of his being a foreigner. Although there was of course the usual ignorance and superstition in Ning-po, and at times much anti-foreign feeling, there was also a large element of interest and even inquiry about the Gospel. And then the missionaries themselves-how delightful to be in the midst of so united and efficient a. community

In point of time the two American Missions had the priority, as well as in strength of numbers ; and an interesting feature in connection both with them and with the Church Missionary Society was that the pioneers were all still on the field, men rich in experience and devotion.

Dr. Macgowan, for example, of the American Baptist Union, was still the leader of their important mission, and with Miss Aldersey divided the honour of having been first to settle permanently in Ning-po. With him were now associated Dr. Lord and the Rev. M. J. Knowlton. Living outside the city wall, these brethren carried on wellorganised and extensive operations, extending as far as the island of Chusan, in which they had several converts.

Across the river from this group lived Dr. Parker and his friendly neighbours the American Presbyterians. Splendidly manned from the first, this mission was still represented by its founder, Dr. McCartee, and a group of younger men destined to make their mark in China-including Messrs. Way and Rankin, Dr. W. A. P. Martin, 1- {1 The first President of the Peking University, author of A Cycle of Cathay and many other works, and now the oldest representative of the missionary body in China.} and the late beloved Dr. Nevius.

Within the city itself, enclosed by the five-mile circuit of its ancient wall, lived the pioneers of the Church Missionary Society, and Miss Aldersey, with her young companions. From the Taoist Monastery. with its surrounding moat, Messrs. Cobbold and Russell had moved as occasion required into school and chapel buildings in various parts of the city, and with their colleague the Rev. F. F. Gough had established themselves in the affections of the people.

So also had Miss Aldersey and her fellow-workers, the only unmarried ladies in that missionary circle. In a large native house in the southern part of the city they were carrying on, it will be remembered, the first girls' school ever established by Protestant missionaries in China .2 { 2 See Chap. 24. p. 308}

" It was a model institution," wrote Dr. W. A. P. Martin, with the interest of a contemporary and friend. 3- { 2 Quoted from his well-known book, A Cycle of Cathay.} For three years at her request I ministered to the Church in her house, and I cherish a vivid impression of the energy displayed by that excellent woman, notwithstanding a feeble frame and frequent ailments. The impression she made on the Chinese whether Christian or pagan was profound, the latter firmly believing that as England was ruled by a woman so Miss Aldersey had been delegated to be the head of our foreign community. The `British Consul, they said, invariably obeyed her commands.

" Several shocks of earthquake having alarmed the people, they imputed the disturbance to Miss Aldersey's magic power, alleging that they had seen her mount the city-wall before dawn of day, and open a bottle in which she kept confined certain strong spirits which proceeded to shake the pillars of the earth.

No wonder they thought so ! The only wonder is that they did not burn or stone her as a witch. Her strange habits could not but suggest something uncanny. The year round she was accustomed to walk on the city-wall at five o'clock in the morning, and with such undeviating punctuality that in winter she was preceded by a man bearing a lantern. A bottle she carried in her hand did really contain ` strong spirits,' spirits of hartshom, which she constantly used to relieve headache and as an antidote for ill odours. In summer, unwilling to leave her school for the seaside, she would climb to the ninth storey of a lofty pagoda and sit there through the long hours of the afternoon, sniffing the wind that came from the sea. At such times she was always accompanied by some of her pupils, so that her work was not for a moment suspended. So parsimonious was she of time that she even had them read to her while she was taking her meals.

" Many indeed . . . are the households that call Miss Aldersey blessed, and I can truly say that in the long list of devoted women who, have laboured in and for China, I know no nobler name than hers."

Scarcely less interesting than Miss Aldersey, if one may venture to say so, were the young sisters Burella and Maria Dyer who so ably filled their place as self-supporting workers in the school. Born under the tropical sun of the Straits Settlements and brought up in a missionary home, theirs had been an inheritance of no ordinary kind. Their father, one of the earliest agents of the London Missionary Society, came of a family in Government service, 1-{1- He was the son of a certain John Dyer, who held a post in the Admiralty about the time of the accession of Queen Victoria.}and was educated at Cambridge for the English Bar. Burning with love to Christ he had left all to go as a missionary to China, " The Gibraltar of Heathenism," almost as unknown in those days as it was inaccessible. Unable to effect a landing upon its shores, he had devoted himself for sixteen years to work among the Chinese in and near Singapore, and especially to the perfecting of a process -by which the Word of God might go where the missionary could not, and the printed page be produced with a facility impossible before. 1- {1-To this devoted missionary belongs the honour of introducing a process which greatly simplified the manufacture of movable Chinese type, thus facilitating the way for the rapid production of Christian literature for one-fourth of the human race.} In this task he had been prospered, and though cut off by fatal illness just after the opening of the Treaty Portswhen he with many another was rejoicing in freedom to enter the land for which they had so long prayed and laboured-Samuel Dyer possesses more than a missionary grave upon its shores, the first to mark that great advance.

Acting as Secretary to the General Missionary Conference, the first ever held on Chinese soil, Mr. Dyer spent a week or more at Hong-kong in August 1843.

" From my windows," he wrote to his wife in Singapore, 2-{ He was singularly happy in his marriage with Miss Maria Tam, eldest daughter of Joseph Tam, Esq., one of the early directors of the London Missionary Society.} " I look across to the lofty summits of the Chinese hills.... The sight is almost overwhelming. In -my happiest moments just two thoughts seem to concentrate every longing of my heart. One is that the name of Jesus may be glorified in China, and the other that you and I and each of our dear children ... may live only to assist in bringing this to pass.... Cease to feel the intensest interest in the spiritual prosperity of China I never can, while this bosom has a heart to feel. Cease to serve the cause of Christ among the Gentiles I never may, while I have head and hands to work. . . . I am as happy as I can be without you, though nothing can compensate for the absence of one who is the joy of my heart.... Still, I am about my Father's business. And if I may but do something for the evangelisation of that benighted land, come sorrow, come joy, come grief, come delight, ally all shall be welcome for the love I bear to Him Who bled on the mount of Calvary."

And though even then his work was done, and a few weeks later he was laid to rest beside Morrison in the little lonely churchyard at Macao, that spirit still lived on-both in the son, whose life was subsequently given to China, and in the daughters who had already been several years with Miss Aldersey. With an exceptionally good knowledge of the Ning-po vernacular these young missionaries were as efficient as they were beloved, and added not a little to the brightness of the foreign community. Such then was the circle into which Hudson Taylor was introduced for the second time by this visit, and greatly must he have rejoiced to see the value set upon his former colleague by its members. Welcomed in a most generous spirit, Dr. Parker had been successful in building up a practice among the foreign residents, the proceeds of which he devoted entirely to his Medical Mission. Rapidly acquiring the local dialect, in spite of every hindrance to study, he had made the spiritual care of the patients his first work. In this he was assisted by both English and American missionaries, who took in turn to preach in the dispensary (in which nine thousand patients received treatment within the first twelve months) and to visit the temporary hospital.

When as was not infrequently the case these labours resulted in blessing, the converts were free to join any of the Churches, Dr. Parker declining to influence them and making it very clear that his sympathies were with all. At the time of Mr. Taylor's visit he was rejoicing in the conversion of a man whose baptism in connection with the C.M.S. had taken place the week before, and was full of thankfulness also for a forward step in the interests of his projected buildings.

With money contributed in Ning-po he had been enabled to purchase a site on the city-side of the river. And such a site-open, central, commanding, on the brink of the great water-way and close to the Salt Gate with its constant stream of traffic. A better position could hardly have been found for the permanent hospital, and already the energetic doctor was having the ground levelled for building operations.

All this, of course, was deeply interesting to the visitor from Swatow who was expecting to return to such very different scenes.

" I am now enjoying a season of rest with the friends here," he wrote early in September. " It must be of short duration, however, for long repose begets indolence and weakness, and ill becomes a soldier of the Cross. To me it would be very pleasant to remain on here or at Shanghai, among more civilised and friendly people than we have in Swatow. But my call is to a more arduous post ; and, in my dear devoted brother Mr. Burns I have an inestimable companion whom I shall rejoice to meet again.

" I sometimes wonder whether I shall ever be settled, and long for permanent work and a partner to share all my joys and sorrows. I think in His own time I shall be so circumstanced . The Lord .knows.. But the only true rest is in following Jesus ` whithersoever He goeth ' ; the only satisfaction is in labouring for and with Him. And while one longs for quiet, even now after a week of it I am eager to be at work again, telling of His surpassing love, His glorious redemption."

And work he did with all his usual energy in spite of summer heat. Careful attention to the peculiarities of local speech soon enabled him to make himself understood even by Ning-po people, and there were so many strangers settled there from other 'places that he found all the dialects he knew of service.

" The weather is very warm," he continued a little later, " nevertheless I have been twice in the country, once with Mr. Jones to Tse-ki and once with Mr. Quarterman to Chin-hai Hsien, . . . To-day I have been to a small village a mile or two away with Mr. Jones.. He took some Portuguese Testaments and found three men able to read them, a Singapore man also who could read English and to whom he gave a Bible ; while I had an attentive audience to whom I told of pardon, peace and heaven through the once-offered sacrifice of Jesus, leaving with them a number of Chinese tracts and Scriptures.

" Oh what an abundant harvest may soon be reaped here ! The fields are white . . . and so extensive round us . . . but the labourers are few ! I do thank God that he has given me such opportunities.... I have met with a good many even from Formosa with whom I have been able to speak of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I sometimes wish I had twenty bodies, that in twenty places at once I might publish the saving Name of Jesus."

The place where the need was greatest, however, had for him the strongest claim, and before the month was over he was ready to return to Mr. Burns at Swatow. Dr. Parker had fitted him out' with medicines, the cost of which bad no doubt been covered by Mr. Berger's recent gift, and much benefited by his change of work and surroundings Mr. Taylor was just setting out for Shanghai when a delay arose. Mr. and Mrs. Way of the Presbyterian Mission had to take the journey too. They would have little children with them, and travelling is always so precarious if Mr. Taylor could wait a day or-two, they would hurry their preparations for the sake of joining his party. He was already escorting Mr. Jones and his little son, newly-arrived members of his own Mission, and it would mean a great deal to the Ways to travel in their company.

Regretting the delay but having no reason against it Hudson Taylor waited, and almost a week went by before the final start could be made. And when they did get away the journey proved specially trying. For the winds were against them, which made the actual travelling tedious, and serious illness in the party caused Mr. Taylor much anxiety. His colleague Mr. Jones, to whom he had become sincerely attached during the weeks spent together at Dr. Parker's, developed a painful malady, and as the child was ill too it meant constant nursing.

Early in October they reached their destination, and thankfully exchanged the draughty boat for a missionary home in which they were received as paying guests. And then, having discharged his commissions and handed over the patients to the care of Dr. Lockhart, it only remained for Hudson Taylor to put his things on board the vessel that was taking him to Swatow.

Recent letters from that port made him feel afresh how much he was needed. Though not expecting him back till the great heat was over, Mr. Burns had been sorely missing him, and was now daily awaiting news of his return to take up the work they had planned for the winter. Providentially as it seemed Captain Bowers was again in Shanghai, on the eve of sailing, and cordially welcomed the young missionary as his passenger. So with as little delay as possible Hudson Taylor sent his belongings on board the Geelong and prepared to leave Shanghai, it might be permanently.

And then the unexpected happened. A letter from the South coming to one of the members of the London Mission made him go hurriedly in search of Hudson Taylor.

" If he has not started," wrote Mr, Burns, " please inform him at once of this communication."

It was to the effect that all they had looked forward to in Swatow was at an end for the time being, Mr. Burns having been arrested in the interior and sent to Canton. Happily he had escaped summary punishment at the hands of the Chinese, but in all probability it would be long before he could return to the district from which he had been ejected.

It was Thursday morning, October 9. The Geelong was sailing in a few hours for Swatow, and all his things were on board. What could be the meaning of these tidings ? Mr. Burns imprisoned and sent to Canton ? The native helpers still in confinement, wearing the terrible cangue and in danger of their lives ? The mission-premises empty ? The British authorities unwilling that they should return ?

Almost dazed, it all came over him. First one check and then another ; medicines destroyed, robbery and all it had entailed, visit to Ning-po, delay in getting away, tedious return journey, and now at the last moment a closed door, nothing but a closed door and a dear, sick brother waiting to be taken back to the city from which they had come.

Yes, there was no question but to go. But what about Mr. Burns ? Could it be that all they had looked forward to was not of the Lord ?

" Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, This is the way, walk ye in it " . . .

But for the moment the path that had seemed so clear before them was lost in strange uncertainty.


IT still stands, that little house on the Wu-Family Bridge Street in which Hudson Taylor made his Ning-po home. To reach this somewhat retired spot one crosses the broad river from the Settlement, and enters the city by the Salt Gate on the east. Thence a walk of rather over a mile through the principal streets leads to the neighbourhood of the Lakes, between the ancient Pagoda and the southwest comer of the city wall. Here a small stone bridge over one of the many canals gives access to a narrow thoroughfare, at the end of which another bridge spans the junction of two large sheets of water, the Sun and Moon Lakes respectively. From the slightly elevated arch of either of these bridges one can look down the little street, and watch the tide of life that eddies in and out of its temple, shops, and homes.

And there on the left, after crossing the canal, stood and still stands the low two-storied building-just an ordinary shop in front and a little yard behind-destined to become the first home and preaching-station of the China Inland Mission. Dr. Parker was using the premises that winter for a boys' school and a dispensary, and was glad to let his former colleague do what he could with the spacious attic above.

" I have a distinct remembrance," said Hudson Taylor many years later, " of tracing my initials on the snow which during the night had collected on my coverlet in the large barnlike upper room, now divided into four or five smaller ones each of which is comfortably ceiled. The tiling of a Chinese house may keep off the rain, if it happens to be sound, but does not afford so good a protection against snow, which will beat up through crannies and crevices and find its way within. But however unfinished may have been its fittings, the little house was well adapted for work among the people, and there I thankfully settled, finding ample scope for service, morning, noon, and night."

The only other foreigners in the southern part of the city were Miss Aldersey with her helpers, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones of his own Mission. The latter had rented an unoccupied house belonging to the American Presbyterians, semi-foreign in style, and were doing their best to acquire the language and adapt themselves to the life of the people. 1-{1 Mr. and Mrs. Jones had been seven months in China ; but had not reached Ning-po until June of this year. Detained at Hong-kong by serious illness, and by the death of their eldest child, they had suffered much for the land to which their lives were given. But in it all their faith and love only deepened, and their longing to comfort others with the comfort wherewith they themselves were "comforted of God."}

Upon making their home at Fu-zin they had been visited by quite a number of Mandarins and other persons of influence, as well as by hundreds of poorer neighbours. These visits had to be returned as far as possible, and with three little children to take care of as well as the language to study, Mrs. Jones found her hands more than full.

Busy as he was in his own comer, almost a mile away, Hudson Taylor made time to go over, frequently to the help of his friends, and the more he saw of them the more he was impressed by their devotion and sweetness of spirit. With his assistance, Mr. Jones was soon able to begin regular meetings, -and many were the preaching excursions they made both in and around the city.

Meanwhile Mrs. Jones, too, had found a helper in the younger of the sisters associated with Miss Aldersey at Siao-kao-tsiang. When the new family came to settle near them, this bright attractive girl laid herself out to be useful to the busy mother. As often as possible they went visiting together, Miss Dyer's perfect fluency in the language enabling her to make the most of such time as they could give to this work. Young as she was (not yet twenty), and much occupied with her school-classes, Da-yia Ku-niang 1 {1- Ku-niang (aunt-mother) is the title in courtesy of an unmarried lady, and the combined, monosyllables Da-yia form the nearest Ning-po soundequivalent for the English surname Dyer.} could not be satisfied with anything less than soul-winning. With her, missionary work was not teaching the people merely, it was definitely leading them to Christ.

" That was what drew out my interest," said Hudson Taylor long after. " She was spiritually-minded, as her work proved. Even then she was a true missionary."

For it could not but be that the young Englishman living alone on Bridge Street should meet Miss Dyer from time to time at the house of his friends, and it could not but be also that he should be attracted. She was so frank and natural that they were soon on terms of good acquaintance, and then she proved so like-minded in all important ways that, unconsciously almost to himself, she began to fill a place in his heart never filled before.

Vainly he strove against the longing to see more of her, . and did his utmost to banish her image from his mind. He was deeply conscious of his call to labour in the interior, and felt that for such work he should be free from claims of wife and home. Besides, all was uncertain before him. In a few weeks or months the way might open for his return to Swatow. Was he not waiting daily upon the Lord for guidance, with the needs of that region still in view? And if it were not to be Southern China, it was his hope and purpose to undertake pioneering work nearer at hand, work that might at any time cost his life. No, it was not for him to cherish thoughts such as would rise unbidden as he looked into the face he loved. And yet he could not but look, strange to say, and long to look again.

And then arguments were not wanting along other lines that would array themselves before him. What right had he to think of marriage, without a home, income, or prospect of any that he could ask her to share. Accredited agent of the C.E.S. though he was, it did not at all follow that they were to be depended upon for financial supplies. For months he had not drawn upon his Letter of Credit, knowing the Society to be in debt. Chiefly through the ministry of Mr. Berger, the Lord had supplied his needs. But this might not continue. It could not at any rate be counted on. And what would she say, and those responsible for her, to a life of faith in China, faith even for daily bread ?

Yes, it was perfectly clear : he was in no position to think of marriage, and must subdue the heart-hunger that threatened at times to overwhelm him. And to a certain extent he was helped in turning his thoughts to other matters by events transpiring in the South.

For like a bolt out of the blue had come the sudden tidings that England was involved again in war with China. On the spot and on the spur of the moment we had fanned a tiny spark into a blaze, and the Chinese, all unconscious of results, had dared to disapprove and even resent our high-handed conduct. But this meant war, if war it could be called between combatants so unequal, and within fortyeight hours British guns were thundering at the gates of Canton. 1-{1- Growing out of the paltry affair of the Arrow in October 1856, this war did not come to a final conclusion until four years later (October 1860), when Peking was in the hands of the enemy.}

All this had taken place earlier in the autumn, but it was only in the middle of November that the news began to reach the northern ports. When he first heard of it, and saw from the revengeful spirit of the Cantonese in Ning-po how they regarded the attack upon their native city, Hudson Taylor's first thought was for Mr. Burns. What a comfort that he was no longer at Swatow, exposed to the rage of that hot-headed southern people. Now at last a reason was manifest, not only for the removal of his friend, but also for his own detention on the very eve of returning.

" As you are aware," he wrote to his sister on November 16, " I have by various circumstances been detained in Ning-po, and a sufficient cause has at length appeared in the disturbances that have broken out in the South. The latest news we now have is that Canton has been bombarded for two days, a breach being made on the second, and that the British entered the city, the Viceroy refusing to give any satisfaction. We are anxiously waiting later and fuller accounts... . I know not the merits of the present course of action . . . and therefore forbear writing my thoughts about it. But I would just refer to the goodness of God in removing dear Mr. Burns in time, . . . for if one may judge of the feelings of the Cantonese in Swatow by what one sees here at present, it would go hardly with any one at their mercy."

But following on feelings of thankfulness for the escape of his friend would come sadder reflections as to the motive and the meaning of the war. He could not but know that for fourteen uneasy years 1 -{ 1- Fourteen years since the conclusion, in 1842, of England's first war with China, justly called " the Opium War." See Chap VII.} England had been pressing China by every argument that could be devised, to legalise the importation of opium ; that in spite of the refusal of the Emperor Tao-kwang to admit at any price " the flowing poison," the smuggling-trade had gone on growing in defiance of treaty rights ; that one war having failed to bring the Chinese to our point of view, there had long been an inclination in certain quarters to bring on a second ; and that although for the moment the British Admiral had suspended hostilities, the inevitable outcome of so one-sided a conflict must be the humiliation of China and the triumph of our opium-policy.

As to immediate results, they appeared for the moment to be in the other direction. The Cantonese, in the elation of their supposed victory over the British fleet, were trying high-handed measures against the hated foreigner. They could not know that although Admiral Seymour had withdrawn from Canton, evacuating the dismantled forts along the river, Sir John Bowring had sent home for reinforcements, and that in spite of the condemning voice of a large majority in the British Parliament, the war would be adopted by the nation. They only saw their chance of retaliation, and very naturally made the most of it. Thus the British factories were set on fire at Canton, and a price put on the head of every foreigner. The chief baker at Hong-kong thought to help on the cause by introducing into his bread sufficient arsenic to poison the European community. Happily he miscalculated the amount required, and though four hundred of his victims suffered more or less seriously, in only one case was the result fatal.

All this of course raised a serious question : To what lengths would the revengeful spirit run ? How about others ports and Settlements, and especially Ning-po with its large proportion of Cantonese ? Hitherto they had contented themselves with threatenings merely ; but would it, could it, continue so much longer ?

Up to the end of the year all was quiet, and on Christmas Day Mr. Jones was able to write: " The disturbances in the South do not appear to affect the people here in any evil way against us, though there are rumours among them that the Emperor has ordered us all to be expelled. This is probably without foundation, but it makes us realise what it would mean if we were suddenly required to leave. We are just beginning to feel at home amongst the people. Our hearts are drawn out to them in proportion as we know them, and we are longing to enter fully upon our work. Oh, that these threatened hindrances may be averted !

Early in January, however, the hatred of the Cantonese began to take definite form, and a plot was hatched for the destruction of all the foreigners in the city and neighbourhood. It was well known that in the C.M.S. house (Mr. Russell's), not far from the Salt Gate, a meeting was held every Sunday evening, attended by a large proportion of the European community, Consuls, merchants and missionaries. They were of course unarmed ; and the plan was to surround the place on a given occasion and make short work of all present. A Mohammedan teacher who had once been employed by one of the missionaries was bought over to lead the assailants, and any foreigners who were not in the habit of attending the service were to be attacked and cut off simultaneously by the other parties.

" The sanction of the Tao-tai, the chief magistrate of the city," wrote Mr. Taylor, " was easily obtained ; and nothing remained to hinder the execution of the plot, of which we were of course entirely in ignorance. A similar design against the Portuguese community was actually carried out a few months later, between fifty and sixty being massacred in open daylight.

" It so happened, however, that one of those in the conspiracy was anxious for the safety of a friend engaged in the service of the missionaries, and went so far as to warn him of coming danger and urge his leaving the employ of the foreigners. The servant at once made the matter known to his master, and thus the little community became aware of their peril. Realising the gravity of the situation, they determined to meet together at the house of one of their number to seek protection of the Most High, and to hide under the shadow of His wings. Nor did they thus meet in vain.

" At the very time we were praying the Lord was working. He led an inferior Mandarin, the Superintendent of Customs, to call upon the Tao-tai, and remonstrate with him upon the folly of permitting such an attempt, which he assured him would arouse foreigners in other places to come with armed forces, avenge the death of their countrymen, and raze the city to the ground. The Tao-tai replied that when they came for that purpose he should deny all knowledge of or complicity in the plot, and so direct their vengeance against the Cantonese, who would in their turn be destroyed.

" 'And thus,' he said, ` we shall get rid of both Cantonese 1- {1 .. The rapacity and lawlessness of the Cantonese when away from their native province cause them to be both dreaded and disliked by the people in general. From their habit of confederating themselves together in secret clubs or societies, the local government officials are often powerless to act against them."} and foreigners by one stroke of policy.'

"The Superintendent of Customs persistently assured him that such attempts at evasion would be useless ; and finally the Tao-tai withdrew his permission and sent to the Cantonese prohibiting the attack.

" This took place, as we afterwards discovered, just at the time we were met together for special prayer and to commit the matter to the Lord. Thus again were we led to prove that


Sufficient is His arm alone,

And our defence is sure.


But the Cantonese were not pacified. Prayer had for the moment prevailed ; but such machinations might recur at any time, and the foreign community was so scattered and unprotected that the situation seemed one of special danger.

" The peril that threatened us," wrote Dr. Parker on the Both of January, " was so great, especially last week and this, that the merchants of the Settlement prepared for flight by keeping at single anchor the vessel on which their valuables had been stored. They and some others had their houses guarded by armed men; and after much prayer several missionaries, including Mr. Jones and myself, were led to send our wives and children to Shanghai."

One reason for this was that the great cold of winter was coming on, and, if flight were left till the last moment, it might mean fatal exposure, especially to delicate children. The wildest rumours were everywhere afloat ; and in the event of a general war with China, Shanghai might be the only port held by foreigners. It seemed desirable to secure accommodation there at once. And as it was accessible by regular steamer service, the removal could be accomplished without difficulty, and the return in the spring or summer would be equally simple.

Thus it was that Hudson Taylor, three months after settling in Ning-po, found himself called to move again. No one else seemed so free to escort the party, and his knowledge of the Shanghai dialect made it easy for him to do so. He could be just as useful in Shanghai as in Ning-po, an important consideration when the stay might be a long one.

Personally he would have given a good deal to have remained in Ning-po just then, if only to watch over the safety of the one he loved. For Miss Aldersey would not leave, and her young helpers decided to stay with her. She was just handing over her school, from the superintendence of which she felt it wise to retire, to the American Presbyterian Mission. A connection of the Misses Dyer had come over from Penang, and into her hands the sixty girls with all the school affairs had to be committed. It was no time for unnecessary changes ; and, taking what precautions she could for her own safety and that of her charges, Miss Aldersey stayed to complete her work.

But to leave them then and so was no easy matter to Hudson Taylor. The elder of the sisters had recently become engaged to his friend Mr. Burdon, and seemed in consequence to have a special protector ; but the younger was left all the more lonely, and claimed for that very reason a deeper love and sympathy from his heart. Of course, he dared not show it. He had no reason to think that it would be any comfort to her, and-was he not trying to forget ? So he suffered keenly as he left his little home on Bridge Street, not knowing if he would ever see it or her again.

Four and a half months followed, in which the young missionary was engrossed in work in his old surroundings. Living as before in one of the London Mission houses, he might almost have imagined himself back in the old days with Dr. Parker and his family. Only Chinese dress, seven months with William Burns, and the great love that had come to him changed everything for Hudson Taylor. Then, too, he was by this time quite an efficient missionary. Three years in China had given him a good hold of several dialects and considerable experience in work of various kinds. One of the chapels of the London Mission placed at his disposal gave him important opportunities for preaching, besides which he daily addressed large and changing audiences in the Temple of the City God. Returning regularly to these places he and Mr. Jones came to be known and expected, and many were the conversations held with interested inquirers.

" When I first heard you preach," said a young incense-maker, " I found what I was longing for." Illness and desperate troubles had almost driven him to suicide, and he had tried by becoming a devout vegetarian to obtain the consolations of " religion." This involved the recitation of endless prayers to Buddha, and burning incense before many idols.

" It did me no good, however," he continued. " I got no better, until in the temple-garden I heard about Jesus. But He just suits my case ! . . . If you had instructed me to be immersed in fire instead of in water, I should have desired it with all my heart."

During the first three months of their stay in Shanghai (February to April) Mr. Jones and his colleague gave away in connection with such work more than seven hundred New Testaments, besides large numbers of Gospels and tracts. This meant hours and hours of conversation daily, for books were given only to those who could appreciate them, and they were keeping mainly to these two preaching stations, learning to value increasingly the steady, settled line of things that maintains its influence over the same hearers.

Meanwhile letters were reaching Hudson Taylor from Swatow, telling of the return of his dear and honoured friend, and the recommencement of work there with many tokens of encouragement. Mr. Burns wrote with all the old affection, anticipating a renewal of their partnership in service. But while rejoicing that Swatow was again occupied, and that Dr. De la Porte had undertaken the medical side of the work, Hudson Taylor had no longer any doubt as to his own relation to it. For him that door was closed. Again and again, while making it a matter of special prayer, hindrances had been put in the way of his return, until he had come to see that it was not of the Lord. That was enough. With him a question once settled in the faith and fear of God there was no reopening it. Throughout life it was one of his outstanding characteristics that he never went back on what had once been made clear to him as Divine guidance.

So the Swatow question was settled, hard though it must have been not to reconsider it in the light of Mr. Burns' letters, and the absence of any personal attraction toward remaining where he was. '

For their way was anything but easy at this time. During the whole period of their stay in Shanghai they were surrounded by suffering and distress of the most painful kind. Famine refugees from Nanking had poured into the city until there were thousands of destitute and starving persons added to the ranks of beggary. This meant that one never could go out without seeing heart-rending scenes, which the conditions of life around them made it almost impossible to relieve.

Returning from the city one evening Mr. Jones and his companion, were distressed to find the body of a dead beggar lying by the roadside. The weather was bitterly cold, and he had slowly perished for lack of food and shelter. No one seemed to notice, no one seemed to care. It was a sight too common, alas! But the missionaries could bear it no longer.

" We took food with us," wrote Mr. Jones, " and sought out others. Many of these poor creatures ... have their dwelling literally among the tombs. Graves, here, are often simple arches, low, and from ten to twelve feet long. One end being broken through, they creep inside for shelter, specially at night.... We found them in all stages of nakedness, sickness and starvation." This led to earnest work on their behalf, to the comfort of many.

" In our search," wrote Mr. Taylor, " we came upon the remains of a house bearing witness to the troublous times through which Shanghai had passed. . . . Affording some little shelter from the weather, it had been taken possession of by beggars, and in it we found a large number collected, some well and able to beg, others dying of starvation and disease. From this time we made regular visits to these poor creatures, and helped those who were unable to help themselves.. We found, as is always the case, how difficult it is to care for body and soul at the same time. We did, nevertheless, as far as we were able, and I trust the seed sown was not without fruit in the salvation of souls," 1-(1-One little orphan, Tien-hsi, adopted as a result of this work, grew up to be a valued helper at Shao-hing, and one of the first native preachers in connection with the China Inland Mission.}

Inwardly, too, it was a time of trial. A debt of over a thousand pounds burdened the Society to which they belonged, and burdened still more the consciences of Hudson Taylor and his companions. For some time he had been corresponding with the secretaries on the subject, feeling that, unless a change could be made in the home-management, he would be obliged to withdraw from the service of the Society. This he was most reluctant to do, although the term of years agreed upon in his engagement had expired. He had even suggested that remittances should only be sent when there was money in hand, as he would far rather look to the Lord directly for supplies than draw upon borrowed money. But it seemed as though the Committee could not see anything wrong in their position, and for this reason especially he was muck exercised about continuing his connection with them.

Not that he wished then or at any time to be " a free lance," independent of the support and control of others. But as he considered the practical working of things on the field, it was hard to see in what connection he could labour, seeing he was unordained and without a medical degree.

" I am not sanguine as to any other Society taking me," he wrote to his mother early in the spring : " but, as always, the Lord will provide."

It was in more personal matters, however, that the young missionary was specially cast upon God, through his deep and growing love for the one who he still felt could never be his. He had thought, he had in a sense hoped, that absence would enable him to forget ; that his love for her would be more under control when she was out of sight. And now quite the reverse was the case. Silently but steadily it gained a stronger hold upon his inmost being. He had loved before in a more or less- boyish way ; but this was different. A light beyond the brightness of the sun had risen upon him. It flooded all his being. Everything he thought, felt and did seemed permeated with the sense of that other life, so much a part of his own. He could not separate himself in thought from her ; and when most consciously near to God he felt the communion of her spirit, the longing for her presence most.

In everything she satisfied his mind and heart ; not only embodying his ideal of womanly sweetness, but being herself devoted to the work to which his life was given. As one who having put his hand to the plough dared not look back, he could rest in the assurance that she would help and not hinder him in his special service. And yet the old question remained : How could he marry-with such prospects, such a future ? And, if anything, more serious still-what would she say to it all ?

Of her thoughts and feelings about him, if she had any, he knew nothing. She had always been kind and pleasant, but that she was to every one, with a sweetness of spirit that was unfailing. Apparently she did not wish to marry. Far more eligible men than he had failed to win her ! What chance then could there be for one so poor and insignificant ?

If any one had known, if there had been any one with whom he could have shared the hopes and fears within him, those first months in Shanghai would have been easier to bear ; but it was not until the end of March, and through most unexpected circumstances, that the friends with whom he was living began to perceive the trouble of his heart. They had loved him from the first, and had been drawn very closely to him through their Shanghai experiences, but it was not until Mrs. Jones contracted smallpox among the people she was seeking to relieve, and had to hand over the care of household and children to their young fellow-worker, that they fully realised what he was. Devoted in his care of the little ones, he earned the parents' deepest gratitude, and in the weeks of convalescence that followed they were so united in prayer and sympathy that -how he could not tell-the love he had meant to hide was a secret no longer from his nearest friends.

And then he was even more surprised at the satisfaction they expressed. Far from discouraging him, they were full of thankfulness to God. Never had they seen two people more suited to each other. As to the outcome-his duty was perfectly clear : the rest must be left with Him to whom both their lives were given.

So the question was committed to writing that had been burning in his heart for months. Mr. Gough was just returning to Ning-po, and kindly undertook to place the letter in the right hands. And then Hudson Taylor could only wait : a week, ten days, two weeks, how long it seemed until the answer came !

But little was he prepared, in spite of all the prayer there had been about it, for the tone and purport of this communication. It was her writing surely ; the clear, pretty hand he knew so well. But could it, could it be her spirit ? Brief and unsympathetic, the note simply said that what he desired was wholly impossible, and requested him if he had any gentlemanly feeling to refrain from ever troubling the writer again upon the subject.

Could he have known the anguish with which those words had been penned, his own trouble would have been considerably lessened. But the one he loved was far away. He could not see her, dared not write again after such a request, and had no clue to the painful situation. Then it was that the tender, unspoken sympathy of his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, became so great a solace. He could hardly have borne it without them, and yet the sight of their mutual happiness reminded him constantly of the blessing he had lost. Meanwhile, far away in Ning-po, that other heart was even more desolate and perplexed. For the love that had come to Hudson Taylor was no mistaken infatuation : it was the real thing, given of God. Impossible as he would have felt it, it was a love whole-heartedly returned on the past of the one who had always seemed so far above him. Maria Dyer's was a deep and tender nature. Lonely from childhood, she had grown up longing for a real heartfriend. Her father she could hardly remember, and from the mother whom she devotedly loved she was parted by death at ten years of age, just as she and her brother and sister were leaving Penang to complete their education. After this the doubly-orphaned children had been brought up under the care of an uncle in London, most of their time being spent at school. Then came the call to China, through Miss Aldersey's need of a helper in the Ning-po school. In offering for this post the sisters were influenced not so much by a desire to take up missionary work as by the knowledge that it was what their parents would have desired. Young as they were they had had some training as teachers (after several years in the Friends' School at Darlington), and as they were self-supporting and did not wish to be separated Miss Aldersey invited both to join her instead of only one.

To the younger sister the voyage to China was memorable as the time of her definite entrance into peace with God. Previously she had striven to be a Christian in her own strength, feeling all the while that she lacked the " one thing needful " and seeking vainly to obtain it. Now her thoughts were turned to Christ and His atoning work as the only ground of pardon and acceptance ; the allsufficient ground to which our prayers and efforts can add nothing at all. Gradually it dawned upon her that she was redeemed, pardoned, cleansed from sin, because He had suffered in her stead. God had accepted Christ as her substitute and Saviour, and she could do no less. Simply and trustfully as a little child she turned away from everything and every one else, content to take God at His word. " There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus," and to prove that " The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are " here and now children of God." 1 {1- See Romans 8:1,16 and indeed the whole chapter.}

This true conversion with all that flowed from it made her entrance upon missionary work very different from what it would otherwise have been. No longer a philanthropic undertaking to which she ' devoted herself out of regard for her parents' wishes, it had become the natural and even necessary expression of her great and growing love to Him who was her Saviour, Lord and King. He had changed everything for her, for time and for eternity, and the least she could do was to give herself entirely to His service. So with a peace and joy unknown before she took up her busy and often difficult life in Miss Aldersey's school.

It was a lonely post for a girl in her teens, and especially one of so thoughtful and loving a spirit. Her sister's companionship no doubt was precious, and the missionary circle in Ning-po gave her several attached friends. But her heart had never found its mate in the things,, that mattered most.

And then he came-the young missionary who impressed her from the first as having the same longings after holiness, usefulness, nearness to God. He was different from everybody else ; not more gifted or attractive, though he was bright and pleasing and full of quiet fun!. ; but there was a something that made her feel at rest and understood. He seemed to live in such a real world and to have such a real, great God. Though she saw little of him it was a comfort to know that he was near, and she was startled to find how much she missed him when after only seven weeks he went away.2-{2- In the previous October, when he had left Ning-po to return, as he hoped, to Mr. Burns.}

Very real was her, joy, therefore, as well as surprise, when from Shanghai he had to turn back again. Perhaps it was this that opened her eyes to the feeling with which she was beginning to regard him. At any rate, she soon knew, and with her sweet, true nature did not try to hide it from her own heart and God. There was no one else to whom she cared to speak about him ; for others did not see in him, always, just what she saw. They disliked his wearing Chinese dress, and did not approve his making himself so entirely one with the people. His Chinese dress-how she loved it 1 or what it represented, rather, of his spirit. His poverty and generous giving to the poor-how well she understood, how much she sympathised. Did others think him visionary in his longing to reach the great Beyond of untouched need ? Why, that was just the burden on her heart, the life she too would live, only for a woman it seemed if anything more impossible. So she prayed much about her friend though to him she showed but little. For the love of her life had come to her, and nobody knew but God.

And then he went again, went in the interests of others, and she did not know it cost him anything to leave her. But all the while he was away she prayed to be more like him, more worthy of his love, if that should ever be hers.

Month after month went by, and then, at last, a letter ! Sudden as was the joy, the great and wonderful joy, it was no surprise, only a quiet outshining of what had long shone within. So she was not mistaken after all. They were for one another ; " two whom God hath chosen to walk together before Him."

When she could break away from her first glad thanksgiving she went to find her sister, who was most sympathetic. The next thing was to tell Miss Aldersey, then living on the north side of the city with her former ward and fellow worker, Mrs. Russell. Eagerly the sisters told their tidings, hoping she would approve this engagement as she had Burella's. But great was the indignation with which she heard the story. " Mr. Taylor ! that young, poor, unconnected Nobody. How dare he presume to think of such a thing ? Of course the proposal must be refused at once, and that finally."

In vain Maria tried to explain how much he was to her. That only made matters worse. She must be saved without delay from such folly. And her kind friend proceeded, with the best intentions, to take the matter entirely into her own hands. The result was a letter written almost at Miss Aldersey's dictation, not only closing the whole affair but requesting most decidedly that it might never be reopened.

Bewildered and heartbroken, the poor girl had no choice. She was too young and inexperienced, and far too shy in such matters, to withstand the decision of Miss Aldersey, strongly reinforced by the friends with whom she was staying. Stung to the quick with grief and shame, she could only leave it in the hands of her Heavenly Father. He knew; -He understood. And in the long, lonely days that followed, when even her sister was won over to Miss Aldersey's position, she took refuge in the certainty that nothing, nothing was too hard for the Lord. " If He has to slay my Isaac," she assured herself again and again, " I know He can restore."

To Hudson Taylor in his sorrow, sympathising hearts were open, but for her there was none. And she did not know that he would ever cross her path again. After such a refusal, if he really cared, he would surely stay away from Ning-po, especially in view of the recommencement of work at Swatow which she knew he longed to share. Nothing was more probable now than that he would return to his friend Mr. Burns. And this, no doubt, he would have done had he been acting on impulse and not holding stedfastly to the guidance of God. As it was, though he knew nothing of her feelings and had little if any hope of a more favourable issue, he was winning in the depths of his sorrow just the blessing it was meant to bring.

" We have need of patience," he wrote to his sister in May, " and our faithful God brings us into experiences which, improved by His blessing, may cultivate in us this grace. Though we seem to be tried at times almost beyond endurance, we never find Him unable or unwilling to help and sustain us ; and were our hearts entirely submissive to His will, desiring it and it only to be done, how much fewer and lighter would our afflictions seem.

" I have been in much sorrow of late ; but the principal cause I find to be want of willing submission to, and trustful repose in God, my Strength. Oh, to desire His will to be done with my whole heart .. . to seek His glory with a single eye ! Oh, to realise more of the fulness of our precious Jesus, . . . to live more in the light of His countenance; to be satisfied with what He bestows, . . . ever looking to Him, following in His footsteps and awaiting His glorious coming. Why do we love Him so little ? It is not that He is not lovely. `Fairer than the children of men ! ' It is not that He does not love us: .. . that was for ever proved on Calvary. Oh, to be sick of love for Jesus, to be daily, hourly longing, hungering, thirsting for His presence ! , , . May you find your love to Him ever increasing, and His likeness in you be apparent to all.... Continue to pray for me . . . that God will supply all my need, Jesus be all my delight, His service all my desire, rest with Him all my hope."

It is perhaps not surprising that one book in the Bible, that had never meant much to him before, should have opened up at this time in undreamed-of beauty. His deep understanding of the Song of Solomon seems to have begun in these days, when the love that welled up so irresistibly within him could only be given to God. Never had he understood before what the Lord can be to His people, and what He longs to find in His people toward Himself. It was a wonderful discovery, and one that only grew with all the glad fruition that lay beyond this pain. To those who knew Hudson Taylor best in later years, nothing was more characteristic than his love for the Song of Solomon and the way in which it expressed his personal relationship to the Lord. 1- {' Mr. Hudson Taylor's Bible Readings on the Song of Solomon are published under the title Union and Communion.} Here is the beginning of it all, culled from letters to his mother and sister in that sad spring of 1857.

My dear Amelia, it is very late, but I cannot retire without penning a few lines to you. All below is transitory ; we know not what a day or an hour may bring forth. . .. One thing only changes not-the love of God. Our precious Jesus is the same and ever will be, and soon He will come and take us to Himself.

What will it be to see Him with unclouded vision, and be ravished with His transcendent loveliness ? ... And not only shall we be with Him ; we shall be His. " My Beloved is mine and I am His " is true for us even now. But then He will share with us not only His power and glory, but the very beauty of His character and person. When we see Him " we shall be like Him ; for we shall see Him as He is." Precious Jesus, oh, to be more like Thee now ! to manifest Thy grace as Thou didst the Father's.

Have you thought much about the Song of Solomon ? It is a rich garden to delight in, and so is the forty-fifth Psalm. To think that even the sweetest, dearest of earthly ties but faintly shadows forth the love of Jesus to His redeemed ... to me . . . is it not wonderful ? ... Oh, how can we love our precious Jesus enough, how do enough for Him ! . . . Soon will He call us to a wedding-feast, the marriage supper of the Lamb. Not as guests, but as the bride shall we take our place with joy, arrayed in the spotless robe of His righteousness. The time is short. May we live as those who wait for their Lord, and be ready with joy to meet Him.

And again, in connection with the happiness of her engagement to Mr. Broomhall

These feelings are implanted by God Himself, and all the circumstances connected with them are ordained or permitted by Him for our highest spiritual good as well as temporal happiness.... In nearly every book in the Bible they are used by the Holy Spirit to illustrate the relationship between God and His people, and very specially do they belong to those who have been " espoused . . . as a chaste virgin to Christ." With the love with which you love your husband (in fact or in anticipation) you are to love the Lord Jesus, nay more. Are you lonely when he leaves you? So you should be while Jesus is absent. Do you long for the time when you can always be together ? So you should for the return of Jesus to take you to Himself. Is service for your loved one freedom? "No," you will say, "that is far too cold a word. Freedom ! It is joy, delight, the desire of my heart." So should you serve Jesus. Would you do what you could to remove the obstacles and hasten the day of your union ? Then look for and hasten the day of His return.... See Jesus in everything, then in everything you will find blessing. Keep looking to Jesus. Do nothing but for Him, but as in Him and by His strength and direction. Christ all and in all ! And may He abundantly and personally manifest Himself to you."

God's plans ever go forward, though to us they may appear at times to retrograde. That is due to our imperfect point of view. May we ever grow in grace, and be made vessels such as our Master can use. We have our portion-the " chiefest among ten thousand," and the " altogether lovely." All that my soul has tried Left but an aching void ; Jesus has satisfied, Jesus is mine.

May we daily see more of Him, daily see more in Him... .I have been much tried of late. Seeking to do all to the glory of God, I do nothing that is not mixed with self and sin. Oh, how fit is our Jesus for us 1 perfect righteousness for ruined sinners, a glorious robe for the tattered and filthy, gold, fine gold for the poor, sight for the blind-all, all we need or could desire. Precious Jesus, may we love Thee more, and more manifest our love by deadness to the world. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly !


WINTER was over, summer was drawing on, and with the first hot days came a change in the conditions that had detained Hudson Taylor and his colleagues in Shanghai.' For one thing the famine refugees began to disappear. Spring harvests drew them back to country villages all over the plain, and for the few who could not leave a local missionary undertook to care.

Then, a lull in the war with England made aggressive work in Ning-po and the neighbourhood more possible ; and though the house Mr. and Mrs. Jones had previously occupied was no longer available, other and even better premises were. The retirement of Mr. Cobbold for health reasons had left one of the C.M.S. buildings vacant, and this Mr. Jones was able to rent for a moderate sum. Dr. Parker also was glad to hand over the entire premises on Bridge Street part of which Hudson Taylor had formerly occupied. Thus without any effort on their part they were provided with a dwelling-house and a street-chapel in the busiest parts of the city.

With growing experience Hudson Taylor was increasingly drawn, it should be said, to the more settled forms of missionary work. The war with England made it out of the question to attempt to live at any distance from the Treaty Ports. Itinerations were still possible, but speaking generally the interior was more inaccessible than ever. Believing, however, that the time was near for a change in this respect, Mr. Taylor and his colleague realised the importance of labouring in some one, settled spot, until a native church could be raised up that should afford them, by the blessing of God, pastors and evangelists for the wider opportunity of coming days.

With this hope in view, therefore, they turned their faces to Ning-po again, but not before they had taken a step of great importance in its bearing on the future.

For it was in the month of May, three years and three months after his arrival in China, that Hudson Taylor felt the time had come to resign his connection with the Chinese Evangelisation Society. Not all the difficulties under which he had laboured would have led him to this step. He loved the Secretaries and many members of the Committee known to him personally, and valued their sympathy and prayers. But the Society, as we have seen, took a very .different position from his own in the matter of debt, a position in which he felt he could no longer participate.

"Personally," he wrote in recalling the circumstances, " I had always avoided debt, and kept within my salary, though at times only by very careful economy. Now there was no difficulty in doing this, for my income was larger, and the country being in a more peaceful state, things were not so dear. But the Society itself was in debt. The quarterly bills which I and others were instructed to draw were often met with borrowed money, and a correspondence commenced which terminated in the following year by my resigning from conscientious motives.

"To me it seemed that the teaching of God's Word was unmistakably clear : `Owe no man anything,' To borrow money implied, to my mind, a contradiction of Scripture-a confession that God had withheld some good thing, and a determination to get for ourselves what He had not given. Could that which was wrong for one Christian to do be right for an association of Christians ? Or could any amount of precedents make a wrong course justifiable ? If the Word taught me anything, it taught me to have no connection with debt. I could not think that God was poor, that He was short of resources, or unwilling to supply any want of whatever work was really His. It seemed to me that if there were lack of funds to carry on work, then to that degree, in that special development, or at that time, it could not be the work of God. To satisfy my conscience I was therefore compelled to resign my connection with the Society

"It was a great satisfaction to me that my friend and colleague, Mr. Jones, ... was led to take the same step, and we were both profoundly thankful that the separation took place without the least breach of friendly feeling on either side. Indeed, we had the joy of knowing that the step we took commended itself to several members of the Committee, although the Society as a whole could not come to our position. Depending on God alone for supplies, we were enabled to continue a measure of connection with our former supporters, sending home journals, etc., for publication as before, so long as the Society continued to exist.

"The step we had taken was not a little trying to faith. I was not at all sure what God would have me do, or whether He would so meet my need as to enable me to continue working as before. . . ; I was willing to give up all my time to the service of evangelisation among the heathen if, by any means, He would supply the smallest amount on which I could live ; and if He were not pleased to do this, I was prepared to undertake whatever work might be necessary to support myself, giving all the time that could be spared from such a calling to more distinctly missionary efforts.

"But God blessed and prospered me, and how glad and thankful I felt when the separation was really effected ! I could look right up into my Father's face with a satisfied heart, ready by His grace to do the next thing as He might teach me, and feeling very sure of His loving care.

"And how blessedly He did lead me I can never, never tell. It was like a continuation of some of my earlier experiences at home. My faith was not untried ; it often, often failed, and I was so sorry and ashamed of the failure to trust such a Father. But oh ! I was learning to know Him. I would not even then have missed the trial. He became so near, so real, so intimate. The occasional difficulty about funds never came from an insufficient supply for personal needs, but in consequence of ministering to the wants of scores of the hungry and, dying around us. And trials far more searching in other ways quite eclipsed these difficulties, and being deeper brought forth in consequence richer fruits. How glad one is now not only to know, with dear Miss Havergal, that


They who trust Him wholly

Find Him wholly true,


but also that when we fail to trust fully He still remains unchangingly faithful. He is wholly true whether we trust or not. " If we believe not, He abideth faithful ; He cannot deny Himself." But oh, how we dishonour our Lord whenever we fail to trust Him, and what peace, blessing and triumph we lose in thus sinning against the Faithful One. May we never again presume in anything to doubt Him."

What the more searching trials were that brought forth richer blessing it is not difficult at this point to divine. Twice daily in his walks to and from Bridge Street, Hudson Taylor had to pass very near Miss Aldersey's School. Carried on now by Mrs. Bausum and her young relatives it was still the home of the being dearest to him on earth. He had seen her again since returning to Ning-po in June, but a barrier had been raised between them that was hard to pass. Kind and gentle as she still was, he could not forget that she had charged him never again to trouble her upon a certain subject ; and Miss Aldersey had so spoken her mind to the friends with whom he lived that the position was doubly trying.

For soon after their return from Shanghai Mrs. Jones had invited Miss Dyer to go out visiting with her as before. There was no one else to whom she could look for help, and the need was very pressing. Besides it was the best, the only way in which the young people could see more of each other. To the girl herself she said nothing, nor did Maria allude to the matter of which their hearts were full. But Miss Aldersey knew no such reticence, and seeking Mrs. Jones after the Ladies' Prayer Meeting, in another part of the city, poured out the vials of her wrath. She had good reason, she felt, to be indignant. Miss Dyer belonged to a different social circle from that of Mr. Taylor, and had a small but reliable income of her own. She was educated, gifted, attractive, and had no lack of suitors far more eligible in Miss Aldersey's eyes. It was unpardonable that this person should presume upon her youth and inexperience, and still more so that he should return to Ning-po after its having been made plain that he was not wanted.

In the course of such a conversation many things come out, and before it ended Mrs. Jones could see pretty clearly how the land lay. Miss Aldersey's object was to obtain from her a promise that she would do-nothing to forward Mr. Taylor's suit, and that the latter would never see or speak to Miss Dyer in their house. While not committing herself as far as this, Mrs. Jones felt it desirable to state that she would refrain from throwing the young people together, and that Mr. Taylor would not take advantage of Miss Dyer's visits to attempt to see her alone. At the same time she earnestly put before Miss Aldersey the other side of the matter, trying to make her feel how serious a thing it is to tamper with such affections. But the older lady would hear no good of Hudson Taylor, and deeply pained by her criticisms Mrs. Jones came away.

After this, of course, Hudson Taylor- felt himself bound by Mrs. Jones' promise. He could not write to Miss Dyer or seek an interview in the house of his friends ; and yet as the days went by he found it impossible to let matters drift indefinitely. Having learned that Miss Aldersey was k not related to the Dyers and was not even their guardian, he determined to call on the sisters both together and ask whether he might write to their uncle-in London for permission to cultivate a closer acquaintance. More than this he dared not venture at present, nor was it necessary after his Shanghai letter.

Taking a sedan-chair, therefore, as the etiquette of Chinese dress demanded, Hudson Taylor went over to the school, only to meet the young ladies going out. So without waiting for the ceremony of sending in his card, he requested the privilege of a few minutes' conversation.

" Come in," responded the elder sister, " and we will ask Mrs. Bausum."

But when Mrs. Bausum appeared he found that both girls had gone over to see Miss Aldersey. Burella divining the purpose of his visit had insisted upon her sister's leaving the house at once, and for the sake of avoiding an open rupture Maria had consented.

It was hard just then not to look at second causes. But though everything and every one seemed against him Hudson Taylor was enabled to leave it all with God, confident that He understood best how to manage such matters. If an interview were necessary He could and would bring it about, and cause it, moreover, to accomplish the desired results. Personally there seemed nothing he could do. But the Lord has ways of working beyond our ken ; and in spite of everything he could not help a growing impression that his love was returned and that, in the way he hoped, faith would be rewarded.

Meanwhile the trial through which he was passing was not allowed to interfere with daily duties. Situated on a crowded thoroughfare the house at Kuen-kiao-teo was within a stone's throw of the main street of the city. " By day and far into the night the clink and ring of smiths' and tinkers' hammers close by and the busy hum from neighbouring tea-shops could be heard." The air was close and oppressive, a population of half a million being gathered within and around the city wall. But from a summerhouse on the roof an extensive view could be obtained of the surrounding hills, and many an early hour the young missionary must have spent there alone with God. For he had learned that only in such communion could freshness of spirit be maintained both for work and burden-bearing.

Street-chapel preaching is far from easy, and both at Kuen-kiao-teo and in the little house across the city Hudson Taylor was carrying on daily services as well as medical work. Nothing but the attraction of the Lord's own love and presence in the speaker's heart could hold the changing audiences or turn argumentative conversations into blessing. But the young missionary kept on, always patient and pleasant, always ready with some helpful word or kindly act, until the neighbours could not but be impressed by such a message delivered in such a spirit.

" Next door to our premises on Bridge Street," wrote Mr. Jones, " there is an opium den. The men who keep it are southerners and ... at first looked upon us with little favour. But one and another dropped in to our services, Brother Taylor sometimes addressing them in their own dialect, until they became quite friendly. One of them who was suffering much from his eyes was cured by careful treatment, and now they often shew us little attentions of one sort or another. People also who frequent their house are constant in attendance at our meetings, and one at any rate has a good understanding of the Gospel,"

Thus the Friend of publicans and sinners was able to come very near even to these poor, unhappy opium-smokers, through a life made attractive by much fellowship with Him.

The evening meeting at Kuen-kiao-teo was perhaps the most important of the day's proceedings. People were more willing to come out after the sun went down, and the big bell soon filled the hall with an audience willing to listen for an hour or two. All this, of course, meant hard work for the young missionary on whom most of the speaking devolved. It was his fourth hot season, and one's powers of resistance seem to lessen with each succeeding summer, But not the intense heat nor yet the work kept up with unremitting vigour were the chief strain upon Hudson Taylor. The trial of suspense meant more, far more, involving as it did the dearest hopes of his heart.

But in this also he was wonderfully sustained. The matter had been left entirely in the hands of God, and though Hudson Taylor had no means of communicating with the one he loved it was not difficult for the Lord to bring them together. He who can use ravens, if need be, or angels to do His bidding was answering His children's prayers, and on this occasion He seems to have employed a waterspout !

It was a sultry afternoon in July, shortly after Hudson Taylor's unsuccessful visit to the school, when in regular rotation the Ladies' Prayer Meeting came to be held at Kuen-kiao-teo. The usual number gathered, representing all the Societies, but as the sequel proved it was easier to come to the meeting that day than to get away. For with scarcely any warning a waterspout, sweeping up the tidal river, broke over Ning-po in a perfect deluge, followed by torrents of rain. Mr. Jones and Mr. Taylor were over at Bridge Street as usual, and on account of the flooded streets were late in reaching home. Most of the ladies had left before they returned, but a servant from the school was there who said that Mrs. Bausum and Miss Maria Dyer were still waiting for sedan-chairs.

" Go into my study," said Mr. Jones, to his companion, " and I will see if an interview can be arranged."

It was not long before he returned saying that the ladies were alone with Mrs. Jones and that they would be glad of a little conversation.

Hardly knowing what he did Hudson Taylor went upstairs, and found himself in the presence of the one being he supremely loved. True others were there too, but he hardly saw them, hardly saw anything but her face, as be told much more than he would have ever thought possible in public. He had only meant to ask if he might write to her guardian for permission. . . . But now it all tame out; he could not help it. And she ?- Well, there was no one present but those who loved them and understood, and it might be so long before they could meet again ! Yes, she consented, and did much more than that. With her true woman's heart she relieved all his fears, as far as they could be relieved by knowing that he was just as dear to her as she to him. And if the others heard-were there not angels too ? And presently Hudson Taylor relieved the situation by saying

" Let us take it all to the Lord in prayer."

So the letter was written about the middle of July upon which so much depended, and they had to look forward to four long months of prayer and patience before the answer could be received. Under the circumstances they did not feel free to see one another or even communicate in writing, for they had as far as possible to mitigate Miss Aldersey's displeasure. Maria of course informed her that Mr. Taylor had written to her uncle asking permission for a definite engagement. That matters should have come to such a pass in spite of all her precautions seemed incredible to the older lady. But they should proceed no farther. She would at once communicate with Mr. Tam herself, and he of course would see the impropriety of the request. Se with the keenest desire for her young friend's happiness she set to work to bring the distant relatives to her own point of view.

This of course made it very hard for the lovers, especially as Miss Aldersey observed no reticence on the subject Impressions she had gained about Hudson Taylor, happily as unfounded as they were unfavourable, were soon made known to the rest of the community. Her object was to alienate the affections of Miss Dyer from one whom she considered unworthy of her, and she did not hesitate to encourage the attentions of other suitors with the same end in view. The Chinese dress worn by Hudson Taylor was one strong point against him, and seemingly awakened not aversion only, but contempt. His position also as an independent worker, upon the uncertain basis of " faith," was severely criticised ; and he was represented as " called by no one, connected with no one, and recognised by no one as a minister of the Gospel." Had this been all it would have been bad enough, but other insinuations followed. He was " fanatical, undependable, diseased in body and mind," and in a word " totally worthless." And the two most concerned could not tell how far all this would influence Mr. Tam in London, to whom Miss Aldersey had written in a similar strain.

As month after month went by and these strange misrepresentations came to be believed in certain sections of the community, Hudson Taylor had to learn in a new way what it was to take refuge in God. It was a fiery furnace seven times heated ; for he knew how his loved one must be suffering, and he could not explain anything or reassure her even of his devotion. And what was to be the outcome ? What if her guardian in London were influenced by Miss Aldersey's statements ? What if he refused his consent to the marriage ? If there was one thing of which Hudson Taylor had no doubt it was that the blessing of God rested upon obedience to parents or those in parental authority. Nothing would have induced him to act contrary to a command from his own parents, nor could he encourage the one he loved to disregard her guardian's wishes. Years after, when experience had confirmed these convictions, he wrote upon this important subject

I have never known disobedience to the definite command of a parent, even if that parent were mistaken, that was not followed by retribution. Conquer through the Lord. 1-{1-Mr. Taylor was then dealing specially with the question of a call to missionary work, the consent of one or both parents being withheld.} He can open any door. The responsibility is with the parent in such a case, and it is a great one. When son or, daughter can say in all sincerity, " I am waiting for you, Lord, to open the door," the matter is in His hands, and He will take it up.

But at this time it was theory more than experience ; his conviction of what must be rather than his knowledge of what was ; and the test was all the more severe.

No wonder he needed to be very still in those days before the Lord. Never before had he had to walk so carefully, or so felt his helplessness apart from sustaining grace.

" It is not sufficient," he wrote to his sister early in August, " to have the every road pointed out merely, to be prevented from straying to the right hand or to the left, though this is no little blessing. .. , We need Him to direct our steps ... step after step. Nay more, we need to pass through this wilderness leaning, always leaning on our Beloved. May we in reality do this, and all will be well."

Meanwhile in another part of the city another lonely, suffering heart was learning the same lessons. Deeply 'she too felt the sacredness of parental authority, and that the divine blessing could not rest upon a step taken in defiance of its control. She would have waited if need be for years had her guardian disapproved the marriage, and as the slow months went by times of desolation could not but come over her in view of all he was likely to hear.

She was visiting Mr. and Mrs. Gough of the C.M.S. on one such occasion, who entertained a warm regard for Hudson Taylor. He may have been spoken of with appreciation : at any rate the longing for him that was always there filled and overflowed her heart. It was a summer evening, and going to her room alone the poor child knelt long in silent grief. But her Bible was at hand, and as she turned its pages the precious words shone out : " Trust in Him at all times ; ye people, pour out your hearts before Him : God is a refuge for us." And that just met her need.

" I marked it at the time," she wrote to her loved one seven years later, " and the light-coloured ink still remains to remind me of that night."

" My soul, wait thou only upon God ; for my expectation is from Him." He only, He alone ; always El-Shaddai" The God that is Enough."


IT was about this time that a pair of scrolls made their appearance in the sitting-room at Kuen-kiao-teo that were as new as they were perplexing to the little company of Christians and inquirers gathered there on Sunday mornings for worship. Beautifully written in Chinese each character in itself was intelligible, but what could be the meaning of the strange combination, I-pien-i-seh-er ; Je-ho-hua I-la ?

The young missionary who had been ill and confined to his room for a month could have explained. For it was there in quiet communion with God those inspired words had come to him in such fullness of meaning as to make them for ever memorable. Ebenezer and Jehovah Jireh " Hitherto hath the Lord helped us," and for all coming need " The Lord will provide ":-how he rejoiced as strength came back to unfold to his Chinese friends their precious message, leading them on to a deeper knowledge of the infinite God they too were learning to trust.

That little inner circle, small though it was in numbers, was the joy and rejoicing of Hudson Taylor's heart, and the illness that laid him aside during the whole of September was made the most of for prayer on their behalf. Taken out of the busy round of preaching and medical work he was able to give more time, to individual inquirers, amongst whom Mr. Nyi, a business man in the city, was perhaps the most encouraging.

Passing the open door of the mission-house one evening soon after Mr. Jones and his colleague had settled there, he observed that something was going on. A big bell was ringing, and a number of people were passing in as if for a meeting. Hearing that it was a " Jesus Hall," or place where foreign teachers discoursed upon religious matters, he too turned in ; for as a devout Buddhist there was nothing about which he felt more concern than the pains and penalties due to sin, and the transmigration of the soul on its long journey he knew not whither.

A young foreigner in Chinese dress was preaching from his Sacred Classics, and this was the passage he read

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up : that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world ; but that the world through Him might be saved.

It is scarcely possible to imagine much less describe the effect upon such a man of such a message, heard for the first time. To say that Nyi was interested scarcely begins to express all that went on in his mind. For he was a seeker after truth, one of the leaders of a reformed sect of Buddhists devoted to religious observances. The story of the brazen serpent in the wilderness, illustrating the divine remedy for sin and all its deadly consequences ; the facts of the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus ; and the bearing of all this upon his own need, brought home to him the power of the Holy Spirit-well, it is the miracle of the ages, and thank God we see it still. " I, if I be lifted up . . . will draw all men unto Me."

Nyi came into the hall that evening one of the vast, the incredibly vast multitude who " through fear of death are all their lifetime subject to bondage " ; and as he sat there listening, hope dawned in his heart, old things for ever passed away and he was conscious of the sunrise that makes all things new.

But the meeting- was drawing to a close ; the " foreign teacher " had ceased speaking.' Looking round upon the audience with the instinct of one accustomed to lead in such matters, Nyi rose in his place and said with simple directness

" I have long sought the Truth, as did my father before me, but without finding it. I have travelled far and near, but have never searched it out. In Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, I have found no rest ; but I do find rest in what we have heard to-night. Henceforward I am a believer in Jesus."

The effect of this declaration was profound, for Nyi was well known and respected. But no one present was more moved than the young missionary to' whom he specially addressed himself. Many interviews followed, and Hudson Taylor experienced the joy no words can express as he saw the Lord working with him and claiming this soul for His own.

Shortly after his conversion, a meeting was held of the society over which Mr. Nyi had formerly presided, and though he had resigned from its membership he obtained permission to be present and to explain the reasons for his change of faith. Mr. Taylor, who had the pleasure of accompanying him, was deeply impressed by the clearness and power with which he set forth the Gospel. One of his former co-religionists was led to Christ through his instrumentality, and with Nyi himself became of great value to the Kuen-kiao-teo church. Nyi, as a dealer in cotton, frequently had time at his disposal, which he now devoted to helping his missionary friends. With Mr. Jones he went out almost daily, taking no payment for his services, and everywhere winning an entrance for the message he was so keen to bring.

He it was who, talking with Mr. Taylor, unexpectedly raised a question the pain of which was not easily forgotten.

" How long have you had the Glad Tidings in England?" he asked all unsuspectingly.

The young missionary was ashamed to tell him, and vaguely replied that it was several hundreds of years. " What," exclaimed Nyi in astonishment, " several hundreds of years ! Is it possible that you have known about Jesus so long, and only now have come to tell us ? "

" My father sought the truth for more than twenty years," he continued sadly, " and died without finding it. Oh, why did you not come sooner ? "

Hardly had Hudson Taylor recovered from his illness and resumed his former activities when a call came to very different service, as difficult as it was unexpected.

Over on the compound of the Presbyterian Mission his friend Mr. Quaterman was taken seriously ill. A devoted pioneer evangelist, he had remained unmarried during the ten years of his life in China, finding a congenial home with his sister Mrs. Way. His brother-in-law, one of the Presbyterian missionaries, was absent on a journey, and with little children to care for Mrs. Way discovered that her brother was suffering from smallpox. It proved, indeed, to be that dread disease in its most malignant form. The patient had to be isolated, and to her great distress Mrs. Way could not undertake the nursing.

No one else seemed in a position to do so, and the sufferer would have been left to the care of native servants had not Hudson Taylor heard of it. But to him the circumstances were a clear call to go to the help of his friends. He was unmarried, and knew that could he have consulted the one he loved she would not have held him back. As it was he had to leave it to others to tell her, and almost at a moment's notice hastened across the river to take up his sorrowful task.

Night and day he tended the dying man, with no thought of self, doing duty as doctor and nurse in one, that others might be spared the risk of infection.

" He has been taken home to be with Jesus," he wrote a week later, " and great was my privilege in being permitted to minister to the Lord in his person, and to see the power of sustaining grace."

But he did not say how cast upon God he had been all through those terrible nights and days, nor how he felt the strain now that it was over. For the moment, indeed, more pressing considerations occupied him, and he was reminded in a practical way of the scrolls at Kuen-kiao-teo with their precious message.

For hardly had he performed the last offices for his friend before he found himself in an unforeseen dilemma. In his attendance night and day upon the patient he had been obliged to change his clothing frequently, and now all the garments used in the sick room had to be discarded for fear of spreading the infection. A Chinese tailor could soon have provided others, but as it happened the young missionary could not afford a fresh supply. It was not that he had been suffering from shortness of funds. On the contrary, ever since leaving the C.E.S he had received from other sources more than he personally required. But he was sharing all that came to him with Mr. Jones and his family, and recently had sent thirty-seven pounds to a brother-missionary in need. Thus he had nothing laid by to fall back upon, and now the infected garments had to be destroyed he would have been in serious difficulty, but for the resource of prayer.

And just then, strange as it may seem, a long-lost box arrived containing among other belongings all the clothing he had left in Swatow fifteen months previously. For God is a real Father, and still knows His children's needs before they ask Him.

A little incident ? Yes, but one that added meaning to the motto of the Mission that was yet to grow out of the growth of his soul

"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. The Lord will provide."


IT is hardly to be wondered at that his attendance upon Mr. Quaterman should have proved too much for Hudson Taylor at this time. But for recent vaccination the illness that followed might have been much more serious, for it was undoubtedly smallpox, and the fever ran high. As it was, it was chiefly memorable for the mercy that averted worse developments, and for an experience toward the close that brought him untold comfort.

It was early on October 20, before day-dawn indeed, when some noise in the street awoke him with a sudden start. He could not sleep again, and though outwardly quiet was distressed by palpitation due to his exhausted condition. And then, with the fatal ease of disordered nerves, one misgiving led to another, until he was overwhelmed with painful apprehensions.

All the suspense and anguish of the long months of his love for the one who might never be his seemed to come back like a flood, gathering itself up in a great fear of what was yet to come. They had suffered so much ; their love for one another was so intense, and the opposition it awakened so persistent that it seemed more than he could bear. In a few weeks now the letter would come that must decide their future. Unreasoning anxiety laid hold upon him, and though he tried to quiet his distress of mind by handing it all over to the Lord, the very effort added to his sufferings.

But " underneath," all the while, were " the Everlasting Arms." One Whose comprehension is infinite was watching over His suffering child ; and in the way of all others most sure to help, relief was given.

" All at once," he wrote to his. sister later in the day,." I became conscious of dear Maria's presence. She came in silently as a breath of air, and I felt such a tranquillity steal over me-I knew she must be there. I felt spell-bound for a short time, but at length without opening my eyes I put out my hand, and she took it in such a warm, soft grasp that I could not refrain from a look of gratitude. She motioned me not to speak, and put her other hand on my forehead, and I felt the headache which had been distracting and the fever retire under its touch and sink as through the pillow. She whispered to me not to be uneasy . . . that she was mine and I was hers, and that I must keep quiet and try to sleep. And so I did, awaking some hours later well of the fever though very weak.

" A sweet dream, I would call it ; only I was as wide awake as I am now, and saw and felt her touch as plainly as I do now pencil and paper. All my fear in the fever had been that our love would come to nothing, so you may guess how it soothed me."

It was with pleasure Hudson Taylor found on recovering from this illness that his friend Mr. Burdon of Shanghai was again in Ning-po, this time to arrange for his wedding. He had been engaged to the elder Miss Dyer for almost a year, and now on November 16, they were to be married. Without in the least grudging them their happiness, he could not but feel the contrast with his own circumstances very keenly, especially in view of Miss Aldersey's growing dislike. For as time went on she seems, if anything, to have increased her opposition to the younger's sister's engagement. Not content with having written fully to Mr. Tam in London, she continued to bring accusations of a ' serious nature against Hudson Taylor. It came to such a pass at length that Maria herself almost wondered that her confidence did not waver in the one of whom she knew so little. But their love was too deep, too God-given. She suffered none the less, however, especially during these weeks of illness, his own and Mr. Quaterman's, when she could neither come to him nor do anything to show her sympathy. Yet she had come, although she knew it not.

It was rarely the young people could meet even in public at this time, for the school in which the Misses Dyer were teaching had been moved across the river to the compound of the Presbyterian Mission. Living with Mrs. Bausum in the brown, gable-roofed house adjoining the school-building they were near neighbours of the Ways, whose love and admiration or Hudson Taylor must have been a comfort to the your sister. He would be frequently spoken of with gratitude as one who had risked his life in ministering to their brother,1-{1 In August 1905, nearly fifty years later, a sister of Mrs. Way's wrote as follows: " from Mrs. R. Way of Ning-po would have given delightful reminiscences of Mr. Hudson Taylor, but these letters, so much prized, were unavoidably lost.... Mr. Way was absent from the city when the sickness of Mr. Quarterman, proving to be smallpox, rendered the situation of Mrs. Way an her children very alarming. The doctor had him isolated, and I suppose he would have been left to the care of the Chinese, had not our Heavenly Father interposed and moved the heart of His faithful servant, Mr. Hudson Taylor, to take upon himself to be nurse, brother, and comforter in one. Actuated by the very spirit of Christ, he cut himself off from every one, and devoted himself to the care of my suffering brother. " The sad details-his sore sickness and death-brought sorrow to our hearts ; but how this was tempered by the knowledge that loving hands and devoted care had done all that could be done for our brother ! " " For this dear servant of the Lord, Mr. Hudson Taylor," added another member of the family (Miss G. S. Way, of Savannah, Georgia), " we have always felt the deepest gratitude ; and we ever rejoiced in the great things he was enabled to accomplish in winning China for Christ."}and Maria's fingers may have lingered on the keys of the harmonium that had belonged to Mr. Quaterman and was now to be given to her friend.

Not that Hudson Taylor felt free to accept the gift. Much as he would have valued it, he dared not lay himself open to further misrepresentation.

" I could not have taken pit," he wrote to his mother, " without its having been considered by some as a sort of payment, and that of course I guard against. For I would not have anyone imagine that I desire payment in this life for service to the Lord's people." For this same reason, that he might avoid causes of offence, he refrained from visiting Mr. and Mrs. Way on the Presbyterian compound, and waited as patiently as he might without communication of any kind with the one who was in all his thoughts until the letter should arrive on which so much depended.

Meanwhile with returning strength he was more than ever busy in the city. The work both in the home he shared with Mr. and Mrs. Jones and in their preaching station was full of encouragement, and they had added to it " free breakfasts " for the very poor that were a special source of satisfaction to Hudson Taylor. The Lord was supplying his needs more bountifully than ever before, and in the spirit of the words " freely ye have received, freely give," he rejoiced to pour out all that he was and had in the service of others.

Feeding sixty to eighty people every day was a considerable tax on their resources however, and once and again they had actually come to the last penny before fresh supplies were received. This very naturally was misunderstood in some quarters, as may be seen from Dr. Martin's interesting recollections.1{1- " I conclude," writes Dr. W. A. P. Martin recalling early Ning-po days, " with two names more eminent than any of the preceding, the names of Robert Hart and Hudson Taylor. From a budding interpreter the former has blossomed into the famous statesman known as the ` Great I.G.' (Inspector-General of the Chinese Customs Service). His career to which there is no parallel in East or West will be further noticed in connection with Peking. The latter, who rules as many men and with a sway not less absolute, is the Loyola of Protestant Missions. When I first met him he was a mystic absorbed in religious dreams, waiting to have his work revealed ; not idle, but aimless. When he had money he spent it on charity to needy Chinese, and then was reduced to sore straits himself. When the vocation found him it made him a new man, with -iron will and untiring energy. He erred [7] in leading his followers to make war on ancestral worship, instead of seeking to reform it ; still in founding the China Inland Mission he has made an epoch in the history of missionary enterprise " (from A Cycle of Cathay).} But both Hudson Taylor and his colleague were walking prayerfully before God in the matter, and He honoured their faith while allowing it also to be tested.

" Many think I am very poor," wrote the young missionary in the middle of November. " This certainly is true enough in one sense, but thank God it is ` As poor, yet making many rich ; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.' . . . I would not if I could be otherwise than as I am-entirely dependent myself upon the Lord, and used as a channel of help to others."

An instance was before him at the moment of the care and faithfulness of God that he could not but share with his home-circle. For only a few days before they had found themselves in " sore straits " at Kuen-kiao-teo through their work of love and mercy. Seventy hungry people, the poorest of the poor, had had their breakfast that morning, and had listened for an hour or more to the story of Redeeming Love. Nyi, who had just been baptized, and others of the native Christians were very helpful on these occasions, and no doubt found their own faith strengthened by the experience they witnessed.

" Well, on that Saturday morning," continued Hudson Taylor, " we paid all expenses and provided for the morrow, after which we had not a single dollar left.... How the Lord would care for us on Monday we knew not, but over our mantelpiece hung two scrolls in Chinese character-Ebenezer and Jehovah Jireh-and He kept us from doubting for a moment.

And then, that very day, letters that had travelled half across the world reached Ning-po when no mail was expected. Posted in England two months previously, they had been brought in safety over land and sea, and so prospered on their journey that the prayer " Give us this day our daily bread " was answered before the sun went down.

" That very day," concluded Hudson Taylor, " the mail came in a week before it was due, and Mr. Jones received a bill for two hundred and fourteen dollars. So once again we thanked God and took courage.

" The bill was taken to a merchant, and though there is usually a delay of several days before we can get the money, this time he said ` Send down on Monday and I will have it ready.' We sent, and though he had not been able to buy all the dollars he let us have seventy on account. So all was well.

" Oh it is sweet to live thus in direct dependence upon the Lord who never fails us !

" On Monday the poor had their breakfast as usual, for we had not told them not to come, being assured that it was the Lord's work and that He would provide. We could not help our eyes filling with tears of thankfulness as we saw not only our own needs supplied, but the widow and orphan, the blind, lame and destitute together provided for by the bounty of Him who feeds the sparrows... .

" ` Oh taste and see that the Lord is good : blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. Oh fear the Lord, ye His saints : for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger : but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing 'and if not good, why want it ? "

Very soon after this Hudson Taylor found that the Lord had been working for him in other ways also. For it was toward the end of November the long-looked-for letters came-and were favourable ! After careful inquiry in London, Mr. Tam had satisfied himself that Hudson Taylor was a young missionary of unusual promise. The Secretaries of the Chinese Evangelisation Society had nothing but good to say of him, and from other sources also he had the highest references. Taking therefore any disquieting rumours he may have heard for no more than they were worth, he cordially consented to his niece's engagement, requesting only that the marriage should be delayed until she came of age. And that would be in little more than two months' time.

Oh China, China ! How the said young missionary longed, after that, to see what some one else would say, and how distractingly difficult it was to arrange an interview. To cross the river forthwith and present himself at Mrs. Bausum's would have outraged all proprieties. Anywhere on the compound where she lived, indeed, they could not have met under the circumstances ; and his own home was still more out of the question. But news of this sort flies fast, and in some way Mrs. Knowlton of the American Baptist Mission heard of the situation. She was in favour of the engagement, and lived in a quiet place outside the city-wall and close to the river. She would send a note to the school. Miss Dyer could come to see her at any time ; and if somebody else were there-well, such things will happen, even in China.

So it was in Mrs. Knowlton's drawing-room he waited while the messenger went slowly, slowly across the river and seemed as if he never would return. Let us hope that the windows overlooked the ferry, and that Hudson Taylor had not to keep up the form of conversation. At last, at last ! The slender figure, quick step, bright young voice in the passage-then the door opened, and for the first time they were together alone.

More than forty years later the joy of that moment had not left him : " We sat side by side on the sofa," he said, " her hand clasped in mine. It never cooled-my love for her. It has not cooled now."


AFTER this they were openly engaged, and could meet from time to time in the company of friends : and how those happy winter days made up for all that had gone before !

" I never felt in better health or spirits in my life," wrote Hudson Taylor. "To God who alone doeth wondrous things, who raiseth up those that are bowed down and has caused every effort to injure me to work only for good ... to Him be praise and glory."

The engagement was not to be a long one, for on January i6 Miss Dyer would be twenty-one years of age and free to follow the dictates of her heart. So the closing weeks of the year were full of joyous anticipation.

It is good to know that in a life so serious as regards its outward surroundings there were still times when they could be young and gay. One refreshing glimpse into this side of things is afforded by an intimate friend of those days, now the widow of the devoted and beloved Dr. Nevius. " To those who only knew Mr. Taylor in later life," wrote Mrs. Nevius, " it may be a surprise to learn that when he `fell in love ' it ways a headlong plunge, and by no means a slight or evanescent passion. And his fiancee with her strong, emotional nature was in this respect not unlike him. My husband was rather a special friend of both, and he sometimes indulged his propensities for good-natured teasing at their expense. I was in America, sent home on account of ill-health, when the following little ` passage at arms,' or rather hands, took place. " One evening the young people were seated round a table playing a game that required their hands to be hidden beneath it. To his surprise Mr. Nevius received an unexpected squeeze. Guessing at once that it was a case of mistaken identity, and enjoying the situation, he returned the pressure with interest. In a moment `Maria' his next neighbour discovered her mistake, but when she would have withdrawn her hand it was held fast by its captor's strong fingers. Not until flushed cheeks and almost tearful eyes warned him that the joke had gone far enough did he release her. Those were days when to laugh was easy, and not such very funny things were sufficient to evoke much merriment.

" Perhaps still another person whose name is known round the world was sitting at that table, for Mr. (now Sir Robert) Hart was a frequent visitor in our home. And it is quite possible that the now venerable and even then learned Dr. W. A. P. Martin was also a guest that evening. How little we imagined in those days the remarkable careers in store for some of those bright, merry young people ! But cares and responsibilities were to come upon them soon enough ; and what could have been better, in the midst of more serious preparation, than just such times as these ? They were hard students even then, every one of them, and probably erred on the side of overwork."

A very different experience and one that might well have given the young girl pause, had her character been other than it was, occurred on the eve of their marriage a few weeks later.

" It was the 6th of January," said Mr. Taylor, recalling the circumstances in conversation with the writers, " and the bride-elect was coming to tea at Kuen-kiao-teo in company with Mrs. Bausum. This had been arranged some time previously, when we were under no anxiety as to supplies. But when the time drew near we found ourselves in serious difficulty. Expenses had been heavy on account of our work among the poor, and mail after mail had come in bringing nothing from home. At last on the morning of the day in question one solitary cash, the twentieth part of a penny, was all that we had left between us. But though tried we looked to the Lord once again to manifest His gracious care.

" Enough remained in the house to supply a modest breakfast ; after which, having neither food for the rest of the day nor money to obtain any, we could only betake ourselves to Him who is a red Father, and cannot forget His children's needs. And you may be sure that what was to me the most painful element in the situation, our unpreparedness for the guests who were coming that evening, was specially remembered before Him.

After prayer and deliberation Mr. Jones agreed with me that we ought to try to dispose of some saleable article in order to supply our immediate needs. But on looking round we saw nothing that could well be spared, except perhaps a clock, and little that the Chinese would purchase for ready money. Credit to any extent we might have had, but that would not have been in accordance with our principle in the matter of debt. So the clock was taken to a neighbouring merchant who proved a willing purchaser.

" `But of course you must leave it for a week,' he said, `that we may see how it goes. No one would think of paying money down for an untried clock.'

" This was so reasonable from the Chinese point of view that there was no gainsaying it, and we saw there was no help for us in that quarter.

" One other article remained, an American stove that could have been sold for old iron, but we much regretted parting with it. Still, it seemed necessary, so we set out for the foundry which was at some distance. On the way, however, our path was unexpectedly closed. The bridge of boats, by which we had intended crossing the river, had been carried away in the night, and all that remained was a ferry, the fare for which was two cash each. As we only possessed one cash between us our course was clearly to return and await God's own interposition on our behalf,

" Upon reaching home again we found that Mrs. Jones and the children had gone to dine with a friend. The invitation, accepted some days previously, had included Mr. Jones, but under the circumstances he would not hear of leaving me. So we set to work and carefully searched the cupboards, and though there was nothing to eat we found a small packet of cocoa which with a little hot water somewhat revived us.

" Our Chinese cook then came and begged his master to make use of the small sum left of his wages. But to this Mr. Jones could not agree, as he explained to the man, adding that although we could not go into debt, even for necessary food, our Heavenly Father knew all about it, and would soon supply His children's needs.

"But though he spoke with confidence, our faith was not a little tried as we went into his study and gave ourselves to waiting upon God. We cried indeed unto the Lord in our trouble, and He heard, and delivered us out of all our distresses.

" For while we were still on our knees, the cook came to the door. ` Oh Teacher, Teacher,' he exclaimed, ` here are letters ! ' Once again a mail had arrived from home several days before it was expected, bringing, as we found to our thankfulness, a generous gift from Mr.. Berger. ` Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.' Who that ever trusted in Him was put to shame ? "

Over a happy tea-table that evening the whole story came out, for their hearts were so filled with joy and praise that they could not keep it to themselves. The wedding had been arranged for January 20, just two weeks later, but in the light of what had taken place Hudson Taylor felt that he must put before his loved one the more serious aspects of the step she was taking. Very fully he told her, when they were left alone, just what the trial had been.

" I cannot hold you to your promise," he continued, " if you would rather draw back. You see how difficult our life may be at times "

" Have you forgotten ? " the sweet voice interposed. " I was left an orphan in a far-off land. God has been my Father all these years ; and do you think I shall be afraid to trust Him now ? "

" My heart did sing for joy," he said as he told the story. And well it might ! For the price of such a woman is " far above rubies."

So the preparations for the wedding went on,-outwardly with the kind help of many friends, and inwardly with the blessing of God. Some of the lessons he was learning at this time may be gathered from the last letters Hudson Taylor penned before the happy event.

I can scarcely realise, dear Mother, what has happened ; that after all the agony and suspense we have suffered we are not only at liberty to meet and be much with each other, but that within a few days, D.V.,we are to be married ! God has been good to us. ' He has indeed answered our prayer and taken our part against the mighty. Oh may we walk more closely with Him and serve Him more faithfully. I wish you knew my Precious One. She is such a treasure ! She is all that I desire.

Yet the first place in his heart was truly given to Him " whose love exceeds all human affection," as he wrote in another letter, " and who can fill the soul with gladness to which all other joy is unworthy to be compared."

Now I know what it is to have my name written on His heart .. .and why He never ceases to intercede for me ... His love is so grey that He cannot. It is overwhelming, is it not ? Such depths of love, and for me !

The Wedding Day was perfect, setting a crown on all that had gone before.1 {1- January 20, 1858.}

In brilliant sunshine Hudson Taylor crossed the river and made his way to the old temple, near the Presbyterian compound, that did duty as a Consulate. The Rev. F. F. Gough was there already in his office as Chaplain, with friends from all the different Missions, officers from the British gunboat and a few other foreigners. Mr. Robert Hart represented the absent Consul, and Mr. Way the father of the bride.

Very sweet and fair she looked in more than Hudson Taylor's eyes that day, in her simple grey silk gown and wedding veil. He was wearing ordinary Chinese dress, and to some the contrast between them must have seemed remarkable. But to those who could see below the surface the noteworthy thing about this wedding was the way in which bride and bridegroom were already " perfect in one."

The reception afterwards in the hospitable home of Mr. and Mrs. Way, the speeches and all the kind congratulations passed like a dream ; but it began to seem more real when early sunset found them alone together among the Western Hills. And the days that followed were better far than any dream.

From the guest-room of the Nioh - wang monastery Hudson Taylor wrote a week later:

Jan. 28. We are so happy ! The Lord Himself has turned our sorrow into joy, giving us " the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." .. .

Jan. 29. He has answered all our prayers ; overruled the opposition of those who would have separated us ; justified the confidence He enabled us to place in Him, and made us very, very happy indeed.

And from Ning-po, when six weeks had gone by: Oh, to be married to the one you do love, and love most tenderly---and devotedly ... that is bliss beyond the power of words to express or imagination conceive. There is no disappointment there. And every day as it shows more of the mind of your Beloved, when you have such a treasure as mine, makes you only more proud, more happy, more humbly thankful to the Giver of all good for this best of earthly gifts.


A NEW home, especially if it is to receive a bride, is just as interesting in China as elsewhere ; and Hudson Taylor found himself quite popular on Bridge Street when in the early spring he remodelled the barn-like attic in which he had formerly dwelt alone. Not only was he married, a change that in itself entitled him to consideration, but he had married the well-known Da-yia Ku-niang who for five years had lived and worked in that part of the city. In addition to being a bride she was the trusted friend of many a woman and girl throughout the neighbourhood, so that visitors were numerous when the young couple came into residence, as they did toward the end of April.

This was three months after their marriage, and in the interval they had broken ground in a country district eight or ten miles from the city. From the quiet of the Nioh-wang monastery they had moved to a busy little town (Moh-tz-in) on the shores of the Eastern Lake. Surrounded by a large fishing population they had spent a happy month living and preaching Christ among those who had never heard. Love and joy, it seemed, were a wonderful talisman with which to open hearts, and it was a real sorrow when illness obliged them to abandon the native cottage in which they had been living and return to more suitable quarters in the city.

Long weeks of nursing followed, for the fever was nothing less than typhoid, which attacked them one after the other. It was evident that it would not do to return to Moh-tz-infor the summer ; so while continuing to visit it as an outstation Mr. Taylor decided, as we have seen, to occupy the premises on Bridge Street, where it would not be necessary to sleep on the ground floor.

So it was there over the chapel, between the narrow street in front and the canal behind, in the little rooms that were to form the cradle of the China Inland Mission and are now its oldest home, that the young missionaries began settled work. Downstairs everything remained as before, but a few small chambers were fashioned above, with inexpensive partitions. Chinese furniture was easily to be had, and housekeeping was a simple matter to one so familiar with the language and ways of the people.

Then it was that Hudson Taylor, like his father before him, discovered that " Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord." Missionary life was no longer a one-sided, bachelor affair, but rounded out and complete in all its relations. He began to feel in touch with the people in a new way, and was able to understand and serve them better at every point. And the gentle presence that made the sunshine of his home was loved and welcomed by the neighbours all about them. Quite freely she went in and out of their courtyards, seeking pupils for her little school, chatting with the children, delighting the women with her understanding of their everyday affairs, and cheering the old people with ready sympathy. There was something about her bright face and pleasant ways that made them want to know the secret of the peace she possessed, and many came to the meetings in the Mission-house to hear more from her lips of the Saviour who made her life so different from their own. Thus a light began to shine from the new home on Bridge Street that brightened many a heart in that great heathen city, and both husband and wife realised how much marriage may help the missionary in his work when it is not only " in the Lord," but " of Him, through Him, and to Him."

They were not without their anxieties, however, in common with all others in Ning-po this summer, for it was a time of painful excitement both in and around the city. The Tai-ping Rebellion, still at the height of its power, was moving rapidly toward the rich province of Cheh-kiang, upon the conquest of which its leaders had determined ; and the inhabitants of Hang-chow, Shao-hing, Ning-po and other important places saw themselves powerless to avert a calamity that defied imagination.

Little or no assistance could be expected from Peking. Worsted in the unequal conflict with England, the brokenhearted Emperor had witnessed the collapse of all his hopes as to protecting his country from foreign opium, and the capital was about to surrender before the might of European arms. With such affairs on hand what help could be given to a distant province over which were hovering the harpies of civil war ? And as to self-defence, the experience of eight terrible years had taught the people only too well that success lay with the Rebels and there was no safety but in flight. And for flight the panic-stricken inhabitants of Ning-po were already preparing.

" Great alarm has been felt in this city," wrote Mr. Taylor early in June, " on account of the approach of the Rebels.... Many wealthy men have moved their families and effects into the country, and pawnbrokers have been fortifying their places of business. You will be aware that the latter are a wealthy class in China, something like bankers at home, and are therefore the most likely to be attacked in the event of serious disturbance. Passing along the street, making purchases in shops and even when one is preaching, people stop one to ask if the Rebels are coming ; and though the excitement is less than it was, this still continues." 1{1- It was a needless alarm for the time being, for not until three and a half years later (December 1861) did the Rebels succeed in possessing themselves of Ning-po. But the tragedy when it came justified only too fully all the terrible apprehensions, reducing the population of the city and its immediate surroundings to barely a twentieth part of its former number.}1

Even the capture of the forts at Tien-tsin, guarding the approach to the capital, aroused, but little interest. It was too far off to make much difference. But here close at hand were the dreaded " long-haired Rebels." And Heaven itself seemed indifferent to the calamities of the people.

For, to add to their distress, the spring and autumn crops were largely ruined through an unusual rainfall all over this part of China. Day after day, week after week, the clouds poured out their torrents. Rich and poor were alike filled with consternation, and large sums of money were lavished at the shrine of many an idol.

" The Mandarins, great and small, have been to the principal temples to pray for fair weather," Mr. Taylor continued, " but of course in vain. When will this poor people cease to lean on them, and turn to the only living and true God ? Never, I suppose, until He comes whose right it is to reign, and to whom shall' the gathering of the nations be."'

All this, of course, seriously affected missionary work at Bridge Street as well as in other parts of the city. Sometimes the preaching-hall was almost empty, and hardly a passer-by was to be seen on the streets. This was when the rain was specially heavy. Again at other times Mr. Taylor had all he could do to keep the crowds in order, and the preaching was constantly interrupted by questions as to the troubles that engrossed the thoughts of the people.

There were not wanting difficulties also in the work itself that called for faith and patience, chief of which was the lack of native helpers. Mrs. Taylor, happily, had succeeded in obtaining one or two servants, although they were wont to disappear on the least provocation, or even without any. But Christian fellow-workers they had none. Preaching, teaching, prescribing and dispensing medicines, as well as entertaining visitors by the hour, Mr. Taylor had to manage single-handed, in addition to business affairs, correspondence, and evangelistic excursions with Mr. Jones.

It would have been possible, of course, to employ a heathen teacher in the school to which Mrs. Taylor gave six or seven hours daily ; and they might also have taken on some of the inquirers with a view to training them for positions of usefulness. But either of these courses would have been a hindrance, they considered, rather than a help. To pay young converts, however sincere, for making known the Gospel must inevitably weaken their influence if not their Christian character. Later on the time might come when their call of God to such service would be evident to all ; but in their spiritual infancy, at any rate, they should be left to grow naturally in the circumstances in which God had placed them, strengthened by the very trials with which they found themselves surrounded.

Meanwhile special faith and devotion were needed to enable the missionaries to do so much themselves. And in their insufficiency, God worked, bringing them in contact with hearts ready to receive the Gospel, and giving them as their children in the faith men and women who should become soul-winners and in the fullest sense their "joy and crown of rejoicing."

One of the first of these after their marriage was the basket-maker, Fang Neng - kuei. Introduced at Bridge Street by his friend Mr. Nyi, there was a something about the Christians that greatly attracted him. Long had he been seeking peace of heart, but neither in the ceremonies of Buddhism nor the philosophy of Confucius had he found any help. He had even attended for a time the services of the Roman Catholics, but not until he joined the little circle at Bridge Street did he begin to understand the rest of faith. Then nothing would satisfy him but to be there every night as soon as his work permitted, following eagerly all that was said and done.

It was about this time that Mr. Taylor, finding his audiences diminishing, bethought him of a plan to arouse fresh interest. He had at hand a set of coloured pictures illustrating the Gospel stories, and put up a notice to the effect that these would be on view at the evening services, when they would also be' fully explained. The result was all he had hoped, for the Chinese dearly love pictures and stories.

One night the subject was the Prodigal Son, and the young missionary preached with more than ordinary freedom. With the crowded room before him and eager faces peering in from the street, one can well imagine how he would speak on the experiences of the wanderer and all the father's love. The thought of God as such a Father was strangely new to most of his hearers, and when at the close Mr. Taylor invited any who wished to hear more to stay behind for conversation, almost the whole audience remained. Among the most interested were Neng-kuei and two friends whom he had brought to the meeting. Others drifted out by degrees, but these three stayed on, and seemed much in earnest when they said they wished to become followers of Jesus.

Mr. Taylor had recently started a night-school in which inquirers might learn to read the New Testament by means of Roman letters. This exactly suited Neng-kuei and his friends, and for some time they were regular in their attendance. Then it began to be rumoured abroad that the basket-makers were becoming Christians, and they had a good deal of persecution to put up with. This of course tested the reality of their faith, and to the sorrow of the missionaries first one and then another ceased to come. Would Neng-kuei too drift away ? But in his case the work proved deep and real. Persecution only brought him out more boldly as a " good soldier of Jesus Christ," and ridicule taught him to defend his new-found faith in such a way that he became a most effective preacher of the Gospel.

But Neng-kuei's earnestness in making known the truth as it is in Jesus was due to something deeper than external opposition. He was a man called of God to a special service, and placed by divine providence in a special school. In spite of more than one fall like Peter's, whom he closely resembled in character, Neng-kuei was to be widely. used in winning souls to Christ. Wherever he went in later years, he was enabled to raise up little churches that continued to thrive and ' grow under the care of others. Neng-kuei was not one who could long minister to them himself ; but he realised this, and was always ready to pass on to new fields when his special work was done. And the zeal and devotion that characterised him must be attributed, under God, to the influences by which his Christian life was formed and nurtured.

Few though they were in number, Hudson Taylor gave himself to the young converts at this time, as if the evangelisation of China depended upon their future efforts. In addition to all his other work he devoted several hours daily to their instruction. Mr. Jones was the recognised Pastor of the church, and the Sunday services were held in his house; 1{1-The Kuen-kiao-teo house had been given up soon after Mr. Taylor's marriage, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones were now living in a purely Chinese residence, about a mile from Bridge Street.} but the older Christians, several of whom were already baptized, were just as eager to attend the Bridge Street classes as were the most recent inquirers.

First came the public meeting every evening, when the hall would be filled with more or less regular attendants ; and when that was over, and outsiders had for the most part withdrawn, three periods were given to regular and carefully considered study.

To begin with, a lesson was taken from the Old Testament, the young missionary delighting to dwell upon the spiritual meaning of its matchless stories ; then a chapter was read from some important book, frequently the Pilgrim's Progress; and finally a passage from the New Testament was talked over, the version used being the Romanised colloquial.

Nor was this all. Sunday with its special meetings, morning, afternoon and evening, was made the very most of for the inner circle. It cost the Christians a great deal to leave their regular employments, sacrificing the practical possibilities of one day in seven. It was perhaps the hardest thing their Christian faith required of them. Yet the command was plain, " Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy " ; and Mr. Taylor and his fellow-missionaries were convinced that no strong, self-propagating church could be built on any other basis. So they constantly enjoined upon the native Christians, by teaching and example, the requirements of Scripture in this connection.

And as due compensation, if it may be so expressed, they felt it incumbent upon them to make the sacrifice worth while, as far as in their power lay, by filling the hours thus given to God with profitable occupation. In addition, therefore, 'to the regular meetings, they had two periods of teaching after the fashion of the American Sunday School, when old and young-Christians, inquirers, patients, schoolchildren and servants-were divided into classes and taught in a helpful, personal way. This made Sunday a heavy day for the missionaries, of whom there were only four, but if it cost some toil and weariness they were the better able to appreciate the sacrifices made by the converts.

Some had to walk long distances and go without food for the greater part of the day, and others had to face persecution and financial loss. Neng-kuei, for example, found that it cost him a full third of his weekly wages to attend the meetings on Sunday. He was a skilled workman, and his master was quite willing that he should get through all there was to be done in six days, provided he went without pay on the seventh. If it gave him satisfaction to waste four days in every month he was 'at liberty to do so, only he must of course provide his food on those occasions and draw wages only for the time in which work was done. It was a clever arrangement as far as the master was concerned, but one that told heavily on the poor basket-maker. Two pence a day and his food had been little enough before, but now out of only twelve pence a week (instead of fourteen) he had to spend two or three on provisions for Sunday, which meant a total lessening of his hard-earned income by a third. But he was willing, quite willing for this, if only he could have the Lord's Day for worship ; and there could be no doubt that he was richly repaid in the strength and blessing it brought him all through the week.

Another element of great importance in the training of these young converts was the emphasis placed on reading for themselves the Word of God. This it was that brought out the exceeding value for the uneducated among them of the Romanised version of the Ning-po New Testament. For the local dialect differed greatly from the written language, and hence the more literary versions were unintelligible to the majority. But there was no one who could not understand the Romanised version. It was a very fair translation, direct from the original language, into the vernacular in everyday use, and as such had a special charm for the women, who could soon read it easily and found that what they read was understood by others.1-{1- Mr. Taylor spent the larger part of his first furlough (in association with the Rev. F. F. Gough) in carefully revising this, Romanised New Testament, and supplying it with marginal references : a work which Archdeacon Moule of Ning-po stated many years later to have been of " the greatest value to Christians throughout the province.}

Mrs. Taylor was fully one with her husband as regards the importance of teaching every inquirer to read, including women and children, and gave a good deal of time to preparing and even printing on her own printing-press suitable literature in the Romanised colloquial. She found that by the use of this system a child of ordinary intelligence could read the New Testament in a month. Older people with `less time at their disposal might take longer ; but even for busy women it was no difficult task ; and experience proved that those who accomplished it rarely if ever failed to become Christians.

Mrs. Tsiu, the Teacher's mother, was a case in point. When her son was first employed at Kuen-kiao-teo she was angered and distressed by his interest in the Gospel. Reading the Scriptures daily with Mrs. Jones and other foreigners, he had a good opportunity for studying the practical effects as well as the teachings of Christianity, and before the missionaries had any idea that a deep work was going on in his heart, the young Confucianist had become a humble follower of Jesus.

" May I purchase a New Testament ? " he inquired one day. " I want the easy kind, printed in Roman letters."

" But you can read Wen-li," replied his pupil. " Would you not rather have it in the scholarly character ? "

" It is not for myself," said the young man earnestly, but for my mother. And will you not pray that she may learn to read it, and obtaining heavenly influences may have her heart changed and her sins forgiven ? "

Full of thankfulness over the conversion of the son, the missionaries joined him in earnest prayer for his mother, sharing also his conviction that if only she would learn to read the Gospels she too would love and believe in Jesus.

And so it proved. For though Mrs. Tsiu refused for a long time to have anything to do with the religion of the foreigners, her desire to be able to read at last won the day. She was flattered by her son's assurance that she would soon master the new system and be as fluent a reader as those who had long studied character, and that moreover everybody would understand the meaning of what she read. With his help she made rapid progress, and meanwhile the message of the book was doing its work in her heart.

Taking her stand boldly as a Christian, Mrs. Tsiu was a great cheer to the little company of believers all through those summer months. For she was full of joy and courage. She opened her house for a weekly prayer-meeting which became a centre of blessing in the neighbourhood, and was never so happy as when reading and explaining to her neighbours the precious Book and its story. 1-{1 Those were red-letter days indeed when Neng-kuei the basket-maker and the Teacher's mother were baptized and received into the little Church. This took place on August 15 and 29, Sundays when the Chapel of the American Baptist Mission was available. Mrs. Tsiu was the first Chinese woman Mr. Taylor had ever baptized, and his address on the reproach of Christ as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt came from a full heart.}

This was of course a great encouragement to the missionaries, and quickened their zeal for the instruction of all over whom they had any influence. The burden on their hearts increasingly was that of raising up, as workers together with God, a band of native evangelists for the as yet unreached interior of China. To go themselves seemed for the time being out of the question, and yet the country was accessible as never before. The Treaty of Tien-tsin signed during the summer had opened the way at last to all the inland provinces.2-{2-This Treaty, signed on June z6, 1858, was of the utmost importance in our relations with China. . It contained excellent provisions, such as the right of maintaining an Ambassador at Peking, freedom for foreigners to travel in the interior of China, and toleration for Christianity, so that ,1 persons teaching it or professing it should alike be entitled to the protection of the Chinese authorities." But alas, under the Tariff Supplement, it also contained a clause legalising the importation of opium, against which the Chinese had striven so long'} Foreigners had now the right to travel freely, under the protection of passports, and it only remained to make use of the facilities for which they had prayed so long.

Lord Elgin's report of his official journey with a view to testing the new order of things was deeply interesting. No hindrance had been put in his way as he steamed slowly up the Yangtze, six hundred miles to the newly-opened Port of Hankow, the commercial metropolis of central China. Nothing was to prevent foreigners from settling there nowministers of the Gospel as well as Government officials and merchants-and many were the missionaries who longed to enter that open door.

" You will have heard before this all about the new Treaty," wrote Mr. Taylor in November. " We may be losing some of our Ning-po missionaries ... who will go inland. And oh, will not the Church at home awaken and send us out many more to publish the Glad Tidings ?

" Many of us long to go-oh how we long to go ! But there are duties and ties that bind us that none but the Lord can unloose. May He give ` gifts ' to many of the native Christians, qualifying them ... for the care of churches already formed, ... and thus set us free for pioneering work."

Nothing else, nothing less would have kept Hudson Taylor and his young wife from proceeding at once to the interior. But the claims of that little band of believers could not be set aside. They were their own children in the faith, and though not a large family as yet were just at the stage when they most needed watchful care. It was to their love, their prayers, these souls had been committed, and to leave them now, even for the good of others, would have been to disregard that highest of all trusts, parental responsibility. And they were right in this conviction, as the blessing of God abundantly proved.

For these Christians, Nyi, Neng-kuei and the rest, were men whom the Lord could use. Poor and unlearned like most of the first disciples, they too were to become " fishers of men." No less than six or seven, indeed, of the converts gathered about Mr. and Mrs. Taylor this winter were to come to their help in later years as fellow-workers in the China Inland Mission.1-{1-The labours of Mrs. Tsiu and her devoted son, of Nyi the cottonmerchant, Neng-kuei the basket-maker, Wang the farmer and Wang the painter (see next chapter), not to speak of Loh Ah-tsih and others, can never be forgotten. It would be difficult to overestimate the services of that little band in connection with the earliest stations of the Mission--services extending over ten, twenty, forty and even fifty years, and ending in unclouded testimony to the glory of God. } But for them the nurture of that little seed amid so many difficulties would have been almost impossible and much of its promise might never have come to fruition.

Already in the winter of 1858-1859 there were signs that rejoiced the missionaries in the midst of much to try both faith and love. But, even so, they little realised the importance of the influence they were exercising, directly and indirectly. What they were themselves, in the deepest things, this to a large extent their children in the faith' became ; and there is no better, surer way of passing on spiritual blessing.

"Imitators of us and of the Lord."

" Those thing which ye have both learned, and received, and seen, and heard in me, do : and the God of peace shall be with you."

Thus it was the Lord trained His own disciples in the three wonderful years ; and thus it must be still to-day.

CHAPTER 39 - FISHERS OF MEN, 1858-1859

AMONG all the characteristics caught by the converts from their missionaries at this time, none was more important in its results than love for souls, that sure evidence of a heart in fellowship with the Lord Himself. When this is not found in the missionary is it ever developed in his native helpers ? And can anything make up for its absence in either the one or the other ? Learning, eloquence, natural gifts, all, all go up in the balances as lighter than nothing, if not permeated with this supreme endowment.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or as a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.

But in the little home on Bridge Street, in spite of all that may have been deficient on less important lines, there was no lack of love-love for God and love for man-the essential qualification for leading men to God. Nyi was a soul-winner, Neng-kuei was a soul-winner, and to go no farther Mrs. Tsiu and her son were soul-winners, in the good, old-fashioned meaning of the term. They believed in heaven and they believed in hell, and longed to bring those around them to the Saviour whose blood alone cleanses " from all sin."

No sooner had Mrs. Tsiu learned to read, as we have seen, than she longed to share with her neighbours the blessings of the Gospel. Taking her precious Testament wrapped in a coloured handkerchief, many were the hours she spent in going from courtyard to courtyard, reading to women at their sewing, and telling the old, old story to all who would listen. She was a welcome visitor, and made the most of her opportunities for being useful. But there was one old woman who seemed beyond her reach. Very deaf and almost blind, she could think of nothing but her troubles, and had long ago given up hope of better things. Yet there was love and rest for her in Jesus ; and with earnest prayer the Teacher's mother set about winning this poor, dark soul to Him. But what a difficult task it was, when every word had to be shouted into her ear, and she could not catch the love-light in the speaker's eyes.

This only made it the more wonderful, when the darkened mind at length was penetrated with some gleam of light from above. She consented then to go to the Mission house, and was conscious in its very atmosphere of a peace she had never known.

" Why does my heart feel so much wider," is the oft repeated question, " when I come inside these doors ? "

" Mrs. Tsiu taught her syllable by syllable," wrote Mr. Taylor, " to repeat verses of hymns and passages of Scripture.... and the Holy Spirit made the Word effectual to her conversion. Much prayer and many persevering efforts were rewarded as new light, new love, sprang up within her. Now she had found something to think of, now she had a Friend to converse with, now she had comfort both for time and for eternity. A happier Christian than that old woman I have seldom if ever met. She loved the house of God, she loved the people of God. In fair weather or in wet, in hot weather or in cold, she was to be found leaning on the shoulder of her grandchild, and winding her way to the meetings, some of which were more than a mile from her home. She could see nothing and hear nothing, but she met with God and He blessed her ; she met with His people, and their hearty salutations did her good.

" After a time she was taken ill, and all believed that she was about to die. She was very happy, especially in the thought that she would be neither blind nor deaf in heaven. One day, however, some neighbours, to whom she had been talking about the Lord, jeeringly replied that she should pray to Him, since He was such a wonderful Saviour, to raise her up to health again. Left alone, she pondered the matter until convinced that her recovery in answer to prayer would be to the glory of God ; and upon Mrs. Tsiu and another friend coming in she told them about it, and requested them to kneel down and pray that she might be raised up.

"This they willingly did, asking God for the honour of His own great Name to make her well ; and the old woman added her Amen to the prayer she knew had been offered though she heard it not. Within a few days she was in her usual health, and to my astonishment took her accustomed place in one of the meetings. And not until a year later did she finish her course with joy."

Meanwhile Mrs. Tsiu and her son were rejoicing over another soul they had been permitted to win for Jesus. He was an old man and had seen many sorrows, for his sons had turned out badly and through evil ways had ruined the family fortunes. Dying early, they had left their parents to the sorrow and disgrace of a childless, poverty-stricken old age. Scarcely can there be in China a sadder lot, and old Dzing as he peddled his wares thought bitterly of the days when he had been well-to-do and respected. Now he must travel the streets with a pack on his back, depending for a livelihood upon the odds and ends he could sell for women's embroidery and children's caps and shoes. Only at night when every door was shut could he turn homeward to the miserable room where little of comfort awaited him.

Persuaded by Mrs. Tsiu and her son to accompany them to Bridge Street, a new interest had found its way into his once dreary existence. So this was the meaning of the change he had noticed in the very faces of his friends. They had something worth living for ; something that could turn sorrow into joy and brighten even the shadows of the tomb. It was a great discovery.

Many an evening was now spent in the inquirers' classes, the old intelligence waking up in response to their helpful influences. It restored his self-respect to be addressed as " Teacher Dzing," on account of his knowledge of the classics, and appealed to from time to time for the name or meaning of a character. But a deeper work was going on within him, under the touch of a Hand that brought deeper healing. " As a poor, helpless sinner," Mr. Taylor wrote, " he cast himself upon God's forgiving mercy, and found peace in believing." His love for the Bible was great, and he spent every available moment over its pages. Perhaps it was this that made his Christian life so restful. Wherever he went he carried a blessing with him, and many a woman on a back street first heard the message of salvation from his lips.

Neng-kuei, too, from the very first was a soul-winner. Not unlike Peter in his fervent, devoted spirit, he also was used to bring the message of salvation to seeking souls whose prayers were known to God alone. One such was daily traversing the streets of Ning-po at this time, in search of a religion of which he knew nothing save that it would bring him peace ; and but for a great trial coming into Neng-kuei's life, he might have been long without finding it.

It was the busy season for basket-makers, and Nengkuei's master insisted that he must work on Sunday. It was no use reminding him of his agreement, or suggesting that he should call in additional help. No, this idea of resting one day in seven was all very well for foreigners, but now there was work to be done Neng-kuei must be broken of it."

Come tomorrow, or not at all," was his ultimatum. And the Christian basket-maker knew himself dismissed.

Nor was this the worst of it. For on Monday ;horning, when he set about seeking other employment, every door was closed. No one wanted workmen, busy season though it was, and Neng-kuei tramped the city in vain.

"The devil is having hard at me," thought he at last; " but I must and will resist him. If he will not let me have other employment, I will give my time to plucking souls from his kingdom."

And this he did by spending the rest of the day in distributing tracts, and talking in the streets and tea-shops with all who were inclined to listen.

Far away from Ning-po, in the beautiful valley of the Feng-hwa river, lay the farming district from which Nengkuei himself had come. There he had learned his trade and married the young wife from whom he had been parted in little more than a year. Her death had been terrible a death in the dark, like so many thousands, alas, in China every year ! Poor Neng - kuei could speak no word of comfort as she was passing from him in anguish and fear. And still there was no voice to tell among all those hills and valleys of Jesus and His redeeming love.

The basket-maker drifted to Ning-po a little later, and there found, as we have seen, the Light of Life ; but who was to care for Wang the farmer, in the little village of O-zi, when he became concerned about eternal things ?

Not far from Neng-kuei's former home he lay ill and apparently dying, alone in the empty house. The family were all out in the fields, having supplied his needs as well as they could, and there was no one to whom he could turn for help in the great distress of his soul. For Wang regarded death with terror, as introducing the dreaded day on which he must " reckon up accounts." Somehow, somewhere, he must meet the gods his sins had angered ; and the balance to his credit was pitifully small. Whether his heart went out in a longing cry for mercy we cannot tell. At any rate his need was great, and he was dimly conscious of it.

And then a strange thing happened. In the silence of the empty house he heard himself called. The voice though unknown was so real that he got up and made his way to the door, but on opening it could see no one. Painfully he crept back to bed, only to hear the same voice a little later calling more urgently. Again he rose, and supporting himself by the walls and furniture managed to reach the door. But again no one was in sight. Greatly alarmed, he buried his face beneath the coverlet. This was none other than the approach of death!-the dreaded summons of the King of Hell, at whose bar he must shortly appear.

And now the voice spoke a third time, and told him not to be afraid. He was going, it said, to recover. An infusion of a certain herb would cure his sickness, and as soon as he was able he was to go into Ning-po, where he would hear of a new religion that would bring him peace of heart.

All this was so reassuring that Wang determined to do exactly as he was instructed. He persuaded his wife to prepare the medicine, and to the surprise of all began forthwith to recover. Going to Ning-po, however, was another matter. The city was thirty miles away, and Wang had nothing to live on while seeking the new religion. His farm-produce he could not carry with him, and besides it was all needed at home. The only plan would be to work for his living ; and finally the farmer set out to support himself by cutting grass along the wayside and selling it to people who -had cattle.

Thus he had managed to earn a scanty subsistence in -Ning-po for some time, without finding anything that met the longings of his heart. Under the city-wall and amid the many grave-mounds he gathered a supply of grass day by day, which he sold in the city, but no one paid much attention to his questions about religious matters. Still, Wang was sure that what the voice, had told him would come true.

At length one day in a tea-shop-what was that he heard? A simple working-man like himself was leaning across one of the tables, talking with those nearest him. Something about " the Jesus-doctrine " he said, and about sins being forgiven. Greatly interested Wang drew nearer, and listened for the first time-try to imagine it-to the glad tidings of salvation.

Neng-kuei's heart was full that day, and he spoke long and earnestly. Some went out and some came in, but the O-zi farmer never lost a word. When Neng-kuei had finished, he introduced himself and asked many questions. Seeing his interest Neng-kuei said

" You must draw water yourself from the fountain. There is a book God has given us in which everything is made plain. You shall have a copy and study the matter fully-,,

" Alas," replied the farmer, " I do not know how to read, and I am now too old to learn."

" Far from it ! " exclaimed his new-found friend. " For with the Glad Tidings an easy method of reading has been brought to us. I did not know a single character when I became a Christian, but now I can read the New Testament quite easily. If you like I will be your teacher. Let us begin at once."

Wang needed no second invitation. It did not take long to move his few belongings to the house in which the basket-maker lodged, and before the sun went down he had mastered the first six letters of the alphabet, besides acquiring a much fuller knowledge of spiritual things. And how happy they were over the lesson ! It is doubtful whether anywhere in the city there were more thankful hearts, for had not the farmer found the treasure he had been seeking, and Neng-kuei a new jewel to lay at his Master's feet ?

No doubt they prayed together that evening over Nengkuei's difficulty in obtaining employment, for which a sufficient reason was found the following day. His former master, angered by his adherence to Christian principles, had sent round to all the basket-makers of the city asking that if this particular workman applied to them on Monday morning they would turn him away. As members of the same Guild they had thought it best to comply. But the promise was for Monday, not for subsequent days ; and the first employer to whom he went on Tuesday was glad enough to engage the clever workman. So Neng-kuei's troubles, too, came to a happy end ; and his new master living not far from Bridge Street, he was able to run in during the breakfast-hour and tell his missionary friends all about it.

Introduced in this way to the farmer from O-zi, Mr. Taylor hardly knew at first what to make of his story. But as time went on the sincerity of the man became apparent to all. He remained in Ning-po for some months, still supporting himself as a grass-cutter, and when he returned to O-zi it was to set apart the best room in his house as a little chapel, in which for fifty years he lovingly and faithfully made known the Gospel.

But this was not the only occasion on which Neng-kuei was enabled, through fidelity to Christian principle, to win a soul destined to become specially useful in winning others. Another man named Wang was living in Ning-po at the time who was to be numbered among the Bridge Street Christians, and to exceed them all in the fruitfulness of his labours. But as yet he knew nothing of the Master he was to love and serve.

A busy workman, employed from morning till night in painting and decorating houses, how was he to come under the influence of the Gospel ? He had no time to listen to preaching, though he seems to have been religiously inclined, and was no frequenter of tea-shops, his own home being at hand with the attractions of wife and infant child. So the Lord, who had chosen him for His service, sent across his pathway one whom He could trust to be faithful in little things, and who " in season and out of season " would deliver His message.

It was a beautiful house young Wang was in that day, decorating one of the guest-halls. Presently a stir began, servants came hurrying from the inner apartments, a man with a load of baskets was ushered in, and several ladies, richly dressed, came out to give their orders. Of all this the painter on his scaffolding took little notice, but when the ladies began to speak in tones of some annoyance he pricked up his ears to listen.

What ! Not make baskets for holding incense ? Refuse an order for anything to be used in the service of the gods ? "

" Do not be angry, ladies," replied the simple basket maker. " I am sorry not to comply with your wishes, but I cannot make or sell anything for the worship of idols."

" And pray, why not ? " was the astonished question.

" I am a believer in the Lord Jesus," Neng-kuei answered respectfully ; " a worshipper of the true and living God." And he went on to put before these ladies, who might never hear again, the way of pardon and peace through a dying, risen Saviour..

What was that you were saying ? "

The ladies had grown tired of listening, and had tottered away on their tiny feet, but Neng-kuei's attention was arrested, as he was about to leave, by a man in working clothes, who went on earnestly

" You did not see me. I am painting up there," indicating his ladder. " What was it you were saying ? I heard, but tell me again."

That conversation, too, we are left to imagine. We only know that Wang Lae-djun took the first step that day in a lifetime of devoted service to the Master.


IT was February 9, and in a darkened room Hudson Taylor knelt beside the bed-side of his dying wife. Only a few weeks had elapsed since the New Year dawned upon their perfect happiness, and now-was she to be taken from him, and his life shadowed with irreparable loss ? Internal inflammation, the result apparently of chill, had brought her so low that life seemed ebbing fast away, and every remedy the physicians could suggest had proved unavailing.

Elsewhere in the city the united prayer-meeting was going on, and the knowledge that others were praying with him upheld the lonely watcher as nothing else could have done. Noting with anguish the hollow temples, sunken eyes and pinched features, all indicating the near approach of death, Hudson Taylor was indeed " shipwrecked upon God." Faith was the only spar he had to cling to ; faith in the Will that even then was perfect wisdom, perfect love.

Kneeling there in the silence-how was it that new hope began to possess his heart? A remedy ! They had not tried it. He must consult Dr. Parker as quickly as possible. But would she, could she hold out until he came back again ?

" It was nearly two miles to Dr. Parker's," he wrote, " and every moment appeared long. On my way thither, while wrestling mightily with God in prayer, the precious words were brought with power to my soul, ` Call upon Me in the day of trouble : I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.' I was enabled at once to plead them in faith, and the result was deep, deep unspeakable peace and joy.

"All consciousness of distance was gone. Dr. Parker approved the use of the means suggested ; but upon arriving at home I saw at a glance that the desired change had taken place in the absence of this or any other remedy. The drawn aspect of the countenance had given place to the calmness of tranquil slumber, and not one unfavourable symptom remained to retard recovery."

The Great Physician had been there. His Presence had rebuked the approach of death. His touch had once again brought healing.

This experience of what the Lord could and would do for His people in answer to believing prayer was one of the most wonderful Hudson Taylor ever had, and strengthened him for many an emergency, including those of the summer near at hand. Never could he forget those days and hours in which it seemed as though the Lord were saying : " Son of man, I take from thee the desire of thine eyes at a stroke." But it was not on his home the sore affliction fell.

Very refreshing, after this dangerous illness, was a visit to the new hospital outside the city. For Dr. Parker's building operations were finished, including chapel, dispensary, and dwelling-house, and he had accommodation for European as well as Chinese patients and guests. Everything was new, fresh, and attractive, and the house itself, standing back a little from the river, was crowned with a watch-tower commanding a view of unusual interest.

" The situation of Dr. Parker's new hospital," wrote Dr. W. A. P. Martin about this time, " is the best that could have been selected in the vicinity of this port. Separated on the one hand from the impure atmosphere of the city by the city-wall, and removed on the other from the noisome exhalations of the paddy-fields by the breadth of the river, it enjoys the best air that blows over the plain of Ning-po. Close to one of the city gates, near a much-frequented ferry, and overlooking, too, a river which is the main thoroughfare from the sea-coast to many large cities in the interior, its handsome and commodious buildings daily attract the notice of thousands of passers-by.

" The number of in-patients is already so large as nearly to fill the neat little chapel which the doctor has erected as a dispensary for the soul. They form the nucleus of a very interesting congregation, to which I have preached several times ; and the probability of their obtaining permanent good is the greater as they remain many weeks together, receiving daily instruction in divine truth."

It was delightful to see how much had been accomplished by the courage and perseverance with which the Doctor had worked at his long-cherished plan, raising within three years, without help from his Society, this well-equipped medical mission.

May the Lord who has aided me thus far," he wrote, "now use all for the advancement of His cause and the glory of His Name."

Four years had now elapsed since the beginning of 1855, when Dr. Parker and his young colleague had been writing home about their " plans of usefulness." How differently everything had turned out from their expectations ! And yet, with these commodious buildings round them representing so important a work, Dr. Parker must have felt thankful that he had not remained in Shanghai. And as Hudson Taylor thought of the Christians in the city, and the loved one given and spared in answer to prayer, his heart could not but overflow with gratitude and praise. It was all they had hoped or dreamed, only better ; " our plans of usefulness," but with added elements of blessing they could never have devised, much less brought to pass.

" Commit thy way unto the Lord ; trust also in Him. . . . Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

" Yesterday (February 28) was a glad day for us," wrote Mr. Taylor while still at Dr. Parker's, " for our servant who has been with us almost ever since our marriage was received into the Church by baptism, as well as a woman who works for Mrs. Jones. We have now eight native Christians in communion with us, of whom the second (Mr, Tsiu) was baptized a year ago yesterday. Truly we may say with thankfulness, `what hath God wrought!""

" " I am very busy," he continued after their return to the city. " So many patients, meetings, and other matters need attention that 1 Seven baptisms within a year was cause indeed for thanksgiving, representing as it did fully as much of prayer, labour and progress as would ten times that number in the same localities to-day. One Mission then in Ning-po, after fifteen years of faithful labour, had a Church Roll of only twenty members ; though another, not quite so long in the field, had considerably more. I am puzzled which to take up first.... Our work here is becoming more important day by day, as God is adding to our numbers.... May His great work go on, and the multitudes of China yet see a glorious day when in every part of this populous empire ... the saved of the Lord shall be many."

Thus spring-time came again, and in April a little holiday was taken, that proved most beneficial in view of the difficult summer before them. Travelling in houseboats with Dr. Parker and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor spent a week among the Western Hills, covered at this season with azaleas, hawthorn, dwarf lilac, wistaria and violets.

" The quiet retirement," wrote one whose name has long been associated with Ning-po, " the blue heavens above and the green hills around, the sound of rippling brook or singing bird, the flash of summer lightning, the echoing storm, the cry of roaming deer at night, the indescribable beauty of the carpet of flowers in spring-time are pleasant and refreshing sights and sounds indeed after the toil, dust, and oppressiveness of a great city."1-{1 The Ven. Arthur E. Moule, B.D., Archdeacon in Mid-China and C.M.S. Missionary at Ning-po. Quoted from The Story of the Cheh-hiang Mission, p. 76.}

Leaving their boats the little party explored some of the side streams, tracing one almost to its source by means of light rafts of bamboo.

" The scenery was very beautiful," Mr. Taylor wrote to his mother. " Waterfalls abound, one of which leaps seven hundred feet in a sheer descent, and another that we saw about six hundred...The views above, below, and around were wonderful . . . something to be remembered for a lifetime."

Great was the contrast on their return to Ning-po with the heat and manifold distresses of that summer. Following upon the floods of the previous year came an unusually hot season, and at the same time a wave of anti-foreign feeling swept over the city, due to daring outrages perpetrated in connection with the coolie-traffic, which was " rapidly assuming all the features of the African . slave-trade." Hitherto its ravages had been confined to the Southern provinces, but now men and lads were disappearing from this region also, carried off on foreign ships to the plantations of Cuba and South America, most of them never to return. And these outrages were the more alarming because of the connection in the minds of the people with the renewal of hostilities between China and the Allied Powers.1-{1-For the Treaty of Tien-tsin, signed in June of the previous summer, was to have been ratified at Peking a year later. Upon the arrival of the fleet of nineteen vessels representing the Allies (England, France, Russia and America) they were attacked in the mouth of the Pei-ho river and driven back with considerable loss ; and the capture of Peking itself was necessary before the Chinese Government realised that they must carry out their terms of surrender. The Treaty was finally ratified in October 1860. In August of the following year the heart-broken Emperor (Hienfeng) died. The ratification of these Treaties had swept away the barriers he had so long striven to maintain against the importation of opium, which, from this time, alas I spread with fatal rapidity throughout the length and breadth of the land.}

" You will not be surprised to hear," wrote Mr. Taylor in the middle of August, " that while God is granting us blessing, Satan is Manifesting his malice. Owing to the kidnapping villainies of those engaged in the coolie traffic-forcibly seizing villagers, and carrying them off in sacks to their vessels-public excitement has reached a very high pitch. Rumours have been circulated that these persons are being seized at the instance of the ` defeated British,' who wish to reinforce their numbers and again attack Tien-tsin. Violent incendiary papers have been posted up, and our lives and property have been in imminent danger. The excitement is decreasing a little now, and we hope the worst is over, as the people know that measures are being taken by the foreign authorities to search to the bottom of this disgraceful affair."

But before this letter was written and a measure of tranquillity restored, the missionary household in Bridge Street had passed through some anxious hours. As many Europeans as possible had left the city, taking shelter in the Settlement or on foreign vessels, but Mr. and Mrs. Taylor would not leave the native Christians, whose danger was little less than their own.

Those were days in which the young husband could not but long for quiet and the blessed sense of security that would have meant so much to the one dearer to him than life. Protect her he could not from the knowledge of surrounding danger, but taking such precautions as were possible he stayed his heart on God. It was not much that could be done to facilitate escape, should it be necessary. A boat lay in readiness at the back door, and a rope was strongly fastened in their bedroom window by means of which it might be possible to reach the canal under cover of darkness. But full well he knew the complications that might arise, and it would have been a time of agonising suspense but for the peace of God.

For it was then, and under those circumstances, the hopes of many a long month were fulfilled, and the little daughter came to them for whom they could find no sweeter, truer name than Grace.

" My dear Parents," wrote the father a week later, " though this is the Lord's Day I find myself able to pen a few lines, which will not doubt surprise you as much as it does myself. The reason is that I am at home taking care of my wife and baby-girl-your first grand child ! Oh, my dear Parents, God has been so good tome, to us all ! better far than my fears, ` 0 magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together!'"

The thermometer was at 104° F. in the coolest part of the house when on July 31 this little one was born, and once only in the week that followed did it drop as low as 88°-at midnight, during a thunderstorm. So that this period was not without its trials. But the worst had been averted, although for a few hours it came very near.

Surging crowds about the mission-house had almost broken into a riot a few days previously, while cries of " Beat the foreigner," " Kill the foreign devils," rent the air. In some wonderful way, however, a restraint was on the people, and no attempt was made to batter in the doors, easy as it would have been.

And, if anything, more wonderful still was the peace in which the mother's heart was kept, both before and after. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me and strengthened me," was indeed true in her experience. Nothing retarded her recovery, and so conscious was she of the inflow of divine grace for every need that she would not have been without the trials that revealed to her new depths of the heart of God.

The dangers did not pass away for some time, and combined with the intense heat might well have proved overwhelming.

" We feel that we are living only from night to day and day to night," wrote Mr. Jones, who also remained in the city. " The people are thirsting for revenge.... They mix up together missionaries, traders, and the government, the war and the coolie traffic.... and say that the kidnapped Chinese are Pat in the front of the fight against their own Emperor. . . . They have placarded the streets calling for our blood ; one of the foremost in all this being a man who supplies the Mandarins with buckets to contain the heads of the decapitated, a fearfully large trade here.

" We are now, as I write, in the midst of all this, our wives and our little ones in the same danger. But we are resting on Him who restrains our enemies with `Thus far, but no further'; and who to us is saying, ` I will never leave thee.' He has made His Word very precious to our hearts, . . . and even in these trying times we have been encouraged by some inquiring the way of salvation."

For the work of God went on, and was more deep and real for the testing through which the converts had to pass. Wang the grass-cutter, for example, who was accepted for Church-membership in August, was frequently upbraided on the streets for casting in his lot with the Christians. His simple faith, however, was proof against all attacks. When told that foreigners were at war with his country, and were carrying off people to make them fight against their own Emperor, he would say

" There must be a mistake somewhere. Satan surely has blinded your eyes. These missionaries do not fight at all. They heal the sick, relieve suffering, and show us the way of eternal happiness. Nothing but good can come of joining them."

And from this position he was not to be moved.

That he really knew the Lord was very evident to those who watched his life at this time.

" I think much of heaven and Jesus," he said to Mr. Taylor one day, " the weather is so hot."

" Indeed," replied his friend, waiting to hear more.

" You see," he continued, " I have to cut grass out in the burning sun, and sometimes I hardly know how to keep on. And then I think of Jesus-Jesus and heaven-and my mind becomes peaceful and my body so much rested that I can do twice as much as before. Oh, it is wonderful the difference it makes when you just think of Jesus ! "

And so the missionaries found it too.


SPARED thus in the mercy' of God the loss of his own loved one, Hudson Taylor felt the more deeply for Dr. Parker when the angel of death visited his home. With scarcely any warning, on August 26, Mrs. Parker was stricken with dangerous illness, and passed away at midnight leaving four little ones motherless. The young missionaries at Bridge Street did what they could to come to the help of their friend, and others were ready with practical sympathy, but the shock proved too much for the bereaved husband. One of the children was seriously ill, and amid the difficulties of his changed position the doctor began to realise how much his own health was impaired by five years spent in China. He had neither heart nor strength for added burdens and decided before long to take his family home to the care of relatives in Scotland.

But what about the medical mission, outcome of so much prayer and labour ? The hospital was full of patients, and the dispensary crowded day by day with a constant stream of people, all of whom needed help. No other doctor was free to take his place, and yet to stop the work seemed out of the question with the winter coming on. How would it be, in default of better arrangements, to ask his former colleague, Hudson Taylor, to continue the dispensary at any rate ? He was quite competent for this, and with the hospital closed would not have much financial responsibility.

The suggestion, it need hardly be said, came as a great surprise to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, and sent them to their knees in earnest prayer. All they wanted was to know the Lord's will in the matter, and as they waited upon Him for guidance it was clearly given, but in a direction they little anticipated.

Yes, the dispensary must be kept open ; and more than that, the hospital must not be closed. The Lord had given them helpers just suited for such an emergency, a band of native Christians who would rally round them and make the most of the opportunities which the hospital especially afforded. And as to funds, or lack of funds-for Dr. Parker had very little to leave-the work was not theirs but the Lord's. To close it on account of the small balance in hand would practically mean that prayer had lost its power; and if so they might as well retire from the field. No, for the good of the native Christians, the strengthening of their own faith and the comfort and blessing of many, they must go forward, and above all for the glory of God.

" After waiting upon the Lord for guidance," wrote Hudson Taylor, " I felt constrained to undertake not only the dispensary but the hospital as well, relying solely on the faithfulness of a prayer-hearing God to furnish means for its support.

" At times there were no fewer than fifty in-patients, besides a large number who daily attended the dispensary. Thirty beds were ordinarily allotted to free patients and their attendants, and about as many more to opium-smokers who paid for their board while being cured of the habit. As all the wants of the sick in the wards were supplied gratuitously, as well as the medical appliances needed for the out-patient department, the daily expenses were considerable. A number of native attendants also were required, involving their support.

"The funds for the maintenance of all this had hitherto been supplied by the proceeds of the doctor's foreign practice, and with his departure this source of income ceased. But had not God said that whatever we ask in the name of the Lord Jesus shall be done ? And are we not told to seek first the kingdom of God-not means to advance it-and that " all these things " shall be added to us ? Such promises were surely sufficient."

Strong therefore in the Lord and in the inward assurance of His call to this enlarged service, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor prepared to move over to Dr. Parker's. The care of the Bridge Street Christians remained in the hands of their beloved colleague Mr. Jones, who from the first had been Pastor of the little Church, and cordial indeed was the prayer and sympathy with which all its members endorsed the action of their missionaries.

To Mrs. Taylor, as she thought over it all, it must have seemed very wonderful, this sudden change that brought her husband into a position of usefulness he was so well qualified to fill. They had sought nothing for themselves, but in going about their work had quietly lived down misunderstandings, leaving their reputation in the hands of God. And now He had led them out into " a wealthy place," putting them in charge of a work second to none in Ning-po in its importance, and the common meeting-ground of all the other missions.

Looking across the river to the Presbyterian Compound, Mrs. Taylor could not but recall a conversation of the previous summer, to which she alludes in the following letter.

NING-PO, September 30, 1859.

MY DEAR MOTHER-Hudson has again been prevented from writing to you, which makes the fourth fortnightly mail since he was able to send off a letter. I hope you will not ... I know you will not ... begin to think that his dear little daughter is winning his heart away from his beloved parents. If he could steal some hours from the night he would do so, as he often has before, but his occupations leave him none to steal. He comes upstairs usually between ten and eleven o'clock, tired out with the long day's work, and after resting a little down he goes again to see some of his patients or make up medicine for others.

You will no doubt be surprised at my speaking of patients in this way, but perhaps still more so when I mention that Dr. Parker is leaving his hospital in dear Hudson's care. A few months ago I was walking with a friend (Mrs. M'Cartee) in one of the gardens of the Presbyterian Mission, when she said

" Do you know what I prophesy ? That in a few years Dr. Parker will be taking his family home, and that you and Mr. Taylor will come to live in his large house and carry on the work."

I reminded her that Hudson was not a qualified medical man, and said I did not, think we should ever live outside of the city.

Little could we have imagined that in a few short months Dr. Parker would be on his way home with his motherless children, and that we should be in his house and Hudson taking charge of his work.

She herself, far though she was from supposing it, was one of the most important elements in his success at this time. For God works through human means, and but for his wife and Chinese helpers this winter could never have been what it was in Hudson Taylor's experience and in the annals of the Ning-po hospital. Thoroughly competent to undertake the direction of their enlarged establishment, Mrs. Taylor relieved him of account-keeping, correspondence and all household cares, managing the servants and to a certain extent the staff so admirably that his strength was conserved for the medical and spiritual part of the work. She even found time to do a good deal in the wards herself, especially among the women patients, and spent many an hour caring both for body and soul in the dispensary.

" Her influence over the patients," wrote her husband, " was great and most beneficial. They saw and felt that there must be something deserving of attention in the religion that led an English lady to labours so peculiar and naturally repulsive. Over her domestics, too, she exerted an influence only to be won by genuine sympathy and continuous efforts for their good. She looked upon them not so much as persons paid for serving her, but as persons brought under her care that she might seek to lead them to Christ. She encouraged and helped them to learn to read and had some of them taught to write, and not a few who for longer or shorter periods were connected with her in this way came to know and love the Master she so faithfully served....

" She was accustomed to take real comfort from a heart-felt belief in the overruling providence of God in small as well as great matters. If His Word said `The very hairs of your head are all numbered,' she did not, could not doubt it. She was accustomed, too, to seek His counsel in all things, and would not write a note, pay a call, or make a purchase without raising her heart to God."

In the same way he too drew upon divine resources. Outwardly he was carrying on a great work ; inwardly he was conscious of a great cry to Him without whom it could not be sustained for a moment. Had he been depending upon man for help, he would have waited until the need could be made known before assuming such heavy responsibilities. But it had come about so- suddenly that no one at any distance was aware of the position or could be more prepared than he himself.

" Eight days before entering upon the care of the Ning-po hospital," wrote Mr. Taylor, " I had not the remotest idea of ever doing so ; still less could friends at home have foreseen the need."

But the Lord had anticipated it, and already His provision was on the way, as events were happily to prove.

The first step taken by the young missionary upon assuming independent charge of the hospital was to call together the assistants and explain the real state of affairs. Dr. Parker, as he told them, had left funds in hand for the expenses of the current month, but little more. After this provision was used up they must look to the Lord directly for supplies ; and it would not be possible to guarantee stated salaries, because whatever happened he would not go into debt. Under these circumstances, any who wished to do so were at liberty to seek other employment, though he would be glad of their continued service if they were prepared to trust the simple promises of God.

This condition of things, as Mr. Taylor had expected, led all who were not decided Christians to withdraw and opened the way for other workers. It was a change Dr. Parker had long desired to make, only he had not known how to obtain helpers of a different sort. But Mr. Taylor did ; and with a greatly lightened heart he turned to the little circle that at this critical juncture did not fail him. For to the Bridge Street Christians it seemed quite as natural to trust the Lord for temporal as for spiritual blessings. Did not the greater include the less ? And was He not, as their " Teachers " so often reminded them, a real Father, who never could forget His children's needs ? So to the hospital they came ; glad not only to strengthen the hands of their missionary friends, but to prove afresh both to themselves and all concerned the loving-kindness of God.

Some worked in one way and some in another ; some giving freely what time they could spare, and others giving their whole time without promise of wages, though receiving their support. And all took the hospital and its concerns upon their hearts in prayer.

No wonder a new atmosphere began to permeate dispensary and wards. Account for it the patients could not at any rate at first-but they enjoyed none the less the happy, homelike feeling, and the zest with which everything was carried on. The days were full of a new interest. For these attendants-Wang the grass-cutter and Wang the painter, Nyi, Neng-kuei and others-seemed to possess the secret of perpetual happiness, and had so much to impart. Not only were they kind and considerate in the work of the wards, but all their spare time was given to telling of One who had transformed life for them, and who they said was ready to receive all who came to Him for rest. Then there were books, pictures and singing. Everything indeed seemed set to song ! And the daily meetings in the Chapel only made one long for more.

There are few secrets in China, and the financial basis upon which the hospital was now run was not one of them. Soon the patients knew all about it, and were watching eagerly for the outcome. This too was something to think and talk about ; and as the money left by Dr. Parker was used up and Hudson Taylor's own supplies ram low, many were the conjectures as to what would happen next. Needless to say that alone and with his little band of helpers Hudson Taylor was much in prayer at this time. It was perhaps a more open and in that sense crucial test than any that had come to him, and he realised that the faith of not a few was at stake as well as the continuance of the hospital work. But day after day went by without bringing the expected answer.

At length one morning Kuei-hua the cook 1-{1-This was the same valued servant who had been with Mr. Taylor in Shanghai, Tsung-wing and elsewhere; and who was now a bright Christian. appeared with serious news for his master. The very last bag of rice had been opened, and was disappearing rapidly.

" Then," replied Hudson Taylor, " the Lord's time for helping us must be close at hand."

And so it proved. For before that bag of rice was finished a letter reached the young missionary that was among the most remarkable he ever received.

It was from Mr. Berger, and contained a cheque for fifty pounds, like others that had come before. Only in this case the letter went on to say that a heavy burden had come upon the writer, the burden of wealth to use for God. Mr. Berger's father had recently passed away, leaving him a considerable increase of fortune. The son did not wish to enlarge his personal expenditure. He had had enough before, and was now praying to be guided as to the Lord's purpose in what had taken place. Could his friends in China help him ? The bill enclosed was for immediate needs, and would they write fully, after praying over the matter, if there were ways in which they could profitably use more ?

Fifty pounds ! There it lay on the table ; and his far-off friend, knowing nothing about that last bag of rice or the many needs of the hospital, actually asked if he might send them more. No wonder Hudson Taylor was overwhelmed with thankfulness and awe. Suppose he had held back from taking charge of the hospital on account of lack of means, or lack of faith rather ? Lack of -faith-with such promises and such a God !

There was no Salvation Army in those days, but the praise-meeting held in the chapel fairly anticipated it in its songs and shouts of joy. But unlike some Army meetings it had to be a short one, for were there not the patients in the wards ? And how they listened-these men and women who had known nothing all their lives but blank, empty heathenism.

" Where is the idol that can do anything like that ? " was the question upon many lips and hearts. " Have they ever delivered us in our troubles, or answered prayer after this sort ? "


NOTHING is more contagious than spiritual joy, when it is the real thing, and of this there was abundance in the Ning-po hospital that winter. For answers to prayer were many, in connection with other than financial needs. There were critical cases of illness in which life was given back when every hope seemed gone ; there were operations successfully performed under unfavourable conditions, and patients restored from long and hopeless suffering. And best of all there were dead souls brought to life in Christ Jesus, and slaves of sin set free, so that within nine months sixteen patients had already been baptized and more than thirty others were enrolled as candidates for admission to one or other of the Ning-po Churches.

This did not come all at once, it need hardly be said but only as the result of unremitting prayer and labour. One man from the hospital was desiring baptism by the end of October. In November there were four new candidates for Church-membership. More than six hundred out-patients were treated before the end of the year, and sixty in-patients had been for longer or shorter periods under the influence of the Gospel. A new glow of spiritual life and love pervaded everything. All felt it, and Mr. Taylor was able to write

Truly the Lord is with us, and is blessing us abundantly. 1-{1- This was 0n February 13, 1860, when to his parents he wrote : "You will rejoice to hear that on the 5th inst. we received five men into our little Church, to whom I had the privilege of administering the Lord's Supper yesterday.... We have now therefore eleven men and six women in fellowship with us, though one, I regret to say (dear Neng-kuei), is suspended for the present. May God grant him speedy restoration. To-morrow we are to have a Church-meeting, D. V., to consider the cases of other candidates, twelve in all, I believe."}

And in the midst of it all came the home-going of the first of that little group to be called into the presence of the Lord-the first death, one may almost put it, in connection with the China Inland Mission, or at any rate with its forerunner. And when one thinks how many thousands shine and shall yet shine in eternal glory through the labours of that widened circle, a quite peculiar interest invests this first passing-over.

It was dear old Dzing to whom the summons came, and the closing days of the year were bright with his beautiful end.

" He was upwards of sixty years of age," wrote Mr. Taylor, " and it was only during the last twelve months of his life that he found the Saviour."

But it was a good year, and going about with his pedlar's pack he was a messenger of glad tidings to many who but for him would never have heard.

In the chilly days of December he fell ill with bronchitis, and Mr. Taylor had him brought to the hospital. There in a warm, dry room, very different from his own quarters, he was encompassed with kindness. His gratitude was touching, and as the end drew near, the spirit in which he met it made a profound impression on those about him.

His difficulty in breathing was great at times, and it was hard not to be impatient.

" If only the Lord would take me ! " he exclaimed again and again.

" He will," replied his missionary friend, " just as soon as you are ready. He loves you better far than we do, and will not let you suffer a moment longer than He sees needful. He wants you to trust Him, and be willing to wait His time. Will you show your love for Him by being patient, even in this ? "

It was a difficult lesson, but he was given grace to learn it, and, wonderful to say, never again showed any sign of impatience.

" To-morrow is the Lord's Day," he said on New Year's Eve, " but I shall not be able to join in worship." When reminded that the Lord was just as near him on his bed of sickness, and that he could praise Him there in a way specially to His glory, he seemed comforted and said

"Yes, it is so. He promised never to leave me, and He never has ; and soon will take me to Himself."

During the day-New Year's Day-he was failing fast, but enjoyed passages of Scripture read to him at his own request, including the twenty-third Psalm. Hymns also gave him pleasure, especially a translation of


Who are these in white array,

Brighter than the noonday sun ?


"I shall soon shine too," whispered the dying saint, " but all the praise will belong to Jesus."

After the evening service he received with much affection some of the Christians who came to see him, and pleaded earnestly with his wife to turn to the Lord. Then losing consciousness a little he seemed to be seeking something.

"What do you want, Elder Brother ? " inquired one of those beside him. Opening his eyes with a smile he slowly but distinctly said, " Jehovah my Shepherd," and soon after fell asleep in Jesus.

But it all told, this blessed work, upon those whose hearts were in it. " Nothing without the cross " is true above all in spiritual things, and for Hudson Taylor the price that had to be paid was that of health, almost of life itself. Six years in China, six such years, had left their mark ; and now, under the strain of day and night work in the hospital, entailing much exposure to wintry weather, strength was failing fast.

But in a sense his work was completed-or the preparation, rather, for which he had been sent to China. " Whosoever will be great among you shall be your minister ; and whosoever of you will be chiefest, shall be servant of all." " He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much." " Faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many."

Not that any thought of large developments was in Hudson Taylor's mind as he faced the probability that he must return to England before long. He was conscious only of two things-great and growing opportunities on the one hand, and rapidly failing health on the other ; so that while longing to multiply himself into a hundred missionaries he was increasingly unequal to the work of one.

It is deeply interesting to notice, at this juncture, the means the Lord was using to bring about purposes of His own in connection with this little Ning-po Mission of which those most interested in it never dreamed. Poor, uninfluential and without what would ordinarily be regarded as training or talent for leadership, how unlikely that Hudson Taylor. should ever become the founder and director of a world-wide organisation embracing missionaries from all evangelical denominations and every Protestant land. Yet this was indeed to be the case, for He who is the great, the only Worker still delights to use what has been well called " God's five-rank army of weakness."

Not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, have part therein :1{1- 1 Cor. 1. 26; R.V. margin; and vers. 27-31 from A.V.} but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound (or put to shame) the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty ; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things -which are not, to bring to nought things that are : that no flesh should glory in His presence.... According .as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

A beginning was to be made even now along the lines of that future development, and how were Hudson Taylor and his colleague to be launched upon it but by a constraining sense of the greatness of the need and their own insufficiency to meet it. Fellow-workers they must have to enter doors of opportunity that never before had seemed so open. And all unconscious of what lay beyond the step to which he felt himself led, Hudson Taylor wrote home early in the New Year : 1{1- In a letter to his parents in Barnsley, dated January 16, 1860.}

Do you know any earnest, devoted young men desirous of serving God in China, who not wishing for more than their actual support would be willing to come out and labour here ? Oh for four or five such helpers ! They would probably begin to preach in Chinese in six months' time ; and in answer to prayer the necessary means would be found for their support.

Had he gone on living quietly at Bridge Street it might have been long before the young missionary would have been driven to such a step. There he and Mr. Jones were able to overtake the work, and with the help of the native brethren might have carried it on for years. But removed suddenly from that position and entrusted with larger, more fruitful labours, the result was very different. Here was something too great for him ; and as the Lord wrought with them, confirming His own Word " with signs following," the outlook and possibilities were overwhelming.

If souls had not been saved in the hospital and the Christians had not developed in usefulness and promise, the situation would still have been other than it was. But with a growing family manifesting no little gift for spiritual ministry, Hudson Taylor was impressed as never before by the need of watchfulness in utilising the resources of the native church. This it was that brought him to the point of appealing for fellow-missionaries. The converts must have supervision ; as yet they could not stand alone. The fall through pride and even dishonesty of the basket-maker, their most devoted worker, had burned this upon his heart. Prayer and loving personal influence alone could restore him and safeguard others ; and all needed, as he had learned from experience, the most painstaking instruction in spiritual things.

And beside all this, the care of the hospital was proving too much for his strength. With sixteen members in fellowship and a dozen or more awaiting baptism ; with work opening up in the villages round about, and native Christians fitted to undertake it if only they could have supervision ; with no difficulty as to funds, for the Lord was abundantly supplying their need, both he and Mr. Jones were so run down that it was with difficulty they could get through present duties. Had any of these elements been lacking the effect produced might have been less definite, but taken all together one conclusion only was possible. Help they must have, the help of fellow-missionaries willing for their own simple line of things. So the appeal went home that was to result in the coming out, to begin with, of just the workers prayed for, two of whom are still labouring in China as the senior members of the Inland Mission.1-{1 First of the five was the Rev. J. J. Meadows, who, after half a century of devoted labours in China, is still working within a hundred miles of Ning And fifth of that little group was the Rev. J. W. Stevenson, now and for more than twenty years the Deputy Director on the field of the China Inland Mission.} But there was no thought in Hudson Taylor's mind that he would have to be their leader, indeed there was no immediate thought at' all, save that he must seek in one way or another to meet the claims of the ever-growing work.

" I have this morning sent out forms and tables," he wrote in February, " to a house in a neighbouring village that we have been enabled to rent for a school, and we have engaged Mrs. Tsiu and her, son, the Teacher, to commence work both among boys and girls.... Their home will I trust be an influence for good in the neighbourhood and a centre from which we may preach the Gospel."

And then, thinking of all that might be done if his suggestions about five new missionaries were carried out, he continued

I do hope father will take up the idea... The people are perishing, and God is so blessing the work. But we are wearing down and must have help.... Pity poor China ! You have given your son, give your influence too.

But month after month went by bringing no response from home. There was sympathy of course in his desires, but no encouragement to expect that helpers would be forthcoming.

Hoping much from a brief holiday, Mr. Taylor closed the dispensary as spring came on, and went with his wife and child to the neighbouring hills. They were away ten days, and he seemed greatly benefited ; but the heavy work of the hospital soon bore him down on their return. Then it was he first wrote to his parents about the precarious state of his health, and that he had reason to suppose his lungs were affected with tubercular trouble. 1-{1- A letter written on March 25.}

" It is a comfort under these circumstances," he concluded, " to have no doubt it was God who guided us into the position we now hold ; and the supply of funds for the work as well as the blessing that has rested upon it confirms one in this conviction. Here at any rate is my present post of duty, and I trust that by His Grace who has led me hitherto I shall not leave it before, nor remain in it longer than it is His will....

" Dearly as I should love to see you all ... may I never, never be permitted to turn back from the Gospel plough, or to lay down my works save as He directs who has called me to so honourable, if in some respects so trying a post."

Yet at the very time this letter was written, tokens for good were not wanting to cheer them on their way. It was a time of wonderful blessing in the home-lands, and the rising tide of revival was sweeping many into the kingdom of God. Prayer and sympathy, in consequence, were steadily on the increase for missionary work.

" A kind friend has been raised up," wrote Mr. Pearse in a communication received at the end of March, " who sends a hundred pounds each to Brother Jones and yourself.... You will be glad to hear that the revival has reached London and hundreds are being converted."

And only two weeks later a letter was received in Mrs. Berger's handwriting containing a bill for fifty pounds.

" My husband is very anxious," she said amongst other encouraging things, " that the hospital should be sustained. It appears to be such a means of blessing. And as other openings occur he hopes you will be able to follow them up.

"Surely this is a day calling for no ordinary activity. People are beginning to wake up. You doubtless see The Revival and other papers. Stirring meetings have been held all over London and in many parts of England, arising out of the week set apart for prayer at the invitation of Christians in India (the second week in January), to plead for the mighty working of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the world. " Such a week this earth never before witnessed. Oh that glorious results may follow ! I feel so cold and lifeless, and long to be in the heart of these mighty workings. But such is not my privilege. One has to learn to deal with the Lord alone, and not to limit His power to seasons or even places. Ask and have, is His way of it. Believe, and the blessing is ours."

Into the prepared soil at home a little seed was to fall that would take root and grow all the more surely because the time was so opportune. Hudson Taylor's life, past, present and to come, was needed in the providence of God to foster that little seed. He must be taken home, and that before long, So the trial of failing health continued until it was evident that a voyage to England was the only hope of saving his life.

" What I desire to know is how I may best serve China," he had written early in May. " If I am too ill to labour here and by returning home might re-establish health, if only for a time, or if I might rouse others to take up the work I can no longer continue, I think I ought to try."

But now in June his letters took another tone: " I trust, if it is the will of God," he wrote to his parents, " that ... I may be spared to labour for China. If not, all is well. I am very happy in Jesus. Never before have I felt Him to be so precious a Saviour, Lover, Friend. Sometimes I think I may not live to see you ; sometimes I hope to be spared to labour long and more earnestly than ever for China. All, all is known to Him who needs to know all .. . and He will do all things well.

" Do not think me selfish. I do sorrow for the grief my removal would be to you and to my dear, so dear wife. I would fain live for your sakes. But Jesus is so lovely, so precious ! All must sink in comparison with Him."

Still there seemed a probability that the voyage might prolong his life, if nothing more, and closing the hospital with great reluctance the Hudson Taylors set out for Shanghai toward the end of June. And they did not go alone. Means having been abundantly supplied by recent gifts, Mr. Taylor felt justified in accepting the services of the young painter Wang Lae-djun, who saw that his beloved missionaries were unfit to travel alone. Immense as was the distance between China and England in those days, Lae-djun was willing to leave his wife and child in his father's home and go to the ends of the earth with those to whom he owed so much. And they-well they never could have managed the journey without him. His presence also was a precious link with the past they were leaving behind, and encouraged the hope that fellow-workers might be given them in England to whom he could be useful as a teacher of the language.

Many arrangements had to be made in Shanghai, and they were thankful for the two weeks that elapsed before they could sail for home. It was providential that they were able to secure passages at all, for the jubilee, bound for London, was the only vessel by which they could have travelled for a long time to come.

" The Captain has his wife with him," wrote Mr. Taylor, " and seems to be a gentlemanly though unconverted man. He looks irritable, and I fear may make it hard for us at times. But we look to God as our stay.... The season is against us. We shall have to beat down the China Sea, and may expect typhoons. But winds and waves obey Him still, and


... The worst that can come

But shortens the journey and hastens us Home."


One great mercy remained to fill their cup to overflowing. A much-loved sister in the home-circle had not yet given herself to the Lord, and during all the years of their separation Hudson Taylor had daily cried to God on her behalf. Many were the letters he had written pleading with her to decide the question of her soul's salvation, but as far as he was aware she was still putting it off. And then, the very day before they sailed, a mail came in bringing glad tidings. His prayers were answered ! They were united at last, an unbroken family in the Lord.

Unable to write to her before nightfall, the brother roused himself at three o'clock next morning, and in spite of great weakness traced a few lines in pencil, the last he was to write from China for several years.

" In view of my ill-health," they read, " and the possibility of my removal, a burden has been on my mind, now thank God removed. Cleave to the Lord, my doubly - dear sister, with full purpose of heart, and you will indeed find your joy to be full."

Daybreak that summer morning-and as the brown waters of the Yangtze were left behind them, how the travellers' hearts would go up to God ! With what thankfulness they looked back over long years of " goodness and mercy " in China ; with what confidence they looked forward to " goodness and mercy " still through all the untried way.


He cannot have taught us to trust in His Name,

And thus far have brought us, to put us to shame

Each sweet Ebenezer we have in review,

Confirms His good pleasure to help us right through.


The voyage, though not prolonged beyond four months, was an unusually trying one, on account of illness and the awful temper of the captain, and the little party had no comfort but in one another. Often they prayed together in Chinese, and talked over Ning-po days and the way in which the Lord had led them. Often too they thought of the future, and dwelt on the time when with restored health and fellow-workers given in answer to prayer they might be returning to China by the blessing of God. But never on quiet nights in the prow, never under the shining stars, never in moments of most earnest prayer or appropriating faith did they imagine what really was to be.

What dream or desire could reach to it ? China open, open from end to end ; an " Inland Mission," working in its most distant provinces ; a thousand stations and outstations manned by hundreds of missionaries-what ! more than nine hundred, when they were praying for five ? Yes, and the converts ! How could they picture the thirty members of the Church so dear to them multiplied to more than thirty thousand, and the little company of native workers increased to more than two thousand-pastors, teachers, evangelists, Bible-women, all following in the steps of Nyi and Tsiu and Wang Lae-djun ? And as to money, what flight of imagination could have suggested a million and a half sterling given in answer to prayer within the next fifty years ? A million five hundred thousand pounds, not dollars, put into their hands for the spread of the Gospel in China, and that without a collection or a single appeal for financial help. Impossible indeed would it have seemed, even with all their knowledge of Him with whom they had to do

" A God that worketh for him that waiteth for Him."

No, they only prayed and trusted, the future veiled from their eyes. All that Hudson Taylor saw was the great need and the unutterable privilege of giving oneself, one's all, to meet it, in fellowship with Christ. Going home, invalided though he was, few if any expecting to see him return, one longing only filled his heart, one prayer-with his remaining strength to do something more for China, whether by life or by death.

" Oh there is such a boundless sphere of usefulness," he had written in one of his last letters, " but the labourers are few, weak, worn and weary. Oh that the Church at home were awake to its duties, its privileges ! How many would then come and labour here... .

" I have not given up hope of seeing you and your dear husband join us. [Written to his sister Amelia, recently married to Mr. Broomhall.] I believe you will yet come. I believe you will be sent by God. And a happy work you will find it. We have only the Lord to look to for means, for health, for encouragement-and we need no other. He gives us all, and He best knows what we need.

Dear Brother and Sister, do come.... ` Come over and help us.' ... Had I a thousand pounds China should have it. Had I a thousand lives China should claim every one. No, not China, but Christ ! Can we do too much for Him ? Can we do enough for such a Saviour ?


Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were an offering far too small ;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Shall have my life, my soul, my all."


And as they followed faithfully, living out the spirit of their prayers, the reality of their consecration, God in His infinite faithfulness did the rest.

To be continued in Hudson Taylor and The China Inland Mission: Volume 2: The Growth of a Work of God

Back to Table of Contents: Hudson Taylor in Early Years - Growth of a Soul