"> '); Prevailing Intercessory Prayer : Hudson Taylor | The Early Years Ch. 7-11







THUS closed the old year and the old life, and with the dawn of 1850 came a new beginning of things for Hudson Taylor. He was seventeen and a half years of age, and employed as we have seen in his father's shop. Good prospects were opening before him as a chemist, and the powers he afterwards displayed in the development of a great mission would have made him successful in this or any other line of business. But now all was changed. A work of which he knew next to nothing claimed him ; a work that must absorb every energy of his being, and might require the sacrifice of life itself. How to set about it he had no idea ; how even to make preparation was difficult to discover. But the call of God had come, and there could be no looking back. Whatever might be involved, the future held but one thing for him --to do his Master's will in and for China.

But what problems faced him as he thought of it ! He, a mere lad, a chemist's assistant in a provincial town, what could he do for China ? Wrapped in the proud exclusiveness of centuries, there it lay, that mightiest empire of the East -- vast in size and population, shrouded in mystery, fascinating, repellent, appalling in its need, inaccessible in its seclusion. How could he hope to forward there the coming of the Kingdom of God ? " Then go for Me to China." That was definite and final. So he began at once to pray for guidance to learn all he could as to his future field.

And here it is necessary to remind ourselves how very little was known about missionary work and lands even so recently as the middle of last century. China especially was terra incognita. True, five ports had been opened along the coast to the residence of foreigners,(1- The Treaty Ports of Canton, Amoy, Fuchow, Ningpo and Shanghai, opened by the Treaty of Nanking, which concluded the first opium war with England, in 1842.) and the London Missionary Society, for nearly forty years the only British Mission at work in that land, had been reinforced by several newly organised efforts. (2- The order in which the British Societies commenced work in China, up to this point, is as follows 1807. The London Missionary Society ; sending Robert Morrison to Canton.After the Treaty of Nanking1843. The British and Foreign Bible Society. 1844. The Church Missionary Society.1845. The Baptist Missionary Society.1847. The English Presbyterian Mission, whose first representative was the Rev. William Burns ; see Chaps. 25-29.)But they were all in their infancy ; and beyond the Treaty Ports practically nothing was being attempted. In the absence of definite knowledge about the interior, exaggerated rumours were afloat. The wealth and learning of the people and the wonders of their ancient civilisation, as reported by some travellers, were only exceeded by the cruelty and ignorance enlarged upon by others. But travellers of any kind who had penetrated beyond the coast were few and far between.

Of course, no one familiar with the far East was to be found in Barnsley. The circle in which Hudson Taylor had been brought up had no connections there, and even for books upon the subject he hardly knew where to turn. One friend might be able to help him, and that was Mr. Whitworth, the founder and superintendent of the Sunday School, who had recently become connected with the British and Foreign Bible Society. He would know something at any rate about the circulation of the Bible in China, and might possess a copy of the Chinese Scriptures in whole or part. So to Mr. Whitworth he went.

The visit was encouraging, for his old friend was able to give him a copy, in the Mandarin dialect, of the writings of St. Luke. This was a treasure indeed. And from him too he may have heard that Medhurst's standard work on China was to be found in Barnsley, in the library of the Congregational minister.

Moved by desires he could not put into words, the eager lad called upon the gentleman in question. It is interesting to have his own account of the visit, accompanied as it is with a glimpse into his deeper feelings at the time and the earnestness with which he sought to prepare for the future before him.

" It seemed to me highly probable," he said long after, " that the work to which I was thus called might cost my life. China was not open then as it is now. Few missionary societies had representatives there, and few books on the subject were accessible to me. I learned, however, that a minister in my native town possessed a copy of Medhurst's China, and calling upon him ventured to ask a loan of the book.

" This he kindly granted, inquiring why I wished to read it. I told him that God had called me to spend my life in missionary service in that land.

" ` And how do you propose to go there ? ' he inquired.

"I answered that I did not at all know; that it seemed to me probable that I should need to do as the Twelve and the Seventy had done in Judea, go without purse or scrip, relying on Him who had sent me to supply all my need."

Kindly placing his hand on my shoulder, the minister replied, "Ah, my boy, as you grow older you will become wiser than that. Such an idea would do very well in the days when Christ Himself was on earth, but not now."

"I have grown older since then, but not wiser. I am more and more convinced that if we were to take the directions of our Master and the assurance He gave to His first disciples more fully as our guide, we should find them just as suited to our times as to those in which they were originally given."

"Medhurst's book on China emphasised the value of Medical Missions there, and this directed my attention to medical studies as a mode of preparation.

" My beloved parents neither disapproved nor encouraged my desire to engage in missionary work. They advised me, with such convictions, to use all the means in my power to develop the resources of body, mind and soul, and to wait prayerfully upon God, quite willing, should He show me that I was mistaken, to follow His guidance, or to go forward if in due time He should open the way to missionary service. The importance of this advice I have since had occasion to prove. I began to take more exercise in the open air to strengthen my general health. My feather bed was soon dispensed with, and as many other comforts as possible, in order to prepare for a rougher sort of life. I began also to do what Christian work was in my power, in the way of tract distribution, Sunday-school teaching, and visiting the poor and sick as opportunity afforded." (1-Quoted from his own brief but well-known Autobiography, A Retrospect, from which extracts have already been made.)

His purpose went deep, and from the first he realised that a call to missionary work in China involved the beginning of true missionary-life at home. " A voyage across the ocean," he often said in later years, " does not make any man a soul-winner." So to humble, loving efforts for the good of those around him he gave himself with renewed diligence, and especially to the practice of his life-calling as a fisher of men."

Another form of preparation entered upon with ardour was the study of Chinese, that formidable task requiring, as Milne put it, " bodies of iron, lungs of brass, heads of oak, hands of spring-steel, eyes of eagles, hearts of apostles, memories of angels and lives of Methuselah." 2(2 The Rev. William Milne, who joined Dr. Morrison in 1813. A man of remarkable linguistic gifts, he took a large share in Morrison's literary labours. His lamented death took place in 1822 ; but far and wide, wherever Chinese is spoken, Milne is at work to-day. His well-known dialogue The Two Friends is circulated still by tens of thousands, and is generally regarded as " the most popular tract in China.") Courageous in his inexperience Hudson Taylor set to work, despite the fact that he had neither teacher nor books with the exception of that one little volume of the writings of St Luke. A grammar would have cost no less than four guineas, and a dictionary could hardly have been purchased for fifteen. Needless to say he had neither. But hard work and ingenuity accomplished wonders, as may be judged from the fact that within a few weeks he and the cousin who was with him in the shop had found out the meaning of over five hundred characters.

" The method we pursue is as follows," he wrote to his sister on February 14. " We find a short verse in the English version, and then look out a dozen or more (also in English) that have one word in common with it. We then turn up the first verse in Chinese, and search through all the others for some character in common that seems to stand for the English word. This we write down on a slip of paper as its probable equivalent. Then we look all through the Chinese Gospel for this same character in different connections. It occurs as a rule pretty frequently. And if in every case we find the same word in the English version, we copy the character in ink into our dictionary, adding the meaning in pencil. Afterwards, if further acquaintance shows it to be the true meaning, we ink that over also. At first we made slow progress, but now we can work much faster, as with few exceptions we know all the most common characters. In our dictionary we have four hundred and fifty-three put down as certain, and many others that are not fully proved. About two hundred more we know as certain that we have not copied into the dictionary yet, and many besides that are only probable.

" I have begun to get up at five in the morning," he continued, " and so find it necessary to go to bed early at night. I must study if I mean to go to China. I am fully decided to go, and am making every preparation I can. I intend to rub up my Latin, to learn Greek and the rudiments of Hebrew, and to get as much general information as possible. I need all your prayers."

But in preparing for the future Hudson Taylor did not neglect present opportunities. With his practical turn of mind he saw that something might be done without delay, even in Barnsley, to forward the cause to which his life was given. Go himself he could not, perhaps for years to come ; but he was none the less responsible here and now for the salvation of perishing souls in China. He could pray and lead others to pray, give and encourage others in giving. And just at this juncture a new movement set on foot by Dr. Gutzlaff of Hong-Kong came to his Knowledge that seemed to afford the very channel needed.

For hitherto he had hardly known how to communicate with China. Large as was the field, the Wesleyans had no mission there. Work in the Treaty Ports was being carried on by other societies ; but even then Hudson Taylor longed after the unreached interior-that vast waiting world, still destitute of the Gospel. If only some one were seeking to carry the light farther afield ! But every way seemed blocked. Missionaries were restricted to the coast-board provinces, and the Chinese Christians were so few and far between that even had they been fitted for it none could be spared for this pioneering work.

What was the joy therefore with which Hudson Taylor learned of this new movement, through papers lent him by Mr. Whitworth, and that a society had been organised in London to do the very work on which his heart was set. Interdenominational in character " The Chinese Association," as it was called, aimed at employing native evangelists to co-operate with any existing missions, but chiefly with Dr. Gutzlaff of Hong-Kong in an enterprise that bid fair to solve the problem of how to send the Gospel to the unreached interior. Quite a number were already working under his supervision, and great was the success that seemed to attend their efforts.

Burning with love to Christ and zeal for the advancement of His cause Dr. Gutzlaff had returned from Hong-Kong a few months previously, (1- Dr. Gutzlaff reached Europe early in 1850.) and had commenced in London as a starting-point a missionary crusade of the most remarkable kind. From Ireland to Hungary he passed, proclaiming in all the leading capitals of Europe the duty of the Christian Church toward the unevangelised millions of China. For the first time the need and claims of that great land came home to many a heart, with the result that multitudes were on their knees praying as never before. It was prayer for which Gutzlaff primarily appealed, prayer for the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon China in its age long darkness. But true prayer, potent in itself, is sure to bring about practical results, and in this case quite a number of organised efforts grew up in London and on the Continent that resulted in permanent blessing.

Gutzlaff's piety was deep and real, his schemes were large and his optimism unbounded. He was a man of unusual gifts, and as Interpreter to the British Government in Hong Kong occupied a position of influence. So great was his enthusiasm for the spread of the Gospel that he had risked his life repeatedly in daring attempts to reach the interior, as well as in voyages along the entire coast. (2- Dr. Gutzlaff, wearing Chinese dress, made seven journeys during the years 1831-35 along the Chinese coast, landing at places even as far north as Tien-tsin, and risking his life again and again in earnest efforts to make known the Gospel. Dr. Medhurst, at the request of the L.M.S., made a similar journey in 1835, seven years before the opening of the Treaty Ports.) With considerable experience as a sailor he even engaged himself as mate on a Chinese junk, and at another time as cook, in order to visit places to which no foreign vessels sailed and obtain opportunities for making known the truth as it is in Jesus.(1- See Ball's China, published in 1854, PP. 59,60)Though not strictly speaking a missionary, he lived for one thing only-the extension of the Kingdom of God. To this he devoted his large salary, his remarkable powers of mind and body and all his available time. He wrote and published eighty works in no fewer than eight different languages, including a translation into Chinese of both the Old and New Testaments. He founded " The Chinese Union," a native missionary society whose members were to carry the Gospel far and wide to every part of the eighteen provinces, and he awakened Europe one may almost say with enthusiasm in support of this cause, everywhere organising prayer-meetings and associations to carry on the work. The new society in London was one of these, and immediately claimed the sympathy of Hudson Taylor.

According to tabulated reports brought home by Dr. Gutzlaff, the evangelists of " The Chinese Union " inaugurated six years previously had met with amazing encouragement. They now numbered a hundred and thirty men, engaged in systematic preaching throughout the interior and in the distribution of Christian literature. They had circulated over ten thousand New Testaments, besides many Bibles and countless books and tracts. They wrote long and detailed letters from almost all the provinces of China, telling of journeys even to the borders of Mongolia and Tibet. And last but not least, they had baptized, "upon examination and satisfactory confession of their faith," no fewer than 2871 converts. Such results, within so short a time, could not but arouse the deepest interest.

All through the spring and summer these developments were delighting the earnest lad in Barnsley. An excellent magazine, quite above the average of religious papers, was commenced in March of this year to supply the latest tidings from Dr. Gutzlaff's workers, as well as missionary information from other parts of the world. Hudson Taylor took it in from the first, and the careful study with which he followed it for years formed in itself a valuable education in missionary principles and practice. From its pages he learned of many on the Continent as well as in Great Britain who were engaged in active efforts for the evangelisation of China. The undertakings represented at Barmen and Cassel, the Pilgrim Missionary Institution of St. Chrischona, John Evangelist Gossner and his devoted workers, the Moravians of Herrnhut, and the Missionary Societies of Basel and Berlin all became familiar to him as the months went by. It informed him also of the varied labours of George Muller of Bristol, who during this and the previous year had expended more than £2500 on missionary work in Roman Catholic and heathen lands. This well-directed magazine, in short, was used of God to introduce Hudson Taylor into a new world of Christian enterprise, unsectarian in its character and international in its interests, preparing him while still in his teens for the far-reaching associations of coming years. (1- This interesting paper, The Gleaner in the Missionary Field, seems to have been edited by the Secretaries of the Chinese Association, or, as it was afterwards called, the Chinese Evangelisation Society. Although no names are given, it is easy to recognise Mr. George Pearse of the London Stock Exchange as well as Mr. Richard Ball of Taunton in many of its articles. The latter was a man of literary gift as well as spiritual insight, and both were deeply taught in the Word of God.)

By means of The Gleaner also he was enabled to follow the operations of the new society in London. Its character so impressed him that he ventured after a time upon the following letter, little realising to how much its modest overtures would lead.


July 29, 1850.

To Mr. George Pearse, Secretary of the Chinese Association.

SIR-Some time ago, Mr. Whitworth, the respected Local Treasurer of the Bible Society, directed my attention to the Chinese Association, as advertised in The Watchman, and in The Gleaner in the Missionary Field. I have seen several notices of its usefulness.

Feeling deeply interested in the spread of Christianity among the Chinese, and having determined as soon as Providence shall open my way to devote myself to that extensive and almost unbounded field of Christian enterprise, I wish during the interval to promote the work as much as possible. I have therefore taken the liberty of addressing you as Secretary. I shall be much obliged if you will forward at your earliest convenience a few circulars or collecting cards, as well as any information, rules, etc., calculated to assist me in introducing the work to my friends.

Praying the great Head of the Church, without whose blessing nothing can prosper, greatly to forward your efforts,-I remain, Sir, yours respectfully,


But reports had begun to reach England by this time of the doubtful character of Dr. Gutzlaff's organisation, and the reply from Mr. Pearse was evidently discouraging. Further developments tended only to confirm the fear that, with all his brilliant gifts and rare devotion, Gutzlaff sadly lacked common sense and that " discernment of spirits " so necessary in dealing with an oriental people. In a word, he had been systematically swindled, as the German missionary acting as his locum tenens in Hong Kong discovered. Few of his so-called evangelists had travelled beyond Canton, and many of their glowing reports had been concocted in opium-dens a few minutes only from his own door. It was a painful and almost incredible exposure, and no one suffered more from grief and disappointment than the noble-minded leader, who did not long survive the failure of his work.(1-Dr. Gutzlaff passed away at Hong-kong on the 9th of August 1851, devotedly labouring among the Chinese until his brief but fatal illness came on. The Gleaner for January 1852 supplied the following details. Even in his last hours, all his thoughts were directed to the evangelisation of China. He spoke of it with great confidence, and in the delirium of fever frequently expressed bright hopes for the blessing and regeneration of his beloved Sinim. Truly of him it may be said that he departed this life and entered the presence of the Lord bearing the millions of China upon his heart.")

And yet -- had Gutzlaff failed ? His plans miscarried grievously and his projects came to nothing. But prayer and faith cannot fail. More perhaps than any man in his day he had seen the commanding vision-China won for Christ-and had given himself, his all, to bring it to pass. " God buries His workmen, but carries on His work." Gutzlaff died in faith, entering, as was said of him, the presence of the Lord with the millions of China on his heart. And the aims he had never been able to realise, the ideals that seemed to fail-of a native agency and widespread evangelistic work-fell as good seed into other hearts, to bear fruit at last in every part of China.

Long years after, when the China Inland Mission had become a fact in all the inland provinces, its founder loved to refer to Dr. Gutzlaff as in a very real sense the father of the work. It was in any case a remarkable providence that brought this burning spirit with its prophetic vision across the orbit of Hudson Taylor's life just at this time. It could not but be that he was disappointed and in a measure discouraged by the turn events had taken. Among the friends and supporters of Gutzlaff's enterprise, whose interest had been aroused chiefly by his own enthusiasm, there was naturally a swing of the pendulum in the other direction when these disclosures came to light. A strong reaction set in, and for a time it seemed as though the whole movement would flicker out and leave no permanent results. But those whose hearts God had touched felt only the more responsible for the enlightenment of a people so obviously in need of the Gospel. It was a period of sifting that revealed the true character of many in the homelands as well as in China. But out of it all grew clearer knowledge, stronger faith, and a few undertakings of the right sort. Among these were the Moravian Mission to Tibet, with other German efforts, and in London the work with which Mr. Pearse was connected, the society that ultimately sent Hudson Taylor to Shanghai.

And lastly Hudson himself came out of it by the grace of God, more than ever determined to give his life to China. It was a test that might well have turned back one whose " call " depended chiefly on emotion. But, as the following letter shows, it only stirred the Barnsley lad to deeper earnestness and prayer, and served to teach him lessons of inestimable value.


August 7, 1850.

To Mr. George Pearse.

DEAR SIR-I write to acknowledge your kindness in answering my note, to thank you for the Report and to avail myself of your permission to write again for further information.

I think, though the aspect of the Institution is at present in many respects discouraging, we may hope for better days. Notwithstanding that the character of the Chinese seems very unfavourable for the reception of the Gospel, we have the promise that all shall know Him, whom to know is life eternal. We know not what we might have been, had it not been for Christianity. Christ has died that all might turn, repent and live. We who do know the advantage, and experience the renovating influence of religion are bound to propagate the Gospel among all peoples. I think with you that under the supervision of European and American missionaries much good may be done by native agency.

"The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few." We cannot be too much in earnest in the prosecution of this great work. The missionaries should be men of apostolic zeal, patience and endurance, willing to be all things to all men. May the Lord raise up suitable instruments, and fit me for this work.

On Dr. Gutzlaff's return to China, will the Institution be remodelled, or can further frauds be prevented in any way? Have you any collecting books or cards ? If you will kindly forward me a few, or otherwise authorise me to collect, I will endeavour to gather a few pounds if possible. Apologising for troubling you,-I remain, dear Sir, yours respectfully,


Thus amid all the discouragements of a peculiarly difficult time, we see his stedfast figure pressing on.





BUT disappointment in the work was not the only thing that came to test the reality of Hudson Taylor's call to China. Even before his eyes were opened, through the failure of Gutzlaff's plans, to the darker side of missionary experience he was overtaken by trial of a very different kind, that went with him through long months and years, bringing the strongest influences to bear against unquestioning obedience. It was a test of faith, a call to sacrifice, perhaps the hardest that can come in a young man's life. And it began so soon -with that same Christmas of 1849.

For then it was, almost immediately after he had come to know the will of God for his future, that a countercurrent set in, as powerful as it was unexpected. He had just received a wonderful baptism of love and power, and was entering with unreserved consecration upon his life-service. And at that very point the tempter met him, met him with suggestions so natural and attractive that it seemed hardly possible they could be contrary to the mind of God. And yet those suggestions, had he followed them, would have led far away from China and effectually hindered the Lord's first, best plan for his life.

It was as will be anticipated a question of " falling in love," seriously, tremendously, and for the first time. But why not draw a veil over matters so intimate, especially if they were to end in disappointment ? That certainly would be the easier course and one we would willingly pursue but for the constant recurrence of the same danger in other lives. For many a young, intending missionary has made shipwreck upon the rocks that threatened Hudson Taylor now, and it may be that his experience will be used of God to safeguard some whose peril is known to Him alone.

It all began with the Christmas holidays and an ordinary friendship arising out of his sister's return from school. For Amelia did not come alone. The young music-teacher to whom she had become much attached during the term accompanied her, and added not a little to the brightness of the family-circle that already included their cousin from Barton-on-Humber.

To Hudson and his sister this reunion was delightful after their first long parting, and many were the hours spent in fellowship and prayer such as only young hearts know. To no one else could he speak so freely of the things that mattered most, and there was much to talk over concerning his new-found joy in the Lord as well as his call to China. And when the little sister discovered that some one else was beginning to take a first place in his affections she rejoiced unselfishly. Life would not be so lonely far away from home.

But Hudson saw difficulties ahead. True it had not occurred to him that the one he loved might be quite unsuited for the life he hoped to live in China. She was a Christian, a Methodist, and so bright and gifted that he could not imagine her to be lacking in missionary devotion. As a matter of fact Miss V. was decidedly attractive, and in addition to some musical training had a voice so sweet that it was a constant pleasure to those around her. She was happy among her new friends, and interested especially in the son of the household. But while sympathising to a certain extent with his feelings about China, there was a something lacking, and she would gladly have held him back.

This of course he did not realise, or if he felt it intangibly from the first he was far from admitting even to himself that it might prove a serious obstacle. No, the difficulties he felt, and felt increasingly as time passed on, arose from the uncertainties of his position and his lack of means, prospectively, to support a wife. Had there been any opening before him he might have had more hope. But how he was to go to China he had no idea, nor how he would be supported there. He knew of no society that sent out unordained men, unless perhaps the Chinese Association, and that soon came into such low water financially that it seemed doubtful whether it could continue to exist. The collapse of Dr. Gutzlaff's enterprise was seriously affecting missionary interest in China. On the whole it seemed more than likely that he would have to be a self-supporting missionary, or go in simple faith, trusting the Lord who sent him to provide. But that precluded any thought of marriage, at any rate for a long time to come. And meanwhile his lips were sealed. Someone else was sure to love her. Every one must who was near her and free to win her love. No one could care as he did ! That was beyond question. And yet, with such prospects or lack of prospects before him he must be silent.

This was the ground, then, on which the conflict commenced : not so much a struggle between love and duty, though it came to that at last, as a long fight of faith with questionings and fears. " No good thing will He withhold." Would it prove really true ? Surely his heart's desire was a good thing : yet how was it to be accomplished ? Could he leave all in the hands of God and simply trust-nothing but uncertainty ahead ?

The year that followed was full of perplexity and pain, in the midst of which his spiritual life was deepening, as may be seen from frequent letters to his sister who had returned to school.

" Dear Amelia," he wrote in September, " remember me in all your prayers. Never did I feel a greater need of watchfulness and prayer than at present. Praised be God, I know that the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin ; but I feel my own weakness, my own nothingness. Without His aid I cannot stand for one moment ; but I look to the Strong for strength ; and though he that trusteth in man shall be disappointed, blessed are all they that put their trust in the Lord. I realise this blessedness. I feel that I can trust Him with all my concerns. I can and do 'praise Him for all that is past, and trust Him for all that's to come.' He has promised to withhold ' no good thing' from those that walk uprightly. I do love Him, and am determined to devote myself, body, soul and spirit, to His work.

" I have a stronger desire than ever to go to China. That land is ever in my thoughts. Think of it-three hundred and sixty million souls, without God or hope in the world ! Think of more than twelve millions of our fellow-creatures dying every year without any of the consolations of the Gospel. . . . Barnsley including the Common has only fifteen thousand inhabitants. Imagine what it would be if all these were to die in twelve months ! Yet in China hundreds are dying, year by year, for every man, woman and child in Barnsley. Poor, neglected China ! Scarcely any one cares about it. And that immense country, containing nearly a fourth of the human race, is left in ignorance and darkness.

Shall we whose souls are lighted

With wisdom from on high ;

Shall we to men benighted

The lamp of Life deny ?.....

" Pray for me, dear Amelia, that I may have more of the mind of Christ ; that I may be guided in all things by His Spirit and made very useful. Pray for the cause of God and expect an answer. Pray on for China. .. .

" You say ` let us leave all in the hands of God.' You are right. `The Lord God is a sun and shield : the Lord will give grace and glory no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.' But remember His own word, ` I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel to do it for them.' Make it a matter of prayer, Love, and then leave it in the hands of God our Father. I have prayed about it, and I am sure I can trust God. He will do all things well. God knows what is best, and we must learn to welcome His will, which is ` good, acceptable and perfect.' "

He was very busy at this time, rising early every morning for study. Latin, Greek, theology and medicine occupied every available moment even during business hours, and Sunday brought opportunities of ministry to others. Sharing a room with his cousin made it difficult to obtain much privacy, but " I go into the warehouse, stable, or anywhere," he wrote, " to be alone with God. And some most precious seasons I have. . . . Do your best to keep hold of Jesus. And if in an unguarded moment you should fall, humble yourself before God. ` If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' We cannot be perfect as angels who have never sinned, nor as Adam before he fell. Sin always has had and always will have a power over us, if we look not to the Lord for strength. Yet, though we are vile in ourselves, we may be made `pure in heart' through the all-prevailing blood of Jesus. Washed in His blood we are even now `whiter than snow.' But it must be constant washing. Grace we every moment need. Oh seek this grace, strive for it, and may God bless you with ` a pure heart' for Christ's sake."

As the unstudied correspondence of a lad of only eighteen with a sister several years younger the above quotations have a special interest, and so also has the following letter bearing more directly upon the matter that was exercising his heart.

BARNSLEY, Nov.11,1850.

My DEAR AMELIA-I have to write to you at sundry times and in divers places, here a little and there a little... .

In your last note you suggest that it might be a good plan to write to the Chinese Association and ask whether they could send me out as a married man. You must excuse my differing from you in opinion. I think that to do so would be to effectually prevent them. They would naturally conclude that I wanted to get married without means, and that I hoped they would insure me from the consequences of such conduct. It would not do to write to them at all at present.

I have not, as you know, the slightest idea how I shall go. But this I know, I shall go, either alone or married. . . . I know God has called me to the work, and He will provide the means. But as you see I cannot send the information you desire. It is not reasonable to suppose that Miss V. would be willing to go and starve in a foreign land. I am sure I love her too well to wish her to do so. . . . You well know I have nothing, and nothing (financially) to hope for. Consequently I can enter into no engagement under present circumstances. I cannot deny that these things make me very sad. But my Father knows what is best. " No good thing will He withhold." I must live by faith, hang on by faith, simple faith, and He will do all things well.

Think not I am cold or indifferent. But what can I do ? I know I love her. To go without her would make the world a blank. But I cannot bring her to want. Oh, pray for me ! It is enough to distract me. May God bless and enable me to trust Him fully.

Through waves, and clouds, and storms,

He gently clears thy way

Wait thou His time, so shall this night

Soon end in joyous day.

I trust it will be so : God grant it may !

You say you are sure I might win her if I could see my way to provide for her. But you see I cannot. And if I could, how do you know that I might have her ? Do let me know, for I am so anxious about it. You say I should ensure this best by being sent out. Very true. But who is to send me ? The Wesleyans have no station in China. . . . The Established Church have one or two, but I am not a Churchman . . . and would not do for them. The Baptists and Independents have stations there, but I do not hold their views... . The Chinese Association is very low in funds. So God and God alone is my hope, and I need no other.

Except the Lord conduct the plan,

The best-concerted schemes are vain

And never can succeed.

With you I could wish, were it possible, that the matter should be decided at Christmas. But what reason have you for thinking it might if circumstances were favourable ? Do you suppose she thinks or knows that I love her ? Or does she, think you, care about me ? Do answer these questions plainly.-Your affectionate brother,


A reply seems to have come from his sister that perplexed while it encouraged him.

" I wonder how often I have read and reread your letters," he wrote a fortnight later, " especially the last. As I do so, my mind is filled with conflicting hopes and fears. But I am determined to trust in God."

Thus winter passed slowly by, and with early spring came a first step toward China. It was now more than a year since the purpose of God had been made known to him, and he felt the time had come for more definite preparation for his life-work. Five years in his father's business had made him quite at home in dispensing medicines and even prescribing for ordinary ailments. He needed still to earn his own living, but felt that as assistant to a doctor in good practice he might at the same time make progress with his medical studies. It seemed but a small step in the direction desired, but it was all that was open to him, and the Lord would guide as to what was to follow.

" I am determined," he wrote to his sister, " to be more than ever His, and to redouble my diligence to make my calling and election sure. Continue to pray for E. Pray in faith and leave the results with God... . I am determined not to waste time any more in writing letters as I have done, but to endeavour in all things to be about my Master's work. May He help me. . . . It is my desire in all my ways to acknowledge Him : and He shall direct my path.

" Now that I have decided to leave home, I want you to ask that the Lord will guide me into a suitable situation, where I may get and do good and become fitted for China. . . ."

Shortly after this he had occasion to write again to Mr. Pearse in London. The letter is worth quoting, as illustrating his careful attention to detail, and sense of stewardship in connection with money given for the Lord's work, even the smallest sums.

21 CHEAPSIDE, BARNSLEY, March 31, 1851.

Mr. George Pearse.

DEAR SIR-You will almost think I have forgotten the Chinese Union and have not its interests at heart, on account of my long silence. Such, however, is not the case, although from pressure of business I have not been able to devote to it the attention it deserves. I have collected rather more than two pounds. Please send me word as to how I shall remit this sum to you. If I send a post office order it will cost sixpence ; but I can get it placed to your credit at Glynn & Co. or any other London banker's for two or three pence. Meanwhile I will do all in my power to get a few more subscribers, as the interests of China lie very near my heart. May I be fitted to engage in this great work. Please excuse haste, and-Believe me, yours in our Risen Lord,


Had Mr. Pearse replied that the money might be sent by post office order, as the difference of two or three pence was a small matter, it is doubtful whether he would have heard much more from Hudson Taylor. To him every penny was a trust to be used for his Master. " A little thing is a little thing," he often quoted in later life, " but faithfulness in little things is a great thing." Mr. Pearse, however, appreciated his inquiry, and wrote mentioning a bank through which the money might be forwarded ; to which the Barnsley lad replied, "I have paid through our Bankers £2 : 5 to your credit at Messrs. Jones, Lloyd & Co., Lothbury, according to your directions, and you will receive it on Monday. Please acknowledge the receipt of this sum, that I may be able to show the subscribers that it has been remitted. Have you a Report, or any other publication telling of the work done by your Society, and how the funds are applied ? ... I enclose a list of the contributors. The amounts are small, but I have no doubt that when more is known about the Society and its operations I shall be able to collect more."

The field truly is great, and the means at present employed for its cultivation appear very inadequate. But . . . it is " not by might nor by power " but by the influence of the Holy Spirit alone that good can be accomplished, and God often makes the weak things of this world to confound the mighty. He and He only can raise up and qualify suitable labourers and own and bless those already on the field... .

I have devoted myself to missionary work in China in obedience I believe to His call, and am at present studying medicine and surgery that I may have more opportunities of usefulness and perhaps be able to support myself when there. This, however, I leave in His hands, believing that if I seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness all these things shall be " added " according to His promise.

Any suggestions you may be able to give me as to means for promoting the cause or fitting myself for more extensive usefulness would be thankfully received by-Yours in our Risen Lord,


Mr. Pearse was evidently interested. He seems to have consulted his Committee and to have written intimating that the Society might be willing to help in the expense of a medical education if they considered Mr. Taylor a suitable candidate for China. This letter with its inquiries as to his religious views, education, etc., called forth the following reply. Though long, it is given in full, as manifesting the spirit that actuated the young intending missionary, a spirit at once appreciative, dignified, independent and humble.

21 CHEAPSIDE, BARNSLEY, April 25, 1851.

To George Pearse, Esq., Hackney.

DEAR SIR-I have not been able hitherto, from press of business, to answer your kind favours of the 17th and 21st inst., and am sorry :hat, in haste, I neglected to enclose the list of contributors. Herewith you will receive it.

I feel obliged to you for mentioning the work on China, which I shall endeavour to procure ; and am grateful to your Committee for their kindness in promising access to a London hospital and lectures.I fear, however, that I shall not be able to avail myself of these privileges, as I have no means of supporting myself in London, and may not be able to obtain a situation there that would allow sufficient time to make use of them.

I have for some time past been looking out for employment in a Surgery, as I think that would afford better opportunities than I at present enjoy for acquiring medical and surgical knowledge. My present position is perhaps as favourable as most with regard to opportunities for self-improvement. It consists chiefly in prescribing and dispensing, and we have the privilege of reading during business hours if all the work is done. But the number of anatomical and similar works that I have access to is limited, and their price is very high, placing many altogether beyond my reach. So that apart from the benefit to be gained from practical surgery, the acquirement of the theory would be facilitated by the situation I am seeking.

As you are so kind as to interest yourself in my case, I may now perhaps state the reasons that make me think myself called to the work of evangelisation in China.

From my earliest childhood I have felt the strivings of the Holy Spirit, and when about fourteen years of age I gave my heart to God. About six months after that time I went into a bank as clerk, and remained about nine months, when I had to leave on account of my sight, which was injured through much writing by gas-light. The others in the bank were worldly men, and religion was seldom spoken of without a sneer. I began to place too great a value on the things of this world and to neglect private prayer. Religious duties became irksome to me and I fell from grace. But God in His infinite mercy caused my eyes to fail, and I was obliged to leave.

I continued in a state of religious unconcern until June 1849, when God was pleased to strike home a conviction of my sinful and dangerous state while I was reading a tract accidentally left by a friend. I have not the slightest doubt but that this was in answer to the prayers of my parents, and of my sister, who had even made a memorandum a month or two previously to the effect that she would never cease praying for me until I was saved, and that she believed her prayers would be answered before long. I thank God that through His grace I was enabled to resolve never to rest until I found peace with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ. Shortly afterwards it pleased Him again to cause His face to shine upon me, and I was enabled by faith to realise the merit of His atonement.

About Christmas 1849, I am sorry to have to say, that notwithstanding all the love the Saviour had manifested to me, I began to slacken in my closet duties. A spiritual lethargy seemed to have crept over me. I did not enjoy communion with God as heretofore, and felt something was wrong, so wrong that I feared I might fall away from grace and be finally lost. Earnestly I cried to God to show me the hindrance and take it away, promising Him, if He would only save me completely, that I would do anything in His cause He might direct.

Never shall I forget the feeling that came over me then. Words can never describe it. I felt that I was in the very presence of God, entering into covenant with the Almighty. I felt as though I wished to withdraw my promise, but could not. Something seemed to say " Your prayer is answered, your conditions are accepted." And from that time the conviction has never left me that I was called to China.

I obtained all the works I could on that interesting country, and read them as I was able. I see there an unbounded field of usefulness, and there by the grace of God I mean to go. I feel my own salvation depends on it. May I be made the humble instrument of much good.

Mr. Whitworth, the respected Local Treasurer of the Bible Society, lent me several numbers of The Watchman in which were papers on China. There I first saw a notice of your Society. Afterwards, seeing more about it in The Gleaner, I ventured to write to you in the hope of being able to do a little to forward the cause.

I obtained through Mr. Whitworth a copy of the writings of St. Luke in Chinese, and discovered the meaning of many characters by comparing passages with the aid of an English Concordance. I also procured a copy of Marshman's Clavis Sinica. Medhurst's Grammar was ordered but could not be procured. But I found I could not with advantage continue the study of the language without a Dictionary, which I was not able to afford. So I thought I should do more good by studying necessary subjects such as Anatomy, Physiology, Medicine and Surgery, which accordingly I have done.

I will now endeavour to answer your questions:

I. Some of the reasons that make me think, nay, make me sure (for I have no doubt on the matter) that I am truly converted to God are as follows

The things I used formerly to delight in now give me no pleasure, while reading the Word, prayer and the means of grace, which were formerly distasteful to me, are now my delight.


Once the world was all my treasure,

And the world my heart possessed

Now I taste sublimer pleasure

Since the Lord has made me blest.


I know I have passed from death unto life because I love the brethren. The Spirit of God bears direct witness with my spirit that I am His child. My mind is kept in perfect peace because I trust in Him. And I feel no doubt that should I be called hence, when this earthly tabernacle is dissolved I have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. I feel I am but a stranger here. Heaven is my home . . . I know that in myself there is nothing that can merit Heaven. I am a poor, helpless, hell-deserving sinner. But in Him all fulness dwells. I am, praised be God, a sinner saved by grace.

II. My age will be nineteen on the 21st of May 1851. Of course I am unmarried.

III. As to the general state of my health : I have never had any serious illness, but cannot be called robust. I have never been better than at present, and intend to take more care of my health than I have previously done, having often neglected exercise for weeks together in order to have more time for study.

IV. My occupation has been, since Christmas 1845, with the exception of nine months spent in the bank, that of assistant to my father, who is a chemist and druggist.

V. My education was carried on at home until I was eleven years of age. Then I went to school, and continued there until I was thirteen, when the master resigning without arranging for an efficient substitute, I left at the Christmas vacation and came into the shop. Besides the regular routine of study, I worked at Latin, Euclid and Algebra, in which I took great interest. Since then I have had access to a tolerably good library, and have acquired the rudiments of Greek as well as of Anatomy and Physiology.

VI. With regard to denominational views : at first I joined the Wesleyan Methodists, as my parents and friends were members of that body. But not being able to reconcile the late proceedings with the doctrines and precepts of Holy Scripture, I withdrew, and am at present united to the branch Society.

Apologising for thus intruding upon your time-I remain, dear Sir, yours in our beloved Redeemer,


Meanwhile his prayers for guidance were being answered through an opening that occurred in Hull for an assistant to one of the busiest doctors there. An aunt on his mother's side was married to a brother of this Dr. Hardey, and it was probably her influence that secured the position for her nephew in Barnsley. In many ways it seemed the very thing he needed, and from his point of view was none the less desirable for being within easy reach of Barton, where Amelia and the young music-teacher were still in Mrs. Hodson's school. It was not London, nor did it enable him to avail himself of the aid Mr. Pearse and his Society had offered. But it was the way providentially opened after much prayer, and as such was thankfully accepted.

On one of the last days before leaving Barnsley, Hudson spoke for the first time in public. This was at Royston, within sight of the fine old church in which James and Betty Taylor had been married. There on his wedding-day the stone-mason had first confessed his allegiance to a new Master, and there seventy-five years later came the great grandson who bore his name to give his first public testimony to that Master's saving grace.

" On Tuesday I went to preach at Royston," he wrote to his sister the following day. " The room was crowded ; there would be from fifty to sixty present. I never was so blessed in my life. We had a prayer-meeting afterwards in which ten or twelve took part. One little girl of about thirteen came to the penitent-form and professed to find peace. She is young, but Jesus can keep her."

Thus the quiet years of life at home drew to a close, and early in May the separation came that meant so much for both Hudson and his mother. Full well they knew it was but the beginning of that longer parting toward which their faces were set. But they spoke much of the joy and privilege of suffering for Jesus' sake and trusted Him about the sorrow.

It was on his nineteenth birthday that after a brief visit to his grandparents in Hull the new apprentice took up his duties with Dr. Hardey. The day was naturally a busy one, not till nearly midnight did he find time for the few lines to his sister that could not be omitted.

" From what I have seen of my situation: he wrote. I think I shall like it exceedingly. Of course I felt very strange and awkward at first, but I have begun to be more at home now and to know better where to find things and what to do."

And then his thoughts carried him away from his new surroundings and across the Humber to the quiet, old-world township in which his dear ones lived. How near he was to them at last ! His heart beat quick with hope as he realised that almost any day he might see them.

" I am to have an hour to myself at dinner and another at teatime," he continued eagerly. " I almost think I shall be able to run over to Barton sometimes in the evening, by a little arrangement and being willing to stay over-time when needed.. .

" Go on praying for me and all the others. You cannot think how happy I feel in my Saviour's love. Oh, He has loved me, the chief of sinners ! I love Him for it. He has hitherto granted all my prayers and He will grant me more before midsummer. `The crooked shall be made straight.' You understand, Love. Farewell."





DR. ROBERT HARDEY of 13 Charlotte Street was widely esteemed in the city of Hull as a reliable medical man and a consistent Christian. He was very busy, having in addition to a large, general practice the surgical oversight of a number of factories and a lectureship in the School of Medicine. Tall and vigorous in appearance he was unusually gentle and full of fun, and was beloved by little children and the poor who crowded his dispensary no less than by wealthy patients in their beautiful homes. His humour seems to have been irresistible, and in spite of themselves those under his care had to look on the bright side of things. Often indeed he made people laugh so much that they were cured of their ailments without recourse to medicine at all. And better still, in troubles medicine could not touch, he knew how to bring help and healing to the soul.

His home of which Hudson Taylor was now an inmate was the city doctor's house of the old-fashioned type. The broad thoroughfare, like Harley Street in London, was a centre for the profession in those days and quite aristocratic. Number 13 stood on the sunny side and was specially attractive for the Virginia creeper that framed the windows in a wealth of green. To the right of the hall as one entered was the consulting-room, beyond which the dining-room overlooked a narrow strip of garden with the dispensary at its farther end. This garden, much traversed by the doctor and his assistant, consisted mainly of a lawn, on one side of which a pathway overarched with roses led to what had been the stables but was now an out-patient department, conveniently accessible from a back street.

Here then in what was called the Surgery Hudson Taylor found himself at home. Mrs. Hardey's supervision had not extended apparently to this branch of the establishment, but the new assistant was equal to the occasion and soon had everything in apple-pie order, after the fashion to which he had been accustomed at home. His knowledge of book-keeping also proved of value to Dr. Hardey, who had much work of that sort on hand and was glad to leave it to so competent a helper. Thus the doctor's relations with the Barnsley lad soon came to be of a cordial character. He was so bright and eager to learn, so willing and good-tempered, that to work with him was a pleasure, and before long the busy doctor found that it was a help to pray with him too. Many were the quiet times, after that, from which the older man came away refreshed and strengthened. Needless to say there was no familiarity or presuming on these relations. The young assistant respected himself and his employer far too much for that. He did his work faithfully, as in the sight of God, and Dr. Hardey showed his appreciation by giving him opportunities for study and by directing his reading as much as possible.

But there were drawbacks to the life at Charlotte Street, of which Hudson Taylor himself was largely unconscious. For one thing it was too comfortable, too easy-going in certain ways, and failed on that account to afford some elements needed in a missionary's training. Quite in another part of Hull amid very different surroundings was a little " prophet's chamber," bare in its furnishings and affording neither companionship nor luxury, where a stronger if a sterner life could be lived, apart with God. Moses at the backside of the wilderness, Joseph in Pharaoh's prison, Paul in the silence of the Arabian desert lived that sort of life, and came out to do great things for men in the power of God. That was the life Hudson Taylor needed and to which he was being led. He did not choose it for himself, at any rate not at first or consciously. The Lord chose it for him, and so ordered circumstances that he was brought to see and to embrace it, finding in self-denial and the daily cross a fellowship with his Master nothing else can yield.

So there came a day, providentially, when the young assistant could no longer be domiciled at Dr. Hardey's. His room was needed for a member of the family, and as the Surgery was not provided with sleeping accommodation he had to seek quarters elsewhere. But it was too much, perhaps, of a transition to that other, better life which awaited him, without some intermediate experience, and for the time being Hudson Taylor found himself welcomed by his aunt, Mrs. Richard Hardey, into her pleasant home.

This was in some ways more congenial than the first arrangement, and quite as convenient for his daily work. The Richard Hardeys lived on Kingston Square, opposite the Medical School at which Hudson was attending, lectures and within two minutes of the Surgery. They were not wealthy people, indeed Mrs. Hardey's skilful brush supplied the larger part of their income. But they were generous and warm-hearted, and having no children of their own were glad to entertain a sister's son. Mrs. Hardey inherited the family gift for portrait-painting, and her attractive personality in addition to her husband's genial spirit gathered about them a large circle of friends. All this Hudson enjoyed to the full, especially when his sister came over from Barton to spend a Sunday with them.

But though happy in outward circumstances he was anything but free from anxiety and unrest. Life was opening before him, and away from the scenes of childhood, dependent for the first time upon his own earnings, he was feeling the seriousness of his position as never before. He had taken as he thought a step toward China, and yet his hope of getting there, his ideal of a life devoted to its evangelisation seemed more and more remote as time went on. He had come to Hull eager to fit himself for medical work, but his busy days with Dr. Hardey left little time for study, while they showed him with increasing clearness how far he was from the end in view. Though he said little about it, the call of God was as a fire burning within him. The thought of perishing souls in China was ever present. Day and night he pondered the problem of how to prepare for and enter upon his life-work. To his youth and inexperience no answer seemed forthcoming ; yet how hard it was to wait in patience, to wait for God alone. In the main he did, as before leaving Barnsley, rest in the Lord and count upon His working. Yet the quiet Surgery witnessed many an hour of anxious thought as well as many an hour of prayer, and all through that summer and autumn there was a good deal of unnecessary exercise of heart.

Perhaps also there was another reason for those months of trouble and unrest, just as another fire was consuming within him not a little spiritual strength. For he was out of harmony with God in the matter of his deepest affections, that inner citadel of being so often the last stronghold yielded to His control. Unconsciously it may be he was holding something back-something, the best thing in his manhood not recognising that in that realm also " every: thought" must be brought into subjection to " the obedience of Christ." He was giving far too much of himself to the one who had come as a bright, beautiful vision into his life a year and a half before. It was one thing, he discovered, to think of her in Barnsley out of reach, and quite another in Hull, where any day they might meet. His love was growing too strong for him, quickened by hopeful indications of its being returned on her part.

And yet he had begun to feel instinctively that her life was not fully yielded to God. Though there was -no engagement between them they understood one another without words, and he could not but be conscious that her influence was all against a future she was unwilling to face.

" Must you go to China ? " she questioned at times, her tone clearly implying, " How much nicer it would be to stay and serve the Lord at home ! "

Fervently he prayed that she might come to feel as he did ; for nothing, not even the loss of her love, could alter his call from God. But how could he go forward at such a cost ? How face the anguish of losing her just when it seemed she might be won ? Oh the struggle of those autumn days when he could no longer escape the fear that their paths must lie apart ! Older people may pass on, perhaps, with little perception of what such a situation means ; but young hearts understand, and there is one infinite Heart that is always young, always touched with the feeling of our griefs. That Friend did not fail Hudson Taylor.

And so it came to pass that helpful experiences found their way into his life at this time. He was strengthened by association with fellow believers who were able to lead him into a deeper knowledge of God ; he was encouraged in work for others, simple efforts to help the poor and suffering and to win the most degraded to a new life in Christ ; and the way opened, strange to say, for a visit to London, just when the first International Exhibition was attracting thousands to the far-famed Crystal Palace : all providential happenings, no doubt, in view of the trial through which he had yet to pass.

It was no small mercy, for example, that led him during this sojourn in Hull into fellowship with a company of Christians exceptionally fitted to meet his need. Shortly before leaving home he had for conscientious reasons resigned his connection with the denomination in which he had been brought up. During the progress of a widespread Reform Movement he and his parents had felt obliged to side with the minority, at no little sacrifice of personal interests. This had led Hudson to the study of Church history and government, and opened his eyes to the limitations of all human systems, even the best. He had followed his parents in joining " the Reformers," afterwards known as the Methodist Free Church, but personally had begun to feel himself something more than a Wesleyan, bound by more important ties to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. While still in Barnsley he had enjoyed the meetings of the so-called Plymouth Brethren, ministered to by Mr. William Neatby, and now in Hull was glad to renew associations that had already proved helpful.

The Hull Meeting at that time was a strong, united body, profiting greatly from the ministry of Mr. Jukes, a man of culture and spiritual illumination. {1- The Rev. Andrew jukes, previously a clergyman of the Church of England, did not hold in those days, or at any rate did not teach, the views with which his name was afterwards connected.} Their quiet gatherings on Sunday morning were specially suited to help young Hudson Taylor. He was hungry for the Word of God, and their preaching was for the most part a thoughtful exposition of its truths. He needed a fresh vision of eternal things, and the presence of Christ was often so real on these occasions that it was like heaven on earth to be among them. He was facing a difficult future, and they set before him an example of faith in temporal as well as spiritual things that surpassed his utmost thought. For this meeting was in close touch with George Muller of Bristol, whose work was even then assuming remarkable proportions. He had already hundreds of orphan children under his care, and was looking to the Lord for means to support a thousand. But this did not exhaust his sympathies. With a deep conviction that these are the days in which the Gospel must be preached "for a witness unto all nations," he sustained in whole or part many missionaries, and was engaged in circulating the Scriptures far and wide in Roman Catholic as well as heathen lands. All this extensive work, carried on by a penniless man through faith in God alone, with no appeals for help or guarantee of stated income, was a wonderful testimony to the power of "effectual, fervent prayer." As such it made a profound impression upon Hudson Taylor, and encouraged him more than anything else could have in the pathway he was about to enter.

And then his work helped him, not only the daily round of duties in the Surgery but the service he had undertaken in addition for the Lord. A little to the west of Dr. Hardey's stood the Royal Infirmary, the largest hospital in the city, about which lay a network of squalid streets culminating in the Irish quarter. Here drinking saloons and tramps' lodging-houses abounded, and the police hardly ventured to appear in less force than three or four at a time. Riots and drunken brawls were of frequent occurrence, and nothing was more common than for the priest to be called in to thrash his tipsy parishioners. Garden Street, one of the larger thoroughfares through this district, and West and Middle Streets close to the Infirmary seemed specially the haunts of misery and vice. It required courage, as Hudson Taylor found, to go among that bigoted population as a preacher of the Gospel, but a little knowledge of medicine with a great deal of love and prayer opened the way and gave access to many a heart.

" The people seemed pleased to see us," he wrote of one sultry evening in July, " and received the tracts willingly. We went to several lodging-houses. In one, Kester read the story of the Prodigal Son and said a little about it, and in another I read the fifty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. People kept dropping in until we had forty or fifty listeners. I spoke a little and so did Kester. Last Sunday I went again and felt very happy."

" I think it is very difficult," he continued in a later letter, " to set our affections wholly on things above. I try to be a ` living epistle' of the Lord's, but when I look within ,I wonder many a time He does not cast me off. I seek to subdue my will, to blend it with His, and say and feel in all things ` Thy will be done.' But even while I try, I can scarcely keep back the tears. For I seem to have an impression that I shall lose my Dear One, and God only knows the struggle it is to say, ` Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.'

"Do you think I should be justified in going to London shortly? If it were only for pleasure, I could decide at once ; for much as I should like to go, my pleasures must not stand in the way of duty. But sometimes I think that Lobscheid might give me information worth going for. I shall be glad to hear from you and have your advice."

That idea about going to London certainly came at the right time. The German missionary Lobscheid, to whom he referred, had recently returned from China and was one of the few people who could speak from experience of the practicability of missionary work away from the Treaty Ports. Possessing some medical knowledge he had been enabled to travel repeatedly in what was then considered " the interior," a populous district on the mainland, north of Hong-kong ; and now that he was for a short time in England Hudson Taylor was anxious to profit from his advice.

His parents approving the idea, and Dr. Hardey giving him a week's holiday, he decided to take advantage of a special train running up to the Exhibition, and (at his expense) it was arranged that his sister should accompany him. This seemed almost too good to be true, until they were actually speeding southward in the express bearing hundreds of excursionists to London. Never had they visited the great Metropolis before, and he was just as eager to meet Mr. Pearse and the missionary from China as she was to explore the wonders of the Crystal Palace. An artist uncle arranged accommodation for them in his Soho lodgings, and proved a delightful cicerone for his niece when Hudson was otherwise occupied.

That was a memorable time in London, from the moment they caught sight of its lights shining like stars in the distance to the journey home together when they lived it all over again.

Amelia remembered best, perhaps, the glittering Palace as it broke upon their sight from Piccadilly, the sun shining on its crystal dome amid the greenery of Hyde Park. It was her sixteenth birthday, and Hudson was free to spend it with her, which made their happiness complete. Together they went to the Exhibition and wandered among the ferns and flowers in which its fairy-like scenes were set. They lunched at a restaurant in proper style, investing in a pineapple, a rare luxury in those days. Then they traversed the gay, crowded city to the Bank of England, where a rendezvous had been arranged with Mr. Pearse.

A busy member of the Stock Exchange as well as Secretary of the Chinese Evangelisation Society, Mr. Pearse had not much time for visitors in office hours. He was glad, however, to meet his correspondent from Barnsley, and as he talked with the bright earnest lad whose face bore unmistakable testimony to the spirit within, and the little sister as modest and lovely in appearance as she was in heart, interest soon deepened to a warmer feeling. Tottenham-yes, he must take them to Tottenham and the Brook Street meeting. There they would be sure to find a welcome and a real spirit of prayer on behalf of China. So to Tottenham they went with him the following Sunday.

And this to Hudson at any rate was the most delightful of all their experiences. For the Tottenham friends, once seen, could never be forgotten. He was familiar already with the names of John Eliot Howard and his brother Robert Howard of Bruce Grove, who since the visit of Dr. Gutzlaff to England had been on the Committee of the C.E.S. He knew from The Gleaner also of the activity of the ladies in their Auxiliary Society, and that they were considerable donors to the work. But how little could he have anticipated the charm and culture, the gracious spirit and generous hospitality of their homes !

If anywhere on earth ideal Christian families were to be found in surroundings as nearly perfect as wealth and refinement could make them, it was in the pleasant suburb of Tottenham in those days. Not that there was lavish expenditure on luxury, for they came of a Quaker stock with simple tastes and habits ; but the beauty of the inward life imparted to it all a something money could not buy. About the parents,-still young or in the prime of life, large families were growing up, trained in an atmosphere of Christian courtesy. All was cheerful, orderly, unostentatious. Homelike rooms, beautifully furnished, opened on lawns shaded by spreading cedars. Friends from far and near gathered around the ' ample board, where quiet talk flowed freely on the deepest interests of the Kingdom of God. And best of all, the love of Christ possessed and permeated everything.

The Brook Street meeting that gathered these families on Sunday was also exceptional in its ministry and spirit. Many well-known Brethren were among the speakers in those days, including the heads of the Howard family, men greatly beloved for their works' sake. What it must have been to Hudson Taylor to be welcomed in such a circle, words are poor to express. It was a new world to him then, full of help and inspiration, but a world of which he was to become a part. For the friendships begun that day endured throughout a lifetime, strengthening his hands in God until his work on earth was done.

" I love Tottenham," he wrote from China a few years later. " I love those I know there dearly. Of no other place can I say that my every recollection is sweet and profitable, marred by no painful thought or circumstance, save that I see it no more."

And the Tottenham friends on their part, what did they think of him ? They saw a simple, Yorkshire lad quiet and unassuming. Introduced by their friend Mr. Pearse as an intending missionary, he was observed more closely than he might otherwise have been, and the conclusions come to by some of the younger people are remembered to this day. He did not fit in exactly with their idea of a missionary, for he looked young and delicate and-was evidently full of fun. But they liked him none the less for that, and felt his earnestness and absorbing interest in China. In a word, he won their confidence just as his little sister won their hearts. These also were conclusions confirmed in the case of parents as well as children by lifelong fellowship in service for the Lord.

With the missionary they had come so far to see, their intercourse seems to have been less encouraging. He too must have visited Bruce Grove that day, for one still living in the dear old home recalls a conversation that took place. Mr. Lobscheid, besides being bright and forceful, was full of information about his field. He may have been superficial in matters of judgment, and at any rate formed no favourable impression of the north-country lad who asked so many questions.

" Why, you would never do for China," he exclaimed at length, drawing attention to his fair hair and grey-blue eyes. " They call me ' Red-haired Devil,' and would run from you in terror ! You could never get them to listen at all."

" And yet," replied Hudson Taylor quietly, " it is God who has called me, and He knows all about the colour of my hair and eyes."

It was during this visit to London, as Hudson long remembered, that he gained his first impression of the Society of Friends. Passing Devonshire House in the City, he was struck by the calm and gracious bearing of both men and women as they passed out from " Yearly Meeting," in their old-time Quaker dress. Could they be really denizens of this lower sphere ? The ladies especially, in snowy kerchiefs, with silk or satin gowns, perfect in their simplicity, looked to him like " the Host of the Shining Ones " coming to welcome the pilgrim of Bunyan's immortal dream. Later on he found that the Howards of Tottenham had been brought up as Friends, and learned from their beautiful lives the value of much that is distinctively " Friendly " in thought and spirit.

Refreshed and encouraged by these experiences, Hudson Taylor resumed his duties with Dr. Hardey at the end of September, and shortly after this it was that the nest began to be stirred up about him. He was again settled in the home of his relatives on Kingston Square, where every want was anticipated and pleasant companionship afforded out of working hours. The neighbourhood was one of the nicest in Hull, and as far as circumstances were concerned nothing could have been more desirable. But this was not all His love had planned who was moulding this young life in view of China. Already, through discipline of heart, the lad was learning lessons of patience and submission to the will of God. But something more was needed, something even of outward trial to prepare him for the life-work that was to be. Away in an unfrequented suburb that little home was waiting-a single room in which he could be alone as never before, alone with God. The steps by which he was led to it were very simple, beginning, as he himself records, with a conscientious difficulty about remaining where he was.

" Before leaving Barnsley," he wrote, recalling this experience, " my attention was drawn to the subject of setting apart the first-fruits of all one's increase and a certain proportion of one's possessions for the service of the Lord. It seemed to me desirable to study the question Bible in hand before one went from home and was placed in circumstances that might bias one's conclusions by the pressure of definite wants and cares. In this way I was led to the determination to set apart not less than one-tenth of whatever moneys I might earn or become possessed of, for the Lord.

" The salary I received as medical assistant in Hull would have allowed me to do this without difficulty, but owing to changes in the family of my kind friend and employer it was necessary for me to reside out of doors. Comfortable quarters were secured with a relative, and in addition to the sum I had previously received, the exact amount was allowed me that I had to pay for board and lodging.

" Now arose in my mind the reflection, `Ought not this also to be tithed ? ' It was surely a part of my income, and had it been a question of government income tax would certainly not have been excluded. But to take a tithe from the whole would have left me insufficient for other purposes, and for a time I was embarrassed to know what to do.

"After much thought and prayer, I was led to leave the comfortable home and pleasant circle in which I resided, and engage a little lodging in the suburbs, a sitting-room and bedroom in one, undertaking to board myself. I was thus enabled to tithe the whole of my income ; and while one felt the change a good deal, it was attended with no small blessing. More time was given in my solitude to the study of the Word of God, to visiting the poor and to evangelistic work on Sunday evenings than would otherwise have been the case. Brought into contact in this way with many who were in distress, I soon saw the privilege of still further economising, and found it possible to give away much more than I had at first intended."

It all reads so simply and naturally that one can hardly imagine any special sacrifice to have been involved. Let us hunt up this " sitting-room and bedroom in one," however, and find out what were in actual fact the surroundings for which he had given up his home on Kingston Square. The change could scarcely have been more complete.

" Drainside," as the neighbourhood was termed, could not under any circumstances have been considered inviting. It consisted of a double row of workmen's cottages facing each other across a narrow canal, connecting the country district of Cottingham with the docks and estuary of the Humber. The canal was nothing but a deep ditch into which Drainside people were in the habit of casting their rubbish, to be carried away in part whenever the tide rose high enough. It was separated from the town by desolate spaces of building-land, across which ran a few ill-lighted streets ending in makeshift wooden bridges. The cottages, like peas in a pod, were all the same size and shape down both sides of the long row. They followed the windings of the Drain for half a mile or more, each one 'having a door and two windows, one above the other. The door opened straight into the kitchen, and a steep stairway led to the room above. A very few were double cottages with a window to right and left of the door and two rooms overhead.

On the city side of the canal, one of these larger dwellings stood at a corner opposite The Founder's Arms, a countrified public-house whose lights were useful as a landmark on dark nights, shining across the mud and water of the Drain. The cottage, known as 30 Cottingham Terrace, was tenanted by the family of a seafaring man, whose visits home were few and far between. Mrs. Finch and her children occupied the kitchen and upper part of the house, and the downstairs room on the left as one entered was let at a rental of three shillings a week. It was too high a charge, seeing the whole house went for little more. But the lodger in whom we are interested did not grudge it, especially when he found how much it meant to the good woman whose remittances from her husband came none too regularly.

Mrs. Finch was a true Christian and delighted to have " the young Doctor " under her roof. She did her best no doubt to make the little chamber clean and comfortable, polishing the fireplace opposite the window and making up the bed in the corner farthest from the door. A plain deal table and a chair or two completed the appointments. The whole room was less than twelve feet square and did not need much furniture. It was on a level with the ground and opened familiarly out of the kitchen. From the window one looked across the narrowest strip of " garden " to the Drain beyond, whose mud banks afforded a playground for the children of the neighbourhood.

Whatever it may have been in summer, toward the close of November, when Hudson Taylor made it his home, Drainside must have seemed dreary enough, and the cottage far from attractive. To add to the discomforts of the situation, he was " boarding himself," which meant that he lived upon next to nothing, bought his meagre supplies as he returned from the Surgery, and rarely sat down, with or without a companion, to a proper meal. His walks were solitary across the waste, unlighted region on the outskirts of the town ; his evenings solitary beside the little fire in his otherwise cheerless room ; and his Sundays were spent alone, but for the morning meeting and long hours of work in his district or among the crowds that frequented the Humber Dock.

And more than this, he was at close quarters with poverty and suffering. Visiting in such neighbourhoods he had been accustomed to for a few hours at a time, but this was very different. It belonged to him now in a new way, and outwardly at any rate he belonged to it. He had cast in his lot with those who needed him, and needed all the help and comfort he could bring. This gave new purpose to his life and taught him some of its most precious lessons.

" Having now the twofold object in view," he wrote, " of accustoming myself to endure hardness, and of economising in order to be able more largely to assist those amongst whom I spent a good deal of time labouring in the Gospel, I soon found that I could live upon very much less than I had previously thought possible. Butter, milk and other luxuries I ceased to use, and found that by living mainly on oatmeal and rice, with occasional variations, a very small sum was sufficient for my needs. In this way I had more than two-thirds of my income available for other purposes, and my experience was that the less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become."

For the Lord is no man's debtor ; and here in his solitude Hudson Taylor was learning something of what He can be to the soul that leaves all for Him. In these days of easygoing Christianity is it not well to remind ourselves that it really does cost-to be a man or woman God can use ? One cannot obtain a Christ-like character for nothing ; one cannot do a Christ-like work save at great price. And is there not a sense in which even Christ Himself is to be won ? It is easy to pray a little, help a little, love a little ; but the missionary apostle meant more than this when he said

"What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him: ... That I may know-Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death ; if by any means I might attain unto the out-resurrection from among the dead: ... If I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. {1-Phil.3:7-12}

Much prayer, as we have seen, was going up for China,and countless hearts were stirred more or less deeply for its evangelisation. But when disappointment came and unexpected failure the great majority ceased to help or care. Prayer meetings dwindled to nothing, would-be missionaries turned aside to other callings, and contributions dropped off to such an extent that more than one society in aid of the work actually ceased to exist. But here and there in His own training-schools were those the Lord could count upon : little and weak perhaps, unknown and unimportant, but willing to go all lengths in carrying out His purposes, ready through His grace to meet the conditions and pay the price.

Here in his quiet lodging at Drainside was such a man. With all his youth and limitations, Hudson Taylor desired supremely a Christ-like character and life. As test came after test that might have been avoided he chose the pathway of self-emptying and the cross, not from any idea of merit in so doing, but simply because he was led by the Spirit of God. Thus he was in an attitude that did not hinder blessing.

"Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it : for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name. A great door and effectual ... and there are many adversaries."{Rev.3:8; 1Cor.16:9}

Adversaries there certainly were to oppose Hudson Taylor's progress at this time. He was entering upon one of the most fruitful periods of his life, rich in blessing for himself and others. Is it any wonder that the tempter was at hand ? He was alone, hungry for love and sympathy, living a life of self-denial hard for a lad to bear. It was' just the opportunity for the devil, and he was permitted for a while to do his worst, that even that might be overruled for good.

For it was just at this juncture, when he had been a few weeks at Drainside and was feeling his position keenly, that the dreaded blow fell, and the one he loved most in all the world seemed lost to him for ever. For two long years he had hoped and waited. The very uncertainty of the future had made him long the more for her presence, her companionship through all changes. But now the dream was over ; and how bitter the awakening ! Seeing that nothing could dissuade her friend from his missionary purpose, the young music-teacher made it plain at last that she was not prepared to go to China. Her father would not hear of it, nor did she feel herself fitted for such a life. This could mean but one thing, though the heart that loved her best was well-nigh broken.

It was not only an overwhelming sorrow, it was a tremendous test of faith. The tempter, naturally, did everything in his power to call in question the love and faithfulness of God. Only break down his trust, make him give up the struggle now, and the usefulness of all his after life would be marred.

Sunday morning came, December 14. It was cold and cheerless in the little room at Drainside. The lad was benumbed with sorrow, for instead of turning to the Lord for comfort he kept it to himself and nursed his grief. He did not want to pray. The trouble had come in between his soul and God. He could not, would not go as usual to the morning meeting. He was too full of bitter questionings and pain. Then came the cruel, insidious suggestion.

" Is it all worth while ? Why should you go to China ? Why toil and suffer all your life for an ideal of duty ? Give it up now, while you can yet win her. Earn a proper living like everybody else, and serve the Lord at home. For you can win her yet." ,

Love pleaded hard. It was a moment of wavering and peril. The enemy came in like a flood. But enough! The Spirit of the Lord lifted up a standard against him.

" Alone in the Surgery," he wrote the following day," {A letter to his mother, dated December 15, 1851.} I had a melting season. I was thoroughly softened and humbled and had a wonderful manifestation of the love of God. ' A broken and a contrite Heart' He did not despise, but answered my cry for blessing in very deed and truth. May He keep me softened, and thoroughly impress on me the seal of His own nature. I see this to be my privilege. Oh may I be filled with His Spirit, and grow in grace until I reach `the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.'

" I am happy : not without trial, anxiety or care ; but by the grace of God I no longer bear it all myself. `The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.' .. .

We will praise Him for all that is past,

And trust Him for all that's to come.

" Trusting God does not deprive one of feeling or deaden our natural sensibilities, but it enables us to compare our trials with our mercies and to say, ` Yet, notwithstanding, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.' It enables us to see . . . the Refiner watching the fire, and be thankful.

"'Our fathers trusted in Thee . . . and Thou didst deliver them.' In Thee, 0 God, put I my trust."

To his sister he opened his heart more freely. It is to be regretted that the earlier part of the letter has not been preserved. It is dated December 16, 1851, and begins in medias res:

For some days I was as wretched as heart could wish. It seemed as if I had no power in prayer nor relish for it ; and instead of throwing my care on Him I kept it all to myself until I could endure it no longer.

Well, on Sunday I felt no desire to go to the Meeting and was tempted very much. Satan seemed to come in as a flood and I was forced to cry: " Save, Lord ; I perish." Still Satan suggested, " You never used to be tried as you have been lately. You cannot be in the right path, or God would help and bless you more," and so on, until I felt inclined to give it all up.

But, thank God, the way of duty is the way of safety.. I went to the Meeting after all, as miserable as could be ; but did not come away so. One hymn quite cut me to the heart. I was thankful that prayer followed, for I could not keep back my tears. But the load was lighter.

In the afternoon as I was sitting alone in the Surgery I began to reflect on the love of God ; His goodness and my return ; the number of blessings He has granted me ; and how small my trials are compared with those some are called to endure. He thoroughly softened and humbled me. His love melted my icy, frost-bound soul, and sincerely did I pray for pardon for my ungrateful conduct.

Yes, He has humbled me and shown me what I was, revealing Himself as a present, a very present help in time of trouble. And though He does not deprive me of feeling in my trial, He enables me to sing, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Thus I do rejoice by His Grace, and will rejoice, and praise Him while He lends me breath


And when my voice is lost in death,

Praise shall employ my nobler powers

My days of praise shall ne'er be past,

While life, and thought, and being last,

Or immortality endures.


Now I am happy in my Saviour's love. I can thank Him for all, even the most painful experiences of the past, and trust Him without fear for all that is to come.





" I NEVER made a sacrifice," said Hudson Taylor in later years, looking back over a life in which to an unusual extent this element predominated. But what he said was true. For as in the case in point, the first great sacrifice he was privileged to make for China, the compensations that followed were so real and lasting that he came to see that giving up is inevitably receiving when one is dealing heart to heart with God.

It was so, very manifestly, this winter. In the hour of trial, a step of faith had been taken and a victory won that made it possible for the Holy Spirit to lead him on. Not outwardly only but inwardly he had accepted the will of God, giving up what seemed his best and highest, the love that had become part of his very life, that he might be unhindered in serving and following Christ. The sacrifice was great, but the reward far greater.

" Unspeakable joy," he tells us, " all day long and every day was my happy experience. God, even my God, was a living, bright Reality, and all I had to do was joyful service."

A new tone is perceptible about his letters, which are less introspective from this time onward and more full of missionary purpose. China comes to the front again in all his thinking, and there is a quickened longing for likeness to Christ and unbroken fellowship with Him. Jesus Himself was filling the empty place and drawing His servant on to deeper love and closer following.

" I feel my need of more holiness," he wrote to his sister early in the New Year, " and conformity to Him who has loved us and washed us in His blood. Love so amazing should indeed cause us to give our bodies and spirits to Him as living sacrifices.... Oh, I wish I were ready ! I long to be engaged in the work. Pray for me, that I may be made more useful here and fitted for extended usefulness hereafter." And again a few weeks later:

I almost wish I had a hundred bodies. They should all be devoted to my Saviour in the missionary cause. But this is foolishness. I have almost more than I can do to manage one, it is so self-willed, earthly-minded, fleshly. Constantly I am grieving my dear Saviour who shed for me His precious blood, forgetting Him who never has relaxed His watchful care and protection over me from the earliest moment of my existence. I am astonished at the littleness of my gratitude and love to Him, and confounded by His long-suffering mercy. Pray for me that I may live more and more to His praise, be more devoted to Him, incessant in labours in His cause, fitted for China, ripened for glory.

But though he was happy and full of blessing, his mother at home was not a little troubled. She had a good idea by this time of his surroundings at Drainside, and read between the lines of his own cheery letters. It distressed her to think of what seemed unnecessary privations, especially when she learned from others that he was looking pale and thin.

" I am sorry you make yourself anxious about me," he wrote in January. I think it is because I have begun to wear a larger coat that everybody says, ` How poorly and thin you look ! ' However, as you want to know everything, I have had a heavy cold . . . that lasted a week. But since then I have been as well as ever in my life. I eat like a horse, sleep like a top and have the spirits of a lark. I do not know that I have any anxiety save to be more holy and useful.

"I was in Garden Street on Sunday. We seemed welcome and were heard with great attention. When there, it would save me ten or fifteen minutes' walk if I came home by Drainside.{ 1- Along the little canal, in the dark.} But I always go round at night, though ever so tired, because you wish it. So I am sure you need not be concerned about me. As to my health, I think sometimes I have too much ; for I have such. a flow of spirits ! and often have to restrain myself from idle conversation and jokes. ` In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.'

"Praise God, I have much to be thankful for. `The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places.' Dr. Hardey talks to me more like a friend than an employer. Of course I know how to keep my place. And I can truly say I am thankful for the reading habits you implanted in me that make me more or less independent of companions."

But the one he sought to comfort was far from satisfied. He was well apparently for the moment, and happy in the Lord, but if this were the line he was taking up what would it mean for the future ? Yes, the future-that was the trouble. In the light of present privations she saw with painful clearness all that life in China might bring. And he was her only son.

Ah, that shrinking of mother-hearts ! God only who made us fully, understands. " He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all," how shall He not fathom the depth of even that anguish. Yes, He has borne it too. God Himself suffered most for a sinning, sorrowing world, and He does not forget. He knows all it costs to give up home and loved ones and go alone to earth's dark places to lay down life itself, it may be, in seeking souls for whom the Saviour died. And He knows too the sacrifice of those who cannot go, but send their dearest-life of their life, soul of their soul-and with bleeding, thankful hearts look up into His face saying, and saying truly, " I have nothing too precious for Jesus."

He did not blame this mother that for a moment she seemed to waver. It is only " through the Eternal Spirit " such sacrifices can ever be unreservedly offered. And for the passing hesitation we may well be thankful, seeing it called forth the following, that might not otherwise have been written.

Do not let anything unsettle you, dear Mother. Missionary work is indeed the noblest mortals can engage in, and angels would be proud, if I may use such an expression, if they could be permitted to share so glorious an undertaking. We certainly cannot be insensible to the ties of nature, but should we not rejoice when we have anything we can give up for the Saviour ? You would be far more unsettled if I were to turn away from this work, and if the Lord were to withdraw His restraining grace and I fell into sin in consequence, would you not ? It is all of His mercy that I am preserved from many of the pitfalls that ensnare other young men.

As to my health, I think I never was so well and hearty in my life. The winds here are extremely searching, but as I always wrap up well I am pretty secure. . . . The cold weather gives me a good appetite, and it would be dear economy to stint myself. So I take as much plain, substantial food as I need, but waste nothing on luxuries. In going to my lodgings I have somehow got into one particular route, and always go the same way and cross at the same place. I have never passed the gate once, and at night the reflection of the lamps and windows opposite are always shining on the Drain.

I have found some brown biscuits which are really as cheap as bread, eighteen pence a stone, and much nicer. For breakfast I have biscuit and herring, which is cheaper than butter (three for a penny, and half a one is enough) with coffee. For dinner I have at present a prune-and-apple pie. Prunes are two or three pence a pound and apples tenpence a peck. I use no sugar but loaf, which I powder, and at fourpence halfpenny a pound I find it is cheaper than the coarser kind. Sometimes I have roast potatoes and tongue, which is as inexpensive as any other meat. For tea I have biscuit and apples. I take no supper, or occasionally a little biscuit and apple. Sometimes I have a rice pudding, a few peas boiled instead of potatoes, and now and then some fish. By being wide awake, I can get cheese at fourpence to sixpence a pound that is better than we often have at home for eightpence. Now I see rhubarb and lettuce in the market, so I shall soon have another change. I pickled a penny red cabbage with three halfpence worth of vinegar, which made me a large jar-full. So you see, at little expense I enjoy many comforts. To these add a home where every want is anticipated, and " the peace of God which passeth all understanding," and if I were not happy and contented I should deserve to be miserable.

I am enlarging on these trifles, though they are not worth writing about, because I know they will interest you and perhaps help you to feel more settled about me. If not, please tell me and I will not do so any more... .

Continue to pray for me, dear Mother. Though comfortable as regards temporal matters, and happy and thankful, I feel I need your prayers. . . . Oh Mother, I cannot tell you, I cannot describe how I long to be a missionary ; to carry the Glad Tidings to poor, perishing sinners ; to spend and be spent for Him who died for me. I feel as if for this I could give up everything, every idol, however dear.

Think, Mother, of twelve millions-a number so great that it is impossible to realise it-yes, twelve million souls in China, every year, passing without God and without hope into eternity, Oh, what need for earnestness in the Church and in individual believers ! Do we not deserve, by our worldly-mindedness, our indolence, our apathy, our ingratitude and disobedience to the Divine command, " Go teach all nations," do we not deserve to experience little of the love of God and the peace of Christianity ?

Oh, it is a noble, an honourable calling I feel my utter unworthiness and unfitness for it. I want more of the Divine life, more of the Spirit of God to make me a faithful servant and witness. Oh for more grace, love, faith, zeal, holiness !

Please tell Father that I have been going to write to him several times this week to say, If he will only go to China and preach the Gospel, I will work like a slave, and live cheap, and send him twentyfive or thirty pounds a year myself until he gets established. Or if he prefers it I will give up my situation and come home and manage the business for him for five or six years. Tell him the voyage would probably lengthen his life. He has a gift for languages. The Rev. William Burns preached his first sermon in Chinese only six months after landing. Does he not think there are plenty of Christians in Barnsley ? But who cares for China ? They are dying, dying, dying, 250,000 every week, without the knowledge of God, of Christ, of salvation. Oh, let us look with compassion on this multitude ! God has been merciful to us : let us be like Him. The cry comes " Help us, Help us ! Will no man care for our souls ? " Can we refuse ?


Shall we whose souls are lighted

With wisdom from on high ;

Shall we to men benighted

The lamp of Life deny ?


I must conclude. Would you not give up all for Jesus who died for you ? Yes, Mother, I know you would. God be with you and comfort you.

Must I leave as soon as I can save money enough to go ? I feel as if I could not live, if something is not done for China.

What a glimpse is here afforded into his deeper life during that winter at Drainside ! " I cannot tell, I cannot describe how I long to be a missionary, to carry the Glad Tidings to poor, perishing sinners. . . . For this I could give up everything, every idol, however dear . . . I feel as if I could not live if something is not done for China."

This was no mere emotion, no superficial interest that might give place to considerations of personal advantage.

It was not that he had taken up missionary work as a congenial branch of Christian activity, but that the need of the perishing in heathen lands, the need and longing of the heart of Christ-" them also I must bring "-had gripped him and held him fast. He believed that the heathen are perishing, and that without a knowledge of the one and only Saviour they must be eternally lost. He believed that it was in view of this, and because of His infinite love, that God had given " His only-begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And these convictions pledged him to the only life possible in view of such stupendous facts-a life wholly given to making that great redemption known, especially to those who had never heard.

Yet much as he longed to go, and go at once, there were considerations that held him back.

" To me it was a very grave matter," he wrote of that winter, " to contemplate going out to China, far from all human aid, there to depend upon the living God alone for protection, supplies, and help of every kind. I felt that one's spiritual muscles required strengthening for such an undertaking. There was no doubt that if faith did not fail, God would not fail. But what if one's faith should prove insufficient ? I had not at that time learned that even 'if we believe not, yet He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself.' It was consequently a very serious question to my mind, not whether He was faithful, but whether I had strong enough faith to warrant my embarking in the enterprise set before me.

O 'When I got out to China,' I thought to myself, ' I shall have no claim on any one for anything. My only claim will be on God. How important to learn, before leaving England, to move man through God by prayer alone."'

He knew that faith was the one power that could remove mountains, conquer every difficulty and accomplish the impossible. But had he the right kind of faith ? Could he stand alone in China ? Much as he longed to be a missionary, would such faith as he possessed be sufficient to carry him through all that must be faced ? What had it carried him through already, here at home ?

He thankfully realised that faith, the faith he longed for, was a " gift of God," and that it might " grow exceedingly." But for growth, exercise was needed, and exercise of faith was obviously impossible apart from trial. Then welcome trial, welcome anything that would increase and strengthen this precious gift, proving to his own heart at any rate that he had faith of the sort that would really stand and grow.

And here it should be remembered that in taking this attitude before the Lord, Hudson Taylor was wholly earnest and sincere. He was bringing " all the tithes into the storehouse," a most important consideration ; living a life that made it possible for him to exercise faith to which God could respond in blessing. In a word, there was no hindrance in himself to the answer to his prayers ; and experiences followed that have been made an encouragement to thousands the wide world over.

The story though well known will bear repeating here, illustrating as it does the only principle of growth in spiritual things, " From faith to faith " ; the law reiterated by our Lord Himself, " He that hath, to him shall be given."

" To learn before leaving England to move man through God by prayer alone," this and nothing less was the object Hudson Taylor had before him now, and it was not long before he came to see a simple, natural way of practising this lesson.

At Hull my kind employer, always busy, wished me to remind him whenever my salary became due. This I determined not to do directly, but to ask that God would bring the fact to his recollection, and thus encourage me by answering prayer.

At one time as the day drew near for the payment of a quarter's salary I was as usual much in prayer about it. The time arrived, but Dr. Hardey made no allusion to the matter. I continued praying. Days passed on and he did not remember, until at length on settling up my weekly accounts one Saturday night, I found myself possessed of only one remaining coin, a half-crown piece. Still, I had hitherto known no lack, and I continued praying.

That Sunday was a very happy one. As usual my heart was full and brimming over with blessing. After attending Divine Service in the morning, my afternoons and evenings were taken up with Gospel work in the various lodging-houses I was accustomed to visit in the lowest part of the town. At such times it almost seemed to me as if heaven were begun below, and that all that could be looked for was an enlargement of one's capacity for joy, not a truer filling than I possessed.

After concluding my last service about ten o'clock that night, a poor man asked me to go and pray with his wife, saying that she was dying. I readily agreed, and on the way to his house asked him why he had not sent for the priest, as his accent told me he was an Irishman. He had done so, he said, but the priest refused to come without a payment of eighteen pence which the man did not possess, as the family was starving. Immediately it occurred to my mind that all the money I had in the world was the solitary half-crown, and that it was in one coin; moreover, that while the basin of water-gruel I usually took for supper was awaiting me, and there was sufficient in the house for breakfast in the morning, I certainly had nothing for dinner on the coming day.

Somehow or other there was at once a stoppage in the flow of joy in my heart. But instead of reproving myself I began to reprove the poor man, telling him that it was very wrong to have allowed matters to get into such a state as he described, and that he ought to have applied to the relieving officer. His answer was that he had done so, and was told to come at eleven o'clock the next morning, but that he feared his wife might not live through the night.

" Ah," thought I, " if only I had two shillings and a sixpence instead of this half-crown, how gladly would I give these poor people a shilling ! " But to part with the half-crown was far from my thoughts. I little dreamed that the truth of the matter simply was that I could trust God plus one and-sixpence, but was not prepared to trust Him only, without any money at all in my pocket.

My conductor led me into a court, down which I followed him with some degree of nervousness. I had found myself there before, and at my last visit had been roughly handled. My tracts had been torn to pieces and such a warning given me not to come again that I felt more than a little concerned. Still, it was the path of duty and I followed on. Up a miserable flight of stairs into a wretched room he led me; and oh, what a sight there presented itself ! Four or five children stood about, their sunken cheeks and temples all telling unmistakably the story--of slow starvation, and lying on a wretched pallet was a poor, exhausted mother, with a tiny infant thirty-six hours old moaning rather than crying at her side, for it too seemed spent and failing.

" Ah ! " thought I, " if I had two shillings and a sixpence, instead of half-a-crown, how gladly should they have one-and-sixpence of it." But still a wretched unbelief prevented me from obeying the impulse to relieve their distress at the cost of all I possessed.

It will scarcely seem strange that I was unable to say much to comfort these poor people. I needed comfort myself. I began to tell them, however, that they must not be cast down ; that though their circumstances were very distressing there was a kind and loving Father in heaven. But something within me cried, " You hypocrite! telling these unconverted people about a kind and loving Father in heaven, and not prepared yourself to trust Him without a half-a-crown."

I was nearly choked. How gladly would I have compromised with conscience, if I had had a florin and a sixpence ! I would have given the florin thankfully and kept the rest. But I was not yet prepared to trust in God alone, without the sixpence.

To talk was impossible under these circumstances, yet strange to say I thought I should have no difficulty in praying. Prayer was a delightful occupation in those days. Time thus spent never seemed wearisome and I knew no lack of words. I seemed to think that all I should have to do would be to kneel down and pray, and that relief would come to them and to myself together.

" You asked me to come and pray with your wife," I said to the man, " let us pray." And I knelt down.

But no sooner had I opened my lips with " Our Father who art in heaven," than conscience said within, " Dare you mock God ? Dare you kneel down and call Him Father with that half-crown in your pocket ? "

Such a time of conflict then came upon me as I have never experienced before or since. How I got through that form of prayer I know not, and whether the words uttered were connected or disconnected I cannot tell. But I arose from my knees in great distress of mind.

The poor father turned to me and said, " You see what a terrible state we are in, sir. If you can help us, for God's sake do ! "

At that moment the word flashed into my mind, " Give to him that asketh of thee. " And in the word of a King there is power.

I put my hand into my pocket and slowly drawing out the halfcrown, gave it to the man, telling him that it might seem a small matter for me to relieve them, seeing that I was comparatively well off, but that in parting with that coin I was giving him my all ; what I had been trying to tell them was indeed true-God really was a Father, and might be trusted. The joy all came back in full floodtide to my heart. I could say anything and feel it then, and the hindrance to blessing was gone-gone, I trust, forever,

Not only was the poor woman's life saved ; but my life, as I fully realised, had been saved too. It might have been a wreck-would have been, probably, as a Christian life-had not grace at that time conquered, and the striving of God's Spirit been obeyed.

I well remember how that night, as I went home to my lodgings, my heart was as light as my pocket. The dark, deserted streets resounded with a hymn of praise that I could not restrain. When I took my basin of gruel before retiring, I would not have exchanged it for a prince's feast. I reminded the Lord as I knelt at my bedside of His own Word, " He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord " ; I asked Him not to let my loan be a long one, or I should have no dinner next day. And with peace within and peace without, I spent a happy, restful night.

Next morning for breakfast my plate of porridge remained, and before it was finished the postman's knock was heard at the door, I was not in the habit of receiving letters on Monday, as my parents and most of my friends refrained from posting on Saturday, so that I was somewhat surprised when the landlady came in holding a letter or packet in her wet hand covered by her apron. I looked at the letter, but could not make out the handwriting. It was either a strange hand or a feigned one, and the postmark was blurred. Where it came from I could not tell. On opening the envelope I found nothing written within ; but inside a sheet of blank paper was folded a pair of kid gloves, from which, as I opened them in astonishment, half-a sovereign fell to the ground.

"Praise the Lord," I exclaimed. "Four hundred percent for twelve hours' investment-that is good interest! How glad the merchants of Hull would be if they could lend their money at such a rate." Then and there I determined that a bank that could not break should have my savings or earnings, as the case might be--a determination I have not yet learned to regret.

I cannot tell you how often my mind has recurred to this incident, or all the help it has been to me in circumstances of difficulty in afterlife. If we are faithful to God in little things, we shall gain experience and strength that will be helpful to us in the more serious trials of life.

But this was not the end of the story, nor was it the only answer to prayer that was to confirm his faith at this time. For the chief difficulty still remained. Dr. Hardey had not remembered ; and though prayer was unremitting, other matters appeared entirely to engross his attention.. It would have been so easy to remind him. But what then of the lesson upon the acquirement of which Hudson Taylor felt his future usefulness depended-" to move man through God, by prayer alone. "

" This remarkable and gracious deliverance," he continued, " was a great joy to me as well as a strong confirmation of faith. But of course ten shillings however economically used will not go very far, and it was none the less necessary to continue in prayer, asking that the larger supply which was still due might be remembered and paid. All my petitions, however, appeared to remain unanswered, and before a fortnight elapsed I found myself pretty much in the same position that I had occupied on the Sunday night already made so memorable. Meanwhile I continued pleading with God more and more earnestly that He would Himself remind Dr. Hardey that my salary was due.

" Of course it was not the want of money that distressed me. That could have been had at any time for the asking. But the question uppermost in my mind was this : `Can I go to China ? or will my want of faith and power with God prove so serious an obstacle as to preclude my entering upon this much-prized service ? '

" As the week drew to a close I felt exceedingly embarrassed. There was not only myself to consider. On Saturday night a payment would be due to my Christian landlady, which I knew she could not well dispense with. Ought I not, for her sake, to speak about the matter of the salary ? Yet to do so would be, to myself at any rate, the admission that I was not fitted to undertake a missionary enterprise. I gave nearly the whole of Thursday and Friday, all the time not occupied in my necessary employment, to earnest wrestling with God in prayer. But still on Saturday morning I was in the same position as before. And now my earnest cry was for guidance as to whether I should still continue to wait the Father's time. As far as I could judge I received the assurance that to wait His time was best, and that God in some way or other would interpose on my behalf. So I waited, my heart being now at rest and the burden gone.

" About five o'clock that Saturday afternoon, when Dr. Hardey had finished writing his prescriptions, his last circuit for the day being taken, he threw himself back -in his arm-chair, as he was wont, and began to speak of the things of God. He was a truly Christian man, and many seasons of happy fellowship we had together. I was busily watching, at the time, a pan in which a decoction was boiling that required a good deal of attention. It was indeed fortunate for me that it was so, for without any obvious connection with what had been going on, all at once he said

'By the by, Taylor, is not your salary due again ? '

" My emotion may be imagined. I had to swallow two or three times before I could answer. With my eye fixed on the pan and my back to the doctor, I told him as quietly as I could that it was overdue some little time. How thankful I felt at that moment ! God surely had heard my prayer and caused him in this time of my great need to remember the salary without any word or suggestion from me. He replied,

"'Oh, I am so sorry you did not remind me ! You know how busy I am. I wish I had thought of it a little sooner, for only this afternoon I sent all the money I had to the bank. Otherwise I would pay you at once."

" It is impossible to describe the revulsion of feeling caused by this unexpected statement. I knew not what to do. Fortunately for me the pan boiled up and I had a good reason for rushing with it from the room. Glad indeed I was to get away and keep out of sight until after Dr. Hardey had returned to his house, and most thankful that he had not perceived my emotion.

" As soon as he was gone I had to seek my little sanctum and pour out my heart before the Lord for some time before calmness, and more than calmness, thankfulness and joy were restored. I felt that God had His own way, and was not going to fail me. I had sought to know His will early in the day, and as far as I could judge had received guidance to wait patiently. And now God was going to work for me in some other way.

"That evening was spent, as my Saturday evenings usually were, in reading the Word and preparing the subject on which I expected to speak in the various lodging-houses on the morrow. I waited perhaps a little longer than usual. At last about ten o'clock, there being. no interruption of any kind, I put on my overcoat and was preparing to leave for home, rather thankful to know that by that time I should have to let myself in with the latchkey, as my landlady retired early. There was certainly no help for that night. But perhaps God would interpose for me by Monday, and I might be able to pay my landlady early in the week the money I would have given her before had it been possible.

"Just as I was about to turn down the gas, I heard the doctor's step in the garden that lay between the dwelling-house and Surgery. He was laughing to himself very heartily, as though greatly amused. Entering the Surgery he asked for the ledger, and told me that, strange to say, one of his richest patients had just come to pay his doctor's bill. Was it not an odd thing to do ? It never struck me that it might have any bearing on my own case, or I might have felt embarrassed. But looking at it simply from the position of an uninterested spectator, I also was highly amused that a man rolling in wealth should come after ten o'clock at night to pay a bill which he could any day have met by a cheque with the greatest ease. It appeared that somehow or other he could not rest with this on his mind, and had been constrained to come at that unusual hour to discharge his liability.

"The account was duly receipted in the ledger, and Dr. Hardey was about to leave, when suddenly he turned and handing me some of the banknotes just received, said to my surprise and thankfulness

"'By the way, Taylor, you might as well take these notes. I have no change, but can give you the balance next week.'

" Again I was left, my feelings undiscovered, to go back to my little closet and praise the Lord with a joyful heart that after all I might go to China. To me this incident was not a trivial one ; and to recall it sometimes, in circumstances of great difficulty, in China or elsewhere, has proved no small comfort and strength."





IT is perhaps hardly to be wondered at that in the light of these experiences the importance of something higher far than money, in relation to the service of God, began to impress Hudson Taylor. His quiet life at Drainside was working a change in his attitude toward many things. There were memorable hours that winter in which he saw from the divine standpoint as never before, and a spirit shines out in his letters of the early spring that is clearly traceable to the trials into which he had been brought and the faith and prayer that overcame them.

" I feel I have not long to stay in this country now," he wrote to his sister on March 1. " I do not know what turn Providence is about to take, but I think some change is coming, and I am forewarned that I may be prepared. Pray for me that my faith fail not . . . I am so unworthy, so unfit for the Lord's service! But that will only make the glory more entirely His. Oh to be instrumental in bringing many to His fold !

" I feel the Lord is saying, 'If I open the door or bid thee go, wilt thou go, even if thou canst not see the way clearly ? Wilt thou trust in Me ? The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Ye are of more value than many sparrows.' I do not feel sure that He does not intend me to give up my situation and work my passage out to China to go in faith, nothing doubting, I am waiting patiently on Him for guidance. In due time He will manifest His will, and then He, and He alone, can give me grace to fulfil it."

Only two weeks previously he had written to his mother. " Must I leave as soon as I can save money enough to go ? ""Now it was no longer a question of money. It was the far more important question of souls.

" Oh Amelia," he continued, " my heart is bound to you by ten thousand ties ! But if my Saviour calls, shall I not obey ? If He has left His throne in glory to come and bleed and die for us, shall we not leave all, all, and follow Him ? If I stay here another two years and save fifty or sixty pounds to pay my expenses to China, I shall land there no better off than if I go at once and work my passage out. In two years there will die in that land at least twenty-four million people. . . . In six or eight months I should be able to talk a little Chinese. And if I could instruct in the truths of the Gospel one poor sinner, and the Spirit accompanied the word with power to his soul and he were saved -- to all eternity he would be happy, praising the Redeemer. Then what would the hardships of a four or five months' voyage weigh in comparison ? These `light afflictions which are but for a moment' work out ` a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory' "

To his mother also he wrote a characteristic letter about this thought of working his passage out to China. His idea was, failing a berth as assistant to a ship's surgeon, to go as a sailor before the mast, and he had fully informed himself as to all that would be involved. Captain Finch especially had warned him of the hardships of a five months' voyage under the latter conditions, assuring him that he could never stand either the work or the companionship that must fall to his lot. But upon examining into details Hudson Taylor found nothing to daunt his faith or courage, and the very fact that it would mean sacrifice to the point of suffering made it seem all the more worth while, for Jesus' sake.

But of this he said little to his mother, dwelling rather upon the rich compensations both in this life and in the life to come.

" I am deeply thankful," he wrote, referring to one of her recent letters, " that you do not wish to recall the offering you made of me to the Lord. Perhaps He means to try our sincerity in this respect sooner than either of us anticipated. If I do not know the intensity of a mother's love, I feel so much the strength of a son's love, a brother's love, of love to friends and brethren in the Lord, that the thought of leaving all seems like tearing away part of one's very self. But, praise God, I know something also of a Saviour's love, though but little yet. He is to me a satisfying portion, and I can truly say


I all on earth forsake,

Its wisdom, fame and power,

And Thee my only portion make,

My Shield and, Tower.


" Oh Mother, I cannot tell you how unspeakably happy I was on Sunday afternoon while singing those words ! My soul was overwhelmed with heavenly joys. I felt I had nothing to give up worthy of mention, compared with what I had to receive. I could not refrain from tears of joy as I dedicated myself afresh to the service of Him who has loved us and washed us from our sins in His own precious blood.

" Oh how strong I felt in the joy of the Lord ! ... He soon, however, made me realise that my strength is in Him and of Him only. I was feeling as if, for Him, I could leave all. But this thought followed quickly : 'It is no use talking and thinking about what you could do. What will you do ? Peter thought he could do this and that, but when the test came he denied his Lord.' Yes, I should fail as he did if I tried in my own strength. But the Holy Spirit can work in us ' to will and to do.' Our sufficiency is of Him. I feel I am helpless in myself, but' God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.' "

That he was deeply feeling the reality of all this is evident from a second letter to his sister that accompanied the above, dated March 12.

" We dwell too much on the things that are seen and temporal," he wrote, " and far too little on those that are unseen and eternal... . Only let us keep these things in view, and the cares and pleasures of this world will not affect us much. . . . Oh, my dear Sister, let us live for eternity ! Let us seek to be near the throne. What if for this we have to pass, as we undoubtedly shall, through great tribulation ? Does He not promise, ` I will never leave thee nor forsake thee' ? So that we may boldly say `The Lord is my helper : I will not fear what man shall do unto me.' Praise His holy name ! .. .

" Oh for more grace and love, a love like His, who counted not His life dear unto Himself that He might redeem us ! He sought not ease and comfort, that He might secure eternal happiness and heavenly rest for us. The value of a soul-how immense, incalculable ! The precious blood of Christ was the only price at which it could be purchased, and that was not withheld. If we really believe these things and have received the blessings that flow from His sacrifice, shall we withhold ourselves, our loved ones from Him ? . . . Shall we fear to enter on His service because it will lessen our comforts ? Shall we count even our lives dear, if we may perchance win souls for Jesus ? No, a thousand times no ! If we do, how dwelleth the love of God in us? ...

" Dear, dear Sister, let us live for God and for Him only. Let us seek to know all His will and to do it, whatever the cost. And may God, from whom all good desires arise and through whom alone they can be carried out, pour on you and on me' the healthful spirit of His grace,' that having no desire save to do His will we may be enabled to perform it, and that in us He may be glorified."

But ready though he was for the sacrifice involved, Hudson Taylor was not to work his way out to China before the mast. " He was not to be tried thus far," wrote his mother, recalling with thankfulness the guidance given in answer to their prayers. For it was evident to those whose opinion he valued most that the time had not yet come for him to go forward. He was too young as yet. Further training was needed and experience in the things of God. It was well, no doubt, that it was in his heart to leave all and follow wherever the Master led. But was He leading just at that time to China ? To his parents and friends it seemed not. He had been much in prayer that if it were the Lord's will for him to go without delay, they might recognise it and bid him God-speed. But all advised against it. He could not have taken the step without disregarding the counsel of Christian friends in Hull as well as of his own circle in Barnsley. And this he would not do ; for he was dealing with God, who can overrule second causes.

He gathered therefore that the Lord's time had not yet come. It might be that He was leading to some other step in preparation for the future, but evidently it was not His purpose that he should leave immediately for China. The conclusion was not come to lightly. It was hard to give up his carefully thought-out plans, and he learned that there may be self-will even in what looks like devotion. It was an opportunity, however, for putting into practice the important principle, " To obey is better than sacrifice," and he embraced it cheerfully, handing over all results to the Lord. After taking time to assure himself that he was being led of God, he wrote to his mother on March 22:

As to my going to China-in accordance with the unanimous advice of those I have consulted here and with your own opinion, I intend, D.V., to remain in Hull another year and wait upon the Lord for guidance. I was much pleased with your judgment, as I had prayed the Lord, to whom all hearts are open, to bring us definitely to one mind. If it be His will for me to go sooner, He can thrust me out or open the way unmistakably, The Lord does answer prayer and make good His promises. I long to see you all again, and do not anticipate a lengthened delay now.

Sunday last was, I think, the happiest day I ever spent, and still I feel the peace that passes all understanding : peace flowing like a river, deep and still, ... perfect rest in Him who is the Rock of Ages. Praise the Lord, He is ever near us !


His presence makes our paradise,

And where He is, is heaven.


A week spent at home in the lovely month of April, while it brought untold refreshment, made the dreariness of Drainside on his return all the more apparent. But inwardly he was rejoicing in the Lord, and though " rather unhinged at first," as he wrote to his sister, soon settled down to hard work and solitude once more. It was like him, as the days lengthened, to turn to good account the strip of waste land in front of the cottage for the benefit of Mrs. Finch and her family. His love of plants and nature generally was so great that even mustard and cress growing outside his window was better than nothing, and his efforts at gardening, though confined within utilitarian limits, afforded him much satisfaction.

That was a precious summer, spent in working, thinking, praying, and in diligent study of the Word of God. Time seemed all too short for the many duties crowded into it, and he was learning how much more can be accomplished in a day from which an hour is deliberately taken for prayer, than in the same time wholly given to one's ordinary occupations.

" I am finding it a good plan," he wrote to his sister in July, " not to attempt anything in my own strength, but to look to the Lord for all.... I would earnestly recommend you never to read your Bible, much less any other book, , . . nor even attempt to write a letter, without first lifting your heart to the Lord, that He may guide, enlighten, and teach you . . . delivering you from the snares of the evil one and in all things giving you His blessing. Try it, and you will find it no vain thing to wait upon the Lord. "He was deeply feeling at this time his need of a wisdom higher than his own, his friend and employer having put before him proposals of a generous nature with regard to the completion of his medical studies. Twelve months' work together had convinced Dr. Hardey that he had found no ordinary assistant. He valued his services highly, and was interested in the lad not merely on his own account but because of the missionary future he kept so stedfastly in view. The plan he suggested, however, involved a contract of the nature of an apprenticeship for several years. This was a serious consideration with Hudson Taylor, and finally led to his declining the offer. It was not easy to take this step, eager as he was to become a medical man ; but the more he prayed over it the more he felt he dared not bind himself by any such agreement, not knowing when or how the Lord might open his way to China.

Ever since his visit to Barnsley the conviction had been growing upon him that the time had come for some step in that direction. He was now twenty years of age, and realised the importance of making the best use of the little while that might remain to him in England. London attracted him because of its advantages for medical study. He had not forgotten the help proffered by Mr. Pearse and the Chinese Evangelisation Society, before he came to Hull. They had then been willing to bear the expense of his fees at the London Hospital if he could obtain employment that would leave him time for study, or otherwise provide his board and lodging. Did that offer still hold good, he wondered, and, if so, could he avail himself of it ?

Gradually as he prayed over the matter it became clear to him that he ought not to remain in Hull much longer. He had learned all he could from Dr. Hardey under present conditions, and to stay on meant loss of time, as far as preparation for China was concerned. Yes, go he ought and must, in faithfulness to his future service. But how was it to be accomplished ?

And just then a test of faith was permitted that, coming suddenly, found him unprepared. His father at home in Barnsley had for some time been more or less unsettled in his business. He was still an active man of only five-and forty, and something, it may be his son's missionary spirit, had stirred in him longings for a wider field of usefulness. He had no doubt thought and prayed over Hudson's suggestion that he should go as an evangelist to China, but many circumstances combined to make this impracticable. A further thought had grown out of it, however, that for a time influenced him strongly. Might there not be in the new world of Canada or the United States opportunities for carrying on his business, and even bettering the family fortunes, in a far more needy sphere than Barnsley and its neighbourhood afforded? The more he considered it the stronger became his desire to go and see ; and the mother was deputed accordingly to find out from Hudson what he would think of taking charge at home for the next two years.

Filled with surprise and almost consternation, the latter hardly gave due weight to the wishes of his parents. Gladly would he have gone home for two years, or ten, to liberate his father for work in China. But a business journey to America, even though combined with an evangelistic purpose, seemed to him a very different proposition. To his mother he wrote freely, dwelling on all that it would mean to abandon at such a time the little preparation he could make for his life-work. Did he forget for the moment that that life with all that concerned it was in the hands of God ? If so he was quickly recalled to the real rest of his soul, and made to realise that his point of view had been selfish and wrong. How true was his repentance may be seen from the following

HULL, July 9, 1852.

MY DEAR FATHER--I cannot come to you, and so write to say in the language of the prodigal, " I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." Conscience has repeatedly troubled me about the answer I sent to your inquiry as to whether I was willing to come home for two years, should you go abroad, and I can no longer rest without .. , entreating your forgiveness.

Though I mentioned the sacrifices I should have to make in coming home, I said nothing about those you have so willingly made for me the sleepless hours, the anxious thoughts, the expense to which you have been put, the education you have given me by which I am able to procure all the comforts I now enjoy. And this is the return I have made for all these kindnesses. I have written of the sacrifices I should have to make in undertaking to manage for a short time the business at which you have toiled for twenty years for my benefit. Father, I have been an ungrateful son.. , , I am deeply sorry. Will you forgive me ?

I will earnestly endeavour, by the grace of God, to be more dutiful in future, and if you still wish me to come home for two years I will do so willingly, nay with pleasure, as it will give me an opportunity of showing the sincerity of my repentance. Then afterwards, if the Lord will, I shall hope to engage in His work in China.....-Believe me, dear Father, your affectionate son,


But again in the providence of God the sacrifice he was ready to make was not required. For the father abandoned the idea of going abroad, and soon settled down as before to his useful, honoured life in Barnsley. Thus Hudson was free to reconsider his own movements and the question of going to London.

And now came a time long to be remembered in his experience, a time that would have been one of painful anxiety had not the grace of God turned it all to joy and peace. For the clearer became his conviction of what the Lord would have him do, the greater seemed the difficulties in the way of carrying it out. He felt quite sure that the right thing was to give notice to Dr. Hardey without delay, and go forward to his medical studies in London. But all his efforts to find suitable employment proved unavailing. With no means to fall back upon, save the small sum laid by to provide an outfit for China ; with few friends in the great city, and no home open to him there, he might well have been discouraged. But the very reverse was the case. Instead of wasting time and strength in anxious thought, he was enabled to leave it all in the hands of God, praying with childlike trust, " Make Thy way plain_ before my face." How things would work out for him he could not tell ; but he gave himself the more to prayer, confident that at the right time guidance would be given.

All through July and August this faith was growing stronger, and he was delighting in the promises of the thirty-seventh Psalm.

Trust in the Lord and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. . . . Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. . . . The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delighteth in his way.

As he thought upon these assurances, so full and so explicit, an unlooked-for change came over everything, and he began to see in the light that only shines from the Unseen. What was he really waiting for? He was not poor and in difficulties, but rich-rich as all the promises of God. Was it his duty to go forward ? What though there seemed no solid ground to tread upon ! Was his Master there upon the unknown sea before him ? Was it His voice heard across the waters ? Then he could leave the little boat without hesitation and go to Jesus. If it be Thou, Lord, " if it be Thou, bid me come." And the answer was in tones he could not doubt.

" I think I have never enjoyed such peace of mind as lately," he wrote to his mother on August 27. " And the reason is that instead of looking at circumstances I leave myself in the hands of God. What a wonderful Psalm the 37th is. Oh, the rich feasts laid up for us in the precious Word!..... .

" With regard to London : when I returned here from Barnsley, I began prayerfully to consider why I desired to take the step contemplated ; and I believe my only object is that I may be enabled to serve the Lord better and be more useful in the advancement of His Kingdom. This step I have every ground for thinking will be a valuable preparation for China. Then why do I not take it ? Simply because I am in doubt about the wherewithal. If my earthly father had offered to send me five or ten pounds in case of need, I should have resigned my position here without hesitation. How much more should I go forward trusting in Him who says : `Take no thought saying, What shall we eat ? or What shall we drink ? or Wherewithal shall we be clothed ? ... Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.' ` Trust in the Lord and do good, so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed.'" To go on depending on circumstances seems to me like doubting the Lord. Consequently I gave notice to Dr. Hardey on Saturday last, and shall go up to London whether I obtain a situation or not, trusting in the Lord. I have heard of one to-day and shall write about it, though I do not think it will suit me on account of distance from the Hospital. As to getting a salary, that is quite out of the question. If I can find a position that will allow six or eight hours a day for lectures, that is all I can expect.

" I am indeed proving the truth of that word : ` Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee.' My mind is quite as much at rest, nay more than it would be if I had a hundred pounds in my pocket. May He keep me ever thus, simply depending on Him for every blessing, temporal as well as spiritual, for Jesus' sake."

This decision arrived at, Hudson was not afraid to burn his bridges behind him. He wrote at once to his cousin who was still in Barnsley, suggesting that he should apply to Dr. Hardey for the post he was himself vacating. John Hodson had been truly converted during his apprenticeship through the helpful influence of his relatives, and was now seeking a situation that would facilitate his medical studies. He had been in considerable anxiety about the future, and no one rejoiced more when Dr. Hardey gave him the appointment than the cousin whose place he was taking. But Hudson's interest in his welfare went deeper than these outward things, and very earnestly he sought to make use of the position in which they found themselves to strengthen his faith in God.

" Forgive me, dear John," he wrote, " if I urge you to study the Bible more and pray more for the Holy Spirit ... to give you more light and love and more faith in it day by day ; then the unsettledness you have been feeling with regard to your future prospects will pass away. If you have had enough to make you unsettled, what about me ? And yet through the grace of God my mind has been and is kept ` in perfect peace' because stayed upon Him... .

"You ask what I shall do if no situation turns up. I shall go, D. V., to London ; endeavour to `trust in the Lord and do good' and in all my ways to acknowledge Him, . . . and He will care for my needs. At the same time He expects us to pray about these things. `Ask, and it shall be given you.'

" Dear John, it is sweet to depend on Jesus only. I have not heard of a likely situation yet, nor am I anxious to do` so if He would have me wait. I received a note from Uncle Benjamin yesterday, offering to take me in as his guest until I can find suitable employment and I shall probably go there. You and I see a providence in these things."

A few lines to his sister written the same day, September 4, show that he was not insensible to the difficulty of his position. He was feeling the uncertainty keenly, but was willing to be tried in this or any other way that was for his good and the glory of God.

No situation has turned up in London that will suit me. But I am not concerned about it, as He is " the same, yesterday, to-day and forever." His love is unfailing, His word is unchangeable, His power is ever the same ; therefore the heart that trusts in Him is kept in perfect peace. . . . I know He only tries me to increase my faith, and that it is all in love. Well, if He is glorified I am content. Pray for me, dear Sister, that He who alone can keep us from falling . . . may strengthen my faith and perfect me in love.

Shortly after these letters were written, the way began to clear before him. His uncle in London had already offered a temporary home ; the Chinese Evangelisation Society renewed their arrangement with regard to his hospital fees ; and the meeting he attended in Hull gave him introductions to a few Christian friends who would be accessible from his Soho quarters. Other offers of help reached him which though not accepted confirmed his assurance that he was being guided aright. Full of thankfulness he wrote to his sister in the middle of September

Oh the love of God, the goodness of my Father and your Father, my God and your God ! How kind of Him to keep me in such perfect peace and full of joy and happiness when outwardly in the most difficult position. Had I left the question " Shall I go or stay ? " to be settled by circumstances, how uncertain I should have been, and how uncertain John would have been. But as the Lord enabled me to take the step without hesitation, because it was for His glory, leaving everything in His hands, my mind has been just as peaceful as it would otherwise have been unsettled. In all probability I should not have been able to sleep properly, and what with that and my business, which fully occupies time and strength, I should have been thoroughly knocked up.

Praise the Lord for His goodness! He has provided, so far, all that is necessary. Now I have a home to go to, money to pay the fees of the Ophthalmic Hospital as well as the course at the London ... and some Christian friends. When He sees fit, if He sees fit, He will find me a suitable situation, and if not, He will provide for and occupy me as seems best to Him. I leave it all in His hands, for I see plainly that it is the best way for peace and safety. He can manage these matters much better than we can. Last autumn I was fretting and stewing, reckoning and puzzling about how to manage this and that like a person in water who cannot swim, or a fish out of it. But it all came to nothing. Now, when the Lord opens the way, though everything seems adverse, He first removes one difficulty and then another, plainly saying " Be still and know that I am God."

" Thou art my King, 0 God : command deliverance for Jacob... .I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.... In God we boast all the day long, and praise Thy name forever."'

I know I cannot guide or keep myself, even in temporal matters, but I know that He will guide me by His counsel and afterwards receive me to glory.... Why should we be anxious, and for what ? For temporal blessings? He knows that we have need of "all these things." For spiritual blessings ? In Him there is fulness for every need. Poor, weak, failing as we are, Jesus is ours. " In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily " : and we are " complete in Him."