In Thy strong hand I lay me down, So shall the work be done; For who can work so wondrously As the Almighty One? —Selected
Thirty years of active life as Director of the China Inland Mission remained to Mr. Taylor, and more than thirty years have passed since he laid down those responsibilities. Sixty years, the average span of two generations, have given time to test the tree by its fruit — to prove, in other words, what has been the outcome of the faith and joy in God in which his life was rooted. If the experiences we have traced were emotional and unreal, if the spiritual is not also the practical, if God is not sufficient for the needs of His own work, apart from the financial guarantees or human protection, then the acid test of time will surely have dissolved the illusions. But if Hudson Taylor, with all his limitations, had really found the secret of power and blessing in living union with the Lord Jesus Christ, then the results remain — and will, to all eternity.
All things are possible to God, To Christ the power of God in man, To me when I am all renewed, In Christ am fully formed again, And from the reign of sin set free,— All things are possible to me.
* * * * * In the testing days of 1870, Hudson Taylor was still a young man in his thirties, and the Mission numbered only thirty-three members. Stations had been opened in three provinces and converts gathered into ten or twelve little churches. It was still a day of small things; yet the burden was considerable when it all came upon one man, and he already wearied with five such years in China.
For by the end of 1871, it became clear that Mr. and Mrs.
Berger, who had so generously cared for the home side of the Mission, could no longer continue their strenuous labors. Failing health obliged them to winter abroad. Saint Hill was to be sold, and all the correspondence, account keeping and editorial work, the testing of candidates and practical management of business details must pass into other hands. The links of loving sympathy remained the same. But it was with a sense of almost desolation that Mr. Taylor took over the responsibility, which necessitated his remaining for a time in England.
It was a far cry from Saint Hill to Pyrland Road, a little suburban street in the north of London, and the change from Mr. Berger’s library to the small back room which had to do duty as study and office in one was no less complete. But how dear and sacred to many a heart is every remembrance of “Number Six” and the adjacent houses acquired as need arose! For more than twenty years the home work of the Mission was carried on from that center, a few steps only from its present headquarters. The weekly prayer meeting was held in the downstairs rooms, two of which could be thrown together, and many a devoted band of men and women, including “The Seventy” and “The Hundred,” went forth from those doors. But we are running far ahead of the small beginnings of 1872, when Mr. Taylor himself was the sole executive of the Mission, as well as the Director of its work in China.
My path is far from easy [he wrote early that year].
I never was more happy in Jesus, and I am very sure He will not fail us; but never from the foundation of the Mission have we been more cast upon God. It is well, doubtless, that it should be so. Difficulties afford a platform upon which He can show Himself. Without them we could never know how tender, faithful and almighty our God is. … The change about Mr. and Mrs. Berger has tried me not a little. I love them so dearly! And it seems another link severed with the past in which my precious departed one, who is seldom absent from my thoughts, had a part. But His word is, “Behold, I make all things new.”
Longing to press forward with the great task before
the Mission, it must have been difficult indeed for Mr. Taylor to curb himself to the routine of office work as days and weeks went by.
He was not in haste to rush into new arrangements, having no indication as to what the Lord had in view. But when prayer for the right helpers seemed to bring no answer, and the work to be done kept him from what he was tempted to regard as more important matters, it would have been easy to be impatient or discouraged. With one in similar trial he sought to share some of the lessons he was learning.
It is no small comfort to me to know that God has called me to my work, putting me where I am and as I am. I have not sought the position and I dare not leave it. He knows why He places me here — whether to do, or learn, or suffer. “He that believeth shall not make haste.” That is no easy lesson for you or me; but I honestly think that ten years would be well spent, and we should have our full value for them, if we thoroughly learned it in them. … Moses seems to have been taken aside for forty years to learn it.
… Meanwhile, let us beware alike of the haste of the impatient, impetuous ﬂesh, and of its disappointment and weariness.
But this restricted life, because of its real fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, was bearing fruit, and it is interesting to note the reaction of young people especially to its inﬂuence. In the busy world of London, a bright lad had given his heart to the Lord and desired to learn about opportunities for life-work in China.
Making his way to Pyrland Road, he found himself in the plainly furnished room where people were gathering for the prayer meeting.
A large text [he recalled] faced the door by which we entered, “My God shall supply all your need,” and as I was not accustomed to seeing texts hung on walls in that way, decidedly impressed me. Between a dozen and twenty people were present…
Mr. Taylor opened the meeting by giving out a hymn, and seating himself at the harmonium led the singing. His appearance did not impress me. He was slightly built, and spoke in a quiet voice. Like most young men, I suppose I associated power with noise, and looked for physical presence in a leader. But when he said, “Let us pray,” and proceeded to lead the meeting in prayer, my ideas underwent a change. I had never heard anyone pray like that. There was a simplicity, a tenderness, a boldness, a power that hushed and subdued me, and made it clear that God had admitted him to the inner circle of His friendship. Such praying was evidently the outcome of long tarrying in the secret place, and was as dew from the Lord.
I have heard many men pray in public since then, but the prayers of Mr. Taylor and the prayers of Mr. Spurgeon stand all by themselves. Who that heard could ever forget them? It was the experience of a lifetime to hear Mr. Spurgeon pray, taking as it were the great congregation of six thousand people by the hand and leading them into the holy place. And to hear Mr. Taylor plead for China was to know something of what is meant by “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man.” That meeting lasted from four to six o’clock, but seemed one of the shortest prayer meetings I had even attended From the west of England, a girl of education and refinement had come up to London to attend the Mildmay Conference, and was staying as a guest at Pyrland Road. She heard Mr. Taylor give the opening address, when two to three thousand people crowded the great hall, and saw how he inﬂuenced leaders of Christian thought. But it was in the everyday life of the Mission house hard by that he impressed her most — bearing its burdens and meeting its tests of faith with daily joy in the Lord.
I remember Mr. Taylor’s exhortation [Miss Soltau wrote long after] to keep silent to all around and let our wants be known to God only. One day, when we had had a small breakfast and there was scarcely anything for dinner, I was thrilled to hear him singing the children’s hymn:
“Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so.”
Then he called us together to praise the Lord for His changeless love, to tell our needs and claim the promises.
And before the day was over we were rejoicing in His gracious answers.
Far from being discouraged by the shortness of funds after Mr. Berger’s retirement, Mr. Taylor was looking forward more definitely than ever toward advance. Standing before the big map of China one day at Pyrland Road, he turned to a few friends who were with him and said:
“Have you faith to join me in laying hold upon God for eighteen men to go two and two to the nine unevangelized provinces?”
Miss Soltau was of the group and still recalls how they joined hands before the map, earnestly covenanting to pray daily for the eighteen evangelists needed until they should be given. There was no doubt about the faith. But how little any of them dreamed of the wider expansion that was coming; of the important part Miss Soltau herself was to take in the development of the Mission, or of the unique service to be rendered by F. W. Baller, the bright lad mentioned above — both drawn to the work at this time through the unconscious overﬂow of Mr. Taylor’s life.
So the waiting time was fruitful, and when Mr. Taylor was able to return to China he left behind him a Council of long-tried friends in London, in addition to Miss Blatchley in charge of the home and children at Pyrland Road. It was not a large balance that he transferred to the honorary secretaries. Twenty-one pounds was all the money they had in hand. But there was no debt, and it was with confidence Mr. Taylor wrote to the friends of the Mission:
Now that the work has grown, more helpers are needed at home, as abroad, but the principles of action remain the same. We shall seek pecuniary aid from God by prayer, as heretofore. He will put it into the hearts of those He sees fit to use to act as His channels. When there is money in hand it will be remitted to China; when there is none, none will be sent; and we shall not draw upon home, so that there can be no going into debt. Should our faith be tried as it has been before, the Lord will prove Himself faithful as He has ever done. Nay, should our faith fail, His faithfulness will not — for it is written, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful.”
Never was this confidence more needed than when, after an absence of fifteen months, the leader of the Mission found himself again in China. Through sickness and other hindrances, the work was discouraging in several of the older centers. Little churches were not what they had been; stations were undermanned, some even closed, and Mr. Taylor scarcely knew where to begin to give the help and encouragement needed. Instead of planning for advance to unreached provinces, it was all he could do to build up the existing work. Well was it, for his own comfort, that he had with him the devoted companion God had brought into his life. Miss Faulding, the much-loved leader of the women’s work in Hangchow, had become his second wife, commencing the selﬂess ministry at his side which for thirty-three years endeared her to the entire fellowship of the Mission. But they were often parted. In wintry weather with snow deep on the ground, Mr. Taylor was thankful to spare her the journeys he himself had to take, often at no little cost.
I have invited the church members and inquirers to dine with me tomorrow [he wrote from one closed station].
I want them all to meet together. May the Lord give us His blessing. Though things are sadly discouraging, they are not hopeless; they will soon look up, by God’s blessing, if they are looked after.
Very characteristic of the practical nature of Mr. Taylor’s faith was that little word, “things will soon look up, by God’s blessing, if they are looked after.” Taking himself the hardest places, and depending on the quickening power of the Spirit, he went on prayerfully and patiently, straightening out difficulties and infusing new earnestness into converts and missionaries alike. Joined by Mrs. Taylor in the Yangtze valley, he spent three months at Nanking, giving much time to direct evangelism.
Every night we gather large numbers by means of pictures and lantern slides [he wrote from that city] and preach to them Jesus. … We had fully five hundred in the chapel last night. Some did not stay long; others were there nearly three hours. May the Lord bless our stay here to souls. … Every afternoon women come to see and hear.
Something of the inward sustaining may be gathered from a question in a letter to miss Blatchley:
If you are ever drinking at the Fountain [he wrote] with what will your life be running over? —- Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
It was a full cup he carried, in this sense, and the overﬂow was just what was needed. So the visits accomplished their object, and were continued until Mr. Taylor had been, once at any rate, at every station, and almost every outstation in the Mission.
Not content with this, he sought out the Chinese leaders in each place; and the evangelists, colporteurs, teachers and Bible-women, almost without exception, were personally helped. When they could be together, Mrs. Taylor’s assistance was invaluable, and they would work at times far into the night attending to correspondence. On medical journeys she was often his companion; or she might remain at one station where there was sickness, while he went on to another.
How glad they were of his medical knowledge in those days, for there was no other doctor in the Mission or anywhere away from the treaty ports. Needless to say, it added not a little to Mr. Taylor’s burdens— as when he reached a distant station to find ninety-eight letters awaiting him, and took time the very next day to write a page of medical instructions about “A-liang’s baby,” A-liang being a valued helper at Chinkiang. But whether it meant longer letters or extra journeys, he was thankful for any and every way in which he could help. To be “the servant of all” was the privilege he desired most.
The Lord is prospering us [he was able to write after about nine months] and the work is steadily growing, especially in that most important department, NATIVE HELP.
The helpers themselves need much help, much care and instruction; but they are becoming more efficient as well as more numerous, and the hope for China lies doubtless in THEM.
I look on foreign missionaries as the scaffolding round a rising building; the sooner it can be dispensed with the better — or the sooner, rather, that it can be transferred to serve the same temporary purpose elsewhere.
What prayer and vision went hand in hand with these unremitting labors! It would have been easy to lose the sense of URGENCY about the great need beyond, in the stress of needs at hand, especially when funds for the existing work were none too plentiful.
But with Mr. Taylor, just the reverse was the case. Traveling from place to place, long journeys between the stations, through populous country teeming with friendly, accessible people, his heart went out more and more to the unreached, both near and far.
Last week I was at Taiping [he wrote to the Council in London]. My heart was greatly moved by the crowds that literally filled the streets for two or three miles, so that we could hardly walk, for it was market day. We did but little preaching, for we were looking for a place for permanent work, but I was constrained to retire to the city wall and cry to God to have mercy on the people, to open their hearts and give us an entrance among them.
Without any seeking on our part, we were brought into touch with at least four anxious souls. An old man found us out, I know not how, and followed me to our boat. I asked him in and inquired his name.
“My name is Dzing,” he replied. “But the question which distresses me, and to which I can find no answer, is — What am I to do with my sins? Our scholars tell us that there is no future state, but I find it hard to believe them. … Oh, sir, I lie on my bed and think. I sit alone in the daytime and think. I think and think and think again, but I cannot tell what is to be done about my sins. I am seventy-two years of age. I cannot expect to finish another decade. ‘Today knows not tomorrow’s lot,’ as the saying is. Can you tell me what to do with my sins?”
“I can indeed,” was my reply. “It is to answer this very question that we have come so many thousands of miles.
Listen, and I will explain to you what you want and need to know.”
When my companions returned, he heard again the wonderful story of the Cross, and left us soothed and comforted … glad to know that we had rented a house and hoped soon to have Christian colporteurs resident in the city.
Just the same work needed doing in more than fifty cities in that one province of Chekiang, cities without any witness for Christ.
And oh, the waiting millions beyond! Alone there in his boat, Mr. Taylor could only cast the burden on the Lord. Faith was strengthened, and in one of his Bibles may be seen the entry he made the following day, January 27, 1874:
Asked God for fifty or a hundred additional native evangelists and as many missionaries as may be needed to open up the four “Fu’s” and forty-eight “Hsien” cities still unoccupied in Chekiang, also for men to break into the nine unoccupied provinces. Asked in the name of Jesus.
I thank Thee, Lord Jesus, for the promise whereon Thou hast given me to rest. Give me all needed strength of body, wisdom of mind, grace of soul to do this Thy so great work.
Yet, strange to say, the immediate sequel was not added strength, but a serious illness. Week after week he lay in helpless suffering, only able to hold on in faith to the heavenly vision.
Funds had been so low for months that he had scarcely known how to distribute the little that came in, and there was nothing at all in hand for extension work. But, “we are going on to the interior,” he had written to the secretaries in London. “I do so hope to see some of the destitute provinces evangelized before long. I long for it by day and pray for it by night. Can He care less?”
Never had advance seemed more impossible. But in the Bible before him was the record of that transaction of his soul with God, and in his heart was the conviction that, even for inland China, God’s time had almost come. And then as he lay there slowly recovering, a letter was put into his hands which had been two months on its way from England. It was from an unknown correspondent.
My dear Sir [the somewhat trembling hand had written], I BLESS GOD — in two months I hope to place at the disposal of your Council, for further extension of the China Inland Mission work, eight hundred pounds. [Then equal to about four thousand dollars, gold.] Please remember, for FRESH provinces. …
I think your receipt-form beautiful: “The Lord our Banner”; “The Lord will provide.” If faith is put forth and praise sent up, I am sure that Jehovah of Hosts will honor it.
Eight hundred pounds for “fresh provinces”! Hardly could the convalescent believe he read aright. The very secrets of his heart seemed to look back at him from that sheet of foreign notepaper. Even before the prayer recorded in his Bible, that letter had been sent off; and now, just when most needed, it had reached him with its wonderful confirmation. Then God’s time had surely come!
From his sickroom back to the Yangtze valley was the next step, and those spring days witnessed a notable gathering at Chinkiang. There, as in almost all the stations, new life had come to the Chinese Christians. Converts were being received into the churches, and native leaders were growing in zeal and usefulness.
Older missionaries were encouraged amid the needs of their great districts, and young men who had made good progress with the language were eager for pioneering work. As many as could leave their stations came together for a week of prayer and conference with Mr. Taylor, before he and Mr. Judd set out up the great river to seek a base for the long-prayed-for western branch of the Mission.
Is it not good of the Lord so to encourage us [Mr. Taylor wrote from Chinkiang] when we are sorely tried from want of funds?
For it was not any abundance of supplies that accounted for the new note of joy and hope, as may be judged from the following letter to a friend deeply experienced in the life of faith.
Never has our work entailed such real trial or so much exercise of faith. The sickness of our beloved friend, Miss Blatchley, and her strong desire to see me; the needs of our dear children; the state of funds; the changes required in the work to admit of some going home, others coming out, and of further expansion, and many other things not easily expressed in writing, would be crushing burdens if we were to bear them. But the Lord bears us and them too, and makes our hearts so very glad in Himself — not Himself plus a bank balance — that I have never known greater freedom from care and anxiety.
The other week, when I reached Shanghai, we were in great and immediate need. The mails were both in, but no remittance! And the folios showed no balance at home. I cast the burden on the Lord. Next morning on waking I felt inclined to trouble, but the Lord gave me a word — “I know their sorrows, and am come down to deliver”; “Certainly I will be with thee” — and before 6 AM I was as sure that help was at hand as when, near noon, I received a letter from Mr. Mueller which had been to Ningpo and was thus delayed in reaching me, and which contained more than three hundred pounds.
My need now is great and urgent, but God is greater and more near. And because HE IS and is WHAT HE IS, all must be, all is, all will be well. Oh, my dear brother, the joy of knowing the living God, of seeing the living God, of resting on the living God in our very special and peculiar circumstances! I am but His agent. He will look after His own honor, provide for His own servants, and supply all our need according to His own riches, you helping by your prayers and work of faith and labor of love.
A note to Mrs. Taylor, of about the same time (April, 1874), breathed a like confidence: “The balance in hand yesterday was eighty-seven cents. The Lord reigns; herein is our joy and rest!” And to Mr. Baller he added, when the balance was still lower, “We have this — and all the promises of God.”
“Twenty-seven cents,” recalled the latter, “PLUS all the promises of God! Why, one felt as rich as Croesus, and sang:
I would not change my blest estate For all the earth holds good or great; And while my faith can keep its hold, I envy not the sinner’s gold.”
The hymn of the Conference that spring at Chinkiang was, “In some way or other the Lord will provide,” and it was with this in mind that Mr. Taylor wrote to Miss Blatchley:
I am sure that, if we but wait, the Lord WILL provide. … We go shortly, that is, Mr. Judd and myself, to see if we can procure headquarters at Wuchang, from which to open up western China as the Lord may enable us. We are urged on to make this effort now, though so weak-handed, both by the need of the unreached provinces and by our having funds in hand for the work in them, while we have none for general purposes. … I cannot conceive how we shall be helped through next month, though I fully expect we shall be.
The Lord cannot and will not fail us.
And yet, at that very time, new difficulties and delays were permitted. Brave and faithful to the last, Miss Blatchley’s health had given way under her many responsibilities. The children at Pyrland Road were needing care, and the home work of the Mission was almost at a standstill, for gifted and devoted as she was, matters had tended more and more to come into her hands. Only waiting to establish Mr. Judd at Wuchang, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor hastened home.
But even before they could leave China, the beloved friend they hoped to succor had laid all burdens down.
Strange and sorrowful was the homecoming a few weeks later, to find Miss Blatchley’s place empty, the children scattered and the weekly prayer meeting discontinued. But even so, the lowest ebb had not been reached. On his way up the Yangtze with Mr. Judd, a fall had seriously injured Mr. Taylor. Concussion of the spine develops slowly, and it was not until he had been at home some weeks that the rush of London life began to tell. Then came gradual paralysis of the lower limbs, completely confining him to his couch. Laid aside in the prime of life, he could only lie in that upstairs room, conscious of all there was to be done, of all that was not being attended to — lie there and rejoice in God.
Yes, rejoice in God! With desires and hopes as limitless as the needs that pressed upon his heart, with the prayer he had prayed and the answers God had given, with opportunities opening in China and a wave of spiritual blessing reviving the churches at home that he longed to see turned into missionary channels, and with little hope, humanly speaking, that he would ever stand or walk again, the deepest thing was joy in the will of God as “good, and acceptable, and perfect.” Certain it is that from that place of suffering sprang all the larger growth of the China Inland Mission.
A narrow bed with four posts was the sphere to which Mr. Taylor was now restricted. But between the posts at the foot of the bed — still the map! Yes, there it hung, the map of the whole of China, and round about him day and night was the Presence to which he had access in the name of Jesus. Long after, when prayer had been fully answered and the pioneers of the Mission were preaching Christ far and wide throughout those inland provinces, a leader of the Church of Scotland said to Mr. Taylor:
“You must sometimes be tempted to be proud because of the wonderful way God has used you. I doubt if any man living has had greater honor.”
“On the contrary,” was the earnest reply, “I often think that God must have been looking for someone small enough and weak enough for Him to use, and that He found me.”
The outlook did not brighten as the year drew to a close. Mr. Taylor was less and less able to move, and could only turn in bed with the help of a rope fixed above him. At first he had managed to write a little, but now could not even hold a pen, and circumstances deprived him of Mrs. Taylor’s help for a time. Then it was, with the dawn of 1875, that a little paper found its way into the Christian press entitled: “Appeal for Prayer: on behalf of more than a hundred and fifty millions of Chinese.” Brieﬂy it stated the facts with regard to the nine unevangelized provinces and the aims of the Mission. Four thousand pounds, it said, had recently been given for the special purpose of sending the Gospel to these distant regions.
Chinese Christians were ready to take part in the work. The urgent need was for more missionaries, young men willing to face any hardship in leading the way.
“Will each of you Christian readers,” it continued, “at once raise his heart to God, spending one minute in earnest prayer that God will raise up, this year, eighteen suitable men to devote themselves to this work?”
The appeal did not say that the leader of the Mission was to all appearance a hopeless invalid. It did not refer to the fact that the four thousand pounds had come from his wife and himself, part of their capital, the whole of which they had consecrated to the work of God. It did not mention the covenant of two or three years previously, to pray in faith for the eighteen evangelists until they should be given. But those who read the little paper felt there was much behind it, and were moved as men are not moved by inﬂuences that have not their roots deep in God.
So, before long, Mr. Taylor’s correspondence was largely increased, as was his joy in dealing with it — or in seeing, rather, how the Lord dealt with it.
The Mission had no paid helpers [he wrote of this time], but God led volunteers, without prearrangement, to come in from day to day, to write from dictation. If one who called in the morning could not stay long enough to answer all letters, another was sure to come, and perhaps one or two might look in, in the afternoon. Occasionally a young friend employed in the city would come in after business hours and do needful bookkeeping, or finish letters not already dealt with. So it was day by day. One of the happiest periods of my life was that period of forced inactivity, when one could do nothing but rejoice in the Lord and “wait patiently” for Him, and see Him meeting all one’s need. Never were my letters, before or since, kept so regularly and promptly answered.
And the eighteen asked of God began to come. There was first some correspondence, then they came to see me in my room. Soon I had a class studying Chinese at my bedside. In due time the Lord sent them all forth; and then dear friends at Mildmay began to pray for my restoration. The Lord blessed the means used, and I was raised up. One reason for my being laid aside was gone. Had I been well and able to move about, some might have thought that MY urgent appeals, rather than God’s working, had sent the eighteen me to China.
But utterly laid aside, able only to dictate a request for prayer, the answer to our prayers was the more apparent.
Wonderful, too, were the answers to prayer about funds at this time. The monthly remittance to be cabled to China on one occasion was very small, nearly two hundred and thirty-five pounds LESS than the average expenditure to be covered. The matter was brought before the Lord in definite prayer, and in His goodness the answer was not long delayed. That very evening the postman brought a letter which was found to contain a check to be entered, “From the sale of plate” — and the sum was 235 pounds, 7 shillings, 9 pence.
Returning from a meeting when able to be about again, Mr. Taylor was accosted by a Russian nobleman who had heard him speak. As they traveled to London together, Count Bobrinsky took out his pocketbook.
“Allow me to give you a triﬂe,” he said, “toward your work in China.”
The banknote handed to Mr. Taylor was for a large sum, and the latter realized that there must be some mistake.
“Did you not mean to give me five pounds?” he questioned; “please let me return this note, it is for fifty!”
“I cannot take it back,” replied the Count, no less surprised. “Five pounds was what I meant to give, but God must have intended you to have fifty. I cannot take it back.”
Impressed with what had taken place, Mr. Taylor reached Pyrland Road to find the household gathered for special prayer. A China remittance was to be sent out, and the money in hand was short by 49 pounds 11 shillings. And there upon the table Mr. Taylor laid his banknote for fifty pounds. Could it have come more directly from the Father’s hand?
But even with all the answers to prayer of these years, the way was far from open to inland China. Indeed, there came a time, after the eighteen pioneers had been sent out, when it seemed that nothing could prevent war over the murder of a British official.
Negotiations had dragged on for months, but the Chinese government would give absolutely no satisfaction, and the British ambassador was on the point of retiring from Peking. It seemed impossible that hostilities could be averted, and there were friends of the Mission who sought to dissuade Mr. Taylor from sailing with a party of eight new workers.
“You will all have to return,” they said. “And as to sending off pioneers to the more distant provinces, it is simply out of the question.”
Was there some mistake? Had the men and the money been given in vain? Was inland China still to remain closed to the Gospel?
In the third-class cabin of that French steamer there was a man upon his knees, dealing with God. “My soul yearns, oh how intensely,” he had written two years previously, “for the evangelization of the hundred and eighty millions of these unoccupied provinces. Oh, that I had a hundred lives to give or spend for their good!” All that lay in his power he had done, keeping the vision undimmed through every kind of discouragement. And now — ?
But God’s time had indeed come. With Him it is never “too late.” At the last moment, a change came over the Chinese Foreign Office. The Viceroy, Li Hung-chang, hurried to the coast, overtaking the British Minister at Chefoo, and there the memorable Convention was signed which gave liberty of access, at last, to every part of China.
“Just as our brethren were ready,” Mr. Taylor delighted to recall, “not too soon and not too late, the long-closed door opened to them of its own accord.”