CHAPTER 4--NURTURE AND ADMONITION--1832-1839.

HE was a sensitive, thoughtful little fellow from the first, though bright and winsome as any heart could wish. It almost seemed as though he brought more love than usual into the world, with his great capacity for loving and the frailty of health that drew forth all the tenderness of those about him. For he was delicate, unusually so, as his parents soon discovered. This was no little sorrow, and added difficulty to the task of bringing him up to be a brave and faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. As time went on he was often so far from well that it seemed almost impossible to insist upon obedience and self-control. Yet the very difficulty only made it the more necessary. For nothing in after-life, his parents realised, could ever compensate for the injury of an undisciplined childhood. But they knew where to turn for strength and grace. Were they not workers together with God in moulding this little life for His holy service ? If they lacked wisdom for so high a task, as indeed they did, would He not give it liberally according to His promise ?

So the child grew under a watchful care that could not in present happiness forget its responsibility to coming years. And his parents grew with him. The young mother, lovely as she had always been, developed new depth of character in dealing with this son, and into the father's life came added sympathy and strength.

It was around his grandfather's figure, strange to say,and the Chapel on Pinfold Hill that his earliest recollections centred. Taken almost from infancy to the House of God, he retained a distinct remembrance of the old-fashioned gallery as it then was, and his father's pew right opposite the pulpit. Immediately behind was the seat occupied by John and Mary Taylor, whose presence usually inspired a wholesome sense of awe. But Hudson only remembered the smile that lighted his grandfather's face. For when he had been specially good he was sure to be handed over the back of the pew, at the close of the long proceedings, to receive his grandfather's commendations and be carried home to sit on his knee by the fireside and at the well-filled table. This was a regular custom as long as the reed-maker lived and kept open house on Pitt Street. That dizzy transit from pew to pew and the clasp of his grandfather's arms bringing a consciousness of duty well done were the first memories of his childhood.

And with them came another, of the last time he saw that dear, familiar face. His grandfather was lying very quiet then, and the wondering child was told that he had gone to be with Jesus. There was no fear in the impression, only surprise that he should be so cold and still. It was his first sight of death, and never to be forgotten, although at the time he was only two and a half years old.

There were other childish memories also of an unusual kind. One was of learning the Hebrew alphabet as he sat on his father's knee, and another his first attempt at authorship a little later. By this time he was four, and could read and write a little, for he embarked courageously on this literary effort.

" Was it a fairy-tale or story of adventure ? " we inquired when he spoke of this recollection.

" No, it was a serious recital of a matter that was burdening my mind. It was about an old man of eighty, who had led a very improper life and had not truly repented. His chances were growing small. I only finished one chapter, laboriously inscribed in large print. It was not very long."

From which it will be seen that this child of quick susceptibilities entered more perhaps than was good for him into the life of older people, until little playfellows grew up to claim their share of attention. This happily was the case before long, and by the time he was five years old a younger brother and sister were quite companionable. They were a merry trio, and kept each other busy all day long. Teaching Amelia (1 Afterwards Mrs. Benjamin Broomhall.) to walk became a great interest to the boys, as Hudson recalled long after, when writing from China for her nineteenth birthday. Another performance into which they put their whole hearts was the Sunday evening "meeting" in which one of the brothers was audience and the other speaker. The father's chair was pulpit in the little sitting-room behind the shop, and it was doubtless his example and the stories told them of James Taylor and the days of Wesley that fired their imagination and made them want to be " brave preachers " too.

For at no time is there greater capacity for devotion or more pure, uncalculating ambition in the service of God than in early childhood, when the heart is full of love to Christ. Little Hudson, for example, was deeply impressed at four or five years of age by what he heard about the darkness of heathen lands.

" When I am a man," He would often say, " I mean to be a missionary and go to China."

It was only a childish impulse ? Yes, but he meant it with all his heart, and meant it because he loved the Lord and wanted to please and follow Him. In the same spirit was the prayer of another little one of five years old

" Lord Jesus, help us to be good brothers to You, and to do some of Your hard work in Africa and in China." {2." Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (St. Mark 3:35)}.

The first sorrow that overshadowed Hudson's life was the death of his brother, called after their great-grandfather, William Shepherd. This was a loss indeed, for they had been inseparable companions, and there was no one to fill the empty place. Theodore was still a baby, and he too was taken before long to be with Jesus. Hudson from this time onward was an only son ; but two little sisters were spared to grow up, the elder of whom was near enough in age to become his special friend. These early bereavements, following the loss of their grandfather, could not but make him feel the reality of unseen things and develop his thoughtful tendencies.

But though he took life seriously from the first, he was sunny and bright by nature and dearly loved boyish fun. He had eyes and a heart for everything, and retained to the end a capacity for enjoyment that was remarkable. Nature was his great delight, and he had the patience, sympathy and power of observation needed for entering into her secrets. He would take any amount of trouble to cultivate a little fern or flower brought home from the woods, or to learn about the ways of birds, animals and insects. All living, growing things seemed to possess a charm for him that years only increased.

On one occasion in his early childhood a fair of unusual interest was held in the town. The open space behind St. Mary's Church was covered with stalls and shows of every kind, and the usual attractions of circus, music, and merrygo-round were not lacking. But this fair was specially fascinating to Hudson on account of an exhibition of stuffed birds and animals, in which their natural habitats were reproduced as far as possible. Nothing could exceed the expectation with which he set out for the Green, the proud possessor of a penny, that open-sesame of all delights.

Now it was a rule of the family that pennies could be had if they were earned, but not otherwise. The parents recognised the importance of teaching their children the value of money, and that honest work is necessary if it is to be obtained. Simple tasks suited to their capacity were devised, such as hemming dusters, cleaning windows, or helping in the shop. When they were too young to do anything but play, small coins might be earned by what was called " a game of still," which meant just sitting perfectly quiet for a measured time by the clock, five or ten minutes or longer as the mother might decide. And Mother had more in view than the children thought, having discovered how much good was accomplished by these resting-times for mind and body. Of course all this was much more troublesome than the ordinary methods of obtaining pocket-money, but it had the desired effect, and the pleasure of giving and receiving pennies genuinely earned was sufficient reward for parents and children alike. Thus the unfortunate habit of teasing for money was entirely obviated. " Work for it and you shall have it " proved a much more satisfactory basis.

Well, this particular fair came just when Hudson was rejoicing in the possession of his first whole penny, obtained at what had been to him no little cost. Of course it seemed a fortune. The largest, most precious coin he had ever possessed, what would it not purchase of delight ?

Joyfully he climbed the hill to St. Mary's, ran along the lane to Church Fields, and sought among the bewildering variety of attractions for the birds and animals of his dreams. It was disconcerting to find a fence around the enclosure, and at the gate an imposing personage of doubtful disposition toward little boys. But producing his penny he summoned up courage to ask admission. To his surprise this was denied, the man gruffly intimating that the entrance fee was " tuppence."

In a moment the child's mind grasped the unreasonableness of the situation. No doubt the man would like to have two pennies. So would he himself. But that was out of the question. There was only one.

" I haven't got another penny," he explained timidly. " But I will give you this one, if you will let me in ; and wouldn't it be better for you to have one penny than none at all ? "

But the man in uniform was not able to see the point.

Nothing daunted, the curly-headed little fellow continued his attempt. Reasonableness and perseverance were among the strongest traits in his character, and surely even a grown-up person would see, in time, what a mistake it was to refuse one penny just because you could not have two at once. But alas, the gate-keeper was obdurate.

At length the failure of his arguments and the inaccessibility of the treasures beyond that closed door were too much for the sensitive child. Turning away with tears in his eyes, he ran home sobbing as if his heart would break.

Happily his mother found him and was able to understand. Taking him in her arms she said quietly, " But the man was doing his duty, my son. He didn't mean to be unkind. Every one has to pay two pennies to see those lovely birds and animals. You have been so good and industrious lately that Mother will give you another penny as a reward. Run off again, now, and the man will be glad to let you in."

This unexpected turn of events put everything right,and sent such gladness thrilling through the little heart that seventy long years after it had not died away.

The mother's gentle discipline had much to do with the happiness of his childhood, and gave rise to more than one situation that was long remembered. Such, for instance,was the company dinner when in attending to her guests she overlooked the needs of her little son. The meal went on and still the child said nothing, knowing he must not ask for things at table. At length, however, an expedient suggested itself, and a little voice was heard requesting for salt. That at any rate was permissible.

" And what do you want the salt for ? " questioned his neighbour, seeing the empty plate." Oh," he replied, " I want to be ready. Mamma will give me something to eat by-and-by."

On another occasion he called attention to his needs by inquiring in a pause in the conversation " Mamma, do you think apple-pie is good for little boys ? "

It was not often he attempted to evade home-regulations, partly no doubt because he knew it would be useless, and partly for fear of giving his mother pain. In all her dealings with the children she was reasonable and consistent. She made few rules, and avoided unnecessary commands. But they well knew that what she said she meant, for she never gave instructions she was not prepared to see carried out. Sometimes Hudson was tempted, like other boys, to see how far he could go in taking his own way ; but one distressing experience taught him a lesson that was not soon forgotten.

He was intensely fond of reading, and was absorbed one winter in a delightful book. He was all eagerness to finish it, but daylight hours were short and full of other occupations, and bed-time could not be postponed. If only he might read at night ! But Mother always came to tuck him up and take the light away. The story grew in interest, and at length a plan suggested itself. He knew, as every one did in that orderly household, just where the candle-ends were kept for use in kitchen or cellar. It would never be noticed if he took a few of these. Then he could light them, one by one, and lying cosily in bed make progress with his book. At first the thought was startling and not to be entertained for a moment. But it came again and again, until conscience was silenced and he decided to carry it out.

A visitor came to spend the evening with his parents just when this stage was reached, and perceiving his opportunity the child filled his largest pocket with the coveted candle-ends and went in earlier than usual to say good-night. In the drawing-room the older people were gathered round the fire. The visitor was fond of children, and taking the little fellow on his knee asked if he would like to hear a story. Dearly as Hudson loved stories, however, especially at bed-time, the warmth of the fire made him anxious to escape. He was painfully conscious that the pocket full of candle-ends was on the fire side, and eagerly explaining that it was time to go to bed, tried to slip off the too-friendly knee.

But his mother's voice detained him. It was early yet, and as a special treat he might stay a little longer to hear the story. But instead of being delighted, the poor child was restless and miserable. The candles must be melting. He knew they were ! What if Mother should smell the tallow, or it should trickle down upon the carpet ? At the first pause in the recital, he urged again, more earnestly than before, that it really was bed-time and he ought not to stay up any longer. The gentleman was disappointed and the parents greatly puzzled. But still the story went on.

Finally, after what seemed hours of suspense, he was released and hurried away to his room. His mother quickly followed, to find him weeping bitterly over a pocketful of melted tallow and a story of his own that he was only too glad to pour forth without extenuation. Needless to say her sorrow over it all impressed the lesson for which in afterlife he could not be too thankful.

One chief advantage of his childhood was that he was so continually under his mother's care. This in itself was sufficient compensation for the limited means that made it necessary. The father's business prospered and brought in more than enough for present needs. But with the welfare of his family at heart, he felt it desirable to lay by for the future, as well as to purchase the premises in which they lived and other properties. This necessitated careful economy in everyday matters. Household expenditure was reduced as far as possible, luxuries were unknown, and active, practical habits were the order of the day. The children learned to be independent and were well drilled in thoughtfulness for others. But above all they grew up in close contact with their parents, as children never can in a house with many servants, or if they are sent to school. The mother was their companion from morning till night. She it was who worked with them, taught them, did everything for them, and was the sun and centre of their little system, radiating light and love without end.

This accounted largely for the influence she exerted over her little people. It was second nature to obey her, and she was always there to encourage or restrain. She was a woman of few words and unusual tact, with a quiet way of saying and doing things that was very effective. A mere suggestion from her lips went further than repeated injunctions from some people.

" My dear, it is nearly time for dinner," or " for tea." This meant clean hands, fresh pinafores, tidy hair, and a race to see who would be first at table before Father appeared.

How she managed it no one could tell ; but with the entire care and education of the children, cooking to attend to, washing to be done at home, and all the housework, sewing and mending necessary, and the help of only one maid, she invariably kept her surroundings neat and attractive, down to the brightly burning fire and cleanswept hearth. The little parlour behind the shop, though constantly in use for meals and lessons, needlework and play, was a picture of comfort and good order ; and this not by virtue of the distracting process known as "setting-to-rights " so much as by a happy knack of never letting things go wrong or stray far out of place.

It was a cosy spot, this family sitting-room, and well in keeping with the simple life to which Hudson Taylor owed so much. Entering from the shop, a long, old-fashioned couch occupied the wall to the right, beyond which a chinacupboard filled the corner with shining rows of crockery and glass. Next came the fireplace at a right angle with the sofa, making that end of the room attractive on winter evenings. The other end. was taken up with a window and door, leading to the little yard, across which was the warehouse where the father's stores were kept. This window, facing west, let in the sunshine when the children were busy in the afternoon with needlework and lessons. A spacious bookcase filled the wall between the fireplace and window, and opposite stood a chest of drawers used as a sideboard, between two doors, one leading upstairs and the other down to the kitchen premises. A square table in the middle of the room was protected from draughts by a folding screen in the corner farthest from the fire. And last, but not least in the estimation of the children, a little window over the sofa afforded interesting glimpses into the shop and Market Place beyond.

The chief feature in the room, undoubtedly, was the bookcase, and it had also much to do with the order that prevailed. Over the lower shelves hung a curtain, concealing a characteristic device of the mother's household management. Everything in use for meals or lessons, work or play, had its appointed place in sideboard or cupboard, while magazines, books, and papers found hospitality upon the ample shelves. But one shelf behind the crimson curtain was unappropriated. Clean and empty, it stood ready for emergencies. Was the room needed for unexpected visitors? The work in hand, whatever it might be, was laid away without embarrassment and just as easily brought out again. Were the older people busy with letters or accounts when the table was wanted for a meal? A place was ready in which ink and papers would be accessible and out of danger. It was a convenient receptacle at tea-time for the mother's sewing or the children's toys. But whatever its uses in the day-time, it was always cleared and dusted before night. Simple as such a plan may seem, it was effective because of the orderly mind that carried it out, and went far toward solving the problem of how to turn one room to so many uses without litter or confusion.

Not that a litter was objected to at the right time and in the proper place ; but the little hands that made it were expected to put things straight, before turning to other work or play. The children came to feel that their amusements must never give other people trouble, and that it is wiser to do at once what has to be done, rather than leave it to another time. " A place for everything and everything in its place " was the working rule of the household ; and that extra, empty shelf behind the curtain was more effective than many exhortations. One thing only made a deeper impression in this connection, and that was the fact that Mother's belongings never needed tidying. Other people's possessions might be more or less topsy-turvy on occasion, as bright eyes had not failed to discover. But Mother's drawers and cupboards stood the test. They never needed setting to rights, because, strange as it might seem, they were never out of order.

Personal neatness she taught them in the same practical way, until it became second nature to feel that one must be clean and tidy, however simply dressed. A fresh apron was ready for their father's use in the shop every morning, and the mother's print gown and closely fitting cap were just as pretty for breakfast, six days in the week, as her black satin and white crepe shawl reserved for Sunday. She was very pleasing in appearance, and the children were like her. The muslin cap tied under the chin, with its soft tulle edging and white ribbons, well became her calm, sweet face. She had donned it on her wedding-day according to the custom of the times, when a dainty cap was always waiting the bride's return from church. Mother would hardly have seemed Mother without that modest headgear. But whether it were the Sunday cap, its gauze ribbons edged with satin, or the more durable muslin for daily use, it was equally fresh and becoming.

Slovenliness in dress under any circumstances she could not endure. Pretty washing frocks were prepared for the little girls, with black alpaca aprons piped at the edges, and they were trained to feel that it was just as important to be neat and attractive for household work before breakfast as for entertaining friends at tea. A work-basket was always ready on their dressing-table, and stitches were put in as soon as needed. Even if it meant getting up ten minutes earlier on a winter morning, clean tuckers must be sewn in to everyday dresses just as carefully as to best ones. And their brother too was made to realise that clean hands and shoes, nicely kept nails, and well-brushed garments were quite as necessary at home as in any company. It was a question of thoroughness and self-respect, and those were essentials their parents required in everything.

In the same way the servant, probably an inexperienced little maid when she came to them, was taught to leave the kitchen in order before she went upstairs to other duties. The mother herself undertook most of the cooking, and it was while dinner was preparing that the morning's lessons were done. But thanks to careful management, the kitchen was just as pleasant as the parlour. The stone floor was well scoured, and a white border made on all four sides to match the spotless hearth. The kitchen range was clean and bright, no matter what might be cooking, and Mother's rocking-chair made the whole room look cosy. Here at a table reserved for the purpose, the little girls worked at their lessons, while Hudson was similarly employed under his father's supervision upstairs. There was no shirking work or playing truant if their parents were called away. Lessons had to go on just the same, and did with wonderful regularity.

Then in the afternoon, their mother had the older children with her while she was busy with her needle. A great deal of sewing had to be done, but she was able to go on with it while they read aloud or wrote from dictation. Many were the hours thus spent over history, literature and travels. Hard names or unfamiliar words they might not hurry over. No, the dictionary had to be brought and each difficulty mastered as they came to it. A real lover of books herself, she early inspired them with a taste for reading, and to her accuracy and thoroughness may be traced the unusual power of attention to detail that characterised her son in later years. Industry and perseverance also the children could not but learn from her example. So busy was she that it was the rarest thing to see her take time to enjoy a book, but she often had one propped up before her while her needle flew, that she might catch a sentence now and then without interrupting her work.

And the father in his department was just as busy. Through the little window over the sofa, he might be seen hard at work in the shop, morning, noon and night. The children lived in touch with him almost as much as with their mother, and he felt himself no less responsible for their training.

Though stern and even quick-tempered at times, the influence James Taylor exerted in the life of his son can hardly be overestimated. He was decidedly a disciplinarian. But without some such element in his early training who can tell whether Hudson would ever have become the man he was, by the grace of God. Do we not suffer in these days from too great a tendency to slackness and easy-going ? Even Christian parents seem content if they can keep their children moderately happy and good-tempered. But with James Taylor this was not the point. Life has to be lived. Work must be accomplished. People may be consecrated, gifted, devoted, and yet of very little use, because undisciplined. He was a man with a supreme sense of duty. The thing that ought to be done was the thing he put first, always. Ease, pleasure, self-improvement had to take whatever place they could. He was a man of faith, but faith that went hand in hand with works of the most practical kind. It was not enough for him that his children were happy and amused, well-cared-for and obedient even. They must be doing their duty, getting through their daily tasks, acquiring habits that alone could make them dependable men and women in days to come.

The importance of punctuality, for example, he impressed both by teaching and example. No one was allowed to be late for meals or any other engagement. The mother called the children herself, at seven every morning. No bells were rung, but when the clock struck eight every one had to be at table.

" If there are five people," he would say, " and they are kept waiting one minute, do you not see that five minutes are lost that can never be found again ? "

Dinner was at half-past twelve and tea at half-past four ; but if these meals were delayed five minutes it would mean nearly an hour wasted out of one little day. And what would that amount up to in a week, a month, a year ?

Dilatoriness in dressing or undressing, or in beginning when the time came to begin, he also reprehended as a serious waste of time. " Learn to dress quickly," he would say, " for you have to do it once, at least, every day of your life. And begin promptly whatever the work in hand. To loiter does not help, it only makes the task more difficult."

" See if you can do without " was another of his maxims. This of course applied, among other things, to the simple pleasures of the table. Porridge with bread and butter for breakfast, meat once a day, and bread and butter or toast for tea was the usual routine. But sugar and preserves were allowed in moderation, and extra-nice cakes or puddings occasionally found a place. As a rule the children shared whatever was provided, their parents delighting to give them pleasure no less than other fathers and mothers the wide world over. At the same time they fully realised the lifelong influence of little habits. At any cost to themselves and within wise limits to the children, they felt they must secure to them the power of self-control.

" By-and-by," the father would explain, " you will have to say ` No ' to yourself when we are not there to help you ; and very difficult you will find it when you want a thing tremendously. So let us try to practise now, for the sooner you begin the stronger will be the habit."

It was a principle difficult of application, no doubt, when a favourite dish was in question. But though it was at least as hard for him as for them, he would encourage them to go the whole length on occasions, saying cheerfully, " Who will see if they can do without today? "

The children were not blamed if they could not respond as he desired, but were commended if they did, the mother generally arranging some little surprise at night-a few almonds and raisins, or an orange, with an extra-loving kiss.

Sweets or confectionery they never thought of buying for themselves. Pennies honestly earned were far too precious to be squandered thus. Each one had a little brown earthenware jar in the sitting-room cupboard, in which their savings were kept. Whenever eleven pennies could be produced, their father would add one, giving in exchange a bright new shilling. This was a transaction much looked forward to, and encouraged the children in thoughtfulness about the use of money. These may seem trivial details, scarcely worth recording, but it is just such little habits that in the long run strengthen character and make all the difference between weakness and power to do and be one's best.

The spiritual life of his children was equally the father's care. Family worship he conducted regularly, after both breakfast and tea. Every member of the household had to be present, and the passage read was explained in such practical fashion that even the children could not fail to see its application. He was very particular about giving them the whole Word of God, omitting nothing. The Old Testament as well as the New was taken in regular course, and at the close of every day's reading the date was carefully entered in the family Bible. On Sundays he gave even more time to this home-ministry, in spite of the services for which he was responsible, and that often involved a considerable journey on foot. While thoroughly approving of Sunday Schools for those who needed them, he did not consider his own children to be among the number, and would relinquish to no one the privilege of teaching them in the things of God.

He gave time also to earnest, detailed prayer on their behalf, and taught them to pray. From infancy, the little happenings of every day were made occasions for drawing near to God. Nothing was too trivial to interest Father and Mother, because the little folk were dear to them, and nothing was too small to bring to Him who loved them better still. If there were something to thank their parents for, or obtain help in, they would not wait till the end of the day to do so. And in the same way they learned to come " without ceasing," with thanksgiving and prayer, to the greater Father in heaven. It was just as natural to Amelia at three years old to say reverently, " O Lord, take away my naughty temper and give me a new heart," as to ask pardon of the mother she had grieved ; and, baby as she was, she felt it no less important.

At one time the father made it a practice to take the older children to his room everyday for prayer. At the big four-post bed, all three would kneel beside him while with his arm about them he poured out his heart to God for each in turn in a way they never could forget. It was not much he could give them of wealth or worldly advantage, but he could and did imbue them with a strong, simple faith like his own. He taught them to reverence the Bible as the Word of God from cover to cover, trusting every promise to mean at least all it says. " God cannot lie," he would exclaim with intense conviction, " He cannot mislead you, He cannot fail." And instinctively the children began to trust in the same way.

As they were able to understand, he explained to them the necessity for maintaining the life of the soul by prayer and Bible study, as the life of the body is maintained by exercise and food. To omit this was to neglect the one thing needful. He spoke of it frequently as a matter of vital importance, and arranged for every one in the house to have at least half an hour daily, alone with God. The result was that even the little ones began to discover the secret of a happy day. Before breakfast in the morning, and again as evening was drawing in, they went up to their own rooms for reading and prayer. They needed it just as much as older people, and in their childish way came to realise that no one can be good and happy all day long without heart-to-heart fellowship with the Lord. But it was example that impressed these things upon them more than precept. " Let them see thee talking to thy God " was golden counsel these parents did not fail to improve.

Thus the children grew in body, mind, and spirit as the days went on. Hudson was still too delicate to go to school, but the education he received at home more than made up for this loss. Not only were his studies systematic and his general intelligence developed, but the conversation of his parents and their visitors awakened thought and purpose to which the average schoolboy is a stranger, and his father's daily life, as he grew old enough to share it, in no wise weakened these impressions.

James Taylor was sociable and talked freely in congenial company. He was gifted with warm sympathies and sound common sense ; so much so indeed that few men in Barnsley were more sought after for advice in temporal as well as spiritual things. Over the counter and in the little room behind the shop, many an hour was spent with those who came to him in trouble. On Market Days another class of visitors would drop in-friends from the country, to many of whom he was indebted for Sunday hospitality, and brother local preachers sure of a welcome. A cup of tea by the fireside gave opportunity for many a " dish of chat," seasoned with kindly humour, in which the children could not fail to be interested.

But Quarter Day was looked forward to with still more lively expectation. For then fellow-workers came in from every part of the circuit, bringing the contributions of those they represented toward the support of the ministry. In the Chapel on Pinfold Hill their business was transacted. Arrangements for the following quarter were considered, missionary meetings planned, and financial matters settled; after which, luncheon was served in the vestry by the Circuit stewards and their wives. Then came an opportunity for private hospitality, which James Taylor frequently improved by inviting one and all to tea at 21 Cheapside. This was a favourite rendezvous, and at five o'clock the drawing-room over the shop would be well filled with guests. Those were times when conversation was at its best ; good, homely Yorkshire talk, as racy as it was profitable. And how the children listened ! Half a century later the remembrance had not faded from their minds.

I used to love to hear them talk-those local preachers gathered round our table for high tea. Theology, sermons, politics, the Lord's work at home and abroad, all were discussed with so much earnestness and intelligence. It made a great impression upon us as children. (1.To Mrs. B. Broomhall, the " little Amelia " of those days, we are indebted for many of the recollections incorporated in this chapter.)

It was on these occasions, chiefly, that the subject of Foreign Missions came up, and the little folk were delighted by many a story from far-off lands. China still held, as it always had, the first place in their father's sympathies, and he used often to lament the indifference of the Church to its appalling need. It specially troubled him that the denomination to which he belonged should be doing nothing for its evangelisation. Methodists, who in the days of Thomas Coke had been foremost in sending missionaries to the heathen, still gloried in Wesley's motto, " The world is my parish." A hundred years had passed since the birth of the great Revival, and in the summer of 1839 (when Hudson was seven years old) the " Centenary jubilee " was celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic in a spirit worthy of the memories it recalled. Methodists everywhere exceeded themselves in liberality and zeal for the cause of God. Thank-offerings filled their treasuries, world-wide prayer resulted in a great increase of spiritual blessing, and notable advance was made in evangelistic labours both at home and abroad. But among the new Missions projected and the new workers sent out, none were destined for China. It seemed to be taken for granted that nothing could be done or even attempted there. Morrison, the lonely pioneer of Protestant Missions in that land, had passed away five years previously, and no one had been able to take his place. Canton was still the only mission station, recently manned by a few American workers, including Dr. Peter Parker, who had just opened the first hospital on Chinese soil. But beyond the narrow limits of that one settlement lay the whole vast empire with its four hundred millions, amongst whom no one was living and preaching Christ. (1-Romanism in China was just recovering from its second period of decline, and foreign priests were to be found at a few points in the interior on the ground of ancient rights. The Order of Jesuits, suppressed by Pope Clement XIV. in 1773, had been re-established half a century later, and from that time (1822) the Roman Catholic Church entered upon a stronger, more aggressive policy in China.)These things pressed as a burden on the heart of Hudson Taylor's father.

" Why do we not send our missionaries there ! " he would exclaim. " That is the country to aim at, with its teeming population, its strong, intelligent, scholarly people."

He could not understand the apathy of the Church about this magnificent field, the Gibraltar of heathenism. And the listening children were confirmed in their conviction that this was indeed the greatest, the most neglected and most promising of missionary lands.

Later on their interest was increased by Peter Parley's China, a little book they read and reread until they knew it almost by heart. It had many illustrations, tiny pictures of the old-fashioned kind, and so impressed Amelia that she decided to cast in her lot with Hudson, who had long ago made up his mind to go to China as a missionary. The parents did not fail to notice these childish purposes, though with some sorrow of heart. It had been their chief desire that Hudson might be called to just such service, but on account of his continued delicacy the hope had been gradually abandoned. He, at any rate, would never be strong enough for such a life.

It was manifest, however, that the Holy Spirit was working in his heart, for nothing interested him so deeply as the things of God. He loved to go with his father to the country chapels in which he was preaching Sunday by Sunday. The quickening impulse of the great Centenary was being felt in that Yorkshire district, and James Taylor's ministry was in power and blessing. Even his little son entered into the spirit of the time. Love for Christ, the master-passion of his life, and the unquenchable longing to bring others to know and love Him too, evidently had their beginning as early as the jubilee of 1839 ; for it was of those days his mother wrote

When about seven years of age, Hudson frequently accompanied his father into the country, when he was going to preach. It was a time of religious revival, and an after-meeting was usually held at the conclusion of the service to pray for blessing upon the Word and for the conversion of sinners. On such occasions persons deeply convinced of sin and desiring to obtain peace with God were invited to come forward to be prayed with and pointed to " the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." In these meetings his devout and prayerful earnestness were often remarked ; and when, as was frequently the case, burdened souls found comfort by resting on Jesus and His atonement, and believers sang " Praise God, from whom all blessings flow," he would join as heartily as any, while his face glowed with delight. But this spirit of joy in the Lord and concern for the welfare of others did not depend upon revival meetings. It was fostered by the influence of his parents and the daily atmosphere of home. Much of their conversation was about spiritual things, and of a kind that made salvation and living for God appear, as indeed they are, the most important matters under the sun. And the children could easily see that this was no mere talk, but that their parents were consistent in putting God first and in seeking to help others to do the same. The mother was for many years too delicate to carry on her weekly class or attempt much outside work. Her hands were more than full with household duties. But in her own circle her heart still burned with love for souls that could not rest till all within its reach were won. The children knew how she thought of and prayed for the servants that came under their roof and for the successive assistants in the shop. Did they not share her joy when these young people were brought, as sooner or later they always were, to a living faith in Christ ? Mother's closed door in the middle of the busy day had a world of meaning for the household. Those were the seasons of quiet waiting upon God that renewed her strength, and enabled her to make so attractive to others her unseen Friend. Happy the son whose every remembrance of his mother affords fresh inspiration to a life of Christlike love and service.Happy too the children so trained in habits of obedience to their earthly parents that they learn almost instinctively to obey and honour God. To James Taylor this was a matter of supreme importance. He felt with a deep sense of responsibility that Christian parents are placed at the head of the family as the direct representatives of Him " from whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named." To permit disobedience would be not only unfaithfulness to God, but cruel injustice to the children, wholly misleading them as to the character of the Heavenly Father with whom through life they have to do. His duty on the contrary was to train them to such prompt and loyal obedience to their earthly parents that they would be prepared to render like submission to the will of God. He showed them that such obedience requires the exercise of the highest powers, faith, love, patience, self-control, and is a faculty not easily acquired. Unless they learned the lesson in childhood, they would grow up with unyielded wills, too wayward and undisciplined to be of use in the service of God. The sorrow and danger of such a position he showed them from many passages of Scripture, dwelling especially on Eli's failure in governing his sons, the sin and misery it entailed, and the dishonour brought upon the name of God.

So much did he dread the consequences of over-indulgence that he went, perhaps, too far in the opposite extreme. But even when he seemed most severe and the children were tempted to rebel, their mother's voice quickly recalled them, " My dear, he is your father. Not a word! Remember, ` Honour thy father.' "

But there were aching hearts, at times, over what seemed a reproof or punishment of needless asperity, as when Amelia was sent to bed one Sunday afternoon for leaving a morsel on her plate at dinner, unfinished. But though it cost tears at the time, she came to feel that Father had erred on the safe side, if he had erred at all, and that he and Mother sacrificed themselves in this as in everything else for the good of those entrusted to their care.

For the children's pleasures too their parents thought and planned, and many were the red-letter days that dotted the calendar throughout those early years. Saturday afternoon was always much looked forward to, for then visits might be paid to their friends across the Green, to the Neatbys, or the Cope cousins whose beautiful garden offered endless attractions. Or better still, Hudson and Amelia would take their hoops in spring and summer, and run off alone to the Lunn Woods down the Cudworth Road. Perfectly happy in each other's company, they would wander for hours up and down those shady glades, chasing butterflies and gathering flowers to their hearts' content. They never thought of quarrelling. Hudson was his sister's protector rather, and considered himself responsible to take care of and keep her happy, though he could not always overcome a boyish tendency to tease.

" Now, my child, don't be teased, and he will soon leave off," the mother would say with a smile, well knowing that Hudson's teasing was never more than fun.

As a matter of fact there was nothing he would not have denied himself for the good of this dearly loved sister. While she was still little and afraid to be left in the dark, he would frequently sacrifice an hour with his book-by the fireside to keep her company. When it was cold he would sit beside her on the pillow with his feet under the bedclothes, telling the most fearsome, fascinating stories, until she drifted happily into the land of dreams.

Their enjoyment of the country was greatly increased by the companionship of their father, who often went with them on Saturday afternoon for long, delightful walks.How they loved the butterflies, birds, and flowers about which he told them ! It was better to wander with him in such company than even to visit the wonderful fairs on the Green. Twice every year these great occasions came, with all the excitement of shows, menageries, and merry-go-rounds, to say nothing of stalls passing description. But though they enjoyed the bewildering scene, keeping close to their father's side as he led them through the crowds, it was a different and doubtful joy, not to be compared with the other. The green woods never palled, or left one jaded and dissatisfied. And then at home one could pursue the subject still. Careful and orderly as she was, the mother fully entered into the feelings of her little naturalists, and afforded every facility for the wonderful collections that grew from these country walks. Their father encouraged them too, and subscribed for a magazine of Natural History that coming month by month did not a little to deepen intelligent interest.

One thing the parents specially inculcated was thoughtful consideration for living creatures. To wilfully hurt a fly would have been an offence severely punished ; and from babyhood the children were made to realise that all cruelty to dumb, helpless creatures was a sin against God Himself.

" What you sow in this way," the father would assure them, " you will certainly reap. You will be made to suffer for all the suffering you inflict, as God is God and knows everything."

Even flowers they might not gather unless they really wanted to keep them, and over their collections of insects and butterflies the greatest care was exercised. Hudson, who was intensely interested in these beautiful creatures, fully shared the solicitude of his parents that they should not be made to suffer. Pill-boxes large and small were supplied him from the shop, in which air-holes were carefully pricked, so that he might bring home his treasures " comfortably," and then a little chloroform precluded the possibility of pain.

Other happy memories for children and parents alike centred round the festivities that once a year gathered the family circle at " Grandmamma's." On Christmas Day her sons and daughters dined with her in state, and on New Year's Day she resigned possession to the younger generation. Tall and stately as she was, Mary Shepherd of the long-ago days inspired only gratitude and affection among her numerous grandchildren. Troops of merry boys and girls played hide-and-seek all over the house, and revelled in the good things her hospitality provided. They were quite a clan by this time, though the invitation extended to first cousins only ; and certainly none among them had more capacity for enjoyment than the unspoiled little people from the chemist's home on the Market Place.

But to them the happiest days of all were not those high days and holidays. Through the mists of childhood the brightest associations lingered about one dear figure in the repose that always seemed to accompany a white crepe shawl and satin gown. Sunday was the day on which Mother gave herself to them as she could not through the week, and if there was one thing she cared about, it was that that day should be to every member of the household the happiest and most helpful of the seven. In the morning the children went with her regularly to the House of God, and there was more leisure to enjoy companionship at home on Sunday. But in addition, Mother had ways and means for making that day different from all others and much to be desired. The nicest toys and picture-books belonged to Sunday, as well as the prettiest frocks and a cosy fire in the drawingroom because the piano was there. Mother's sweet voice made hymn-singing a delight. No talks were like her talks over the Bible, not to speak of Pilgrim's Progress and other books that only- appeared that day. Then she always had a basket of fruit for her little people in the afternoon. And just to see her looking so sweet and restful as she shared their enjoyments was not the least part of the happiness of the day.

Yes, home was home indeed and the nearest place to heaven, because it held that mother in whose heart was shed abroad the very love of God.

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