CHAPTER 16--ARRIVAL AND FIRST EXPERIENCES--MARCH 1854. ART. 21.

IT was a foggy Sunday off Gutzlaff Island, cold with occasional rain, as might be expected at the end of February, and the Dumfries lay at anchor waiting for a pilot to take her up to Shanghai. Through stormy weather she had held her way up the China Sea, driven out of her course by westerly gales, caught in a cyclone and blinding snow storms, but now the last stage of her long journey was reached, and the yellow, turbid water surging around her told that they were already in the estuary of a great river.

Muffled in his heaviest wraps Hudson Taylor paced the deck, doing his best to keep warm and be patient. It was a strange Sunday, this last at sea. For days he had been packed and ready to leave the ship, and hindered by storm and cold from other occupations had given the more time to thought and prayer.

" What peculiar feelings," he wrote, " arise at the prospect of soon landing in an unknown country, in the midst of strangers-a country now to be my home and sphere of labour. 'Lo, I am with you always.' ` I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' Sweet promises ! I have nothing to fear, with Jesus on my side.

" Great changes probably have taken place since last we heard from (Mina. And what news shall I receive from England ? Where shall I go, and how shall I live at first ? These and a thousand other questions engage the mind. . . . But the most important question of all is,' Am I now living as near to God as possible-?' Alas ! I am not. My wayward heart, so easily occupied with the things of time.and sense, needs continually leading back to the fold from whence it strays. Oh ! that my ' rejoicing ' may be `more abundant in Christ Jesus,' and my ` conversation' ever ` as becometh the Gospel of Christ.' "

As afternoon wore on, what were those boats in the distance-looming toward them through the mist ? One beat its way up before long, eagerly watched from the Dumfries. Yes, there was no mistaking that picturesque sail and curiously painted hull, nor the faces of the men as they came into sight. There they were, twelve or fourteen of them, blue-garbed, dark-eyed, vociferating in an unknown tongue-the first Chinese Hudson Taylor had ever seen. And how his heart went out to them ! Behind the strange, uncouth exterior he saw the treasure he had come so far to seek-the souls for which Christ died.

" I did long," he wrote, " to be able to tell them the Glad Tidings."

A little later the English pilot came on board and received a hearty welcome. There was no hope of reaching Woosung that day, still less Shanghai, fifteen miles farther up the tidal river ; but there was much he could tell them, while waiting for the fog to clear, of the long winter's doings since they had left England.

From him they learned, for example, of the troubles between Russia and Turkey that within a few weeks were to lead to the Crimean War.1 {1 This war, which was to cost England twenty-four thousand men, and to add forty-one millions sterling to the national debt, commenced on March 27, 1854, and was not concluded until two years later.}The allied fleets of England and France had already reached the scene of conflict, and nothing it was feared could avert the serious issue. But startling though it was to hear of war-clouds hanging over Europe, it was scarcely as great a shock as the news from China itself, and especially from the port at which they were about to land. Not only was the Tai-ping Rebellion still devastating province after province in its progress toward Peking ; Shanghai close at hand, both the native city and the foreign Settlement, was plunged in all the horrors of war. A local band of rebels known as the " Red Turbans " had obtained possession of the city, around which was now encamped an Imperial army of forty to fifty thousand men, the latter proving a more serious menace to the European community than even the rebels themselves.

For the rest, bad as their passage had been they had arrived ahead of vessels that set out before them, but just too late for the February mail. They must be prepared, moreover, to find everything at famine prices, for the dollar had risen from four shillings, its ordinary value, to six or seven, and would soon be higher : a discouraging outlook for one with a small income in English money !

All this and more the pilot told them, and they had time to think over his communications. Monday was still so foggy that they could not proceed, and though they weighed anchor on Tuesday morning it was only to beat up against the wind a few miles nearer to Woo-sung. But that night the fog lifted, and the young missionary pacing the deck caught sight of a low-lying shore, running far to north and south, that was no island. How it arrested him ! His prayers were answered ; the dream of years come true. He was looking on China at last, under the evening sky.

Not until 5 P.M. next day, however (Wednesday, March 1), was he able to land in Shanghai ; and then it was quite alone, the Dumfries being still detained by adverse winds.

" My feelings on stepping ashore," he wrote, " I cannot attempt to describe. My heart felt as though it had not room and must burst its bonds, while tears of gratitude and thankfulness fell from my eyes."

Then a deep sense of the loneliness of his position began to come over him ; not a friend or acquaintance anywhere ; not a single hand held out to welcome him, or any one who even knew his name.

Mingled with thankfulness for deliverance from many dangers and joy at finding myself at last on Chinese soil came a vivid realisation of the great distance between me and those I loved, and that I was a stranger in a strange land.

I had three letters of introduction, however, and counted on advice and help from one especially, to whom I had been commended by mutual friends, whom I knew well and highly valued. Of course I inquired for him at once, only to learn that he had been buried a month or two previously, having died of fever while we were at sea.

Saddened by these tidings I asked the whereabouts of a missionary to whom another of my introductions was addressed, but only to meet with further disappointment. He had recently left for America. The third letter remained ; but it had been given me by a comparative stranger, and I expected less from it than from the others. It proved, however, to be God's channel of help.

This letter then in hand, he left the British Consulate near the river to find the London Mission compound at some distance across the Settlement. On every side strange sights, sounds and smells now greeted him, especially when the European houses gave place to Chinese shops and dwellings. Here nothing but Chinese was to be heard, and few if any but Chinese were to be seen. The streets grew narrower and more crowded, and overhanging balconies above rows of swinging signboards almost hid the sky. How he found his way for a mile or more does not appear ; but at length a mission-chapel came in sight, and with an upward look for guidance Hudson Taylor turned in at the ever-open gateway of Ma-ka-k'iuen.1{1 The name of the London Mission Compound on Shantung Road, familiar and beloved. The three characters mean, " Medhurst Family Enclosure."}

Several buildings stood before him, including a hospital and dwelling-houses, at the first of which he enquired for Dr. Medhurst to whom his letter was addressed. Sensitive and reserved by nature, it was no small ordeal to Hudson Taylor to have to introduce himself to so important a person, the pioneer as well as founder (with Dr. Lockhart) of Protestant missionary effort in this part of China, and it was almost with relief he heard that Dr. Medhurst was no longer living on the compound. He too, it seemed, had gone away.

More than this Hudson Taylor was unable to make out, as the Chinese servants could not speak English, nor could he understand a word of their dialect. It was a perplexing situation until a European came in sight, to whom the new arrival quickly made himself known. To his relief he found he was talking with Mr. Edkins, one of the junior missionaries, who welcomed him kindly and explained that Dr. and Mrs. Medhurst had moved to the British Consulate, as the premises they had occupied were within sight and sound of constant fighting at the North Gate of the city. Dr. Lockhart, however, remained ; and while he went to find him, Mr. Edkins invited the stranger into one of the Mission-houses.

It was quite an event in those days for an Englishman and especially a missionary to appear in Shanghai unannounced. Most people came by the regular mail-steamers once a month, whose arrival caused general excitement. None was expected then, and even the Dumfries was not yet in port ; so that when another of the L.M.S. people came in, during Mr. Edkin's absence, Hudson Taylor had to explain all over again who and what he was. But Alexander Wylie soon set the shy lad at ease, and entertained him until Mr. Edkins returned with Dr. Lockhart.

It did not take long for these new friends to understand the situation, and then there was nothing for it but to receive the young missionary into one of their own houses. They could not leave him without a home, and the Settlement was so crowded that lodgings were not to be had at any price. Dr. Lockhart, happily, had a room at his disposal. He was living alone, Mrs. Lockhart having been obliged to return to England, and with genuine kindness welcomed Hudson Taylor as his guest, permitting him to pay a moderate sum to cover board-expenses.

This arrangement made, Mr. Edkins took him to see Mr. and Mrs. Muirhead, who completed the L.M.S. staff in Shanghai, and introduced him also to Mr. and Mrs. Burdon of the Church Missionary Society, who had rented an unoccupied house (belonging possibly to Dr. Medhurst) on the same compound. The Burdons invited him to dinner that evening. They were young and newly married, having only been a year or two in China, and from the first were drawn to Hudson Taylor in a sympathy he warmly reciprocated.

" The fireside looked so homelike, their company was so pleasant and all the news they had to tell," he wrote, " so full of interest that it was most refreshing. After prayer at ten o'clock I returned to Dr. Lockhart's, who kindly gave me a room and made me quite at home to enjoy once more a bed on shore." 1 {1 It is a matter of no little interest to think of Hudson Taylor on his arrival as welcomed by this group of distinguished missionaries. " There were giants ... in those days," and certainly the L.M.S. had their share ! Among the honoured names on the long roll of its missionaries few take a higher place than Medhurst, Lockhart, Wylie, Muirhead, Edkins, and Griffith John who joined them a few months later." Most of the large cities in Kiang-su and North Cheh-kiang first heard the Word of Life from this band of devoted young men . who in the years before 186o were associated with the pioneer evangelist to central China, Dr. Medhurst" (A Century of Missions in China, p. 7).Of Dr. Lockhart it need only be said that he was the first medicalmissionary from England to China. He landed in Canton four years after Dr. Peter Parker from America, and accompanied Dr. Medhurst when, in 1843, he commenced missionary operations in central China.At the time of Hudson Taylor's arrival, Dr. Medhurst and Dr. Lockhart had already been eleven years in Shanghai. Both were in middle life. Dr. Medhurst being fifty-eight and Dr. Lockhart forty-three years of age. Mr. Wylie was a man of thirty-nine, and a widower. Messrs. Edkins and Muirhead were thirty-one and thirty-two respectively, and had been in Shanghai already six and seven years : the important centre in which they were still to be fellow-labourers after more than half a century had gone by.The literary as well as evangelistic labours of these men were most remarkable Dr. Medhurst was proficient in eight or ten languages, and published fifty-nine works in Chinese, six in Malay, and twenty-seven in English. Dr. Lockhart wrote and translated valuable books on medicine and medical-missions. Alexander Wylie " acquired French, Russian, German, and the Manchu and Mongol languages while in charge of the L.M.S. Press in Shanghai, and published numerous works of great value both in English and Chinese." The venerable and beloved Dr. Muirhead, during his fifty-three years of incessant evangelistic and pastoral labours, " translated the first considerable work on Geography ever published in Chinese ... and was the author also of many theological works, and a member of the Bible Revision Committee." While the well-known Dr. Edkins, who survived them all, with " an extraordinary gift for languages and a profound knowledge of Chinese," was one of the leading sinologues of his day.The Rev. J. S. Burdon also continued for nearly half a century in missionary labours in China. He was the first representative of the Church Missionary Society to commence work in Peking, which became his headquarters for eleven years. " He translated the Prayer Book and a Bible History, and published several lesser works, besides aiding in the translation of the Scriptures." In 1873 he was consecrated third Bishop d Victoria, Hong-kong, which responsible office he held for more than twenty years.A remarkable group of men, reinforced by a remarkable addition in the coming among them of Hudson Taylor. }

Here then was an answer to many prayers, the solution of many ponderings. For the moment he was provided for under favourable circumstances, and though he could not long trespass upon the doctor's hospitality, it would afford him at any rate a little while in which to look about and make permanent arrangements. With good courage, therefore, he arose next morning to see what could be done. The Dumfries would be coming in and he must have his luggage brought ashore, then procure necessary books and a teacher to commence as soon as possible the study of the language. It was his first whole day in China.

" My pleasure on awakening," he wrote to his sister, " and hearing the cheerful song of birds may be better imagined than described.The green corn waving in the fields, budding plants in the garden, and sweetly perfumed blossoms on some of the trees were indeed delightful after so long at sea."

Breakfast over he went to the Consulate, and though disappointed to find only one letter (on which he had to pay no less than two shillings postage) it was a letter from home, containing enclosures from both mother and sisters.

" Never. did I pay two shillings more willingly in my life," he assured them, " than for that letter."

Soon the Dumfries was reported, and with a Chinese helper he managed to get his things brought up to Dr. Lockhart's. It was a peculiar sensation to be marching at the head of a procession of coolies through the crowded streets, all his belongings swinging from bamboo poles across their shoulders, while at every step they sang or shouted " Ou-ah Ou-ay " in varying tones, some a third above the rest. They were not really in pain or distress, although it sounded like it ; and by the time some of the copper cash he had received in exchange for a Mexican dollar had been distributed amongst them, he had had his first lesson in business dealings with the Chinese.

Then came the daily service in the hospital, conducted on this occasion by Dr. Medhurst, and Hudson Taylor listened for the first time to Gospel preaching in the tongue with which he was to become so familiar. In conversation afterwards, Dr. Medhurst advised him to commence his studies with the Mandarin dialect, the most widely spoken in China, and undertook to procure a teacher. Evening brought the weekly prayer-meeting, when Hudson Taylor was introduced to others of the missionary community, thus ending with united waiting upon God a day full of interest and encouragement.

But before the week closed he began to see another side of Shanghai life. The journal tells of guns firing all night, and the city wall not half a mile away covered with sentry lights ; of sharp fighting seen from his windows, in which men were killed and wounded under his very eyes ; of a patient search for rooms in the Chinese part of the Settlement, only emphasising the fact that there were none to be had ; of his first contact with heathenism ; and of scenes of suffering in the native city which made an indelible impression of horror upon his mind.

Of some of these experiences he wrote to his sister ten days after his arrival On Saturday [March 4] I took a walk through the Market, and such a muddy, dirty place as Shanghai I never did see ! The ground is all mud ; dry in dry weather, but one hour's rain makes it like walking through a clay-field. It scarcely is walking-but wading ! I found that there was no probability of getting a house or even apartments, and felt cast down in spirit.

The following day, Sunday, I attended two services at the L.M.S., and in the afternoon went into the city with Mr. Wylie. You have never seen a city in a state of siege, or been at the seat of war.. God grant you never may ! We walked some distance round the wall, and sad it was to see the wreck of rows upon rows of houses near the city. Burnt down, blown down, battered to pieces-in all stages of ruin they were ! And the misery of those who once inhabited them, and now at this inclement season are driven from house, home and everything, is terrible to think of.

At length we came upon a ladder let down from the wall, by which provisions were being conveyed into the city. We entered also ... and had a little conversation with the soldiers on guard who offered us no opposition. For a long time we wandered through the city, Mr. Wylie talking with people here and there, and giving them tracts. We went into some of the temples and had conversation with the priests, who also received tracts from us. Everywhere we seemed welcome. . . .

As we passed the West Gate, we saw that the mud with which it had been blocked was cleared away. Hundreds of the Rebel soldiery were assembled there, and we met many more going in that direction. They were about to make a sally upon the Imperialists, who would not be expecting it from that quarter.

We then proceeded to the L.M.S. Chapel, and found it crammed with people. Dr. Medhurst was preaching, after which six bags of rice were distributed among the poor creatures, many of whom must perish but for this assistance, rendered daily, as they can do nothing now to earn a living. Some of the windows smashed in the Chapel, and the lamps broken by passing bullets tell of the deadly work that is going on... .

By the time we came to the North Gate they were fighting fiercely outside the city.. One man was brought in dead, another shot through the chest, and a third whose arm I examined seemed in dreadful agony. A ball had gone clean through the arm, breaking the bone in passing. We could do nothing for him unless he would come to the hospital ; for, as Dr. Lockhart said, who came up just at the moment, they would only pull our dressings off.

A little farther on we met some men bringing in a small cannon they had captured, and following them were others dragging along by their tails (queues) five wretched prisoners. The poor fellows cried piteously to us to save them, as they were hurried by, but, alas, we could do nothing ! They would probably be at once decapitated. It makes one's blood run cold to think of such a thing.

Dr. Medhurst, who left the city first, waited a little while for us to overtake him, and as we did not come, went on alone. Shortly after, a cannon-ball struck two men on the very spot where he had been standing, and wounded them so seriously that I fear one if not both will die. When we reached home we found they had been brought to the hospital, and traces of blood seen on the way were thus explained. It makes one sad indeed to be surrounded by so much misery ; to see poor creatures so suffering and distressed, and not be able to relieve them or tell them of Jesus and His love. I can only pray for them. But is not He all-mighty ? He is. Thank God we know He is ! Let us then pray earnestly that He may help them.

All this was intensely painful to a sensitive nature, and Hudson Taylor doubtless felt it the more that it was so unexpected. Trial and hardship he had looked for, of the kind usually associated with a missionary's lot, but every thing was turning out differently from his anticipations. External hardships there were none, save the cold from which he suffered greatly ; but distress of mind and heart seemed daily to increase. He could hardly look out of his window, much less take exercise in any direction, without witnessing misery such as he had never dreamed of before. The tortures inflicted by the soldiery of both armies upon unhappy prisoners from whom they hoped to extort money, and the ravages perpetrated as they pillaged the country for supplies, harrowed him unspeakably. And over all hung the dark pall of heathenism, weighing with a heavy oppression upon his spirit. Many of the temples were destroyed in whole or part and the idols damaged, but still the people worshipped them, crying and praying for help that never came. The gods, it was evident, were unable to save. They could not even protect themselves in these times of danger. But in their extremity, rich and poor, high and low, turned to them still, for they had nothing else.

Seeing which, it can be easily imagined how Hudson Taylor longed to tell them of One mighty to save. But not a sentence could he put together so as to be understood. This enforced silence was a keen distress, for he was accustomed to speaking freely of the things of God. Ever since his conversion five years previously he had given himself as fully as possible to the ministry' of the Gospel. And now for the first time his lips were sealed, and it seemed as if he never would be able in that appalling tongue to tell out all that was in his heart. This again could not but react on his own spiritual life. The channels of outflow to others were sealed, and it was a little while before he realised that they must be kept all the more clear and open toward God. His eagerness to get hold of the language made him devote every moment to study, even to the neglect of prayer and daily feeding upon the Scriptures. Of course the great enemy took advantage of all this, as may be seen from early letters to his parents in which he unburdened his heart

" My position is a very difficult one," he wrote soon after his arrival. " Dr. Lockhart has taken me to reside with him for the present, as houses are not to be had for love or money. . . . No one can live in the. city, for they are fighting almost continuously. I see the walls from my window . . . and the firing is visible at night. They are fighting now, while I write, and the house shakes with the report of cannon.

" It is so cold that I can hardly think or hold the pen. . . . You will see from my letter to Mr. Pearse how perplexed I am. It will be four months before I can hear in reply, and the very kindness of the missionaries who have received me with open arms makes me fear to be burdensome. Jesus will guide me aright.... I love the Chinese more than ever. Oh to be useful among them ! "

To Mr. Pearse he had written about his arrival, and continued on March 3....

I felt very much disappointed on finding no letter from you, but I hope to receive one by next mail. Shanghai is in a very unsettled state, the Rebels and Imperialists fighting continually, This morning a cannon fired near us awoke me before daybreak, shaking the house and making the windows rattle violently.

There is not a house to be obtained here, or even part of one ; those not occupied by Europeans are filled with Chinese merchants who have left the city. The Pilot told me they will give for only three rooms as much as thirty dollars a month, and in some instances more. The missionaries who were living in the city have had to leave, and are residing with others here in the Settlement at present ; so that had it not been for the kindness of Dr. Lockhart I should have been quite nonplussed. As it is I scarcely know what to do. How long the present state of things may last it is impossible to say. If I am to stay here, Dr. Lockhart says that the only plan will be to buy land and build a house. The land would probably cost from a hundred to a hundred and fifty dollars, and the house three or four hundred more. If peace were restored, Dr. Lockhart thinks I could rent a house in the city at from two to three hundred dollars per annum.. So that in any case the expense of living here must be great. I do not know whether it would be less at Hong-kong or any other port ? . , .

Please excuse this hasty, disconnected letter with all its faults. It is so cold just now that I can scarcely feel pen or paper. Everything is very dear, and fuel costs at times an almost fabulous price. Owing to new arrivals, coal is now at thirty dollars [nearly £10] a ton. Once more I must beg you to excuse this letter, . , . and please reply with all possible expedition that I may know what to do.

May the Lord bless and prosper you. Continue to pray much for me, and may we all, sure of Jesus' love when everything else fails, seek to be more like Him.... Soon we shall meet where ... sorrow and trial shall be no more. Till then may we be willing to bear the cross, and not only to do but to suffer His will;

" The cold. was so great and other things so trying," he continued to his parents a week later, " that I scarcely knew what I was doing or saying at first. Then, what it means to be so far from home, at the seat of war, and not able to understand or be understood by the people was fully realised. Their utter wretchedness and misery, and my inability to help them or even point them to Jesus, powerfully affected me. Satan came in as a flood ; but there was One who lifted up a standard against him. Jesus is here, and though unknown to the majority and uncared-for by many who might know Him, He is present and precious to His own."

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