CHAPTER 17--MAKE IT A PLACE OF SPRINGS- APRIL-AUGUST 1854. AET. 21-22.

IT was April 4, a day long to be remembered in Shanghai on account of " the battle of Muddy Flat," an engagement between foreign troops and the Imperial soldiery. And a regular battle it was, the Chinese force amounting to fifty thousand men.

For some time the attitude of the latter had been increasingly menacing toward Europeans, several of whom, including Dr. Medhurst, had narrowly escaped with their lives. Under cover of operations against the native city, the Imperial Camps had been moved nearer and nearer to the Settlement, until the foreign community with all they possessed was well within range of. Chinese guns. Startled by the danger of their position, the Consuls agreed to require the removal of the camps to a greater distance, and whenthe time-limit having expired-their demand was not complied with, felt there was nothing for it but to open fire.

And then it was only too evident that the Chinese were prepared to resist. A sharp return fire poured upon the attacking force, many of whom fell before it. Still, superior discipline and arms carried the day, and the handful of Europeans, volunteers and marines from the gun-boats, succeeded in scattering the astonished army and setting fire to the deserted camps.

After this, relations were so strained that it was hardly safe for Europeans to venture beyond the protection of their own guns. At first, indeed, it seemed as though retaliation would be attempted, and the Settlement was barricaded and an extra gun-boat sent up. But no attack was made. The dislodged soldiery vented their rage upon the poor, defenceless villagers instead, and there the matter ended.

All this was not only a keen distress of mind to Hudson Taylor ; it did not a little to add to the trial of his position. For just before the battle of Muddy Flat the way had seemed more hopeful. He had made several excursions with older missionaries in the populous plain around Shanghai, and had been much impressed with the friendliness manifested. Everywhere the foreigners and their message seemed welcome, the distracted villagers finding in their presence some hope of escape from the cruelty of both Rebel and Imperial soldiers. This had encouraged the thought that away altogether from the Settlement he might find a home of his own right among the people. The danger involved would not have deterred him for a moment, and hardships would have been welcome that enabled him to -live within his income and be independent. Besides, he longed to be more in touch with the suffering poor around him, and to do what little he could to help them. With his teacher, he might be useful medically and in other ways, and still give a large part of his time to study. His hopes had risen with each fresh visit to the country, and he had been on the lookout for a suitable place in which to settle.

But now all this was at an end, and even preaching excursions had to be discontinued. Foreigners were obliged to remain strictly within the limits of the Settlement, and missionary work was much hampered in consequence. A journey Mr. Edkins had planned, in which Hudson Taylor was to have been his companion, had to be given up, greatly to the disappointment of both missionaries.

" Had we started as we intended," wrote the latter, " or had this affair happened a day or two later, we should probably have been seized and beheaded by the Imperialists in revenge. But God is ever with us. On His watchful protection we rely. He never forgets,never changes....

" It is of course impossible to go at. all into the country now, so there seems no chance of my getting a place of my own at present.... I would give anything for a friend with whom to consult freely. My position is so perplexing that if I had not definite promises of Divine guidance to count upon, I do not know what I should do. There is, I fear, no probability of my being able to keep within my salary under present circumstances. If I had quarters of my own I could live on rice (not bread, that would be too expensive) and drink tea without milk or sugar, which is cheap enough here. But that I cannot do now. Things are increasing in expense all the while and dollars are getting dearer. They were at six and a penny when last I heard, and if we are involved in further hostilities may rise to double that priceand yet have no more purchasing, value. Well, He will provide... .

" They are building barricades in the Settlement to-day [April 8], and instead of seven roads into it are going to have only three or four. I think we are safe . . . but the poor people round us are in a sad state. My teacher said yesterday

"'I have great fear. Turning to the right hand I fear the Rebels, and on the left the Mandarin soldiers fill me with alarm. Truly these are hard times to live in.'

" What the poor man says is indeed true.... I tried to comfort him as well as I could. Nothing gives me so much delight as speaking even a few words for Jesus, and I hope I shall soon be able to do so more freely."

It may seem exaggerated, at first sight, to dwell much upon the trials of Hudson Taylor's position. True he was at the seat of war, but as far as circumstances permitted he was living in safety and even comfort. He was so well off, apparently, that one wonders at the undertone of suffering in his letters, until a little consideration reveals another side of his experiences. The assistance received from Dr. Medhurst and other L.M.S. missionaries was of the greatest value, and yet it gave rise to a distressing situation. If he had belonged to their Society and had been preparing to work with and for them, nothing could have been better.But as it was, he felt almost like an unfledged cuckoo-an intruder in another bird's nest. That his companionship at every meal in solitary tete-a-tete was somewhat wearisome to his generous host, he could not but feel. Not that he received anything but kindness from Dr. Lockhart and his associates. But he was not as they were, highly educated and connected with a great denomination and important work. The preparation providentially ordered for him had been along different lines, and his religious views made him singular, while his position as a missionary was isolated and open to criticism.

He had been sent out, hurried out almost by his Society, before his medical course was finished, in the hope of reaching the Rebels at Nanking. Misled by optimistic reports about the Tai-ping Movement, the Secretaries of the C.E.S. had taken a position that to practical men on the field seemed wholly absurd. It is just as natural for missionaries to be critical, apart from restraining grace, as for others, and it was not long before Hudson Taylor discovered that the Chinese Evangelisation Society, with its aims and methods, was the butt of no little ridicule in Shanghai. It was keenly painful as The Gleaner came out month by month to hear it pulled to pieces in this spirit, although he could not but acknowledge that many of the strictures were deserved. This did not make it easier, however, for the Society's representative in that part of China, especially when for the time being he was dependent upon those who spoke and felt so strongly.

He realised the weaknesses of the C.E.S., or was coming to, no less clearly than they did ; but he knew and respected many members of the Committee, and to some (including the Secretaries) he was attached with grateful love. This put matters in a very different light. Fellowship with them in spiritual things, at Tottenham and elsewhere, could never be forgotten, and even when feeling their mistakes most keenly he longed for their atmosphere of prayer, their love of the Word of God and earnest zeal for souls.

The influence of the world was tremendously strong in Shanghai, even in missionary circles. It was the heyday of the Settlement, as regards financial and commercial opportunities. True, a temporary check had been imposed by the local rebellion, and it was still a question as to how long the disturbed state of things might continue. But the native city once again in the hands of the Imperialists, business would boom and the price of land go up, carrying all commercial undertakings forward on a flood-tide of success. And so it proved before twelve months were over. Many a fortune was to be made in Shanghai in those days, and lavish expenditure on luxury, with its attendant evils, were to be found on every hand. Among the Europeans hardly a man of advanced age was to be seen, for it was a new world to Western enterprise, entered only within the last twelve years. 1 {1 The Treaty of Nanking, opening the " Five Ports " to Western commerce, had only been signed twelve years previously, in x842.}

Those were the good old times when every Englishman in China was youthful, the great firms princely, the hospitality unbounded, and the prospect of achieving fortune with ordinary industry and luck appeared to every young fellow as assured. 2 {2 Sir Thomas Sutherland, G.C.M.G. ; article entitled "Far Eastern Shipping, Fifty Years Ago," in The London and China Express for November 27, 19o8: Fiftieth Anniversary Number.The next paragraph continues : Exchange was constant at not less than .4s. 6d. for the dollar and 6s. 8d. for the tael. The current rate of interest was twelve per cent. per annum. Alas 1 a change came over the spirit of the dream a few years later, when the telegraph reached China and the centre of gravity in trade was in large measure transferred to Europe. No longer could China merchants store their silk and teas in London with the tolerable certainty that if they held their merchandise long enough the price would rise to meet their demands. Following the telegraph, the opening of the Suez Canal and the rapid development of steam-shipping changed completely the character of Eastern trade. But I am anticipating events that were undreamed of in China or India fifty years ago." }

Such a state of things was not without its effect on the missionary community. The great expense of living necessitated increased salaries ; and it was unavoidable that there should be a good deal of intercourse with government officials, to whom the missionaries were useful as interpreters, and with officers from the gun-boats stationed-, at Shanghai for the protection of the Settlement. Without finding fault with anything or any one in particular, there was a general spirit of sociability that surprised Hudson Taylor a good deal. It was not what he had expected in missionary life, and fell far short of his ideal.

He himself, on the other hand, did not entirely accord with the current conception of what a missionary should be. He was bright and fairly educated, but had no university or college training, had taken no medical degree, and disclaimed the title Reverend given him at first on all hands. That he was good and earnest could easily be seen ; but he was connected with no particular denomination, nor was he sent out by any special Church. He expected to do medical work, but he was not a doctor. He was accustomed, evidently, to preaching and an almost pastoral care of others, and yet was not ordained. And strangest perhaps of all, though he belonged to a Society that seemed well supplied with funds, his salary was insufficient and his appearance shabby compared with those by whom he was surrounded.

That Hudson Taylor felt all this, and felt it increasingly as time went on, is not to be wondered at. He had come out with such different expectations ! His one longing was to go inland and live among the people. He wanted to keep down expenses and continue the simple, self-denying life he had lived at home. To learn the language that he might win souls was his one ambition. He cared nothing, nothing at all about worldly estimates and social pleasures, though he did long for fellowship in the things of God. With a salary of eighty pounds a year, he found himself unable to manage upon twice that sum. So he was really poor, poor and in serious difficulty before long ; and there was no one to impress the fact upon the Committee at home or make them understand the situation.

Then too he was lonely, unavoidably lonely. The missionaries with whom he lived were all a good deal older than himself, with the exception of the Burdons who were fully occupied with their work. He could not trespass on their kindness too frequently, and having no colleague of his own found it impossible to speak of many matters connected with the Society and future developments that were on his heart. Soon he learned to mention such affairs as little as possible, but he did long for some one with whom to bring them before the Throne of Grace.

Much as he felt his position, however, it was well for the young missionary that he could not hive off just then or attempt to live on rice and tea minus milk or sugar. He would have done it had he been his own master. He would have done anything along lines of self-sacrifice to make the money given for missionary purposes go as far as possible. But in that unaccustomed and trying climate it would have been a dangerous experiment during the hot season. And more than this-were there not higher purposes in view in the providential limitations imposed upon him at this time ? He longed to be free and independent, and the Lord saw fit to keep him in the very opposite position, letting him learn from experience what it is to be poor and weak and indebted to others even for the necessaries of life. For His own, His well-beloved Son there was no better way ; and there are lessons still that only can be learned in this school.

But for such circumstances early in his missionary career, Hudson Taylor would never have been able to feel for others as it was necessary he should. By nature he was resourceful and independent to a fault. He had sacrificed, as we have seen, the hope and ambition of years, breaking off his medical curriculum before he could obtain a degree, simply that he might be free to follow the guidance of the Lord as it came to him personally, untrammelled by obligations even to the Society with which he was connected. And now at the very opening of his new life in China, he found himself cast upon the generosity of strangers, shut up to a position as little welcome, possibly, to them as to himself, and from which there seemed for a long time to come no hope of escape.

As spring advanced, his journal gave evidence of more trial and depression of spirits than could be attributed to the climate. His eyes, never strong, became inflamed through the sunshine and excessive dust, and he suffered also a great deal from headache. In spite of this he worked at Chinese on an average five hours every day, besides giving time to necessary correspondence. To Mr. Pearse he wrote as fully as possible, trying to supply information that would interest readers of The Gleaner, as well as detailed statements of the condition of things around him with a view to the future conduct of the work.

From these letters one sees how much he was beginning to feel the monotony of a young missionary's life, occupied mainly with study. There was little of interest to write about, now that he was practically restricted to the Settlement, and it is clear that he was passing through that stage of weariness and disillusionment in which so many, drifting away from the Lord, lose spiritual usefulness and power. What, missionary does not know the temptation at such a time to let go higher ideals and sink to the level about one? Prayer becomes an effort and Bible reading distasteful, and the longing creeps in for stimulus of some kind-if it be only that of gossip or novel-reading. Then the way is open for a fault-finding, critical spirit, for dissatisfaction and irritability, and gradually for worse backsliding still. And all this, so often, has its first beginnings in the almost unendurable monotony from which the young missionary finds it difficult if not impossible to escape.

" Pray for me, pray earnestly for me," wrote Hudson Taylor to his mother early in April, " you little know what I may be needing when you read this."

And to Mr. Pearse a few days later: May the Lord raise up and send out many labourers into this part of His vineyard and sustain those who are already here. No amount of romantic excitement can do that. There is so much that is repugnant to the flesh that nothing but the power of God can uphold His servants in such a sphere, just as His blessing alone can give them success.

Thanks to good judgment and sensible home-training, Hudson Taylor was in less danger than many young missionaries during those months of language study. From early childhood he had been encouraged, as we have seen, to take an interest in " nature study," his butterflies and insects being always housed with consideration though at some cost to his parents in their limited surroundings. This stood him in good stead, for now he not only knew the value of such recreation, but also how to take it up.

" Ordered a cabinet for insects," runs the journal for April a5, " and worked at Chinese and photography.

" April 28: Very warm again. Worked at Chinese five hours. Had a bad headache all day. Caught a few insects as a commencement of my collection.

" April 29: At Chinese six hours. After dinner took a walk in search of nocturnal insects. Had some difficulty in getting into the Settlement again, the gates being closed."

" To-day," he wrote to his mother in May, " I caught sight of a large black butterfly with swallow-tail wings, the largest living butterfly I have ever seen. . . . At first I thought it must be a small bird, although it seemed to fly so strangely. But when it settled on a tree and I saw the splendid creature, it nearly took my breath away .. . it was so fine !

" I intend also to collect botanical specimens, but at present have no convenience. . . . There are some trees here that have a strange look to our eyes, being covered with blossoms before a single leaf appears. Among the wild plants I see many old friends-the violet, forget-me-not, buttercup, clover, chickweed, dandelion, hemlock, and several common herbs. There are also wild flowers that are new to me and very pretty."

In addition to working hard at Chinese this summer he was diligently keeping up other studies, medicine and chemistry especially, that he might not lose the benefit of his hospital course. The classics he gave as much time ' to as possible, and he seems always to have had some useful book on hand dealing with history, biography, or natural science. The following is a typical entry in a journalletter to his sister

Before breakfast read Medicine, then Chinese nearly seven hours. After dinner, Greek and Latin exercises, each an hour. After poring over these things till one can scarcely see, it is a comfort to have a fine, clear, large-type Bible, such as Aunt Hardey gave me, It is quite a luxury. Well, all these studies are necessary. Some of them, the classical languages of Europe, ought to have been mastered long ago ; so it is now or never with me. But the sweetest duties of the day are those that lead to Jesus-prayer, reading and meditation upon His precious Word.

Summer was now upon them-those hottest months of the year when one lives in a perpetual Turkish bath, and mosquitoes, prickly-heat, and sleeplessness have to be reckoned with, as well as a temperature that for weeks together scarcely falls below 80° F. at night. It is easy to write about it, but who that has not lived through such days and nights can imagine how much grace it takes to bear the discomfort and distress without. irritability, and keep on steadily with work when all one's courage seems needed just to endure.

All through this trying season, however, Hudson Taylor kept up his studies, never falling below his average of five hours at Chinese every day. Once or twice he went into the country with Mr. Burdon, risky as it was to attempt it.

" These are troublous times," he wrote, " but we must do something "

And their faith that the Lord would help them was rewarded by the welcome met with from the village people, who were only too glad to see them out again.

" I think I may say I have one friend now," he added, telling of a happy evening with Mr. and Mrs. Burdon after one such excursion. " But I do not want to go over there too often, as I am only one of his circle and he has a wife for company. I feel the want of a companion very much. The day is spent with my teacher, but my evenings generally alone in writing or study."

Letters, of course, were a great comfort, and much time was given during his first year in China to correspondence.Strangely enough the months of June and July brought him the peculiar trial of hearing nothing from home mail after mail when he was especially longing for news. How this happened never quite appeared, for he had been written to regularly, but the letters never reached him, or if they did it was out of their proper order and long after they were due. This, combined with the great heat and the effects of a brief but serious illness, tried him to a degree that can only be understood by those who have been in similar circumstances.

" When last mail came in," he wrote to his mother in the middle of June, " after walking a mile and a half to the Consulate on a broiling hot day and waiting nearly two hours, which lost me my `tiffin' or midday meal, I had the pleasure of bringing up letters and papers for every one at the Mission except myself. When I found there really was nothing for me, the disappointment was so great that I felt quite sick and faint and could scarcely manage to walk home, for it was reported that we should have no other mail for six or eight weeks."

Another trial of those summer months, and one he felt still more keenly, was his financial position, overlooked apparently by the Society. The first quarter since his arrival in China was now at an end, and on making up his accounts he was more than troubled. His balance in hand was so small that it would be necessary to draw again very soon, and he had already spent more than a hundred and thirty dollars. At that rate his salary would be exhausted before half the year was over, and what would the Committee say and think ?

With anxious care he explained to Mr. Pearse every item in these accounts, the first he ever sent home from China, revealing touching details as to needs he had not supplied because of his desire to save expense as far as possible.

" I feel quite oppressed when I think of what a cost I am to the Society," he wrote, " and yet how little good I am able to accomplish."

And just then, to add to his perplexity, news reached him in a round-about way that seemed a climax to his troubles. The Society was sending another missionary to Shanghai, and not a bachelor like himself, but a married man with a family. Dr. Parker, a Scotch physician who had applied to the C.E.S. before Hudson Taylor left England, was already on his way to join him and might be expected in a few months. Glad as the young missionary would have been of such tidings under other circumstances, with Shanghai in the condition in which it was the outlook was cause indeed for concern. Dependent himself for shelter upon the generosity of others, what arrangements could he make for a married couple with three children ? He hardly dared mention it to those with whom he was living, and yet the news would soon be the talk of the Settlement whether he kept silence or not.

Anxiously he awaited letters from the Committee explaining the situation. Surely they would send him notice, in view of all he had written, of such an addition to their staff, and instruct him fully how to act. But mail after mail came in with no reference to Dr. Parker's coming. Repeated requests for directions as to how to arrange for himself had as yet received no answer, and before summer was over Hudson Taylor saw that he must act on his own initiative.

Meanwhile comments and questions were not wanting that made the position more trying. " Is it true that a medical man is about to join you, with a wife and family? When did you hear it ? Why did you not tell us ? Have you bought land? Why do you not begin to build?" And so forth ! To all of which no satisfactory reply was forthcoming. At first in his perplexity Hudson Taylor suffered as only a sensitive nature can ; but when the talk was at its worst and the summer heat almost unbearable, the Lord himself drew near and comforted him.

" As you know," he wrote to Mr. Pearse in July, " I have been much tried since coming here, `pressed beyond measure' almost at times. But the goodness of God is never-failing ; and the last few days I have enjoyed such a sweet sense of His love, and such a personal application of some of the promises as though they were written or spoken directly to me, that the oil of joy has indeed been given me for mourning. I feel sure that dear friends in England have been specially remembering me in prayer, and I am truly grateful. Oh, continue to pray for me ! I am so weak that difficulties seem overwhelming, and ofttimes I have to cry with Peter, `Save, Lord; I perish.' But never does that cry go up in vain. He has a balm for every wound, and is always ready to calm the troubled waters of the soul. I long much for the time when I shall be able to spread the knowledge of His grace among this people in their own tongue. May that time be hastened and an effectual door opened before me.. :

" I hope I may be able to find a home of some kind for Dr. and Mrs. Parker on their arrival, though I cannot see how or where it will be. All the houses seem more than filled already, and new missionaries are expected out. I think it seems necessary that you should at once consider and decide upon the question of building. If we are to establish a Mission in Shanghai there is no alternative. No one can have a greater objection to building than I have, or see its disadvantages more clearly. But the question lies at present within narrow limits. There is only a given space in which we are permitted to live, i.e. the Settlement, and in it all the houses are occupied or shortly will be. We may or may not find those who, having been at the expense of building for themselves, are willing to accommodate us for a time, to their own inconvenience ; but this cannot be a permanent state of things, Those who are best able to judge see no hope of a restoration of peace for years to come ; but we are all very shortsighted when we look into futurity."

The more he thought over the situation, the more he felt that there was nothing for it but to seek a native house in the Chinese part of the Settlement, in which to receive the travellers who were drawing nearer every day. So in spite of overpowering heat and his lack of a sedan-chair, he set about the weary search once more. It was four or five months now since he had hunted for quarters on his first arrival without finding even a room available, and if anything the conditions seemed worse than before. Nothing he could begin to think of was to be found, and but for a growing rest of heart in God, Hudson Taylor would have been almost in despair. As it was, he was learning precious lessons of his own helplessness-and of Almighty strength.

To Miss Stacey in Tottenham he wrote during those August days: How sweet is the thought that we have not an High Priest who cannot be " touched with the feeling of our infirmities," but One who was " in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Nothing is more sure than that we are wholly unable to sympathise with those in whose circumstances we have never been placed. How delightful then is the reflection that though our friends can only in part enter into our joys and sorrows, trials and discouragements, there is One ever ready to sympathise to the full ; One to whom we have constant access, and from whom we may receive present help in every time of need.

This has been such a comfort to me when thinking and perplexed as to a residence not for myself only but for Dr. and Mrs.. Parker. In the present state of Shanghai this is no easy problem, there being neither native nor foreign houses unoccupied. But I have much to be thankful for. Our dear Redeemer had not where to lay His head. I have never yet been placed in that extremity.

One who is really leaning on the Beloved finds it always possible to say, " I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me." But I am so apt, like Peter, to take my eyes off the one Object and look at the winds and waves. As in that scene, however, the grace and tenderness of Jesus are as apparent as Peter's little faith, so with us to-day as soon as we turn to Him, " He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength." While we depend entirely on Him we are secure, and prosper in circumstances apparently the most unfavourable. . . .

Oh for more stability ! The reading of the Word and meditation on the promises have been increasingly precious to me of late. At first I allowed my desire to acquire the language speedily to have undue prominence and a deadening effect on my soul. You see from this how much I need your prayers. But now, in the grace that passes all understanding, the Lord has again caused His face to shine upon me.

And to his sister Amelia he added, two days later; I have been puzzling my brains again about a house, etc., but to no effect. So I have made it a matter of prayer, and have given it entirely into the Lord's hands, and now I feel quite at peace about it. He will provide and be my Guide in this and every other perplexing step.

" Quite at peace about it "-with such serious difficulties ahead ? A situation he could not meet, needs for which he had no provision and no possibility of making any, a problem he had puzzled over until he was baffled, and to no effect ! " So I have made it a matter of prayer," is the simple, restful conclusion, " and have given it entirely into the Lord's hands. He will provide and be my Guide in this as in every other perplexing step."

Yes, that is how it ever has been, ever must be with the people of God. Until we are carried quite out of our depth, beyond all our own wisdom and resources, we are not more than beginners in the school of faith. Only as everything fails us and we fail ourselves, finding out how poor and weak we really are, how ignorant and helpless, do we begin to draw upon abiding strength. " Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee " ; not partly in Thee and partly in himself. The devil often makes men strong, strong in themselves to do evil-great conquerors, great acquirers of wealth and power. The Lord on the contrary makes His servant weak, puts him in circumstances that will shew him his own nothingness, that he may lean upon the strength that is unfailing. It is a long lesson for most of us ; but it cannot be passed over until deeply learned. And God Himself thinks no trouble too great, no care too costly to teach us this.

Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee and to prove thee and to know what was in thine heart.... that He might make thee know....

Yes, " all that long, wearisome, painful experience, infinitely well worth while in the sight of the Eternal, if it produced one moral, spiritual trait in the people He was educating :-what a scale of values ! "

At which point in our meditation, fresh light was thrown upon all this from the eighty-fourth Psalm, by an aged saint drawing upon the fulness of his own experience. 1{1 The beloved and now departed Herr Inspektor, C. H. Rappard-Gobat, Director of the " Pilgrim Mission " of St. Chrischona, near Basel, himself in early years a foreign missionary.}

"Speaking to my students one day," he said, " I asked them `Young men, which is the longest, widest, most populous valley in the world ? ' And they began to summon up all their geographical information to answer me.

" But it was not the valley of the Yangtze, the Congo, or the Mississippi. Nay, this Jammerthal, as it is in our German, this valley of Baca, or weeping, exceeds them all. For six thousand years we trace it back, filled all the way with an innumerable multitude. For every life passes at some time into the Vale of Weeping.

" But the point for us is not what do we suffer here, but what do we leave behind us ? What have we made of it, this long, dark Valley, for ourselves and others ? What is our attitude, as we pass through its shadows ? Do we desire only, chiefly, the shortest way out ? Or do we seek to find it, to make it, according to His Promise, ` a place of springs ' : here a spring and there a spring, for the blessing of others and the glory of Our God ?

"Thus it is with the man `whose strength is in Thee.' He has learned the preciousness of this Jammerthal, and that these dry, hard places yield the springs for which hearts are thirsting the wide world over.

" So St. Paul in his life. What a long journey he had to make through the Valley of Weeping !

"'In labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep. In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils of the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.'

"A long journey indeed through the Valley of Weeping; but oh, what springs of blessing! What rain filling the pools! We drink of it still today. "

And is not this the meaning, dear reader, of your life and mine in much that is hard to be understood? The Lord loves us too well to let us miss the best. He has to weaken our strength in the way, to bring us into the Valley of Weeping, the empty, humble and prove us, that we too may know that our strength, every bit of it, is in Him alone, and learn as Hudson Taylor did to leave ourselves entirely in His hands.

So your Valley of Weeping shall become "a place of springs." Many shall drink of the living water, because you have sufferede, trusted, conquered through faith in God. You go on your way as He has promised, to appear at last in Zion, rejoicing before God; and in the Valley of Weeping remains for those that follow many a well, still springing up in blessing where your feet have trod.

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