Chapter 18 -- Building In Troublous Times : August- November 1854 . Aet.22

It must have seemed almost too good to be true when only two days after the preceding letter was written Hudson Taylor heard of a house, and before the month was over found himself in possession of premises large enough to accommodate his expected colleagues. Five rooms upstairs and seven down seemed a spacious residence indeed; and though it was only a native house, build of wood and very ramshackle, it was right among the people, near the North Gate of the Chinese city.

It did not all come about, however, as easily as the statement is made. Between August 9 and 21 he learned many a lesson of patience, for in China these arrangements are compassed with difficulty. The house first heard of was not the only finally obtained, nor was the price first demanded one that he could or would give; and between the two lay much weary negotiation that had to be carried on through interpreters and deepended the debt he was already under to his missionary friends.

So much labor and difficulty in accomplishing so ordinary a transaction opened his eyes to what really constitutes a large part of the trial of missionary life. He was reading at the time The Hand of God in History, and wrote to his sister who had given it him:

What a very different thing it is to review the aggregate success of Missions and missionaries over many years from taking part in the process itself with all its trials and discouragements. But let us be comforted. So will it be for us too at last. One smile from Him we love will repay all the sorrows, and leave a clear balance to the good of whatever has been accomplished.

" Oh Amelia," he continued when difficulties were at their worst, " one needs an anchor for one's faith . . . and thank God we have it ! The promises of God stand sure. `The Lord knoweth them that are His.' How easy it is to talk about economy, the high salaries of missionaries, and all the rest. But there is more than one missionary here who hardly knows how to manage to make both ends meet. Well, if we want a city, there is one we can turn back to. But no, we will be pilgrims and strangers here, looking for a better home, `that is an heavenly,' ` whose builder and maker is God.' Oh that those around us had the same hope ! .. .

" You ask how I get over my troubles. This is the way. . . I take them to the Lord. Since writing the above, I have been reading my evening portion. The Old Testament part of it happens to be the 72nd to the 74th Psalms. Read them as I have if you want to see how applicable they are. I don't know how it is, but I seldom can read Scripture now without tears of joy and gratitude... .

" I see that to be as I am and have been since my arrival has really been more conducive to improvement and progress than any other position would have been, though in many respects it has been painful and far from what I should have chosen for myself. Oh for more implicit reliance on the wisdom and love of God ! "

But even when the agreement was signed and sealed, much yet remained to be accomplished.

" My house has twelve rooms," he wrote doors without end, passages innumerable, outhouses everywhere, and all covered with dust, filth, rubbish and refuse. What all the outhouses have been for I cannot imagine. There are no less than thirty-six of them, none of which I want or shall use. I have been getting a whole batch of doors fastened up, for however well it may suit a Chinaman to have six or eight ways into his house, it does not please me at all just now. I see how to arrange it so that with one pair of gates I can shut off the dwelling itself from all the outhouses. Indoors there are two staircases of a sort. One of these I am having removed and the trap-door screwed down.

" The five upstair rooms are side by side, each communicating with the others by double doors . . . so that the middle rooms have not much privacy. This set of apartments I shall whitewash and fumigate thoroughly . . . taking one for a bedroom and another for dining-room and study. Once there I must dig away at this fearful Shanghai dialect with its eight tones, for which I shall need a new teacher. He will probably occupy some of the downstair rooms, which not being raised above the ground are of little use for foreigners."

But it was one thing to talk about cleaning the house and going into residence, and quite another to accomplish it, as Hudson Taylor was to prove. He had had no experience so far of the unsupervised Chinese workman, and the discovery of his characteristics was discouraging. On August 22 for example, in spite of overpowering heat, he got a few men to clear the place and remove rubbish enough, as he said, " to have bred a pestilence." Early next day he was on the scene again and discovered his men absorbed in watching the bricklayers, never dreaming of setting to work themselves. Having found them plenty to do, he went to inquire about a box expected from Hong-kong. Returning in an hour, what was his surprise to find one man writing, another smoking and the rest asleep. The third time he came it still seemed as though nothing had been done.

" So I have brought over my desk and a chair," he wrote that afternoon, " to remain on the premises ... and even so they perpetually relapse into idleness. I say, for instance, `Now this must be thoroughly washed.' For a while there is a noise of splashing, but soon all is still. I go to see ... and the man looks quite astonished when I remark that only the outside has been cleaned. 'Oh,' he replies, `you want within-and-without washing.' ` Yes,' I say, ` I do,' and return to my letter for a few minutes. Amusing though it may seem at first, this kind of thing becomes wearisome, especially when one can get nothing else."

Though trying enough in its way, all this was the least serious part of the new life he was undertaking. The unavoidable outlay weighed on his mind far more. Furnish as sparingly as he might and live as frugally, he seemed to be spending a great deal on himself. At home he had been a collector for Missions, and knew what it was to receive the hardly-earned pence of the poor. And now, against all his own inclinations, to be using missionary money in ways that seemed to him so lavish was indeed a trial. He would not have felt it so keenly had he been directly engaged in missionary work, but when he could do nothing but study it was almost more than he could bear.

" To save the expense of a sedan," he wrote to his mother, " I have tried staying indoors altogether during the great heat, or walking out only in the evening ; but several attacks of illness as well as threatenings of ague have warned me to desist. . . . No one, I am sure, can be more anxious to avoid expense than I am ; but if we are to live here at all we must accommodate ourselves to circumstances... .

" These things, sometimes make me cry with David, 'My flesh and my heart faileth.' But that is not his last word ; and by grace I too can add,' God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.' Though often cast down . . . I am where I would be and as I would be-save for more likeness to Christ and more familiarity with the language."

Still more serious than the question of expense, however, was the danger involved in his intended move. Not only was he leaving the Settlement, to live entirely alone among the Chinese, he was going to a house very near the Imperial camp and within range of the guns of both parties. It was a position as he well knew of considerable danger, but no other residence had been procurable and the time had come when something must be done.

" The Chinese house to which I am removing," he wrote to a friend, " is in a dangerous position, being beyond the protection of the Settlement and liable to injury from both Imperialists and Rebels. The former have threatened to bum the street, and the latter have two cannon constantly pointing at it. My teacher who comes from a distance dare not go there, and as I cannot get another who speaks Mandarin at present I shall have to commence the study of the Shanghai dialect. . . . As I can talk with my present teacher tolerably well, it is a trial to lose him and commence again from the beginning. But as there is no hope of being able to go to Mandarin-speaking districts for several years, and the Shanghai dialect I can use as I learn it, this too no doubt is wisely ordered. At any rate I am thankful that my way is hedged up on every side, so that no choice is left me. I am obliged to go forward. . . . And if you hear of my being killed or injured, do not think it a pity that I came, but thank God I was permitted to distribute some Scriptures and tracts and to speak a few words in broken Chinese for Him who died for me."

In this spirit, then, Hudson Taylor bade farewell to the kind host who for six months had afforded him a home, and on August 30, near the North Gate of the native city, set up housekeeping on his own account. In spite of trouble, expense, loneliness and danger, it was good to feel that he could begin a little work on his own account. And the Lord who knew the heart of His servant, responded to his longings after usefulness and blessing, meeting him at the outset of this new pathway with rich compensations of His grace. In the solitude that was now his lot, the soul began to revive again and grow. The blessing of the far-away days at Drainside seemed to come back. He lived his own life as then, the simple self-denying life that made brighter spiritual experience possible. It was now September, almost a year from the time he had left home, and his joy in being able to do something for the people round him was very great. His new teacher, happily, was an earnest Christian, and able to conduct morning and evening worship to which all who came were made welcome. After this there were patients to see, visitors to entertain and housekeeping to attend to, in all of which Mr. Si was indispensable. But his pupil was rapidly learning useful terms and polite phrases, as well as carefully chosen sentences in which to convey the Gospel. On Sundays they went out together to distribute tracts and preach in the crowded streets. The dispensary was making many friends, and when a day-school was added both for boys and girls they had no lack of occupation. Before long, Si had to give all his time to these operations, and another teacher was engaged for the language. And then, with everything in working order and his heart full of the blessing of the Lord, Hudson Taylor began to taste some of the real joys of missionary life.

To this period belongs a letter to his parents which shews the cheerful, natural spirit in which he was working.

NORTH GATE, SHANGHAI, September 2O, 1854.

MY DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER-Whether you weary of my letters or not, I cannot but write them, . . . and I will take it for granted that this one at any rate will be welcome, as it is to inform you that the experiment made in coming to this house has been so far successful, and that now though not doing much I am at any rate doing something. I am glad also to say that I get on with the Shanghai dialect much better than I at first expected.1 {1-" The idea of commencing a new dialect," he had written a mouth before (August r8), " is rather overwhelming, one being a tolerable dose But if you mean to learn Chinese, you must not say, ' Can I do it?' but ' can and will, by the blessing of God.' " ... The only thing that has really troubled me has been the outlay I have had to make and that my current expenses are so great. But this is unavoidable. On first coming here I was disposed to economise at the risk of usefulness and health, but I see now that one cannot do this with impunity ; and as I have no desire to be sent home useless within two or three years, with considerable doubt as to my ever being able to return, I have been led to consider that proper care on these points is in the long run the truest economy.

The Chinese house I am occupying is as good as can be obtained, and though the neighbourhood is undesirable one gets accustomed to it. If I feel lonely or timid at night, I recall some sweet promises of Divine protection, turning them into prayer, and invariably find that they compose my mind and keep it in peace. I do not neglect any precaution for safety ; but keep a light burning all night and have my swimming belt blown up, so that at a moment's notice I could take to the water if necessary-the planks forming the bridge between me and the Settlement being removed at dark... .

And now I must tell you what I am doing. First then, I have commenced a day-school with ten boys and five girls. Three more boys are promised and will be coming shortly. The teacher, Si, is a Christian and very useful, as he preaches well in the local dialect. The school opens and closes with a Scripture lesson and prayer. At present I cannot do much with the children, but every day increases my power to make myself understood. As I sit in my study and hear their voices chanting over their lessons, it fills me with thankfulness I cannot begin to express. . . . I often wish Amelia were here to take charge of the girls and gather in others. There are plenty to be found who are by no means improved by being at liberty in this neighbourhood, young as they are, for it is a bad one. On this account, if I have to go out after dark, I always take a servant and lantern.

Secondly, the dispensary. I have not laid myself out for medical work, but every day brings some patients. To-day for example, being wet, only ten have come. I am gradually learning Chinese terms for ordinary diseases, symptoms, etc., and the expressions needed in questioning patients and telling them how to take our medicines ; and I find that though the amount of work I get through may seem small, the labour attending it is considerable.

Thirdly, our services. From the very first day in this house, 1 have had family prayers night and morning. At these times the servants, teachers, Si's family and any others who like to come in are present. We have had as many as twenty. To-day we had nine in the morning and ten at night. Those who can read do so, verse about, and yesterday (the anniversary of my sailing from Liverpool) I commenced joining them. Of course I make blunders, and so do one or two others, but the teachers are there to correct, and by and by I shall do better. On several occasions also, Si has accompanied me into the city to distribute tracts and Scriptures. At these times, when we have gathered a few people together, Si has read a portion and explained it in a way that all could understand, ... so you see he is very useful. All these engagements take time, and with Chinese study occupy most of the day. I also find it necessary to do some reading in medicine, surgery or materia medica every day . . . and what with domestic matters and keeping a careful watch over everybody and everything, I can assure you I do not spend much time in bed-as I never go till I can keep awake no longer.The other day I had an interesting excursion to Woo-sung with Mr. Edkins and a young American missionary named Quaterman. We went by boat . . . arriving there at noon, with a large supply of Scriptures and tracts. These we distributed on many junks going northward, receiving promises from not a few captains and others that they would read them and pass them on to friends in the ports to which they were travelling.

Returning home in the evening well pleased with our excursion, we were puzzled to know how we should pass the Imperial fleet in safety. They are somewhat random with their fire after dark, and might easily have taken us for natives if not Rebel spies. Mr. Edkins came to the rescue, proposing that we should sing as we passed them, that they might know we were foreigners. The suggestion seemed good and the boatmen were pleased with the idea, the only objection being that as we had already been singing a good deal we had exhausted all the hymns and tunes we had in common and were more . than ready for a rest.

Having perfected our arrangements, we approached some ships we took to be the fleet, and passed them singing lustily. But just as we were about to congratulate one another on our success, the boatmen shouted to us to recommence, as we had been mistaken in what we supposed to have been the fleet and were just coming within range of their guns.

So we had to tune up again without delay, and sang " The spacious firmament on high," to that beautiful tune Creation. Unfortunately we concluded just opposite the largest ship of the fleet. It was now quite dusk.

" What next? " cried Mr. Edkins, as the alarm-gong struck on board the ship, " there is not a moment to lose."

He then commenced singing I know not what. Quaterman struck up a truly American tune to " Blow ye the trumpet, blow ! " while I at the same moment raised a third with all the voice I could command. The men on the warship were shouting loudly, our boat's crew outdoing them if possible, and the whole thing was so ludicrous that I could control myself no longer and burst into a fit of laughter most inappropriate to the occasion.

" Who goes there ? " was shouted from the Imperial ship.

" Peh-kuei " (white devils), yelled our men, while we cried simultaneously, " Ta Ing-kueh " (Great English Nation) and " Hua-chukueh," which means Flowery Flag Country, or America.

After a little further explanation we were allowed to pass, upon which my companions began to lecture the boatmen for having called us " White Devils." The poor men who had not yet received their day's pay were very penitent, and explained that they had been so frightened that they really did not know what they were saying and would be most careful to refrain from such expressions in future. As soon as we landed I set off for home, and found them just going to draw the last plank across the creek. Happily I got over in time, for I was fearfully hungry and tired.

My eyes, the lamp and paper alike inform me that I must be drawing to a close. But I must not forget to tell you that the other day a Sung-kiang man presented me with a couple of valuable crickets in a glass box. They require two freshly boiled grains of rice daily, and are kept on account of their song, which is quite different from the sound made by English crickets, and very pleasant.

And now Good-night, or rather Good-morning.-Ever my dear Parents, your affectionate son, J. HUDSON TAYLOR.

Mingled with joy in his new work, however, came unexpected trials, great and small - difficulties of household management, quarrels between his servants and the neighbours, anxiety about his cook who was laid up with typhus fever, disappointment with the second teacher who had to be dismissed, great discouragement about the language, and repeated attacks of illness that left him low-spirited and unfit to bear the strain of constant skirmishing so close at hand.

" There has been a great deal of fighting for several days," be wrote in the middle of September, " and the Rebels have been gathering at the bottom of this street. Of them I have little fear, but I hope there may be no counter-move on the part of the Imperialists... .Several cannon-balls have passed so near these premises as to make me feel some trepidation for the moment. It is easy to tell whether a gun is loaded or not, as the ball makes a whizz which once heard is not likely to be forgotten."

He was in real sorrow too over the illness of Mrs. Burdon, who had suffered a great deal since the birth of her little daughter three months before. Her husband was worn out with anxiety and nursing, and for them both Hudson Taylor felt deeply concerned. Mrs. Burdon had been his chief counsellor in beginning housekeeping. The very last time she went out she had helped him with necessary purchases, full of interest in all that concerned his moving to the North Gate. And now it seemed that she could not recover. Her love for those she was leaving and perfect submission to the will of God touched him unspeakably ; and as often as possible he went over to relieve Mr. Burdon, entering with a brother's sympathy into the anguish through which he was passing.

Beside all this, he was increasingly burdened about money matters, not knowing even yet how the Society would respond to his letters. Obliged to exceed his salary for the necessaries of life, he had made use of a Letter of Credit provided against emergencies, but was still uncertain as to how far his bills would be honoured. It was a painful position, and one that cost him many a wakeful night as well as many a prayer.

Thus September ended, and looking back upon it he could say: Though in some ways I never passed a more anxious month in my life, I have never felt before so conscious of God's presence with me.I begin to enjoy the sweet, peaceful rest in the Lord and in His promises experienced first in Hull. That was the brightest part of my spiritual life, and how poor at the best ! Since then I have been in a declining state, but the Lord has brought me back ; and as there is no standing still in these things, I trust to go on to apprehend heights and depths, lengths and breadths of love divine far exceeding anything I have yet entered into. May God grant it, for Jesus' sake.

One cannot but be impressed in reading the letters of this period with the sacred ambition of Hudson Taylor's prayers ; a subject worth pondering, if it be true that prayer moulds the life and not circumstances, and that as are our deepest desires before God so will the trend of our outward experiences be. Certainly nothing is more significant in the life before us than the longing for usefulness and likeness to the Lord he loved. Not honour or success, but usefulness, " widespread usefulness," was his constant prayer. Would he have drawn back could he have foreseen that the only way to its fulfilment was through the furnace seven times heated ? For much preparatory work had yet to be done. His prayers were indeed to be answered beyond anything he asked or thought ; but he must pray with yet fuller meaning, and go through with all the training needed at the Master's hands. The iron must be tempered to steel, and his heart made stronger and more tender than others, through having loved and suffered more, with God. He was pioneering a way in China, little as he or any one else could imagine it, for hundreds who were to follow. Every burden must be his, every trial known as only experience can teach it. He who was to be used of God to dry so many tears, must himself weep. He who was to encourage thousands in a life of child-like trust, must learn in his own case deep lessons of a Father's loving care. So difficulties were permitted to gather about him, especially at first when every impression was vivid and lasting, difficulties attended by many a deliverance to cheer him on his way.

As much of his usefulness later on was to consist in helping and providing for young missionaries, it is not to be wondered at that a large part of his preparation at this time had to do with financial matters and the unintentional mismanagement of the home Committee. He had to learn how to do and how not to do for those who on the human side would be dependent on him ; a lesson of vital importance, lying at the very foundation of his future work. Hence all this trial about a small, settled income and large uncertain. needs ; about irregularity of mails and long-unanswered letters ; about rapidly-changing opportunities of service on the field, and the slow-moving ideas and inaccessibility of Committees at home. He did his best, and the inexperienced Secretaries in London did their best also, as faithful men of God. But something, somehow, was wanting ; and just what it was Hudson Taylor had to discover, and later on to remedy. Seen in this light it need hardly be said a special significance attaches to his financial cares ; and the letters in which he tells at times so touchingly of the exercise of mind through which he was passing have an interest all their own. The iron-one sees it-was entering into his very soul ; but from this long endurance was to spring heart's-ease for many another.

At the risk of some repetition, the following letter is quoted for its value in this connection, and as showing how keenly he continued to feel the circumstances in which he was placed

NORTH GATE, SHANGHAI, October 17, 1854.

MY DEAR PARENTS-You wish to know all about my pecuniary as well as other affairs, so I am enclosing a copy of a list of expenses I am just forwarding to Mr. Pearse. As you will perceive, they so largely exceed the sum we were led to suppose would be sufficient (80 sterling pounds per annum) that I am sending full details, so that the Secretaries can see for themselves. I shall have to draw again this year, probably next month. I am not sure that I can get credit, for my authorisation from the Society does not exceed forty pounds a quarter, and if the agents here knew that I had just received a copy of the Committee's Resolution stating that they will not accept bills for more than that amount, of course it would be refused.

You will not wonder that anxiety about expenses and as to whether my bills will be honoured or not, added to the dangers of my present position, has proved rather much for me lately. . . . I have been very poorly for a fortnight . . . but am better now, though distressingly weak as yet. My cook has been ill with typhus fever for three weeks or more. I hope he is improving. He was better some days ago, but threw himself back by going contrary to explicit orders.

You will wonder what all those " discounts " in my list of expenses mean. They were paid on the Ferdinand dollars with which I was supplied in England, and that are not in regular circulation here. Chair-coolies, another item, are indispensable in the hottest weather. Their services were mostly required in seeking a house, and running to and fro from Dr. Lockhart's before I could get one. The water jars are for drinking-water, which has to be fetched from the river and being very muddy has to settle and have the organic matter precipitated by alum before it is fit for use. Of chairs I have only six, the cheapest usable ones I could get. The tables are secondhand. New, they would have cost much more. Crockery is the dearest item. The whole lot in England would hardly fetch ten shillings, for they are of many different patterns. The cups and saucers do not match, nor do the dishes and plates, while the vegetable dishes are again dissimilar. I had to take what I could get, and was thankful they were odd, for no one would have broken into a set... . As to fuel, how would you like to be paying six and sixpence a week for barely enough for the simplest cooking, the fire being put out as soon as done with, and have the prospect of the thermometer going down to r5° F. within two months ?

Everything is dear in Shanghai now, Chinese as well as foreign goods. Just to think that in seven months I have spent more than a hundred pounds ! Is it not frightful ? Two hundred pounds per annum will barely cover my expenses, unless the exchange falls, and other things too. The Church Missionary Society allows single men seven hundred dollars (about £210 at the present rate of exchange) beside paying rent, medical expenses, and a sum sufficient for Chinese teacher and books... .

Saturday, Oct. 21. It is very cold to-day. I am better than I was earlier in the week, but still far from well.... Fortunately I have been able to buy a second-hand stove for ten dollars that will burn wood. A new one would have cost thirty. And now having had another month's expenses to settle, I have only twelve dollars left. What can I do ? I must draw soon. And even if I can get a bill accepted here, I am in terror of its being refused by the Committee, which would put me in a pretty fix. I think and study night and day, and cannot tell what to do.

Last Wednesday night, a fire that seemed very near awoke me at three o'clock in the morning. Dressing hastily, I climbed on to the roof to ascertain if it were coming this way. Chinese houses like these, built only of wood, burn very quickly on a windy night. It was an anxious moment, for in the darkness I fancied the burning building was only four or five doors away. Just then, as I was praying earnestly for protection, it began to rain. The wind fell, for which I was most thankful, and gradually the fire smouldered down. But it was after five before I dared go to bed again.

While there on the roof, several bullets struck the buildings around me, and two or three seemed to fall on the tiles of my own house. At last a heavy ball struck the ridge of the opposite roof, carrying away a lot of tiles, the fragments of which fell around me, and itself flew off obliquely. You may be sure I did not wait up there for another . The day before a ball of that size, evidently spent, struck the roof of this house, broke some tiles, and fell at the feet of my teacher's child who was standing in a doorway. Had he been half a yard further out, it must have killed him. That was at noon.

I have never passed, as you will well believe, such a trying time in my life. But it is all necessary, and I feel is being made a blessing to me. I may have to leave here suddenly. . . . But whatever happens, I do not regret coming to this house, and would do it again under similar circumstances. Our Society must provide better, however, for its missionaries. This sort of thing will not do.

I must now conclude, trusting that the Lord, who is precious to me in my extremity, is proving Himself near also to you.-With love . . . Believe me, your ever-affectionate son, J. HUDSON TAYLOR.

That Resolution. of the Committee not to honour bills exceeding forty pounds a quarter caused more pain and perplexity to their solitary representative in Shanghai than they could at all realise.1 { 1- Based as it was upon his own correspondence, it was little wonder that this Resolution produced a painful impression on his mind. It hurt like a wound inflicted by one from whom he had expected sympathy. In a letter to Mr. Pearse of November 2, he expressed himself as follows " And lastly, in reference to the Resolution of June 29, 1854: your Board ought to be very careful how they bind their Secretaries to such a course in present times. Your missionaries are sent into a country in a state of revolution, where it is literally true that they know not what a day or an hour may bring forth. They should be well provided against contingencies before you adopt such an ultra measure, a measure that would at once and forever destroy their credit, if they have any, and compared with which their dismissal by the Society would not be severe. At any rate, if not accepted, such bills should not be positively refused before you hear the reasons which led to their being drawn. But more I need not say. Your hearts are in the work as well as ours, and I know you will excuse these remarks when you remember that half the world lies between us." } Crisp, sharp autumn weather had now set in, forecasting the bitter cold of winter. His Chinese house was not only unwarmed but unwarmable, draughts sweeping through it mercilessly, from unnumbered cracks and crevices. His blankets, only two in number, were fit for nothing but summer use, and all the clothing he had brought from. home was now so shabby that he was ashamed to be seen amongst other foreigners. Yet he had far exceeded his allowance, and dared not spend a penny save for actual necessaries. And to add to his perplexity he was driven to see that the house he had secured with so much difficulty in view of the arrival of the Parkers would not be a place they could come to even for a night.

" As to my position," he wrote on October 2, " it certainly is one of great peril. On two successive nights, recently, bullets have struck the roof over my head. How little difference in the direction of the gun might have rendered them fatal to me. But ` as the mountains are round about Jerusalem ' so the Lord is on every side to protect and support me and to supply all my need, temporal as well as spiritual. I can truly say my trust is in Him. When I hear guns fired near me and the whizz of the balls as they pass the house, I do feel alarmed sometimes ; but a sweet, still voice says inwardly, 'Oh thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ? ' Awakened suddenly in the darkness by the thundering report of guns from the North Gate which shake the house, and hearing gongs sounding and firearms discharging close at hand I have felt lonely, and my heart has palpitated painfully at times, not knowing whether my own house might not be the object of attack. But ` Lo, I am with you always,' has quieted the troubled waters and restored peace to my soul. One night I was roused from sleep by a strong smell of burning, and finding the rooms full of smoke was not a little alarmed, for I knew the Imperialists had threatened to burn all the suburbs as far as the creek. But it was only stubble burning in a field near by, and the windows being open the smoke had drifted in. Thoroughly ashamed of my fears I returned to rest with a very sweet sense of the presence of my Protector, the ` Watchman of Israel.' "

Three weeks later matters were even worse, and he wrote again to the Secretaries: There is a great deal of firing going on here now, so much so that I am seldom able to get half a night's sleep. What Dr. Parker and his family are to do, I do not know. Their coming here as things are now is out of the question. This constant anxiety for them as well as myself, together with another still more trying (the expense I am unable to avoid) is by no means a desirable addition to the difficulties of language and climate... .

We have heard nothing of the Swiftsure, but she is hardly due as yet. I shall be thankful when Dr. Parker is here and we are able to consult together about the future. You will find this a much more expensive Mission, I fear, than was anticipated. . . . I shall have to draw again this month, and with all possible economy cannot alter the high rate of prices. The total expense of my first year will be little under two hundred pounds, and even so I feel confident that there is no other missionary in Shanghai who will not have cost considerably more... .

Pray for me, for I am almost pressed beyond measure, and were it not that I find the Word of God increasingly precious and feel His presence with me I do not know what I should do.

But the Lord knew, and He had not forgotten His tried servant. At that very moment, when the Swiftsure was nearing the end of her long and perilous voyage, the Lord had a home in view into which to receive the Parkers and their children. He was not shut up to the house on the North Gate Street, though Hudson Taylor was ; and just in time, when lessons had been learned that He saw to be needed, the way was opened to a safer residence.

On the London Mission Compound, through the coming of a great sorrow, a little house stood empty that in comparison with Hudson Taylor's quarters offered a haven of security and peace. Shadowed as it was with the suffering of his dearest friends in China, he had not thought of it as other than their home. There he had found them in their early married life, rejoiced with them in the gift of a precious child, and shared the bereavement that in so short a time left her motherless. Then he had helped Mr. Burdon to leave the home from which the light had fled, and take his infant daughter to the care of the Chaplain's household. And still the little house at Ma-ka-k`iien stood empty.

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