CHAPTER 4- THE MISSION THAT HAD TO BE :1865. AET. 33

NEW life, evidently, had come to Hudson Taylor with the decision taken that June Sunday 0n the sands at Brighton, for he was up with the lark next morning and off to London at 6.30 A.M. N0 record remains 0f that day, save that Mrs. Taylor was cheered to see him better, and that he went to have special prayer with one who was wishing to join the mission, whose way was beset with difficulties. But next day brought just the practical step that might have been expected

June 27: Went with Mr. Pearse to the London &County Bank, and opened an account for the China Inland Mission. Paid in I0:0:0.

It is the first appearance 0f the new name. Thereafter the little journal scintillates with its repetition, as though writing it in full were in itself a satisfaction Thus, after the prayer meeting 0f the following Saturday, July 1:

Gave Miss Faulding a receipt for a pound for the China Inland Mission.

July 3 : Breakfasted with Lady Radstock. . . . Mr. Berger took tea with us and stayed till 7 P.M. He promised 80 to 100 for printing-press and type, and 150 towards the China Inland Mission.

July 4 : Miss Faulding brought 3/6 from Regent's Park Chapel for the China Inland Mission.

It is all so sweet and natural-the overflowing of a young heart just as full as a mother's with her first-born !

And then came days of activity in striking contrast with the silence of preceding weeks. Complete surrender to the will of God not only set the joy-bells ringing, it gave the clue to much that before had seemed perplexing, and started the suspended energies on a clear course. Delays and difficulties explained themselves, and how thankful Mr. Taylor felt for the restraining Hand that had kept him from leaving England previously, and had returned that unpublished manuscript for a purpose he little anticipated. Now he had something to write about, something definite to lay before the Lord's people, new power in pleading the cause of inland China, and an object worthy of highest endeavour. He had found himself at last, found life's best and deepest, not in the way of his own choosing, but in the " good works which -God had before ordained " that he should walk in them.

The change soon made itself felt, and the little house at Coborn Street was more than ever busy. An unexpected introduction to Lady Radstock led to interesting developments, and all through the summer and autumn Mr. Taylor had a succession of engagements that brought him into touch with influential circles. He was preparing also for the outgoing of Mr. J. W. Stevenson, who for some months had been with him in London, and of_ a newer candidate from Scotland, Mr. George Stott. In the midst of outfitting and business details it was not easy to run off for luncheon with titled people, and drawing-room meetings at which everybody appeared in evening dress. It rather took away Mr. Taylor's breath at first I But it had come about entirely apart from his seeking, and in such a way as to leave no doubt that the One Who had led him to settle in East London was opening to him also the drawing-rooms of the West.

A week only after his visit to Brighton he had gone to spend Sunday with his sister at Bayswater, doubtless to seek her prayerful sympathy and that of her husband, Mr. Benjamin Broomhall, in the step just taken. As the hour for public worship drew near, instead of going as usual to the chapel of which he was a member, Mr. Taylor sought definite guidance as to where he should worship that morning. Passing down Welbeck Street, it came to him to join the little company of " Open Brethren " who had a meeting there. This he did, finding much refreshment in fellowship with them at the Table of the Lord.

It so happened that among the requests for prayer read out toward the close of the meeting was one that seemed in danger of being forgotten. Nobody took it up, and Mr. Taylor feared the service might close without united remembrance of this special need. The circumstances were quite ordinary-a case of illness, involving long-continued suffering -but, stranger though he was, he could not let the appeal for spiritual help pass unnoticed.

" Who was that ? " inquired the Dowager Lady Radstock afterwards, deeply impressed by the simplicity and helpfulness of his prayer.

On learning that the visitor was Hudson Taylor, a missionary from China, she desired to see more of him. The outcome was an invitation to breakfast at Portland Place the following morning, and the commencement of a friendship with several members of the Waldegrave family that became fruitful in blessing for China.

Staying with Lady Radstock at the time was a married daughter, who on returning to her Norfolk home arranged for a visit from Mr. Taylor. It was not easy to get away from all there was to be done, but Lady Beauchamp was planning a series of meetings to occupy several days, and Mr. Taylor felt the importance of the opportunity. It was only by working all night he finally completed arrangements for the outgoing party (Mr. Stott and the Stevensons), and even then he had to write on the train a farewell letter full of suggestions and messages. Almost bewildering must it have been to turn from these preoccupations to the programme before him at Langley Park. But Sir Thomas and Lady Beauchamp and their family were thoroughly in sympathy with the aims and spirit of their guest. Even the children were drawn to him, and loved to hear his stories about China. One indeed, who as a member of the Mission was to be Mr. Taylor's chosen companion in China and elsewhere, remembers to this day " the pig-tail and chop sticks " and much beside that came with that welcome visitor to Langley Park.1-{1 The Rev. Sir Montagu Beauchamp, C.F., who after thirty years of devoted service in China has recently succeeded to the title, through the lamented death of his brother, Col. Sir Horace Beauchamp, Bart., at the front.}

So warm was the sympathy of the parents that they desired to help the Mission financially, though no appeal had been made for money and no collections taken. All the more, perhaps, for this reason, Mr. Taylor's host and hostess wished to give as a matter of privilege ; but their generosity in other directions had left them little in hand for the purpose. After praying over it, however, the thought suggested itself

Why not trust the Lord about the conservatories, and contribute the amount almost due for insurance ? "

Langley Park possessed extensive greenhouses, and winter storms were apt to be serious near that east coast. But, definitely committing the matter to Him Who controls wind and wave, the cheque was drawn and the premium paid into the Mission treasury. The sequel Mr. Taylor never heard till long after, nor indeed that the gift had been made possible in this way. But the Lord knew ; and when a few months later a storm of exceptional violence broke over the neighbourhood, He did not forget. Much glass was shattered for miles around, but the conservatories at Langley Park entirely escaped.

The little leather-bound account-book that shows the receipt of this gift on the day of Mr. Taylor's return to London shows also many contributions from the Portland Place circle. The late Lord Radstock, Lady Beauchamp's brother, became a warm supporter of the Mission, and was frequently in correspondence with Mr. Taylor at this time. Meetings arranged by him in his town house and elsewhere laid the needs of China on many hearts, and it was a wonderful encouragement in launching the new enterprise to have such an accession of sympathy.

It was not all talk and meetings, however, in those early days. Though the branches were spreading out, the roots were striking deeper in quiet hours of thought and prayer. With Mr. Berger especially, many were the consultations held upon practical questions, and as responsibilities increased it was an untold comfort to have his help in bearing them.

" When I decided to go forward," said Mr. Taylor of this summer, " Mr. Berger undertook to represent us at home. The thing grew up gradually. We were much drawn together. The Mission received its name in his drawing-room. Neither of us asked or appointed the other : it just was so."

And what shall be said of the still more intimate help of the life nearest of all to his own-the tender love, the spiritual inspiration and practical wisdom of the one who shared his every experience ? To Mrs. Taylor, necessarily, the new departure meant more than to any other ; for, young as she was, not yet thirty, she had to mother the Mission as well as care for a growing family. To take four little children out to China was no light matter, and when the object in view is remembered-nothing less than to plant messengers of the Gospel in every one of the unopened provinces-a mother's heart alone can realise what hers must often have felt. It was not her husband's faith, however, upon which she leaned, great as were her joy and confidence in him. From girlhood, orphaned of both parents, she had put to the test for herself the Heavenly Father's faithfulness. Family burdens and the pressure of need might come, and this immense responsibility be superadded, but her resources did not fail, for she drew moment by moment upon " all the fulness of God."

The chief work that claimed Mr. and Mrs. Taylor after the decision at Brighton was that of completing the manuscript returned by Mr. Lewis. It may have been easy to say, " Add to it, let it cover the whole field and be published as an appeal for inland China," but to carry out the suggestion was another matter. Little information was to be had about that great closed land, and to make its needs real and appealing needed a touch other than they could give. The writing meant much study, thought, and prayer. Too busy during the week to obtain quiet, they gave what time they could on Sunday, without neglecting public worship, to this important task. Together in the little sitting-room at Coborn Street they prayed and wrote, wrote and prayed. China's Spiritual Need and Claims was the outcome.

" Every sentence was steeped in prayer," Mr. Taylor recalled. It grew up while we were writing-I walking up and down the room and Maria seated at the table."

Turning the pages thoughtfully, one feels again the power that touched and moved readers of that book for more than a generation. There is evidence in every paragraph not only of painstaking study, but of the spirit of prayer in which it was written. It is skilfully adapted to its purpose, and, what is more, one stands from first to last in the light of God. His word it is that comes to one, His point of view from which there is no escaping. There is no self about it, no turning of the thought to man. The writer scarcely appears in the whole book. Mr. Berger is referred to by name, and so are the members of the Mission already in China or on the way thither, but Hudson Taylor is absent to a remarkable degree.

First, very briefly, the reader is reminded that every act in this life and every omission too has a direct and important bearing on the future-his own and that of others. It is pointed out that we are to pray not as the heathen who use vain repetitions, nor as the worldly-minded who ask principally if not solely for their own benefit. " After this manner therefore pray ye," putting the kingdom _of God first, and His righteousness.

How this is to be done is set before us in the example of our Lord Himself : " Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." How did HE act in view of the sin and suffering of a lost world, in view of His knowledge of the will of God ? Was it not these things, the very conditions we too have to meet, that brought Him out of His Heaven to limitless depths of self-emptying, even to " the death of the cross " ? Grievously have His people failed in following that example. With the large majority of our fellow-men still destitute of the knowledge of salvation, how can we, owing everything to the sacrifice of the Son of God, remain comfortable and unconcerned in a life of self-pleasing ?

Then, turning from other fields, attention is centred upon China-its antiquity, extent, population, early efforts to introduce Christianity among its people, and the history of,Roman Catholic propaganda. A survey of Protestant missions is given, showing great progress since the days of Morrison, but bringing out the startling fact that even in the seven provinces in which such work had been begun there were still a hundred and eighty-five millions " utterly and hopelessly beyond the reach of the Gospel." What this meant, and further, that beyond these again lay the eleven inland provinces-two hundred millions more without a single witness for Christ-is emphasised by comparisons and diagrams prepared with the very heart's blood of the writer. As one reads, the mind almost reels before such a situation. No wonder this man is burdened. No wonder he cannot get away from the awful sense of responsibility. And he looks upon it all, makes the reader look upon it all, with God. That is where . the deep solemnity comes in. One is standing in the light of eternity, in the presence of the crucified, risen Lord of Glory. His unconditional command, " Go . . . I am with you alway," is sounding on and on, while with it mingles the low wail of thousands, passing hour by hour into Christless graves. It is profoundly, unutterably real. A million a month in China are dying without God," and we who have received in trust the Word of Life, we are responsible. It was not China's need alone that called the Inland Mission into being, it was China's claim.

The overwhelming greatness of the task before the Mission is felt rather than dwelt upon, for yet another Reality shines out from these pages, preoccupying mind and heart. Than the greatness of the need, one thing only is greater-the fact of God : His resources, purposes, faithfulness, His commands and promises. " All power is given unto Me ... go ye therefore." That is enough ; that alone could be enough. The need is great, immensely great ; but

God is greater, infinitely greater. And this God the writer knows, has proved, trusts.

Hence it follows that the principles of the new Mission are simply an adjustment of these two considerations-the need to be met and GOD. HE stands behind the work He has called into being. The writer has no other resources, absolutely none, and he desires no other. Every problem resolves itself into a fresh appeal to God, for there can be no need unmet in Him.

We have to do with One Who is Lord of all power and might, Whose arm is not shortened that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear ; with One Whose unchanging Word directs us to ask and receive that our joy may be full, to open our mouths wide that He may fill them ; and we do well to remember that this gracious God, Who has condescended to place His almighty power at the command of believing prayer, looks not lightly on the blood-guiltiness of those who neglect to avail themselves of it for the benefit of the perishing... .

Feeling, on the one hand, the solemn responsibility that rests upon us, and on the other the gracious encouragements that everywhere meet us in the Word of God, we do not hesitate to ask the great Lord of the Harvest to call forth, to thrust forth twenty-four European and twenty-four native evangelists, to plant the standard of the Cross in the eleven unevangelised provinces of China proper and in Chinese Tartary. To those who have never been called to prove the faithfulness of the Covenant-keeping God in supplying, in answer to prayer alone, the every need of His servants, it might seem a hazardous experiment to send twenty-four European evangelists to a distant heathen land, " with only God to look to " ; but in one whose privilege it has been through many years to put that God to the test in varied circumstances, at home and abroad, by land and sea, in sickness and health, in dangers, in necessities and at the gates of death, such apprehensions would be wholly inexcusable.1- {1 " The writer has seen God, in answer to prayer, quell the raging of the storm," Mr. Taylor continued, " alter the direction of the wind and give rain in the midst of prolonged drought. He has seen Him, in answer to prayer, stay the angry passions and murderous intentions of violent men, and bring the machinations of His people's foes to nought. He has seen Him, in answer to prayer, raise the dying from the bed of death, when human aid was vain ; has seen Him preserve from the pestilence that walketh in, darkness, and from the destruction that wasteth at noon-day. For more than eight years and a half he has proved the faithfulness of God in supplying his own temporal wants and the needs of the work in which he has been engaged." See Hudson Taylor in Early ;ears t The Growth of a Soul, especially pp. 429-492.}

Instance after instance is given from Mr. Taylor's experience of direct, unmistakable answers to prayer, and the deduction drawn is that with such a God it is safe and wise to go forward in the pathway of obedience-is indeed the only safe and wise thing to do.

When he comes to touch upon the practical working of the Mission, the application of Scriptural principles is just as direct. Not much is said, for the organisation is of the simplest, but Bible precedents cast light on every problem. The writer is dealing with an unchanging God, and confidently expects Him to work in the same way still. The very greatness of the need, considered in the light of Divine not human resources, called for methods as new and distinctive as the proposed sphere of the Mission itself.

How could the work be limited, for example, to any one section of the Church of Christ ? No denomination, however generous its support, could be equal to it, just as no one class in society could provide the labourers needed. The Mission must be free to accept " willing, skilful workers," no matter what their Church connection or previous training, provided they were wise to win souls, men and women who knew their God and could sink lesser differences in the one great bond of union.

Then as to funds : how could the Mission, possessing nothing, promise stated salaries to its members ? How could Mr. Taylor let them look to him for support ? All that was sent in answer to prayer he would gladly use for or distribute among his fellow-workers, but more than that he could not promise, except' that under no circumstances would he go into debt for the Mission any more than for himself. Each individual member must know that he or she was sent of God, and must be able to trust Him for supplies-strength, grace, protection, enablement for every emergency, as well as daily bread. No other basis would be possible. If the Mission were to be fruitful, were to continue at all amid the perils that must be faced, it could only be as each one connected with it contributed his quota of faith in the living God.

" We had to consider," Mr. Taylor said of this period, whether it would not be possible for members of various denominations to work together on simple, evangelistic lines, without friction as to conscientious differences of opinion ? _ Prayerfully concluding that it would, we decided to invite the co-operation of fellow-believers irrespective of denominational views, who fully held the inspiration of God's Word, and were willing to prove their faith by going to inland China with only the guarantee they carried within the covers of their pocket Bibles.

" That Word had said, 'Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (food and raiment) shall be added unto you.' If any one did not believe that God spoke the truth, it would be better for him not to go to China to propagate the faith. If he did believe it, surely the promise sufficed. Again, 'No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.' If any one did not mean to walk uprightly, he had better stay at home ; if he did mean to walk uprightly, he had all he needed in the shape of a guarantee fund. God owns all the gold and silver in the world, and the cattle on a thousand hills. We need not be vegetarians.

" We might indeed have had a guarantee fund if we had wished it ; but we felt it was unneeded and would do harm. Money wrongly placed and money given from wrong motives are both to be greatly dreaded. We can afford to have as little as the Loin chooses to give, but we cannot afford to have unconsecrated money, or to have money placed in the wrong position. Far better have no money at all, even to buy food with ; for there are plenty of ravens in China, and the Lord could send them again with bread and flesh... .

" Our Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning, and He always provides breakfast for them, and does not send them supperless to bed at night. ' Thy bread shall be given thee, and thy water shall be sure.' He sustained three million Israelites in the wilderness for forty years. We do not expect He will send three million missionaries to China ; but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all. Let us see that, we keep God before our eyes ; that we walk in His ways and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small. Depend upon it, GOD's work done in GOD'S way will never lack GOD's Supplies."

It was men and women of faith, therefore, who were needed for the Inland Mission, prepared to depend on God alone, satisfied with poverty should He deem it best, and confident that His Word cannot be broken.

Much else comes out in these earnest pages, and much that is not said is significant by its absence. There is no mention even of a Committee, no reliance upon organisation or great names. The entire direction of the Mission was to be in the hands of its founder, himself the most experienced of its members, who like a General on active service would be with his forces in the field. So natural does this arrangement seem that one hardly recognises the greatness of the innovation, or that in this as in other new departures Hudson Taylor was making a contribution of exceeding value to the high politics of missions. He had simply learned from painful experience how much a missionary may have to suffer, and the work be hampered, if not imperilled, by being under the control of those who, however well-intentioned, have no first-hand knowledge of its conditions, and are, moreover, at the other side of the world.

Another striking absence is that of any pleading for financial help. It is mentioned that an annual expenditure of five thousand pounds might be anticipated when the outgoing party of ten or twelve should be added to those already on the field. Mr. Berger's address is given as Mr. Taylor's representative in England, to whom gifts might be sent by any desiring to have fellowship with the work. And for the rest, the quiet words express a sense of wealth rather than need, " although the wants are large, they will not exhaust the resources of Our Father."

Finally, there is not a word about Government protection or dependence upon treaty rights. Many instances are given of Divine protection in the dangers inseparable from pioneering work such as the Mission looked forward to. Unarmed, in native dress, and claiming no aid from Consular authorities, the writer had found times of peril to be always times of proving the watchful care of One Who is a refuge better than foreign flag or gunboat. It is God who looms large, not man.

" He can raise up, He will raise up ' willing, skilful men' for every department of our service," was the quiet conclusion.

" All we are now proposing to do is to lay hold on His faithfulness Who has called us into this service, and in obedience to His call and reliance on His power to enlarge the sphere of our operations, for the glory of His name Who alone doeth wondrous things.

" The question, however, might be raised as to whether the interior of China, though evidently needing the Gospel and nominally open to us by treaty-right, will in point of fact prove accessible ? We would answer this question by another : When the Lord Jesus gives a definite command, is it our place to ask whether it can be obeyed or not ? The terms of His command are explicit . . . and He answers every objection, meets every difficulty at the very outset by assuring us that all power is given unto Him in heaven and on earth ; that He Who is true, and therefore can neither fail nor forget, Who hath the key of David to open or to shut as pleaseth Him, is with us always, even unto the end of the world.

" The dangers and difficulties will be neither few nor small, but with Jesus for our Leader we may safely follow on. These dangers, difficulties and trials, while leading to a deeper realisation of our own weakness, poverty and need, will constrain us also to lean more constantly, to draw more largely, to rest more implicitly on the strength, the riches, the fulness of Jesus. ` Irk the world ye shall have tribulation,' but 'in Me . . . peace,' will be the experience of those engaged in the work. If it be for God's glory, for the benefit of His cause and the true interest of those concerned, the times of greatest trial and danger will be the times when His delivering power will shine forth most conspicuously ; and if otherwise, His sustaining grace will prove sufficient for the weakest servant in the conflict... .

" Let but devoted labourers be found, who will prove faithful to God, and there is no reason to fear that God will not prove faithful to them. He will set before them an open door, and will esteem them of more value than the sparrows and the lilies that He clothes and feeds. He will be with them in danger, in difficulty, in perplexity ; and while they may be utter weakness, He will work through them in power. They may cast their bread upon the waters, but His Word shall not return unto Him void : it shall accomplish that which He pleases, and prosper in the thing whereto He sends it. . . . It is upon past Ebenezers we build our Jehovah-Jireh. `They that know Thy Name will put their trust in Thee.' "

Little wonder that faith of this sort, so uncalculating and withal so practical, made a strong appeal to Christian hearts ! Finished by the middle of October, the manuscript was first of all submitted to Mr. and Mrs. Berger at Saint Hill.

"The Lord caused them to be interested, we read in Mr. Taylor's journal.

Interested they certainly were 1 for Mr. Berger forthwith undertook to meet the expense of publication, and urged that the pamphlet should be ready for the Mildmay Conference, to be held ten days later. The earlier sheets were already in the press, and the goodwill of the printer was not' lacking. By sitting up all night to correct proofs, Mr. Taylor managed to return the last batch in time, and had the satisfaction of receiving a consignment for distribution on the opening day of the meetings.

Only six weeks previously he had been in Scotland and had found himself at Perth, as we have seen, during a similar Convention. The deep impression made by his address on that occasion had affected Mildmay circles, for the latter was the mother-conference with which Perth was in close connection. Convened by the Rev. W. Pennefather, Vicar of St. Jude's, it had a definite Church of England element, but its platform included ministers and laymen of other connections, and from the Continent as well as Great Britain and America. Deeply spiritual in tone, it attracted the leaders of the young evangelistic movements that had sprung out of the Great Revival, to whom Mr. Taylor's line of things made naturally a strong appeal. With Mr. Pennefather's cordial approval, the pamphlet was distributed among the many hundreds who attended the Conference, and few went away from those days of waiting upon God without a quickened sense of responsibility in view of China's need.

Many were the letters that reached Mr. Taylor during the weeks that followed, showing that the book was doing its quiet work, and that in widely differing circles the C.I.M. was hailed with thankfulness as a Mission that had to be. Offers of service came from the students' hall, the business counter, and the mechanic's shop. Invitations for meetings were numerous, and so great was the demand for literature that China's Spiritual Need and Claims had to be reprinted within three weeks.

" I have read your- pamphlet on my way down here," wrote Lord Radstock from the Isle of Wight, " and have been greatly stirred by it.... I trust you may be enabled by the Holy Ghost to speak words which shall thrust forth many labourers into the vineyard. Dear Brother, enlarge your desires ! Ask for a hundred labourers, and the Lord will give them to you."

Reinforced by a cheque for a hundred pounds, this characteristic letter was doubly welcome, though its " ask for a hundred labourers " must have been rather startling in that day of small things !

Meanwhile preparations for a party of ten or twelve were going forward, and in the midst of other engagements proved almost more than Mr. Taylor could manage. The Coborn Street house, far from being too large, was now wholly inadequate, and the next-door premises falling vacant, they were glad to rent them also, thus doubling their accommodation.

" The revision is now going on," he wrote to his mother in November. " We have reprinted the pamphlet, and have missionary boxes on the way. I am preparing a magazine for the Mission, furnishing a house completely, setting up two fonts of type for China, teaching four pupils Chinese, receiving applications from candidates and lecturing or attending meetings continually-one night only excepted for the last month. I am also preparing a New Year's address on China, for use in Sunday Schools, and a missionary map of the whole country. . . . Join us in praying for funds and for the right kind of labourers, also that others may be kept back or not accepted, for many are offering."

Was there a need just then for a reminder that work cannot take the place of prayer ? Overwhelmingly busy, it certainly would not have been surprising if that little circle had been tempted to curtail quiet times of waiting upon God. It was in love, in any case, that the closing year was shadowed by an anxiety so distressing as to bring them to their knees as never before. In one of the houses, strangely quiet now, Mrs. Taylor lay in a critical condition. Serious illness had so reduced her strength that when an operation became necessary there was little hope that she could live through it.

" It is very solemn to feel that all our married happiness may be so near its close," Mr. Taylor wrote to his parents in Barnsley. " She is resting happily in Jesus.... Ask grace for me to mean and say, ` Thy will be done."'

Three weeks later, his loved one spared to him, Mr. Taylor was reviewing the progress made since that memorable Sunday at Brighton with all that it had brought. Besides the eight fellow-workers already in China, twenty or thirty others were desiring to join the Mission.

" How much we need guidance both for them and for ourselves," he wrote to the wider circle of his prayer-helpers. " We have undertaken to work in the interior of China, looking to the Lord for help of all kinds. This we can only do in His strength. And if we are to be much used of Him, we must live very near to Him."

The last day of December was set apart, therefore, as a day of fasting and prayer at Coborn Street, fitly closing the year that had witnessed the inauguration of a Mission so completely dependent upon God.

Chapter 3Table of ContentsChapter 5