CHAPTER 8-0 THAT THOU WOULDEST BLESS ME INDEED-1866-1867. AET. 34-35.

IT was no time for resting on their oars, however. Under cover of darkness the whole party had entered Hang-chow without causing any excitement, and had taken up their abode in Mr. Kreyer's premises. But the latter was returning shortly, and the question of a home of their own was urgent. Where in the great city, still suffering from the ravages of the Tai-ping Rebellion, they were to find quarters large enough for themselves and the work they hoped to do was indeed a problem. But in this again the Lord had gone before them " to search out a resting-place."

Nothing could have been more suitable, as Mr. Taylor soon discovered, than the very first house to which he was directed. Large and well built, it had been a Mandarin's residence, but was sadly dilapidated now, and a regular rabbit-warren occupied by a number of families. The situation was excellent, in a quiet corner, near the city wall and busy streets. The upper storey offered sleeping accommodation for the whole party, a second staircase making it possible to shut off a separate wing for the young men. This was so manifest an advantage that it decided Mr. Taylor to obtain the premises if possible-the downstairs' rooms being adaptable for guest-halls, chapel and dispensary, printing-press, dining-room, servants' quarters, etc.

Almost with fear and trembling, after hearing the rent demanded, he made an offer which was not accepted. The landlord, perceiving that the matter was urgent, hoped by prolonged negotiations to drive a better bargain. Sunday, however, intervened-putting a stop as far as the missionaries were concerned to business transactions-and to the surprise of the landlord he saw no more of his would-be tenants. But though they had nothing to say to him apparently, they had much to lay before the Lord. The day was given to prayer, and when on Monday morning his decision was asked it was much more favourable.

" They must have other houses in view," he said to himself. " If I am not careful I shall lose good tenants." With surprising alacrity, after this, he came to terms, so that by Tuesday evening the necessary documents were signed and sealed. Some of the occupants had already moved out to liberate the upper storey. Five families remained, but there was plenty of room, the landlord urged, for Mr. Taylor's household. Let them only move in, and before long they should have the entire premises. On Wednesday morning accordingly, November 28-the very day Mr. Kreyer was to return-so early that the sleeping city knew nothing of what was happening, the Lammermuir party made their way through the silent streets and entered upon a home of their own after six months of travelling and unsettlement.

" Here then for the present," wrote Miss Blatchley, " Mr. Taylor intends us to remain as quietly and as little seen as possible, the study of the language affording sufficient occupation. By the time any of us are ready for work among the people it will be known that a number of foreigners are living in the city, and that no disturbance or mischief has resulted, and we shall gain access to them, D.V., with less difficulty, exciting less suspicion than could otherwise have been the case. We trust also to find an advantage from coming direct to the capital of the province, as a footing gained here will pave our way, to some extent, in less important places." 1{1 A letter to the Hon. Miss Waldegrave, one of many written by Miss Blatchley as Mr. Taylor's secretary.}

For already the thought of extension was occupying their minds. So great, indeed, was Mr. Taylor's desire to spread the light, that the very first Sunday in their Hangchow home found him not there at all but away in the neighbouring city of Siao-shan. Messrs. Meadows and Crombie had come over from Ningpo to see if they could be of service, and Mr. Taylor was glad to avail himself of their help in this evangelistic effort. Two days spent in the neighbouring city, during which they had 'excellent opportunities for preaching the Gospel, so convinced them of its importance as a centre for missionary work that they were thankful to be enabled to rent a small house before leaving, with a view to settling out some of the new arrivals as soon as possible.

" Had not the Lord specially helped us, in answer to special prayer," Mr. Taylor wrote on his return, " we should have failed both in Hang-chow and in Siao-shan, as we had failed in other places previously."

His heart beat high with hope, and it is interesting to notice that he had not been in Hang-chow three weeks before he was informing Mr. Berger about postal and banking communication with the inland provinces.

" You will be glad to learn," he wrote before the middle of December, " that facilities for sending letters by native post and transmitting money through native banks to various points in the interior are very good. I do not think there will be any difficulty in remitting money to any province in the empire which will not be easily overcome. In the same way letters from the most distant places can be sent to the ports. Such communication is slow and may prove rather expensive, but is tolerably sure. Thus we see the way opening before us for work in the interior."

Meanwhile there was no lack of work immediately around him. Happily a spell of milder weather favoured the process of getting their premises somewhat into order. To the uninitiated, the latter looked more like a collection of outhouses and barns, in, deplorable condition, than the handsome residence Mr. Taylor assured them it once had been. In any case, the work of settling-in involved scraping thick dirt from the floors of the upper rooms-and they were clean compared with the downstairs quarters. " It is pretty cold weather," Mr. Taylor wrote on returning from Siao-shan (Dec. 4), " to be living in a house without any ceilings and with very few walls and windows. There is a deficiency in the wall of my own bedroom six feet by nine, closed in with a sheet, so that ventilation is decidedly free. But we heed these things very little. Around us are poor dark heathen large cities without any missionary ; populous towns without any missionary ; villages without number, all destitute of the means of grace. I do not envy the state of mind that would forget these, or leave them to perish, for fear of a little discomfort. May God make us faithful to Him and to our work."

Well was it that the party were in Chinese dress, for they lived at close quarters for a month or more with the families who shared their rambling abode. Although the house took on by degrees a measure of cleanliness, it had little acquaintance with " foreign " things and ways that could prove disquieting. Knives and forks, together with English crockery and cooking, had been left behind in Shanghai, and the simplest of Chinese furniture was found to meet all requirements. There were the . regulation chairs and tables in the guest-hall, for the proper reception of visitors, but for the rest-boards and trestles, wooden benches, and beds consisting of a wooden frame strung with cocoanut fibres sufficed. At meal-times a Chinese company, to all appearances, gathered round the table minus a cloth, set with basins and chopsticks, and the food served was equally familiar to the neighbours who were looking on. Perhaps it was this that disarmed prejudice and made a way for friendly intercourse. There was nothing to be afraid of.

" These people are like ourselves," was the conclusion soon come to. " They eat our rice and wear our dress, and their words we understand."

So from the first one and another began to drop in to Chinese prayers attracted by the singing, and before the new arrivals had been a week in the house one woman was openly interested in the Gospel. Miss Faulding, who had made good progress with the language, was welcomed as a daily visitor in her room and among the other tenants, and the reports, that went out proved reassuring to relatives and friends.

" We have been getting the house a little more comfortable," wrote this bright member of the party (Dec. 12), " though there is plenty still to lie done. Mr. Taylor and the young men have contrived paper ceilings fixed on wooden frames, which keep out some of the cold air ; for the upstairs rooms have roofs such as you find in chapels at home. They also have papered some of the walls or wooden partitions between the rooms. Of course we are as yet in confusion, but we are getting on and I hoe shall be settled some day.

"The lodgers are to leave next week ; they occupy principally the ground floor.... I am so glad for them to have been here, for many come to Chinese prayers and listen attentively. We could not hive visited out of doors just yet . . . but I read and talk with these women every day, and they seem to like it. One woman I have great hope of. She has given up burning incense, and says that since we came she has begun to pray to God. They are all employed in making imitation money out of silver paper, to be burnt for the use of dead relatives-a great trade here. While I am reading to them, they often take out their pipes and have a few whiffs, almost choking me with smoke. Of course I don't say anything, for every woman seems to smoke. They ask plenty of questions about ourselves, and sometimes such things as, ' Where must we go to worship God ? ' . . . Yesterday we had a congregation of ten neighbours gathered in by the woman who is so interested, besides our lodgers and servants."

Thus the good work began, and before Christmas we read of attentive audiences of fifty or sixty at the Sunday services.

" You would be amused at many things we see," Miss Faulding wrote again in February : " a man nursing an immense dog all through the service ; a woman mending a large man's shoe ; and another, close by me, giving me a lesson in the approved style of dressing children's hair, using her thin fingers as a comb. She evidently thought she could do two things at a time, for she certainly listened to what was being said."

With what interest the young missionaries watched these developments, and how fervently in their noon prayer meetings they sought the life-giving touch of the Holy Spirit for one and another who seemed impresse! Among these a soldier, for example, reading for the first time a Gospel and a copy of the book of Acts, gave cause for encouragement.

" What a difference there was," he remarked, " between Judas and Paul I the one a disciple who betrayed his Master ; the other a persecutor who became the most devoted of His followers."

A Buddhist priest, too, hearing Mr. Taylor preach at a street-corner, rejoiced the evangelist, Tsiu, by coming daily with intelligent questions. A third, who dropped in out of curiosity and was welcomed by one of the young men, was so touched by the kindly spirit behind the poor attempt at Chinese that he came again, and soon joined the little group who every morning were to be found in the guest-hall, reading the Scriptures.

" I was going into the city the other day," wrote Mr. Sell as early as the 1st of January, " when a man called out : ` I am coming to worship the true God to-morrow,' referring to our Sunday services. Thus, you see, we are already known and our work talked about."

As the house began to take on a more habitable appearance, two texts in Chinese found a place on the walls of the dining-room

I must work the works of Him that sent me." `

" Even Christ pleased not Himself."

That " must " was very, real to the missionary household. It was work, real earnest, self-sacrificing work, that filled the busy days, crowding chapel and guest-hall with friendly hearers.

With the Chinese New Year, early in February (1867), came golden opportunities. A dispensary had by that time been opened, precursor of all the medical work for which Hang-chow has become famous. With much else upon his hands, it was not easy, for Mr. Taylor to attend to scores of patients daily, but there was no other doctor nearer than Ningpo or Shanghai, and his heart went out to the people in their sufferings. From far and near the patients came with every variety of complaint both of- body and soul ; and when - holiday-makers were added at the New Year season, the doctor and his helpers were overwhelmed with, guests.

" How I should have liked some of our home-friends to have been with us to-day," Miss Faulding wrote at this time.1{1 To her mother's care it was due that a complete series of the bright, girlish letters have been preserved that give so natural a picture of daily life at Sin-kai-long (Hang-chow) from the first. Miss Faulding was only twenty-two when she went to China, and her parents, who were old friends of Mr. Taylor's, did much to maintain a prayerful interest in the Mission throughout a large circle.}" We have had such good services (Sunday) ; at least two hundred present, sitting as quietly as an English audience, and having the Truth so forcibly put before them. Many this afternoon were shut out for want of room. I think we shall soon have to enlarge our borders. One woman who had heard of us from her neighbours came three miles to the service. Some tell us that they have given up burning incense to their idols ; and several, both men and women, say they believe, and are asking for baptism. The medical side of the work is invaluable. I cannot tell you what a thrill of joy one constantly feels at the sight of so many heathen listening to the Gospel. . Mr. Taylor's illustrations in preaching are so good and varied, and his words seem to come with a power that would be astonishing did one not know how many are praying that God's blessing may rest upon our work."

Mr. Taylor has over two hundred patients daily," she continued a fortnight later (March 16). " People bring their wares and stay near our door, in the hope of getting more custom from, the numbers that gather here than they could elsewhere. Sedanchairs with their bearers are generally waiting, to carry those who cannot walk. The evangelist spends most of his time talking to the patients, and Mr. Taylor generally gives a short address. We have some most hopeful inquirers."

When reinforcements arrived from England (February 23), the first sent out after the sailing of the Lammermuir, Mr. Taylor was too busy to see anything of them until some hours later He was standing on a table at the time, preaching to a crowd of patients in the courtyard, and could only call out a hearty welcome as the party entered, escorted by Mr. Meadows. The new arrivals were more than satisfied with this state of affairs, however, and it was not long before John McCarthy was at Mr. Taylor's side, soon to become his principal helper in the medical work. Those were days in which, amid external hardships, his fellow-workers had at any rate the privilege of close and constant association with the leader who embodied to so remarkable a degree their ideals of missionary service.1-{1 " I think of him as I ever knew him," wrote Mr. McCarthy from Western China thirty-eight years later, " kind, loving, thoughtful of every one but himself, a blessing wherever he went and a strength and comfort to all with whom he came in .contact . . . a constant example of all that a missionary ought to be."}

"If only Mr. Taylor could be in three or four places at the same time it would be a decided advantage," Miss Faulding continued in May. He is wanting to visit the governing cities of this province, to look out the most eligible places for stations he and, Mr. Duncan have been on the point of starting several times. Then there is Ningpo where he is needed, and here he is overwhelmed with work. He wants to go to Shao-hing too (Mr. Stevenson's stations) that he may give further help with the colloquial dialect, there is hardly any knowing what his movements may be ; yet he goes on so quietly and calmly always just leaning upon God and living for others-that it is a blessing merely to witness his life."

All this, needless to say, was a great joy to Mr. Berger and the friends at home. That within six months of their arrival the Lammermuir party should not only be settled in the interior, but that they should be cheered with so much of blessing in their rapidly growing work, was a wonderful answer to the prayers that had been going up on their behalf. No less strenuous than their own was the life Mr. and Mrs. Berger were living in the service of the Mission Already advanced in years, it was not easy for them to turn their quiet home into a Mission-centre, using as offices both dining-room and study ; to encumber the billiard-room with packing-cases ; to receive at their table candidates for China and friends of the missionaries ; to direct wrappers, and send out with their own hands the Occasional Paper ; to attend to a large correspondence, keep accounts, transmit money, arrange for the outgoing of new workers, help with their preparations, fit up their cabins, see them off from any port at any hour of the day or night, and correspond with those already on the field. Yet all this they did with the loving interest of a father's and mother's heart. When it became necessary they went further, and adapted a cottage on their grounds for the young men candidates and another for a tutor who gave secretarial help.

" Mr. Aveline and I seldom' get more than half an hour's exercise a day, which is insufficient for health," Mr. Berger wrote in February 1867. " Still we are very happy and rejoice in the work."

How he could find time amid the claims of business as well as these self-imposed tasks to write regularly and freely to Mr. Taylor as he did is a marvel. He seems never to have missed a mail. A whole volume of his letters-thin foreign paper stitched into. a leather binding-has been preserved, covering a period of about two years from the sailing of the Lammermuir. Reflecting the sympathy and eager interest with which mail after mail was received, this correspondence deals with varied questions, from important spiritual principles to details concerning individual workers. Penned in joy and sorrow, as the tidings from China were cheering or otherwise, these letters breathe a faith and love that were unchanging, and form a veritable storehouse of wisdom, ,helpfulness, and encouragement.

For all was not, invariably, as Mr. Berger could have wished, and there were hours of painful exercise of mind at Saint Hill as Well as in Hang-chow. Even on the voyage out, as we have seen, Mr. Taylor had had cause to regret the spirit of certain members of the party, and as time went on their presence became an increasing difficulty. Among the letters, most of which brought only joy to the home-circle, were others of a very different nature. Complaints and criticism awakened Mr. Berger's concern, and plainly revealed an attitude on the part of some that threatened the harmony and indeed the very existence of the Mission. It was only one or two at first, who were not prepared to go all lengths in wearing native dress and adapting themselves to their surroundings in accordance with the principles of the Mission. But their disaffection went so far as to permit of their carrying exaggerated reports to outsiders, one of whom, with the best intentions, took them up seriously and considered them sufficient ground for strenuous opposition to the work. So prejudiced was he, indeed, by what he heard against Mr. Taylor, that he would not inquire from him, or the members of the Mission who felt with him, as to the charges made. Without letting them even know of the course he was taking, this influential missionary wrote the strongest accusations to Mr. Berger and others, attacking not only the methods of the C.I.M. but Mr. Taylor's fitness for the position he occupied.

Having heard nothing of the other side, these painful letters came as a bolt out of the blue to the friends at Saint Hill. Never suspecting that the disaffected members of the Mission were writing home in a bitter spirit, far less that they had stirred up a comparative stranger to do so, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were saying nothing to the disparagement of any fellow-worker. They were seeking by prayer and patience to remove difficulties and conquer opposition, determined that none should be prejudiced in Mr. Berger's eyes by any word from them, as long as there was the least hope of improvement. But the restraint was costing them dear in more ways than one. As early as February (1867) Mrs. Taylor had longed to pour out her heart to her beloved friend Mrs. Berger, but refrained in accordance with Mr. Taylor's judgement.

" We yesterday received your loving letters written on the arrival of our first mail from China," she wrote on the second of that month. " They are so sweet to us ; and at a time like this, when Satan seems desiring to have us that he may sift us as wheat, they are peculiarly helpful.

" Oh, if you were here, how your hearts would grieve l But we must not be surprised, must we, at troubles and offences coming, and severe sorrow too? This work was not undertaken with the expectation that it would be free from difficulties. And our God Who has hitherto helped us and has brought us thus far, Who was with us in the typhoon and delivered us from the jaws of death, will surely be with our Mission in the storm, delivering it too from shipwreck.

" But you will be anxious to know what the present sorrow is. In my last letter I mentioned that Mr. and Mrs. had gone to Siao-shan, and that Mr. Williamson was there to help make their house comfortable. . . .

" I had written to the middle of the last sentence when my dear husband desired me not to enter into details by this mail. He intends, I believe, writing to Mr. Berger and showing the letter to the persons concerned, so as to give an opportunity for explanation on the other side.- So, though it does seem hard to be unable to tell you all about this heavy burden, I must obey the injunction, `Wives, submit yourselves.' This I think I may mention-we are for the present driven out of Siao-shan."

In defiance of Mr. Taylor's wishes the missionaries in question had gone back to English dress, to the serious detriment of their interests in that inland city. The Mandarin, who had left them in peace before, then determined upon their ejection. With his soldiers and underlings he had come upon them suddenly on the evening of January the 28th, and had ordered them to leave the city before morning. To put them in fear he seized the evangelist, Tsiu, whom at great sacrifice Mr. Taylor had spared from Hang-chow, and had him cruelly beaten-six hundred stripes on the back with rods, and a hundred more on the face with a strip of leather. Sorely bruised and shaken, there was nothing for it but for Tsiu to make his way as, best he could to the capital and he was quickly followed by the rest of the party, who had to be accommodated in Hang-chow while the matter was being adjusted.

Those were months of extreme trial to all the household at Sin-kai-long. Mr. Taylor was overwhelmingly busy with medical work and the throngs of holiday-makers brought by the New Year season. In a reasonable and patient spirit he sought to draw, the ejected missionaries into all that was going on, and to conquer causes of difficulty. Wit another influence was at work ; and instead of responding to his efforts, they kept apart, openly wearing English dress, refusing to come to the meetings, and seeking to foment opposition to Mr. Taylor's authority and arrangements. In this, unhappily, they were encouraged by the afore-mentioned missionary, who was just leaving for furlough. Believing their reports to be true, he felt it his duty not only to write as we have seen, but personally to discredit the new methods of the CIA among its supporters.

When one remembers the circumstances, it is easy to see that there may have been, in the practical. working of the Mission, some cause for complaint. At thirty-four years of age there still remains much to learn, and Mr. Taylor's fellow-workers were all younger than himself. " The man who never makes a mistake," as Mr. Spurgeon said, " never makes anything " ; and they were striking out, it will be borne in mind, on a new and confessedly difficult line of things. But oh, how true and deep the longing that filled their hearts to walk before God and be well-pleasing to Him ! If only the older missionary could have known all, and used' his experience to safeguard where he apprehended danger, how different the result might have been ! As it was, he came very near accomplishing his avowed object, which was nothing less than to put a stop to the entire work.

Under these painful circumstances, Mr. Berger was wonderfully helped, although his letters of that spring and summer show the distress through which he was passing. Taking the course of true friendship, he wrote freely to Mr.Taylor, sending him copies. of the correspondence.

" My earnest prayer to God," he said with the first detailed accusations, " is that you may not be further moved by the letter than -the Lord would have you be ; and may He give the right spirit and the wisdom that will enable us both to do that which will please Him.

" The difficulties at home are neither few nor slight, but yours are truly mountainous. . . You need our every sympathy and prayer ; and be sure, my dear Brother, whatever Mr. may have penned, you hold the same place in our hearts as before. That God will supply you and me with increasing wisdom and ability for the work to which He has called us, we need -neither fear nor doubt. All that is required on our part is to lay aside everything we discover to be either faulty or erroneous, and constantly to be adding to our stock of both wisdom and love. Oh yes 1 we will commit this matter to the Lord Who knows that we did our best. He is very pitiful, and will never leave nor forsake us in this our time of trial."

How serious the trial was to be, and how long continued, the writer could not realise at the time.

" Were we not sure," he wrote on May 8, " that God has given us this work to do, I fear we should be disposed to question whether it was right to continue it ; but as it has not been entered upon without counting the cost and feeling sure of our calling, we are enabled to cry to the Lord for the needed help in this time of deep trial : and if we feel this, you must feel both the sorrows and the assurance of God's calling in tenfold force.

" Let us then strengthen our hands in God, by examining ourselves solemnly before Him to ascertain where we are failing, or have failed, when we shall be better fitted to determine where those linked with us have also failed. The Lord graciously enable us to do this in very truth.

" I am in receipt of two letters from .. . May God enable you, my dear Brother, to keep in very close and holy fellowship with Jesus, so that your loving manner may melt them and eventually restore confidence. As you have not stated in what they have gone astray, I feel I cannot enter into details. ... Whatever you decide upon, I am sure you will act only after much quiet prayer, and I shall not feel hurt in any degree though you may not see with me or be able to carry out your own wishes.. . .

" I have written under very great pressure of various kinds, and beg you will forgive me if I have in any way expressed myself in an unlovely spirit. You know the deep and true affection I have for you and your dear wife, and it will, I trust, never be disturbed."

So courteous in every word and thought 1 in the long series of his letters there is not one deviation from this humble, Christlike spirit. And in spite of all that he himself was going through, he was steadfastly encouraging.

May 19: That you may be enabled to cast upon God the terrible trial resulting from Mr. -'s conduct, and from those acting with him, I earnestly pray. Let us not fear, dear Brother, anything but our own failings ; and these may we ever be discovering, confessing, and putting away. I quite expect God will appear for us in the right time.

Occasional Paper number eight will contain the cash account for twelve months, and judging from the contributions in the year (2800, of which I have contributed little more than r00) I think we ought to give unfeigned thanks, take courage, and go forward, though with great caution and prayerfulness of spirit.

May 21 : My hope and confidence are in God, and I seek to roll the burden of all upon Him. You and I have our lessons to learn ; and if we will learn them, I doubt not God will still further use us in His service.

It seems to me, dear Brother, we must enlarge our field 0f vision in regard t0 this work ; that you must not undertake so much 0f the detail, but a more enlarged oversight ; that you must not have s0 many immediately depending upon you.... Oh what need for wisdom in every step 0f this work ! ...

I have now 1700 in hand, and would gladly put 1000 to the Mission if we can employ it wisely. I wish to continue aiding the work. S0 I think you must pray about how we had best proceed. I merely make suggestions, and you will canvass them with your dear wife and any others whose judgment you value.

June 7 : As regards your headship in China, I consider it is beyond being questioned, and that you must not allow the thought 0f appealing to me 0n the part 0f any ; and I would advise you to act, as I am sure you would, calmly, lovingly, but firmly and unflinchingly for the Lord, in all cases where immediate action is needed. I think you will see that I must act in the same way in England, respecting candidates for China.

I am exceedingly rejoiced to notice that with the exception 0f none have sympathy with Mr. and his doings... . The Lord will bring all these things to a calm in due time, I quite think. He will teach you the best method t0 adopt, and us at home. May we only be careful to be found in a teachable spirit.

August 5 : 'I' do trust the many tokens from our Father's hand, though so afflictive, are effecting in us a more quiet and chastened spirit, leading us to dwell more " in the secret place 0f the most High." I think I can truly say, " None 0f these things move me." I am happier than ever, and more sure that the work we have set our hands to is indeed the Lord's work. May we therefore expect it to prosper.

August 24: It is not our mistakes but our refusing to correct them when discovered that will prove baneful: 0f course it would be better not t0 make mistakes. We have much to learn in order to carry 0n this work t0 the glory 0f God.

It is to be regretted that Mr. Taylor's part in this correspondence has not been preserved, but the spirit in which both he and Mrs. Taylor met these trials may be judged from letters written by the latter to Mrs. Berger, many 0f which remain. From the quiet 0f her room early in February she wrote-a little daughter five days old lying beside her

I have been listening to my beloved husband and others playing and singing in the chapel some 0f our favourite hymns. One in particular, " Oh for the robes 0f whiteness, 0h for the tearless eye," seemed to take me away in thought to happy Saint Hill, and I was almost tempted to wish myself back in that home of rest and love. But it is not for the soldier on the battlefield., however sorely pressed or wounded, to wish himself back in safety and ease. And then, it was sweet to look forward to

The no-more weeping, within that land of love; The endless joy of keeping the bridal feast above.

Oh, beloved Sister!if the Lord will only work by us, and set His seal upon our efforts, we will endeavour to rejoice in tribulation.

Do pray for us very much," she continued a few weeks later (March 19), " for we do so need God's preserving grace at the present time. We have come to fight Satan in his very strongholds, and he will not let us alone. What folly were ours, were we here in our own strength! But greater is He that is for us than all that are against us. One is sometimes tempted to feel overwhelmed with the sense of Satan's power here ; but our God will not fail nor forsake us. I should be very sorry to see discord sown among the sisters of our party, and this is one of the evils I am fearing now.. .

" What turn Mr. matters will take I cannot think. One thing I know, `the Hope of Israel' will not forsake us. One is almost tempted to ask, ' Why was permitted to come out ? ' Perhaps it was that our Mission might be thoroughly established on right bases early in its history."

April 15: God can in His all-wise providence utterly frustrate the designs of our great adversary to bring us and our work into disrepute. I feel encouraged, too, by looking back on our own experience in many sad months of the year before our marriage. It was a marvel that my mind even was not poisoned against my dear husband ; and we could have no communication with one another, so as to hear the other side.1-{1 See Hudson Taylor in Early Years, pages 420 et sqq.}Yet God mercifully kept us from being influenced by the aspersions ; and the remembrance of His past dealings must reassure us now. He cannot have taught us to trust in His Name, And thus far have brought us, to put us to shame.

And all the while souls were being saved, and the prayer answered with which the Lammermuir party had entered the New Year : " O that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me,and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil that it may not grieve me." 1-{1 Chronicles 4:9, 10.}Before the end of March there were twelve candidates for baptism, " a little, green oasis," as Miss Blatchley wrote, " amid the clouding of manifold troubles." The weekly Enquirers' Meeting had to be begun that month, in spite of a wave of popular excitement which resulted in serious danger and persecution, and many of the converts gave evidence of a real change of heart.2-{2 In February and March, after the riotous disturbance at Siao-shan, matters looked very serious for the missionary community in Hang-chow as well as for the native Christians. A plot to get rid of all foreignersworked up by so-called " doctors " of the city, who saw their gains imperilled-might easily have been successful but for the prompt action of the local authorities. As it was, the young converts were tested in a very real way and had practical demonstration of the power of prayer.}In May came the first baptisms, amid the joy of which Mrs. Taylor wrote to the friends at Saint Hill

Perhaps our dear Lord sees that we need sorrows to keep us from being elated at the rich blessing He is giving in our work.

For at the same time the unhappy spirit of the Siao-shan party seemed only to increase, and Mr. Berger's difficulties at home had reached a climax. These complications greatly hindered Mr. Taylor in taking the , pioneering journeys necessary if younger workers were to be planted out. All around them, even in that coast-board province, were millions upon millions to whom " no tidings came " of the one, the only Saviour. To these in their sin and need His heart went out, moving those other hearts of the little missionary community with His own constraining love. No fewer than sixty cities in that one province were still without preachers of the Gospel, native or foreign, nine of these being capitals of prefectures, or Fu cities from which the rest were governed. To open stations of the Mission in these centres was a purpose Mr. Taylor was prayerfully considering. In a journey round the Ningpo district he had taken counsel with his more experienced fellow-workers, finding Mr. Meadows and Mr. Stott ready to move on to places as yet unreached. Two important Fu cities in the east and south-Tai-chow and Wen-chow-were now allocated to them, Mr. Jackson of the Lammermuir party volunteering to accompany Mr. Meadows. This left the north and west more particularly to the Hang-chow workers, several of whom were anxious to get out alone among the people, so as to make more progress with the language.

Freeing himself, therefore, with no little difficulty from headquarters, Mr. Taylor turned his face northward at the end of April, with Duncan, the stalwart Highlander, as a companion. Years before he bad had some memorable experiences in the region of the Great Lake, when evangelising with the Rev. William Burns. Little or no progress had been made in that turbulent district since then, and it was with thankfulness the travellers found, even in the Fu city of Hu-chow, an open door for the Gospel. Mr. Taylor was not able to remain long, but so much was he impressed with the importance of this centre that he almost decided, a few months later, to make it his own headquarters. Meanwhile it was visited from time to time by his fellow-workers, one earnest convert giving them great joy, and becoming on his own account a real soul-winner.

Into the broad estuary of the Hang-chow river flows the beautiful Tsien-tang from the mountains in the west of the province. To this district Mr. Taylor next turned his attention, when the temporary closing of the dispensary in June afforded him respite from medical claims. Duncan, who was developing gifts as a pioneer, was again his companion, and Mr. McCarthy, the evangelist Tsiu, and a couple of Hang-chow Christians made up the party.

Picture then the flat-bottomed boat with its arched roof of matting in which they took their place among other passengers. It was a cheerful scene,-for there was little sleeping, although they did not set out till after dark. The magnificent river, three miles wide, was flooded with moonlight, and a strong favourable wind kept away mosquitoes. Under the bamboo-matting the travellers were lying about in the flicker of little lamps, some eating, some smoking, almost all chatting, the foreigners in Chinese dress being the main subject of conversation. Toward morning, after the approved ablutions in hot water, Mr. Taylor and his companions had prayers together at the front of the boat, the music of " There is a Happy Land " floating out over the water. Having asked the blessing of God, a passage from the Bible was read and explained, their fellow-travellers listening with attention.

Changing into a smaller boat farther up the river, they found themselves crowded in with a strange assortment of passengers, " I had often heard of lying `heads and tails,"' wrote Mr. McCarthy, who was having his first experience of things purely Chinese, " but now we had to practise it ! " Next to Mr. Duncan was an unhappy prisoner with chains around his legs, sentenced to banishment from his own province for murder. Opposite were a couple of opium - smokers with their lighted lamps. Farther on, packed very closely, were five or six Mandarins' runners, a few soldiers, and other people occupying the remaining space.

Rolling up their bedding in the morning, the missionaries again had a brief service, Mr. Taylor speaking from the fifth of Matthew. This opened the way for conversation with one and another as they slowly tracked on all day. Here and there picturesque temples and pagodas stood out against the ever-changing background of magnificent hills. Towns and villages told of a dense population, and every opportunity was taken of preaching in the streets and teashops when the boat came to a standstill. Provisions had to be purchased as they went, and Mr. McCarthy retained a lively recollection of Duncan's tall figure in a white summer gown, his shaven head with its platted queue protected by a huge straw hat lined with blue calico, in one hand a palmleaf fan, and in the other a live chicken carried by the legs.

At Yen-chow, a Fu city a hundred miles above Hangchow, a stay of several days was made, and there Mr. McCarthy remained with one of their Chinese helpers, while Mr. Taylor and the others went on. Still farther up the river, they left their boat at a busy suburb of Lan-chi, where Mr. Duncan hoped to stay for a time. A Ningpo man in a tea-shop, hearing them speak his own dialect, was attracted and helped to find a lodging. A teacher also was given in answer to prayer, and in their large upstair rooms the missionaries were kept busy with visitors.

" I left Duncan in what we consider comfortable lodgings for travellers," Mr. Taylor wrote on his return journey : " a roof over his head, more or less leaky of course, but still a roof ; a floor under his feet, and not a floor only but rich accummulations of well-trodden dirt, which could only be partially removed by considerable exertion. Having a shutter at one end of the room, if no window, it would be ungrateful to complain of the absence of both door and window-shutter at the other end-the more so as in event of rain beating in beyond endurance it is easy to nail up a few pieces of matting which lie ready to hand, awaiting such an emergency."

The meagre furnishing of the room, consisting of little but boards and bamboo trestles, had tempted Duncan to the " lavish expenditure of sixpence " for the purchase of a chair, with which, and his travelling rug, pillow, and mosquito netting, he felt well set up.

In a letter to his mother on this journey Mr. Taylor referred to the boards of a boat as harder to lie on than they once were, though he could still pass a night very contentedly if not very comfortably on such a bed. He tells of getting up before daylight wakened the other passengers, for quiet waiting upon God, and of the joy of pouring out his heart for every member of the Mission as the sun rose over the summer land. He gives a little picture too of travelling on after dark, another boat lashed to their own for company, and all the passengers gathered together to hear the message of Redeeming Love.

" I preached to them till I was tired," he wrote, " and I supposed they would be too. After a short prayer, I concluded, but no one moved to go away ; they seemed to want to hear more. So I began again and talked for a long time, and again stopped. Still no one moved. A few leading questions were asked, and once more I spoke to them at great length. At last, wearied out, it was I who, after urging on them the immediate importance of turning to Christ, had to remind them of the lateness of the hour and suggest that it was time to retire."

These were the important things, the things that mattered; and "to realise more steadily," as he expressed it in this letter, " the fulness we possess in Jesus." Trials he expected and did not shrink from, if they might but work out the deeper purposes of God.

"More than a year has elapsed," he had written to Mr. Berger (May 30), " since we parted on the deck of the Lammermuir, but both you and I can still say-of the past, ` Ebenezer,' of the present, `Jehovah-nissi,' and of the future, ` Jehovahjireh,' thanks be to His grace ! Burdens such as I 'never before sustained, responsibilities such as I had not hitherto incurred, and sorrows compared with which all my past sorrows were light have been part of my experience. But I trust I have, in some feeble measure, learned more of the blessed truth that Sufficient in His arm alone, And our defence is sure.

I have long felt that our mission his a baptism to be baptized with. It may not be past yet. It may be heavier than we can foresee. But if, by grace, we are kept faithful, in the end all will be well."

Chapter 7Table of ContentsChapter 9