CHAPTER 14--SHALL NEVER THIRST- 1890-1871. AET. 38-39.

" MY thirsty days are all past," Hudson Taylor had felt and said and written that very summer, rejoicing as never before in the Saviour's promise, " He that cometh to Me shall never hunger ; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." Would it prove true now-now that the joy of life on its human side was gone, and there was nothing left but aching loneliness and silence ? Would it prove true now -when, under the pressure of continued difficulty on every hand, health began to give way, and, sleepless at night, he found himself scarcely able to face the suffering not to speak of the labours of each new day ? If ever the reality of the power of Christ to meet the heart's deepest need was put to the test of experience it was in this life, swept clean of all that had been its earthly comfort-wife, children, home, health to a large extent-and left amid the responsibilities of such a Mission and such a crisis, far away in China.

Hastening to his side with stricken hearts, Mr. and Mrs. Judd, who had been at the coast for her convalescence, found the baby they had left in Mrs.Taylor's care so well and bonnie that his mother hardly knew him, but the one who had nursed him back to health laid with her own little one beneath the sod.

" I need not tell you how- we loved her," Mr. Judd wrote to friends at home. ".Our hearts are full to overflowing, but we feel -unable to speak to dear Mr. Taylor about her. He is evidently so happy in the Lord Jesus that he needs no words of ours. God is at this time his refuge and strength, and for some months past has been teaching him more and more of His own fulness, thus preparing him for the stroke."

A few days only before his great bereavement, when there was no thought of immediate danger, Mr. Taylor had written to his mother at home (July 11)

I find increasing comfort in the thought that all things are really in our Father's hand and under His governance. He cannot but do what is best.

God nothing does nor suffers to be done,

But we would do the same, could we but see

Through all the events of things as well as He.

And now, on August 4, he continued: I have just been reading over my last letter to you, and my views are not changed, though chastened and deepened. From my inmost soul I delight in the knowledge that God does or deliberately permits all things, and causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him.

He and He only knew what my dear wife was to me. He knew how the light of my eyes and the joy of my heart were in her. On the last day of her life (we had no idea that it would prove the last) our hearts were mutually delighted by the never old story of each other's love, as they were every day, nearly ; and almost her last act was, with one arm round my neck, to place her hand upon my head, and, as I believe, for her lips had lost their cunning, to implore a blessing on me. But He saw that it was good to take her ; good indeed for her, and in His love He took her painlessly ; and not less good for me who must henceforth toil and suffer alone-yet not alone, for God is nearer to me than ever. And now I have to tell Him all my sorrows and difficulties, as I used to tell dear Maria ; and as she cannot join me in intercession, to rest in the knowledge of Jesus' intercession ; to walk a little less by feeling, a little less by sight, a little more by faith.

To Mr. Berger he had written some days previously:

And now, dear brother, what shall I say of the Lord's dealings with me and mine ? I know not! My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude and praise. My eyes flow with tears of mingled joy and sorrow. When I think of my loss, my heart--nigh to breaking-rises in thankfulness to Him Who has spared her such sorrow and made her so unspeakably happy. My tears are more tears of joy than of grief. - But most of all I joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ-in His works, His ways, His providence, in Himself. He is giving me to prove (to know by trial) " What is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." I do rejoice in that will. It is acceptable to me ; it is perfect ; it is love in action. And soon, in that same sweet will, we shall be reunited to part no more. " Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given me be with me where I am."

It was only to be expected that as the days wore on there should be some measure of reaction, specially when illness came and long wakeful nights.

" How lonesome," he recalled, " were the weary hours when confined to my room. How I missed my dear wife and the little pattering footsteps of the children far away in England! Then it was I understood why the Lord had made that passage so real to me, ' Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.'. Twenty times a day, perhaps, as ,,felt the heart-thirst coming back, I cried to Him

" ' Lord, you promised! You promised me that I should never thirst.'

" And whether I called by day or night, how quickly He always came and satisfied my sorrowing heart ! So much so that I often wondered whether it were possible that my loved one who had been taken could be enjoying more of His presence than I was in my lonely chamber.'1-{1 " To know," he added in connection with the promise above quoted (John 4:14), " that 'shall' means shall, that 'never' means never, and that' thirst' means any unsatisfied need may be one of the greatest revelations God ever made to our souls." He had literally fulfilled the prayer

Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me

A living, bright Reality ;

More present to faith's vision keen

Than any outward object seen ;

More dear, more intimately nigh,

Than e'en the sweetest earthly tie."

What more can be added to experiences so 'sacred ? Were it not that the correspondence of the period is too precious to be passed over, one would hesitate to dwell upon the intimacies of this stricken soul with its God. But letters remain that have a message, surely, for such days as ours. Let them tell their own story.

To Mr. Berger, August 14:

It is Sunday evening. I am writing from Mr. White's bungalow. The cool air, the mellow, autumnal beauty of the scene, the magnificent Yangtze-with Silver Island, beautifully wooded, reposing, as it were, on its bosom-combine to make one feel as if it were a vision of dreamland rather than actual reality. And my feelings accord. But a few months ago my home was full, now so silent and lonely-Samuel, Noel, my precious wife, with Jesus ; the elder children far, far away, and even little T'ien-pao in Yang-chow. Often, of late years, has duty called me from my loved ones, but I have returned, and so warm has been the welcome! Now I am alone. Can it be that there. is no return from this journey, no home-gathering to look forward to! Is it real, and not a sorrowful dream, that those dearest to me lie beneath the cold sod ? Ah, it is indeed true! But not more so, than that there is a home-coming awaiting me which no parting shall break into, no tears mar. . . . Love gave the blow that for a little while makes the desert more dreary, but heaven more home-like. " I go to prepare a place for you " : and is not our part of the preparation the peopling it with those we love ?

And the same loving Hand that makes heaven more homelike is the while loosening the ties that bind us to this world, thus helping our earth-cleaving spirits to sit looser, awaiting our own summons, whether personally to be " present with the Lord," or at " the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour." " Even so, come, Lord Jesus," come quickly! But if He tarry-if for the rescue, the salvation of some still scattered upon the mountains He can wait the full joy of having all His loved ones gathered to Himself-surely we, too, should be content, nay, thankful, a little longer to bear the cross and unfurl the banner of salvation. Poor China, how great her need! Let us seek to occupy a little longer.

I have been very ill since I last wrote to you, through a severe attack of dysentery. My strength does not return rapidly. I feel like a little child. . . . But with, the weakness of a child I have the rest of a child. I know my Father reigns : this meets all questions of every kind. I have heard to-day that war has broken out in Europe, between France and Prussia ; that it is rumoured that England joins the former and Russia the latter. If so fearful doings may be expected ; but, " the Lord reigneth."

To Miss Blatchley, in July and August:

Nearly three weeks have passed since my last letter to you a little lifetime it has been. . . . I cannot describe to you my feelings ; I do not understand them myself. I feel like a person stunned with a blow, or recovering from a faint, and as yet but partially conscious, But I would not have it otherwise, no, not a hair's breadth, for the world. My Father has ordered it so-therefore I know it is, it must be best, and I thank Him for so ordering it. I feel utterly crushed, and yet " strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." Oft-times my heart is nigh to breaking . . . but withal, I had almost said, I never knew what peace and happiness were before-so much have I enjoyed in the very sorrow... .

I think I sent you a few weeks ago a copy of some notes on John 7: 37: precious thoughts they have been to me, and needed and true. I now see more and deeper meaning in them than then. And this I -know : only a thirsty man knows the value of water, and only a thirsty soul the value of the Living Water.

I could not have believed it possible that He could so have helped and comforted my poor heart.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all spent in bed, and part of yesterday-ague and affection of the liver this time. It throws me back very much, but the Lord's will be done. Yesterday . . . in the cold stage of the ague, I was shaking until the bed shook under me ; but I enjoyed such a vivid realisation that I was altogether the Lord's, purchased not with silver and gold-that I had not a particle of property, so to speak, in myself-that it filled my heart to overflowing. I felt, if He wanted me to shake, I could shake for Him ; if to bum with fever, I could welcome it for His sake.

Come joy or come sorrow, whatever befall,

His presence and love (more than) make up for it all.

By the end of the month (August) the youngest of Mr. Taylor's children, the motherless baby alone left, to him of his family, was hanging between life and death. As the only hope of saving him, his father took him with Mrs. Duncan's kind help to- Ningpo and the island of Pu-du. A fortnight spent there, however, proved an anxious time, and to his parents in Barnsley Mr. Taylor wrote (September 25)

T'ien-pao has not improved so much as I had hoped. May the Lord help me to be patient and trustful. Long-continued anxiety and weariness from want of rest, sorrow from repeated bereavements and trouble in the work, from the state of China and the timidity of the workers, and other trials from without and within do make one feel the need of a strong arm to lean upon -aye, and a tender one too. And here, thank God, our great need is just met. " As one whom his mother comforteth," so He comforts us. Strengthened by His power, though troubled on every side, we are not forsaken, nor left to doubt either the wisdom or love of Him Who is at the helm.

There was much sickness in the Mission at this time. Mr. Meadows lay ill at Kiu-kiang, too far away for Mr. Taylor to reach him, and the Crombies near at hand were so seriously run down that arrangements had to be made for their leaving at once for England. While seeing them off at Shanghai, it became evident that Mrs. Crombie could not with safety be left. There was no doctor on board, and the Captain offered Mr. Taylor a free passage to Hongkong, in the hope that by the time they reached there she might be out of danger. He had no choice but to go, for the patient was in too serious a condition to be removed from the ship. The result was that all the month of October was taken up with the double journey. To set out at a moment's notice, leaving his sick child in the care of friends at Ningpo,was far from easy ; but it proved the means of saving Mrs. Crombie's life, and gave Mr. Taylor the change and comparative rest he sorely needed. It afforded an opportunity, too, of sending home gifts to his children-the little daughter of three years old and the boys of eight and nine, who were constantly on his heart.

"You do not know how often Papa thinks of his darlings," he wrote from Hongkong (Oct. 16), " and how often he looks at your photographs, till the tears fill his eyes. Sometimes he almost fears lest he should feel discontented when he thinks how far away you are from him : but, then, dear Jesus, Who never leaves him, says : `Don't be afraid. I will keep your heart satisfied. You know it was your Father in heaven who took them to England, and who took Mamma to her little Noel, Samuel, and Gracie in the Better Land.' Then I thank Him, and feel so glad that Jesus will live in my heart and keep it right for me.

" I wish you, my precious children, knew what it was to give your hearts to Jesus to keep every day. I used to try to keep my own heart right, but it would be always going wrong ; and so at last I had to give up trying myself, and accept Jesus' offer to keep it for me. Don't you think that is the best way ? Perhaps sometimes you think : ' I will try not to be selfish, or unkind, or disobedient.'

" And yet, though you really try, you do not always succeed. But Jesus says, ` You should trust that to Me. I would keep that little heart, if you could trust Me with it.' And He would too.

" Once I used to try to think very much and very often about Jesus, but I often forgot Him : now I trust Jesus to keep my heart remembering Him, and He does so. This is the best way. Ask dear Miss Blatchley to tell you more about this way, and pray God to make it plain to you, and to help you so to trust Jesus."

To Miss Blatchley he wrote regularly, showing how fully he realised the responsibility of her charge and the importance of discipline in dealing 'with the children. Yet his heart craved tenderness for them too, and keenly felt their share in his great loss.

" You will love them all the more," he had written in August, " now that they can never again know a mother's care. God will help you to bear with them, and to try to correct them, by lovingly pointing out the right way rather than by too frequent reproof-' Don't do this or that.' This I feel is where I most failed with them ; and now, there is only you to make up for my deficiencies."

And in a later letter: Do try to keep their confidence and love. Do try so to sympathise that they may learn to bring their troubles to you, assured of your willing ear and help; so that they may tell you their faults' and even their sins. If you can, by God's help, get this, the boys are safe from many a snare they might otherwise be led into.

To keep their confidence and love himself, even at so great a distance, he toiled many an hour long after body and mind craved rest. Returning to Shanghai, for example, amid other letters penned in his comfortless third-class quarters were the following

MY DARLING TREASURES-It is not very long since my last letter, but I want to write again. I wonder if you will try to write me a little answer ? . . . I have been thinking tonight if Jesus makes me so happy by always keeping near me, and talking to me every minute or two though I cannot see Him, how happy darling Mamma must be! I am so glad for her to be with Him ... I shall be so glad to go to her when Jesus thinks it best. But I hope He will help me to be equally willing to live with Him here, so long as He has any work for me to do for Him and for poor China.

Now, my darling children, I want you to love Jesus very much, and to know that He really does love you very much. Don't you think your far-off, dear Papa would be very pleased to see you and talk to you, and to take you on his knee and kiss you? You know he would! Well, Jesus will always be far more pleased when you think of Him with loving thoughts, and speak to Him with loving words. Don't think of Him as some dreadful Being. Think of Him as very good and very great, able to do everything, but as very gentle and very kind. When you wake, say to Him, either aloud or in your hearts,

" Good morning, dear Jesus. I am so glad you have been by me all night, and have taken care of me. Teach me how much you love me. Take care of my heart : make it think good thoughts. Take care of my lips : only let them speak kind, good words. Help me always to know what is right and to do it."

He likes us to talk to Him. When I am walking alone, I often talk aloud to Him. At other times I talk to Him in my heart. Do not forget, my darling children, that He is always with you. Awake or asleep, at home or elsewhere, He is really with you though you cannot see Him.' So I hope you will try not to grieve so constant and kind a Friend.

And to Miss Blatchley: I have written again to the dear children. I do long for them to learn early, and, once for all, the precious truths which have come so late to me concerning oneness with and the indwelling of Christ. These do not seem to me more difficult of apprehension than the truths about' redemption. Both need the teaching of the Spirit, nothing more. May God help you to live Christ before these little ones, and to minister Him to them. How wonderfully He has led and taught us, has He not ? How little I believed the rest and peace I now enjoy possible down here. It is heaven begun below, is it not ? May we ever enjoy it! Compared with this union with Christ, heaven or earth are unimportant accidents. . . .

Try to explain these most sweet and practical yet simple truths to the children, and to draw out their desire for these things. . . . " Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise." In all your intercourse with friends of the Mission, seek to deepen their realisation of the value of Christ, and of our union with Him. Should you succeed in interesting them in China or in the Mission, your efforts may end there ; but if you minister blessing to their souls, they will the better enter into Christ's command and purposes toward China, and will -be more likely to become helpers in prayer, and not less so pecuniarily. After all, what we want is not money but power. . . . Doubtless it is in answer to many prayers that my own soul has been so sustained under sore trial. Seek prayer for us, and we shall have all things : let it be lacking, and our very blessings may become a snare.

" Oh! it is joy to feel Jesus living in you," he wrote on the same journey to his sister, Mrs. Walker ; " to find your heart all taken up by Him ; to be reminded of His love by His seeking communion with you at all times, not by your painful attempts to abide in Him. He is our life, our strength, our salvation ; He is our wisdom and righteousness, our sanctification and redemption ; He is our power for service and fruit-bearing, and His bosom is our resting-place now and for ever."

To Mr. Berger he wrote on October 13: Ah! my dear brother, what a wonderful expression is that, " In Christ Jesus." And what a wonderful fact is our being in Christ Jesus and He in us. Day by day I am learning a little and a little more of it, and it is so sweet, so practical, so simple, so all-sufficient ! And yet no truth makes one feel so utterly childlike. It is like playing in the shallows of a boundless ocean. . . . Oh, the unsearchable riches of His fulness! and all is ours-for He is ours and we are His.

Hastening to Ningpo on his return, in the hope of being able to take his youngest child with him to Chin-kiang, he found him desperately ill with croup, and scarcely expected to live. This was a sore trial. But Mission affairs were urgent, after an absence of a month or more, and as soon as there was decided improvement, leaving him in the care of Dr. Parker, Mr. Taylor pressed on to Hang-chow and the neighbouring stations. Long were those visits remembered with gratitude to God.

He came to us full of the Spirit," wrote Mr. Cordon of Soo-chow, " and, though he has lately experienced such deep sorrow, spoke only of the wisdom and goodness of the Lord."

Both there and with Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson at Shaohing he had much spiritual fellowship, rejoicing especially in the progress of the work at the latter station.

At Hang-chow also there was much to encourage. The church was prospering under the faithful ministry of Pastor Wang, and seven evangelists were at work in the surrounding districts. Detained there by medical, duty, it was a refreshment to Mr. Taylor to see something of old friends, including Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy and Miss Faulding, who had been almost a member of his own family from the time of their sailing for China. Four years of steady work in Hang-chow had developed in her rare sweetness of character and depth of spiritual experience. Though still only twenty seven, she was a most efficient missionary, a force for good and for God widely felt in that heathen city. Her schools, for which, in faith, she had assumed entire financial responsibility, were prospering both as regards numbers and results. Several of the boys had committed to memory the entire New Testament, with the exception of two Gospels, and not a few had become earnest Christians and gave promise of future usefulness.1-{1- One of these married, a few years later, the daughter of Wang Laedjun, becoming his co-pastor in Hang-chow, and is still (1918) in charge of the Sin-kai-long Church.}

And there it was home letters found him-the first from England after tidings of Mr. Taylor's sorrow had been received. Nothing could exceed the tenderness of Mr. and Mrs. Berger's sympathy, or their sense of the loss the Mission had sustained.

" The contents of your letter dated Chin-kiang, July, 30," wrote Mr. Berger, have so stunned us that I feel even now, after two or three days' knowledge of the facts, quite unfit for writing, especially to yourself ; still, you so well understand this feeling that I need not hesitate.

" Oh! that I could transport myself and my dear, wife to your side, to share in close fellowship your deep sorrow. For, however much you may be able to realise that the Lord has done it, and even to acquiesce in His will, the grief inseparable from the loss of one so deeply and deservedly loved must be most poignant, and probably your later feelings of desolation will be keener than those that immediately followed your bereavement.

" The blank would be too painful, but for the loving fellowship of Jesus : but it is just here one finds the glimmer of light and hope rising in the mind. He will not, cannot fail to pour in oil and wine to the wounded heart. ' In all our afflictions He was afflicted ' ; and if we were reconciled by His death, when enemies, how much more shall we be saved, cared for and ministered to as His own, seeing' He ever liveth.'

" Jehovah wounds and He heals. He even kills and makes alive ; and may we not say advisedly, He afflicts for our profit. Out of this, the deepest sorrow and trial you have ever been called to pass through, shall surely flow some inconceivable blessing. It may unfold slowly, like the bud ; but our Father never takes away to leave us poor."

While still in Hang-chow-home of so many memories Mr.Taylor replied to these beloved friends, seeking to reassure them with regard to his experiences. To Mr.Berger, November 18:

Many, many thanks for your loving sympathy in my bereavement-I cannot properly say loss. I feel it an inexpressible gain. She is not lost. She does not love me less now, nor do I love her less, or less rejoice in her. And I do from day to day and every day so delight in the love of Jesus, satisfy my thirsty heart when most desolate from His fulness, feed and rest in green pastures in the recognition that His will has been done and is being done, as no words can express. He only knows what her absence is to me. Twelve years and a half of such unbroken spiritual fellowship, united labour, mutual satisfaction and love, fall to the lot of very few. . . . But were the blank less, I should know less of His power and sustaining love.

And to Mrs. Bergen the same day: No language can express what He has been and is to me. Never does He leave me ; constantly does He cheer me with His love. He who once wept at the grave of Lazarus often now weeps in and with me.. He who once on earth rejoiced in spirit and said, " Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight," daily, hourly, rejoices in spirit in me, and says so still. His own rest, His own peace, His own joy He gives me. He kisses me with the kisses of His love, which are better than wine. Often I find myself wondering whether it is possible for her, who is taken, to have more joy in His presence than He has given me. If He has taken her to heaven, He has also brought heaven here to me, for He is heaven. There is no night, no gloom, in His presence. In His presence there is " fullness of joy."

At times He does suffer me to realise all that was, but is not now. At times I can almost hear again the sweet voice of my Gracie ; feel the presence of little Samuel's head on my bosom. And Noel and his mother-how sweet the recollection, and yet how it makes the heart ache! . . . And then, He who will soon come and wipe away every, tear comes and takes all bitterness from them . . . and fills my heart with deep, true, unutter: able gladness. I have not to seek Him now ; He never leaves me. At night He smooths my pillow ; in the morning He wakes my heart to His love. " I will be with thee all day long thou shalt not be alone, nor lonely." I never was so happy, dear Mrs. Berger, I know you sympathise, and I feel I must tell you of His love. It is of JESUS I would speak

He brings a poor, vile sinner

Into His house of wine.

Meanwhile there was no lessening of the pressure of outward difficulties. Politically, the aspect of affairs had for months been darker than Mr. Taylor had ever known it in China. The Tien-tsin massacre in which twenty-one foreigners had lost their lives, including the French Consul and Sisters of Mercy, was still unsettled, and the Chinese authorities, knowing that Europe was involved in war, took no steps to allay anti-foreign feeling.

" In the event of any riot now," Mr. Taylor had written in October, "not' only a few plunderers are to be feared : all the people are roused. . . . Unless something is done about the Tien-tsin murders before long, I fear you will learn of even more serious troubles. The Chinese generally are satisfied that only consciousness of guilt, and 'weakness, have prevented vengeance from reaching the perpetrators of those crimes : in other words, that foreigners do really eat children, etc., and are now unable to defend themselves. . . . But the Lord reigns." 1-{1 " Never in my lifetime has any year witnessed such events as has the year 1870," Mr. Berger had gone on to sayin the letter of July 30, quoted above, whether in relation to our mission or the world at large. Rome is now I suppose the capital of free Italy. France lies humiliated to a degree. The Pope's temporal power is no more. China seems to be rising to expel foreigners, the heralds of the Cross among them. And personally we have suffered the loss of the most devoted labourer for China's millions that could be found, as well as of a beloved friend. ' Be still and know that I am God,' is a word appropriate at such a juncture. May we all have grace -to give heed to it."

It was scarcely to be wondered at that the long strain of excitement and danger should tell on the nerves, and even the spiritual life of lonely missionaries ; but it was no little sorrow to Mr. Taylor when an inland station was abandoned that might have been held, and when some dear fellowworkers seemed to fail in faith and courage. He knew the weakness of his own heart too well to be harsh toward others, and sought as far as in him lay to strengthen their hands in God. The last day of the year was set apart as usual for prayer and fasting, in arranging for which ' Mr. Taylor wrote to the members of the Mission

The present year (1870) has been in many ways remarkable. Perhaps every one of our number has been more or less face to face with danger, perplexity and distress'; but out of it all the Lord has delivered us. And some of us, who have drunk of the cup of the Man of Sorrows more deeply than ever before, can testify that it has been a most blessed year to our souls, and can give God thanks for it. Personally, it has been alike the most sorrowful and the most blessed year of my life, and I doubt not that others have to a greater or lesser extent had the same experience. We have put to the proof, His faithfulness, His power to support in trouble and to give patience under affliction, as well as to deliver from danger. And should greater dangers Await us, should deeper sorrows come than any we have yet felt, it is to be hoped that they will be met in a strengthened confidence in our God.

We have had great cause for thankfulness in one respect : we have been so placed as to show the native Christians that our position as well as theirs has been, and may be again, one of danger. And they have been helped, doubtless, to look from " foreign power " to God Himself for protection, by the facts that (1) the former has been felt to be uncertain and unreliable; both with regard to themselves and to us, and (2) that we have been kept in calmness and joy in our various positions of duty. If in any measure we have failed to improve for their good this opportunity, or have failed to rest for ourselves in God's power to sustain in or protect from danger, as He sees best, let us humbly confess this and all conscious failure to our faithful, covenant-keeping God... .

I trust we are all fully satisfied that we are God's servants, sent by Him to the various posts we occupy, and that we are doing His work in them. He set before us the open doors into which we have entered, and in past times of excitement He has preserved us in them. We did not come to China because missionary work here was either safe or easy, but because He had called us. We did not enter upon our present positions under a guarantee of human protection, but relying on the promise of His presence. The accidents of ease or difficulty, of apparent safety or danger, of man's approbation or disapproval, in no wise affect our duty.. Should circumstances arise involving us in what may seem special danger, I trust we shall have grace to manifest the reality and depth of our trust in Him, and by our faithfulness to our charge prove that we are followers of the Good Shepherd who did not flee from death itself. . . . But, if we would manifest this calmness then, we must seek the needed grace now. It is too late to look for arms and begin to drill when in presence of the foe.

With regard to funds Mr. Taylor continued: I need not remind you of the liberal help which, in our need, the Lord has sent us direct from certain donors, nor of the blessed fact that He abideth faithful, and cannot deny Himself. If we are really trusting in Him and seeking from Him, we cannot be put to shame : if not, perhaps the sooner we find the unsoundness of any other foundation, the better. The Mission funds, or the donors, are a poor substitute for the living God.

So great was the pressure on Mr. Taylor at this time that he wrote early in December that he had never known anything like it, save just before leaving England with the Lammermuir Party. Missing the efficient help of both Mrs.Taylor and Miss Blatchley, he was overwhelmed with correspondence, accounts and all manner of detail in addition to the general direction of the work. But for Mr. C. T. Fishe, who had now been twelve months in China, he could not have got through at all, and it was with thankfulness he saw his way at the close of the year to appointing him Secretary to the Mission on the field.

Well was it that such help came when it did, for Mr. Taylor had borne all and more than he had strength for physically. Flooded though his soul had been with joy in the Lord, the poor body had suffered, and he had to learn more than ever before of the close and often humbling connection between the one and the other. A badly deranged liver made him sleepless and brought on painful physical depression. This was increased by lung-trouble which caused not only pain but serious difficulty in breathing. And time did not lessen the desolation. After the homelife in which he had delighted, it was a change indeed to be one of a bachelor household. But Mr. and Mrs. Rudland had been called to Tai-chow-fu ; Mrs. Duncan had rejoined her husband at Nanking ; and with his youngest child still in Ningpo, Mr. Taylor had only one or two young men for his companions. His suffering condition ' made him the more conscious of outward loneliness.

" Well, it is but one day at a time," he wrote to Mr. Berger at the close of the year. " To-day, by His grace, we can bear to-day's burden ; tomorrow we may be with Him where there is no burden ; or, if otherwise, He will be with us, and in His presence there is ' fullness of joy,' this world's tribulation not withstanding." "

This experience continued for some time, so that six weeks later he was writing of " days of sorrow and nights of heaviness," but of his one unfailing Refuge also, as " wonderfully near, wonderfully real." 1 {1 To Mr. and Mrs. Grattan Guinness he had written in January (1871) thanking them for no little help afforded to Miss Blatchley and his children while in Paris, and saying as to his own experiences

" I need not tell you of the difficulties and dangers, the pressure daily changing, and the sickness and sorrows of the past year. I think I may say that in the aggregate they have equalled, if not exceeded, those of the sixteen previous years of my missionary labour. Be this as it may, the Lord had previously taught me practically, as I never knew-it before, our present, real oneness with Christ ; and with the exception of the past two months, it has been the happiest, the most joyous year of my life. For the last two months my liver has been so deranged that I have rather realised the Lord Jesus as my refuge than as my abounding joy ; but none the less precious are the blessings I receive in Him. Oh, my dear Brother ! in this dark, dark land, one does need a deep assurance of the presence of Jesus."} And in it all he was proving the sustaining power of the Word of God.

" ' In due season we shall reap if we faint not '-this has been to me the word in season I know not how often," he wrote to Mr. Berger early in the New Year. " And the best of God's precious Word is that the more nourishment and savour we get out of it, the more we find in it. It does not fail nor weary us with sameness, however often we come to it.

Passages which already had meant much to him unfolded new depth and meaning, and in the very darkness permitted for a time, he was making more his own treasures which through coming years he was to pour out for others. Thus, to Mr. Muller, who in the recent death of his wife had lost his chief friend and helper, he wrote in March (1871)

You do know, beloved Brother, what the cup is that I am daily called to drink-yes, many times every day. You know that it does not become less bitter, nor is the lack of help less felt as days run on into weeks and weeks into months. And you know too how His grace can make one glad to have such a cup from His hand, or any other cup He may be pleased to give. Yet the flesh is weak ; and your sympathy and prayers I do prize and thank you for. They tell me of Him Who, when the poor and needy seek water and there is none-no, not one drop--opens rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys.

It was under these circumstances he came to see fresh power and beauty in the promises from our Lord's own lips which had already been made so vital in his experience. " Whosoever drinketh of the water 'that I shall give him," stood out in letters of light as he saw the full bearing of the original. The force of continuous habit expressed by the present tense of Greek verbs flooded the passage with new meaning, over against his long-continued and increasing need.

" Do not let us change the Saviour's words," he often said in later years. " It is not `Whosoever has drunk,' but ` Whosoever drinketh.' It is not of one isolated draught He speaks, or even of many, but of the continuous habit of the soul. Thus in John 6:35 the full meaning is, 'He who is habitually coming to me shall by no means hunger, and he who is believing on me shall by no means thirst.' The habit of coming in faith to Him is incompatible with unmet hunger and thirst."

" It seems to me," he had written to a friend at the time, that where many of us err is in leaving our drinking in the past, while our thirst continues present. What we need is to be drinking-yes, thankful for the occasion which drives us to drink ever more deeply of the Living Water."

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