CHAPTER 17--NOT DISOBEDIENT UNTO THE HEAVENLY VISION--1873-1874. AET. 41-42.

IT would be little cause for wonder if, amid joy and encouragement such as we have just recorded, Mr. Taylor's heart had gone out in quickened longing after the multitudes yet unreached ; but the really significant thing is that he had never lost the vision. Amid all that had gone before of trial and disappointment, amid all that was yet awaiting him of counter-attack on the part of the enemy and searching tests of faith, the vision never left him. It did but become, if anything, more commanding. To one of the Secretaries of the Mission he had written soon after landing

I do so hope to see some of the destitute provinces evangelised shortly. I long for it by day and pray for it by night. Can HE care less ?

And to Miss Blatchley (January 1, 1873)

I want you to pray daily that God will direct us as to which provinces we should attempt, and how. We have the almighty God with us ; the all-wise Counsellor to guide ; the indwelling Spirit to give efficacy to the preached Word. Ask for me more simple trust in Him, and boldness to attempt great things... . Try to get friends to promise and seriously endeavour to pray daily about the opening up of new provinces to the Gospel. Christ must speedily be proclaimed in them : how and by whom we must ask Him.

Subsequent letters breathe the same spirit, though they necessarily touch upon financial difficulties and local problems.

Pray hard ; trust undoubtingly ; expect great things from God. If we have a few men of the right stamp we shall soon see more than one unoccupied province entered.

But the long year wore on, and little in -the way of men or means was forthcoming.

Under these circumstances it was but natural that Mr. Taylor should value more than ever the co-operation of Chinese fellow-workers. He was giving himself, as we have seen, to encouraging the native leaders, and ,was full of plans for developing and using them to the utmost.

" I am aiming at such organisation of our forces as will enable us to do more work with fewer foreign missionaries," he wrote to his parents in April. " I hope I may be able, ere the year closes, to commence a college for the more thorough training of our native helpers. Long desired, there seems more probability of our attaining this than heretofore."

To place two native helpers in each governing city of a district, with colporteurs in centres of less importance, all under the supervision of an experienced missionary, was the plan kept steadily in view, beginning with the capitals of provinces and departments. Nothing if not orderly, his mind worked along these lines, pending special indications of divine guidance. These being given, he was ready at any time to throw his best men into positions of seemingly less strategic value, if only it were evident that the Spirit of God was at work. Apart from such indications, the above plan was adhered to as closely as possible. It was essential, therefore, to develop the Chinese workers, as well as obtain missionaries of the right kind. Men of faith, with a personal knowledge of God as the Hearer and Answerer of prayer ; men of stamina to rough it, and to live as he did in closest contact with the people, were the missionary helpers he longed and prayed for.

" We are going on into the interior," he wrote to a member of the Council somewhat later. " There is great difficulty, in conveying much luggage, and the sight of it, in many places, would ensure robbery. If any one is not prepared to rough it, he had better stay at home at once." And to another: " The only persons wanted here are those who will rejoice to work-really to labour, not to dream their lives away ; to deny themselves ; to suffer in order to save. Of such men and women there is room for any number, and God will support any number : they are His jewels, and He values and cares for them.

Hastening to Shanghai to meet Mr. Judd with reinforcements, Mr. Taylor's mind was full of these things, and he was not altogether sorry for the lack of a receiving home, though it involved some inconveniences. It was his purpose to secure such a home on this visit, for the Mission was growing so large as to need a business centre at the coast.1-{1 Some distance down Broadway in the American Settlement, five little native shops were taken, almost opposite the old Sailors' Home. The open fronts were built up, and the whole connected with a long up stairs passage. Such was the first C.I.M. Home in Shanghai, arranged for by Mr. Taylor in November, and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Fishe before the close of 1873.} But in the meanwhile he put up at a native inn, glad of the opportunity of seeing in a natural way what the young men who accompanied Mr. Judd were made of.

Early that November morning the new arrivals had set out to enquire for Mr. Taylor. From friends of Mr. Judd's they learned that the leader of the Mission was in Shanghai, and had probably gone down to the steamer to meet them.They turned back therefore, and on the way Mr. Judd exclaimed, " There is Mr. Taylor ! "

" We looked," wrote one of his companions, " but could only see a Chinaman on a wheelbarrow. The barrow stopped and the figure advanced toward us. It was a good thing that there was some one to do the introducing, for we should never have recognised Mr. Taylor. The weather was cold, and he had on a wadded gown and jacket. Over his head he wore a wind-hood with side pieces which fitted close to the face, leaving nothing but a medallion-shaped opening for nose, eyes and mouth. In his hand he grasped a huge Chinese umbrella, which he carried in true native style, handle 'foremost. In his wadded clothes he looked almost as broad as he was long, and to our foreign eyes was the oddest figure we had ever seen. He said he had made arrangements for the ladies and Mr. Judd to stay with friends in the French Settlement, and, turning to Henry Taylor and myself, added

" ` After we have been to the vessel, perhaps you will accompany me to my hotel'.' "

Little realising what was in store for them, the young men cheerfully agreed.

" It may be as well to say, for the sake of those who do not know Shanghai," Mr. Baller continued, " that it is divided into three Settlements, all situated on the banks of the Woo-sung River, and separated from each other by creeks. The English Settlement lies in the centre, between the Soo-chow Creek and a muddy ditch called the Yang-king-pang. On the north is the American Settlement, and on the south the French. Running parallel with the river is a broad 'boulevard called The Bund, edged by a strip of well-kept lawn (and beautiful Public Gardens now). Following Mr. Taylor along The Bund, we traversed its entire length, then crossed a bridge into the French Settlement, and so on and on to the point where it tails off into the suburbs of the Chinese city. Lines of junks lie along the river here, and trade and bustle are the order of the day. Here, too, are heaps of malodorous refuse, fish, vegetables, muck from the streets, filth of all sorts, while stenches, massive and unrelieved, assail the fastidious foreigner... .

" Turning up a side street at right angles to The Bund, Mr. Taylor threaded his way among the crowds till he stopped at the door of a native post office. Passing through the front part of the office, he led the way to a small door secured by a Chinese lock. This he opened and invited us to follow him up the stair. It was pitch dark and very narrow, but we stumbled up till we came to a door which he entered. We followed him, and found ourselves in the ` hotel.' It consisted of a room about twelve feet square, innocent of any adornment, and containing a square table, a small skin-covered box and a native foodbasket. Along one side was a raised dais, on which, if I remember aright, was spread a native coverlet. A window opened out on to the street, but it had paper of a grimy hue instead of glass, and did not count for much' in the way of illumination.

" Mr. Taylor very courteously asked us to be seated, and after making enquiries as to our voyage, produced a Bible. He read the 17th chapter of the Gospel by John, and asked what we thought was the meaning of the words, ` That the love wherewith Thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.' I do not remember what we said, but I was distinctly impressed with the fact that he asked us. . . . Reading over, we knelt down and had prayer together, when he commended us to the Lord who had brought us to China."

So far so good : but Mr. Taylor was beginning to feel confidence in the mettle of these young, missionaries, and was minded to introduce them himself, as far as possible, to things Chinese. Rather than return to the Settlement for breakfast, therefore, he decided to take them to a native restaurant. They had been out since 5 A.M., and it was now almost nine, so that they were equal to the occasion as far as appetite was concerned. But first he enquired whether they would care to wash their hands.

We replied in the affirmative ; but as there was no trace either of washstand, soap, towel or basin, we wondered how the ablutions were to be performed. Mr. Taylor went to the door and called but something in Chinese, whereupon a man appeared who was, we understood, his servant. He went to the basket in the corner -and fished out of its depths a wooden basin and what looked like a pocket -handkerchief. Leaving the latter on the table he descended to the street, and going to a hot-water shop bought enough hot water to fill the basin. On his return he placed it on the table, and, taking the rag, which was, we noticed, woven with a large mesh, he dipped it in the water, and wringing it out handed it to Mr. Taylor. We watched him use it with considerable interest. By the time he had gone over the area that needed cleansing, the cloth was nearly cold. This meant another dip, another and drier squeeze, and a renewed application to face and hands, this time more in the way of polishing than cleansing. The mystery was solved. Here was plain living and high thinking ; here was multum in Parvo ; here was economy and cleanliness combined. Sponge, soap, towel-all were included in the magic cloth! We followed suit, and found the operation very refreshing, partly from its novelty and partly from its effects. And no compunction of conscience that we were running up a hotel bill by living in luxury, troubled us. . . . We began to realise that we were in a land where money could be made to go a long way.

" Now," said Mr. Taylor, " let us go and have breakfast."

Nothing loath we sallied forth, Mr. Taylor leading the way, and this time dived into the recesses of an adjoining street, far from the foreign quarter. After enquiry in one or two native cook-shops as to whether they had a certain kind of vegetable, Mr. Taylor finally led us into one and invited us to be seated. Four narrow forms were placed around a table. The cooking was being carried on in the front part of the shop, while customers sat at a number of square tables in the back. Our table had once been new, and probably had once been clean, but it must have been many years before we were born. . However, what it lacked in purity' it made up in polish.... A pair of chopsticks was brought and placed before each of us, after having been carefully wiped on the shady cloth which dangled over the shoulder of our attendant. Happily for me and my companion, -we had acquired some skill in the use of these implements while crossing the Pacific. We had often fraternised with the Chinese passengers, imitating them in the use of chop-sticks till we could take up a bean without dropping it. But for this, the fable of the Stork and the Fox would have had an illustration in our case that morning.

At last the supreme moment arrived, and the waiter brought in four basins of piled-up rice and placed them before us. This was followed by several basins of hot vegetables, and a large basin of chunks of fat pork, the piece de resistance of the meal. Mr. Taylor's servant, true to the courteous instincts of his race, fearing that in our inexperience we should not make a good meal, chose out the fattest and largest lumps and laid them in triumph, with a winsome smile, intended to hearten us to the task, on the top of our basins. It had some interest for us the first few times ; but after steadily going through four or five pieces in succession, it began to pall, and we had to appeal to Mr. Taylor to ask him to desist. He, good man, took our feeble protest against any more chunks to be the natural outcome of a polite training, and was rather grieved when we declined any longer to feed upon the fat of the land.

Such was our first meeting with Mr. Taylor in China, such our reception, such our first toilet and meal. Things have greatly altered since then, but I would gladly forgo all the improvements, if I could have the experiences of that morning over again. Our leader and director showed us how to do it by his own example, and stamped us at once, in all the freshness of our early zeal, with his own stamp. Hence we took to Chinese 'dress, Chinese food, Chinese ways as a duck to water. Personally, I can never be thankful enough for that experience. I have been in many dirtier inns since then, in many parts of China, and have had far rougher accommodation than that of Mr. Taylor's " hotel," but the remembrance of his example has made things easy and silenced murmuring.

Leaving the young men at Nanking to their studies, in charge of Mr. and Mrs. Judd, Mr. Taylor hastened back to the patients he was caring for and the stations he was visiting in Che-kiang. The twelve millions of that province, small though it was among the provinces of China, lay heavily on his heart. Far from overlooking, in his growing concern for the interior, needs more immediately around him near the coast, he was stirred with sorrow and shame over the great, waiting fields so easily accessible, that yet had no labourers. Writing to Mr. Hill from one of the southern stations in January (1874) he said:

The work is now greatly extending, and I hope will yet do so.... If the Lord spare me, and permit me to labour here a year or two more, I trust there will be no county left in this province in which we have not preached Christ, either by located or itinerant labours. At present there are many such. Of the sixty-three Hsien cities in this province (each governing a county) fifteen have workers for Christ resident in them. Ten have been opened by us, five by others ; forty-eight remain unopened. In one of them I have just rented a house ; to another I hope to send a couple of men to-morrow. If they succeed in obtaining an opening, there will still be four Fus and forty-six Hsiens fifty cities in all to be possessed for Christ. And in the meantime, how many precious souls will have passed beyond the reach of the Gospel! The Lord help us to be faithful. The claims of my family at home on the one hand, and the claims of the perishing heathen here on the other, cast me in an agony upon the Lord:-" Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ? " 1-{1 From Tai-chow Mrs. Taylor had written a few weeks earlier (November 17, 1873) : " When I think of your responsibilities and burdens which I am not with you to share, my heart would sink if I did not feel that Jesus is with you, loving you so tenderly and ready to meet each need of every moment, and abundantly to bless you. I am asking Him continually to uphold, strengthen and guide you, to refresh you with His unspeakable love, and to give you richly every blessing. I am very, very happy in Jesus. My joy and rest were never so full before. He has taken all my cares away. We have Jesus, and He is ready always to do for us every good thing. I must tell you more of the burdens I have been bearing, and the way God has been leading me when you come. As far as I know the reasons for and against going to England, they seem to me stronger for remaining here : the Lord will guide."}

The position was indeed a perplexing one. Miss Blatchley's serious illness, as we have seen, deprived the home-work of her invaluable services. To relieve her of the care of house and children, he had already sent home one of his best helpers ; but Miss Desgraz,. who was sorely needing furlough, could not assume the many responsibilities Miss Blatchley had been obliged to lay down. And there was no one else who could, in his own absence. Fourteen months of patient, plodding work in China had done much to improve the situation - he had found on arrival, but matters were still critical in several stations, and he longed to secure not only improvement but advance. Then again the state of funds was increasingly serious, and though this indicated a need for his presence in England it made it almost impossible for him to leave the workers on the field. Never had they been so long and severely tried, and it was only by keeping in closest touch with every station that he could tell how to pray and to help. And all the while his sense of responsibility, deepened for the multitudes around him, so dark, so needy, so accessible !

" Last week I was at Tai-ping," -he continued, in his letter of January 26, to Mr. Hill, " one of the unopened cities I have referred to.... My heart was greatly moved by the crowds that literally filled the streets for two or three miles, so that we could hardly walk-for it was market-day.... We did but little preaching, as we were seeking a place for permanent work, but I was constrained to retire to the city wall and cry to God to have mercy on the people, to open their hearts and give us an entrance among them.

"Without any seeking on our part we were brought. into touch with at least four anxious souls. An old man found me out, I know not how, and followed me to our boat. I asked him in, and enquired his name.

" ' My name is Dzing,' he replied. `But the question which distresses me, and to which I can find no answer, is-What am I to do with my sins ? Our scholars tell us that there is no future state, but I find it hard to believe them.'

" ` Do not believe any such thing,' I replied, `for there is an endless future before every one of us. One must either bum for ever in hell-fire, or rejoice for ever in heavenly bliss.'

" ` Then what can I do ; what am I to do with my sins ? '

" How easy it would have been at home to say, `Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved' ; but this would have had no meaning to him. He had never heard the words Jesus Christ, nor would he have had any idea as to their import.

" `Some say,' he went on, `live on vegetable food alone (a popular method of fasting, supposed to be highly meritorious in China, as sparing animal life, and tending to keep under the body), ` Should I live on a vegetarian or a mixed diet ? '

" ` There is no merit in the one or sin in the other,' I replied, Both affect the stomach, not the heart.'

" ` Ah, so it has always seemed to me ! It seems to leave the question of sin untouched. Oh, Sir ! I lie on my bed and think. I sit alone in the day-time, and think. I think and think and think again : but I cannot tell what is to be done with my sins. I am seventy-two years of age. I cannot expect to finish another decade. Today knows not tomorrow's lot, as the saying is ; and if true of all, how much more so of me. Can you tell me what is to be done about my sins ? '

" ` I can indeed,' was my reply. 'It is to answer this very question I have come so many thousand miles. Listen-and I will explain just what you want and need to know.'

" Gladly then I told him of a living, loving God-our Father in heaven ; pointing to various proofs of His fatherly love and care.

" ` Yes!" he interrupted, ` and what are we to do to recompense such favour, such goodness ? I do not see how it is to be recompensed. Our scholars say that if we worship Heaven and Earth and the idols at- the end of the year, it is enough. But that does not satisfy me.'

" , And you do not yet know half there is to give thanks for.'

" I then went on to speak of sin and its consequences, of God's pity, and the incarnation and death of Christ as a substitute the innocent for the guilty, that He might bring us to God.

" ` Ah ! ' he exclaimed, `and what can we do to recompense such grace ? '

" ` Nothing,' I replied, `absolutely 'nothing but receive it freely, as God's free gift-just as we do the sunlight, wind and rain.'

" The poor old man told me of all the idols he worshipped, and was quite overwhelmed to think that in doing so he was sinning against the true and living God. It takes time for the mind to grasp such a total reversal of all it has believed for well-nigh seventy years. When my companions returned he listened again to the wonderful story of the Cross, and left us soothed and comforted-yet evidently bewildered-to think over all he had heard, more than glad to know that we had rented a house and hoped soon to have Christian colporteurs resident in the city-,

Little wonder such an experience brought to a crisis the exercise of mind through which Mr. Taylor had been passing. Two women in the same city, and a young man, had shown similar earnestness in learning from his native companions the Way of Life. Multitudes from the surrounding towns and villages would come on market-days to the little " Gospel Hall," and there the enquirers would be taught until they in their turn could become teachers of others. Just the same work needed doing in all the fifty cities throughout the province that still remained without the message of salvation. And oh, the great Beyond! Must he hold his hand, and refrain from going forward as the way opened, on account of financial straitness, or the needs that seemed to call him home ? All the winter he had been definitely waiting upon God, and specially since Mr. Judd's return with reinforcements, to know " whether He would have us prepare to work in some of the new provinces or not, and also whether we should occupy more stations in Che-kiang ? " His mind was increasingly assured that they ought to do both ; that God's resources were equal to the occasion, and that they must lay hold of His strength and "honour Him with a full trust."

How definite was the step of faith to which Mr. Taylor was led at this juncture has only come to light while these pages are being written. In a Bible in the possession of his son in London, 1-{1-The Bible, a leather-bound Bagster, had been a gift from Mrs. Taylor on his first birthday after their marriage, and was his constant companion at this time. It was given by him to his third son, Mr. C. E. Taylor.} an unsuspected record was found-just a few pencilled lines that obviously had a close connection with his visit to Tai-ping and conversation with the old man on the boat. It was written the day after the letter to Mr. Hill just quoted, when his mind was still full of what he had seen and heard.

Tai-chow, January 27,1874.: Asked God for fifty or a hundred additional native evangelists, and as many foreign superintendents as may be needed, to open up the four Fus and forty-eight Hsiens still unoccupied in Che-kiang ; also for the men to break into the nine unoccupied provinces. Asked in the Name of Jesus. I thank Thee, Lord Jesus, for the promise whereon Thou hast given me to rest. Give me all needed strength of body, wisdom of mind, grace of soul to do this Thy so great work. Amen.

It was not until many years later, when Mr. Taylor could look back over all the way in which the Lord had led him, that he was impressed with the fact that every important advance in the development of the Mission had sprung from or been directly connected with times of sickness or suffering which had cast him in a special way upon God. It was to be so now ; as though a deeper preparedness of spirit were needed, before he could be trusted with the answer to this prayer.

There was quite enough, as far as outward experiences went, to account for the serious illness that overtook him before he could get back to his temporary quarters at Fenghwa. In the depth of winter he had been almost incessantly on the road for weeks past, bearing an unusual strain even for him, physically and mentally. So persistent had been the calls upon him, that he had scarcely seen Mrs. Taylor for three months. Ten weeks out of twelve had been spent apart, though they were planning as well as longing to meet. About the middle of December they had found one another at last, in the empty mission-house at Feng-hwa, and had actually had the joy of being alone together, strange to say, for the first time ! The little honeymoon was soon broken into, however, by a call for help in serious illness. Two days' journey away, the Crombies were threatened with the loss of their only remaining children. This meant hard travelling over mountain passes deep in snow ; and before he could return a messenger had come in haste from a more distant station with news of a whole family down with small-pox.

Only waiting until the coolie could arrive with his belongings, whom he had out-distanced in his eagerness to be with his loved one again, Mr. Taylor set out once more to cross the mountains. It was a desperate business facing January storms on those heights, more than one of which could only be scaled by steps literally cut in the rock. Anxieties pressed sorely upon him with regard to Miss Blatchley and his children at home, as well as in connection with the shortness of funds in China.

" Well, the Lord reigns," he had written to his mother from a wretched inn on the road. " Trials cannot rob me of this unchanging source of joy and strength."

But the overtaxed physical powers at length gave way, and his patients were no sooner convalescent than Mr. Taylor himself went down with fever, and was so ill as to be hardly able to get back to Feng-hwa. The interval, from the time when they were out of danger until he could safely leave them, he had employed in the evangelistic journey which brought him in touch with old Dzing, and led to the definite prayer recorded above.

And now, how unpromising seemed the sequel to that step of faith! Week after week he lay in helplessness and suffering, able to do nothing but wait upon the Lord. Of all that in His providence was drawing near, Hudson Taylor was unconscious. He only knew that God had given him to see something of the purposes of His heart ; that he was sharing in some measure the compassions of Christ for the lost and perishing, and that the love of which he felt the yearnings was His Own infinite love. That that love, that purpose, would find a way to bless, he could not doubt. - So he just prayed on-holding in faith to the heavenly vision ; ready to go forward when and as the Lord should open the way. Never had advance seemed less possible. But in the Bible beside him was the record of that transaction of his soul with God, and in his heart was the conviction that even for the inland provinces-the Western Branch of the mission he longed to plant, as a stepping-stone to the far interiorGod's time had almost come.

And then, as he lay there slowly recovering, a letter was put into his hands that had been two months on its way from England. It was from an unknown friend, a Mrs. Grace of Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, who had only recently become interested in the Mission.

" My dear Sir," the somewhat trembling hand had written early in December, " I bless God, in two months I hope to place at the disposal of your Council, for further extension of Inland China Mission work, 800. Please remember, for fresh provinces. ... I think your receipt-form beautiful-'The Lord our Banner : the Lord will provide.' If faith is put forth and praise sent up, I am sure that Jehovah of Hosts will honour it."

Eight hundred pounds for " fresh provinces," for " further extension'' of inland work-hardly could the convalescent believe he read aright ! Could any one have penned those words who did not know the exercise of soul he had been passing through all those months ? The very secrets of his heart seemed to look back at him from that sheet of foreign note-paper. Even before the prayer recorded in his Bible, :the letter had been sent off ; and now, just when it was most needed, it had reached him with its wonderful confirmation.

From his sick-room back to the Yangtze valley was the next step, and those spring days witnessed `a happy gathering at Chin-kiang. There, as in almost all the stations, new life had come to the little company of believers. Young converts were being received into the Church, and native leaders were growing in grace and usefulness.1-{1 To his parents, Mr.. Taylor wrote in April : " To seven new counties we have been enabled to carry the Gospel since I reached China, and in nearly as many others fresh towns have been opened up. The Hang-chow Church has sent out its first missionary, chosen by themselves and supported by their own gifts." He added in May : " Mr. Stevenson has blessing in all his stations, and has baptized eight since I was with him. Wang Lae-djun is also prospered. Recently he has baptized the first converts in three out-stations. Mr. Crombie writes of blessing in Feng-hwa and Ning-hai ; and we are meeting with encouragement in the northern stations. To Mr. Hill he gave further details (May 29) : " We have the joy of cheering reports as to spiritual progress from all the stations nearly. Mr. Stott writes that the work has not been so encouraging at Wen-chow for a year and a half or two years. Mr. Rudland tells of another, the seventeenth candidate for baptism. at Dien-tsi (when an idol temple had been given for a place of worship). . . Four persons were baptized here (Chin-kiang) yesterday, and we had good meetings. One of these is a native of Hunan, one of the unoccupied provinces which has long been on our hearts. ('His soul seems all on fire for the conversion of his own people,' Mr. Taylor added in, a later letter.) Is it not good of God so to encourage us when we are sorely tried for want of funds ? " And in June Mr. Taylor reported five or six enquirers at Tai-ping where he had met the old man who did not know what to do with his sins and baptisms also from several other stations. Older missionaries were more hopeful, amid the needs of their great districts, and the young men, who had made good progress with the language, were eager for pioneering work. As many as could leave their stations came to meet Mr. Taylor for a week of prayer and conference, before he and Mr. Judd set out to seek, up the great river, a home for the new Western Branch.

It was not any improvement in the state of funds that accounted for the new note of joy and confidence.

" I feel no anxiety," Mr. Taylor wrote to his mother on the 1st of May, " though for a month past I have not had a dollar in hand for the general purposes of the Mission. The Lord will provide."

Quoting again the hymn they were singing daily at the Conference-" In some way or other, the Lord will provide " -he wrote to Miss Blatchley a little later.

I am sure that if we will but wait, the Lord will provide... . We go shortly, that is, Mr. Judd and myself, to see if we can procure headquarters at Wu-chang from which to open up Western China, as the Lord may enable us. We are urged on to make this effort now, though so weak-handed, both by the needs of the unopened provinces and by our having funds for commencing work in them, while we have none for the general work. . I cannot conceive how we shall be helped through next month, though I fully expect we shall be. The Lord cannot and will not fail us.

To Mrs. Taylor he had written during April, " The balance in hand yesterday was sixty-seven cents! The Lord reigns : herein is our joy and confidence." And to Mr. Bailer he added, when the balance was still lower, " We have this, and all the promises of God."

" Twenty-five cents plus all the promises of God," wrote the latter, recalling the experience, " why, one felt as rich as Croesus! and sang:

I would not change my blest estate

For all the earth holds good or great;

And while my faith can keep its hold,

I envy not the sinner's gold.

One thing that concerned Mr. Taylor more at this time than shortness of supplies was the fear lest, in their desire to help, friends at home should be tempted to make appeals in meetings, or even more personally, for funds. To one and another he wrote very earnestly on the subject, begging that this might not be done. The trial through which they were passing was no reason, to his mind, for changing the basis on which they had been led to found the Mission. In acknowledging one of Mr. George Muller's generous contributions 1-{1 Most opportunely had this help arrived at the beginning of the quarter (gifts of L325 in all)-ten cheques for members of the Minion, including one of L30 for himself.} he had written early in April:

The work generally is very cheering, and we feel happier than ever in the Lord and in His service. Our faith never was so much tried : His faithfulness never so much experienced.

And this position was to him far more safe and blessed, as long as the trial was permitted, than the alternative of going into debt or making appeals to man. How truly this was the case may be seen from the following letter to a member of the Council, written just after the Conference at Chin-kiang (April 24).

I am truly sorry that you should be distressed at not having funds to send me. May I not say, " Be careful for nothing." We should use all care to economise what God does send us ; but when that is done bear no care about real or apparent lack. After living on God's faithfulness for many years, I can testify that times of want have ever been times of special blessing, or have led to them. I do beg that never any appeal for funds be put forward, save to God in prayer. When our work becomes a begging work, it dies. God is faithful, must be so. " The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want." He has said : " Take no thought (anxiety) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. But seek first (to promote) the kingdom of God, and (to fulfil) His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

" Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." It is doubting, beloved Brother, not trusting that is tempting the Lord.

At this very time, it is interesting to notice, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were themselves giving largely to the work in various ways. A considerable proportion of all they received for their own use was passed on to fellow-workers, and a property yielding an income of four hundred pounds a year, which had recently come to Mrs. Taylor from a relative, was joyfully set apart for the Lord's service. The intimate friend to whom Mr. Taylor was writing -had questioned the wisdom of this course, which led to one of the few references he ever made to the subject. Anxious that their position should not be misunderstood, he continued in this letter:

As to the property my dear wife has given to the Lord for His service, I most cordially agreed with her in the step, and do so now. I believe that in so doing she has made hers for ever that which was her Master's, and only entrusted to her so to use. It is not a modern question, this of principal or interest, endowment or voluntary support, and we cannot expect all to see alike on the subject. We might capitalise the annual income of the Mission, and use only the interest ; but I fear the income would soon be small, and the work not very extensive.

But you may, I think, be mistaken as to our thought and intention, as well as with regard to the nature of the property. The whole cannot be realised, half of it being reserved to provide annuities. . . . At present all we have is about four hundred pounds of annual interest, payable in varying quarterly sums. We do not propose to put either principal or interest into the General Fund (though we might be led to do so), but to use it, equally avoiding stint or lavishness, as the Lord may direct, for special purposes not met by the General Fund. We are neither of us inexperienced, unacquainted with the value of money, or unaccustomed either to its want or possession. There are few more cool and calculating, perhaps, than we are ; but in all our calculations we calculate on God's, faithfulness, or seek to do so. Hitherto we have not been put to shame, nor have I any anxiety or fear lest we should be in the future.

Never has our work entailed such real trial or so much exercise of faith. The sickness of our beloved sister, Miss Blatchley, and her strong desire to see me ; the needs of our dear children ; the state of the funds ; the changes required in the work to admit of some going home, others coming out, and of further expansion, and many other things not easily expressed in writing would be crushing anxieties if we were to bear them. But the Lord bears us and them too, and makes our hearts so very glad in Himself-not Himself plus a bank balance-that I have never known greater freedom from anxiety and care.

The other week when I reached Shanghai, I was in great and immediate need. The mails were both in-no remittance! and the folios showed no balances at home. I cast the burden on the Lord. Next morning on waking I felt inclined to trouble, but the Lord gave me a word, " I know their sorrows, and I am comedown to deliver. . . . Certainly I will ,be with thee " ; -and before 6 A.M. I was as sure that help was at hand as when, near noon, I received a letter from Mr. Miller which had been to Ningpo, and was thus delayed in reaching me, and which contained more than three hundred pounds.

My need now is great and urgent ; God is greater and more near : and because He is, and is what He is, all must be, all is, all will be well. Oh, my dear Brother, the joy of knowing the LIVING GOD, of seeing the LIVING GOD, of resting on the LIVING GOD in our very special and peculiar circumstances! I am but His agent. He will look after His own honour, provide for His own servants, and supply all our need according to His own riches--you helping by your prayers and work of faith and labour of love. As to whether He will make the widow's oil and meal go a long way, or send her more-it is merely a question of detail ; the result is sure. The righteous shall not be forsaken, nor his seed beg their bread. In Christ, all the promises are Yea and Amen.

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