CHAPTER 20--THE GATES OF THE WEST--1876-1877. AET- 44-45.

AND what were the provisions of that notable Convention signed at Chefoo on September 13, 1876 ? As concerned the pioneers simply these : that foreigners were at liberty to travel in any part of the Emperor's dominions ; that they did so under his protection, and were to be received with respect and in no wise hindered on their journeys. Imperial proclamations were to be posted in every city, giving publicity to these arrangements ; and for a period of two years British officials might be sent inland, specially to see that this clause was carried out. As a matter of fact, representatives of the C.I.M. were the first, and for years almost the only foreigners, to avail themselves of this great opportunity. Far and wide they travelled, crossing and recrossing all the provinces of the interior, and penetrating even into eastern Tibet. Thirty thousand miles were thus traversed in the next eighteen months, Scriptures and tracts being everywhere sold or distributed, and friendly relations almost uninterruptedly maintained. At first, indeed, the missionaries were supposed to be Government agents, and their arrival spread dismay in the official breast. For there had been no unseemly haste in issuing the proclamations and more than one Mandarin hit upon the happy expedient of entertaining the visitors with elaborate hospitality, while the city was hurriedly placarded with the belated documents.1-{1 From the distant city of Si-an-fu, capital of Shen-si, Mr. Easton wrote on his first journey (Dec. 20, 1876) : " At every city and village of any size, a large proclamation from the Peking Foreign Office makes it easy for us to travel. At Shen-chow we first noticed it; the officials putting it out after our arrival, and being very polite to us."}

It must not be supposed, however, that the pioneers had a bed of roses. Though the attitude of the Government was favourable for the time being, the prejudices of the literati were unchanged, and the difficulties of travel, great and small, remained the same. Wonderful were those journeys with their new experiences, their launching out into the unknown, their fervent love for souls, their brave endurance, manifold perils, and the exercise of young hearts cast upon God! Fain would we follow the footsteps of the evangelists, see with their eyes, hear with their ears, live over again experiences- so well worth while, both for time and for eternity. The openness of the people and their response in spiritual things was what impressed them most. Whether it were Mr. Juddin Hu-nan, Henry Taylor in Ho-nan, or Easton and Parker on their way to the far north-west, all found the same willingness to listen, with here and there a deep heart-hunger in some who were seekers after truth.

" As we spoke of Jesus and His sufferings for our sin," Henry Taylor wrote on his journey to Ho-nan, " we saw tears stealing down some faces. The women go in, heart and soul, for idolatry, as you know, but still find their hearts unsatisfied and their minds in a maze."

Fifty-six days were spent, even on this first journey, in carts and inns, on foot and wheelbarrow, passing from city to city through the southern part of the province, where roads were roughest and accommodation poorest, and where little food was obtainable beyond steamed bread and rice, or coarse home-made vermicelli.. Starting at earliest dawn, they, often travelled on till dark, preaching by the wayside or in crowded streets, everywhere telling the glad tidings of Redeeming Love.1-{1 This journey and another taken in 1875-a few months only after the murder of Margary-show that the pioneers who were ready did not wait for the Chefoo Convention, or any other Government assistance, thankful though they were for the new Treaty when it came.}

In the city and district of Ju-ning several earnest inquirers were met with-Wang, the young school-master ; Hu, the devout vegetarian ; the medicine vendor who had no cure for a corrupt heart ; the old scholar, who humbly knelt, the first time he ever heard of Jesus, to ask that his sins might be laid upon the divine Sacrifice, and who seemed astonished that any one could be indifferent to the good news about such a Saviour ; and a Mr. Mu, also a man of letters, in whose heart there was an evident work of the Spirit of God. Several of these came daily to read and pray with the missionary and his Chinese companion, and Mr. Mu was urgent in his desire to be baptized. Only the promise that they would come again in a few months, D.V., prevailed upon him to wait until he could learn more of what it really meant to be a Christian.

Later journeys, while they brought encouragement in finding this man and others steadfast in the faith, brought also. perils from which only the hand of God could have delivered. Convinced that he should shorten his visit to the provincial capital (Kai-feng) on one occasion, Henry Taylor left a day or two earlier than he had intended. Not until months later did he learn that that very day a crowd of students had come to the inn, and, not finding him, had torn down the sign-board, and would have set fire to the place had not the authorities intervened. They had bound themselves by an oath to kill the foreigner, and had been lying' in wait in different parts of the city. When he did not appear they went in search of him, and their rage on learning that he was already far away knew no bounds.

Short of money on another occasion, he sent his helper to Hankow for silver, waiting his return in an inn. To his surprise a proclamation presently appeared, forbidding any one on pain of the severest punishment to sell anything to the foreigner. This, of course, included food, which the landlord of the inn dared no longer supply. Not knowing what to do, Henry Taylor was praying alone in his room one night when he heard a stealthy movement at the shutter. With some trepidation, for robbers are commonly armed in Ho-nan, he went, to the window and saw a man apparently trying to get in. Before he could give the alarm the stranger beckoned to him to be silent. Fumbling in his girdle he produced a little loaf of bread, then another and another, six in all, something like large steamed dumplings. These he handed in through the window, and without a word disappeared in the darkness.

Next night he came again, and the same scene was transacted.

Not want, not want ! " he whispered emphatically, when the missionary offered the few cash he had left.

He dared not stay for conversation, but was faithful in his visits until supplies came, and Mr. Taylor was able to leave for the coast.

Many a story could the pioneers have told of answers to prayer almost equally remarkable ; of friendliness among all classes, as well as the old, bitter opposition ; of opened hearts here and there, and access to regions never before visited by foreigners. Interested inquirers were met with again and again in remote places, and letters were received telling of baptisms in the clear water of some mountain stream, and even of little gatherings for the Breaking of Bread. The principle on which these itinerations were carried out was that of a widespread dissemination of saving truth, to be followed by settled work as the way should open. Thoughts wholly strange and new need time to filter into the mind of a community as of an individual. By coming back again and again, impressions could be deepened and interest followed up. The aim was, meanwhile, to gather information, and look for indications as to where to settle. For permanent localised work was the object kept in view ,only, not a station first, and a church (or no church) afterwards ; but, if possible, signs of a real work of the Holy Spirit to begin with-mission-house and chapel to follow as they were needed. To this end itineration had to be patiently pursued ; and even when inquirers were gathered and a district seemed full of promise, it was often long before it was possible to settle. In Ho-nan, as we have seen, there was much to indicate the Ju-ning district as suitable for permanent work. Some thirty people were found on the return of the evangelists, who seemed truly to have accepted the Gospel. While still homeless save for their room in an inn, Henry Taylor and his companions baptized two of these-a man named 'Wang, and Mr. Mu, through whose preaching most of the others had been interested. At length a house was rented, in a little city at the foot of the hills, and six happy weeks spent among the people.1-{1 At Kio-shan Hsien, near which in " a beautiful mountain stream " the baptisms had taken place. As the first-fruits of Ho-nan, it is interesting to record that these converts were baptized on April 1, 1876, by Mr.Henry Taylor, Mr. G. W. Clarke, and the Evangelist Yao, who accompanied them. " We returned to our inn," wrote Mr. Clarke, " and after instructing them from several portions of Scripture on the Lord's Supper, partook of it with them for the first time."} Then the literati stirred up trouble. For days the place was in an uproar and the missionaries' lives were in danger ; and few letters are more pathetic than the pencilled lines that tell of their finally having to withdraw and give up the premises.

Well was it, then, that the leader of the Mission was within reach, able to advise and comfort. No one had passed through more of such trials than he, and it was on purpose to guide the pioneers and strengthen their hands in God that he had returned to China.

For himself, little that he had planned was to be accomplished during the first few months after his arrival. A chill caught in the China Sea led to serious illness. He was able to go up-river as far as Chin-kiang, but there had to learn many a lesson of patience, as he found himself needed at nearly every station in the Mission, and unable to do more than pray and help by correspondence.

" It is difficult to realise," he wrote to Mrs. Taylor in November, " that I cannot run about as I once did " ; and in another letter, ` the weakness that prevents overwork may be the greatest blessing to me."

Yet overwork seemed almost inevitable ; for Mr. C. T. Fishe, in broken health, had gone home on furlough, and there was no one else to take his place as Secretary to the Mission in China. This meant long hours daily at office work, besides Mr. Taylor's directorial duties and the oftrecurring claims of China's Millions, of which he was Editor.

" We have never been so long separated," he wrote again when the worst of his illness was past," but He Who has helped us day by day for more than two months, will help us till He gives us the joy of reunion.... The Lord be with you and comfort your heart with His love. May you find it better than mine."

Oh ! it is good to soar

The winds and waves above,

To Him Whose purpose I adore,

Whose providence I love ;

And in His mighty will to find

The joy and freedom of the mind.

Thus it was that Henry Taylor returning sorrowfully from Ho-nan, George Nicoll, homeless through a riot at I-chang, and other troubled spirits could be sure of finding not, only counsel and help at Chin-kiang but a heart of tender sympathy, exercised with the sorrows of many, yet free from anxious care.

Despite absence from home and loved ones, and the limitations of ill-health which he was feeling keenly, Mr. Taylor was enabled so to cast his burdens on the Lord that, as he wrote to Mr. Hill in February (1877), he " could not but rejoice seven days a week." Whenever work permitted, he was in the habit of turning to a little harmonium for refreshment, playing and singing many a favourite hymn, but always coming back to

Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art;

I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.

Some around him could hardly understand this joy and rest, especially when fellow-workers were in danger. A budget of letters arriving on one occasion, as Mr. Nicoll relates, brought news of serious rioting in two different stations. Standing at his desk to read them, Mr. Taylor mentioned what was happening and that immediate help was necessary. Feeling that he might wish to be alone, the younger man was about to withdraw, when, to his surprise, someone began to whistle. It was the soft refrain of the same well-loved hymn Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art . .

Turning back, Mr. Nicoll could not help exclaiming, How can you whistle, when our friends are in such danger ! "

" Would you have me anxious and troubled ? " was the long-remembered answer. " That would not help them, and would certainly incapacitate me for my work. I have just to roll the burden on the Lord."

Day and night that was his secret, " just to roll the burden on the Lord." Frequently those who were wakeful in the little house at Chin-kiang might hear, at two or three o'clock in the morning, the soft refrain of Mr. Taylor's favourite hymn. He had learned that, for him, only one life was possible-just that blessed life of resting and rejoicing in the Lord under all circumstances, while HE dealt with the difficulties inward and outward, great and small.

Second only to his longing for the evangelisation of the inland provinces was the desire that possessed Mr. Taylor at this time for unity and blessing in the forthcoming Conference of missionaries to be held in Shanghai.. Never had opportunities been greater, or the need for spiritual power more urgent, that they might be used aright. Mr. Taylor longed to see advance on a wide front-not in the C.I.M. only, but on the part of all societies-and a strong, united appeal to the home churches for adequate reinforcements. To bring this about, as he realised, nothing less than a wonderful answer to prayer could avail ; for party spirit was running high over the difficult " term question," 1{1 The perplexing question, that is, as to what Chinese term should be adopted as the nearest and most unambiguous equivalent for the Scriptural idea of God.} and many missionaries were holding aloof from the Conference altogether, feeling that it would be an occasion for controversy if not strife. And yet China was open from end to end as never before. Five hundred missionaries, all told, formed the little company to whom was entrusted the stupendous task of its evangelisation. How great their need of power-the real power of the Holy Spirit poured out, as at Pentecost, upon united, expectant hearts !

There were still some months before the Conference,convened for May (1877), and this interval Mr. Taylor was seeking to make the most of.

" There is one very important matter to pray about," he wrote to Mrs. Taylor in February--" the forthcoming conference. It will be a power shall it be for good or evil ? This rests much with us, through the use of believing prayer. Unless there is a great outpouring of God's Holy Spirit, very much harm may result : very much has already resulted from preliminary discussions.... Nor are we likely to pass without attack if some have their way. But our God is an almighty Saviour, and my hope is in Him. If His Spirit be poured out, evil will be kept in check;, and if we ask for it, will it not indeed be so ? Let us pray, then, much for this-pray daily for this . . . that division and discord may not prevail instead of unity and love."

But Mr. Taylor not only prayed ; he did all that in him lay to promote the unity he felt to be of such importance, and to remove misunderstandings. It was hardly to be wondered at, as he was the first to recognise, that the C.I.M. should have come in for a large share of criticism. Its aims and methods never had been popular, and its new departure in the direction of widespread evangelisation was of the nature of an experiment. Because the pioneers were for the most part young, at the beginning only of their missionary life, it was argued that it could not be right to use them in work so difficult and important. Undoubtedly they were ignorant and inexperienced as compared with older missionaries, especially with the able men to be found in the foremost ranks of other societies. No one would have been more thankful than Mr. Taylor to have seen such workers take the field. But they were all needed, more than needed in their actual posts. There was no suggestion that some or any of them should be set free, though China was accessible at last, from end to end, to preachers of the Gospel. Was, then, no one to go because they could not send the best ? Mr. Taylor had good reason to believe that these young workers had been given in answer to prayer, and that the hand of God was in the coincidence of their being ready, on the spot, when the Gates of the West were thrown open. He was doing all he could to liberate experienced missionaries, and was thankful to have reliable Chinese Christians to send with the younger evangelists. Experience, he well knew, would be one of the great gains that would come to them as they pursued their task ; and meanwhile, if they were not burdened with much knowledge, which often spells discouragement, they had the health and hopefulness of youth ; the buoyancy of body, mind, and spirit which is in itself so great a gift. If only their critics, and they were many, could come nearer-could meet and know the men in question, and hear from their own lips of the wonderful opportunities God was giving-objections, he had no doubt, would give place to sympathy. But how was this to be brought to pass ?

A leader less humble, perhaps, less truly taught of God, might have brushed aside unfriendly criticism, absorbing himself in what he felt to be his own work. But years of self-effacing discipline had not been in vain. Now that the opportunity prayed for through half a lifetime had come, the grace to use it wisely and to the glory of God was not withheld. Keenly as Mr. Taylor felt the attitude of opposition, he knew that those whose views differed most widely from his own might have just as sincere a desire for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. He had grasped, moreover; something of the real, indissoluble oneness of the body of Christ : that it is not that the eye should not say to the hand, " I have no need of thee "-it cannot. " If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body ; is it therefore not of the body ? " On the contrary, whatever it may say or feel, of the body it- is and must remain. The bearing of this principle upon the position of the C.I.M. he saw with increasing clearness. As a hand, this pioneering effort might reach out a certain distance beyond the rest of the body ; but if it would go further, the body must go too : there could be no other way. A large part, and not the easiest part of his work as he was learning, must consist in the humble, patient endeavour to carry his brethren with him in any new departure to which he was constrained of God. How much easier it would have been to go on alone, independently, he may have felt. But where is there room for independence in a living organism, every part of which is bound up with the whole

These thoughts in mind, Mr. Taylor went on from Chinkiang, as soon as he was able, to the new centre of the Mission at Wu-chang. Mr. Judd had just set out with one of the pioneers for the far-off capita of Kwei-chow, and his place had to be filled. There were problems also to consider as to how to keep in touch with distant workers, so as to reach them regularly with supplies. For several weeks Mr. Taylor had the benefit of experienced help, while Mr. McCarthy was preparing for what proved to be one of the most remarkable journeys ever taken in Western China.1-{1 Without saying anything of their hopes in this connection, Mr. Taylor and he made plans for a walk right across China-from the Yangtze to the Irrawaddy ; which Mr. McCarthy was enabled to accomplish in seven months, taking time to preach the Gospel fully in many places, and opening Chung-king, the first Mission-station in the province of Szechwan with its population of nearly seventy millions. The only foreigner met with on this long journey--on which he was accompanied by the faithful soldier-evangelist Yang Ts'tien-ling-was Mr. Broumton, alone in the city of Kwei-yang ; until at Bhamo Messrs. Stevenson and Soltau welcomed the wayworn travellers. This journey laid the needs of the women so deeply on Mr. McCarthy's heart that he was used to stir up many to pray and labour for their salvation, and much of his subsequent usefulness was connected with the development of Women's Work in the inland provinces. } Difficult as it was to spare him, Mr. Taylor rejoiced in.the project almost as much as if he were going himself, and many were the hours of consultation and prayer they had over the whole forward movement.

Remembering their own spiritual difficulties, they felt the importance of providing help for younger workers whose strenuous life exposed them to so much of trial and temptation. The thought of calling together as many of the pioneers as possible for a week of conference had long been in Mr. Taylor's mind, and in sending off recent parties he had arranged that they should return for books and money at a given time. And now as he considered the matter with Mr. McCarthy, they saw in such a reunion the possibility of just the rapprochement needed with workers of other societies. For the missionary community in Hankow, across the river, was considerable, and if united meetings could be arranged, much might be done to promote mutual understanding, and prepare the way for the larger Conference in Shanghai.

The response this suggestion met with from the London and Wesleyan Missions was so encouraging that Mr. Taylor could not but feel that, already, prayer was being answered ; and he determined to seek opportunities for closer intercourse, especially with those whom he knew to be critical toward the C.I.M., This was not easy, on account of the great pressure of work upon him, nor was it a line of things his sensitive spirit would have chosen. But, as he had written to Mrs. Taylor soon after reaching Wu-chang

It is our Father Who orders all--these experiences included. I feel more and more that it is with Him we have to do : not so much with men, or things, but with Him. And herein lies our power to do and suffer patiently, perseveringly. We can take rebuffs, sorrows, disappointments from His hand, though we might resent them from one another. And joys are doubly joys when received from Him.

In this spirit he was glad rather than otherwise to find himself delayed in Hankow one evening until it was too late to recross the river. Before he could reach the other side ,the city-gates would be shut, and without bedding; etc., he could not very well go to an inn. It was necessary, therefore, to seek hospitality ; and this Mr. Taylor did by calling upon a missionary with whom he was but slightly acquainted, and who took a very unfavourable view both of himself and the C.I.M. Quite simply he explained the circumstances, asking whether it would be convenient to put him up for the night. Christian courtesy admitted but one reply, and the sense of having done a kindness opened the way for friendly intercourse. Mr. Taylor being as good a listener as he was a talker, his host found himself drawn into helpful conversation, even upon spiritual things. A cordial friendship resulted ; the missionary in question taking an early opportunity of letting it be known that he had had " no idea Mr. Taylor was so good a man."

Down the Yangtze more or less the same experience was repeated, as Mr. Taylor visited the river stations with a view to making arrangements for Mr. McCarthy's district.1-{1- To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Pearse, who joined him at An-king, this chain of stations was committed, the importance of the work being seen in the fact that the converts baptized on this journey (March 1877) represented no fewer than six provinces.} Where missionaries of other societies were to be found, he took time to see something of their work, enjoying a Sunday especially with the Rev. David Hill at Wu-sueh. At Kiukiang he had a good deal of intercourse with the American missionaries, putting up apparently in native quarters. 22-The C.I.M. house was closed, Mr. and Mrs. Cardwell being at home on furlough.{

"The wind is strong and cold," he wrote to Mrs. Taylor during this visit (Feb. 24). " I am writing by a little window in a dark attic. The chair is not a foot high, yet I can touch the tiles as I sit. The hail-stones that came through the roof in the night, my ' boy ' swept up into a heap this morning, a foot and a half square and one or two inches thick. I was writing with numbed fingers till 3 A.M., and out to breakfast at eight. Nature does not enjoy these things ; but my heart rejoices in my Father's arrangements, and I cannot keep the words of What a Friend we have in Jesus,' and the music too, from welling up within-cannot and do not want to, for it is all true, is it not ? "

I have written to The Missionary Recorder," he continued a few days later, " asking special prayer for the outpouring of God's Spirit, not only at the Conference but before ; that we may all go up filled with the Spirit, and not merely hoping for a blessing." .. .

A day or two later, out on the wind-swept river, he was thinking and praying over the needs of the province he had just touched in passing (Kiang-si).

" It is stiff soil," he wrote, " and none but fully consecrated men will accomplish much. Comfort-seeking, etc., won't do there. Cross-loving men are needed. Where are they to be found? Alas-where! Oh, may God make you and me of this spirit! and may our only prayer be, `Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do ? I feel so ashamed that you and the. dear children should affect me more than millions here who are perishing-while we are sure of eternity together. The good Lord forgive us, or me rather... .

" There are such openings in China as there never have been and as are not likely to recur. Just while the effect of the Imperial proclamations lasts (and this will largely be over in a very few months), we can do in weeks what would have taken months or years before. I see God's hand in bringing me here just now, on this and many other grounds."

Meanwhile the long-closed gates were opening indeed. In the north and far north-west, the pioneers held on their way ; Mr. McCarthy was already nearing the western province of Sze-chwan, larger than the whole of France and far more populous ; Judd anti Broumton had been prospered in renting premises in the capital of Kwei-chow,1-{1 Thus was opened in February 1877 the first permanent Missionstation in any of the nine hitherto unoccupied provinces. Kwei-yang is still a centre of the C.I.M. in that province, in which it has now ten stations, 57 out-stations, and 6330 communicants.} eight hundred miles south-west of the nearest mission station ; while from Bhamo Messrs. Stevenson and Soltau had made extended journeys into the Kah-chen hills, from which two or three hours' descent would have brought them into Chinese territory. 2 {2- It was a sore trial to Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Soltau to be withheld from.carrying out the purpose with which they had gone to Bhamo, not through any difficulty with the Burman or Chinese authorities, but through the attitude of the Indian Government, which declined to grant the passports needed to cross into Chinese territory. News of this unexpected difficulty reached Mr. Taylor in the Yangtze valley, in February 1877.} To his beloved friend Mr. Berger, so long one with him in prayer for these very developments, Mr. Taylor had recently written : 3-{3- On the s.s. Kiarig-yung, travelling up to Wu-chang, January 6, 1877.}

It 'will afford you no small joy to know that our prayers are so far answered that work is begun in six of the nine provinces. You will have heard that Stevenson and Soltau are not permitted at present to enter Yun-nan. I trust the delay will only be temporary, and that the way may ultimately be all the more open. It is such a rest to know and feel that God knows how to carry on His own work. .. .

My heart is unspeakably glad that He led my dear wife and myself to use our means in aid of this and other similar work in needy lands, and to separate for a season in furtherance of His cause. Can we be mistaken in trusting Him to do what He so easily can-to supply the men and means needed for carrying on His own work, and extending it ? My glad heart says, " No," little as I know Him : and what is more, His word says, " He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him also, freely give us all things ? "

Thus with thankfulness and expectation Mr. Taylor returned to Wu-chang to meet the pioneers as they gathered for their little conference. From the far inland provinces they came, as well as from the river stations-seventeen C.I.M. workers in all, to be joined by a dozen or more of the Hankow missionaries. The chief responsibility for the meetings rested upon Mr. Taylor ; and as always in times of special need, a day was set apart for prayer and fasting. He and his fellow-workers were one in the longing for an outpouring of divine blessing that should sweep away all coldness and deadness in their own hearts, all criticism and misunderstanding ; an enduement with "power from on high " for the great work to be done.

Wonderful in the days that followed was the answer to these prayers. In Mr. Judd's garden-house on the hill-side, and the L.M.S. chapel across the river, the presence of God was consciously felt. " Take time to be holy " was the burden of Dr. Griffith John's message, followed by practical talks from Mr. Taylor and others on the real problems, the inward, spiritual problems, of missionary life. Much time was given to prayer, especially for the unopened provinces ; and the story the young evangelists had to tell, simple though it was, called forth deepest sympathy. The hopefulness of these inexperienced workers, their enthusiasm and genuine confidence in GOD as able and willing to do the impossible, were contagious as well as cheering.

" I thank God for Mr. Taylor ; I thank God for the C.I.M. ; I thank God for my younger brethren," Dr. John said earnestly at the closing meeting, adding that he was sure he was but expressing the feeling of all the Hankow missionaries.

Three weeks later came the Shanghai General Conference, and Mr. Taylor having sent off the pioneers, strengthened and encouraged, turned to the difficult task awaiting him at the coast. The paper he had to read was upon " Itineration Far and Near, as an Evangelising Agency," and while it was the subject of all others nearest his heart, he well knew that next only to the " term question " it would probably call forth differences of opinion, if not bitterness of feeling. Jesus, I am resting, resting," was the hymn he most often asked for in the little crowded house where the C.I.M. contingent gathered;1-{1 The C.I.M. Headquarters in Shanghai had been moved by this time to 7 Seward Road, Hongkew, Mr. and Mrs. Cranston generously acting as house-father and house-mother. While paying, for the rooms they occupied, they undertook all the Mission business that had to be transacted in that port, and boarded the missionaries as they came and went. In spirit they were almost members of the Mission, and with Mr.and Mrs. Thos. Weir, also residents in Shanghai, were, and still are, among its most valued friends.} and despite the seriousness of . the issues involved, his mind was kept in peace.

And once again prayer was answered and the seemingly impossible brought to pass. The " term question,' which had threatened to prove so serious a difficulty, was by general consent excluded from the deliberations ; and Mr. Taylor's paper, as The Celestial Empire recorded, " secured the deepest interest of his audience." 2{2 " God greatly helped me this afternoon with my paper," he wrote himself ; "the feeling, now, is very kind toward us."-To Mrs. Taylor, May 12, 1877.} From Dr. John's opening address with its searching, powerful appeal for a life in the Holy Spirit, to the call of the united conference " to the Mission Boards, Colleges and Churches of the World " for men and women to meet the great opportunity, all was cause for thanksgiving-" a gathering fraught with blessing to the people of China," as Mr. Taylor wrote, "' the most important step China missions have yet taken." The parting, after two weeks of fellowship (May 10-24) was " like the breaking-up of a family never more to meet on earth." No discordant note remained. Even the Chinese dress of Mr. Taylor and his fellow-workers had ceased to offend, and the forward movement they represented had passed into the confidence and prayerful sympathy of most if not all present.

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