CHAPTER 21--" FOR JESUS' SAKE "--1877-1879. AET.45-47.

SERIOUS tidings were already reaching Mr. Taylor, before the Shanghai Conference, of the long-continued drought in the northern provinces. Failure of the wheat and other crops, year after year, had brought a vast population to the verge of famine, and letters from two of the pioneers on their second visit to Shan-si were full of the impending calamity. Realising in measure what the situation meant, and the opportunity it afforded for practising as well as preaching the Gospel, Mr. Taylor was anxious to do as much as possible to supply Messrs. Turner and James with funds for famine relief. They were the only Protestant missionaries in all the stricken area, and their letters published in China's Millions could not fail to awaken sympathy. But the assistance would have to be long-continued, and on this ground alone Mr. Taylor saw that his return to England should be as speedy as possible.

The forty weeks of his expected absence from home were nearing an end, but not so the work to be done in China. None of the older centres of the Mission had yet been visited ; and keen as he was about the pioneering, the settled stations with their little churches were ever on his heart. In his poor state of health it was no easy matter to face the intense heat of summer in visits to the Che-kiang stations, with all that was involved of work and arduous travelling. He had fully expected to get through before the Shanghai Conference ; but now that important occasion had come and gone, and he seemed little nearer the return to England that was in many ways so urgent.

" Sometimes it does seem hard," he had written to Mrs. Taylor early in May, " to be so long away from you. But when I think of One Who spent thirty-three years away from His heaven, and finished them on Calvary, I feel ashamed of my own selfishness."And while the Conference was going on

I do like our absence from one another, for Jesus' -sake, to cost us something-to be a real sacrifice. May His worthy and loving heart accept it.

Much exhausted after the Conference, and suffering from neuralgia though he was, he set out therefore on a thorough visitation of the Che-kiang stations,1-{1 Mr. Taylor not only visited on this journey (May to October 1877) all the stations and out-stations of the Mission in Che-kiang, with one exception (illness at Wen-chow obliging him to hurry past Hwang-yen) ;he crossed over from Wen-chow to Chu-chow-fu on the Tsien-tang river, staying at Chu-chow (the district now occupied by the Barmen Mission), at Yung-kang, Kin-hwa-fu and Lan-chi on the way. In all this' region there was then no resident missionary. At Chu-chow-fu, under Mr. Douthwaite's care, he met the first converts from Yu-shan, in the neighbouring province of Kiang-si (see pp. 334. 335). Thence he returned down the Tsien-tang river to Hang-chow.}accompanied most of the way by a travelling-companion whose presence proved specially helpful among the women.

Miss Elizabeth Wilson, whom he was escorting to Wenchow, had by this time been more than a year in China. Though scarcely beyond middle-age, and full of energy and brightness, her silvery hair brought her the advantage of being considered " old," among a people with whom such an appellation is an honour, and her coming to China at all was rather a wonder to other foreigners. But Mr. Taylor knew the whole story. He had met her long before, as a girl on a visit to London, and had learned of her earnest desire to give her life to missionary work. But at that time she was needed in her Westmorland home, and when her sister married and her parents became invalids the cherished hope had to be hidden in her heart.

" Years went on," as, Mr. Taylor said in speaking of her subsequent usefulness in China, " and this loving daughter never let her parents suspect that she was making any sacrifice on the one hand, yet never recalled the gift she had given to the Lord for missionary service on the other. When five years had gone by, she began to feel, ` If I am delayed much longer, the language will be hard to learn.' But she waited God's time.

" Ten, twenty, thirty years passed away ere the Lord set her free ; but the 'vow of twenty was as fresh in her heart at fifty as when first it had been offered. Within three weeks of the death of her surviving parent, she wrote to our headquarters in London of her desire to spend the remainder of her days in missionary work in China." 1-{1- Miss Wilson. a sister of the well-known Convener of the Keswick Convention, Mr. Robert Wilson, went out as a self-supporting worker with the last party of the Eighteen (1876), and remained twelve years in China. " Whether she will be strong enough to go back, as she so much desires, I do not know, Mr. Taylor wrote after her return (1888), " but I do know that her life there has been an immense blessing."}

Very interesting it was, now, to see the welcome with which the Christian women received this unexpected visitor, especially in stations where they had no lady missionary. With their Romanised New Testaments wrapped in coloured handkerchiefs (the precious book it had cost Mr. Taylor and others years of labour to provide) they walked miles on tiny feet to meet the travellers, and begged in place after place that the " Elder Sister " might stay among them, that they as well as the men might have some one to teach them the things of God.

From Miss Wilson's recollections of this journey we learn of the exceeding love with which Mr. Taylor was received in many places, especially among the mountain people of what had been Mr. Stevenson's out-stations. Simple as they were, and poor, they entertained him with generous hospitality, so that the inns in which he had often sojourned knew him no more, on that route at any rate. To some of the villages he was carried in the primitive mountain-chair, hanging from a single pole, the Christians themselves, being his bearers and resolutely refusing payment.

It was a sorrow to miss, in this beautiful district, one who had been called Home since Mr. Taylor's last visit three and a half years previously. Then, the scholar Nying had been, under God, the inspiration of the work ; now, his place was empty. The truth he had so faithfully proclaimed was still bearing fruit, however, in many a life, sometimes in strangely unexpected ways. There was the cotton-weaver of Cheng-hsien, for example, saved through the preaching of Tao-hsing (himself one of Nying's children in the faith), saved through a hole in the wall, amid ridicule and laughter; but blessedly saved ! It was a joy to Miss Wilson as well as Mr. Taylor to meet this man and hear his story.

He was just a poor orphan lad, the slave and drudge of the family who had adopted him. Hearing unusual sounds of merriment one day from the adjoining house, he left his work and went to a little opening he knew of, where a knot had dropped out of the wooden partition, to see what was going on. The son of the neighbouring family had just returned from the city and was telling his experiences. He was making fun, it appeared, of some one he had heard talking to a crowd. It was the well-known gambler, Tao-hsing, who had " eaten the foreign religion " and whose life had become so changed. He was telling the matchless story of the Prodigal Son, telling it out of a full heart. Travestied as it was in the reproduction, it still appealed to the dejected, lonely listener, as nothing else that he had ever heard. Could it be that there was a God-a Father in heaven-Who loved like that !

" Oh, go on, go on ! " he cried almost without knowing it when the recital ended. " Let us hear more of those good words."

Astonishment and laughter on the other side of the partition drove him from his vantage-ground, but only to send him in search of his neighbour, from whom he learned where the wonderful teaching could be heard. And once he had grasped the heavenly message, nothing would induce him to turn away from the Saviour Whom, not having seen, he loved. Called up one night during the following winter, he was told by the people with whom he lived that they would stand it no longer. He must give up his employment, his home, the affianced bride for whom he was working give up everything and be thrust, penniless, into the streets -or have done with this new-fangled religion.

What, give up Christ ? It was a terrible ordeal, for the people were very angry. But he was kept amid all the excitement, and enabled to tell them unhesitatingly that nothing could alter his choice. Then and there he found himself hustled out into the darkness ; heard the door barred behind him, and felt the driving sleet beat upon his shelterless head. There was no refuge but in God.

" A week or two later," Mr. Taylor wrote, " the family found they could not manage without him. After trying in vain to induce him to turn from the Lord, they took him back ; and when we were there, there was hope of the conversion of several members of that household. Truly the Gospel is still' the power of God unto salvation ' ; we have no need to be ashamed of it, or fear for its success ! "

Farther south over the mountains, Miss Wilson had the new experience of being entertained in more than one village temple, cleared of idols, which had been given by its owner for Christian worship. Eleven baptisms took place in the temple" at Dien-tsi during their visit, quite a company of church members and inquirers assembling for the feast Mr. Taylor provided.

Then, too, she remembered his never-ending labours on boats, in sedan-chairs and in the stations to which they came-always the little white skin box that held his papers ; always the letters to be answered, articles to be written for China's Millions, or Mission business to attend to. It was the element of fervent, unfailing prayer for his fellowworkers, however, which. impressed Miss Wilson most. No less than three times daily he was in the habit of waiting upon God on their behalf, once at least mentioning by name every member of the Mission, though they already numbered seventy apart from Chinese helpers.

Much though there was to encourage in connection with this five months' journey, there were also little churches that greatly needed quickening, and missionaries who were in poor health and tried in 'spirit. And these places, Miss Wilson noticed, were not passed over hurriedly. Even when much of discomfort was involved, Mr. Taylor would stay on, doing all he could to help-relieving the workers in. charge by conducting daily meetings, getting into touch with the Christians and accompanying the, missionary to his out-stations. At one centre where there was sickness the house was so full that, Miss Wilson being accommodated, no room could be found for Mr., Taylor. But the family were greatly needing help, and though it was the hottest part of summer he remained for three weeks, sleeping on the verandah at night, and doing without any place to himself through the day.

By this time he had in mind a plan for helping the little churches, which he longed to see carried out. Why should there not be a Chinese conference for native leaders much on the same lines as the united meetings recently held in Shanghai ? Such a gathering had never at that time been thought of, much less attempted, but Mr. Taylor saw the stimulus. and encouragement it might afford.

" Pray very much for a blessing on our Ningpo Conference," he wrote to Mrs. Taylor 'when arrangements were in train. " The brethren and natives all greatly need quickening, and I do. This hot weather seems to relax soul as well as body."

Who has not felt it ? But he could not go on and leave things in a low state spiritually. He would give all the time, take all the trouble and responsibility of arranging the meetings, in faith that God would make them just the blessing needed. And when at last his visits were completed and he was in the midst of preparations for the return to England-taking with him a difficult party to care for one sick mother, one newly widowed, and several ailing children-he left everything to come himself and take part in the Conference, as if it were the only concern upon his mind.

And that first Union Conference of native pastors and evangelists, it is good to record, exceeded even his expectations. Three English and three American societies were represented, the delegates coming from all parts of the province, and the meetings were entirely in Chinese.

" It was one of the most interesting conferences I have ever attended," Mr. Taylor wrote, " and we were both surprised and delighted at the ability displayed by our native brethren... . When it is remembered that all these men were themselves, but a few years ago, in heathen darkness, we cannot but feel encouraged, and look for yet greater things in the future... .May God hasten the time when such meetings shall be held in every province of the Chinese Empire."

Joyful was the reunion just before Christmas when Mr. Taylor reached home after this fourth visit to China. He had been away almost sixteen months, and the little ones of two and three years old could not remember him. The elder brothers and sister were fast growing up, and an adopted daughter had been added to the family, the doubly orphaned child of Duncan, the pioneer missionary of Nanking. Seven children filled the little home to overflowing, and made the Christmas season full of gladness to the father's heart.

Not that he had much time to spend with them. After visiting almost every station in the Mission, and meeting every fellow-worker with one exception,1{1 The one member of the Mission be ,had not met on this visit to China was Mr. Broumton, holding the fort alone in the distant province of Kweichow-the only Protestant missionary south of the Yangtze, at that time, in the western half of China.} Mr. Taylor had come home deeply impressed with the need for immediate reinforcements. Twenty-four men and at least six women were urgently wanted, and for that number he was prayingthirty new workers to go out if possible in the following year (1878). Among the candidates awaiting his arrival, several were ready to go forward, and Mr. Taylor was soon absorbed in farewell meetings, which brought him in contact with many friends.

" I am praying for an increase of 5ooo a year in our income," he wrote to a senior member of the Mission in February, " and for 2000 extra for outfits and passages. Will you daily join in this prayer ? We are daily remembering you all by name before the Lord. May you be filled with the Spirit, and all around you be blessed from the overflow. ` My cup runneth over': GOD puts these words in our mouth ; we must not contradict them."

Meanwhile grievous news was coming, mail by mail, of the terrible famine in North China. In January it was estimated that six million people were starving, and the united efforts of the Chinese Government and of the foreign Relief Committee were wholly inadequate to cope with the disaster. In public meetings and through the press, Mr. Taylor was making known the facts, with the result that funds were coming to the. C.I.M. freely for use in relief work. But more than money was needed.. Not only were tens of thousands dying of starvation ; thousands more were being sold into slavery-girls and young women literally taken away in droves by cruel traffickers from the south. Children were perishing in multitudes who might be gathered into orphanages and saved for time and eternity, and everywhere the poor suffering women were accessible as never before. Surely the time had come when missionary women, as well as men, should be found at the front in the newly opened provinces of inland China !

But where was the woman who could take the lead? To go to that famine-stricken region, two or three weeks' journey from the coast, was no easy matter. Some one with experience was needed ; some one with a knowledge of the language, fitted to help and care for younger workers. In China there was no one in the C.I.M. circle free and suitable ; and at home? Ah,, that was where light began to come for Mr. Taylor-but at such a cost !

Yes, there was one who undoubtedly combined the qualifications necessary.. Experienced, prayerful, devoted, with a knowledge of the language and the confidence of her fellow-workers, Mrs. Taylor could give just the help required. But how could she be spared from home? How could he let her go so soon after their long parting? And if the sacrifice was great for him, who shall say what it meant to the mother's heart ? At first, indeed, she could not see it to be called for. Her husband in poor health and overwhelmed with work surely needed her, to say nothing of the , children. Could it be right to leave him, even if the family were provided for ? The struggle, if not long, was desparately hard ; but for her, as for him, only one issue was possible. A little worn brown notebook tells the rest ; and it is the same wonderful story that every truly Christian heart has known, of God's own Word meeting the inward need, the need so deep as to be voiceless even to Him, but none the less understood.

Point by point all her difficulties were met, her questions answered, until she knew beyond a doubt that it was God Himself Who had need of her out there in China. And, even then, His tender care went further. HE knew the inward shrinking, the hours of testing that must come.

" I felt like Gideon," Mrs. Taylor wrote, " that my strength in China would be, `Have not I commanded thee ? ' and I wanted some fleeces to confirm my faith, and as a token for those who would have me remain at home. I asked God to give me, in the first place, money to purchase certain requisites for outfit, as we had none to spare ; and further, to give me liberally, as much as fifty pounds, so that there might be money in hand when I went. away."

The very next afternoon (Thursday) a friend called to see Mrs. Taylor, and before leaving said " Will you accept a little gift for your own use, to get anything you may need for the journey ? "

And the sum put into her hand was ten pounds-just the allowance made by the Mission at that time towards the cost of outfit.

No one knew, not even Mr. Taylor, about the fleeces ; and with a wondering heart she waited. Several days passed without bringing the 'further answer to her prayer.' Perhaps the Lord was withholding it that she might trust Him without so much confirmation ?

" Yesterday (Sunday)," she continued, in a letter to Mr. Taylor's mother, " I felt He would provide at the right time, and was very happy-realising that He is my Helper, and that in going I should learn more of Him and find His strength made perfect in my utter weakness."

Glancing next morning over the letters to see if there was one that might contain a gift for themselves, she came to the conclusion that there was not, and opened first a letter from Barnsley, thankful that Mr. Taylor's parents approved the step they were taking. And lo, from his father was enclosed a cheque for fifty pounds ! Overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness, she ran to Mr. Taylor's study : but he was not alone.

" When I returned " (for she was called away), " he was reading your letter, and considering how the Lord would have the money applied. He knew we needed it, but never takes anything for ourselves that is left optional.

" ` Oh,' I said, `that fifty pounds is mine ! I have a claim on it that you do not know of.' And I told him all the circumstances.

" So we accept it with warmest thanks to you, and with gratitude to God. I had said to the Lord : `Fifty pounds just now would be worth more than a fortune to me at another time. It would be a guarantee of all other needs being met.' I feel it is such tender consideration for my weakness to send it ; and you and dear father may be assured, when I am far away, that the memory of this gift will be a continual strength and help to me."

Meanwhile, Mrs. Broomhall, who was away from home at the time, had heard of the proposed step, and was deeply moved. With the care of the Mission-house and candidates, as well as her own family of four boys and six girls, it would have been easy and true to think that her hands were full. But hers was the love that " never faileth," and in. a busy, practical life she knew the secret of so waiting upon God as to have her strength daily renewed.

" If Jenny is called to go to China," she said without hesitation, " I am called to care for her children:"

Nothing could have given Mrs. Taylor greater comfort for with such loving supervision close at hand, even the little ones could remain with their father, and the home-life be carried on as usual. But there was yet more that the Lord had it in His heart to provide. The very day before Mrs. Taylor left England, accompanied by several new workers,1-{The party, which included Adam Dorward, J. H. Riley, and S. R. Clarke,men of notable usefulness in later years, sailed on the 2nd of May x878,} a letter came to hand from an old friend expressing warm sympathy with the object she had in view. It contained a gift toward 'the Orphanage she hoped to found ; and to her surprise on looking at the cheque, it proved to be for a thousand pounds.

" Please enter it anonymously," he wrote. " It does not represent any superabundance of wealth, as my business affairs will miss it. But if you, for Christ's sake, can separate, I cannot give less than this." 1{' The day after Mrs. Taylor had sailed, the one who was missing her most sorely wrote : " Your dear Mother has borne up bravely, and says she is `proud of you.' I, darling, am grateful for the grace which has take you from me, and which I count on to sustain you all the way. He will not fail me either, or the work He has given us to do. We will trust Him in all and for all."}

It, was a great step forward when, the heat of summer over, Mrs. Hudson Taylor set out from Shanghai to go to the inland province of Shan-si. Two younger ladies accompanied her-Miss Home and Miss Crickmay-and they travelled under the experienced escort of Mr. Bailer. Never before had foreign women attempted to go so far inland, and with their work in the famine-stricken region, a little light began to shine for the women and children of that vast waiting world-the hundred and eighty millions of the far interior.When the news reached Mr. Taylor by cablegram

" I cannot tell you how my heart and prayers go with you all," he wrote. " The Lord be glorified in this movement....I do thank God for giving me such a wife as alone could satisfy my heart-one to whom the Lord Jesus is more than husband ; to whom His work is more than love and enjoyment here. I know He is blessing and will bless our dear children ; I know He is blessing and will bless you ; I know He is blessing and will bless me too, and the work. And I am glad to think I am not selfishly, for my own help or enjoyment, depriving you of the eternal fruit of what you are now sowing. What will not the harvest be ! " '

For himself, meanwhile, the sacrifice involved was very real. As long as Mrs. Broomhall could come in and out freely from her home next door, he did not feel the burden of family care ; but when his own children developed whooping-cough, calling for the isolation of his household, more responsibility naturally fell to his share. In addition to very full days of work, Mr. Taylor had many an anxious night of watching by little bedsides from which the mother was absent. No " mere man " could have done more, or done it better, and it bound the children to him in a way that made it well worth while ; but it was a tax on time and strength, of which he had little enough to spare.

I took Ernie down to Barnet," he wrote when they were getting better. " He enjoyed himself famously," in the home of Mrs. Taylor's parents, " and I am somewhat better for it too. I enjoyed the quiet and the hayfield, and` putting him to bed at night, and praying with him and dressing him, etc. He clung to me so tenderly."

The answer to the petition in which many were uniting for thirty new workers in the current year was at the same time bringing added burdens. At the Annual Meetings, (May 27) Mr. Taylor was able to tell of many candidates, some of whom seemed of unusual promise, but of a balance in hand, all obligations being met, of only twenty-nine pounds.The money Mrs. Taylor had given, with his hearty concurrence, for pioneering work in the inland provinces (L4000) had carried them through the two years since the Chefoo Convention. But the extensive itinerations of that periodinvolving thirty thousand miles of travel-had exhausted it, and the income of the Mission had not yet correspondingly increased.

" With current income not equal by so large a sum to the expenses of the work," Mr. Taylor said on that occasion, " the question might well be asked, ' Is the project of sending out twenty or thirty additional labourers at all a prudent one, even if men and women who appear suitable are found ? '" Well, we have looked the thing in the face, dear friends, and this is the conclusion we have come to : with the current income of the Mission we have nothing to do, but with GOD we have everything to do. We are not going to send out twenty or thirty new missionaries, or one ; but we are asking GOD to send twenty or thirty. If He sends twenty or thirty devoted mis sionaries, He is just as able to supply them as He has proved faithful and loving in supplying those who have gone hitherto .. Up to the present, God has carried us safely through. As for the future-if by His grace He will only keep us, individually, faithful to Him, that ensures everything." 1{1 How real were Mr. Taylor's convictions on this point may be judged from the unstudied expression of his feelings in a letter to Mrs. Taylor of September 20 " Nothing is coming in for the general fund scarcely ; but this is usual at this time of year. We must all get nearer to God ; we must all abide in Christ ; our lives must be more up to our principles and privileges, and all will be well. Let us trust for all, and we shall find all. God can bless each member of the Mission ; let us ask it in faith, and expect it. Nothing else, nothing less can satisfy Him ; nothing less must satisfy us."}

That he was deeply feeling the responsibility of leadership in a mission which had already grown beyond the desires and hopes with which it was founded, is evident from a letter to Mrs. Taylor of a few weeks later.

"I have been praying very much this morning," he wrote on June 14, " for a wise and understanding spirit, and for largeness of heart, and organising capacity. The Lord make me Equal to increasing claims."

Very thankful must she have been to hear of a break that came soon after, an unexpected holiday-the first he had taken, apart from sea voyages, during the twelve years since the formation of the Mission. At the invitation of the Hon. Miss Waldegrave and Lady Beauchamp, who generously met the expense, he joined their family party in the Engadine for two or three weeks. It was the first time he had been in Switzerland, and many letters tell of the delight with which he drank in the beauty of lake, mountain and Alpine flowers, and the glacier air which seemed to give him new life. With true consideration, his friends left him free to attend to correspondence or wander as he would in the pine forests on the mountain side: Even there Mission matters followed him-as many as twenty-five letters being received one day, most of which required answers. Comparative leisure enabled him to write freely to Mrs. Taylor, among others, whose absence he was specially feeling amid those beautiful scenes.

" Every day I look at the little Bible marker you gave me, with the words `For Jesus' sake,"' he wrote from Sils Maria (Aug. 27), " and I am thankful for the reminder. It is not for your pleasure or mine that we are separated, nor for moneymaking, nor for our children's sake. It is not even for China, or the missionaries or the Mission : no for Jesus' sake. HE is worthy I And He is blessing you, and is making the people I meet so kind to me, one and all."

When they reached Pontresina, it was the glaciers that attracted him most. With an umbrella for the sun (China fashion), a few biscuits in his pocket and a Bible as his sole companion, he would spend most of the day on or near them. " The effect of the air on the system is wonderful," he continued. " I could not possibly have conceived it. It seems to go direct to the seat of weakness, and carry healing.... I have ;been thinking to-day, darling, that all this refreshment, all this kindness, is the answer of God to your prayers for me ; and the thought has given added pleasure to all I have enjoyed."

Entering into every detail of her life in that faminestricken region of North China, he wrote of the comfort it was to think of her as " a weak instrument in Almighty hands."

"Keep loving and patient with all," he said in another letter, " especially with any who try your patience, if it be tried."

And every letter was full of longing to be with her once more-to help forward the work, especially in the inland provinces.

Many were the problems thought out and prayed over in those mountain solitudes. A critical time had come, he could not help feeling, in the history of the Mission. Prayer had been wonderfully answered, and the whole interior opened up to 'the work of evangelists ; but now the more responsible step had to be taken of sending women inland, to follow up what had been begun. In praying for the first twenty-four " willing, skilful labourers " on the sands at Brighton, he had hardly contemplated this. The pioneer missionaries would marry ; it was well they should. The converts, many of them, would be women. There would be families to care for-their own and those of the Christians. If it had caused an outcry when men were sent to face the loneliness and dangers of life in the far interior, what would happen when he encouraged single ladies, or even young married women, to do the same ? ' Then there were questions connected with the home organisation of the growing work.

But most of all it was with the Lord Himself those hours of soul-refreshing silence were occupied. On coming down from the glacier heights to the level of the lakes once more, he wrote to a Swiss member of the Mission (from Lausanne, September 13)

May God keep you, and not only keep you-fill you more and more, and keep you running over with the living waters. The one thing, I judge, to bear in mind is that it has " pleased the Father that in Him should all the fulness dwell.Apart from Him we have nothing, are nothing, cannot bring forth any fruit to God. He will not give some of His riches to you and some to me, to use and live on away from Himself. But in Him all is ours. With Him there is a constant feast for us. To know Christ as the Bridegroom is most blessed ; to be not betrothed, and having occasional visits, but married. " I am with you alway,O " I will, never leave thee," " I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee "-such are now His messages of love to us.

Upon the many meetings that awaited Mr. Taylor's return to England in September we must not dwell, nor upon the remarkable answers to prayer that facilitated the outgoing of all the thirty asked for and given in 1878. Twentyeight new missionaries actually sailed before the close of the year, and several others were accepted to follow shortly. Not one really suitable candidate was declined for lack of funds, though some had to be told that there was not a penny in hand to send them out. But again and again the Lord's provision came ear-marked, so to speak, to meet the special need.'{1 The very day one October party sailed, for example, Mr. Taylor wrote to two young men of much promise; accepting them for work in Shan-si. Although he had nothing, as he frankly told them, toward the expense of passages and outfits, he invited them to come to London with a view to an early departure. These communications were posted at 5.15 P.M., and by the nine o'clock delivery, that same evening, a letter was received from Lord Radstock (then in Stockholm) enclosing, among other gifts, the sum of one hundred pounds to send two new workers to the faminestricken province of Shan-si. Thus, even before the young men could set out in faith for London, the money needed was in hand and the way open for them to go forward.}

And in matters more perplexing than finance, help was given that cleared the way for Mr. Taylor's return to China. The Council was strengthened by the addition of Mr. William Sharp-now its senior. member; and Mr. McCarthy, who was finding important openings for deputation work, undertook the subediting of China's Millions. More important still was the acceptance of the post of Home Director by Mr. Theodore Howard-Chairman of the Council and a life long friend of-the Mission. The appointment of Mr. B. Broomhall as General Secretary recognised the invaluable service he had rendered at Pyrland Road for the last three years ; while Mrs. Broomhall continued to care for the outgoing and returning missionaries and the seventeen children.

There were still circumstances that called for prayer,and no lack of difficulties to be met both in England and, in China.

" I do not expect an easy time of it," Mr. Taylor wrote home to Mr. Broomhall from Hongkong, " and but for the precious truth, ` My strength is made perfect in weakness,' I should be almost afraid to arrive in my present weak state. I am very glad that our fast-day, May 26th, is near, and shall look for a large outpouring of spiritual blessing in connection with it. God is with us ; let us only walk humbly with Him and all will be brought round. You will pray for me, will you not ? The all important thing is to improve the character of the work, and to deepen the piety, devotion, and success of the workers ; to remove stones of stumbling, if possible ; to oil the wheels where they stick ; to amend whatever is defective and supplement as far as may be what is lacking ; no easy matter where suitable men are wanting, or only in course of formation.. That I may be used of God, at least, in some measure, to bring these things about is my hope ; but I shall need your prayers ; for God's wisdom, God's grace, God's strength alone can suffice : but they will suffice."

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