CHAPTER 27--THE PRICE OF PROGRESS -1885-1886. AET.53-54.

Who, that one moment has the least descried Him,

Dimly and faintly, hidden and afar,

Doth not despise all excellence beside Him,

Pleasures and powers that are not and that are.

Aye, amid all men bear himself thereafter

Smit with a solemn and a sweet surprise,

Dumb to their scorn and turning on their laughter

Only the dominance of earnest eyes.

Yes, thro' fife, death, thro' sorrow and thro' sinning, -

He shall suffice me, for He hath sufficed:

Christ is the end, for Christ was the beginning,

Christ the beginning, for the end is Christ.

MYERS.

How little the Church yet knows of her glorious Lord, that missionary work can ever be counted sacrifice ! To be His ambassadors, His witnesses, His fellow-workers, to share in some measure " the fellowship of His sufferings," that we may " know Him and the. power of His resurrection " and in some deeper, fuller sense " win Christ "-how can it but be gain, infinite and eternal ?

Long had this been the attitude of Mr. Taylor's heart, and that it was so still comes out very simply in a letter written as he was crossing France. He had been making the most of an empty side of a carriage when, at Lyons, additional travellers entered in the middle of the night. He judged them to be a newly married couple, on account of their evident youth, and at first felt disposed to regret the loss of space to lie down, for he was very weary.

" But they taught me a lesson, I trust," he wrote to the loved one left behind. " The French lady seemed simply to adore her husband. There was something about their ways one could not describe, which told how fully they were all in all to each other. Her eyes followed his every movement. If she touched him, there was something indescribable in the touch. They were oblivious of every one else.. She wished for something at a station : he almost flew to procure it-and what thanks her eyes gave him! Some smiled. But I said to myself, ' How infinitely more worthy is my Lord of adoring love ,than this young husband can be ! How much more He loves me ! He has died for me ; He lives for me ; He delights to give me the desires of my heart. Do I love Him so ? Cannot I take my eyes off Him ? Is He really all in all to me'? Am I oblivious of all others, because of His presence and love ? Is it joy to leave all-you, my precious one, included-to please Him ?

" Oh, Darling! that love did me good, and does still. The pain of parting is very real, but Jesus is very real, too. He will be a satisfying portion to you during my absence, and to me in your absence. Let us be thankful that our honeymoon has lasted so many years, and will last. But most of all, let us seek to be more to our Lord, to find more in our Lord, as time passes on. We shall never be alone, shall we ? "

Nearing Shanghai some weeks later, the sense of responsibility in connection with all that lay before him was very great. An absence of two years, at a time of unparalleled growth and extension in the Mission, meant that many problems would await him for which he had neither wisdom nor strength.

" Soon we shall be, in the midst of the battle," he wrote from the China Sea (Feb. 28, '85) ; " but the Lord our God in the midst of us is mighty, so we will trust and not be afraid. ' He will save' : He will save all the time, in everything."

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, the movement begun among the students was not only growing in popularity, it was taking on a deeper tone.

" Students, like other young men," wrote Dr. Moxey of this second visit, " are apt to regard professedly religious people of their own age-as wanting in manliness, unfit for the river or cricket-field, and only good for psalm-singing and pulling a long face. But the big, muscular hands and long arms of the excaptain of the Cambridge Eight, stretched out in entreaty, while he eloquently told out the old story of Redeeming Love, capsized their theory ; and when Mr. C. T. Studd, whose name is to them familiar as perhaps the greatest gentleman bowler in England, supplemented his brother athlete's words by quiet but intense and burning utterances of personal testimony to the love and power of a personal Saviour, opposition and criticism were alike disarmed, and professors and students together were seen in tears, to be followed in the after-meeting by the glorious sight of professors dealing with students, and students with one another."

" We had a wonderful time," wrote one of the undergraduates. " I should think three-fourths of that meeting waited to an aftermeeting, and the great hall was covered with men anxious about their souls. Christians were stimulated all round, and many I believe came that night to an out-and-out decision for God.

" The following evening we met again in the Free Assembly Hall, and again had times of great blessing. To the men whom God had so signally used we said, 'Can you not possibly come back ? '

" They said, `Well, we are going to the West. We are to pass this way again on Friday, and if you can 'arrange it shall be glad to-meet your students again, then.'

" We met in the same hall, and I think that I never saw a meeting like that. We had obtained a special lease of the hall. We ought to have left by half-past ten, but got permission to remain till midnight ; and up to that hour the floor was covered with men anxiously inquiring, ` What must I do to be saved ? ' " 1-{1- We were then unable to stop," continued the same writer. " Professor Drummond took up the meetings. Every Sunday evening the Oddfellows' Hall was crowded with students, and each address was followed by an after-meeting. Many students during that never-to-be-forgotten winter session (i884-1885) were converted."}{

The precious days of January (1885) were hastening on, and it yet remained to pay farewell visits to Oxford and Cambridge.

" I want to recommend to you my Master," said Studd in his last address to the men of his own university. " I have had many ways of pleasure in my time,-and have tasted most of the delights this world can give ; but I can tell you that these pleasures are as nothing compared with my present joy. I had formerly as much love for cricket as any man could have ; but when the Lord Jesus came into my heart I found that I had something infinitely better. My heart was no longer set on the game : I wanted to win souls, to serve and please Him."

" What a priceless testimony is this to spiritual realities," commented the Master of Pembroke. '1-{1 The Rev. C. E. Searle, D.D.}" What a victory is scored to faith I for however eccentric his conduct may be thought, plainly he has demonstrated that there are unseen powers that sway a man's heart much more forcibly than any motives of the world. We who can recollect the strong man, how great he would rise up with his bat, with what force he would hurl his ball, how grand an ovation he would receive as captain of the victorious eleven after some international contest, who know how such a man is sought out, caressed and idolised, can in some measure estimate his sacrifice, or rather the new force that has laid hold of him. For he was not leading a sinful life, but simply says that a stronger fascination has come over him, and he- submits like a captive to it, with his eyes open, rationally and willingly., and in the new service finds a satisfaction far excelling the old."

It was this hidden power, this spring of inward joy that was so attractive, and multitudes everywhere wanted to see and hear for themselves. From Exeter Hall in London (headquarters of the Y.M.C.A.) came an urgent request for one last meeting, and the departure of the missionaries was delayed another day to make it possible. Fresh from the moving scenes at Oxford and Cambridge the whole party came up to London for this last farewell, and the great hall was densely crowded.

" It was a sight to stir the blood," wrote a correspondent of The Nonconformist, " and a striking testimony to the power of the uplifted Christ to draw to Himself not the weak, the emotional, the illiterate only, but all that is noblest in strength and finest in culture."

" I could not but ponder," said a thoughtful observer in The Record, " what were the main reasons for the might of a movement which has drawn to it man after man of a very noble type,and of just the qualities most influential in the young Cambridge world. My main reasons, after all, reduced themselves to one -the uncompromising spirituality and unworldliness of the programme of the Mission, responded to by hearts which have truly laid all at the Lord's feet, and whose delight is in the most open confession of His Name and its power upon themselves. I venture to pronounce it inconceivable, impossible, that such a meeting should have been held in connection with any missionary enterprise of mixed aims, or in which such great truths as personal conversion, present peace and joy in believing, the present sanctifying power of the Spirit, the absolute necessity among the heathen of faith in Christ for salvation, and the loss of the soul as the alternative, were ignored, or treated with hesitation. Nor could such a profound interest possibly be called out, did the work not demand of the workers very real and manifest self-sacrifice and acts. of faith." 1-{1 Three months later (May 1885) an Edinburgh student came up to the Annual Meetings of the C.I.M. in London to tell of further developments:" The story with which I have to deal," he said, " is that of a movement, perhaps the most wonderful that ever had place in the history of university students, certainly the strangest that ever took place in the history of Scottish universities. I have to tell you how our great Edinburgh University and the allied medical schools, with between three and four thousand students, have been shaken to their very depths; how the work has spread to all the other universities of Scotland ; and how, already, as the students of these universities have gone far and wide, the work is spreading in all its depth and reality throughout the whole country, I might almost say, throughout the world... ." The present work has been carried forward by the very best men in our university. Some of our best-known professors and assistant professors . . . have been actively engaged in it. And among the students it has not been any one set, but our best intellects, our medallists, our scholars, our bursars, our prize-men-these have been among the most prominent in carrying forward this work. As to results, as I said before, we cannot estimate them. I believe that the number of conversions, even in our own university, is to be counted by hundreds and not by scores. And, as one result, scores of men have given themselves to missionary work, and have entered on medical courses in preparation for it.I have just to ask you to praise God with me, and with Edinburgh University, for sending among us those two missionaries-elect of the China Inland Mission, Studd and Stanley Smith." In the following year, a similar work of grace commenced among university men in North America, from which developed the Student Volunteer Movement and ultimately the World's Student Christian Federation. And, back of it all, one remembers Harold Schofield's prayers.

All this was a great joy to Mr. Taylor and those with him in China ; so also were the meetings he had arranged for the Cambridge Band at various ports on the way out, and others in Shanghai, Peking and elsewhere on arrival. To get the young men into work studying the language was important however, so meetings were curtailed, and they were soon on their way, in Chinese dress, to the interior northward to Shan-si and westward to Han-chung-fu.

For himself, Mr. Taylor was not expecting to be long detained in China, there being much of importance to require his presence at home. He hoped to give effect, on this sixth visit, to the plans for organisation that had been maturing in his mind, and to see something of the work in the interior, especially in the province of Shan-si. The time had come when superintendents were needed to afford help and guidance to the largely increased number of recruits, and some one who could be associated with himself as Deputy Director, in view of his necessary absences from the field. A China Council also was desirable, to assist the Director or his Deputy, as the London Council had long helped Mr. Taylor at home ; and it was important to establish training centres for the study of the language, in which new arrivals, men and women respectively, could have experienced help in preparing for their life-work.

Seen in the light of subsequent developments it was to be expected that the great adversary would leave no stone unturned to hinder and if possible frustrate these purposes. " Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Wonderful things had been happening in connection with the Mission, wonderful things were yet to happen, and the enemy seems to have been prepared at every point to oppose and hinder. Month after month went by, and at the close of 1885, Mr. Taylor wrote:

A year ago I thought to be back in England ere December was out, but I seem to be as far from it as on landing. Not that nothing has been done! A great deal, thank God, has been accomplished, and not a little suffered-but He knows all about that. Such a hand-to-hand conflict with the powers of darkness as I have seldom known has been no small part of the work of the year ; but " hitherto the Lord hath helped us " and He will perfect that which concerns us, whatever that perfecting may mean or involve.

" Borne on a great wave of fervent enthusiasm," as Mr.Eugene Stock expressed it, the work had been swept into a new place in the sympathy and confidence of the Lord's people. " The Mission has become popular," Mr. Broomhall was writing from England ; but out in China, Hudson Taylor had to fathom the other side of that experience.

"There must be a good deal more effected by pain," he wrote to Mrs. Taylor a few weeks after landing, " than we know of at present. It seems essentially connected with fruitfulness, natural and spiritual."

To no one else could he unburden his heart ; and as the separation lengthened, many were the revealing passages in his letters.

Oct. 15 : Great trial, great blessing are very present. My only rest is in God. But He is more than ever all to me, and I a resting in Him.

Nov. 1 : I have it much impressed on my heart to plead mightily for a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those who cause most concern. This is what they need ; this would put all right, and nothing else will. So long as the motto practically is " Not Christ but I," our-best organisation will never give the victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. The motto must be changed.

Nov. 9 : " It is three weeks to-day since I was out of doors," he continued after an illness due to overstrain. " Satan is so busy just now! there is trial on every hand " ... mentioning no fewer than seven causes of special anxiety. " In the midst of it all God is revealing Himself. The work is wonderfully advancing, and those who will have it are getting showers of blessing."

Nov. 11 : I am sure you will pray hard for us. The conflict is heavy indeed. Satan harasses on all sides ; but the Lord reigneth, and shall triumph gloriously.... It is easy enough to fancy we are weaned children when we don't mind much the thing we miss ; but at other times and about other things we are less in danger of making this mistake.

Nov. 14: I believe we are on the eve of great blessing, perhaps of great trial too. The Lord our God in the midst of us is " mighty to save " ; let us trust Him. Flesh and heart often fail : let them fail! He faileth not. Pray very much, pray constantly, for Satan rages against us. But God uses this most diligent though unwitting of His servants to refine and purify His people and to bring in the greatest blessings-witness the Cross.

The winter months were the most painful, and Mr. Taylor was anticipating what it would mean to be without the comfort even of letters on the long journey he expected to take after the Chinese New Year.

" I am wondering how you will bear the three months' fasting from letters while I am inland," he wrote in January 1886. I shall feel it dreadfully, but it has to be gone through. The Lord help and comfort you.... There is much to distress. Your absence is a great and ever-present trial, and there is all the ordinary and extraordinary conflict. But the encouragements are also wonderful-no other word approaches the truth -and half of them cannot be told in writing. No one dreams of the mighty work going on in connection with our Mission. Other Missions too, doubtless, are being greatly used. I look for a wonderful year.

" Sometimes I feel almost crushed by one thing and another . . but the wonderful progress, the wonderful love of most of our people, the effect that is being produced at home and abroad is worth the crushing of a score of us. And if you and I be the sacrifices (among others) shall we regret it-I do not say complain ? Nay more, shall we not be willing, glad, eager to win at any cost (and God only knows how great it is) such real, abiding blessings ? "

And a couple of months later (March 10), when once again his plans had all been broken upI do so comfort myself with that hymn:

What grace, 0 Lord, and beauty shone

Around Thy steps below!

What patient love was seen in all

Thy life and death of woe!

Thy foes might hate, despise, revile,

Thy friends unfaithful prove ;

Unwearied in forgiveness still,

Thy heart could only love.

Oh give us hearts to love like Thee,

Like Thee, 0 Lord, to grieve

Far more for others' sins than all

The wrongs that we receive.

Darling, we must not pick our crosses, nor be dissatisfied with the training and discipline. Soon it will all be past and our separations over for ever. We cannot expect lightly to assault Satan's domain ; if we do, we shall be corrected.

As to the progress that was being made, it is difficult now that the organisation of the Mission is so complete to realise what it meant to work it all out, when men were only gradually growing in fitness for various posts, and any delegation of Mr. Taylor's authority 'was apt to be regarded with misgivings if not opposed through misunderstanding. The family feeling in the Mission had been very precious to its early workers, who were accustomed to dealing with Mr. Taylor direct about every matter in which advice and help were needed. Much more of difficulty lay in the way of associating others with himself in these responsibilities than even he anticipated ; but the appointment of Superintendents for a number of provinces, arrangements for receiving new arrivals in suitable training homes where help could be given them with the language, and the better ordering of business and financial matters in Shanghai were part of the outcome of his labours in 1885. 1-{1 As early as 1870, Mr. Taylor had sought to develop helpers upon whom he might devolve responsibility in the supervision of the work ; but as he wrote to Mr. McCarthy at that time, " such a position has to be gained, and the ability is only in and from the Lord." A year later he wrote again (Jan. 18, 1871): " I wish you to feel responsible before the Lord for seeking to help the brethren in all these stations. Really help them ; really feel responsibility about them ; really pray much for them, and as far as possible with them. Feel and evince a deep interest in all their out-stations and work generally. And above all, do not let them dream you are taking a higher place than their own leave God to show that in due time. You are really their head as you become their servant and helper."}

Twice had serious illness called him to Yang-chow during the year, twice had a life of incalculable value to the Mission hung in the balance. In answer to prayer, Miss Murray had been raised up, and the plan Mr. Taylor unfolded even when it seemed that she might never work again had been brought to fruition.

" Lord, I am so weak and ill," was all she could say at first, " why does Mr. Taylor speak of these things now ? "

But the long convalescence was brightened by a sense of call to much-needed service and the Mother of the women's training home-the heart that has poured itself out ever since in love and blessing reaching to every part of the Mission-came out of that illness ready for the appointed task.

At An-king also, steps had been taken to improve and consolidate the work, that it might become a helpful training centre for young men during their first months in China. In Mr. W. Cooper, the wise and prayerful leader was recognised for the post of Superintendent of the province and Pastor of the An-king church, while in Mr. Bailer, shortly afterwards associated with him, the students had from the first an ideal teacher and friend.1-{1 A week spent at that station in November 1885, when the training home was decided upon, enabled Mr. Taylor to hold a conference in which he went over the Principles and Practice of the C.I.M. signed by the members of the Mission before leaving England. The addresses embodied in the Retrospect-which has since, in many editions, attained so wide a circulation-were originally given in those meetings, to the refreshment of all present.}

The older work in the province of Che-kiang was next organised, Mr. Meadows (the senior member of the Mission) being -appointed Superintendent, with Mr. Williamson of the Lammermuir party as his helper. But it was not until the close of the year that Mr. Taylor saw with thankfulness who was to be his own Deputy. With an exceptional record of varied and useful service behind him, Mr. Stevenson had returned to China, landing on Christmas Eve after an absence of ten and a half years. All that time, in Burma and elsewhere, he had often longed to be at work again in his old sphere. But the Guiding Hand had been preparing him for wider usefulness ; and so' real a blessing had come to him, spiritually, that he was ready to be a helper of many. 2-{2 " Ever since the Keswick Convention," he had written before leaving England, " my cup has been running over."}

" The Rev. J. W. Stevenson has, I am thankful to say, accepted the position of Director's Deputy," Mr. Taylor wrote in March (1886) to the members of the Mission. " He will assist, D. V., by visiting for me many places I cannot reach ; will represent me in my absence from China, and deal with all questions brought before him by the Superintendents requiring immediate determination.

" I feel sure you will all share with me in thankfulness to God for this appointment, and feel that it is one of the most important steps in advance that we have recently been able to make. I should ask your special prayers for Mr. Stevenson, that he may be spiritually sustained, and that divine wisdom and grace may be given him for the weighty responsibilities of his post ; and also that you will remember each of the Superintendents in your prayers, that they may be blessed, and helped in the discharge of their duties. Without full spiritual power, no experience or ability will avail for the important and momentous work they have undertaken." 1{1- Shortly afterwards Mr. J. F. Broumton, prevented by unavoidable circumstances from returning to his former sphere in Kwei-chow, consented to take up the account-keeping and statistics of the Mission. ` The first cash-book I had handed to me," he recalled, " and the only one in use at that time, was an ordinary threepenny account book [preferred, until then, for convenience in travelling]-very different from the large ledgers we use now! I took over the accounts from Mr. Taylor himself, and arranged with him about carrying on the work at Wu-chang rather than in Shanghai. It was midnight on the 1st of May (1886) before the transfer was made and we set off for the steamer. Everything had to be balanced up to the cent. Mr. Taylor was very particular about details. Five and a half years at Wu-chang, followed by eleven years in Shanghai as Treasurer, so demonstrated Mr. Broumton's ability and devotion to his arduous task that more than once Mr. Taylor wrote of him with thankfulness as second to none in his value to the Mission. Mr. J. E. Cardwell in the business department and Miss Mary Black in charge of the Mission-house (Yuen-ming-yuen Buildings) were also much associated with Mr. Taylor at this time.}

One thing that had tried Mr. Taylor a good deal all through 1885 had been the frustration, again and again, of his purpose to visit the northern provinces. Reasons of importance seemed to require his presence in Shan-si without delay, yet endless complications detained him at Shanghai or called in other directions. More than once he had been on the point of starting ; and it was not until the time really came twelve months and more after it had been expected-that he began to see how wisely even the hindrances had been planned. But for Miss Murray's illness combined with other delays, he would not have taken a journey, for example, which proved of great importance. Far up the Tsien-tang river was a station he found himself obliged to visit, and by crossing the watershed into the neighbouring province of Kiang-si it would take little longer to return by the Po-yang Lake than the other way. Both the Tsien-tang and the Kwang-sin rivers were of exceptional beauty at that season, and hoping that the complete change of boat-life would help to re-establish Miss Murray's health, he arranged for several of the Yang-chow party to accompany him.

Thus, then, the months of May and June (1886) brought to that long-waiting district the loving hearts and earnest, prayerful lives that were to become its channels of divine blessing. Six years had passed since Mr. Taylor on his previous visit had met the converts gathered in through the labours of Captain Yu in the neighbourhood of Yu-shan. The little out-stations he had visited then among the hills and down the river were out-stations still, and had rarely seen even a passing missionary. But one great difference he noticed that was suggestive. For a young worker, a girl of only twenty, had recently come over from what had been Dr. Douthwaite's station, to take a few days' holidays in that beautiful region. Cared for by the evangelist and his wife, she had spent a week in the county town of Changshan, sharing their home and sleeping in an attic to which she climbed by a ladder-like stair. But neither this nor any other consideration could keep visitors away, and from morning till night her room was besieged with women and children. Warm-hearted Agnes Gibson welcomed them all, and spent her much-needed " holiday " in telling the old, old story, which had never seemed more precious.

The result was that when he came this second time Mr. Taylor found a marked change in the Sunday services. On his previous visit the Christians had been all and only men ; and so bitter was the opposition of their women-folk that they had even rented a room for themselves, where they might read and pray undisturbed. Now, however, the women were as much in evidence as the men, and a deputation of the latter waited upon him to point the moral.

" We want a missionary of our own," they said, " and we want a lady. If one visit of a week could bring about such a change, what might not be accomplished if we had a Lady-Teacher all the time?" 1 {1 So much were they in earnest that they were ready, at their own expense, to put down a board floor and make other alterations in the Mission -house (toward which they had put aside ten dollars) if only Mr. Taylor would send them a teacher of their own. This he could not at the moment arrange for, though ladies were appointed to the district soon after. The station in question (Chang-shan) has now for many years been occupied by Miss Marie Guex from Vevey and her sister Madame Just, Swiss members of the mission. }

This was unanswerable ; and it was moreover the very development Mr. Taylor had long desired to see. As he travelled with the Misses Murray and their young companions down the Kwang-sin river, passing city after city in which no voice was raised to tell of the love of Jesus ; as he saw the welcome with which these-gentle visitors were received, not only by little groups of Christians in lonely . out-stations but by the people everywhere, he realised with thankfulness that the time had come, and that the Lord had sent His own messengers.1-{1 " As to Miss Mackintosh, Miss Gibson and Miss Gray," he wrote at the time, " they read the Mandarin Testament as fluently as English, and with few mistakes. They have been wonderfully prospered both in their studies and work. It would do you good to see them among a group of Chinese women."} It was no easy work that lay before them, and no light responsibility he assumed in consenting to let them undertake it. But with their hearts drawn out in prayer for place after place-cities like Ho-kow with its eighty thousand, or I-yang, for which they had a memorable time of waiting upon God, he could do no other. Going forward therefore in faith, he arranged for the Misses Mackintosh, Gibson and Gray to return with an older worker, and settle down among the native Christians, making the evangelisation of this populous region their life-work. And if the step cost him more, far more, than his fellow-travellers could realise, never was confidence in God more fully justified than by the result. 2{2- Within the first year of Women's Work on the Kwang-sin river forty-two additional converts were, baptized, and within four years the Yu-shan Church alone had grown from about thirty to one hundred and eight members. At the present time, in a complete chain of ten central stations and sixty out-stations, there are over two thousand two hundred communicants and a large number of enquirers, pupils in schools, etc., cared for by native leaders-ladies being still the only foreign missionaries. As early as 1868, Mr. Taylor had written to Miss Faulding, upon leaving Hang-chow : " I do not know when I may be able to return, and it will not do for Church affairs to wait forms. You cannot take a Pastor's place in name, but you must help (Wang) Lae-djun to act in matters of receiving and excluding as far as you can. You can speak privately to candidates, and can be present at Church meetings, and might even, through others, suggest questions to be asked of those desiring, baptism. Then after the meeting you can talk privately with Lae-djun about them, and suggest who you think he might receive next time they meet. Thus he may have the help he needs, and there will be nothing that any one could regard as unseemly." Upon these lines the Kwang-sin river work has prospered by the blessing of God. In reply to a letter from Dr. Happer of Canton, Mr. Taylor wrote in July 1890 : " The principal reasons to my mind for the safety and, comfort of Women's Work among the Chinese are, firstly, that the ladies walk with God, and the 'beauty of holiness' upon them gives a dignity before which lewdness cannot live ; and secondly, that they are really entrusted to the care of the Lord Himself as their Escort, when commended to Him for their work. And He is faithful to the trust, and does keep those who are committed to Him. We expect Him to do it, and He does not disappoint as."

Returning to Shanghai after six weeks' absence Mr. Taylor found himself faced by a serious problem. He arrived, as it happened, on the very-last day of an option obtained upon a building site in the Settlement that he greatly desired to purchase for future use. It was a valuable plot of land, two acres in extent, admirably situated for the purposes of the Mission, but the price was almost 2500. Real estate could not but increase in value in such a locality, and other offers were being made for this particular property. It seemed providential that the last stages of Mr. Taylor's journey had been remarkably prospered, so that he had reached Shanghai earlier than could have been expected. But though he was in time, he had not money in hand to justify the purchase. If lost, the opportunity would never recur ; yet what was to be done ?

One thing at any rate was possible : the whole matter could be laid before the Lord in definite, united prayer. If it were of Him for the Mission to have and use that plot of land, He could bring it about, however unlikely it might seem. The clear duty was to refer the problem to Him, in the confident expectation that He would deal with it in the way that was best. This then they did at the noon prayer meeting (June 14) when no outsiders were present ; and then and there the answer was given.

Among the party just arrived from home was one who had been interested in China through Mr. McCarthy's meetings in Scotland two years previously. Large business responsibilities rested upon him at that time, and it was not until he could see how these were to be cared for that he felt free to join the Inland Mission. Unexpected delays in his coming out had coincided with delays in Mr. Taylor's northern journey, so that the two met in Shanghai on the very day in question, met one might almost say in that prayer-meeting. The outcome was a gift sufficient to cover the purchase of the entire property, followed (though that was a later thought) by the still larger gift of all the buildings necessary to make it the most complete and serviceable of headquarters. It was a wonderful provision, a wonderful answer to prayer, and a wonderful anticipation of the enlargement in the Mission that was at hand.

Two days later Mr. Taylor set out on his northern journey, tidings from Mr. Stevenson who had preceded him filling his heart with thankfulness.

" Praise for twenty years of blessing from our gracious Father ! " the latter -had written from Han-chung-fu on the anniversary of the sailing of the Lammermuir (May 26). " The struggles and victories of all these years are part and parcel of your spiritual fibre. May the third decade witness mighty outgoings of power through the Mission that shall astonish fainthearted Christians and be a source of strength to all wholehearted followers of our risen Saviour.

" Well, dear Mr. Taylor, I am so overflowing with joy that I can scarcely trust myself to write. He has done great things for us up here-glory to His Name! I do bless Him for the peace and joy that fill my soul, and also for the floods that have come down upon my beloved Brothers and Sisters at present in Han-chung. We had the full tide last night, and found it hard work to break up such a glory-time as had never been witnessed in Han-chung before. . . The Lord has given us a wonderful manifestation of Himself these last few days. But we are all satisfied that there are infinite stores yet at our disposal of grace and power. . . . I do wish you could have been with us last night, and have witnessed the deep, overflowing joy, and heard the glad, full surrender of all present to Christ. I do not think you would have slept much for delight. As long as we keep banded together in love and consecration, as is happily the case here, there need be no doubt regarding our success in China-none.

" The blessing at the meetings with the native Christians .. .

was like a heavenly breeze filling us with great delight and bright hope for the future. There are quite a number of characteristic converts here-some of them with most decided convictions and dauntless courage and enterprise for the Lord. It is truly refreshing to find, so far in the interior, a band of men and women so simple and devoted. . . . I never was so hopeful as I am to-day with regard to the Gospel in this land."

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