CHAPTER 35--DEEPENING THE CHANNELS--1891-1892. AET. 59-60.

YET with all this growth and encouragement, seldom had there been a time of more serious and widespread danger for foreigners in China, or of greater strain for Mr. Taylor as leader of the Mission. The Scandinavian Fifty had hardly gone singing on their way when riots began to break out all along the Yangtze valley. In place after place Mission premises were destroyed, and though the fury of the people was specially directed against the Romanists, all foreigners were more or less imperilled. Even in Shanghai it seemed uncertain whether the authorities would be able to restrain looting and violence, and little sleep was to be had on more than one hot summer night because a riot was expected before morning.

Mr. Stevenson, meanwhile, had been obliged to take needed furlough, after five years of heavy directorial responsibilities. This left Mr. Taylor in sole charge in Shanghai and unable to leave headquarters, gladly as he would have gone to the help of those in more difficult situations. It was the women workers of the Mission who were specially on his heart, the little groups alone in the interior, with no human protection or companionship save that of the native Christians ; and great was, the comfort of letters such as the following

" There has been a good deal of iao-ien (wild talk) since the riots," wrote Miss Mackintosh from the Kwang-sin river, " but we go quietly on as usual. `Under His shadow' there is perfect safety anywhere. The six Swedish sisters are here, and are getting along with the language. The sisters from Kwangfeng are here also during the heat, so we are a party of thirteen, and all well and happy.... ` Jesus Himself drew near."'

" Jesus Himself drew near " : yes, that was the secret of peace at many a post of danger. One missionary, not of the C.I.M., was murdered while waiting for a steamer on the Yangtze,.1-{1 Much sympathy was felt for the Wesleyans in the loss of this promising young worker, Mr. Argent of the Joyful News Mission, killed at Wusueh in May 1891.} - and with him the Customs official (European) who had gone to his relief ; and everywhere rumours were most menacing.

" The great enemy of souls has been simply raging against missions in China," Mr. Taylor wrote to Mrs. Fagg in Hobart some months later. " I look on the recent riots as Satan's reply to the Conference appeal for a thousand additional workers. God will have His response, however ; and while the enemy is mighty, God alone is almighty."

His chief concern was that the Mission should stand for real faith at such a time, setting an example of quietness and confidence in God to the Chinese Christians.

" We are continually encouraging our converts to brave persecution and to suffer loss for Christ's sake," he wrote in a circular letter upon how, to act in times of danger,2-{ 2-Dated June 17, 1895.} " and they are apt to think that it is easy for us to speak in this way, seeing that, as far as they can tell, we are well-off and exposed to no danger or loss. When, therefore, we are in danger they will mark our conduct very closely, and judge for themselves how far we really believe that `Sufficient is His arm alone, and-our defence is sure.'

What a loss it would be if any of them should think that we relied more upon a gunboat or a band of soldiers than upon the living God! Years of teaching would not impress them as our conduct at such times may do. Moreover their sympathy will be drawn out toward us when they see us willing to suffer for the Gospel, as they so often have to do. A time of danger is a grand opportunity for being an object-lesson to the native Christians."

For five, long months, from May to October, the excitement continued, notwithstanding an Imperial proclamation which had a good effect. With few exceptions, C.I.M. workers were enabled to remain at their stations, none of which were actually rioted, though many were seriously threatened. Prayer for rain in June was wonderfully answered, and again in October, when the Council Meetings were adjourned in order that all in the Mission-house at Shanghai might unite in waiting upon God for deliverance. The summer had been intensely hot, and nothing was so likely to quiet the people as steady, continuous rain, which was much needed. Prayer was earnest and definite therefore, in this connection, and three weeks later a letter from Mrs. Taylor recorded the definite answer : " Rain has been coming down almost all this month." The effect was just what was hoped for : crowds were scattered, and gradually the anti-foreign feeling died down for the time being, and normal conditions were restored.

Meanwhile burdens of a different nature were pressing more and more heavily. With a mission embracing so many workers, widely scattered over a vast territory, all to be counselled, guided, sustained by prayer, supplied with means and many of the necessaries of life, it was inevitable that much of care, if not anxiety, should come upon its responsible head in Shanghai. To his beloved friend the Home Director in London, Mr. Taylor wrote in June

Even you, dear Mr. Howard, can scarcely realise what it is to be out here, to know and love our dear workers, to hear of their sorrows and difficulties, their disappointments and their strifes ; learning of sickness, needing arrangements for succour if possible ; receiving telegrams asking for direction in peril, or telling it may be of death accounts coming in of massacre and arson, and all the untold incidents of our ever-varying experience-not to speak of the ordinary responsibilities and the pecuniary claim of a mission now approaching five hundred in number. There is just one way to avoid being overwhelmed -to bring everything as it arises to our Master ; and He does help, and He does not misunderstand.

Often had the question of funds to be brought to the Lord at this time, for it was one that was causing Mr. Taylor no little exercise of mind. With a rapidly growing and encouraging work a the field, the income received in England had been falling for two or three years. Believing as he did that every gift to the Mission was the outcome of a divinely given impulse, Mr. Taylor could not but search his own life again and again, and prayerfully consider every aspect of the work to see whether there might be anything hindering the blessing of the Lord in this respect. His heart was kept in peace about it and about all the pressure that was upon him, but apart from the daily miracle of sustaining grace it would have been far otherwise.1-{1- " I should feel anxious if the work were my work," he had written to a friend in England (Jan. 1891), " but it is the Lord's work ; and though I do not see my way, the Lord sees His way, and I am thinking of Miss Warner's hymn : 'My heart is resting, 0 my God, I will give thanks and sing,' etc. I never saw my way less, or felt more at rest." And in February, to another correspondent : " I need your prayers for strength and guidance. I should feel very concerned at the present aspect of matters had I not a deep consciousness that God is with us, and that He will care and provide for His own work. Thank God, I never had more deep rest and manifest help than in this hour of need. 'The LORD reigneth,' how can we but rejoice!"}

And there were other trials that led to even deeper exercise of heart and mind. For the relation of the work in China to the Council at home had not yet passed beyond the experimental stage, in which questions were apt to come up that were difficult of settlement. The whole idea of , the Mission in this connection-government on the field rather than from a distance-was so new and contrary to received traditions that it was no wonder it had to win its way gradually, and in face, at times, of criticism and questioning. To Mr. Taylor with his thorough grasp of the problems to be dealt with, nothing could be clearer than that the control of affairs in China must be vested in men of expert knowledge, leaders in whom their fellowmissionaries would have confidence, able to deal with matters effectively on the spot. It was easy to see that in the home centres the Directors and Councils must be free to apply the principles of the Mission to their own problems and decide their own line of action in accordance with them ; but it needed time and experience to make it equally plain that the China administration must be upon the same footing. In principle this had been-conceded from the first ; but it was one thing to have confidence in Mr. Taylor's 'management as long as matters were in his own hands, and quite another to transfer that confidence to the China Council. Yet this was a cardinal point in the organisation he was building up, sometimes amid much of trial and perplexity.

" Mr. Berger is quite right," he wrote to Mr. Stevenson in this connection (May '91), " that the supreme question is that of final headship, and it is equally clear to me that it can only be vested in China ; but great gentleness and patience will be needed to make the reasonableness of this clear to all. It is the Lord's work, and He Who is most deeply interested will help us."

To one of Mr. Taylor's tender, affectionate nature divergence of judgement from those he esteemed highly, and to whom the Mission was indebted for much selfsacrificing service, was peculiarly painful, especially when, as in the present case, it was long continued. But there could be no question of compromise upon so vital an issue.

" We may make mistakes in China," he wrote again to Mr. Theodore Howard (Aug. 28), " and no doubt mistakes have been made in the past ; but evils far more serious would result from abandoning what I am convinced are God-given lines for the C.I.M."

Much as it would have meant to him therefore, amid all the pressure of this period, to have had the full and sympathetic concurrence ultimately secured in these matters, there was nothing for it but to wait upon God and to wait His time. And meanwhile the whole situation was being thought out and prayed over, both in England and China, in a way that could not but strengthen the work in days to come.

" The Lord doubtless has His purpose in permitting it," Mr. Taylor wrote to Mr. Stevenson at the close of the year (Dec. '91), " and to learn any lesson He may have to teach us is more important than getting rid of the trouble."

What could have been more encouraging under the circumstances than just the outpourings of spiritual blessing, both in the spying of the year and at its close, with which the Lord was pleased to cheer His servants in Shanghai ? No one could relieve Mr. Taylor of burdens that pressed the heaviest, but others might be channels of divine grace through which the entire Mission should be refreshed.

Such a channel was Mr. Frost, now paying his first visit to China. Arriving with a party from Toronto in February, he stayed till well on in the summer, making a considerable journey round the nearer stations. A conference of American workers gathered in Shanghai to meet him proved a time of real spiritual help.1-{1- Mr. Southey, who had just arrived from Queensland, and Mr. Taylor also took part in this conference.}

" We would see Jesus," the hymn with which it opened, had to be modified ere the close to a version more in keeping with radiant lives and faces. We have seen Jesus-the great rock foundation, Whereon our feet were set with sovereign grace; Nor life, nor death, with all their agitation, Can thence remove us, as we see His face.

Early in the autumn Mr. Cassels arrived from his far western province to attend the Council Meetings, and the Misses Newcombe of the C.M.S.-soon to lay down their lives for Christ's sake-came up from Foo-chow on a visit. All these brought blessing to the resident staff and the many coming and going in the Mission-house. They spoke much of the life that is " No longer I but Christ " in practical reality, but best of all they lived it. And is there anything else so sure to awaken hunger in other hearts ?

" There is a real spirit of prayer and quickening in the Home here, praise God !" Mrs. Taylor wrote on November 7.

A week later Mr. and Mrs. Orr-Ewing arrived from England, and with them Mr. Walter B. Sloan, whose way had opened, after years of prayer, to join the Mission. Before going on to An-king to commence the study of the language, he gave in a series of Bible Readings some of the deeper things learned in that waiting time. The Word was with power, and many of his hearers could have said with Mr. Macartney of Melbourne:

The peace you enjoy has made me envious : I want to have more of it, and from the same Source. This, I think, I can truly say-the absence of it, or the interruptions of it, make me more uncomfortable and unhappy than ever before. This, too, is a work of the Holy Spirit for which I am thankful ; but I long to pass completely from the reign of ever-recurring conviction to the reign of ever-increasing rest.1-{1-From a letter to Mr.Taylor of a few weeks later, dated December 15, 1891.}

Then a great uplift was given, as the year drew to a close, by the coming of a C.M.S. party with Mr. and Mrs. Heywood Horsburgh from England. These beloved friends had the sorrow of losing a precious child in Shanghai, but from stricken hearts only love and blessing flowed to others. The tide of spiritual life was deepening, and before they left for their new sphere, fifteen hundred miles up the Yangtze, several conversions had taken place in the C.I.M. Hall and on a British man-of-war lying in the river.After that came a wonderful time, in which one and another were brought face to face with a question which revealed the heart's deepest need and opened up a whole world of blessed possibility. One young worker from the interior,. for example, unavoidably detained in Shanghai, was present at these meetings, and stirred with a sense of need and longing as; never before. Four years in China had taught her something of the joy and blessing to be found in deeper fellowship with the Master, but something also of the deadening influences of heathenism, the power of evil within as well as around her, and the blank despair of seeking to help others when her own soul was out of living touch with Christ. How she longed for " the changed life," the life she saw in others, but knew not :how to attain. Praying in anguish no one suspected for light and help, it was the last Sunday before Christmas when a word was spoken that, under God, brought deliverance and made all things new. After the evangelistic service in the C.I.M. Hall, an entire stranger-a Christian seaman--came up to her and said earnestly

" Are you filled with the Holy Ghost ? "Filled with the Holy Ghost ? She remembered no more of the conversation, but that question burned deeper and deeper into her heart. This, then, was the explanation of all the inward failure, the sorrow that seemed unavailing, the purposes that came to nothing. God had made a provision, given a Gift that she had never definitely accepted. She knew that the Holy Spirit must be her life in a certain sense, for " if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." And yet, just as certainly, she knew that she was not " filled with the Spirit, and was experiencing little of His power.

But how afraid she was of being misled, of running into error and mistaking emotion for reality ! The Word of God was full, now she came to study the subject, of the personality and power of the Holy Spirit. The Acts of the Apostles-what was it but the acts of the Holy Ghost, transforming and quickening lives just as she knew she needed to be quickened and transformed ? Oh, yes, why had she never seen it ! It was indeed the Holy Spirit she needed ; , the fulness of the Holy Spirit, to make unseen things real to her and impossible things possible. And there stood out in Gal.3: 13, 14 the words : .

" Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, having been made a curse for us . . . that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

What was she doing with the infinite Gift purchased at such a cost ? She saw that just as Christ is ours by the gift of God, and yet we have each one personally to receive Him, so with the Holy Spirit. She saw that He too was a Person, just as real as the Lord Jesus, and to be just as truly welcomed by faith into the heart that cannot do without Him as a living link with the risen, glorious Lord. All the rest that can be told is that she took the step, though with fear and trembling-scarce knowing what it meantand trusted the Holy Spirit to come in and possess her fully, just as she had trusted the Lord Jesus to be her Saviour. Feeling nothing, realising nothing, she just took God at His word, and then and there asked that the promise might be fulfilled, -" When He is come (to you) He will reprove (or convict) the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement." Her chief sorrow for many months had been that she seemed to have little power for soul-winning, and hardly knew of any who had been brought to Christ through her instrumentality. It was Christmas week, and believing that a real, a definite transaction had taken place alone in that quiet room, she asked in faith that God would give her to see the proof of it in actual conversions every day that week, in connection with meetings that were being held.

And every day that week the prayer was answered. More than twenty people, young and old, sailors, visitors, and residents in Shanghai, it was given her to help to a definite decision for Christ, while the joy and liberty of her own heart were so manifest that others could not but long for and seek the same blessing. All this meant much to Mr. Taylor. No encouragement could ever be, to him, so great as just to see the hand of God working in such ways. Going into the room where a young missionary lay dying one he had been seeking to help-he found the extremity of human weakness overflooded with the glow of a wonderful triumph. Fear and distress were gone.

" She told me about the Holy Spirit," whispered the one who had so dreaded the dark valley, "and it was just what I needed."

,For weeks and even months the blessing continued. Mr. Sloan returned to Shanghai for a second series of meetings ; and in various centres, foreign residents and members of other missions entered into fulness of life in Christ.

God is working in our midst," Mrs. Taylor wrote in April (1892), " emptying and humbling one and another, and filling with the Holy Spirit. We are having frequent meetings full of liberty and power."

On the 16th of that month the Council, which was in session, was suspended, a minute being passed to record that,

Instead of meeting for conference, the China Council united with the members of the Mission in Shanghai in seeking for themselves, the whole Mission in China and the Home Councils, the filling of the Holy Spirit.

In answer to prayer the blessing spread. From distant stations letters that took weeks in coming told of individual missionaries, and whole groups in some cases, transformed by the same renewing power, while from the young men's training home came the tidings that not one of the students remained unblessed.

" Here in Shanghai there have been some very hungry hearts," Mr. Taylor wrote in a circular letter to the members of the Mission, 1-{1 Dated March 29, 1892.}" and praise God He has been fulfilling to them the promise ' He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness' ; with the result that there have been more conversions in connection with our work here, in a few months, than for several years previously-some fifty persons, sailors and residents as well as native servants, having accepted Christ. From other places too we are hearing of quickening and ingathering, which we trust may be as droppings before the showers we need. .

" The supreme want of all missions in the present day is the manifested presence of the Holy Ghost. Hundreds of thousands of tracts and portions of Scripture have been put into circulation ; thousands of Gospel addresses have been given ; tens of thousands of miles have been traversed in missionary journeys but how small has been the issue in the way of definite conversions! We as a mission have much need to humble ourselves before God. There has been a measure of blessing among us and souls have been saved, but where are the ones that chase a thousand, or the two that put ten thousand to flight ? Where are the once-thirsty ones, now filled, from whom flow rivers of living water ? .. .

" Few of us, perhaps, are satisfied with the results of our work, and some may think that if we had more, or more costly machinery we should do better. But oh, I feel that it is divine power we want and not machinery ! If the tens or hundreds we now reach daily are not being won to Christ, where would be the gain in machinery that would enable us to reach double the number ? Should we not do well, rather, to suspend our present operations and give ourselves to humiliation and prayer for nothing less than to be filled with the Spirit, and made channels through which He shall work with resistless power ? .. .

Souls are perishing now for lack of this power. . . . God is blessing now some who are seeking this blessing from Him in faith. All things are ready, if we are ready. Let us ask Him to search us and remove all that hinders His working by us in larger measure. If any of us have been tempted to murmur, to think or speak unkindly of fellow-workers ; if light conversation or jesting `which are not convenient' have been indulged, in ; if .we have allowed less important things to take time and attention that God's direct work should have had if our Bibles or secret prayer have been neglected, let us confess the evil before God and claim His promised forgiveness, carefully avoiding such occasions of weakness for the future. And having sought the removal of all hindrances and yielded ourselves up in fresh consecration, let us accept by faith the filling, and definitely receive the Holy Ghost, to occupy and govern the cleansed temple."

It was cause for great thankfulness to all concerned when, before the close of the year, deliverance was given in the matters of difficulty that had -so long been under consideration. These had necessitated Mr. Taylor's return to England, and when it seemed that unanimity could not be reached by discussion of the problems, the whole time was given at more than one Council Meeting to united waiting upon God. After that the change was very marked. With certain wise concessions on Mr. Taylor's part, liberty for the China administration was fully and finally secured, and early in the new-year (1893) it was evident that this prolonged period of trial was passing away.

Nobly had the home staff borne the strain of continually increasing demands upon them through the enlargement of the work. Arrangements that had been adequate when Mr. Broomhall became General Secretary, and the total membership of the Mission was only about a hundred, had necessarily ceased to be so. With five times that number on the field, the home department needed strengthening, and there seemed a possibility, at last of securing one in every way fitted to relieve the situation. At the sacrifice of a life of direct missionary service, Mr. Walter B. Sloan consented to take up the responsibilities of Secretary in London as junior colleague to Mr. Broomhall. Mr. Marcus Wood also gave up returning to his much-loved work in China, that he might undertake meetings throughout the country, especially with a view to enlisting young men in the cause of foreign missions. Mr. Stevenson having returned to China, Mr. Taylor was able to remain for a time in England, to the encouragement of the Council and staff ; and best of all, the blessing of God was manifest in unmistakable ways.

As , to the financial trial of the period, Mr. Taylor had written before leaving Shanghai:

It has been wonderful and beautiful to see how the Lord has helped us. Timely gifts from members of our own Mission, some of them representing much self-denial, and contributions from foreign residents and visitors have not infrequently in the day answered the prayers for the day, so 'that every need has been met. On one occasion a party preparing to go to a distant station had their packing completed, and the hour for departure was drawing near before the funds came in to take them forward. Repeatedly we have been without any funds for the general requirements of the whole Mission, though for particular objects there have been balances which, of course, could not be touched. Our hearts have been kept in peace, knowing that God's promises cannot fail ; and to the question, " Lacked ye anything ? " we can only reply as did the disciples of old, " Nothing, Lord."

Needless to say, there had been times of straitness in China when special prayer was called forth, times when the members of the Mission had been drawn to one another in quickened love and sympathy, and had learned fresh lessons of the overruling care of God. Such, for example, was the December day in 1891 when two thousand pounds was urgently needed for general purposes, and the cable announcing the month's remittance was due to arrive from England. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were at work in the study as usual, a junior member of the Mission being with them when the telegram was brought in. With a brief pause for silent prayer he opened and read it, read it aloud, forgetful perhaps of the young worker to whom the moment was one of almost breathless suspense.

" A hundred and seventy pounds."

" One thousand seven hundred, perhaps ? " questioned Mrs. Taylor.

"No : a hundred and seventy."

In the silence that followed it seemed to the one who listened as if the heavens had fallen, or a chasm of measureless blackness had opened at her feet. A hundred and seventy pounds, and a pressing need of two thousand ! Nearly five hundred missionaries, and no further cable for a month!

How did he know just what that young heart, was experiencing ? How could he be so at leisure from himself, so sure of God and at rest in Him that his first thought was for the-faith of another ? Turning in his chair, Mr. Taylor held out his hand with fatherly kindness:

" Now you will watch," he said, and there was even a touch of joyous confidence about the words, " You will watch and see what God will do."

A special opportunity for God to work and for faith to triumph-this was the immediate attitude, fully justified by the events that followed. The deficiency was not made up by any outstanding gift on this occasion, but in many directions the hand of God was seen. Larger remittances than usual were received from Australia and other centres, while unexpected help was forthcoming in China, so that by the end of the month an average remittance had been sent to all the stations with more than an average sense of the love and care of Him Who " abideth faithful," Who even when our faith wavers " cannot deny Himself."

Shortly before the settlement of home difficulties, a remarkable instance of the kind occurred in England which brought great joy to all at Pyrland Road. It was the 3rd of October (1892), and Mr. Taylor, returning from an absence in Scotland, found that the remittance for September had not yet been cabled to Shanghai, the Financial Secretary having waited to consult him as to how best to dispose of the small sum in hand. The Council was to meet that evening, and the balance being wholly inadequate, Mr. Taylor suggested, delaying another day before sending the telegram, and setting aside the ordinary business of the Council, that the time might be given to waiting upon God for funds. The September receipts, however, Mr. Fishe reminded him, could not be added to in any case ; so the telegram was sent, and the matter was specially remembered at mid-day when the household gathered for prayer. Late that afternoon a letter was received at Pyrland Road which turned the Council Meeting into one of praise. Not only did it contain a cheque for five hundred pounds ; the cheque was accompanied by an unusual request. It was from a lady and gentleman who felt constrained, they said, to send that sum for immediate transmission to China. It was too late to despatch an additional cable that day, but early the following morning the good news was telegraphed on, reaching Shanghai, as it proved, at a critical moment.

The autumn meetings of the China Council were in progress, and very encouraging it was to find, when the minutes came to hand by mail, how faith had been strengthened and rewarded. On receiving the first small remittance, special thanksgiving had been made for past deliverances, and the matter very definitely committed to the Lord and left in His hands-it being noted that only about one-fifth of the requirements of the month had been met. Twentyfour hours later, as the Council reassembled, the second wire was received, and Mr. Stevenson was able to tell of a like sum of five hundred pounds which had reached him from another quarter. With glad and grateful hearts it was recorded that " the members of the Council rose and reverently sang the Doxology."

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