CHAPTER 36--THE FORWARD MOVEMENT--1893-1894. AET. 61-62.

NEVER since that October day in 1889, when the thoughts had come to Mr. Taylor that found expression in his pamphlet To Every Creature, had the subject been absent from his heart. Despite the many grave difficulties that had attended missionary work in China since then, as though the appeal of the Shanghai Conference for a thousand missionaries had aroused all the opposition of the powers of evil, he was assured that the purpose was of God, and 'had lost none of his first sense of responsibility to do all that in him lay to carry it into effect. Travelling, thinking, speaking, planning new premises to replace the long inadequate quarters at Pyrland Road, encouraging his fellow-workers by visits to the Continent and to Scotland, where the Glasgow Council was growing in helpfulness, he quietly kept in view the large reinforcements that would be needed if " every creature " in China were to hear the Gospel.

With a diminishing income in England and responsibilities already heavy in China, it might have seemed anything but a time for fresh advance. But the heart of the Mission was glowing with fresh blessing, so that there could not but be fresh and fuller response to all the known will of God. Just before the annual meetings of this year (1893) four days were given to a gathering of C.I.M. workers at Pyrland Road for Bible study and prayer. For spiritual power both these meetings and the anniversary services were very marked, and Mr. Taylor's attitude toward the financial problem was more than ever one of confident faith.

" I have often felt glad," he said in the evening meeting, " that I was a poor man ; that I had no 'money and could never promise anything to anybody ; but that I had a rich heavenly Father, and could promise them all that He would not forget them. And since I have been a father myself I have often thought of something more-that He could not forget them.

" There are now labouring with us, largely in the interior of China, five hundred and fifty-two Christian workers who have gone out, a large proportion of them, with no means of their own and with no guarantee of support from man, but every one of them with the guaranteed supply of every need : ` My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' They have put it to the test ; and that our God does at all times fulfil this gracious promise is no small cause of encouragement.

" The living God still lives, and the living Word is a living Word, and we may depend upon it ; we may hang upon any Word God ever spoke or ever caused by His Holy Spirit to be written. Forty years ago I believed in the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures. I have proved them for forty years, and my belief is stronger now than it was then. I have put the promises to the test ; I have been compelled to do so, and have found them true and trustworthy."

In this spirit Mr. Taylor did not wait for the rise in income, which came with the latter half of the year, before taking steps in the direction of advance.

" Pray much for guidance for us," he wrote to Mr. Stevenson in November. "" I do not think we are ready to appeal for a hundred men just yet, but we may be six months hence."

And a few weeks later:

"We are encouraged as to our Forward Movement. Yesterday either a promise or a sum of one thousand six hundred pounds was sent us towards it. God always prospers us when we go forward, does He not ? "

It was little wonder that Mr. Taylor felt the time had come for advance. With the enlarged staff at Pyrland Road, much in the way of development seemed possible. A visit to Germany in April and another in August had convinced him that many valuable workers for China might be added to those who had already gone out from Barmen as associates of the Mission.1-{1- At Barmen Mr. Taylor had the pleasure of seeing Messrs. Paas and Polnick in the midst of the encouraging work of which he had heard on their visit to Pyrland Road in February. At Frankfort-on-Main he was impressed with the Student Conference in which he took part, and with the earnest, aggressive efforts of Pastor Bernus, whose guest he was ; and at Heidelberg he was much attracted to a young minister in whose church he held two meetings-the Rev. H. Coerper, whose interest in China and love for himself personally were to bear rich fruit in days to come.}He saw his way to organise, as he wrote to Mr. Stevenson, a thorough campaign throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, specially with a view to calling forth young men for missionary service. The newly published Story of the C.I.M. was being widely read ; funds were encouraging, no less than ten thousand pounds having been received in little over a month for new undertakings ; and with the exception of a brief visit to America for the second Student Volunteer Conference, Mr. Taylor was looking forward to a steady spell of work at home such as he had not had since the days of the Hundred.

And just then, strange to say, a little cloud no bigger than a man's hand warned him that he was needed in China. It concerned the welfare and usefulness of one or more valued members of the Mission ; and Mr. Taylor's warm love for them personally, as well as his sense of responsibility for the work, decided him to go on from America to Shanghai to deal with the matter. While regretting the break in his programme at home, it seemed that only a brief absence would be necessary, and he allowed his name to stand as one of the speakers at Keswick for the following summer .2-{2 Mr. and Mrs. Hudson Taylor sailed for New York on February 14, 1894, accompanied by Miss Geraldine Guinness, whose marriage to Dr. Howard Taylor took place on their arrival in Shanghai.}

The Student Conference at Detroit was memorable, when John R. Mott, Robert E. Speer, and other leaders fresh from college gave evidence of the gifts which have since been so remarkably developed in world-wide work for God.

" Our chief and only burden," Mr. Mott had written to Mr.Taylor, in urging him to come over, " is that it may be a markedly spiritual convention. God has been with you in other gatherings, as well as in your regular work, and we have faith to believe that you would be a channel of great spiritual blessing in this continent and through it to the world, if you are at Detroit... . Have we not a right to expect that God will do mighty things during these days, if we comply with His conditions ? "

And He did do mighty things, through various instrumentalities. Never to be, forgotten was one early morning hour when the great hall was filled with students only, who had come together because they were hungry for definite, abiding blessing. The message was the same that had brought help to many in Shanghai two years previously ; and as then, heart after heart discovered God's provision to meet all depths of failure and need. Years of devoted service on many a mission-field were to bear witness to the spiritual transactions of that hour.

A few weeks later, the matter having been prospered that had brought Mr.Taylor to Shanghai, he was about to leave again for home, eager to help in calling out- men for the Forward Movement, when all unexpectedly he found himself claimed in quite another direction. Far away in the north of China complications had arisen which threatened the recall of all Scandinavian missionaries to the coast. A little band, unconnected with the C.I.M., had recently commenced work in a devoted spirit, but on lines so foreign to native ideas of propriety that grave and growing danger was the result. The workers themselves were too inexperienced to realise the state of affairs, but passing travellers had carried the tidings to Peking and the Swedish Foreign Office was on the point of taking action. Of this, warning was received by Mr. Taylor, and though he had nothing to do with the missionaries in question he could not but see how seriously the Scandinavian associates of the C.I.M. might be affected. To those who knew of the situation it seemed providential that the Director of the Mission was in China, as no one could have greater influence in the matter, or be more likely to command the confidence of the authorities in Peking.

But how, even if he gave up his return to England, could he reach those far-off stations in time to be of use save by travelling through the entire summer ? It was already the end of April. In a few weeks the hot season would begin, and the journey was one that involved three or four months of overland travel. Little wonder Dr. Howard Taylor felt concerned, medically, when on returning to Shanghai from his wedding trip he found his parents gone and already on their way to the interior. Permission was obtained from Mr. Stevenson to follow them, and at Hankow the bride and bridegroom overtook the beloved travellers, who were preparing to set out by wheelbarrow to cross the mountains into Ho-nan. Railways there were none at that time in the inland provinces, and after the barrow stage must come even rougher travelling on springless northern carts. Exposure to the burning sun and tropical rains of midsummer were serious indeed, not to speak of the difficulty of obtaining food when villages are deserted during the harvest season.

" It may cost your life, dear father," pleaded his children, hoping that some other way might be devised of meeting the situation.

" Yes," was the reply, so gently made that it seemed no reproof, " and let us not forget-' We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.' "

After this there was nothing more to be said, but they obtained permission to accompany him. An experienced escort had been provided in Mr. J. J. Coulthard, Mr. Taylor's son-in-law, whose wife and children had just sailed for England, and with Mrs. Hudson Taylor, who was not to be left behind, the family party numbered five.

It was May when they left Hankow, and September when they emerged again from the interior at the northern port of Tien-tsin. Five provinces had been traversed in whole or part, and all the mission-stations visited along their route. Warm, indeed, was the welcome received at these few and far-separated centres : for the rest, excepting Sundays, it was fourteen hours daily on the road-from dawn to dusk, all through the blazing heat-everywhere meeting crowds of accessible, friendly people, amongst whom no witness for Christ was to be found. " Over and over again the travellers' hearts were saddened at having to leave groups of interested hearers who begged them to stay longer or promise to return and teach them more. The family relationships proved a source of endless interest. It was all so natural from the Chinese point of view, especially the daughter-in-law! and everywhere people met them with a smile.

" Perhaps that is because we smile at them," said the bridegroom, who also had noticed the fact.

And certainly there was sunshine in the hearts and on the faces of the little party, despite the heat and dust, the weariness by day and broken rest at night, in inns compared with which a clean cow-shed at home would be luxury.

And what shall be said of the wheelbarrows-those characteristic Ho-nan conveyances, whose chief recommendation from the point of view of a wedding journey is that they are designed to carry two victims rather than one. Primitive springless constructions, they consist of a strong wooden frame with one large wheel in the middle, and handles both back and front. On either side of the wheel the passengers sit, facing backwards, and the whole is covered by a hood of bamboo matting. Food baskets and light baggage may be piled up in front, while inside the travellers' bedding is spread out, to save those poor unfortunates from being shaken and battered beyond possibility of endurance.

" As soon as we were in," wrote the youngest of the party, "one powerful young barrowman slipped the broad canvas strap across his shoulders, lifted and balanced the barrow-throwing us backward at a sharp incline-and called to the other man in front to start away. With a creak, a jolt, and a long, strong pull, the cumbrous machine moved slowly forward. The dust began to rise around us from the feet of the men and the wheel track in the sandy road. With a gasp we clung, as for dear life, to the framework of the barrow, jumbling heavily over ruts and stones. Dry and oil-less, the slowly revolving wheel set up a discordant wail ; large beads of perspiration stood out upon the forehead of the man scarcely a yard away from us, bending so determinedly to his task ; the friendly crowds disappeared in the distance, and our journey was begun."

Ten days of such travelling brought the party to Mr. Coulthard's station, the great, busy mart of Chow-kia-kow. Here the church members, seventy in number, were on the tiptoe of expectation. Mr. and Mrs. Shearer and their fellow-workers received the dusty pilgrims with loving hospitality, and late though it was, cards and letters of welcome poured in. The next day was Sunday, and at an early hour guest-halls began to fill with visitors. Among them came dear old Mr. Ch'en-dignified, keen, and irreproachably dressed in his pale silk gown, but moved to the heart at the prospect of meeting Mr. Taylor. As the latter left his room to go to breakfast, Mr. Ch'en stood in the courtyard to greet him, and very touching it was to see the bowings and interchange of courtesies, and the unaffected love and reverence with which the ex Mandarin said, again and again : .

" But for you, Venerable Sir, we should never have known the love of Jesus."

A letter beautifully penned on a large sheet of red paper further expressed his feelings.

I bathe my hands and reverently greet The Venerable Mr. Taylor, who from the beginning raised up the C.I.M. with its worthy leaders, elders, and pastors.

You, Sir, constantly travelling between China and the foreign lands, have suffered much weariness and many labours. .. . And in our midst you have shown forth the seals of your apostleship--2 Cor. 12:11 (last clause) and 12 (first and second clauses). It is the glorious, redeeming grace of the Saviour that has blessed us, but it has been, Sir, through your coming amongst us and leading us in the true way ; otherwise we had not been able to find the gate whereby to enter the right path... .

God grant you, our aged Teacher, to be spared to await the coming of our Lord, when Jesus Christ shall become King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 18: 14). We are assured, Sir, that you will certainly hold high office in the Millennial Kingdom, and reign with Jesus Christ a thousand years ; also that at the close of the Millennium you will closely follow Jesus when He ascends up to heaven.

Among our own household, and indeed throughout the little church in and around Chow-kia-kow, there is no one who does not esteem you highly.

Respectfully wishing peace,

The very unworthy member,

CH'EN named PEARLY WAVE.

I bow my head, and respectfully salute.

A feast for the whole household in handsome native style was sent round the following day, Mr. Ch'en feeling " unworthy " to invite the Venerable Chief Pastor to his " mean abode." The cooking he had himself superintended -" six basins of the largest size, containing prepared meats such as are used in ancestral worship." On hearing that Mr. Taylor had to avoid pepper, he prepared with his own hands special provisions for the road, which arrived with the following characteristic note

Honourable and Most Reverend Mr. Taylor: Ch'en of the Pearly Wave bows his head.

I write this respectfully to present to you some travellers' provisions-minced meat boiled in oil, spiced apricot kernels, and pickled water-melon. Be pleased graciously to receive these at my hands. Of the spiced meats, one kind without cayenne pepper is for the special use of the aged Teacher, the other with capsicum is for the consumption of Mr. Coulthard and your second princely son. I write this note on purpose to wish you peace.-1st day of the Midsummer moon.

The poorer Christians also could not do enough to express love and gratitude. A little collection made among themselves was expended on cakes and sweetmeats with much ornamental red paper ; and a few days later one dear old coolie came to the missionary-in-charge with a matter that was causing him exercise of mind. The travellers had passed on their way by that time, but he was following them daily in prayer.

" I have been thinking about the Venerable Chief Pastor," he said. " His life is so precious! but he is far from strong. I am not old yet ; I might live another ten or twenty years

But Mr. Taylor Teaches, I want you to know : if I should die suddenly, it is because I have offered the remaining years of my life that they may be added to his life. It is not to be spoken about. It is just my heart's desire before the Lord." 1-{This faithful friend, Dr. Howard Taylor's special coolie, was subsequently a great help in opening two new cities in Ho-nan to the Gospel -Chen-chow-fu and Tai-kang. His years were not shortened in the way he anticipated. for he outlived Mr. Hudson Taylor.}

Doubtless the prayers of these dear Christians had much to do with the safety of the travellers, and the way in which Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were enabled to endure exposure and weariness, especially through the long weeks of the cart journey. For neither of them were accustomed to this strenuous form of exercise, and Mr. Taylor, having a sensitive back from concussion of the spine, found it decidedly trying. And then the heat ! So terrific was it that the rainy season, though it turned the roads into quagmires, was almost a relief. But that again brought its dangers, for , rivers fed by mountain streams rose rapidly, and the fords were soon merged in swirling torrents. Yet it was urgent to press on, and the inns in which other travellers were likewise detained were of the most wretched description. After three days, therefore, in one place in which, despite the rain, Mr. Taylor preferred his cart to the evil-smelling rooms that offered the only alternative, it seemed desirable to set out as soon as the river began to fall.

The carters reached the ford and were about to cross, when, to their surprise and indignation, another driver came down the bank and plunged in before them. This was an unheard-of insult, for every carter knows that he must jog along for hours behind respectable fellow-travellers rather than pass them, unless invited to do so. Their rage, however, was appeased by the suggestion that after all it was just as well, as now they would see what sort of crossing the others would make. All went prosperously awhile. The mules waded out deeper and deeper, but managed to keep their footing, until in the middle of the stream they paused on a sandbank to rest. Then came intense excitement as they were seen to go down into the main body of the stream. Higher and higher rose the water, until it crept into the cart. Jumping and yelling wildly, the men on the bank cried out

" Puh-chong, puh-chong ! It's all up ! It's all up ! " And sure enough, the current had caught the vehicle. Over and over it turned, the mules disappearing from sight-first `wheels uppermost, then again the battered covering-until there seemed no hope for those within. Had it been Mr. Taylor's party, little doubt lives would have been sacrificed, but the far tougher Chinese somehow survived and were dragged out at a bend in the river where the cart stranded on the opposite bank. Needless to say, our travellers did not attempt that ford. Taking a circuitous route they reached a ferry, by means of which carts and mules were carried safely across.

Much more might be told of the experiences of that journey ; of its answers to prayer in deliverances from danger, in blessing at the stations, in the sparing of Mr. Taylor's life when stricken down with overpowering heat ; of Mrs. Taylor's brave endurance and beautiful example ; of the attainment of the object in view, and the final visit to Peking to communicate results to the British Minister. But of even more interest to Mr. Taylor were the signs of progress on the vast and populous Si-an plain, as well as in other regions, in the work nearest of all to his heart. When he had crossed the plain with Mr. Beauchamp, eight years previously, travelling from Pastor Hsi's district to Han-chung, no light-centres had broken the darkness all around them for hundreds of miles. Now, station after station had been opened, and in the capital-long one of the most anti-foreign cities in China-the Scandinavian workers were gathered whom he had come so far to meet.

It was a wonderful change, all due under God to the devoted lives of a little group of pioneers, long homeless, scorned, and persecuted, for Christ's sake and the Gospel's. When Thomas Botham first went over from Han-chung, things were so hard that even he was discouraged. Yet he could not give up the task to which he felt himself called.

" I am willing to walk in the dark with God" he said to his Superintendent, himself one of the first pioneers in the province. " In the dark with God," replied Mr. Easton ; "why, dear Brother, in Him, with Him is 'no. darkness at all.' "

It was a good word with which to begin work on the Si-an plain, and much he and his companions had need of it! Joined by Mr. Redfern and a few months later by Mr. Bland, the young men naturally took it for granted that they must obtain a settled dwelling. Not so, however, the people of the plain. No one would rent them a house, and every effort in that direction aroused intense opposition. At last it came to them-" the command is 'Preach the Gospel.' Let us go everywhere and do that, and leave the rest with God. If He wants us to have a house He will give it, and give it in such a way as not to hinder His work."

Twenty; two governing cities, sixty market towns and innumerable villages formed their parish-a district extending over twelve thousand square miles, in which they were the only missionaries-and from end to end of it they were met with little but opposition. All they could do was to move from place to place, staying as long as possible in any inn willing to receive them, preaching on the streets, and seeking by Christlike humility and love to recommend the Gospel. It was work that told, and they were willing for the cost.

When Mr. Botham married, his bride had already been two years in China and was herself a missionary. Rejoicing to " suffer hardship with the Gospel," she determined to make the most of their splendid opportunity, and so much sunshine did she bring into that toilsome life that her husband was able to write

I never feel so happy as when with all my worldly goods on one donkey, and my wife on another, I set out to carry the Gospel to some new place on the Si-an plain.

So liable were they to riots and disturbances that the little company had to divide, and scarcely ever dared to be more than two in a city at the same time. Even in the place where they were most at home, they might have been " foreign devils " indeed, to judge by the treatment accorded them in the streets, and the city gates were placarded with posters accusing them of atrocious crimes. For months they were troubled that they felt these things so keenly, until the passage came home to them, " Reproach hath broken my heart " (Ps. 69: 20). Then it was all fellowship, deeper fellowship with the suffering Saviour-how it lighted their most humbling and painful experiences with joy !

Meeting Mr. Bland returning from a city in which they knew he must have had a hard time, they inquired what he had been able to do on this visit.

" I was able to praise the Lord," was the brave answer. And together they rejoiced in this victory of faith.

But their wanderings were not aimless. They were literally carrying out the Master's word, " When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another " ; but they took good care, as Mr. Botham put it, to " flee in a circle," so that coming back from time to time to the same places, the people became used to seeing them.

" Home still means an inn," he wrote months after their marriage, " I might almost say any inn, we are so accustomed to travelling."

And the great advantage was that the love and purity, the sweetness and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in those lives " could not be hid," just because they were lived so openly among the people.

" And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me," how true it was in their experience! Two or three years sufficed to bring the change. Wonderful things were happening that we must not dwell on now, and returning from a journey on which they had met with attention and sympathy-crowds of listeners following them in nearly every place, and people actually bringing out chairs and tea into the streets-the new note of their thanksgiving was, " The darkness is passing away."

To this district the .leaders of the Scandinavian Fifty had been sent, and arriving just as these devoted lives were beginning to bear fruit, they were ready to take advantage of the changed conditions. Station after station was opened with little difficulty, and the new workers, being men of faith and prayer, were enabled to hold their own even in the capital itself. Many a missionary had sought to obtain a footing in that important city, but it was reserved for Holman and his guitar to win the day. Surrounded by a crowd bent on mischief that had invaded his premises, he pleasantly asked the people if they would like to hear him sing. Taken by surprise they listened, as with musical voice and instrument he poured forth Swedish melodies. He was so quiet and friendly that they began to feel ashamed ; and finally, as he went on singing -crying to God in his heart for deliverance-the crowd gradually melted away.

It was to the city thus opened Mr. Taylor's party was drawing near. Ten miles away it was plainly visible, the turreted wall, gates, and towers standing out against the sunset sky. At the cross-roads two men in Chinese dress with big straw hats were waiting, who turned out to be Mr. Easton and Mr. Hendrikson. Charged with letters and the warmest of welcomes, they had come to escort the visitors, some into the city and some to the ladies' house in the west suburb. Riding before the carts in the gathering dusk, they led the way through little-frequented streets, and oh, the joy of that arrival without observation! Seventeen days of heat and weariness since leaving the last mission station had prepared the travellers to appreciate the comfort of those Christian homes far in the heart of China ; and, luxury of luxuries, they found in each house a well-plenty of clean, cool water at their very doors!

The helpful meetings of the conference can only be mentioned in passing, and the notable answer to prayer when Mrs. Botham's life was despaired of, four days' journey away, and after seventy-two hours of restlessness and fever she passed into a healing sleep the very evening special prayer was being made for her at Si-an. Although on account of this illness Mr. Botham could not be present, the Superintendent of the province was there with Mr. Bland, and definite arrangements were entered into with regard to the Swedish associates. A district, including the capital and extending north-west into the province of Kan-su, was set apart for them under the general supervision of Mr. Botham, one of their own leaders being appointed missionary-in-charge. It was a great joy to Mr. Taylor to see how those in Si-an-fu had grown and developed during the short time,, little more than three years, that they had been in China, and to find that though he had to suggest restrictions that might have seemed irksome, the ties were but drawn the closer that united the Scandinavian Alliance workers with the C.I.M.

Very real was the consciousness of that love and unity as he spoke to them around the Table of the Lord in the last meeting of the conference. Dwelling on the secret of a fully satisfied life-the heart that knows what it is to drink of the Living Water-Mr. Taylor referred to the delight of a well in those days of midsummer heat.

" After our long thirsty journey," he said, sitting in the midst of those young workers, " what refreshment-we have found in the cool, delicious water springing up in your own dwellings, always within reach! We have never thirsted since coming to Si-an. And the Lord Jesus gives me a well, a spring of living water deep down in my own heart-His presence there at all times. What do we do with our wells ? We go to them and draw. Drinking, we do not thirst. So, having Jesus, drinking of the spring He gives, we need never thirst again.

, " Oh, it is so blessed to learn that His promise is strictly true. I that 'shall' means shall, ' never ' means never, and ' thirst ' means thirst : ' shall never thirst '-no, not at any time! And it is to be a well springing up, overflowing in a constant stream of blessing. Yes, it is for me, weak and old and good-for-nothing as I am ; and it is for you, young, strong, and able. 'From him shall flow rivers of living water.' God grant you to find, as you travel over this wide plain, the truth of that word, 'Everything shall live whither the river cometh.' " '

Name of Jesus-living tide.!

Days of drought for me are past.

How much more than satisfied

Are the thirsty lips at last.

Reluctantly we must pass over the rest of the journey' scarcely touching upon Mr. Taylor's visits in the neighbouring province of Shan-si to districts he already knew to some extent. Mr. Folke and his fellow-workers of the Swedish Mission in China had occupied one important region previously without any witness for Christ, and very delightful it was to meet in the important city of Yun-cheng a circle whose home-friends and churches had received Mr. Taylor with so much cordiality in Sweden. Beyond this point the travelling was by moonlight, to escape the intense heat (120 in the carts) which had almost cost Mr. Taylor's life in coming from Si-an. Setting out toward evening, it was a comfort to feel that before the sun rose again a good stags would have been accomplished, though dangerous characters other than wolves were to be met with in the mountains or in the shelter afforded by tallgrowing crops. Stopped one night in the shadow of an arch or shrine, they found that two men had accosted the foremost cart.

Do you carry foreign travellers ? " was the question which startled them.

A moment later, however, the situation was explained by the inquiry in a cultured English voice, " Is this Mr. Taylor's party ? "

Pastor Hsi and Mr. Hoste! Miles had they walked out together to meet the expected visitors, and warm indeed was the welcome with which they received Mr. Taylor once again, just where Mr. Hosts had parted from him sight years previously.

It was a week later when, the Ping-yang-fu Conference being over, Mr. Taylor was free to accept Pastor Hsi's hospitality and spend a day or two in his home. Having been there before, what was his surprise on arrival to be driven in through courtyard after courtyard, past house and farm buildings, till an open space was reached that looked like a threshing-floor. There stood an ample table covered with a clean white cloth and other preparations for a " foreign " meal. Overhead a brown awning, supported on a dozen or more wooden masts, formed a sheltering roof, and in the background a building (could it be a barn ?) stood with open doors. To this Mr. and Mrs. Taylor were led-and lo, a royal pavilion, a whole suite of apartments, beautifully arranged, clean, cool, and ready for use !

With growing astonishment they explored its resources, touched by evidences of loving thoughtfulness on every hand. The central dining-room gave access to a large sleeping apartment on one side, and to a couple of smaller chambers on the other. All were comfortably furnished and most inviting. Lamps were ready on the tables, fresh straw mats completely covered the floors, new bamboo curtains as well as coloured hangings protected doors and windows, new white felt rugs were laid over fine white matting on each of the beds. The tables were spread with red covers, and neatly laid in the centre of each was a square of green oil-silk, beautifully rich in colour. Brass basins, shining like mirrors, were placed upon' little stands ready for use, with clean white towels and new cakes of the best Pears' soap ! The whole place, in a word, was so clan and attractive, so polished and radiant, that they could hardly believe their eyes.

And there stood dear Pastor and Mrs. Hsi eager to see if they were pleased, but disclaiming gratitude or remonstrance.

" It is nothing. It is altogether unworthy. Gladly would we have arranged far better for our Venerable Chief Pastor and his family."

Nothing could exceed the love and joy of that welcome, in which the. whole household took part. Pastor Hsi himself brought hot water for washing, and kept the cups filled with tea. He hastened the mid-day meal, covering the table with good things, and insisted on waiting in person, lest his helpers should not be quick enough to anticipate every wish. Very touching it was to see his eyes fill with tears, as Mr. Taylor tried to thank him again and again, and to hear him say

" What, sir, have you suffered and endured that we might have the Gospel ! This is my joy and privilege. How could I do less?" 1-{1- The beautiful suite of rooms was as new to Mr. Hoste as it was to the travellers, and later on he let out the secret of the transformation scene. The building really was a barn, consisting of nothing but a roof and three bare walls. The new front and windows, partitions, plastering, white washing, and hangings had been put in expressly for their use, and the furniture carried from Pastor Hsi's own rooms across several courtyards. And all this for a visit of a day or two!}

Gladly would we linger over changes that told of progress in the work, and all the development in spiritual things that Mr. Taylor rejoiced to witness. For harvest days had come in Southern Shan-si, of which he had seen the promise, and in spite of many problems the outlook was full of encouragement. Far away from the Western Chang Village events were transpiring, however, that were to have an important bearing on Mr. Taylor's movements. Hastening to complete the matter he had in hand, the leader of the Mission was anticipating a speedy return to England to take up the Forward Movement he had reluctantly left in February. But there is an unseen Leader Whose great ends are served by all happenings and in ways we should least devise. The very day Mr. Taylor spent in the delightful hospitality of Pastor Hsi's home (July 25) witnessed the outbreak of war between China and Japan, and by the time he reached Shanghai it was evident that he could not absent himself from the scene of danger. Things were going badly for the Chinese, and there was no knowing when or how baffled rage against the enemy might react upon other "foreigners". All though of leaving for England had to be abandoned, and the visit to China that had already lengthened out from weeks to months was prolonged indefinitely.

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