DR. ROBERT HARDEY of 13 Charlotte Street was widely esteemed in the city of Hull as a reliable medical man and a consistent Christian. He was very busy, having in addition to a large, general practice the surgical oversight of a number of factories and a lectureship in the School of Medicine. Tall and vigorous in appearance he was unusually gentle and full of fun, and was beloved by little children and the poor who crowded his dispensary no less than by wealthy patients in their beautiful homes. His humour seems to have been irresistible, and in spite of themselves those under his care had to look on the bright side of things. Often indeed he made people laugh so much that they were cured of their ailments without recourse to medicine at all. And better still, in troubles medicine could not touch, he knew how to bring help and healing to the soul.

His home of which Hudson Taylor was now an inmate was the city doctor's house of the old-fashioned type. The broad thoroughfare, like Harley Street in London, was a centre for the profession in those days and quite aristocratic. Number 13 stood on the sunny side and was specially attractive for the Virginia creeper that framed the windows in a wealth of green. To the right of the hall as one entered was the consulting-room, beyond which the dining-room overlooked a narrow strip of garden with the dispensary at its farther end. This garden, much traversed by the doctor and his assistant, consisted mainly of a lawn, on one side of which a pathway overarched with roses led to what had been the stables but was now an out-patient department, conveniently accessible from a back street.

Here then in what was called the Surgery Hudson Taylor found himself at home. Mrs. Hardey's supervision had not extended apparently to this branch of the establishment, but the new assistant was equal to the occasion and soon had everything in apple-pie order, after the fashion to which he had been accustomed at home. His knowledge of book-keeping also proved of value to Dr. Hardey, who had much work of that sort on hand and was glad to leave it to so competent a helper. Thus the doctor's relations with the Barnsley lad soon came to be of a cordial character. He was so bright and eager to learn, so willing and goodtempered, that to work with him was a pleasure, and before long the busy doctor found that it was a help to pray with him too. Many were the quiet times, after that, from which the older man came away refreshed and strengthened. Needless to say there was no familiarity or presuming on these relations. The young assistant respected himself and his employer far too much for that. He did his work faithfully, as in the sight of God, and Dr. Hardey showed his appreciation by giving him opportunities for study and by directing his reading as much as possible.

But there were drawbacks to the life at Charlotte Street, of which Hudson Taylor himself was largely unconscious. For one thing it was too comfortable, too easy-going in certain ways, and failed on that account to afford some elements needed in a missionary's training. Quite in another part of Hull amid very different surroundings was a little " prophet's chamber," bare in its furnishings and affording neither companionship nor luxury, where a stronger if a sterner life could be lived, apart with God. Moses at the backside of the wilderness, Joseph in Pharaoh's prison, Paul in the silence of the Arabian desert lived that sort of life, and came out to do great things for men in the power of God. That was the life Hudson Taylor needed and to which he was being led. He did not choose it for himself, at any rate not at first or consciously. The Lord chose it for him, and so ordered circumstances that he was brought to see and to embrace it, finding in self-denial and the daily cross a fellowship with his Master nothing else can yield.

So there came a day, providentially, when the young assistant could no longer be domiciled at Dr. Hardey's. His room was needed for a member of the family, and as the Surgery was not provided with sleeping accommodation he had to seek quarters elsewhere. But it was too much, perhaps, of a transition to that other, better life which awaited him, without some intermediate experience, and for the time being Hudson Taylor found himself welcomed by his aunt, Mrs. Richard Hardey, into her pleasant home.

This was in some ways more congenial than the first arrangement, and quite as convenient for his daily work. The Richard Hardeys lived on Kingston Square, opposite the Medical School at which Hudson was attending, lectures and within two minutes of the Surgery. They were not wealthy people, indeed Mrs. Hardey's skilful brush supplied the larger part of their income. But they were generous and warm-hearted, and having no children of their own were glad to entertain a sister's son. Mrs. Hardey inherited the family gift for portrait-painting, and her attractive personality in addition to her husband's genial spirit gathered about them a large circle of friends. All this Hudson enjoyed to the full, especially when his sister came over from Barton to spend a Sunday with them.

But though happy in outward circumstances he was anything but free from anxiety and unrest. Life was opening before him, and away from the scenes of childhood, dependent for the first time upon his own earnings, he was feeling the seriousness of his position as never before. He had taken as he thought a step toward China, and yet his hope of getting there, his ideal of a life devoted to its evangelisation seemed more and more remote as time went on. He had come to Hull eager to fit himself for medical work, but his busy days with Dr. Hardey left little time for study, while they showed him with increasing clearness how far he was from the end in view. Though he said little about it, the call of God was as a fire burning within him. The thought of perishing souls in China was ever present. Day and night he pondered the problem of how to prepare for and enter upon his life-work. To his youth and inexperience no answer seemed forthcoming ; yet how hard it was to wait in patience, to wait for God alone. In the main he did, as before leaving Barnsley, rest in the Lord and count upon His working. Yet the quiet Surgery witnessed many an hour of anxious thought as well as many an hour of prayer, and all through that summer and autumn there was a good deal of unnecessary exercise of heart.

Perhaps also there was another reason for those months of trouble and unrest, just as another fire was consuming within him not a little spiritual strength. For he was out of harmony with God in the matter of his deepest affections, that inner citadel of being so often the last stronghold yielded to His control. Unconsciously it may be he was holding something back-something, the best thing in his manhood not recognising that in that realm also " every: thought" must be brought into subjection to " the obedience of Christ." He was giving far too much of himself to the one who had come as a bright, beautiful vision into his life a year and a half before. It was one thing, he discovered, to think of her in Barnsley out of reach, and quite another in Hull, where any day they might meet. His love was growing too strong for him, quickened by hopeful indications of its being returned on her part.

And yet he had begun to feel instinctively that her life was not fully yielded to God. Though there was -no engagement between them they understood one another without words, and he could not but be conscious that her influence was all against a future she was unwilling to face.

" Must you go to China ? " she questioned at times, her tone clearly implying, " How much nicer it would be to stay and serve the Lord at home ! "

Fervently he prayed that she might come to feel as he did ; for nothing, not even the loss of her love, could alter his call from God. But how could he go forward at such a cost ? How face the anguish of losing her just when it seemed she might be won ? Oh the struggle of those autumn days when he could no longer escape the fear that their paths must lie apart ! Older people may pass on, perhaps, with little perception of what such a situation means ; but young hearts understand, and there is one infinite Heart that is always young, always touched with the feeling of our griefs. That Friend did not fail Hudson Taylor.

And so it came to pass that helpful experiences found their way into his life at this time. He was strengthened by association with fellow believers who were able to lead him into a deeper knowledge of God ; he was encouraged in work for others, simple efforts to help the poor and suffering and to win the most degraded to a new life in Christ ; and the way opened, strange to say, for a visit to London, just when the first International Exhibition was attracting thousands to the far-famed Crystal Palace : all providential happenings, no doubt, in view of the trial through which he had yet to pass.

It was no small mercy, for example, that led him during this sojourn in Hull into fellowship with a company of Christians exceptionally fitted to meet his need. Shortly before leaving home he had for conscientious reasons resigned his connection with the denomination in which he had been brought up. During the progress of a widespread Reform Movement he and his parents had felt obliged to side with the minority, at no little sacrifice of personal interests. This had led Hudson to the study of Church history and government, and opened his eyes to the limitations of all human systems, even the best. He had followed his parents in joining " the Reformers," afterwards known as the Methodist Free Church, but personally had begun to feel himself something more than a Wesleyan, bound by more important ties to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. While still in Barnsley he had enjoyed the meetings of the so-called Plymouth Brethren, ministered to by Mr. William Neatby, and now in Hull was glad to renew associations that had already proved helpful.

The Hull Meeting at that time was a strong, united body, profiting greatly from the ministry of Mr. Jukes, a man of culture and spiritual illumination. {1- The Rev. Andrew jukes, previously a clergyman of the Church of England, did not hold in those days, or at any rate did not teach, the views with which his name was afterwards connected.} Their quiet gatherings on Sunday morning were specially suited to help young Hudson Taylor. He was hungry for the Word of God, and their preaching was for the most part a thoughtful exposition of its truths. He needed a fresh vision of eternal things, and the presence of Christ was often so real on these occasions that it was like heaven on earth to be among them. He was facing a difficult future, and they set before him an example of faith in temporal as well as spiritual things that surpassed his utmost thought. For this meeting was in close touch with George Muller of Bristol, whose work was even then assuming remarkable proportions. He had already hundreds of orphan children under his care, and was looking to the Lord for means to support a thousand. But this did not exhaust his sympathies. With a deep conviction that these are the days in which the Gospel must be preached "for a witness unto all nations," he sustained in whole or part many missionaries, and was engaged in circulating the Scriptures far and wide in Roman Catholic as well as heathen lands. All this extensive work, carried on by a penniless man through faith in God alone, with no appeals for help or guarantee of stated income, was a wonderful testimony to the power of "effectual, fervent prayer." As such it made a profound impression upon Hudson Taylor, and encouraged him more than anything else could have in the pathway he was about to enter.

And then his work helped him, not only the daily round of duties in the Surgery but the service he had undertaken in addition for the Lord. A little to the west of Dr. Hardey's stood the Royal Infirmary, the largest hospital in the city, about which lay a network of squalid streets culminating in the Irish quarter. Here drinking saloons and tramps' lodging-houses abounded, and the police hardly ventured to appear in less force than three or four at a time. Riots and drunken brawls were of frequent occurrence, and nothing was more common than for the priest to be called in to thrash his tipsy parishioners. Garden Street, one of the larger thoroughfares through this district, and West and Middle Streets close to the Infirmary seemed specially the haunts of misery and vice. It required courage, as Hudson Taylor found, to go among that bigoted population as a preacher of the Gospel, but a little knowledge of medicine with a great deal of love and prayer opened the way and gave access to many a heart.

" The people seemed pleased to see us," he wrote of one sultry evening in July, " and received the tracts willingly. We went to several lodging-houses. In one, Kester read the story of the Prodigal Son and said a little about it, and in another I read the fifty-fifth chapter of Isaiah. People kept dropping in until we had forty or fifty listeners. I spoke a little and so did Kester. Last Sunday I went again and felt very happy."

" I think it is very difficult," he continued in a later letter, " to set our affections wholly on things above. I try to be a ` living epistle' of the Lord's, but when I look within ,I wonder many a time He does not cast me off. I seek to subdue my will, to blend it with His, and say and feel in all things ` Thy will be done.' But even while I try, I can scarcely keep back the tears. For I seem to have an impression that I shall lose my Dear One, and God only knows the struggle it is to say, ` Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done.'

"Do you think I should be justified in going to London shortly? If it were only for pleasure, I could decide at once ; for much as I should like to go, my pleasures must not stand in the way of duty. But sometimes I think that Lobscheid might give me information worth going for. I shall be glad to hear from you and have your advice."

That idea about going to London certainly came at the right time. The German missionary Lobscheid, to whom he referred, had recently returned from China and was one of the few people who could speak from experience of the practicability of missionary work away from the Treaty Ports. Possessing some medical knowledge he had been enabled to travel repeatedly in what was then considered " the interior," a populous district on the mainland, north of Hong-kong ; and now that he was for a short time in England Hudson Taylor was anxious to profit from his advice.

His parents approving the idea, and Dr. Hardey giving him a week's holiday, he decided to take advantage of a special train running up to the Exhibition, and (at his expense) it was arranged that his sister should accompany him. This seemed almost too good to be true, until they were actually speeding southward in the express bearing hundreds of excursionists to London. Never had they visited the great Metropolis before, and he was just as eager to meet Mr. Pearse and the missionary from China as she was to explore the wonders of the Crystal Palace. An artist uncle arranged accommodation for them in his Soho lodgings, and proved a delightful cicerone for his niece when Hudson was otherwise occupied.

That was a memorable time in London, from the moment they caught sight of its lights shining like stars in the distance to the journey home together when they lived it all over again.

Amelia remembered best, perhaps, the glittering Palace as it broke upon their sight from Piccadilly, the sun shining on its crystal dome amid the greenery of Hyde Park. It was her sixteenth birthday, and Hudson was free to spend it with her, which made their happiness complete. Together they went to the Exhibition and wandered among the ferns and flowers in which its fairy-like scenes were set. They lunched at a restaurant in proper style, investing in a pineapple, a rare luxury in those days. Then they traversed the gay, crowded city to the Bank of England, where a rendezvous had been arranged with Mr. Pearse.

A busy member of the Stock Exchange as well as Secretary of the Chinese Evangelisation Society, Mr. Pearse had not much time for visitors in office hours. He was glad, however, to meet his correspondent from Barnsley, and as he talked with the bright earnest lad whose face bore unmistakable testimony to the spirit within, and the little sister as modest and lovely in appearance as she was in heart, interest soon deepened to a warmer feeling. Tottenham-yes, he must take them to Tottenham and the Brook Street meeting. There they would be sure to find a welcome and a real spirit of prayer on behalf of China. So to Tottenham they went with him the following Sunday.

And this to Hudson at any rate was the most delightful of all their experiences. For the Tottenham friends, once seen,could never be forgotten. He was familiar already with the names of John Eliot Howard and his brother Robert Howard of Bruce Grove, who since the visit of Dr. Gutzlaff to England had been on the Committee of the C.E.S. He knew from The Gleaner also of the activity of the ladies in their Auxiliary Society, and that they were considerable donors to the work. But how little could he have anticipated the charm and culture, the gracious spirit and generous hospitality of their homes !

If anywhere on earth ideal Christian families were to be found in surroundings as nearly perfect as wealth and refinement could make them, it was in the pleasant suburb of Tottenham in those days. Not that there was lavish expenditure on luxury, for they came of a Quaker stock with simple tastes and habits ; but the beauty of the inward life imparted to it all a something money could not buy. About the parents,-still young or in the prime of life, large families were growing up, trained in an atmosphere of Christian courtesy. All was cheerful, orderly, unostentatious. Homelike rooms, beautifully furnished, opened on lawns shaded by spreading cedars. Friends from far and near gathered around the ' ample board, where quiet talk flowed freely on the deepest interests of the Kingdom of God. And best of all, the love of Christ possessed and permeated everything.

The Brook Street meeting that gathered these families on Sunday was also exceptional in its ministry and spirit. Many well-known Brethren were among the speakers in those days, including the heads of the Howard family, men greatly beloved for their works' sake. What it must have been to Hudson Taylor to be welcomed in such a circle, words are poor to express. It was a new world to him then, full of help and inspiration, but a world of which he was to become a part. For the friendships begun that day endured throughout a lifetime, strengthening his hands in God until his work on earth was done.

" I love Tottenham," he wrote from China a few years later. " I love those I know there dearly. Of no other place can I say that my every recollection is sweet and profitable, marred by no painful thought or circumstance, save that I see it no more."

And the Tottenham friends on their part, what did they think of him ? They saw a simple, Yorkshire lad quiet and unassuming. Introduced by their friend Mr. Pearse as an intending missionary, he was observed more closely than he might otherwise have been, and the conclusions come to by some of the younger people are remembered to this day. He did not fit in exactly with their idea of a missionary, for he looked young and delicate and-was evidently full of fun. But they liked him none the less for that, and felt his earnestness and absorbing interest in China. In a word, he won their confidence just as his little sister won their hearts. These also were conclusions confirmed in the case of parents as well as children by lifelong fellowship in service for the Lord.

With the missionary they had come so far to see, their intercourse seems to have been less encouraging. He too must have visited Bruce Grove that day, for one still living in the dear old home recalls a conversation that took place. Mr. Lobscheid, besides being bright and forceful, was full of information about his field. He may have been superficial in matters of judgment, and at any rate formed no favourable impression of the north-country lad who asked so many questions.

" Why, you would never do for China," he exclaimed at length, drawing attention to his fair hair and grey-blue eyes. " They call me ' Red-haired Devil,' and would run from you in terror ! You could never get them to listen at all."

" And yet," replied Hudson Taylor quietly, " it is God who has called me, and He knows all about the colour of my hair and eyes."

It was during this visit to London, as Hudson long remembered, that he gained his first impression of the Society of Friends. Passing Devonshire House in the City, he was struck by the calm and gracious bearing of both men and women as they passed out from " Yearly Meeting," in their old-time Quaker dress. Could they be really denizens of this lower sphere ? The ladies especially, in snowy kerchiefs, with silk or satin gowns, perfect in their simplicity, looked to him like " the Host of the Shining Ones " coming to welcome the pilgrim of Bunyan's immortal dream. Later on he found that the Howards of Tottenham had been brought up as Friends, and learned from their beautiful lives the value of much that is distinctively " Friendly " in thought and spirit.

Refreshed and encouraged by these experiences, Hudson Taylor resumed his duties with Dr. Hardey at the end of September, and shortly after this it was that the nest began to be stirred up about him. He was again settled in the home of his relatives on Kingston Square, where every want was anticipated and pleasant companionship afforded out of working hours. The neighbourhood was one of the nicest in Hull, and as far as circumstances were concerned nothing could have been more desirable. But this was not all His love had planned who was moulding this young life in view of China. Already, through discipline of heart, the lad was learning lessons of patience and submission to the will of God. But something more was needed, something even of outward trial to prepare him for the life-work that was to be. Away in an unfrequented suburb that little home was waiting-a single room in which he could be alone as never before, alone with God. The steps by which he was led to it were very simple, beginning, as he himself records, with a conscientious difficulty about remaining where he was.

" Before leaving Barnsley," he wrote, recalling this experience, " my attention was drawn to the subject of setting apart the firstfruits of all one's increase and a certain proportion of one's possessions for the service of the Lord. It seemed to me desirable to study the question Bible in hand before one went from home and was placed in circumstances that might bias one's conclusions by the pressure of definite wants and cares. In this way I was led to the determination to set apart not less than one-tenth of whatever moneys I might earn or become possessed of, for the Lord.

" The salary I received as medical assistant in Hull would have allowed me to do this without difficulty, but owing to changes in the family of my kind friend and employer it was necessary for me to reside out of doors. Comfortable quarters were secured with a relative, and in addition to the sum I had previously received, the exact amount was allowed me that I had to pay for board and lodging.

" Now arose in my mind the reflection, `Ought not this also to be tithed ? ' It was surely a part of my income, and had it been a question of government income tax would certainly not have been excluded. But to take a tithe from the whole would have left me insufficient for other purposes, and for a time I was embarrassed to know what to do.

"After much thought and prayer, I was led to leave the comfortable home and pleasant circle in which I resided, and engage a little lodging in the suburbs, a sitting-room and bedroom in one, undertaking to board myself. I was thus enabled to tithe the whole of my income ; and while one felt the change a good deal, it was attended with no small blessing. More time was given in my solitude to the study of the Word of God, to visiting the poor and to evangelistic work on Sunday evenings than would otherwise have been the case. Brought into contact in this way with many who were in distress, I soon saw the privilege of still further economising, and found it possible to give away much more than I had at first intended."

It all reads so simply and naturally that one can hardly imagine any special sacrifice to have been involved. Let us hunt up this " sitting-room and bedroom in one," however, and find out what were in actual fact the surroundings for which he had given up his home on Kingston Square. The change could scarcely have been more complete.

" Drainside," as the neighbourhood was termed, could not under any circumstances have been considered inviting. It consisted of a double row of workmen's cottages facing each other across a narrow canal, connecting the country district of Cottingham with the docks and estuary of the Humber. The canal was nothing but a deep ditch into which Drainside people were in the habit of casting their rubbish, to be carried away in part whenever the tide rose high enough. It was separated from the town by desolate spaces of building-land, across which ran a few ill-lighted streets ending in makeshift wooden bridges. The cottages, like peas in a pod, were all the same size and shape down both sides of the long row. They followed the windings of the Drain for half a mile or more, each one 'having a door and two windows, one above the other. The door opened straight into the kitchen, and a steep stairway led to the room above. A very few were double cottages with a window to right and left of the door and two rooms overhead.

On the city side of the canal, one of these larger dwellings stood at a corner opposite The Founder's Arms, a countrified public-house whose lights were useful as a landmark on dark nights, shining across the mud and water of the Drain. The cottage, known as 30 Cottingham Terrace, was tenanted by the family of a seafaring man, whose visits home were few and far between. Mrs. Finch and her children occupied the kitchen and upper part of the house, and the downstairs room on the left as one entered was let at a rental of three shillings a week. It was too high a charge, seeing the whole house went for little more. But the lodger in whom we are interested did not grudge it, especially when he found how much it meant to the good woman whose remittances from her husband came none too regularly.

Mrs. Finch was a true Christian and delighted to have " the young Doctor " under her roof. She did her best no doubt to make the little chamber clean and comfortable, polishing the fireplace opposite the window and making up the bed in the corner farthest from the door. A plain deal table and a chair or two completed the appointments. The whole room was less than twelve feet square and did not need much furniture. It was on a level with the ground and opened familiarly out of the kitchen. From the window one looked across the narrowest strip of " garden " to the Drain beyond, whose mud banks afforded a playground for the children of the neighbourhood.

Whatever it may have been in summer, toward the close of November, when Hudson Taylor made it his home, Drainside must have seemed dreary enough, and the cottage far from attractive. To add to the discomforts of the situation, he was " boarding himself," which meant that he lived upon next to nothing, bought his meagre supplies as he returned from the Surgery, and rarely sat down, with or without a companion, to a proper meal. His walks were solitary across the waste, unlighted region on the outskirts of the town ; his evenings solitary beside the little fire in his otherwise cheerless room ; and his Sundays were spent alone, but for the morning meeting and long hours of work in his district or among the crowds that frequented the Humber Dock.

And more than this, he was at close quarters with poverty and suffering. Visiting in such neighbourhoods he had been accustomed to for a few hours at a time, but this was very different. It belonged to him now in a new way, and outwardly at any rate he belonged to it. He had cast in his lot with those who needed him, and needed all the help and comfort he could bring. This gave new purpose to his life and taught him some of its most precious lessons.

" Having now the twofold object in view," he wrote, " of accustoming myself to endure hardness, and of economising in order to be able more largely to assist those amongst whom I spent a good deal of time labouring in the Gospel, I soon found that I could live upon very much less than I had previously thought possible. Butter, milk and other luxuries I ceased to use, and found that by living mainly on oatmeal and rice, with occasional variations, a very small sum was sufficient for my needs. In this way I had more than two-thirds of my income available for other purposes, and my experience was that the less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become."

For the Lord is no man's debtor ; and here in his solitude Hudson Taylor was learning something of what He can be to the soul that leaves all for Him. In these days of easygoing Christianity is it not well to remind ourselves that it really does cost-to be a man or woman God can use ? One cannot obtain a Christ-like character for nothing ; one cannot do a Christ-like work save at great price. And is there not a sense in which even Christ Himself is to be won ? It is easy to pray a little, help a little, love a little ; but the missionary apostle meant more than this when he said

"What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him: ... That I may know-Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death ; if by any means I might attain unto the out-resurrection from among the dead: ... If I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. {1-Phil.3:7-12}

Much prayer, as we have seen, was going up for China,and countless hearts were stirred more or less deeply for its evangelisation. But when disappointment came and unexpected failure the great majority ceased to help or care. Prayer meetings dwindled to nothing, would-be missionaries turned aside to other callings, and contributions dropped off to such an extent that more than one society in aid of the work actually ceased to exist. But here and there in His own training-schools were those the Lord could count upon : little and weak perhaps, unknown and unimportant, but willing to go all lengths in carrying out His purposes, ready through His grace to meet the conditions and pay the price.

Here in his quiet lodging at Drainside was such a man. With all his youth and limitations, Hudson Taylor desired supremely a Christ-like character and life. As test came after test that might have been avoided he chose the pathway of self-emptying and the cross, not from any idea of merit in so doing, but simply because he was led by the Spirit of God. Thus he was in an attitude that did not hinder blessing.

"Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it : for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name. A great door and effectual ... and there are many adversaries."{Rev.3:8; 1Cor.16:9}

Adversaries there certainly were to oppose Hudson Taylor's progress at this time. He was entering upon one of the most fruitful periods of his life, rich in blessing for himself and others. Is it any wonder that the tempter was at hand ? He was alone, hungry for love and sympathy, living a life of self-denial hard for a lad to bear. It was' just the opportunity for the devil, and he was permitted for a while to do his worst, that even that might be overruled for good.

For it was just at this juncture, when he had been a few weeks at Drainside and was feeling his position keenly, that the dreaded blow fell, and the one he loved most in all the world seemed lost to him for ever. For two long years he had hoped and waited. The very uncertainty of the future had made him long the more for her presence, her companionship through all changes. But now the dream was over ; and how bitter the awakening ! Seeing that nothing could dissuade her friend from his missionary purpose, the young music-teacher made it plain at last that she was not prepared to go to China. Her father would not hear of it, nor did she feel herself fitted for such a life. This could mean but one thing, though the heart that loved her best was well-nigh broken.

It was not only an overwhelming sorrow, it was a tremendous test of faith. The tempter, naturally, did everything in his power to call in question the love and faithfulness of God. Only break down his trust, make him give up the struggle now, and the usefulness of all his after life would be marred.

Sunday morning came, December 14. It was cold and cheerless in the little room at Drainside. The lad was benumbed with sorrow, for instead of turning to the Lord for comfort he kept it to himself and nursed his grief. He did not want to pray. The trouble had come in between his soul and God. He could not, would not go as usual to the morning meeting. He was too full of bitter questionings and pain. Then came the cruel, insidious suggestion.

" Is it all worth while ? Why should you go to China ? Why toil and suffer all your life for an ideal of duty ? Give it up now, while you can yet win her. Earn a proper living like everybody else, and serve the Lord at home. For you can win her yet." ,

Love pleaded hard. It was a moment of wavering and peril. The enemy came in like a flood. But enough! The Spirit of the Lord lifted up a standard against him.

" Alone in the Surgery," he wrote the following day," {A letter to his mother, dated December 15, 1851.} I had a melting season. I was thoroughly softened and humbled and had a wonderful manifestation of the love of God. ' A broken and a contrite Heart' He did not despise, but answered my cry for blessing in very deed and truth. May He keep me softened, and thoroughly impress on me the seal of His own nature. I see this to be my privilege. Oh may I be filled with His Spirit, and grow in grace until I reach `the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.'

" I am happy : not without trial, anxiety or care ; but by the grace of God I no longer bear it all myself. `The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.' .. .

We will praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that's to come.

" Trusting God does not deprive one of feeling or deaden our natural sensibilities, but it enables us to compare our trials with our mercies and to say, ` Yet, notwithstanding, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.' It enables us to see . . . the Refiner watching the fire, and be thankful.

"'Our fathers trusted in Thee . . . and Thou didst deliver them.' In Thee, 0 God, put I my trust."

To his sister he opened his heart more freely. It is to be regretted that the earlier part of the letter has not been preserved. It is dated December 16, 1851, and begins in medias res:

For some days I was as wretched as heart could wish. It seemed as if I had no power in prayer nor relish for it ; and instead of throwing my care on Him I kept it all to myself until I could endure it no longer.

Well, on Sunday I felt no desire to go to the Meeting and was tempted very much. Satan seemed to come in as a flood and I was forced to cry: " Save, Lord ; I perish." Still Satan suggested, " You never used to be tried as you have been lately. You cannot be in the right path, or God would help and bless you more," and so on, until I felt inclined to give it all up.

But, thank God, the way of duty is the way of safety.. I went to the Meeting after all, as miserable as could be ; but did not come away so. One hymn quite cut me to the heart. I was thankful that prayer followed, for I could not keep back my tears. But the load was lighter.

In the afternoon as I was sitting alone in the Surgery I began to reflect on the love of God ; His goodness and my return ; the number of blessings He has granted me ; and how small my trials are compared with those some are called to endure. He thoroughly softened and humbled me. His love melted my icy, frost-bound soul, and sincerely did I pray for pardon for my ungrateful conduct.

Yes, He has humbled me and shown me what I was, revealing Himself as a present, a very present help in time of trouble. And though He does not deprive me of feeling in my trial, He enables me to sing, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Thus I do rejoice by His Grace, and will rejoice, and praise Him while He lends me breath

And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers
My days of praise shall ne'er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.

Now I am happy in my Saviour's love. I can thank Him for all, even the most painful experiences of the past, and trust Him without fear for all that is to come.

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