WINTER was over, summer was drawing on, and with the first hot days came a change in the conditions that had detained Hudson Taylor and his colleagues in Shanghai.' For one thing the famine refugees began to disappear. Spring harvests drew them back to country villages all over the plain, and for the few who could not leave a local missionary undertook to care.

Then, a lull in the war with England made aggressive work in Ning-po and the neighbourhood more possible ; and though the house Mr. and Mrs. Jones had previously occupied was no longer available, other and even better premises were. The retirement of Mr. Cobbold for health reasons had left one of the C.M.S. buildings vacant, and this Mr. Jones was able to rent for a moderate sum. Dr. Parker also was glad to hand over the entire premises on Bridge Street part of which Hudson Taylor had formerly occupied. Thus without any effort on their part they were provided with a dwelling-house and a street-chapel in the busiest parts of the city.

With growing experience Hudson Taylor was increasingly drawn, it should be said, to the more settled forms of missionary work. The war with England made it out of the question to attempt to live at any distance from the Treaty Ports. Itinerations were still possible, but speaking generally the interior was more inaccessible than ever. Believing, however, that the time was near for a change in this respect, Mr. Taylor and his colleague realised the importance of labouring in some one, settled spot, until a native church could be raised up that should afford them,by the blessing of God, pastors and evangelists for the wider opportunity of coming days.

With this hope in view, therefore, they turned their faces to Ning-po again, but not before they had taken a step of great importance in its bearing on the future.

For it was in the month of May, three years and three months after his arrival in China, that Hudson Taylor felt the time had come to resign his connection with the Chinese Evangelisation Society. Not all the difficulties under which he had laboured would have led him to this step. He loved the Secretaries and many members of the Committee known to him personally, and valued their sympathy and prayers. But the Society, as we have seen, took a very .different position from his own in the matter of debt, a position in which he felt he could no longer participate.

"Personally," he wrote in recalling the circumstances, " I had always avoided debt, and kept within my salary, though at times only by very careful economy. Now there was no difficulty in doing this, for my income was larger, and the country being in a more peaceful state, things were not so dear. But the Society itself was in debt. The quarterly bills which I and others were instructed to draw were often met with borrowed money, and a correspondence commenced which terminated in the following year by my resigning from conscientious motives.

"To me it seemed that the teaching of God's Word was unmistakably clear : `Owe no man anything,' To borrow money implied, to my mind, a contradiction of Scripture-a confession that God had withheld some good thing, and a determination to get for ourselves what He had not given. Could that which was wrong for one Christian to do be right for an association of Christians ? Or could any amount of precedents make a wrong course justifiable ? If the Word taught me anything, it taught me to have no connection with debt. I could not think that God was poor, that He was short of resources, or unwilling to supply any want of whatever work was really His. It seemed to me that if there were lack of funds to carry on work, then to that degree, in that special development, or at that time, it could not be the work of God. To satisfy my conscience I was therefore compelled to resign my connection with the Society

"It was a great satisfaction to me that my friend and colleague, Mr. Jones, ... was led to take the same step, and we were both profoundly thankful that the separation took place without the least breach of friendly feeling on either side. Indeed, we had the joy of knowing that the step we took commended itself to several members of the Committee, although the Society as a whole could not come to our position. Depending on God alone for supplies, we were enabled to continue a measure of connection with our former supporters, sending home journals, etc., for publication as before, so long as the Society continued to exist.

"The step we had taken was not a little trying to faith. I was not at all sure what God would have me do, or whether He would so meet my need as to enable me to continue working as before. . . ; I was willing to give up all my time to the service of evangelisation among the heathen if, by any means, He would supply the smallest amount on which I could live ; and if He were not pleased to do this, I was prepared to undertake whatever work might be necessary to support myself, giving all the time that could be spared from such a calling to more distinctly missionary efforts.

"But God blessed and prospered me, and how glad and thankful I felt when the separation was really effected ! I could look right up into my Father's face with a satisfied heart, ready by His grace to do the next thing as He might teach me, and feeling very sure of His loving care.

"And how blessedly He did lead me I can never, never tell. It was like a continuation of some of my earlier experiences at home. My faith was not untried ; it often, often failed, and I was so sorry and ashamed of the failure to trust such a Father. But oh ! I was learning to know Him. I would not even then have missed the trial. He became so near, so real, so intimate. The occasional difficulty about funds never came from an insufficient supply for personal needs, but in consequence of ministering to the wants of scores of the hungry and, dying around us. And trials far more searching in other ways quite eclipsed these difficulties, and being deeper brought forth in consequence richer fruits. How glad one is now not only to know, with dear Miss Havergal, that

They who trust Him wholly

Find Him wholly true,

but also that when we fail to trust fully He still remains unchangingly faithful. He is wholly true whether we trust or not. " If we believe not, He abideth faithful ; He cannot deny Himself." But oh, how we dishonour our Lord whenever we fail to trust Him, and what peace, blessing and triumph we lose in thus sinning against the Faithful One. May we never again presume in anything to doubt Him."

What the more searching trials were that brought forth richer blessing it is not difficult at this point to divine. Twice daily in his walks to and from Bridge Street, Hudson Taylor had to pass very near Miss Aldersey's School. Carried on now by Mrs. Bausum and her young relatives it was still the home of the being dearest to him on earth. He had seen her again since returning to Ning-po in June, but a barrier had been raised between them that was hard to pass. Kind and gentle as she still was, he could not forget that she had charged him never again to trouble her upon a certain subject ; and Miss Aldersey had so spoken her mind to the friends with whom he lived that the position was doubly trying.

For soon after their return from Shanghai Mrs. Jones had invited Miss Dyer to go out visiting with her as before. There was no one else to whom she could look for help, and the need was very pressing. Besides it was the best, the only way in which the young people could see more of each other. To the girl herself she said nothing, nor did Maria allude to the matter of which their hearts were full. But Miss Aldersey knew no such reticence, and seeking Mrs. Jones after the Ladies' Prayer Meeting, in another part of the city, poured out the vials of her wrath. She had good reason, she felt, to be indignant. Miss Dyer belonged to a different social circle from that of Mr. Taylor, and had a small but reliable income of her own. She was educated, gifted, attractive, and had no lack of suitors far more eligible in Miss Aldersey's eyes. It was unpardonable that this person should presume upon her youth and inexperience, and still more so that he should return to Ning-po after its having been made plain that he was not wanted.

In the course of such a conversation many things come out, and before it ended Mrs. Jones could see pretty clearly how the land lay. Miss Aldersey's object was to obtain from her a promise that she would do-nothing to forward Mr. Taylor's suit, and that the latter would never see or speak to Miss Dyer in their house. While not committing herself as far as this, Mrs. Jones felt it desirable to state that she would refrain from throwing the young people together, and that Mr. Taylor would not take advantage of Miss Dyer's visits to attempt to see her alone. At the same time she earnestly put before Miss Aldersey the other side of the matter, trying to make her feel how serious a thing it is to tamper with such affections. But the older lady would hear no good of Hudson Taylor, and deeply pained by her criticisms Mrs. Jones came away.

After this, of course, Hudson Taylor- felt himself bound by Mrs. Jones' promise. He could not write to Miss Dyer or seek an interview in the house of his friends ; and yet as the days went by he found it impossible to let matters drift indefinitely. Having learned that Miss Aldersey was k not related to the Dyers and was not even their guardian, he determined to call on the sisters both together and ask whether he might write to their uncle-in London for permission to cultivate a closer acquaintance. More than this he dared not venture at present, nor was it necessary after his Shanghai letter.

Taking a sedan-chair, therefore, as the etiquette of Chinese dress demanded, Hudson Taylor went over to the school, only to meet the young ladies going out. So without waiting for the ceremony of sending in his card, he requested the privilege of a few minutes' conversation.

" Come in," responded the elder sister, " and we will ask Mrs. Bausum."

But when Mrs. Bausum appeared he found that both girls had gone over to see Miss Aldersey. Burella divining the purpose of his visit had insisted upon her sister's leaving the house at once, and for the sake of avoiding an open rupture Maria had consented.

It was hard just then not to look at second causes. But though everything and every one seemed against him Hudson Taylor was enabled to leave it all with God, confident that He understood best how to manage such matters. If an interview were necessary He could and would bring it about, and cause it, moreover, to accomplish the desired results. Personally there seemed nothing he could do. But the Lord has ways of working beyond our ken ; and in spite of everything he could not help a growing impression that his love was returned and that, in the way he hoped, faith would be rewarded.

Meanwhile the trial through which he was passing was not allowed to interfere with daily duties. Situated on a crowded thoroughfare the house at Kuen-kiao-teo was within a stone's throw of the main street of the city. " By day and far into the night the clink and ring of smiths' and tinkers' hammers close by and the busy hum from neighbouring tea-shops could be heard." The air was close and oppressive, a population of half a million being gathered within and around the city wall. But from a summerhouse on the roof an extensive view could be obtained of the surrounding hills, and many an early hour the young missionary must have spent there alone with God. For he had learned that only in such communion could freshness of spirit be maintained both for work and burden-bearing.

Street-chapel preaching is far from easy, and both at Kuen-kiao-teo and in the little house across the city Hudson Taylor was carrying on daily services as well as medical work. Nothing but the attraction of the Lord's own love and presence in the speaker's heart could hold the changing audiences or turn argumentative conversations into blessing. But the young missionary kept on, always patient and pleasant, always ready with some helpful word or kindly act, until the neighbours could not but be impressed by such a message delivered in such a spirit.

" Next door to our premises on Bridge Street," wrote Mr. Jones, " there is an opium den. The men who keep it are southerners and ... at first looked upon us with little favour. But one and another dropped in to our services, Brother Taylor sometimes addressing them in their own dialect, until they became quite friendly. One of them who was suffering much from his eyes was cured by careful treatment, and now they often shew us little attentions of one sort or another. People also who frequent their house are constant in attendance at our meetings, and one at any rate has a good understanding of the Gospel,"

Thus the Friend of publicans and sinners was able to come very near even to these poor, unhappy opium-smokers, through a life made attractive by much fellowship with Him.

The evening meeting at Kuen-kiao-teo was perhaps the most important of the day's proceedings. People were more willing to come out after the sun went down, and the big bell soon filled the hall with an audience willing to listen for an hour or two. All this, of course, meant hard work for the young missionary on whom most of the speaking devolved. It was his fourth hot season, and one's powers of resistance seem to lessen with each succeeding summer, But not the intense heat nor yet the work kept up with unremitting vigour were the chief strain upon Hudson Taylor. The trial of suspense meant more, far more, involving as it did the dearest hopes of his heart.

But in this also he was wonderfully sustained. The matter had been left entirely in the hands of God, and though Hudson Taylor had no means of communicating with the one he loved it was not difficult for the Lord to bring them together. He who can use ravens, if need be, or angels to do His bidding was answering His children's prayers, and on this occasion He seems to have employed a waterspout !

It was a sultry afternoon in July, shortly after Hudson Taylor's unsuccessful visit to the school, when in regular rotation the Ladies' Prayer Meeting came to be held at Kuen-kiao-teo. The usual number gathered, representing all the Societies, but as the sequel proved it was easier to come to the meeting that day than to get away. For with scarcely any warning a waterspout, sweeping up the tidal river, broke over Ning-po in a perfect deluge, followed by torrents of rain. Mr. Jones and Mr. Taylor were over at Bridge Street as usual, and on account of the flooded streets were late in reaching home. Most of the ladies had left before they returned, but a servant from the school was there who said that Mrs. Bausum and Miss Maria Dyer were still waiting for sedan-chairs.

" Go into my study," said Mr. Jones, to his companion, " and I will see if an interview can be arranged."

It was not long before he returned saying that the ladies were alone with Mrs. Jones and that they would be glad of a little conversation.

Hardly knowing what he did Hudson Taylor went upstairs, and found himself in the presence of the one being he supremely loved. True others were there too, but he hardly saw them, hardly saw anything but her face, as be told much more than he would have ever thought possible in public. He had only meant to ask if he might write to her guardian for permission. . . . But now it all tame out; he could not help it. And she ?- Well, there was no one present but those who loved them and understood, and it might be so long before they could meet again ! Yes, she consented, and did much more than that. With her true woman's heart she relieved all his fears, as far as they could be relieved by knowing that he was just as dear to her as she to him. And if the others heard-were there not angels too ? And presently Hudson Taylor relieved the situation by saying

" Let us take it all to the Lord in prayer."

So the letter was written about the middle of July upon which so much depended, and they had to look forward to four long months of prayer and patience before the answer could be received. Under the circumstances they did not feel free to see one another or even communicate in writing, for they had as far as possible to mitigate Miss Aldersey's displeasure. Maria of course informed her that Mr. Taylor had written to her uncle asking permission for a definite engagement. That matters should have come to such a pass in spite of all her precautions seemed incredible to the older lady. But they should proceed no farther. She would at once communicate with Mr. Tam herself, and he of course would see the impropriety of the request. Se with the keenest desire for her young friend's happiness she set to work to bring the distant relatives to her own point of view.

This of course made it very hard for the lovers, especially as Miss Aldersey observed no reticence on the subject Impressions she had gained about Hudson Taylor, happily as unfounded as they were unfavourable, were soon made known to the rest of the community. Her object was to alienate the affections of Miss Dyer from one whom she considered unworthy of her, and she did not hesitate to encourage the attentions of other suitors with the same end in view. The Chinese dress worn by Hudson Taylor was one strong point against him, and seemingly awakened not aversion only, but contempt. His position also as an independent worker, upon the uncertain basis of " faith," was severely criticised ; and he was represented as " called by no one, connected with no one, and recognised by no one as a minister of the Gospel." Had this been all it would have been bad enough, but other insinuations followed. He was " fanatical, undependable, diseased in body and mind," and in a word " totally worthless." And the two most concerned could not tell how far all this would influence Mr. Tam in London, to whom Miss Aldersey had written in a similar strain.

As month after month went by and these strange misrepresentations came to be believed in certain sections of the community, Hudson Taylor had to learn in a new way what it was to take refuge in God. It was a fiery furnace seven times heated ; for he knew how his loved one must be suffering, and he could not explain anything or reassure her even of his devotion. And what was to be the outcome ? What if her guardian in London were influenced by Miss Aldersey's statements ? What if he refused his consent to the marriage ? If there was one thing of which Hudson Taylor had no doubt it was that the blessing of God rested upon obedience to parents or those in parental authority. Nothing would have induced him to act contrary to a command from his own parents, nor could he encourage the one he loved to disregard her guardian's wishes. Years after, when experience had confirmed these convictions, he wrote upon this important subject

I have never known disobedience to the definite command of a parent, even if that parent were mistaken, that was not followed by retribution. Conquer through the Lord. 1-{1-Mr. Taylor was then dealing specially with the question of a call to missionary work, the consent of one or both parents being withheld.} He can open any door. The responsibility is with the parent in such a case, and it is a great one. When son or, daughter can say in all sincerity, " I am waiting for you, Lord, to open the door," the matter is in His hands, and He will take it up.

But at this time it was theory more than experience ; his conviction of what must be rather than his knowledge of what was ; and the test was all the more severe.

No wonder he needed to be very still in those days before the Lord. Never before had he had to walk so carefully, or so felt his helplessness apart from sustaining grace.

" It is not sufficient," he wrote to his sister early in August, " to have the every road pointed out merely, to be prevented from straying to the right hand or to the left, though this is no little blessing. .. , We need Him to direct our steps ... step after step. Nay more, we need to pass through this wilderness leaning, always leaning on our Beloved. May we in reality do this, and all will be well."

Meanwhile in another part of the city another lonely, suffering heart was learning the same lessons. Deeply 'she too felt the sacredness of parental authority, and that the divine blessing could not rest upon a step taken in defiance of its control. She would have waited if need be for years had her guardian disapproved the marriage, and as the slow months went by times of desolation could not but come over her in view of all he was likely to hear.

She was visiting Mr. and Mrs. Gough of the C.M.S. on one such occasion, who entertained a warm regard for Hudson Taylor. He may have been spoken of with appreciation : at any rate the longing for him that was always there filled and overflowed her heart. It was a summer evening, and going to her room alone the poor child knelt long in silent grief. But her Bible was at hand, and as she turned its pages the precious words shone out : " Trust in Him at all times ; ye people, pour out your hearts before Him : God is a refuge for us." And that just met her need.

" I marked it at the time," she wrote to her loved one seven years later, " and the light-coloured ink still remains to remind me of that night."

" My soul, wait thou only upon God ; for my expectation is from Him." He only, He alone ; always El-Shaddai" The God that is Enough."

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