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Title: Chinese Diamonds for the King of Kings
Author: Goforth, Rosalind, 1864-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chinese Diamonds for the King of Kings" ***

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OF KINGS ***



                            Chinese Diamonds
                       _for the_ King _of_ Kings


                                   BY

                            ROSALIND GOFORTH

                        (MRS. JONATHAN GOFORTH)


          "_God hath made of one Blood all Men under Heaven._"



                         EVANGELICAL PUBLISHERS
                              INCORPORATED
                  858 College Street, Toronto. Canada



                           COPYRIGHT 1920, BY
                         EVANGELICAL PUBLISHERS
                              INCORPORATED



               PUBLISHERS, IMPORTERS AND DISTRIBUTORS OF
                       SOUND CHRISTIAN LITERATURE
                           858 COLLEGE STREET
                                TORONTO
                                 CANADA



                               *FOREWORD*


Whole libraries have been written on Christian evidences.  The resources
of philosophic and scientific research have been drawn up in defence of
the Christian faith.  Yet important as these are, it may be questioned
whether any or all of them together bring home to the heart such
conviction as does the story of a redeemed soul—a soul lifted out of the
fearful pit and miry clay—cleansed, purified and established in
righteousness.  Whatever intellectual difficulties may occur, a
countenance illumined with a light that is not of this world is
irresistible.

Henry Ward Beecher spoke of a nest of infidels he had encountered upon
whom argument made little impression. There lived in the same village a
humble washerwoman of singularly beautiful character.  When asked what
they thought of her the sceptics were silenced.  Harold Begbie says of
Old Born Drunk that "he advertised salvation. Before the miracle of Old
Born Drunk the arguments of the tavern atheist melted into thin air."

We are indebted to Mrs. Goforth for having gathered from her long
experience in China a series of instances as convincing as any told by
Harold Begbie in "Twice Born Men."  They are not the outcome of
generations of development, for China has no religious background.  They
are miracles of grace.  Luther said, "God is the God of the humble, the
miserable, the oppressed, the desperate, of them that are naught.  It is
His nature to give sight to the blind, to comfort the broken hearted and
to justify the ungodly."

The divine nature is beautifully and impressively illustrated by these
stories of redeemed and glorified ones whose after life verified the
reality of the miraculous change.  He is able to save unto the
uttermost.  With Him there is plenteous redemption.  Go ye, therefore,
and tell it out.

(REV.) R. P. MACKAY, D.D.



                             *INTRODUCTION*


The following sketches are as photographically true as my knowledge of
Chinese life and people can make them.  They are written primarily as an
answer to the oft met questions, "Do missions pay?" and, "After all, are
there any real Christians in China?"

We missionaries are frequently told that the average church member at
home has come to think of missionaries’ letters as "too dry to read."
Wherefore, my attempt to give missionary facts in a different, possibly
more readable, form. With what success remains to be seen.  The little
book is sent forth with the earnest hope and prayer that those who read
these sketches may come to see the truth of what Paul said: "God hath
made of ONE BLOOD all men under heaven."

ROSALIND GOFORTH.

Kikungshan, South Honan, China,
       July 24, 1920.



                               *CONTENTS*


                               SKETCH I.

AS SILVER IS REFINED

_Part 1._—THE BIRTH OF A SOUL
_Part 2._—FROM GLEAM TO GLORY


                               SKETCH II.

CHARACTERS FROM ONE VILLAGE

_Part 1._—WANG-EE
_Part 2._—WANG-EE’S NEIGHBORS


                              SKETCH III.

THE MAN WHO PROVED GOD


                               SKETCH IV.

OPENING A NEW STATION

_Part 1._—THE MISSIONARY’S HOME
_Part 2._—AS RAIN FROM A CLEAR SKY
_Part 3._—SOWING BEFORE THE STORM


                               SKETCH V.

TESTING GOD


                               SKETCH VI.

A CHRISTIAN GENERAL


                              SKETCH VII.

A CHINESE NOBLEMAN


                              SKETCH VIII.

MR. DOONG


                               SKETCH IX.

HEATHENISM AS I HAVE KNOWN IT

_Part 1._—HEATHEN VERSUS CHRISTIAN WORSHIP
_Part 2._—FACTS


                               SKETCH X.

THE BLIND FAMINE REFUGEE


                               SKETCH XI.

LINKS IN A LIVING CHAIN


                              SKETCH XII.

OUR FIRST WOMAN CONVERT—A MERE MEMORY


                              SKETCH XIII.

TWO "RICE" CHRISTIANS

_Part 1._—THE "WOLF BOY"
_Part 2._—THE WOLF BOY’S MOTHER


                              SKETCH XIV.

DAYBREAK IN ONE HOME

_Part 1._—LITTLE SLAVE
_Part 2._—SLAVE’S FATHER
_Part 3._—SLAVE’S RELEASE



                               *SKETCH I*


                         *As Silver Is Refined*

PART 1: THE BIRTH OF A SOUL.
PART 2: FROM GLEAM TO GLORY.



                         *As Silver Is Refined*

                    *Part I.  THE BIRTH OF A SOUL.*


One sultry afternoon in June, 19—, an elderly woman. seated in the shade
of her front gateway, the coolest spot she could find, was fanning
vigorously in vain attempt to keep cool, discontented mutterings keeping
time to her fan.  It was time the long summer siesta ended and for folks
to get to work, so thought Mrs. Dwan, but "folks" evidently thought
otherwise, for the whole village seemed as still and lifeless as a
graveyard.

Just as the woman was about to rouse the sleeping household her
attention was attracted to a man wheeling a barrow on which lay a sick
child.  Putting his barrow down opposite the Dwan’s gateway the man
wiped his steaming brows as he stepped forward saying, "Honorable Lady,
my child is very thirsty, we have come a long way, will you give us
water?"

"Gladly," said the woman, hastening into the inner court as fast as her
excessive avoirdupois would permit.  In a moment or two she reappeared,
not with ice cold water as in our country, but with a kettle of boiling
water and two bowls.

"Wheel the child into the shade and rest yourself," said the woman as
she filled the bowls; then setting one down beside the sick child, she
motioned to the man to take a seat on the stone steps.  "Where are you
going," she asked by way of opening the conversation.

"I’m taking my child to the foreign doctor at W——."

"What!" she exclaimed, with a look of horror, "you are surely never
going to venture inside that place!  We have heard some terrible things
about those people."

"Well," replied the man, "all I can say is this, a neighbor woman of
ours went to that hospital perfectly blind and came back seeing almost
as well as you or I.  A man in my village had a terrible leg, he would
certainly have died, but he went there too and came back healed.  He
told us the doctor treated him as well as the patients who could pay,
though they knew he was too poor to pay."

"But, why then do people talk so?" persisted Mrs. Dwan.

"You know the proverb," replied the man, with rather a contemptuous
shrug, "You can bridle a horse or a mule, but who can bridle a woman’s
tongue."  With this parting thrust and a polite bow, the man caught up
his barrow and hurried on.

Mrs. Dwan’s husband was what is known in China as the "leading man" of
his region.  He was a landowner of considerable means, and was widely
known and sought after as a doctor though he had no knowledge whatever
of Western methods of treating diseases, nor of surgery, but was an
expert in the art of "needle pricking," a common Chinese treatment not
infrequently used with fatal results.

As the man with the barrow disappeared in the distance, Dr. Dwan
appeared at his dispensary gateway, across the street from where his
wife was sitting.  Calling him to her she related what had just passed.
The Doctor listened, but said nothing; paying no attention to the fierce
denunciation of the missionaries with which she ended; her husband had
learnt through many years of bitter experience with her to say little
but act.  When the following morning the Doctor announced his intention
of taking the younger son to the foreign Doctor to have a growth on his
foot removed, of course, Mrs. Dwan began to storm and rage but to no
purpose, except to give matter of interest to her neighbors, trouble to
her household, and sickness to herself.  Her fits of temper were so
violent and sustained that it is little wonder Nature usually had her
way by a general collapse, when the naturally strong woman would lie for
days as helpless as a child.

As Dr. Dwan started off for the Mission Hospital, it would be too much
to imagine that his mind was quite free from fear or doubt, but his
intense curiosity to see the foreign Doctor about whom he had heard such
conflicting reports, and a desire, if possible, to see something of his
methods of treatment, overcame every other thought.  A walk of some
twelve English miles brought them to the city of W——.  On reaching the
Mission Hospital they found themselves in the midst of a crowd of sick
and suffering ones.  Procuring their tickets of admission they joined
themselves to the queue moving towards the Dispensary door.  The moment
Dr. Dwan found himself and his child, with a dozen or more others,
ushered into the Doctor’s presence, all fears vanished,—who, indeed,
could not trust those keen, quiet, kind eyes?

Stepping aside purposely so that the others might be treated first and
thus give him his chance to watch the foreigner, Dr. Dwan made the most
of his opportunity.  At last the assistant called him forward to take
his name.  The moment he had given it, Dr. Blank, the missionary, looked
up quickly and said, "Why, are you Dr. Dwan of C——?"

"That is my unworthy name," replied the other.  Immediately Dr. Blank
left the patient he was treating, and came forward with such a friendly
smile the Chinese doctor was completely taken by surprise.

"I’m very pleased indeed to meet you," the missionary said heartily, and
in a few moments had the other quite at his ease.  From their first
meeting these two men drew naturally together.  The missionary doctor
recognized in Dr. Dwan the true instincts of a physician and generously
remembered that this man’s ignorance and inefficiency as a doctor was
not due to lack of natural ability but from the lack of advantages such
as he himself had enjoyed.

The removal of the growth on the boy’s foot was a simple operation, but
it required the administration of chloroform. When this was about to be
given the father showed decided nervousness, but a few quiet firm words
from Dr. Blank allayed his fears.  He stood aside and watched with
intense wonder and admiration every detail of the operation.

Dr. Blank saw the man’s keen interest in everything connected with the
Hospital, and arranged for the care of his boy so that the father could
be with him in the operating room, the afternoon clinic, and ward
visitation.  When the work of the day was over the missionary sometimes
invited Dr. Dwan to his study in his house at the rear of the compound.
It was at such times the missionary doctor opened to his less favored
brother the way of Salvation.

It was not till the close of his stay that Dr. Dwan seemed to really
understand.  The two men were talking in the study when Dr. Dwan spoke
out suddenly as if to get something off his mind:

"Dr. Blank, I have a request I find hard to make."

Dr. Blank’s face fell as visions of many past requests came before him,
but he said merely:

"What can I do for you?"

"The fact is," continued the other, "people say you have strange things
in your home.  Would you allow me to see the place?"

The missionary jumped to his feet with a relieved smile saying, "Why,
come along now.  I’ll show you everything."  Through the house they
went; each room seemed more wonderful to Dr. Dwan than the last,
everything was a wonder, but what especially aroused his admiration and
astonishment was the school-room where the missionaries’ children—girls
as well as boys—were at their lessons.  All he saw made a deeper
impression on his mind than the missionary or even he himself at the
time realized.

Some days later when in conversation with one of the missionaries
something like the following took place:

Dr. Dwan, looking intently at the missionary, suddenly said with deep
feeling, "Do you know what people are saying about you all?"

"Yes, I think we do," returned the other, with a little laugh.  "At
least we know quite enough."

"Then I cannot understand how you can stay and do what you are doing
with my people."

"My friend," replied the missionary, drawing his chair nearer to the
other and speaking from the depths of a full heart, "It is like this,
Jesus Christ left His home in heaven to suffer and die for us—for me.
The love that made Him do that He has given to me and those with me.  It
is this LOVE that makes us do all this for your people."

"You mean then that you are just following in Jesus Christ’s steps—just
doing as He did?"

"Yes," came the answer quietly, "just that.  Will you follow Him too?"

There was a firm and set purpose in Dr. Dwan’s face as, after a moment’s
pause, he said gravely:

"Yes, I will, I will follow the Lord Jesus."

                            *      *      *

This man counted not the cost; he simply saw the Gleam and faced for it.
Little did he dream how short and stormy the path would be that led from
the Gleam to the Glory beyond.



                    *Part II.  FROM GLEAM TO GLORY.*

    "The Son of God goes forth to war
      A kingly crown to gain;
    His blood-red banner streams afar:
      Who follows in His train?
    Who best can drink his cup of woe,
      Triumphant over pain,
    Who patient bears his cross below—
      He follows in His train."


When Dr. Dwan informed his family that he had become a Christian, or as
they put it, "become a slave of the foreigners," it was as if a
thunder-bolt had fallen in their midst.

The first step the doctor felt he must take as master of his own home,
was to destroy the household gods.  While the first ones were being torn
down, the family were too terror-stricken to offer any resistance, but
by the time the "kitchen god" was reached Mrs. Dwan had somewhat
recovered her senses and stood before the stove over which the god was
pasted, prepared to fight.

Firmly, without undue violence, her husband put her aside, and, securing
the god crumpled all together in his hands, (for they were made of
paper), he faced the crowd which filled the court; here, for almost an
hour the brave man preached with intense earnestness of the love of the
One True God in giving His Son for them.  He then kindled the gods and
burnt them before the crowd, who, when all was over, dispersed, but with
black looks and ominously quiet.

For many months Dr. Dwan labored among his neighbors and through the
whole region trying to win men to his new faith, but public opinion was
too strongly against him.  It was universally believed,—by his family as
well as outsiders—that the foreigners had bewitched him and that the
gods would certainly wreak their vengeance upon him.  Strange to say,
what followed, tended to strengthen them in this belief.

A railway, which had recently been built by foreigners, passed over part
of Dr. Dwan’s land.  One day, soon after he had come out as a Christian,
one of the doctor’s hired men was ploughing a piece of this land with a
yoke of oxen (or mules). When crossing the rails, and blinded by a
dust-storm which was blowing, the man did not notice the train which
struck and killed both animals, though the heathen hired man remained
uninjured.

The most precious possession a man can have in China, next to a son, is
a grandson.  Dr. Dwan had one such treasure; a fine healthy child, he
was the pride and joy of both grandparents.  Soon after the above
accident had come to try the new Christian’s faith, this child took ill
suddenly and died. We can only imagine what a tremendous test this must
have been to the grandfather’s faith.

Shortly after the grandchild’s death the eldest son purchased an animal
at a fair; after it had been put with the other animals it was
discovered to have a distemper, and, though at once removed the mischief
was done, for a few days later most of the doctor’s animals were dead.
They were indeed dark days, and through all these special testings which
I have mentioned, was the unceasing nagging and at times violent raging
of his wife; but later the testimony was given that through it all Dr.
Dwan’s faith in God never flinched.

When feeling the need of help and encouragement, a visit to his friend
the foreign doctor, never failed to give fresh courage.  But darker days
were in store for him, and he surely needed all the help his fellow
Christian could give.

One day a deputation waited upon him to ask for his contribution towards
the village theatrical held in honor of the village god.  Dr. Dwan
received them courteously, and endeavored to show them how impossible it
was for him to give to such an object now that he worshipped the One
Only and True God.  When finally the deputation saw that they could not
move him, they left in anger, threatening, that since he chose to go
against the will of the people, he must take the consequences.  The
price he had to pay for this stand we shall see.

A few days after the above took place, the doctor’s watchdogs were both
found poisoned.  The Chinese depend very much upon these dogs for
protection against thieves, who are everywhere in this land.  From this
on the neighbors carried on a system of petty thieving of the doctor’s
property which continued till within a short time of his death.  The
village people, as is general in China, worked their farms on the
co-operative plan, at least to the extent of sharing as common property
many necessary farming implements.  When Dr. Dwan came to require these
as was his right, they were refused.  Patients ceased to come, and calls
from a distance became a thing of the past.  In a hundred ways he was
subject to petty persecution.  When these failed to "bring him to his
senses," more serious action was planned.

One day when the doctor was away from home, the news reached him that
his barn and dispensary had been set on fire and burned.  A few months
later, just before the wheat harvest, his wheat field was set on fire.
And through it all he stood alone with his God,—never shrinking, never
doubting.

Then, as if God saw he needed but the final refining, malignant cancer
of the throat brought his body low.  It was then that the tide of Public
Opinion seemed to turn.  His wife even began to show signs of real
change.  She no longer opposed her husband, but it was not till much
later that she seemed to be really converted.  The eldest son, who had
all along been secretly with his father, now came out boldly as a
Christian; and from the time when Dr. Blank gave his verdict that Dr.
Dwan could not live, he devoted himself to his father endeavoring in
every possible way to make up for the past.  Even his heathen neighbors
began to ask themselves, "Have we done this man wrong?"

The missionaries from W—— made frequent visits to the dying Christian,
and as every detail of these visits was discussed by all the villagers
(everything is done openly in this land) there is little doubt but that
the love and interest shown by the foreigners on these visits had much
to do with the rapidly changed attitude towards Christianity.

Before Dr. Dwan passed away, he had the joy of hearing that his two
sons, his elder son’s wife, as well as several of his neighbors had
become Christians.

As this saint’s last struggle ended and his last breath was drawn, we
can almost hear the welcome that awaited him, and the Saviour’s voice as
He said,—"Well done good and faithful servant—enter thou into the joy of
thy Lord."

                            *      *      *

Within three years of Dr. Dwan’s death, the writer witnessed the
destruction of the village Temple.—destroyed by PUBLIC CONSENT that the
materials might be used in building a Christian Church on the outskirts
of the village, the land on which the Church was built being given by
one of the men who so bitterly persecuted the first Christian.

It was in this little village Church the writer heard some of the finest
personal testimonies she has ever heard.  It was the last of a week’s
special meetings, the leader had given opportunity for any who wished to
give a personal testimony; in an instant a poor working man was on his
feet, as if afraid lest others would get ahead of him.  This is what he
said:

"Please, Pastor, I want to tell how I know God answers prayer.  I was
wheeling a barrow full of coal down a steep place the other evening when
it broke down.  I did not dare leave my barrow or the coal would be
stolen, and I did not dare stay there or I would freeze, so I just knelt
down by the roadside and asked God to send some one to help me.  As I
was praying a man came along, and seeing me on my knees called to know
what I was doing.  I told him I was asking my God to send me some one to
help me mend my barrow.  The man then said, "Your God has certainly
heard you this time for I’m a carpenter and I have my tools with me, so
come along."  He mended my barrow and helped me down the hill. _Now I do
know God answers prayer._"

Before the man was seated, young Mrs. Dwan had risen. Putting the little
baby she had been holding in the arms of the woman next to her, she
stood erect with quiet dignity and speaking in a low but clear voice
that all could hear, she said:

"Pastor, I too wish to tell how I know God answers prayer. The first
days of these meetings I received such a great blessing I longed to help
some one else to know Christ, but I had so many duties with my little
children and my home I could not go out, so I just kept praying as I
went about my work, ’Lord, make the people go to the Church,’ over and
over again.  Now, hasn’t He heard my prayers?"  And with a look of
triumph she waved her hand first to the women’s side and then to the
men’s, saying as she did so,—"Look there, and there!"  The building was
packed, aisles, window seats, even the windows were banked with faces,
all listening quietly and attentively.

And now the closing scene.  The day following the above-mentioned
meetings, a number of Christians and a crowd of not unsympathetic
villagers, gathered about Dr. Dwan’s grave and erected to his memory a
stone slab.  Well might it have recorded on it that his path had been
"by way of the Cross," from his first Gleam of the true Light to his
entrance into the Glory beyond.



                              *SKETCH II*


                     *Characters From One Village*

Part 1—WANG-EE.
Part 2—WANG-EE’S NEIGHBORS.



                     *Characters From One Village*

                          *Part I.  WANG-EE.*


The large and prosperous village of Ta-kwan-chwang is situated twelve
miles southeast of Changte.  As in most villages in China it had its
best, or head-man, and its worst character—the leader of the worst
element.  In this case the former was Wang-ee; the latter a man named
Liang.

In December of —, a Men’s Bible Class was being conducted at the main
station by Mr. M—— when to the surprise of all, this notoriously bad
Liang was led in by one of the Christians who begged that he might be
permitted to join the class as he was breaking off opium and wanted to
be a good man.  As the days passed poor Liang seemed incapable of taking
in anything.  He slept most of the time, would fall asleep the moment
Mr. M—— began speaking, and his snores, to say the least, were most
disturbing.

At last the missionary’s patience became exhausted when an unusually
loud snore reached his ears.  Liang was told he had better leave as his
presence was "useless to himself and disturbing to others."  The man
returned home apparently much crestfallen, and all thought he would
never return; but a deeper work than others knew of had begun in him.
On his return home his changed life became the talk of the village.
Wang-ee, the headman, who was probably the wealthiest farmer in the
region, heard of Liang’s becoming a Christian, and of his wonderfully
changed life.  He talked with Liang and soon became interested.  The
Missionary, Mr. G——, hearing of the movement in this village, was
preparing to pay them a visit when he received the following letter from
Wang-ee.

"Honorable teacher Keo,—I hear you are planning to visit me,—do not
come!  When I get one hundred others to believe as I do I will come to
you—not before."

This message awakened much interest in the man, and day by day he was
remembered in prayer.  Several weeks passed when one day Wang-ee
appeared at the missionary’s door,—a typical, burly, well-to-do farmer.
He lost no time in coming to his point.  The first greetings over, he
said, "I want to see through your home.  May I?"  The missionary led him
through each room.  The sewing machine puzzled him—not till it had been
opened and examined inside would he believe but that a witch had made
such stitches.  When at last the kitchen was reached Wang-ee turned and
said abruptly, "but is there nothing more?"

"No," replied Mr. G——, "nothing except the cellar."

"The cellar!" Wang-ee exclaimed, "why that is what I wanted to see most
of all."  Down they went.  Then he began a vigorous search, the book
boxes, then the coal and inside of the furnace was examined, then, when
apparently satisfied, he faced the missionary, saying:

"Well, we Chinese are liars.  A neighbor of mine told me he had seen in
your cellar great crocks filled with children’s flesh salted down."

The two returned to the study, when a long and earnest talk followed, at
the close of which Wang-ee asked to have his name recorded as a
probationer.

Some days later Wang-ee reappeared leading a large band of the chief men
of his village.  These he insisted on personally conducting through the
house.  On reaching the cellar Wang-ee became much excited.  "Now look
everywhere," he urged, "look now, see if there are any of those dead
children you told me of.  Will you ever lie to me about these
missionaries again?"  The men seemed very humble and not at all
resentful. Later Wang-ee took them all into the city and treated them to
a good dinner before returning home.

Nor was this all.  A few days passed when again Wang-ee appeared—this
time with a large wheeled cart drawn by six mules, and loaded down with
women, all the women he could coax to come.  These he led through the
same process of enlightenment as the men.  This time Wang-ee’s face was
a study, beaming as it was with delight as he saw the women’s fears
giving way to astonishment and delight at what they saw.  With one or
two exceptions all of these women became Christians.  Within a very
short time a flourishing little church existed in Wang-ee’s village.
Year by year the church grew till the cloudburst of 1900.  Most, if not
all the Christians suffered in that terrible time of
persecution,—Wang-ee lost heavily,—animals and grain were stolen, his
life threatened, but he remained faithful.

                            *      *      *

The storm passed.  The missionaries returned, work was reorganized.  The
Chinese Government ordered indemnity to be given to the Christians for
their losses.  Then, like many others, Wang-ee, though brave and
faithful in peril and persecution, _fell_ under prosperity.  He gave in
false estimates of his losses and received in proportion.  God knew,
though the missionaries did not.  Year by year the church at
Ta-kwau-chwang declined.

Then came a time of wonderful revival at Changte.  Wang-ee sent his son
to the meetings.  The missionary missed his old friend and sent the son
home to bring his father.  When Wang-ee arrived he met Mr. G—— with,
"Why did you send for me?  I am too old and, anyway, I’ve no sins to
confess."

That night poor Wang-ee seemed shaken as by a tempest. Hour after hour
he wept.  Those in the same room with him knew not what to do—for
Wang-ee would say nothing.  When morning came Wang-ee sent a message to
Mr. G——, saying, "Oh, Pastor, give me a chance to confess before the
meeting, I can’t bear this, I will burst."  The missionary met Wang-ee a
little later near the church door.  With their arms around each other,
and tears flowing freely they entered the building. Reaching the
platform Wang-ee cast himself down on his knees weeping bitterly.  For
several moments nothing could be heard but the man’s sobs and
sympathetic weeping throughout the audience.  At last he made a full
confession.  He told how the church had gone down, down, and how when
the missionary would question him as to the cause he would reply, "The
time for blessing has not come."

He took the whole blame upon himself.  He said it was not until he had
come to the meetings that his eyes had been opened to the fact that he
had been deceiving himself and trying to deceive God and man.  He
promised full restitution and kept his promise.

From that time Wang-ee’s Christian character grew more and more in the
likeness of his Master.  He is now an old man of well-nigh eighty, ready
for the call—beloved and honored by his fellow-Christians and surrounded
by his family to the fourth generation.



                    *Part II.  WANG-EE’s NEIGHBORS.*


The great plain of North-Central China stretches for six hundred miles
North and South.  The villages are for the most part as thick as the
homesteads in the more thickly populated districts of Western Ontario.

It was while visiting in one of these villages, Ta-kwan-chwang, that the
writer came to know and love the characters sketched here.

First there comes to mind Wang-ee’s aunt, the leading woman of her
class, the one who chaperoned the women’s party on their first visit to
the missionary’s home.  She was the first woman to be baptized and was
always for years, till "called Home," the one who most delighted in
extending to us the hospitality of her home.

Then there was Wang-ee’s gentle frail little wife, a striking contrast
to the strong-minded, masterful personality of the aunt.  This little
woman seemed to spend her time sitting on a low stool in front of the
great family caldron or pot in which the food was cooked.  As she fed
the fire with long, dried corn-stalks she directed her household, her
sons and daughters-in-law, her grand-children, and later even great
grand-children, not in the loud and stormy tones usually heard in
heathen homes, but with a quiet dignity and self-command which often
astonished the writer.  What a monotonous life hers was! Day after day,
year after year the same!  No summer holidays for her!  Was it much
wonder she appeared always like a worn-out, tired-out human machine?
Her faith was the faith of a little child, but she seemed incapable of
fixing her mind on _herself_, so long and systematically had she thought
of others.  She, too, has passed on.

Then there comes Mrs. Lee—one of the first to accept Christ.  Long
standing eye trouble was fast destroying her eyesight, to save which she
came to the women’s hospital at Changte.  Her one earnest request was
that she might be permitted to hold the writer’s hand during the
operation, which was performed without chloroform.  When all was over,
she rose and said, "Oh, Jesus was beside me through it all."

Among the first converts in this village were two women, widows of two
brothers.  For years these women had never allowed the burning incense
to become extinguished before the family tablets.  They were both
earnest devotees of a heathen religious sect.  These women accepted
Christ as their Saviour at the same time.

The elder whom we called Sung-ta-sao had a wonderful answer to prayer
early in her Christian life.  A young nephew whom she was bringing up as
her own (she was childless) became critically ill with enlarged spleen,
a terribly fatal disease.  Hearing of another Christian having had her
child restored to health in answer to prayer when the doctor had
pronounced him past hope, she gave herself to prayer for her nephew who
was completely restored.  This proof of the reality and power of God
made a deep impression on the band of young Christians.

It was the second Mrs. Sung, however, who was next to Wang-ee himself,
_the_ character of the village.  I shall not attempt to describe her
appearance, especially as she looked when in winter garb, her clothes
being quite as heavily wadded as a bed quilt, but undoubtedly she could
truthfully say as another old lady said when seeing her photo for the
first time, "I’m certainly the most unbeautifulest woman under heaven."

From the time of her conversion she was eager to preach the Gospel, but
her _appearance_ was against her.  Miss M—— tried again and again to use
her as a Bible woman.  Then I tried her, but in vain.  She could not
hold an audience for five minutes.  And yet of all our Christian women
she was the most earnest.  She could support herself and was entirely
free, being motherless, so she had to return home, and for years did
what she could in her own region.  Then one day she came to our lady
doctor and begged that she might have a place to spread her bed so that
she might work among the women patients and try to lead them to Jesus.

The doctor hesitated, knowing the merriment her appearance caused, but
decided to try her.  That was more than three years ago, and Mrs. Sung
is still working faithfully among the patients.  She found her "nook."
She keeps herself, and is as happy as the day is long in teaching the
women to pray and learn the simple Gospel leaflets.  Her face so shines
with joy and contentment as to appear almost lovely to those who know
her.

There are others worthy of being introduced to you, my reader, but there
is room for only one more.

Mr. and Mrs. Wang-chang-ling were among the earliest believers.  Mrs.
Wang was slow to learn.  How could she be otherwise, never having read a
word in her life, accustomed to the hardest toil in the fields and in
the home, her face and hands showing only too plainly what privation and
hardship she had come through, and then at fifty years of age trying to
master the Christian Catechism.  It is no wonder she would sigh and say,
"I shall _never_ learn to read," and then in her characteristic way look
up and say, "But never mind, I can _pray_ anyway!"  She always had a
bright smile of welcome, and would take one’s hand and thank us again
and again for coming.

Then the Boxer uprising came.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Wang-Chang-ling
suffered greatly.  The Boxers came to their home, bound and carried off
the husband.  For days the wife knew not what had become of him.  He
suffered much at the hands of his captors, but finally made his escape.
For three months he was driven from place to place, until nigh unto
death, but as he testified God never left him, and always provided a way
of escape and raised up friends when most needed and least expected.

While he was fleeing for his life his wife suffered too.  The soldiers
came, bound her, and carried her off to the Changte official.  She
afterwards testified that when being taken away thus, not knowing but
that even death awaited her, she felt so happy she could not keep from
singing.  She was beaten two hundred blows to make her tell where her
husband was.  Then her finger was twisted, but she remained firm and
true through it all.  On our return in 19— the writer cannot forget,
though many years have since passed, the joy of meeting these dear
people, but it was but a short meeting.  Both husband and wife died
shortly after within a few days of each other, both witnessing
triumphantly the hope of the Christians to the Life Everlasting.

"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the
sun light on them nor any heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of
the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them into living fountains of
waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."



                              *SKETCH III*


                        *The Man Who Proved God*

                 "_Him that honoreth Me I will honor._"



                        *The Man Who Proved God*

                 "_Him that honoreth Me I will honor._"


The last of a long stream of patients had just gone.  It was five
o’clock and the tired doctor turned his face once more towards the rear
of the Mission Compound, where lay his beloved garden, his one source of
relaxation after a day spent in fighting disease and death.

To-day as he reached the inner gate, something, shall we not more truly
say, _Someone_, seemed to make him turn about, and he retraced his
steps, he knew not why; back past the dispensary door he went till he
had reached the main gateway.

                            *      *      *

Two men carrying a stretcher upon which lay a sick man, came staggering
along the road leading past the Mission premises.  They were evidently
not in the best of humor, for as they mopped their streaming brows,
frequent oaths escaped them.  Suddenly, as the Mission gate was reached,
they dropped their burden with a cruel thud upon the ground, for both
bearers had caught sight of the foreigner coming up to the gate.  This
was by far too interesting a sight to miss, so both men squatted down
opposite the gate to rest while they watched with keenest interest this
foreign man of whom they had heard many wonderful stories, but whom they
had never seen.

The doctor, with true instinct, walked straight to the sick man and
raised the cloth covering his face.  Hardened as he was to all kinds of
"cases," what he saw evidently shocked him, for he gave an exclamation
of surprise.

"Where are you taking him?" he asked the bearers.

"Home," was the reply.

"But do you know he will certainly die?"

"That’s certain," was the answer.  "We were just considering as we came
up whether we would not _just bury him as he is_, for neither of us
cares to stand for forty _li_ more (14 miles) what we have stood those
last forty _li_."

The doctor knew well it meant for him many months of hard fighting with
a most loathsome disease, with only a bare chance of success, yet in the
spirit of his Master he did not hesitate but said, "Give him to me.  If
he can be saved, I’ll save him.  If he dies, he will have proper
burial."  After consulting together for a few moments the men turned to
the doctor and said, "You can have him."  So the man was carried into
the hospital.

The following day, at the missionaries’ noon prayer-meeting much
interest was roused as the doctor told of his strange leading the day
before and of the result.  Earnest prayer rose for Lu Yung Kwan, the
sick man, whose past history made his case seem the more hopeless.  He
had been a professional juggler (about as low in the scale as one could
well get), and had lived a very depraved life.

The history of the year that followed could better be told by the doctor
or his colleague who worked, rather fought for the man’s salvation, both
soul and body.  But the day came when he went from the Mission Hospital
healed in body and a professed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Twice in the months that followed Lu Yung Kwan fell; the second time he
went back to his old life so deep and so long his Mission friends almost
despaired of him.  But God had mercy on him, and he rose as the future
proved, "_a new creation_" in Christ Jesus.

Barely has there been a more striking illustration of Paul’s words, "Put
off the old man with his deeds," than Lu Yung Kwan’s after life.  He
opened a small bakery and food shop where many passed to and fro with
their barrows of coal, the coal pits being in the region.  He was the
only Christian in the region.  On his counter was always a place for
Christian books and tracts; and he was ever on the alert to take
advantage of the curiosity and interest these awakened, and to bear
witness to what the Lord had done for him.

From the first opening of his business he determined to obey the
injunction of Malachi 3:10,—"Bring ye the whole tithe ... and prove me
now ... saith Jehovah of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of
heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough
to receive it."  He not only gave a tithe of all he made to the Lord,
but put aside for Him one cash in every hundred, "Just to bless the
rest."

He married a bright Christian girl, who proved herself a true helpmeet
to him.  Four children came to bless their home; one girl whom they
named Glory, and three boys, Paul, Luke and Joseph.

One day when visiting near their home, the writer asked the second boy,
whom she met on the street, his name.  He answered, "My name is the
Gospel according to Luke!"

It is not too much to say that the Lord prospered this man in all that
he did.  As an example of this:—One year almost famine conditions
prevailed through Lu Yung Kwan’s region, when the missionary paid a
visit to the little band of Christians which had gathered around this
faithful witnesser to the Truth.

One day Mr. Lu and the Missionary went for a walk. Noticing a fine field
of wheat in striking contrast to the almost dead fields of grain
surrounding it, the missionary asked to whom it belonged.  Mr. Lu
replied that it was his, and quietly remarked, "That is how the Lord
blesses me."

Some time later when the writer was visiting near his home, Mr. Lu
called upon her when he told her the story of his life.  One thing he
said was, "I know now why the Lord allowed me to fall twice.  I was too
self-confident.  I had to learn that Christ must be all and I nothing."

Only a few months later the call came to meet his Master. He glorified
the Lord in his death as in his life; he died in full assurance of
Eternal Life.  He left behind his widow and children comfortably
provided for, and a band of Christians to testify to God’s faithfulness
in opening as He had promised "windows of blessing" for the man who
dared to "prove" Him.

                            *      *      *

Before closing this sketch I would like to record an incident which
occurred some years after her husband’s death in which Mrs. Lu proved to
be a veritable God-send to the writer. To be understood the story must
be told somewhat in detail.

Returning to our station from an unusually strenuous autumn’s touring, I
planned as usual to give the month of December to the children’s sewing,
so as to leave January free for a Woman’s Bible Training Class, but my
health broke down and strive as I could scarcely any headway was made
with thirty-five or forty garments which had to be made by the time the
children returned to their school in Chefoo.  By the 18th of December
the January class had to be cancelled and word was sent to all the women
who were to attend with one exception—Mrs. Lu, and she was _overlooked_!

As the days passed the burden of the almost untouched sewing became very
great till I was forced to cry to the Lord for a way out of the
difficulty.  On December 28th, while leading the Chinese Woman’s Prayer
meeting, I noticed Mrs. Lu in the audience and at once knew she had come
from her distant home over rough mountain roads with her little child
for the class which was cancelled.  Feeling very sorry for the
thoughtlessness which had given her the needless trouble and expense I
invited her to my home and gave her some money for a barrow to take
herself and child home the following day. I then sat down to the sewing
machine while Mrs. Lu stood beside and watched.  In a few moments she
said, "You look very tired.  Let me run the machine for you."  I looked
at her in amazement, and said, "You run the machine?  Why you don’t know
how."

"Yes I do," she replied.  "I joined a band of women in our village and
had a machine brought and we all learned to run it.  Just try me."

As I gave her first easy and then more and more difficult things to do
and saw how she did them perfectly, I felt awed at the plainness of
God’s leading, for there was only one other Chinese woman, as far as I
knew, in our whole Changte field who could run the sewing machine.  But
again came a test of faith, for when I asked her to stay and help me
with the sewing she replied that she must return home on the morrow.
Puzzled and disappointed I could only again ask the Lord to undertake,
and again I proved His faithfulness.  That night a fierce storm, lasting
several days, came on, making the roads quite impassable.  Mrs. Lu,
finding herself storm-tied, gladly gave all her time to me.  The roads
remained impassable for a whole month, during which time all the sewing
was finished and I had not needed to sit down to the machine once!

"They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy great Goodness."



                              *SKETCH IV*


                        *Opening a New Station*

Part 1—THE MISSIONARY’S HOME.
Part 2—AS RAIN FROM A CLEAR SKY.
Part 3—SOWING BEFORE THE STORM.



                        *Opening a New Station*

                   *Part I.  THE MISSIONARY’S HOME.*


Wee Nell’s eyes had closed at last, and the tired mother rising from the
child’s bedside crossed the cement floor to the adjoining room, where a
boy of six was busily engaged drawing on a blackboard to the evident
delight of his little sister.

"My boy," said his mother, "baby has just gone to sleep and must not be
disturbed.  These constant crowds of women keep her from proper rest, so
run out with your little sister to the back compound and play."

As the children disappeared, the mother prepared to cut out some little
garments, but scarcely had she taken scissors in hand when suddenly she
laid them down again, and stood listening.  In the distance could be
heard the noisy shouts of a band of cotton gleaners.  "Would they come
in?" she asked herself.  Then, as they could be heard sweeping through
the front gateway, she pushed her work to one side exclaiming aloud,
"Oh, dear, dear, how can I ever get the children’s clothes made!  If
only a rainy day would come I might get something made."

"Patience, patience," her husband’s voice came through the study door.
"These crowds will not last indefinitely, so do your best to reach them
while you may."  Before he had finished speaking his wife’s voice could
be heard greeting the crowd in the courtyard.

"Please sit down here in the shade and rest, do sit down, see, here are
benches and mats," she urged as they crowded about her, a wild unruly
mob.

"We have come to see," cried a dozen voices at once.

"I know you have," she replied, trying to speak so as not to waken the
baby and yet be heard above the din of voices. "I really cannot let you
inside unless you first sit down and listen to what I have to say."
Then as they still hesitated she continued, "If you will sit down and
listen, I will promise to let you inside and show you everything."  This
promise had the desired effect—down they sat on mats, some on benches,—a
few timid ones kept close to the gate so as to be ready to flee at the
first approach of danger!  As the mother tried to tell them why she had
come—of a Saviour from sin—of a hope after death, some listened intently
and seemed to get a gleam of light, but for the most part the crowd was
restless and keen only to get inside the house about which they had
heard so many strange stories.  At last baby Nell wakened, and making
the fact known by lusty cries, gave the women the opportunity they
desired.

As the mother ran to her little one the crowd of forty or fifty women
and children pressed in after her.  With the baby in her arms the mother
faithfully kept her promise.  Nothing escaped their curious eyes—beds
were turned back, drawers opened, sewing machine examined, and organ
played before they appeared satisfied.  Whereupon they rushed off as
quickly as they had come, saying to one another, "The foreign devil
woman does not seem as bad as people say she is."  Others said, "But who
knows, you can never judge by appearances!"  Half an hour later the
husband returned from the man’s preaching to find his wife in tears.

"Why, what’s wrong?" he asked.

"Oh, everything," his wife replied between her sobs.  "I just can’t bear
it.  You don’t know how they despise me and what terrible things they
are saying.  Besides when I came back to my work I found they had
carried off my last pair of scissors and part of the material I was
making a dress of.  That is not all.  The cook has just been in to say
that several teaspoons are missing."

"Tut, tut," replied her husband, man-like.  "That’s nothing.  Why they
are only _things_ anyway!"

A few days later came the missionary’s turn to need sympathy.  He came
in from the front looking pale and apparently quite worn out.

"I tell you what, wife," he said, "I cannot stand this strain much
longer without help!  If I only had a good preacher to put in charge of
the preaching hall, I could get along; but with lime to weigh, bricks to
count, wood and timber to measure, and all the Mission accounts to keep,
besides the oversight of all these workmen, and the preaching to these
crowds of men that are coming daily, well—I just must get help."

He went into his study, but returned a moment later with an open Bible
in his hand.  Pointing to these words, "My God shall supply all your
need," he said, "Wife, do we really believe this?  If we do, then let us
join in asking God to meet this pressing need of ours for an
evangelist."

"But how is it possible," returned his wife.  "We have not got even one
convert yet, and have promised the other stations not to ask help of
them as they are undermanned?"

"True, but God is able to fulfil His own promises."

As the husband prayed, the wife thought, "but, oh, how can help come.
_It is as if we were praying for rain from a clear sky._"

Two days later the answer did come,—not, indeed, as they expected, but
above all they could have thought.  The story of this must be left for
our next sketch.



                 *Part II.  AS RAIN FROM A CLEAR SKY.*


"Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee, and thou
shalt glorify me."

A poor broken opium slave lay on a kang or brick bed with only a thin
straw mat between his emaciated form and the cold bricks.  His livid
color, with the peculiar dark shade of the moderate opium user, his
sunken cheeks and labored breathing, all betokened the man had reached
the stage when only a miracle could save him.  Beside him stood a
missionary, who was saying earnestly as he laid his hand kindly on the
man’s shoulder:

"Wang Pu Lin, I tell you God _can_ save you."

"No, no, Pastor," the man replied sadly, "It’s no use. I’ve tried and
failed too often.  I believe all you preach, but what is the use of
believing when this opium binds me as with iron chains?  Even Pastor
Hsi’s Refuge failed to cure me.  No no, don’t waste your time on me.
I’m beyond hope."  And the man turned again to his opium.

But the missionary was not the kind to be so easily rebuffed.  The next
day found Wang Pu Lin and the missionary on the Mission court en route
for the station of Chu Wang.

For ten awful days Wang Pu Lin’s body, mind and soul hung in the
balance.  The missionaries united in doing all that was possible to
relieve the man’s agonies.  It was on the tenth night the crisis came.
Many times later Wang Pu Lin told how that night he went out when in
bitter agony into the darkness.  To his distorted brain there appeared
to him a horrible being urging him to jump the wall and get relief once
more in opium.  As he stood wavering a voice seemed to call to him,
"Wang Fu Lin, Wang Fu Lin, beware!  Yield now and you are lost."  As he
heard this voice he made one desperate effort, crying aloud, "Oh, God,
help me.  I will die rather than yield."  Staggering back to his brick
bed he threw himself upon it and slept till morning.  He wakened, as the
future proved, a new and victorious man.

                            *      *      *

Three years passed.  The missionary at the new station is facing the
crisis described in our last sketch.  Help must come in the shape of an
evangelist, or he would break down.  The spiritual wireless is set in
motion.  The cry for aid is heard. And help is sent truly _as rain from
a clear sky_.

During the three years since his deliverance from the opium, Wang Fu Lin
and his family had had a bitter struggle for existence.  As a Christian
he could no longer make a living by street story telling and the keeping
of low opium dives, and every effort to get honest employment had
failed.  At last he determined to seek a position in the city of
Changte, to reach which he must needs pass by the Mission where the
missionary was then facing his crisis.

Wang Fu Lin called on the missionary as he was passing. But no one could
have looked less like an answer to their prayers.  Still fearfully
emaciated, racked with a cough which ere long would end his life,
dressed in almost beggar rags, the poor fellow presented a pitiable
spectacle.  But "the Lord seeth not as man seeth."

After consulting together the missionary and his wife determined to try
him for a few days—for he could at least testify to the power of God to
change and keep the lowest opium slave.  Within an hour or two of his
entering the Mission gate, apparently a beggar, Wang Fu Lin was cleansed
and clothed in a Chinese outfit of the missionary’s, and was seated in
the men’s chapel preaching to a crowded audience.

From that very first day of his ministry, there was no doubt of his
being a messenger sent by God.  He had in a wonderful degree the power
and unction of the Holy Spirit. He had natural gifts as a speaker, and
these had been developed during the many years of street story telling.
Now all was consecrated to the one object—the winning of souls to
Christ.  He seemed to be conscious that his time was short, and always
spoke as "a dying man to dying men."  From the very first men were won
to Christ; the first being a native doctor of some note, the second a
wealthy land owner.

For three years during those early days of stress and strain, he was
spared to help in laying the foundations of the Changte Church.  Then
God took him.  Though more than twenty years have passed since his
death, he is still remembered and spoken of as the Spirit-filled
preacher.



                 *Part III.  SOWING BEFORE THE STORM.*


The five years between 1895 and 1900 were years fraught with much danger
and many difficulties to the missionaries at the new station at Changte.
The anti-foreign, anti-missionary attitude of the people was hard to
live down.  It became quite a common thing for the missionary to be
called hastily to the front to quiet a threatening crowd.

On one occasion the Mission premises were practically surrounded by an
unruly mob and for many hours the missionaries were in imminent peril.
One thing helped greatly in living this danger period down safely.  The
missionaries of whom I have already written had moved from the poor,
unhealthy Chinese house with the cement floor into a semi-foreign house,
the first of the kind to be built in that region.  As this house was
being built they feared it might prove a barrier between themselves and
the Chinese, and perhaps hinder the progress of the work which had begun
to be very encouraging, so they prayed that God would make their new
home a blessing and a means of reaching the people still more, and like
so many of our prayers they came to see the answer lay largely with
themselves—so they determined to allow all who wished, to see through
their home.  Many thousands took advantage of this permission.  The high
water mark in numbers was reached when eighteen hundred and thirty-five
_men_ passed through the missionary’s home in one day.  Many hundreds of
women were received that same day by the wife and her colleague in the
work.  On ordinary occasions the missionary had his wife play the organ
for the bands of men he led through, but on this particular occasion she
was too much engaged with the women to do so.  The missionary therefore
was forced to be his own organist.  Though he did not know one note from
another, he could at least pull out all the stops, lay his hands on as
many notes as possible, and pump the bellows vigorously. The result
called forth from admiring crowds the gratifying remark, "Why he plays
better than his wife!"  The Gospel was faithfully proclaimed to all who
came.  The missionaries soon began to see good fruit from this plan of
reaching the people.

During the second year at Changte hundreds of students had come to the
city for the tri-annual government examinations. Many of these visited
and showed plainly their anti-foreign attitude—sometimes causing quite
serious trouble.

Before the next examinations came round, three years later, the
missionary was well prepared for them.  At first they came as before
full of self-satisfied convictions that they were quite superior
representatives of the most superior race. Curiosity alone led them to
the foreigner’s home.  But no sooner would they catch sight of the large
astronomical charts on the missionary’s study wall than their attitude
invariably changed.  The missionary knew well the importance of
reserving his ammunition till the right moment!  The proudest of those
scholars in face of those charts became like children.

As the man of God led them (at their own request) step by step on into
the wonders of creation of which they knew nothing—often would come the
cry, "Teacher stop, have pity on us—you make us feel like the man in the
well who thought he saw the whole heavens!"

The change that came over hundreds of these students was truly
remarkable.  Just one instance of the fruit of this work. The missionary
was touring far west of Changte and stayed with his party at a certain
inn.  The inn-keeper when asked for his bill as the party was leaving
replied—"Honorable teacher, I could not accept anything from you.  My
son was at the recent examinations at Changte and has told me of his
visit to your home and what you are doing for our people!"

One day early in 19— three of the missionary’s children were gathered in
front of a curious looking chart tacked on the wall of the study.  It
was a rough map of the Changte field, and over parts of the chart were
red dots.  The eldest child was counting those red spots and had reached
to forty-nine when his father entered.

"Oh, father," cried the boy, "just look, there are almost fifty red
places."

"Yes," said his father, "And do you know dear children that every red
mark means a place where one or more Christians are, and where the light
of the Gospel that can save men has entered?"

"Oh, won’t it be lovely, father, when the whole map is red?" said a
sweet fair-haired little girl as she threw her arras about her father’s
neck.

Oh kind Heavenly Father, who withheld from Thy children’s human sight
what Thou knewest was so soon to come upon them!

A few short weeks after the above scene the spirit of the little
fair-haired child had returned to the God who gave it, the missionaries
even fleeing before their would-be murderers—the Chinese Christians
scattered.  Many throughout China, both missionaries and Chinese
Christians were witnessing a good confession even to cruel death for
Christ’s sake.

So the blood of the martyrs became in China, as in the early times, the
seed of the Christian Church in China.



                               *SKETCH V*


                             *Testing God*

                           _A True Incident._



                             *Testing God*

                           *A TRUE INCIDENT.*


"_Faith steps out on the seeming void and finds the Rock beneath._"

Few in the home-land have any just conception of what it means for a
missionary’s wife with little children to engage in aggressive
evangelistic effort for the reaching of her heathen sisters.  The
following sketch which is true in every detail may serve to illustrate
what a missionary mother must face when engaging in such work.

                            *      *      *

"I simply cannot, dare not, go," the wife was saying as her husband
stood before her with a Chinese letter in his hand.  "The letter states
plainly that an epidemic of smallpox has broken out in the very place we
planned to go to.  If it were not for baby I would gladly go; but
supposing he should later take the smallpox and die?" and her voice
ended with a sudden break.  "But," replied her husband, "I am perfectly
sure that if we definitely trust Him for the child God will not let him
come to harm.  The Christians are all expecting us, and would it be
right to show the white feather at the first appearance of danger?  How
can we tell the Chinese to trust God if we do not?"

For an hour or more the mother went through a bitter struggle between
her fears for her child and an impelling sense of duty towards her
heathen sisters.  At last she determined to go, but with fear and
trembling lest the child should get the smallpox.

The following evening after bumping (the only word to express the
movement) for eight hours in a springless cart over hills and stony
roads, the missionaries reached the village of Hopei.  Some distance
outside the village a few Christians were awaiting their arrival and
escorted them through the darkness to the Inn—each one anxious to help
in getting their guests settled.  One carried the roll of bedding—two
others the food box, still another sought to get possession of the baby,
but the mother feared to part with him.  Everything was piled in a
promiscuous heap on the large brick platform which took up about half of
the room which they were told was to be their living-room and women’s
preaching place as well.  The room was certainly not inviting; the roof
was broken in (ceiling there was none), the walls were black with the
soot and dirt of generations, and hard uneven lumpy earth did for
floors. Furniture, there was none—not even a table or chair.

The mother’s first question was "where can I keep the baby?"  For answer
she was led to an opening in the wall beyond which was a mud hole just
large enough to spread their bedding, but at the further end were
several great rat holes!  A sudden desperate fear for her child took
possession of the mother, but pride kept her from letting her husband
know her fears.

Early the following morning the women and children from the surrounding
country began crowding in.  By nine o’clock the room was packed to
suffocation with a great crowd outside trying to get in.  All were
clamoring to see and feel the foreign woman and her child.  These women
knew absolutely nothing of the Gospel, and as the missionary mother
looked into their rough, ignorant, sensual faces and thought how she had
even risked the life of her precious child to come to them, a great
yearning came into her heart to be used of God to bring light to their
dark minds.  For many hours a day she and her faithful Bible woman
preached to the ever changing crowd.  Sometimes they were both in
despair at the crush and confusion.  Constantly could be seen children
marked with smallpox carried in their mother’s arms.  At times the
atmosphere was so over-powering the mother could only cry to God to keep
her from fainting.

Though early in May the weather was very warm, and the husband
continually had the easier time for he had both light and air preaching
as he did in the open court.

All through the week the baby had stood the confinement and conditions
wonderfully.  When not asleep he would delight and win the women by his
happy ways.  But Saturday morning found him ill and feverish, lying
listless in his mother’s arms.  The mother was for at once rushing home
with him, but her husband gently rebuked her lack of faith, and reminded
her of their promise to hold a communion service at a distant village on
the morrow.

Before day-break the next morning, Sunday, all the missionary’s party
was astir, and as the dawn was breaking they filed out of the yard
through the quiet deserted streets into the country, following a winding
mountain path.  When at last the summit of quite a high hill was
reached, the missionary sent the rest of the party on ahead, while he
and his wife sat down with their sleeping child.  For a long time
neither could break the silence, their hearts were too full.  Never will
either forget the peace and beauty of that hour.  It was all intensified
by the contrast with what they had left behind. The mother could only
think with horror of the darkness and dirt, sin and suffering, turmoil
and unspeakable degradation in which they had lived for those six days.
But now it seemed as if they were in heaven itself.  Oh, the beauty of
that scene! To the east the sun was just appearing in all its height of
glory.  To the north, south, and west, rose mountains and hills still in
shadow, except for the tipping of the coming sun whose herald of glory
lit up the eastern sky and plain which stretched out before them as far
as the eye could reach.

It seemed there on that hill-top alone with God so easy to trust for the
little one who was still feverish and ill.  But all too soon, as it
seemed, they had to leave that quiet spot and go down into the valley—to
the noise and confusion of the village where their Sabbath ministry lay.
The following morning early they once more turned their faces homeward,
and as the mother saw the bright, happy smile on her child’s face, the
fever gone, she pressed him to her with joy and thankfulness, and there
arose in her heart a cry for forgiveness that she had been so faithless
and unbelieving.

    This cruel self, oh how it strives
    And works within my breast,
    How many subtle forms it takes
      *   *   *   *
    As if it were not _safe_ to rest
    And venture _all_ on Thee."


As years passed the mother’s faith did grow, but it was on _God’s
faithfulness_ until she learnt it _was safe_ to venture _all_ on Him.

Dear fellow-mother in the homeland, as you realize from these lines
something of what it costs a mother in China to step out from her home
to save her Chinese sisters, ask yourself "Could _I_ do it?"  Oh, my
sisters, criticize less and pray more for the missionary mothers of
China.



                              *SKETCH VI*


                         *A Christian General*

                      _Hope for China’s Soldiers._



                         *A Christian General*

                      *HOPE FOR CHINA’S SOLDIERS.*


(The following letter was written on board river steamer immediately at
the close of the visit to General Feng’s camp.)


On Board Yangtze Steamer,
       September 2, 1919.

Dear Home Friends:

About the beginning of July, a very urgent message reached Doctor
Goforth from General Feng of Chang-teh, Hunan, asking for a "mission"
among his troops.  The only possible time he had to give was the last
week of August, and the meetings were arranged for this time.  Later the
General telegraphed for me to come for meetings among the 70 or 80
officers’ wives.

When the time drew near that we should have to leave Chi Kung Shan for
Chang-teh, word came that cholera was raging at places along the
railway.  Then the heat became so intense I was tempted to listen to
some who urged me not to go.  But as I hesitated, I was led to
Ecclesiastes 11:4—"He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that
regardeth the clouds shall not reap."  How could I refuse to go, in face
of such a text?  If I had not gone, what I would have missed!

The journey of one day by train and three by steamer was extremely hot.
It was as if we were in a Turkish bath day and night.  We slept at night
on the deck of the steamer.  On Sunday afternoon, Aug. 24th, we reached
the house of Mr. Caswell of the Holiness Mission.  It was amusing to
read the General’s letter written in English by his Chinese English
Teacher, in which he said to Mr. Caswell, "I beg you to prepare the
treatment for their coming."

General Feng called within an hour of our arrival.  He is over six feet
tall, and every inch a General, yet without a trace of the bombast so
often seen in the higher-class Chinese. His manner is a curious and
striking mixture of humility, dignity, and quiet power; he has a
handsome, good face.  He at once impresses one as true and sincere, a
man to be trusted. He has been a Christian for six years.


                      THE STORY OF HIS CONVERSION.

The story of his conversion is most interesting, but it is too long to
give in detail.  In brief, it is as follows:—When a young fellow of
sixteen, he joined the army.  Shortly after, the Boxer Uprising broke
out.  He was among those sent to put down the Boxers at Pao-ting-fu, but
his commanding officer was really in league with them.  One day he stood
in a mission courtyard when the Boxers came in.  A single lady
missionary came out to meet them, and pleaded for her own life and the
lives of the others with her, and with great power recounted what she
and others had been doing for their people. What she said touched the
young soldier.  She and the others were spared then, but he heard that
they were all beheaded later.

Soon after, he was taken ill and treated at the mission hospital in
Peking.  On leaving, he wanted to give money; but the doctor said.  "If
you are truly grateful for what we have done for you, then all I ask of
you is to remember that there is our God in heaven Who loves you."
Later, he was again obliged to go to hospital for treatment at a place
far distant from the first one.  Here the doctor, on his leaving, said
almost exactly the same words—"Remember there is a God in heaven Who
loves you."

Some time after this, the future General was in Peking when Dr. Mott was
holding meetings.  He heard Dr. Mott, was much impressed, signed one of
the cards, and joined a Bible Study Class.  He was thus definitely
started on the right road; and, though other circumstances combined to
lead him to take an out-and-out stand, he dated the beginning of his
Christian life from Dr. Mott’s visit.


                          THE GENERAL’S WORK.

Before coming here to Chang-teh, we had heard a great deal of what
marvels the General had accomplished in the year he has been here; but
what we have seen surpasses what we heard.  General Feng has the welfare
of his soldiers, both body and soul, at heart.  This is seen by the fact
that he has put down vice of all kinds.  All bad resorts and their
inmates are removed far from the camp.  No smoking, drinking, gambling,
or opium is allowed.  The officers, including himself, dress in the
plainest gray cotton.  Even the officers’ wives are not allowed to wear
silks, but just plain cotton.  No foot-binding is allowed.

The General has arranged all sorts of athletic sports for officers and
men.  There is a fine reading room; the illiterate are taught to read.
There is a school for officers’ wives taught by a Christian lady, the
wife of one of the officers and a graduate of the Peking Girls’ School.
There is an industrial school for women; also an industrial school for
men who are nearing the age limit of the army, to teach them ways of
earning a livelihood.

Christian worship is taught and encouraged in every way. One morning Dr.
Goforth and I had occasion to pass through several courtyards of the
men’s quarters just at breakfast time.  As we passed along, we saw the
men in groups standing before the food singing their morning hymn of
thanksgiving. And we were told by the missionaries living near the camp
that every evening they can hear the soldiers singing their evening
hymn.  Sometimes it is, "Oh, come to my heart Lord Jesus; there is room
in my heart for Thee"—or "Pass me not, O gentle Saviour."  As the
soldiers march along the street, they sing Christian hymns, one of the
favorites for marching being "Onward, Christian Soldiers."

The General has a band, and also a choir; but I hardly know what to say
about the quality of the singing and music generally.  I can only give
my impression of it as I heard them in the Assembly Hall at one of the
meetings.  The band, organ and men all start at once on the third stroke
of the baton, no leading note being given.  Every instrument in the band
seemed to my ears to be tuned to a different key, and every man seemed
to sing without the least regard for the key of his neighbor.  All kept
the tune, as far as I could hear, and all played or sang as loudly as
they could bang, toot, or shout. The general effect was deafening, and
to me almost appalling, for there were about 1,000 men and some twenty
instruments engaged.  When the General later called upon the choir of
twenty men to sing by themselves with just the baby organ accompaniment,
it was really delightful to listen to them. They sang very well indeed.


                      THE MISSION AND ITS RESULT.

And now as to the "Mission" we have just held.  From the first, God has
been very manifestly working.  Twice every day Dr. Goforth has had an
attentive and keenly interested audience of about 1,000 men, chiefly
officers.  At three of these meetings the wives were permitted to be
present; but all the rest of the women’s meetings were separate, when
God gave me much help in speaking to them.  At our last meeting,
practically all the officers’ wives present said they wished to follow
the Lord Jesus.

At one of the last meetings for the men, General Feng broke down as he
tried to pray.  What seemed to affect him was the thought of his
country.  As soon as he could recover from his sobs, he stood up and,
facing his officers, pleaded for his country—pleaded with them to join
him in putting aside all mean motives, and think and work and pray for
their country. One of his staff officers followed, praying earnestly,
then one after the other of the officers, with sobs and tears cried to
God on behalf of themselves and their country.

An old missionary who was present, and who described the scene to me,
said he did not think there had ever been such a scene before when a
general wept before his own officers, with all that followed.  But the
discipline was not broken by it; for when the General rose to leave, the
audience rose as one man.

Dr. Goforth and General Feng went yesterday to a camp 23 miles away,
where there are about 4,000 troops.  Five hundred of these have already
been baptized, and hundreds more are enquiring.  A Christian Chinese
gentleman, who has won a fine name, is to come to act as the General’s
chaplain and organize the work among the troops.


                        THE COMING MAN OF CHINA.

Many feel that General Feng is the coming man of China. His troops
belong rightly to the north, but were sent down here to fight the
Southern Army.  General Feng, however, has made it clear to the Peking
Government that he is willing and eager to fight the enemies of his
country; but, unless forced to do so, he will not fight his own
countrymen of the south. When the war was on, he telegraphed more than
once to be sent to France; and when the situation looked very serious in
Shantung a few months ago, General Feng was spoken of as the man to cope
with the Japanese.

Surely it is a cause for most earnest praise to God that such a man is
being raised up.  The very fact that such wonderful possibilities lie
before him, and that after all he is but human, should call forth
definite prayer for him.  China needs—oh, so terribly!—just such men.
May God grant that General Feng be kept and used to save his country at
this time of crisis.

July 24th, 1919.—Almost a year has passed since the above letter was
written.  Several thousands of General Feng’s soldiers are now baptized
and the splendid work continues.  But as I write, civil war, which has
been simmering for years, has now broken out in dead earnest, General
Feng and his men are in the midst of the conflict and all are looking to
him and his friend Wu-pei-fu to save the situation in this crisis.



                              *SKETCH VII*


                          *A Chinese Nobleman*



                          *A Chinese Nobleman*


As I review the life of the man of whom I am to write, two incidents of
over thirty years ago come to mind.  On our way to China one of our
fellow-passengers was a man who had been in business twenty odd years in
China.  He declared there were no real Christians in China, that they
were all "rice" Christians—followers of the foreigner for what they
could get and so on.  Practically all the passengers, except the
missionaries heartily agreed with these statements.  Later we heard the
same thing repeated on the coast steamer.  Shortly after reaching our
destination a well-known resident of China, who had occupied for
twenty-five years a responsible position in the "Customs" made such
positive statements along the same line that the writer began to wonder
if these things could be true.  Six weeks later this accuser, and as I
know now to be, cruel slanderer of the Christians had gone to meet his
Judge—dying suddenly in his chair as the result of a vicious debauch!

It is now the writer’s privilege to give testimonies after thirty years
standing, to the genuineness of the Chinese Christian—here is one of
them.

Twenty miles northeast of the Mission Station of Changteho lived a
well-to-do banker and landowner named Chen-Lao-Jung.  He was a man of
most masterful personality. His old mother, to whom he was greatly
devoted, had long been afflicted by attacks of what the Chinese called
demon possession—which from all accounts exactly resembled those
recorded in the Bible.  Every heathen means had been used for her
relief.  Witch doctors, necromancers, Buddhist priests, and others had
used their arts upon her (some of these being very cruel), but the poor
woman was "nothing better, but rather grew worse."

One day a Christian called when the woman was in a serious and violent
condition.  Mr. Chen asked Mr. Hsu, the Christian, to pray to his God
for his mother, but the Christian replied, "I would gladly do so, but it
is useless for me to pray to my God, who is the only true God, when you
recognize so many other gods that are false.  These household gods must
first be destroyed: then I can pray."  (Oh, that our home Christians
would realize this too, _then_ would _they_ know the power of prayer).

After some demur Mr. Chen decided that he had tried these gods and they
had failed him, now he would burn them rather than lose this opportunity
of having his mother healed by the Christian God!

In face of the bitterest opposition from his family and neighbors he
publicly burnt all the household gods.  Then he and Mr. Hsu followed by
all the family and a crowd of curious neighbors went into the mother’s
room where she lay foaming on the bed.  Mr. Hsu first sang the hymn
"Jesus loves me"—then prayed, then sang again.

Gradually the woman quieted down and before long was completely
restored.  Thus the Lord as of old answered prayer and delivered the
woman from the terrible power which had had such a hold upon her.  Her
deliverance was so wonderful that all the family and some neighbors
immediately accepted the Gospel.

Mr. Chen left his home and business for several weeks and came to the
out-station where the writer and her husband were.  Here he took the
place of a little child.  His humility, earnestness, and sincerity
impressed us all.  When he felt he had grasped the main truths of the
Gospel he returned home realizing as few Christians seem to do, that he
had been saved to save others.  He at once started family worship, and
prepared a building as a chapel and preaching hall—here he gathered and
taught all who wished to learn.  His whole family became out and out for
Christ and soon neighbors were won.  The first of these was a notable
opium slave.  The story in detail of the growth of Christianity in Mr.
Chen’s region would fill a volume, but space permits only the brief
record of open outstanding facts.

About two years after Mr. Chen became a Christian the locusts came over
the country in great numbers, eating all before them.  Mr. Chen told his
family that since they would all be busy fighting the locusts, family
worship would for the time be given up.  A few days later a fine boy in
the family, about seven years of age, became paralyzed in one side and
was unable to get off the kang (or brick bed).  The following is Mr.
Chen’s own account of what followed.

"One day I was out in the fields fighting the locusts when I suddenly
seemed to waken out of sleep.  "Hsing Wu kuo lai" I cried aloud—’Why!
_the connection is cut!  The connection is cut!_’  I hastened home and
called all the family together.  I told them to get down on their knees
and confess with me our sin of _putting God aside_, that by doing so we
had cut the connection with God, for God had said, ’Your iniquities have
separated between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from
you.  Oh, Lord now that the connection is mended, won’t you heal the
little boy?’  And as we prayed we heard the child get off the kang, and
before we rose from our knees he was running around quite well."

Mr. Chen became a tower of strength to the missionary, who when obliged
to be absent sometimes from that part of his field would commit the
affairs of the Church into his hands.  Did he get money for this, you
ask.  No—all his service was for love of his Lord.

Not many months ago this man stood bravely, grandly, one of the severest
tests any Christian could be put to.

He had a very dear little daughter, a pretty, gentle, timid child of
about nine years of age.  This child was away from home when she was
attacked by a young woman of violent temper, the daughter of another
Christian.  The child was struck several times with a heavy stick, and
as she fled terrified was followed and struck again, it is believed, on
the head, a few days later the child returned home, but could say little
else than, "I’m afraid" over and over again.  She sank rapidly and died;
but before her death she told her father of the attack upon her.  A few
days later the writer received a most touching letter from Mr. Chen in
which he reviewed the past—what he had been saved from—what Christ had
been to him—then wrote as follows—


"Shepherd Mother—My heart is crushed, my little daughter is dead.  I do
not want the one who killed her to be punished.  I only ask that you
warn her so that other children shall not suffer as mine has done."


Those of us who know how exceedingly _revengeful_ the Chinese are by
nature will agree that one could scarcely find a more beautiful example
of the power and fruit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ than this.



                             *SKETCH VIII*


                              *Mr. Doong*



                              *Mr. Doong*

My husband and I with our children had settled down for a few weeks’
stay at one of our out stations, when I noticed one morning at breakfast
a strange man sweeping the yard. He looked such a queer bundle of
incongruous clothes I could not make out if he were a teacher, a poor
farmer, or a coolie. The man’s face was so wrinkled and his shoulders so
stooped he looked a much older man than his years, which could not have
been more than fifty.

"Who is that queer old man?" I asked my husband.

"His name is Doong Lin Huo," he replied, "he has come to study the
Gospel and is so grateful for what he is getting he has begged me let
him do something to shew his gratitude."

Some days later one of the Evangelists came to me for some medicine for
Mr. Doong, saying he was very ill with that foe of native and foreigner
alike—dysentery.  I had only one small bottle of expensive medicine
which I kept for ourselves in case of emergency.  It was unopened and
when once opened I knew it would lose its strength.  So I said:

"I have only medicine for ourselves."

"I fear if something is not done for Mr. Doong he will die," the
Evangelist said as he turned away disappointed. This decided me and I
hastily gave him out several doses. Later he came for more and a few
days passed when Mr. Doong himself appeared dressed up in fine
_borrowed_ garments, and his face shining with the extra rubbing he had
given it. Before we could prevent him he had prostrated himself before
me knocking his head several times on the floor, saying, "Oh, lady, you
have saved my life!"

The story of this man’s conversion is of interest in that it is typical
of thousands in China.  His people were farming mountain villagers.
Some years ago when visiting his village I was impressed with the
picturesqueness of the situation, built as it is on the side of a steep
mountain cliff above a rapidly running stream.  As we went through this
village street we walked up steps as if going up stairs.

Mr. Doong’s family was large even for this land, it consisted of several
of the old passing generation, also his five sons and their wives and
children and some of their sons’ wives and their children.  All lived
within one enclosure.  The family owned some land but as the mouths
increased it was not sufficient for their needs and some sought
employment, especially during the winter months.  Mr. Doong himself was
among these, he joined a low travelling theatrical company, as cook and
lived as low a life while with them as any human being could well live.
When the missionary first came across him he was using his animals
during the slack winter months to escort travellers over the mountains
west of his home.

One day the missionary arrived in the village with his party of
preachers on their way to a famous goddess’ temple situated two hundred
Chinese miles further west among the mountains.  Mr. Doong and his
animals were hired for the journey.  Day by day as the party stopped at
noon and for the night preaching was carried on in the open.  During
those days Mr. Doong caught little else of the preaching than that they
were speaking against the gods.  He became alarmed and so sure was he
that the great goddess would cause some terrible calamity to overtake
them on their arrival at their destination he determined to leave the
party as speedily as possible, and it was with a sense of real relief
that he saw, as he thought, the last of them.

Some weeks later he had occasion to go to the distant city of Lin-Hsien
far off among the mountains.  Here he found the same missionary with his
preachers still preaching as before—and no calamity had befallen them!
He began to have doubts as to whether they might not be right after all.
Every opportunity was taken advantage of to hear what they had to say
with the result that when the time came for him to leave, he turned his
face towards home a changed man.

His first step was to destroy the household gods, much to the horror and
anger of his family and neighbors, who all believed him to have become
bewitched by the foreigner and waited to see some dread judgment fall
upon him.  Surely facing such odds as bravely as this man did and with
quiet steady calmness raises him to the place of a real hero.

His next step was to give up his opium.  This he did without the aid of
other drugs.  He simply sought God’s help and got it.  His is one of the
rare cases we have known of, where the terrible opium habit has been
broken without human aid.

Then came his visit to our out-station to learn to read and understand
the Bible.  It was no easy task for either pupil or teacher at his age,
but so earnest was he and diligent that in a few weeks he could read the
Chinese New Testament sufficiently well to get the meaning and in a few
months had practically mastered its "characters."

Three years passed during which time Mr. Doong had won the highest
opinions from missionaries and his fellow Christians.  His name was
suggested as a probationary evangelist, and although his lack of
education was against him, his beautiful spirit, so gentle, and so full
of love to all with whom he came in contact, seemed to more than make up
for this lack and he was unanimously called to the preaching of the
Gospel. As time passed, results from Mr. Doong’s ministry amply
justified this step, for wherever Mr. Doong was placed the work
flourished and converts were added.

On one occasion the writer visited one of these places with her husband.
It was a busy pottery centre, known far and wide for its unspeakable
immorality.  Yet even in this most difficult field Mr. Doong had
gathered out a little company of believers.

I shall not soon forget the welcome we received on our arrival after a
long trying dusty journey, at the door of the humble place where he
lived and where we were to stay.  He was so hearty and kind and yet had
a certain dignity and courtesy which made me say inwardly, "Can this be
the same man who was cook in a low theatrical company?"  Yes he was the
same, yet not the same, for his whole life, his looks, his wonderful
power of holding heathen audiences for over an hour at a time all
testified to the power of Christ to save and transform men.

At the close of our visit I told my cook to settle as was the custom
with Mr. Doong for the coal we had used during the ten days we had been
there.  The cook returned to say Mr. Doong refused to take anything for
it.  I called the dear old man and protested that this would not do.  He
looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "Mother, Shepherd, will
you not allow me the privilege and pleasure of doing even this much for
you, when you and your husband have done so much for me?  What would I
have been had you not come with this blessed Gospel?"  With full heart
and dim eyes I could only put my hands together and bow low my thanks.

When home on furlough I sent to a missionary for a photo of Mr. Doong
for a lantern slide.  In due course the photo arrived with a note from
Mr. Doong himself, which ran as follows: "Dear Shepherd Mother, I thank
you for the compliment you have paid me in asking for my photo.  I would
reciprocate and ask for yours but there is no need _for your countenance
is engraved on my heart!_"

After an absence from our old field for some five years it was a great
joy to both my husband and myself to have Mr. Doong once more our
co-worker, but it was only for a brief period.  Our hard pressed doctor
needed the best man we could give him as Hospital Evangelist and Mr.
Doong was chosen for this position.  There he remained till advancing
years with its increasing physical weakness forced his retirement and he
returned home, but not to the home of the early years for now almost all
had been won to Christianity, as well as many of his neighbors.

"For behold .... how that not many wise after the flesh, not many
mighty, not many noble are called.  But God hath chosen the foolish
things of the world that he might put to shame them that are wise."



                              *SKETCH IX*


                    *Heathenism As I Have Known It*

Part 1—HEATHEN VERSUS CHRISTIAN WORSHIP.
Part 2—FACTS.



                    *Heathenism As I Have Known It*


"_If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those
that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold we knew it not; doth
not he that pondereth the heart consider it?  And he that keepeth thy
soul, doth not he know it?  And shall not he render to every man
according to his works?_"  (_Prov._ 24:11, 12.)

"If you can get our church people to really believe the heathen NEED the
Gospel, you will have gone a long way to bring about the desired
attitude towards Foreign Missions."  So said a prominent Foreign Mission
Secretary to the writer. Another Foreign Mission Secretary, who had
spent many years on the Foreign Field as a missionary, suggested the
subject for this Sketch, saying, "Draw it plain, for they need to know."

The subject is not a pleasant one; draw the picture of heathenism as you
will, it can be only dark and repelling; neither _dare_ one write all
one knows....


                  1.—HEATHEN VERSUS CHRISTIAN WORSHIP.

Missionaries and converts were gathered in full force for their annual
evangelistic campaign at one of the largest, most important centers of
heathen worship in China—the Hsun-Hsien Fair or Festival.  Inclement
weather had somewhat delayed the influx of pilgrims.  It was suggested
that my husband and I take advantage of this fact to make a long planned
visit to the temple of the goddess Lao Nai Nai, (Old Grandmother) who
drew to her shrine every year vast crowds of men and women of every
class.  (It is estimated that during the ten days of the winter festival
alone, over a million pilgrims kneel before this image.)

We started quite early one morning hoping thereby to escape any
possibility of great crowds.  As we ascended the hill on which the
temple stood, the road was lined on either side with booths and mat
stalls where commodities such as pilgrims required, were sold.  There
were paper babies, made of brilliant colored paper on cornstalk frames.
(The goddess was believed to have power to bestow living children in
return for the paper offerings.)  There were paper horses, and women and
young girls, made to look very life-like, all of which were supposed to
turn into the real kind for the use of the spirits beyond.  Dice and
gambling cards were much in evidence; also peep shows, which we were
told were of the most obscene kind.

By the time we had reached the main entrance to the temple my courage
had begun to fail, and gladly would I have backed out, but my husband
felt we must go on.  Passing through the great gates we entered a large
court, on either side of which were crowds of men and women, some at
tables, some seated on the ground, all feasting or gambling.  In and out
among these, peddlers passed calling loudly their wares. Utter confusion
prevailed, but we had no difficulty in getting through to the court
beyond; here, however, we found the crowd increasingly great.  A large
iron caldron resting on a pedestal stood in the center of the court
surrounded by several men stripped to the waist, these were dancing and
shouting as they stirred the fire in the caldron with iron sticks, the
fire being fed by the paper offerings of the pilgrims.  The men’s faces
and bodies were blackened by the paper ashes.  The whole scene was most
gruesome and reminded one of Dante’s "Inferno."

The men, catching sight of us, demanded fiercely our paper offerings;
one of them going so far as to seize me by the arm. I shrank in terror
behind my husband, who urged me not to show fear, but to keep moving on;
to go back now was impossible, for the whole crowd was moving on towards
the right hand flight of steps leading up to the goddess’ temple.  On
reaching these steps there was a pause and then a sudden rush, strain,
and crush, when I found myself landed at the top of the steps, and my
husband pushing me out of the crowd into a ledge of the balcony.  Here
we stood apart, almost hidden from the crowd.

What a sight the courts below presented!  The crowds, seethed and
crushed; hundreds of explosives seemed to be fired every moment; the
noise and confusion was indescribable. As we watched there were some
things that made one’s heart ache.  Heathenism seemed stamped upon most
of the faces.  Old men and women could be seen helped along by younger
ones.  Some of these must have been well on to eighty; some were so
frail and old as to be almost carried.  We knew that these were old
grandfathers or grandmothers being taken to the goddess’ shrine to ask
for a grandson.

As I turned from the sight, sick at heart, and closed my eyes for a
moment, I seemed to forget my surroundings and before me rose a vivid
scene in the dear homeland.  I seemed to be once more in the old seat in
Knox Church, Toronto.  Our beloved, white-haired pastor, Dr. Parsons
stood at the Communion Table.  And I could hear him say, "That I might
know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His
sufferings."  The quietness, the reverential worship, the solemnity of
the whole scene seemed as real as if I were there.  But oh, the contrast
as I opened my eyes on the scene before us!  _That_ was Christian—_this_
heathen worship!

Taking advantage of a lull in the crowd, we entered the temple.  On one
side a group of Buddhist priests at a table were counting the money
offerings.  In the center was the shrine of the goddess, the image
itself being far back almost out of sight.  Immediately in front of the
image a brass ring was suspended.  A railing kept the pilgrims from
getting too near, and as they knelt at this rail they threw their
offerings through this ring.  If the cash or coppers passed safely
through the ring their petitions were sure to be granted! This, of
course, encouraged many trys.  It is said many millions of cash are thus
offered year by year.  The Buddhist priests use this money largely in
gambling, drunkeness, and evil living.

We had seen enough.  Gradually we made our way out by a back gate
through the kindness of a friendly Chinese.  We passed a small side
shrine just behind the goddess’ temple. Looking inside I noticed what
seemed like a bundle of filthy rags, but seeing it move, I looked closer
and found beneath a beggar—dying of starvation.  From a near by eating
house we procured a bowl of hot soup, but the poor creature was too far
gone for help.  There at the very foot of the heathen goddess the man
died, with multitudes of her devotees passing him by without a thought
of pity or sense of responsibility towards a fellow being.  As soon as
his last breath would be drawn, yes, and knowing what I do of
heathenism, I dare say, even _before_, he would be taken out, thrown
into a hole and barely covered; while his poor beggar rags would be
claimed by other beggars who perhaps before long, came to share the same
fate.  _That_ is heathenism!



                              *II.—FACTS.*


"The tender mercies of the heathen are cruel."


Some years ago my husband and I went to a certain out-station where a
camp of soldiers was stationed.  A day or two before we arrived a man
had killed one of the soldiers in a fight.  The man escaped, but was
later caught.  (The utter injustice and often cruel oppression of the
soldiers towards the people, lead us to believe quite possible, even
probable, the man had right on his side.)  He was taken before the
military chief who said, "Since the man has killed one of yourselves you
can do as you like with him."

For three days, while a platform was being erected, the poor creature
was tortured by the soldiers with the most unspeakable refinement of
cruelty.  The platform on which he was to be executed was erected quite
close to where we lived. The man was put on this high platform and in
the presence of a great multitude of men, women, and children was
cruelly done to death.  We could hear the shouts of the people as they
witnessed fresh signs of suffering.  The awful details of this execution
cannot be put on paper.  That evening I called our chief Evangelist in
and said, "Please write out as full a description of what has taken
place as possible, for I wish to send it to the press with an appeal
against such barbarism."  And this was his reply,

"But what is the use, Teacher Mother?  _This is not an isolated case_.
It is done by the soldiers all over China, under like circumstances!"

Much more could be said on this phase of heathenism-cruelty. But we do
not wish to dwell longer than necessary on any one part of this dark
picture.  But as I have studied the fruits of heathenism during these
years of closest contact with a heathen people I have come to feel that
this heartlessness and lack of pity is one of the most prominent
features of heathenism.

One outstanding illustration of this.  Li Shan Pao was the son of one of
our Evangelists; he was a young lad of promise and we had been helping
him through the High School at Wei Hwei Fu.  One day he and some other
lads were by the river near the school.  Li Shan Pao undressed and went
in for a swim, though the others tried to dissuade him, for the weather
was still cold.  He swam across the river and about half way back, when
he seemed to get into difficulties.  The other lads on the shore called
frantically to a passing boat for assistance. The men on this boat by
just putting out an oar, or stretching out a helping hand, could have
saved the boy, but though the lads on shore kept offering more and more
money the only answer they received was, "It’s not enough!"  Then over
the drowning boy they went without an effort to save him!  When the
missionaries came on the scene and drew the boy out, he was quite beyond
help.  _That is Heathenism_.  But terrible as the guilt of these men may
seem to us, yet are they not more guilty who deliberately close their
eyes to their personal responsibility towards the dying souls of their
fellowmen, whether at Home or on the Foreign Field?

The practice of Infanticide, which is one of the most terrible fruits of
heathenism, is far more common than many believe.  For several years I
scarcely knew of its existence till my work began to take me out among
the people.  The three cases which I shall confine myself to in this
Sketch, came to my notice within a short time of each other.

When preaching in a district among the hills Northwest of Changte, my
husband, through what seemed a mere accident, found out that the custom
existed through a wide region, of _putting all girls but one to death at
birth in each family_!  This they justified by saying the grain and
water would not be sufficient for all if the population was not kept
down!

A Chinese woman, belonging to a well-to-do family, called to see me one
day.  She had a beautiful baby boy in her arms. Her husband had just
become a Christian and she seemed interested and some time later became
one of our leading Christian women.  But how dark her heart was then can
be seen by what follows.  A few weeks after her first visit she came
again, but _without the baby_.  The following conversation took place:

"Why!  Where is your beautiful boy?"

"Oh, it’s thrown away."

"But it was quite well when you came before.  What disease did it have?"

"It did not have anything wrong."  By this time I felt there must be
something not right and determined to find out the truth.  At last the
woman told this story.  One cold night the baby was lying on the outside
of the "kang" or brick bed, it got out from under her cover and rolled
off on to the floor. It was quite naked for the Chinese do not use night
clothes, and instead of the mother taking the child up off the cold
brick floor, she let it stay there all night.  When she picked it up in
the morning it was dead.  I said, "Oh, how could you be so cruel?"  She
replied with a laugh, "I had plenty of other children and did not want
the bother!"

When at an out-station a man brought a little baby, asking me to give it
something to stop its crying as the mother was so tired of hearing it
cry she did not want the child.  I could not find anything the matter
with the little one and told the father so.  Some days later I saw the
man in the yard and asked about the baby.  He said it was "thrown away"
meaning dead.  I called my Bible woman and told her to find out the
cause of the child’s death.  This is the story the father told her.  On
returning home the mother received her husband with angry looks saying,
"I told you I don’t want it; take it away."  The father took the little
one to a field away from the village and making a hole put the baby into
it, but as he ran away the child’s cries caused him to return and take
it out again, but when the little one kept on crying he became impatient
and throwing it back, covered it over and returned home.  Who can say
how many children meet a like fate in this heathen land every year?

What can one say of the injustice, cruelty, and oppression meted out to
vast numbers of young brides and the younger wives and women by the
older ones or their husbands?  The marriage customs of China which
demand that a young woman be under the care of, or rather guarded and
watched, by her mother-in-law _is necessary so long as the morality of
the men is what it is_.

My Bible woman and I were preaching in a heathen home. I had noticed a
very fine young woman of about twenty among pur listeners.  As we were
preaching cries and sobs came from a room to the side of the court where
we were.  I signed to Mrs. Wang to find out the cause.  A few moments
later she called me out, and led me to the room from which the cries had
come.  As we passed through the court I noticed a poor idiot boy, a most
pitiful sight.  I found in the room we entered the fine young woman I
had noticed among our listeners. She was sitting on the brick bed, a
picture of utter despair. Tears were streaming down her cheeks, and as
she rocked herself back and forth she moaned and sometimes cried aloud,
always the same words,—"Oh, it is for life, for life!"  I tried to
discover the cause but failed.  The only thing anyone would say was,
"She often takes these turns."  On our way home my women told me the
truth.  _This beautiful girl in the prime of life had been married to
the idiot boy_.  The boy’s family needed a strong woman of ability to do
their weaving and sewing.  An extra gift to the Go-between on condition
she secured such a wife for the idiot boy procured for them what they
wanted.  But what did they care for the broken heart?  They were
_heathen_!

The last phase of heathenism I will touch upon is—_Its utter
hopelessness in face of Death_.  Again and again have I asked heathen
women what they had to look forward to after death; one and all have
said, _only horror and fear_.  Never has the story of my own dear
Mother’s wonderful death, passing as she did with the very Glory of
heaven shining on her face, failed to move an audience of heathen women:
again and again have they come to me at such times saying, "We want to
know how to die like that.  We suffer enough here, how can we go where
there is no more suffering?"

Many dark scenes come to mind as I write; but what I have given is
sufficient to justify us in saying that Heathenism is cruel; it is
wicked, and heartless, and selfish, yes, and devilish!

                            *      *      *

"If THOU forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto DEATH ... He that
keepeth THY SOUL doth not He know it!"



                               *SKETCH X*


                       *The Blind Famine Refugee*



                       *The Blind Famine Refugee*


The winter of —— was a sad, bitter one for those living in Eastern
Shantung.  The great Yellow River, truly called "China’s Sorrow," had
burst its banks, devastating a large area of thickly populated country.
In spite of well organized famine relief administered by missionaries
and other representatives of foreign countries (some of whom lost their
lives from famine fever when engaged in this work), many people perished
from starvation, fever or exposure.

Early one morning towards the end of February when the weather was still
bitterly cold, a sad thing was happening inside a little wayside temple
not far from one of the villages in this famine region.  On the cold
brick floor just in front of the idol’s shrine lay a dying beggar.
Famine was claiming one more victim.  Beside him knelt his blind wife,
swaying backwards and forwards moaning piteously.  On the opposite side,
nestling close to his dying father, as if for protection and warmth,
slept a little boy of about six years of age.

All through that cold pitiless night the poor woman had knelt there
listening to the hard breathing which told what she could not see,—that
the end was near.  As the day dawned the last struggle ceased.  Quietly,
with the quietness and numbness of despair, the woman arose, felt for
her child, awoke him, then grasping her stout beggar’s stick with one
hand and laying her other on the child’s shoulder she motioned him to
lead her away.

Reaching the road she hesitated.  Where should they go to?  Death from
starvation seemed to await them on every side.  As she stood there
hesitating there came into her mind the remembrance of what someone had
said long before—that a long way off, about one hundred miles distant,
lived a man who could give sight to the blind.  Quickly with a sense of
desperation the poor blind beggar woman resolved to try to reach that
man.

The sufferings of that journey can only be faintly imagined.  They had
no protection from the bitter winds by day, nor the cold frosty nights,
but thin, torn, beggar garments.  No resting place by day or night, but
the roadside or the shelter of a wayside temple.  Sometimes a whole day
would pass when they failed to obtain even the few crumbs of black
mouldy bread (made chiefly of chaff) usually thrown to them.

Later, when attempting to tell the story of these days, the poor woman
seemed able to recall little else than the ever present dread she had,
lest when they reach the doorway of the wonderful man who could give
sight to the blind, it would perhaps be closed against them.  Needless
to say these fears were groundless, for when at last the mother and
child reached the Mission gate almost dead from starvation and
exhaustion, kind loving hands received them.  They were taken into the
Women’s Hospital, cleansed, clothed, and fed.

The day following their arrival one of the missionaries went to Mrs. Ma,
for such was the blind woman’s name, and said:

"Mrs. Ma, I have been sent to tell you that the doctor has great hopes
of restoring your sight.  But you are far too weak for the operation
yet.  He says you are to have all the food you can eat, and that I am to
get you anything you fancy. Now just tell me what you want."

At first the poor woman could not take it in.  Then when Mrs. S——,
repeated what she had said, and the meaning began to dawn upon her, she
stretched out her hands and with an indescribably touching cry in her
voice said, "If it is true indeed that I can really have what I most
crave for, then oh, please just give me a little SALT!"

Reader, you, who have never known want, can scarcely comprehend the full
significance of that request.  "Just a little salt!"  What deprivation,
what agony of want is revealed in that word!  To those of us who had
seen something of the sufferings of famine victims, it meant volumes.

With tender loving care Mrs. Ma was nursed back to strength and health;
but many weeks passed before the doctor pronounced her fit to stand the
operation.  Sight was restored to one eye, the other being quite beyond
recovery.  With glasses she was able to learn to read.  The woman’s
gratitude knew no bounds.  At first her eagerness to hear the Gospel and
learn to read was largely due to this intense gratitude, but gradually
the "True Light" entered her soul, and she became a sincere, earnest,
humble Christian.  Later she was appointed matron of the Women’s
Hospital where for twenty years she worked faithfully for the salvation
of the women in the hospital.

Mrs. Ma’s little son was put into the Boys’ School soon after their
arrival.  As the years went by he passed through one Mission School into
another, until he reached the Union Medical College of Peking.  His
whole life as a student had been such that the missionaries felt amply
justified in paying his expenses through his medical course.  He
received his M.D., graduating with high honors in 19—.  A large hospital
had just been erected in an important city in North China.  Dr. Ma was
asked to become house physician of this hospital.  Soon after his
appointment to this position he married a fine Christian girl, one of
the most promising graduates of the Women’s College of Peking.

It was in Dr. and Mrs. Ma’s cosy home near the hospital that the writer
last saw old Mrs. Ma who was there on a visit to her son.  She had long
been too frail for active work.  Her sight was gone, but the reflection
of an inner light illumined her countenance as we recalled together the
goodness of the Lord since the day she arrived at the Mission gate a
poor starved Blind Beggar Refugee seeking Light.



                              *SKETCH XI*


                       *Links in a Living Chain*



                       *Links in a Living Chain*


A poor suffering woman lay in the ward of the Womens’ Hospital at
Changte.  She had been there for over a month. Had she come earlier her
life might have been saved, but ignorance and fear had kept her back
till the terror of Death drove her to the Mission Hospital.

As the Missionary Doctor entered with her assistants the woman’s face
brightened up with a glad welcome smile.

"How much have you learnt to-day?" said the doctor bending over her
kindly.

"Oh, doctor, I’m so stupid, and the pain is _so_ bad I can’t learn like
the others.  But oh, doctor, I have learnt this," and as she spoke she
drew out from under the coverlet a sheet of paper on which was printed
in large Chinese characters the hymn "Jesus Loves Me."  And as she
crooned over slowly the four verses making some slips the doctor
listened patiently, correcting when needed.  Then with a few tender
words she passed on through the wards.

Not many days later, Mrs. Chang, the sick woman, had to be told nothing
more could be done for her but she must return home to die.  The long
journey home over rough stony roads was borne with amazing fortitude,
for had not her life been one long lesson in bearing hardness.  For
weeks she lay on the brick bed in her home at Linchang, a wonder to her
family and neighbors.  What was the secret of the change?  She had left
them with the horror and dread of death upon her face.  She returned
with her face shining with joy and openly stating she no longer feared
death although she knew her days were few.  She seemed happy and in
peace. The hymn sheet was always in her hand and when asked why she was
not afraid to die she would point silently to the second verse of the
hymn and then chant aloud, trying to sing as she had heard others sing
in the Hospital, but though the tune she sang could not have been
recognized it sounded sweet in the ears of One who heard.  Over and over
that second verse was repeated for it contained that which was the Hope
of her soul:

    "Jesus loves me, He who died,
    Heaven’s gate to open wide,
    He will wash away my sin,
    Let His little child come in!"

Then the day came when according to Chinese custom neighbors and friends
crowded into the chamber of death to see the end.  As long as she had
breath she urged her husband to go to the mission and learn the Gospel.
She begged that none might go to her grave to weep, for she said, "I
will not be there.  I will be in Heaven."  When the last moments came
her face was illuminated with joy and she raised her hands as if to
welcome someone as she passed away.

The effect of this deathbed scene was truly remarkable. Mr. Chang her
husband, her only son and daughter and son’s wife immediately became
Christians.  A quarrel which had separated Mr. Chang and his eldest
brother for ten years was made up and this brother became an earnest
Christian.  Only a few months passed when a time of severe testing came
to this family.  The son’s wife was taken ill and died.  During her
illness and at her death she witnessed as wonderful testimony to the
Christian’s hope as her mother-in-law.

The neighbors on the east side of the Chang’s homestead were a large
influential family named Fan.  The younger Mrs. Chang’s death-bed scene
so touched one of the young men of this family that he determined to
break away from the heathenism of his home and become a follower of
Christ.  His soul became so on fire for the Lord that he influenced many
in his family until they were on the point of turning away from their
heathenism.  It was at this juncture that my husband and I began an
aggressive evangelistic campaign in this town near their home, and great
hopes were felt that the entire family would become Christian, when as
in the case of Dr. Dwan (see "As Silver Is Refined") a series of events
so terrorized the family that for over a year they refused to believe
but that the gods were fighting against them for changing their belief.
And is it any wonder?  Almost immediately after young Mr. Fan became a
Christian one calamity after another came upon the family till the
climax was reached when one of the younger sons, about fourteen years
old, went to visit a relative some ten miles distant.  He never reached
their home, but disappeared and was never heard of again. A little later
another son who had become a seeker after Christ went to the Mission
Hall apparently well was taken suddenly ill and before even a neighbor
could be called passed away.

But in spite of these things, which to the heathen people of Linchang
were certain proofs of the power of the gods to take revenge, young Mr.
Fan stood true and within a year had won back several of his family.
From this time the church grew in Linchang.  Within a few years a nice
Christian church and school house was erected by the Christians within
sight of the Fans’ home, the evangelist in charge also being supported
by themselves.

Some years later it was the writer’s privilege to assist her husband in
a series of special meetings held in this little Linchang church, which
during the ten days of the "Mission" was filled to its utmost capacity.
Not soon could one forget the scenes of those days when one after
another consecrated himself afresh to the Lord.

Two cases stand out prominently.  One was that of a wealthy landowner
who also was partner in a prominent business concern in Linchang.  At
considerable financial loss to himself he gave up this business to
become a preacher of the Gospel.  The second case was that of a proud
Confucian scholar who at that time held a position of head teacher in a
government school.  He also caught the vision which forced him to resign
his position in order to preach the Gospel.

Many times during those days as I witnessed the Holy Spirit working in
the hearts of these men and women and saw signs of the light of the
Gospel beginning to spread throughout that whole region I thought of
that first little seed of truth sown in the heart of the poor suffering
woman as she lay in the women’s hospital in Changte.



                              *SKETCH XII*


                       *Our First Woman Convert*



                       *Our First Woman Convert*

                            *A Mere Memory.*


The following is but a brief memory of the long gone past. Even the name
of the woman is forgotten but not the look on her pale patient face as
she lay for weeks in the Mission Hospital—our first woman in-patient.
Though almost thirty years have come and gone since those earliest days
in North Honan the memory of this woman remains as one of the very few
bright gleams in what was to us pioneer missionaries a time of darkness
and peril.

The people were still bitter against us though a year had passed since a
foothold had been gained in what we had so long looked forward to as our
"Promised Land."  Stories of the vilest nature widely circulated and
believed did much to hinder the progress of the Gospel, and make the
people fear and hate us.  They believed we were capable of the very
worst atrocities.  Were I to attempt the plain record of many of these
stories British law would forbid the publication.

It is little wonder, therefore, that our good doctor, a man of
exceptional ability who had left brilliant prospects behind to come to
China, chafed under the petty cases which came to the Hospital, and had
more than once openly expressed his wish for some "good cases" which
would help to open the people’s hearts towards us.  Before long his wish
was abundantly gratified for three years later that hospital recorded
_twenty-eight thousand_ treatments in one year, a goodly proportion
being "good" cases.

The beginning of the breaking of the ice of prejudice came when one day
a man wheeled into the hospital yard a barrow on which lay his sick
wife.  He seemed very loath to come but his poor wife appeared past
feeling.  It was most evident that only the hope of relief from
otherwise certain death could have induced them to risk coming for help
to the foreign doctor.

A little later the doctor announced a serious operation imperative.  To
this the woman gave her consent but the man hesitated.  How impossible
it is for those brought up in a Western land to form any conception of
the struggle the man went through in face of such a sweeping away of
life-long prejudices, but at last in face of that great enemy, Death, he
yielded.

Oh, how we prayed for that case!  There we were, a mere handful of
missionaries in the midst of a bitterly hostile people many of whom were
only waiting and watching for an excuse to attack and murder us.  Should
the operation prove fatal and the woman die under the doctor’s knife it
would have been quite sufficient to stir up a mob which would in all
probability have destroyed us all.  But the operation passed safely and
during the weeks of convalescence the doctor’s wife told into willing
ears the message of a Saviour who died to "open Heaven’s door."  From
the first the woman showed a wonderful keenness in learning the truth.
While still unable to sit upright and scarcely strong enough to hold her
book she studied almost constantly the simple Christian Catechism.

One day to my great surprise as I responded to a timid tap at my door, I
found this dear woman shrinking and uncertain as to whether she would be
admitted, and almost fainting from weakness.  I led her gently in and as
she lay on the sofa we talked together of the blessed Saviour.  After
all these years the joy I felt, in speaking of the precious truths to
this first Christian Woman of North Honan, still remains.  She seemed
even then to have her thoughts turned toward Eternity for she loved to
have me dwell on the Heavenly Home, and the hymn she loved best was:

    "My home is in Heaven, my home is not here."

Soon her visits became quite regular and as she lay on the lounge
listening and asking questions she was not the only one who was learning
for many were the lessons she unconsciously taught me of fortitude under
suffering, and the simpleness of childlike trust.  It seemed at times as
if every separate fruit of the Spirit in that glorious cluster could be
seen in this very babe in Christ.  Love, joy, peace, long-suffering,
gentleness, faith, meekness, all just shone from her countenance. One
day shortly before her return home she asked a question concerning the
Holy Spirit which showed what wonderful progress she had made in
spiritual understanding.

Although she left us apparently cured, a few months saw her back again
for treatment.  It was then she was received as our first Probationer
for Baptism but long before the year of probation had ended she had
passed away in certain hope of entering into the Presence of her
Saviour.



                             *SKETCH XIII*


                        *Two "Rice" Christians*

Part 1—THE "WOLF BOY."
Part 2—THE "WOLF BOY’S" MOTHER.



                        *Two "Rice" Christians*

                       *Part I.  THE "WOLF BOY."*


As one travels Westward from the city of Changte, the country becomes
more and more mountainous and rocky. Villages throughout that region are
frequently troubled, during the cold winter season, by wolves, desperate
with hunger venturing into the village streets injuring and sometimes
carrying off children.

During the winter of —— a lad about fourteen years of age, named Cheng
(surname) Woo-tse (given name), left his home near Changte to visit an
aunt living in a village ten miles west of that city.  One day, as the
lad was going on a message, a great wolf rushed down the village street,
and, before he could be driven away, jumped upon the boy clawing and
eating part of his face.

For months the ignorant villagers did what they could to relieve the
poor boy’s terrible sufferings; but, alas, those who are at all
acquainted with Chinese methods of treatment know how worse than useless
such attempts would be.  Only when it became apparent the boy would die
were the people willing for him to be taken to the Mission Hospital.

Naturally this most unusual case aroused great interest; all came to
know of the "Wolf Boy" as he was called.  For almost a year he remained
in hospital, carefully and tenderly nursed by his mother; her devotion
to her boy being most noticeable.

The doctor and his assistants set themselves to do their utmost for what
they felt was one of the most difficult cases that had ever been in the
hospital.  The doctor sought to give the boy, as far as it was possible,
a new face; but, after months of careful treatment and clever grafting,
he was only partly successful.  He succeeded in saving the sight of one
eye and in forming practically a new mouth.  But after the doctor had
done all it was possible to do the boy still remained such a horrible
sight he was forced to wear a mask.

While in the hospital all those months this poor torn lad won the hearts
of all by his gratitude for every kindness, his cheerfulness and
patience under great suffering, and his simple loving nature.  The
kindness shown them opened the hearts of both mother and son to the
Gospel message and both became Christians.  It was the boy, however, who
received the story of the Saviour’s Sacrifice with real joy.  What it
meant to him came out one evening at the weekly prayer-meeting.

The little group of Christians gathered were startled and deeply touched
when the "Wolf Boy" suddenly began to pray; his face was so bound as to
make speech difficult but this is what he said:

"O Lord!  I thank Thee for letting the wolf eat my face, for if he had
not I might never have heard of this wonderful Saviour."

When at last the time came for the boy and his mother to leave the
hospital, the missionaries felt it would be heartless to turn the boy
adrift to the "tender mercies of the heathen," so gave him the situation
of water-carrier for their yard.  Here he lived and worked amongst us
for some years.

The writer can never forget this boy’s sympathy and sorrow when one of
the little foreign children, whom he looked upon as his friends, became
sick unto death.  Outside the sick child’s door he waited and waited
every moment he could spare from his work, hoping and praying for the
word of hope that was not to come.  When, at last, he was told the
precious spirit was no longer with us, his grief was most touching.

Four years later the boy left us to take a situation at an adjoining
mission station.  Near this mission a river, wide and deep, flowed.  It
was here the wolf boy met his death.  When bathing with some other lads
he was carried out of his depth and drowned.

                            *      *      *

Many years have passed since this humble servant died, but there still
remains in many a heart a warm remembrance of the lad, so physically
hampered, but through whom the Christ-life shone so brightly as to make
him a blessing and an example to those who knew him.



                  *Part II.  THE "WOLF BOY’S" MOTHER.*

                  "_Faithful in that which is least._"


The following brief sketch is a true and grateful tribute to the
faithfulness of one who has been to the writer one of the greatest
blessings a mother, with little children, could have—a faithful, devoted
nurse.

As I write there comes before me a vivid picture of the scene in the
hospital ward where I first saw Mrs. Cheng.  On the wide brick platform
or bed, which reached across one end of the room from wall to wall, were
stretched a number of patients, each one on their own thin mattress or
bedding, and each attended by their own friends; foreign nurses being
unknown in China then.  In the further corner of this "kang" or general
bed, Mrs. Cheng bent over her poor mangled son, whose face was
completely hidden by bandages.

On that first visit I remember being much impressed with the mother’s
soft voice and quiet dignified manner, and with her extreme gentleness
in tending her child.  Each subsequent visit increased the desire to
secure this woman as a nurse for my children.  Soon the opportunity
came.

Mrs. Cheng soon found that months instead of days or weeks must elapse,
before her child could leave the hospital. The question as to how she
could support herself and her son while in the hospital became a serious
one; she, therefore, gladly accepted my offer to meet their expenses in
return for her help some hours each day with the children.  By the time
the doctor had pronounced the "Wolf Boy" ready to leave the hospital,
Mrs. Cheng had proved herself such a blessing and "treasure" in our home
that a warm welcome awaited her from the children as well as their
mother and she was installed as their permanent nurse.

Less than one year after Mrs. Cheng came to us, that terrible cataclysm
of horror—the Boxer uprising—took place, and we were all ordered to
flee.  With four small children the thought of that long cart journey
_without Mrs. Cheng_ was appalling; but would she come?  Her boy still
needed her to dress his face, and her old mother, of almost eighty, to
whom she was greatly devoted, looked constantly to her for help. We laid
our need before her and for one day she hesitated, going about the house
as if dazed.  At evening she came with tears, saying, "Shepherd Mother,
I must go with you.  My old mother weeps but tells me to go.  My boy
needs me, but he, too, says I must go, for the children need me most."

Days and weeks of terrible experiences followed, during which Mrs. Cheng
proved herself a blessing to the sorely tried mother.  Again and again
she was tested as few have ever been; how she stood the tests we shall
see.

The story of that journey has already been written, and only what
specially concerns Mrs. Cheng will here be mentioned.

On the eleventh day of the journey a band of armed men came down upon
our party like an avalanche, and in the melee Mrs. Cheng and our little
daughter, Ruth, became separated from us.  Can we ever forget, how, when
men stood over the faithful nurse demanding the child, she refused to
give her up, but lay upon the little one, and took blow after blow upon
her own body?  Only the greed for loot saved them, for the men seeing
others getting our things left them to get their share.

That same night when again our party was facing what seemed almost
certain massacre, several Chinese came to Mrs. Cheng urging her to leave
us, promising to see that she would be taken safely back to her home if
she would, but she refused.

About 2 o’clock that morning I heard the sound of weeping in the
courtyard; going out I found Mrs. Cheng sitting by the steps weeping
bitterly, and moaning aloud:

"I must go, I must go; they need me, even if they kill me I will go."
Sitting down beside her we clung in our distress to each other.  Then a
strange thing happened.  Two Chinese women came creeping towards us
through the dark court, and kneeling down at our feet took our hands in
theirs.  Almost too surprised for words I said:

"Are you Christians?"

"We don’t understand," they replied.

"Then why have you come to us now?"

"Because our hearts feel sorrow for you."  These words but imperfectly
convey the beautiful and touching sympathy of these heathen women, for
as they spoke, tears were in their eyes, and their look and manner meant
more than words. Before I had time to say more than a few words to them
the call came to get into our carts.

Once, during the wonderful day of deliverances that followed, the cry
was raised by the mob that surrounded our carts:

"Get the nurse out, drag her out, we will have her!"  And for a few
terrible moments it seemed we would lose her, but God in His great mercy
heard the cry that went up for her. A man came through the crowd,
evidently one of some influence, and shouted: "Don’t touch her, leave
her alone; don’t you see there are children and they need her?"  So we
were allowed to pass on.

In those terrible days that followed, when almost starved, when sickness
came to first one and then another, when all were exhausted and tried to
the lost point of endurance, Mrs. Cheng thought not for one moment of
herself, but only for those she served.  During all those hard, hard
days not a word of complaint or of her own sufferings escaped her.

Almost a month from the time we left our home we reached Shanghai and
here we had to part with our faithful helper. It was arranged that Mrs.
Cheng should go to a friend of ours in Chefoo till the troubles were
over, and we return to the Homeland.

Last words of farewell were being said at Mrs. Cheng’s cabin door, as
her steamer was about to leave.  The dear woman clung to me unwilling to
part and her last words were:

"Oh, my Shepherd Mother, do take good care of the children!"  So smiles
were mixed with tears as we parted.

                            *      *      *

Two years passed.  Conditions were once more becoming normal, or nearly
so.  Missionaries were returning to their various stations, but could
we, who had been through that Baptism of Blood, ever be just the same as
before?  We had been spared for further service, while others had been
TRANSLATED.  Surely we had been saved to serve as never before.  A new
and difficult life was entered upon—the opening of new out-stations, the
breaking of new ground.  All through the years of that life when
traveling constantly from place to place, Mrs. Cheng was a patient and
willing sharer in all the hardness and a never failing source of comfort
to me.  Never once in all those years, that I can recall, did this woman
ever get really angry or even out of temper with the children, and it
was a life that tried temper and patience to the utmost.

The years have passed on and with them the _little_ children from our
care, but Mrs. Cheng remains.  Although sixty years of age she appears
in some things to be renewing her youth! During the recent war, when we
women were trying to do our "bit" through the Red Cross, Mrs. Cheng came
to me one day and begged me to allow her to take my place at the sewing
machine.  At first I refused, but finally let her try but with some fear
lest she break the needle.  To my great surprise she was soon able to go
on with the Red Cross work quite alone; indeed she came to make the
soldiers’ garments so well as to call forth special praise from the Red
Cross Headquarters. This greatly surprised me, for I could never get her
to attempt to learn the machine when the children were small.  One day I
asked her why this was so, and her reply was:

"_Then_ I could not learn because the children filled my heart, _now_,
my Shepherd Mother, it is empty!"

Let us take, in closing, a peep into Mrs. Cheng’s own home. At break of
dawn on New Year’s morning, 1918, Mrs. Cheng, her only remaining son and
his wife, and their three children, were busily engaged preparing their
New Year’s feast, which consisted of dozens (amounting probably to
hundreds) of tiny meat dumplings, each one just large enough for one (?)
luscious, mouthful.  (These dumplings are to the Chinese at the New Year
season what turkey and plum pudding are to the Westerner.)

When all was ready, even the pot or rather large caldron, at boiling
point awaiting the precious dumplings, Mrs. Cheng gathered her household
around her and together they knelt and worshipped the Christian’s God.
Heathen neighbors gathered about the open doorway and watched, in
wondering but respectful silence, the kneeling group, and listened to
their hymn of praise.  Worship over, while the rest dropped dumplings
into the bubbling water, Mrs. Cheng preached to the curious and
questioning neighbors.  Telling me of it afterwards she said,—"Of
course, I could not preach, but I just told them what I knew of the Lord
Jesus."

Oh, that all God’s more favored children in every land would do just
THAT.



                              *SKETCH XIV*


                         *Daybreak in One Home*

Part 1—LITTLE SLAVE.
Part 2—SLAVE’S FATHER.
Part 3—SLAVE’S RELEASE.



                         *Daybreak in One Home*

                        *Part I.  LITTLE SLAVE.*


One of the most wonderful things about this wonderful old land of China,
is the number, size and length of her great waterways.  Millions of her
people live, yes and die, on the large and small craft (chiefly the
latter) which ply up and down these great streams.

Twenty-five days’ hauling up one of these rivers from the Port of
Tientsin, brings us to the town of Swinsen.  There can be little doubt
but that this place dates far back, for not far distant can be still
seen the ruins of what was once—three thousand five hundred years ago,
or before Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt,—the flourishing
capitol of the Kingdom of China.

The Wang family, for many generations, had made their home in this
curious old town of Swinsen.  To trace the history of one section of
this family, as I think you would like to hear it, we shall have to go
back forty years.  Could we about that time, have taken a peep through
one of the gateways on a narrow street of this town, we would have seen
a strange sight.

Standing in the centre of the court, and surrounded by a rough mocking
group, was a young girl.  She was dressed in all the gaudy garments of
an Eastern Bride, but her finery served only to show forth the more
conspicuously how ungenerous Nature had been in the matter of good
looks.  Tall and very thin, with a slouchy uncertain manner which gave
her loose ill-fitting garments the appearance of being made for another,
and with deep smallpox marks covering her face, and only partially
concealed by powder and paint, she certainly did not appear the
beautiful bride they had been led to expect.

A storm of ridicule and scorn was kept up by the group surrounding her.
"Evidently," said one, "she has been brought up in a poorly-managed home
or why have her feet been allowed to grow so large?"

"Were we not promised a beautiful, rich, clever, bride, with tiny feet?"
said another.  And the storm of abuse upon the innocent girl and absent
"go-between" became so bitter as to make the poor creature shrink in
terror.  At last, like an animal brought to bay, she turned pleadingly
towards a bright young man standing on the outskirts of the group, her
bridegroom of a day, who till that moment seemed heartily to enjoy the
fun of tormenting her.  Catching her pleading terrified look he flushed
as if with shame; then calling out sharply,—"Enough, enough!  Let her
alone.  She is not to blame, and, anyway, she is here to stay."  With
this he gave her a not ungentle push towards the door of their
apartment, then hastened through the gate and disappeared down the
street.

As is the custom in China the Wang household was ruled with a rod of
iron by the old grandmother.  And the old lady certainly had her hands
full for there were four sons, and four daughters-in-law, also numerous
grandchildren.  The new daughter-in-law was no favorite with her, and
young Mrs. Wang, as we shall call her, had a hard and bitter life.  All
the women of the family joined in making her the drudge.  One would have
to understand heathenism and the conditions of a heathen home to fully
comprehend what refinement of cruelty and meanness can be exercised by
women under like circumstances.  Again and again Mrs. Wang was tempted,
as she knew so many other brides had been, to end her wretchedness by
jumping down the well or taking opium poison, but something seemed to
keep her from this awful deed.

One day there arrived to comfort the poor girl’s heart a tiny stranger.
Because it was a girl the other members of the family took no interest
in its arrival, but the mother’s heart, crushed and starved for so long,
went out to her little daughter.  She thought long for a beautiful name
for her, and at last decided to call her "Lily Blossom."  But when the
old grandmother heard of her choice of a name she was furious, and
asserted her authority in no uncertain manner, declaring, "No girl in my
family will ever receive such a name.  Why! it is just tempting the
fairies to send us _only girls_.  Her name is to be SLAVE."  And Slave
she was called.

The child grew up pretty and attractive, surprisingly so considering the
coarse and unattractive surroundings in which she lived.  She was her
mother’s constant companion, and even when very young would try to
shield her mother from the blows often showered upon her.

When Slave reached her sixth birthday preparations were made to have her
feet bound.  Three or four women were needed for the performance.  One
to hold the child, a second to bandage, and one or two more to pull the
bandages.  A veil must be drawn over one terrible hour.  Then we see her
rolling from side to side on the large brick bed in a state of
semi-consciousness.  Her shrieks and cries had become reduced to low
moans.

At last her mother in pity offered to loosen the bandages, but little
Slave pushed her away with all her remaining strength, saying, "No, no,
I want my feet small, I must have my feet small."  And the mother
knowing well the bitterness and cruelty she had suffered because of her
own feet being allowed to grow to almost natural size, yielded.

For months Slave was practically a cripple, then gradually she learned
to balance herself on her crushed and broken stumps of feet.  Later the
child’s delight knew no bounds, for everywhere she went her tiny feet,
clothed in beautiful embroidered shoes, attracted the admiration of all.

                            *      *      *

Seven years have passed and we now find Slave a beautiful girl of
thirteen.  Her beauty had been much talked of, and great expectations
were indulged in regarding her marriage. The child outwardly seemed to
take more interest in making her pretty shoes than in these discussions
regarding her future "Mother-in-law’s home," but in reality she was a
keen and interested listener to all that was said on the subject.

More than one "go-between" had visited the home for the purpose of
arranging a match with Slave, but the family knew her market value and
were hard to please.  At last a woman came from whom Slave instinctively
shrank.  Yet it was she who succeeded in satisfying the demands of the
family.  This woman stated positively that the "Mother-in-law’s home,"
for whom she was the middle-woman, was all that could be desired.  They
owned considerable property, and were the chief family of their village.
As to the man himself, why he was all a girl could wish for or be proud
to call a husband,—young, handsome, clever, and so on.

The outcome of it all was the usual gifts were exchanged and Slave’s
fate was sealed for life.

Two short years passed then word was received from Slave’s
mother-in-law’s home that the wedding must take place on a certain date
in the near future.  During the busy days of preparation that followed,
Slave’s heart palpitated many times as with mixed feelings she thought
of the future. Then alas, all too soon the eventful day arrived, when
two Sedan chairs were set down at the Wang’s gateway.  The one
containing the waiting bridegroom, was handsomely decorated in blue and
silver, but the bride’s chair was even more gorgeous in its trappings of
gold and crimson.

When the time came for farewell, tears of real sorrow were shed, but
little Slave’s heart was too full of the handsome young bridegroom to
permit such sad feelings remaining long. No sooner was she safely behind
the curtains of her chair than she arranged with utmost care, her veil
and ornaments, seeking meanwhile to get a glimpse of the one who was to
be hers for life.  Often had she pictured to herself the "handsome young
man" described by the "go-between," and it was with only joyous
anticipation that she thought of the future.  No response, however, came
from the other chair.

The journey was soon over, and as they approached her future home Slave
became increasingly nervous and shy.  She could easily have caught a
glimpse of her bridegroom’s face through her veil as they alighted from
their chairs, but her eyes seemed glued to the ground.  She felt herself
led through the crowd of noisy spectators, and was conscious that he was
beside her.  Together, side by side, they knelt before the household
gods.  But it was not till she had been led to the bridal chamber and
seated on the brick platform or bed, with her garments arranged to the
best advantage, that the crowd was admitted and her veil was raised.

A low murmur arose at the sight of her great beauty.  Still little
Slave’s eyes would not rise.  It was not till all had left and she was
alone with her husband that her eyes rose with one swift glance.  But,
alas, poor child, it was not to see the bridegroom of her dreams, but
instead she saw a man old enough to be her father,—a man with the marks
of a debauched and wicked life plainly written on his countenance,—a
typical opium slave; in other words a man only in name, rather a brute
in human form!

As Slave caught sight of this man standing there, intoxicated with wine,
and looking like a beast about to pounce upon its prey, the shock of
disappointment was too great.  Her face became deathly white, and with a
piercing cry,—"My mother, oh my mother," she fell forward unconscious.

We must leave our little friend to enter the darkness alone, only one of
multitudes in this dark heathen land of China whose innocence and
happiness are year by year sacrificed to the greed of gain and cruel
marriage customs of their own land.

We shall see later how the Light that can lighten the deepest darkness,
came at last into little Slave’s life, giving peace and hope.



                      *Part II.  SLAVE’S FATHER.*


Slave was gone!  As really lost to her parents as if she were dead.
When the truth concerning the man she now belonged to for life became
known, her mother wept long and bitterly, but there was no redress; they
had to bear as others had borne, who had been deceived by an
unprincipled "go-between."

Some months after Slave’s marriage, there came to fill her place two
fine twin boys.  Mrs. Wang’s day had dawned at last.  The old
grandmother could not do enough for her and the once despised and
ill-treated drudge was waited on hand and foot by the other women, at
the command of the old lady.

For three whole years this state of things lasted, then one day the
grandmother announced her intention of _making the two boys take the
smallpox_.  (Many of the Chinese believed that children must have the
smallpox when young or they will not grow up strong).  The mother’s
heart sank as she thought of what the result _might_ be.  She ventured
to protest but was silenced by a shower of blows.  The grandmother took
both of the fine healthy boys to a neighbor’s house where they had
smallpox, and kept them there a whole day to ensure them getting the
disease.  A week later both became ill.

We must draw a veil over the horror of the days that followed the agony
of the mother, the despair of the father, the rage of the grandmother
when she saw the children would die, and the ill-concealed malice of the
other women.  A few days passed when a little body, wrapped in a piece
of old matting, was carried by the father to the children’s pit outside
the city.  A little later this scene was repeated, and Mrs. Wang’s day
of happiness ended.

The cruel death of their two beautiful boys was the beginning of dark
days for _our_ Mr. and Mrs. Wang.  The old grandmother died shortly
after from excess of rage.  (The fits of rage to which women give way in
China cannot easily be understood by the Westerner).  It was in one of
these attacks, caused no doubt by disappointment at the result of her
treatment of her grandchildren, that the poor old autocrat collapsed and
died.  The day before the funeral was to take place the old husband was
found dead in bed.

An expensive funeral and excessive feasting which followed and which
custom required reduced the family to desperate financial straits.

The days following the funeral were tempestuous ones for the Wang
household, and the "domestic typhoons," as they have been correctly
described, were fiercer and more frequent than ever.  At last the day
came when the family mutually decided to separate, which they did in
true Chinese fashion—each couple would be responsible for their own
finances, but would continue to live as before "within the one gate."

This arrangement would have been favorable to our branch of the family
had not Mr. Wang lost his situation as teacher almost immediately after
the change.  Then followed several moons (months) of fruitless search
for employment. Everything that could be was sold or pawned to get food.

One day Mr. Wang’s boatman brother returned from the coast.  He told
them of a man who had come up on their boat who was looking for a
teacher for a missionary living in an adjoining province, and he urged
Mr. Wang to take this position.  The women-folk, however, bitterly
opposed saying, "If he once gets under the spell of the foreigner we
shall never hear of him again."  But they could not starve, and when it
was learned the salary would be considerably more than what he had been
getting even the women yielded.

Mr. Wang was himself only half inclined to go, for he could not get out
of his mind the remembrance of stories he had heard of wholesale
poisoning carried on by the missionaries.

Shortly after his departure a little girl came to comfort Mrs. Wang in
her loneliness.  Now that she was her own mistress, she chose a pretty
name for the child, little dreaming what a beautiful herald it was of
the brighter day so soon to dawn, she called it Spring!

One morning when little Spring was just three weeks old, the Wang family
received a great surprise.  They were all seated at their own doorsteps
or squatting around the court, each with a bowl of millet poised in one
hand and a pair of chop sticks in the other, when the front gate opened
and who should appear but Mr. Wang.  It was as if a bomb had fallen! In
a few moments the court was crowded with curious neighbors, all eager to
hear the reason for his return.

The truth in brief was that he had reached the Mission Compound safely,
had been well received by the other Chinese teachers, had been in the
missionary’s home and had taught him and his wife for one day, but that
night had been seized with sudden panic lest he get under the spell of
the missionaries, and had gathered up his belongings and when all were
asleep had quietly slipped away.  This, however, was not just how Mr.
Wang told it to the waiting crowd.  He found it necessary to add a good
many embellishments to make it a less humiliating story than it would
otherwise have been, and these additions were not always favorable to
the foreigners.

The family had to face the fact that there were three "mouths to fill"
and some work must be got, but weeks of searching resulted as before in
failure.  Our friends would certainly have starved had not other members
of the family given, sometimes almost thrown, food to them.  At last in
sheer despair Mr. Wang accepted a position in the Yamen (City Hall) for
just his food.  Thus Mrs. Wang was left to battle with her little babe
alone.  The cold pitiless winter faced her and bitter indeed did she
find the struggle for existence.  To earn even three and a half cents a
day, she was obliged to sit at her spinning wheel far into the night,
with her babe inside her wadded garment to keep it warm.

                            *      *      *

During those long winter months Mr. Wang sat at his desk in the Yamen
the face of the missionary seemed to come before him vividly—so kind, so
true, so different from any face he had ever seen before.

Gradually he came to the point of resolving that had he another chance
he would return to the missionary.  The opportunity was nearer than he
imagined.

While at his work one morning he heard an unusual commotion outside.
Stepping to the front gate he found a great crowd hurrying towards the
river.  A man shouted to him, "Two foreign demons are coming up the
river.  Come and see the fun."

Without so much as a thought for his work awaiting him, Mr. Wang caught
up his teacher’s long gown to accelerate speed, and before the man
ceased speaking had started to run with the others.  His behaviour on
this occasion at least was quite unworthy of a proud Confucian scholar,
all of whom pride themselves on imitating the sage in never making haste
under any circumstances.

Just as the tiny house boat, with two foreign men standing on its deck,
came in sight, Mr. Wang reached the river bank. Had he tried he would
have found it difficult to say why he trembled so.  He was only
conscious of an intense desire that one of these men might be _his_
foreigner.  At last as he recognized the missionary he had taught for a
day, he could scarcely repress a cry of joy, or wait till the boat was
drawn up to where he stood.  Then, not waiting for the plank to be put
down, he leaped on board and faced the astonished missionary, who looked
his amazement as he recognized him.

Before the other could find words, Mr. Wang, making a low bow hurriedly
asked forgiveness in a few humble words. He ended by saying, "I know,
sir, you are not what people say you are.  I was wrong, forgive me.  If
you will take me back I will be glad to teach you."

While he was speaking the missionary’s face was a study—surprise,
annoyance, relief, pleasure—all came in turn. The missionary, who could
now speak the Chinese language a little, laid Ids hand kindly on the
young man’s shoulder and said:

"Not a word more, Mr. Wang.  I am in need of a teacher so you may
consider yourself engaged, but you must be ready to start back with us
three days from now."

The poor fellow looked his gratitude but could find no words.  As he
turned to leave the missionary called him back and said in a low voice
as he handed him some money, "Take this, you have a wife and she must be
provided for, we will reckon later."  This thoughtful act completed the
capture of Mr. Wang’s heart.  From that moment he became the devoted
follower of the missionary although as yet he knew nothing of his
message.

Three days later found Mr. Wang settled in his little "tsang" or cabin
on the missionary’s houseboat.  Next to his was the larger cabin
occupied by the two missionaries as sleeping and living apartment.  A
partition of open woodwork covered with paper separated the two cabins.
Mr. Wang had not been in his compartment very long before he had, in
true Chinese fashion, by moistening the tip of his finger and applying
it to the paper partition, made a hole sufficiently large to enable him
to watch all that passed in the adjoining cabin without himself being
seen.  Day by day he spent every moment he could get at his self made
vantage ground.  How those men puzzled him!  As he noticed how quiet and
orderly, and above all how strangely happy they were, without being
boisterous, he became conscious of a growing sense of respect and
admiration.  Before they had reached their destination, the missionary’s
home, Mr. Wang had lost every trace of doubt or fear of the foreigners.

Mr. ——, the missionary, was a keen judge of character. His knowledge of
human nature was gained in the slums of a so-called Christian city, and
it was well for him that such experience had been gained before meeting
the more complex problems of the Chinese character.  As day by day the
missionary studied with Mr. Wang he became more and more convinced that
this man must meet Christ first in him, His representative, for he found
him sharp, keen, critical, and alas, utterly untrustworthy.  But the day
came when Mr. Wang testified, when he was being received into the
Church, "I learned first to love the Pastor, then to love his Saviour."



                      *Part III—SLAVE’S RELEASE.*


Six years have passed since Mr. Wang entered on his duties as teacher to
the missionary.  During all those years he had been an invaluable
assistant to Mr. —— in the strenuous and difficult work of opening a new
mission station at the large and important city of C——.  The time had
now come when it was thought best for Mr. Wang to bring his wife from
their old home.  A small cottage was secured just opposite the mission
gate for them, and here a happier life began for Mrs. Wang than she had
ever thought possible.

Mr. Wang, like so many Chinese Christian men, thought his wife too
stupid to learn, and when she first came in touch with Mrs. ——, the
missionary’s wife, she was practically a heathen.  As she came in with
little Spring, now a bright little girl of nearly seven, the foreign
woman could scarcely hide her disappointment when she saw Mrs. Wang, she
was so extremely (shall I use the word) _ugly_, so untidy, slouchy, and
even far from clean.  Yet there was a look in those small deep set eyes
which said plainly, "Yes, I know how different I am from you, but oh, I
do want you to love me."  And the other felt herself strangely drawn to
her. Before long a deep and abiding affection sprang up between the two,
so different, yet at heart one.

Many times in the lesson periods that followed Mrs. —— was tempted to
give up in despair, Mrs. Wang was so slow to learn.  One day after a
particularly discouraging time of study, Mrs. Wang turned to her teacher
and said, "Teacher Mother, do not be discouraged because my mind is like
a sieve, for my heart has Jesus there."

The evidence of the new life within soon began to be seen in the
changed, happier, more restful face, and in the cleaner, tidier
garments.  Willingly she allowed little Spring’s feet to remain unbound,
which meant much at that time when women and girls with unbound feet
were unknown.

Although Spring had not the beauty of her older sister, Slave, she was
bright, quick, in her ways like her father, and most affectionate.  From
the first contact with the missionaries the child’s heart seemed open to
the Gospel, she came soon to show a love for the Saviour unusual in one
so young.  The greatest treat little Spring could have in those early
days was to be allowed to play with the gentle fair-haired foreign child
of her own age.

One day the two children wandered outside the backgate into the fields
beyond.  Suddenly they came upon some dogs devouring the body of a
little child.  Spring, to whom such a scene was not unknown, looked on
unmoved, but the tenderly guarded foreign child gazed in speechless
horror, then screaming loudly ran towards home.  Her mother, anxious at
her disappearance, had just reached the gate when the child appeared
almost frantic with terror and shock.  A word was sufficient for the
mother to learn the cause of the trouble.  "Oh, Mother!" cried the
child, sobbing on her mother’s breast, "I see it now, a dear little
baby.  Oh, mother, mother, those terrible dogs.  I can never forget it."

That night the mother knelt long beside her child’s bedside. Other
little ones had come and gone.  This child seemed like a delicate lily,
too sensitive and high strung for such a land as China, where outside
the Mission Compound one could never tell when one would come upon a
scene that might hurt and shock.

Some time later the child was taken ill.  There was no doctor near and
once more the parents went down into the Valley of the shadow of death
with a precious child.  Meningitis developed.  Spring and her mother
watched and waited outside the child’s sick door for some word of hope.
But after days of great suffering the little one was taken to where
there will be "no more pain, neither sorrow nor crying."

A day later missionaries and Christians gathered about the open grave
beside which rested the little coffin almost covered with beautiful
flowers.  It was then that Mrs. Wang recalled the cruel death of her two
boys and what had been done with their little bodies.  The contrast was
indeed great: here were every token of love and honor for the precious
remains; but what moved Mrs. Wang end went to her heart was the look of
Hope written on the mother’s face as they all sang together—

    "Little children, little children.
    Who love their Redeemer
    Are the jewels, precious jewels,
    His loved and His own.

    "Like the stars of the morning
    His bright crown adorning,
    They shall shine in His beauty
    His loved and His own."


As these words sank deep into Mrs. Wang’s very soul, there came a great
yearning that her own people might hear of this Gospel that gives a soul
a hope after death.

                            *      *      *

Sometime after her little friend’s death, Spring entered the mission
school for girls, the first girls’ school to be opened in that part of
China.  Year by year as they passed, Spring grew in the love and esteem
of her teachers.  Her bright, happy ways and true Christian character
endeared her to all. But the one Spring loved most of all was the mother
of the friend she never forgot.  On one occasion when the writer was
home on furlough, she received the following letter from Spring: "Dear
Teacher Mother, Come back very soon.  As one who is hungry longs for
food and one who is thirsty for drink, so my heart longs for you!"

When fifteen years of age Spring graduated with such distinction that
she was sent to the advanced school for girls in Peking.  Upon her
return she became assistant teacher in the Mission Girls’ School.

About this time Mrs. Wang’s health broke down.  A little daughter had
come whom they named "Brightness."  Through all the months of weakness
and failing health, the poor suffering woman showed forth a true spirit
of patience and resignation.  One day an urgent call came for the
missionary’s wife to go and see the sick woman.  Hastening to the little
cottage across the way, she found the court empty so entered the door
unannounced, and passing through the outer room she lifted the curtain
that served for door into the room where she could see dimly the form of
her loved friend lying on the brick bed.

There was no mistaking the look which plainly told the last call had
come to Mrs. Wang.  Overcome with the shock of seeing the end so near,
Mrs. —— sank down beside her friend and wept bitterly.  Slowly the dying
woman raised her hand and stroked the head of the weeping woman, and
with difficulty said, "Don’t grieve for me.  There is much I want to
say, but the time is too short.  Listen!  My child, my little Slave,
does not know about the Saviour.  Help Spring to go to her before it is
too late."

There was a long silence broken only by suppressed weeping from Spring
who was standing by.  Then Mrs. Wang continued, "And you, my friend;
thank you again for bringing this precious Saviour to even me.  And you
have helped me so much."

"No, no," said Mrs. —— unable to keep silence longer. "It is you who
have helped me.  Your patience under trial has been a constant rebuke to
me for my impatience."  She could say no more for even while she was
speaking the Glory of the unseen world seemed to shine on the dying
woman’s face.

                            *      *      *

Some months after her mother’s death the way was opened for Spring to
visit her father’s old home.  She had many times longed and prayed that
she might fulfil her mother’s dying request.  With some difficulties
Spring found where her sister lived and as she drew near the house her
heart rose in earnest prayer for her sister’s conversion.

An old woman responded to her knock at the gate, to whom Spring made
herself known, then asked to see her sister.  The old woman who turned
out to be Slave’s mother-in-law, directed her to the door of the room
where we last parted with poor Slave—a broken-hearted bride.

Tapping gently on the door and receiving no answer, Spring entered.  On
the long brick bed at one end of the room lay her sister.  The wasted
frame and racking cough told all too plainly Slave’s days on earth were
few.  As Spring stood looking at her sister for a moment, almost too
overcome to speak, she thought of her mother’s words, "before it is too
late."

For three days Spring remained with her sister. Fortunately for them
both Slave’s husband was not at home, and the old mother-in-law left
them alone only too glad to have someone to relieve her from waiting on
the sick one.

When Spring described to her sister their mother’s beautiful death,
tears ran down Slave’s cheeks as she said, "Oh, that I too could have
such a hope!"

"You can, my sister," eagerly cried Spring.  "I have come as mother
wished, to tell you how you can go to where she is."  Then patiently and
lovingly she opened up to her sister, step by step, the glorious Gospel
of a Saviour from sin and a hope after death.  Slave listened and drank
in the message as one parched with thirst would drink from a living
spring.

Once when the sisters were talking closely together, Slave suddenly
broke into a passion of uncontrollable weeping.  Then came little by
little as she had strength to tell it, the story of those terrible years
since she left her father’s home.  At last as if words failed her, she
loosened her garment and revealed her shoulders and back covered with
bruises and healed scars, silent witnesses to the cruelty of the past.

Gradually the Peace and Hope born of her new found faith came into
Slave’s poor starved soul.  And as the sisters parted never as they knew
well to meet again on earth, Slave said, "Yes, it is different now, I
shall be in heaven before you. I have no more fear now.  But pray for my
husband."

                            *      *      *



    There is a Love that longs with deep affection
      To gather all the sinsick sons of men
    Beneath its wings of shelter and protection,
      And give them health again.
    It is the love of Jesus, sweet with longing,
      His full salvation to the world to give,
    Crying to all the dead, earth’s highways thronging,
    "Come unto Me, come unto Me, and live."
        _By Annie Johnson Flint_.

    Copyright, Evangelical Publishers.





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