CHAPTER 11-THE DARKEST HOUR 1868-1869. ART. 36-37.

IT was thankfulness more than anything else that filled the hearts of that little company, wounded and suffering as they were, on the boats that took them to Chin-kiang. The Mandarins had insisted on their leaving for a time, that the house might be repaired and the people quietened, and with no thought of compensation, still less of revenge, the missionaries looked forward to a speedy return. Homeless and despoiled of almost everything, they rejoiced in having been counted worthy to suffer." for the sake of the Name," and their hearts were cheered as they recalled the protecting care of God. Had not their lives been spared as by a miracle ? Were not the children well and happy ? And even the money and more important Mission papers were safe, though the room in which they lay had been open to the rioters.

Upon reaching Chin-kiang, homeless and in urgent need of succour, great was the kindness received from the foreign residents. Though the community was small, they managed to put up all the refugees, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor taking a room on the ground floor which, being damp, they considered undesirable for others. Here, in the midst of debris from the riot they set to work at once on the business and correspondence of the Mission, having nine or ten stations and many fellow-workers to think of as well as the party with them.

" How you are, where you are, and in what circumstances,we know not ! " wrote Mr. McCarthy from Hang-chow. " We can only seek to lay hold on the living God, in believing prayer, and commit you all to His safe keeping. How precious is His Word now, how powerful, how suitable! May you indeed find it so. Oh, may you find that `out of the eater came forth meat,and out of the strong, sweetness.' The Lord will not forsake you ; He cannot. . . . Let nothing turn us from His purpose to bless China through our feeble means. . . . ' Who is sufficient for these things ? ' No one but He Who has said, ` Lo, I am with you alway.' In His Name, for His sake, take courage ; the darkest hour is just before the dawn."

It was a dark hour indeed that was coming upon the ,' leader of the Mission, a period so painful in some of its aspects that even the sufferings of the riot seemed little in comparison. To begin with, the troubles at Yang-chow were made public in a way Mr. Taylor would least have desired. A resident at Chin-kiang, with the kindest intentions, wrote stirring accounts to the Shanghai papers, and public feeling demanded that action, prompt and decisive, should be taken by the British authorities. This brought the Consul-General, Mr. M. H. Medhurst, and later on the Ambassador himself, Sir Rutherford Alcock, into the matter. A gunboat-was sent up to Chin-kiang, and there was much coming and going of British officers and bluejackets. All this so impressed the authorities, that they seemed about to recognise their treaty obligations and yield to the not unreasonable demands of Mr. Medhurst, when-the gunboat going down-river on account of the illness of her commander-they changed their tactics and became openly overbearing. Long and difficult negotiations were the result, and it was not until a flotilla of gunboats anchored off Nanking, and war seemed imminent, that the Viceroy gave way and put matters right.

These proceedings, it need hardly be said, caused grave concern to Mr. Taylor. While grateful for Mr. Medhurst's desire to help, how much rather would he have gone back at his own risk to live down unfriendliness and opposition by patient continuance in well-doing. Detained in Chinkiang week after week, he saw the difficulty grow only more serious, and meanwhile was faced with distressing complications of another sort in his own circle. For the painful spirit persisted in by certain members of the Mission had reached a climax. A little group of five, having gone back from its principles, after causing endless trouble, were themselves unhappy in association with it. One of these had now to be dismissed for conduct " utterly inconsistent with the position of a Christian missionary."1-{1- Quoted front Mr. Taylor's letter of dismissal, September 12, 1868: a letter that cost him untold sorrow, and was only written " after many weeks of anxious, prayerful thought."}For mode than two years Mr. and Mrs. Taylor had done everything in their power to help this particular brother and his wife to live and work happily in the Mission. The suffering they had endured from discourtesy, disloyalty, and untrustworthiness could never be told, and not the least part of it was to see the harmful influence exerted upon others. In severing their connection with the C.I.M. Mr. Taylor realised that he might be opening the door for the retirement of three ladies who from the first had been their confidantes-and so it proved, to the relief of all who had been associated with them, and who had marvelled at Mr. Taylor's patience in bearing so long.2-{2 Writing of a missionary candidate at home who had manifestly mistaken his calling, Mrs. Taylor said " One thing seems very clear from Mr. M.'s letter, namely, that he is not likely to be one who would work happily in the C.I.M. And oh, we will be thankful to God when He makes this plain in England, and thus prevents persons from coming out who might work sorrow in our midst. Not that I would repine at the past or the present. The Lord was entreated to guide about those who should come out, and if He has suffered some to come who have caused us untold sorrow, may we not regard this as part of the storms that are to make our young Mission strike its roots deeper into the soil ? "}But the sorrow of his heart was very real over the loss of these workers, and he was conscious of the questions to which it must give rise among the friends of the Mission at home.

A letter to Mr. Berger written even before the Yang-chow riot showed how the true character of the work was more and more unfolding itself to his mind. With Mrs. Taylor away in Shanghai, bearing so bravely her share of the burdens, it had meant much to him when he wrote (July 3)

It is most important that married missionaries should be double missionaries-not half or a quarter or eight-part missionaries. Might we not with advantage say to our candidates Our work is a peculiar one. We aim at the interior, where the whole of your society will be Chinese. , If you wish for luxury and freedom from care ... do not join. us. Unless you intend your wife to be a true missionary, not merely a wife, home-maker, and friend, do not join us. She must be able to read and be master of at least one Gospel in colloquial Chinese before you marry. A person of ordinary ability may accomplish this in six months, but if she needs longer there is the more reason to wait until she has reached this point before you marry. She must be prepared to be happy among the Chinese when the duties of your calling require, as they often will, your temporary absence from home. You, too, must master the initial difficulties of the language and open up a station, if none be allotted to you, before you marry. With diligence and God's blessing you may hope to do this in a year or so. If these conditions seem too hard, these sacrifices too great to make for perishing China, do not join our Mission. These are small things to some of the crosses you may be permitted to bear for your dear Master ! "

China is not to be won for Christ by self-seeking, ease-loving men and women. Those not prepared for labour, self-denial, and many discouragements will be poor helpers in the work. In short, the men and women we need are those who will put Jesus, China, souls first and foremost in everything and at all times : life itself must be secondary-nay, even those more precious than life. Of such men, of such women, do not fear to send us too many. Their price is far above rubies.

The riot and all that grew out of it did but emphasise these considerations and deepen Mr. Taylor's thankfulness for many of the fellow-workers already given him. 'He rejoiced in the devotion to Christ which had led them to cast in their lot with such a Mission ; in their love for the Chinese and willingness to live in close touch with them, and in the practical way they were adapting themselves to their surroundings. . It could not but be obvious to him, as it was to them, how helpful Mrs. Taylor's quiet, unconscious influence was in this direction. Happy the younger workers like Mr. and Mrs. Judd-first to volunteer for Yang-chow after the riot-who on their arrival in China had early been moulded by her strong though gracious personality.

" How impressed I was," recalled Mr. Judd in this connection, " with her calm, holy, happy appearance, as well as her Christian carriage! She, with Mr. McCarthy and a native helper,had come seven days' journey from Hang-chow to meet our party. She gave us the warmest welcome and every assistance possible, but it was evident that she had no mercy on fastidiousness as to food or any other matters. As soon as we were settled on our boats (in Chinese dress, of course) dinner was served, and Mrs. Taylor politely handed me a pair of chopsticks and a basin containing soup with some sort of little turn-overs floating in it.

" `Will you take puppy-dumplings, Mr. Judd ? ' she said with a smile.

" Immediately, all I had heard about the Chinese eating dogs, etc., rushed into my mind. But I dare not question the contents of a dish handed me by such a lady! Making the best of it, therefore, I began to eat-and found nothing worse than little bits of pork nicely covered with dough."

Mrs. Judd also, who was scarcely more than a bride, had reason to remember that journey. Dismayed she may well have been to see, as night drew on, cockroaches creeping out of crevices in the boat! She had always had a horror of these creatures, and felt she could not endure to have them crawling over her in the night.

" Oh, Mrs. Taylor," she exclaimed, " I really cannot go to bed with all these cockroaches about ! "

With another new arrival she prepared a light by which to sit up all night, keeping watch against their unwelcome visitors. But Mrs. Taylor quietly said

" Dear child, if God spares you to work in China, you will have many nights like this, and you will not be able to afford to lose your sleep. Can you not lie down quietly, and trust Him to keep you ? I should advise you to."

Ashamed, and longing for such control over her feelings, the young missionary watched Mrs. Taylor go to rest, and after a real conflict did the same and had a good night's sleep.

" This may seem a trivial circumstance," she recalled long after, " but many a night when threatened by sterner foes and far greater dangers, I looked back on that simple lesson of trust and was strengthened."

Mrs. Taylor's one desire now, in spite of all that had happened at Yang-chow and her own immediate expectations, was to return to that city and win a way to darkened hearts for the saving love of Christ. Such a development seemed very improbable, for Mr. Medhurst was involved in what looked like endless difficulties. Even the premises in Chin-kiang rented weeks before the riot could not be obtained, and the C.I.M. party had to crowd into two little foreign houses in the Settlement for which a high rental was demanded. All September and October the weary negotiations went on, until finally in November, Sir Rutherford Alcock sent five gunboats up the river to Nanking.

Mr. Taylor all the while, in spite of a suffering illness, was planning and attempting fresh efforts for the evangelisation of districts yet unreached. His certainly was no ease-loving spirit. As soon as strength permitted he was away on a pioneering journey, with Williamson as his companion, to Tsing-kiang-pu, a city a hundred miles north of Yang-chow, which he hoped might form a base from which to reach the northern provinces. Honan was on his heart, and distant Shan-si, and at the same time he was meditating advance toward western China. His old friend Mr. Wylie had just returned from an extensive journey in the interests of the Bible Society, and, eager to learn all he could of conditions in the interior, Mr. Taylor had gone down to Shanghai to see him. All that he heard of the great province of Sze-chwan, in which Mr. Wylie had been severely handled, made him long to go himself without delay to commence more permanent work.1-{1 In February 1869 Miss Faulding wrote to her mother : " Mr. Taylor longs to go forward now more than ever, and is hoping that the end of this year may find him in Sze-chwan."}Nothing deterred by the Yang-chow difficulties, the same spirit was animating many of the members of the Mission, and Mr.. Meadows had left his home and work to others that he might lead an advance into the first inland province westward from Chin-kiang-An-hwei with its twenty millions, among whom there was not a ' single Protestant missionary. 2-{ 2-" Many of our number are much stirred up to press into the interior," Mr. Taylor wrote from Chin-kiang about the middle of September, " and our recent disasters, if such I may call them, only make us the more determined to go on, leaning on the Almighty Power of our Captain. Pray for us. We need much grace. You cannot conceive the many daily calls there are for patience, for forbearance, for tact in dealing with the many cases of difficulty, of misunderstanding that arise among so many persons of different nationality and language temperament. Pray the Lord ever to give me the single eye, the clear judgment, the wise and gentle manner, the patient forbearing spirit, the unwavering purpose, the unshaken faith, the Christ-like love that are needed for the efficient discharge of my duties. And ask Him to send us sufficient means and suitable helpers for the great work which we have as yet barely commenced."}

All this increased the thankfulness with which the news was at last received of an amicable settlement of the Yangchow matter. Patience and determination had conqueredor was it the unceasing prayer that had reinforced Mr. Medhurst's efforts ? His reasonable demands were all conceded, even to the placing of a stone tablet at the entrance to the Yang-chow house, stating that the foreigners were there with the full recognition of the authorities. Quite a function was arranged to reinstate the party ; and on November 18 Mr. Taylor was able to write from Yang-chow once more, with a grateful heart, " the result of this case will probably be greatly to facilitate work in the interior."

But it was the family life and friendly spirit of the missionaries that disarmed suspicion and gradually won its way among the people. They could not but be touched when the children were brought back after all that had taken place, and when it appeared that Mrs. Taylor had not hesitated to return under conditions which made peace and quietness specially desirable.

" In this again," she wrote to her beloved friend at Saint Hill, " God has given me the desire of my heart. For I felt that if safety to my infant permitted, I would rather it were born in this city, in this house, in this very room than in any other place your own beautiful home in which I have been so tenderly cared for, the comforts and luxuries of which I know well how to appreciate, not excepted."

So it was there the happy event took place, calling forth the congratulations of their Chinese neighbours on the arrival of a fourth son ! This in itself could not fail to make a favourable impression, as did also the perfect recovery of all who had suffered injury in the riot. The landlord of the inn (a Mr. P'eng) and two others who had befriended the missionaries in that terrible experience were by this time candidates for baptism;, and when before the end of the year the Chin-kiang house was also in their possession, Mr.Taylor might well write : " Once again we raise our Ebenezer -`Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.' "

But the Yang-chow difficulties were far from ended with this satisfactory settlement. The devil's growl," as Mr. Spurgeon called it, had yet to come, and an angry growl it was, that upset not a few friends of the Mission. For the action of the Consular authorities gave rise to a storm of indignation at home. Missionaries were making trouble as usual, demanding the support of gunboats in their ill-judged crusade against ancestral worship. The country would be involved in war before the Government had even time to consider the matter! It seems almost incredible as one looks back upon it, 'that so much misrepresentation could have found its way into the daily papers, and that for a period of four or five months Mr. Taylor and his doings could so largely have occupied the public mind. China, of course, was farther off then than now, and there was far less understanding of its problems. But, even so, the attention the subject evoked and the prejudice displayed were extraordinary. From the " connected narrative " in the Times of December 1, " explaining " the whole situation, to the discussion in the House of Lords on March 9- in which, after a heated declamation, the Duke of Somerset urged that all British missionaries should be recalled from China-the matter seems hardly to have been absent from the public mind. The vigorous attitude enjoined upon the British Representative at Peking by a former Government was utterly repudiated now, and there was not much to choose between the accusations heaped upon the Consular authorities and upon the missionaries.1-{1 In a long letter to Mrs. Berger, explaining all the circumstances that attended the riot, Mrs. Taylor said (February 11, 1869) : " As to the harsh judgings of the world or the more painful misunderstandings of Christian brethren, I generally feel that the best plan is to go on with our work and leave God to vindicate our cause. But it is right that you should know intimately how we have acted, and why. I would suggest, however, that it would be undesirable to print the fact that Mr. Medhurst, and through him Sir Rutherford Alcock, took up the matter without application from us. The new Ministry at home censures those out here for the policy which the late Ministry enjoined upon them. It would be ungenerous and ungrateful were we. to render their position still more difficult by throwing all the onus, as it were, on them. "Perhaps one secret of our matter being taken up so warmly was that it was looked upon as a climax to a series of provocations which the English had suffered from the Chinese; and the representatives of our Government were, I believe,not sorry to have an opportunity of, and good ground for, settling off a number of 'old counts.'"}But Mr. Taylor it was, all through, who had brought the country to the verge of war by his irresponsible conduct. Needless to say, the brunt of all this fell upon Mr. Berger.

" The excitement, indeed I may almost say storm, seems bursting over us now," he wrote on December 17. " The Times is very severe, and incorrect in some things. Whether to reply to the false statements I scarcely know. . . . At present the Yang-chow outrage is the all-absorbing subject. Our letters to-day, I think, number from twenty to thirty."

December 31 : The Editor is so unscrupulous and unfair, and I am so unable to say how, or how far, you called upon the Consul in the matter, 1-{1 The only appeal of any kind that Mr. Taylor had made to the Consular authorities had been a verbal message on August 22, and a pencilled note the following morning-when the riot was beginning all over again after that awful night of suspense and anguish-simply informing them of the situation.}that I greatly question the wisdom of replying at all. ' God is a refuge for us, " A very present help in time of trouble." Though we have much trial and perplexity in various ways, God has greatly blessed His Word to me, so that my joy abounds over all the sorrows.

January 13, 1869: It rejoices our hearts that you are again at Yang-chow. The late riots have led to such an immense increase of correspondence and claims upon me, that I must guard against breaking down entirely.

January 28: Through Christ, I am kept in great peace and quiet of soul, though the storm has raged terribly of late. Gleams of brightness are not withheld . . . so do not be cast down, dear Brother. Hope in God, Who will never leave nor forsake those who seek to please Him.

February 25: We are just back from Bristol, where we spent a happy and profitable week, and found many dear friends who remembered and inquired most affectionately after you and Mrs. Taylor. The sympathy expressed for you and those with you in the late trial was great and very sweet ; and none spoke more warmly of you than dear Mr. Muller.. .

I asked for his opinion respecting the appeal to the British Consul, and you would have rejoiced to have heard him repudiate the spirit of judging you, or of fault-finding. He said he would never have spoken to me on the subject, had I not asked him for his judgment : after which he said that, had poor George Muller been in such circumstances, he cannot tell what he might have done ; still he thought the more excellent way would have been to trust in God. . . . That we must not set up what we think the more excellent way, as a rule for others, he quite agreed with me. . . . Finally, Mr. Muller only allowed me, upon my request, to refer to his opinion with the understanding that it was that we might help each other in serving the Lord, and not in any spirit of fault-finding or condemning you.

March 11 : The Yang-chow matter is before the House of Lords. and I hope to send you a copy of the Times ere long. You can scarcely imagine what an effect the matter has produced in the country. Thank God I can say, " None of these things move me." I believe He has called us to this work, and it is not for us to run away, from it, or allow difficulties to overcome us. . . Be of good courage, the battle is the Lord's..

March 24: I have not had a moment in which to look at the accounts sent me in your last two letters ; indeed I have never been so pressed before, both in my business and the. affairs of the Mission. Still I hope in God, and believe He will bring us safely out of this tremendous storm. What to do for the best, I know not.

April 8 : I think I can say I never felt prayer to be so real as I do now. God has graciously given me more faith, and I feel greatly helped heavenward.

One result of all these difficulties was, not unnaturally, a falling off in the income of the Mission, so that for the first time Mr. Taylor was faced with serious shortness of funds in China. This would have been much more the case if the Lord had not laid it upon the heart and put it into the power of Mr. George Muller largely to increase his gifts. He had been sending regularly to several members, of the Mission sometimes as much as twenty-five pounds a quarter ; and now, within a day or two of the Yang-chow riot (long before he heard of it), he wrote to Mr. Berger asking for the names of others who were thoroughly satisfactory in their work whom he might add to his list. Mr. Berger sent him six names from which to choose, and his choice was to take them all. This was not only a substantial help, it was a great enoouragement, for it meant added sympathy and prayer on the part of one who knew the way to the Throne. And more and more Mr. Taylor was feeling the need of just such fellowship.

" I am in strange ups and downs," wrote the saintly Rutherford, " and seven times a day I lose ground : I am put often to swimming, and again my feet are set on the rock that is 'higher than myself. . . . I have seen my abominable vileness ; and if I were known, there is none in this kingdom would ask how I do." 1-{1- Letter to Lady Boyd from Aberdeen, May 1, 1637.}

Little as those nearest to him could have supposed it, this was very much Mr. Taylor's own experience. " Emptied " as he was " from vessel to vessel," constantly under pressure of strain and stress, his spiritual life had hardly kept pace with the demands upon it. Outwardly it may not have seemed so.

" Our hearts were 'much drawn to Mr. Taylor," said one of the fellow-workers constantly with him, " by seeing his gentle, humble, tender spirit under the administrative trials of those early years."

" I have known him under all circumstances," wrote another before the Yang-chow riot, " and I feel that if you could see him daily you would indeed admire his self-abnegation, humility and never-flagging earnestness. Very few in his case would have shown the forbearing, loving spirit he has shown. . . No one knows how much he has felt our troubles, nor how he had suffered from depression. If he were not in the habit of casting his burdens on the Lord, he must have sunk under them. Grace, not natural temperament, has supported him."

But " the heart knoweth its own bitterness," and the load Hudson Taylor was carrying was almost more than he could bear. It was not the work with all its difficulty and trial : when consciously in communion with the Lord these seemed light. It was not shortness of funds, nor anxiety about those dearest to him. It was just-himself : the unsatisfied longing of his heart ; the inward struggle to abide in Christ ; the frequent failure and disappointment. So bitter was this experience that even when it was left far behind he could never forget it. This it was that made him always sympathetic with younger workers in their spiritual conflicts, quick to see and make the most of every opportunity to help them. Fellowship with God was to him a great reality, a great necessity. He had known much of it ; much too of the terrible void of losing it. " Like a diver under water without air, or a fireman on a burning building with an empty hose," he found himself face to face with heathenism and all the claims that pressed upon him, but alas 1' too often out of 'touch with Christ. Had he been responsible for himself only this would have been bad enough, but with all the demands upon him it was unbearableespecially in view of the subject to which his thoughts in common with those of his fellow-workers were being directed.

For just at this time the pages of the Revival (now the Christian) were largely occupied with a genuine holiness movement destined, in the providence of God, to lead to the Keswick Convention with its world-wide influences for good. Finding its way to all the stations of the Mission, this paper was bringing the subject of a deeper spiritual life prominently before its readers, and not a few, like Mr. Taylor himself, were hungering for a fuller experience of the possibilities it set forth, which they saw to be in accordance with the Word of God. It was the life of habitual victory over sin, the life that is in deep reality " Not I, but Christ " for which their hearts longed. All through the summer and autumn of 1868 these articles were appearing, one series entitled " The Way of Holiness" being specially helpful.

" Surely the words `Christ liveth in me,' ` For me to live is Christ,' cannot mean less than habitual victory over sin," said the writer. " None are so manifestly, pitiably weak as the `little children' of the Kingdom when without the presence of Christ ; but none so strong as those who abandon self to Him, that He may live in them, perfecting His strength in their weakness.... You have failed, not Christ. I feel confident that the point of your failure is in not having committed, unreservedly, everything to Him, in perfect self-abandonment.

" The Holy Spirit never creates hungerings and thirstings after righteousness, but in order that Christ may fill the longing soul.

" Faith in Jesus crucified is the way of peace to the sinner ; so faith in Jesus risen is the way of daily salvation to the saint.

You cannot be your own Saviour, either in whole or in part.

` Purifying their hearts by faith': how my soul leaped up at those words, seeing in a moment the possibility of deliverance !

If then it is by faith,' I exclaimed, ' I will trust Jesus for a pure heart, and now ! ' .. .

" Can we trust Jesus too fully for everything His Word sets before us ?

" ` Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people (peculiarly His own) zealous of good works.' When is this redemption ? Now. From what ? From all iniquity. What else does His sacrifice propose ? To purify you unto Himself. When ought you to receive this redemption ? Now. And this purification ? Equally now, and with the same simple faith.1-{1 Titus2: 54 in Weymouth's translation reads : " Who gave Himself for us, to purchase our freedom from all iniquity, and purify for Himself a people who should be specially His own, zealous for doing good works."}

" ' The Lord gives me to drink of His love as out of a river,' Thomas Walsh testified. ' I laid me down but could not sleep, through a deep and comfortable sense of the love of Christ. His Spirit rested on me, and made my heart flame with love to my God, my all. It never entered into my soul to conceive of thus loving Him with all the heart, until He revealed it to me by His Spirit. The fire of divine love burned incessantly in my soul.' "

To know that redemption, that love, in fuller measure was Mr. Taylor's. deepest longing ; but oh, how different were the actual experiences of his soul ! With the growth of the Mission his way seemed ever more beset with inward and outward perplexity, and with a need for the exercise of faith and grace which he had not faith and grace to meet. Sometimes he was buoyed up by hope, sometimes almost in despair.

Life was too busy as a rule for his correspondence to reveal much of the crisis through which he was passing, but early in 1869 he found himself alone on a journey which gave opportunity for one of the old-time letters to his mother Leaving Mr. Judd in charge at Yang-chow and Mr. Rudland at Chin-kiang, he had brought his family to Ningpo for' the time being, while he went to and fro among' the older stations of the Mission. Danger of riots detained him in Tai-chow-fu for a month, while the city was full of students for the yearly examination. Both there and in Wen-chow, where Mr. Stott had weathered persistent storms of opposition, the work was already bearing fruit, and Mr. Taylor had the joy of baptizing the first believers. In a more recently opened station, Ning-hai, he found five candidates for baptism and a general willingness to hear the Gospel, where thirteen months previously there had been neither convert nor preacher. His heart had been so burdened about the place on his former visit that he had definitely prayed that the Gospel might be brought there before long, and now it was cheering to see the answer. But while, writing from that very city, he gave his parents the good news, it was their help he sought in those personal matters of which he could hardly have spoken so freely to any other.

" I have often asked you to remember me in prayer," he said (Mar. 13, 1869), " and when I have done so there has been much need of it. That need has never been greater than at the present time. Envied by some, despised by many, hated perhaps by others ; often blamed for things I never heard of, or had nothing to do with ; an innovator on what have become established rules of missionary practice ; an opponent of mighty systems of heathen error and superstition ; working without precedent in many respects, and with few experienced helpers ; often sick in body, as well as perplexed in mind and embarrassed by circumstances ; had not the Lord been specially gracious to me, had not my mind been sustained by the conviction that the work is His, and that He is with me in what it is no empty figure to call ' the thick of the conflict,' I must have fainted and broken down. But the battle is the Lord's : and He will conquer. We may fail, do . fail continually ; but He never fails. Still I need your prayers more than ever before.

" My own position becomes continually more and more responsible, and my need greater of special grace to fill it ; but I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious Master. I cannot tell you how I am buffeted sometimes by temptation. I never knew how bad a heart I had. Yet I do know that I love God and love His work, and desire to serve Him only and in all things.

And I value above all things that precious Saviour in Whom alone I can be accepted. Often I am tempted to think that one so full of sin cannot be a child of God at all ; but I try to throw it back, and rejoice all the more in the preciousness of Jesus, and in the riches of that grace that has made us ` accepted in the Beloved.' Beloved He is of God ; beloved He ought to be of us. But oh, how short I fall here again l May God help me to love Him more and serve Him better. Do pray for me. Pray that the Lord will keep me from sin, will sanctify me wholly, will use me more largely in His service."

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