China Inland Mission.

China's millions (Volume 1882) online

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year and a half and helped me right nobly and well. But
how are these men in the Inland Mission sustained ?
Where do what are called in China the " rice and fish "
come from ? Sometimes in this way. I had two rooms
near the barracks, for I intended for a little while to work
among the soldiers there, my own countrymen, and in the
meantime to learn Chinese.


One day this young sergeant came into my rooms and
put down on the table before me a canvas bag. The
action was unusual on his part. Hooked at the bag, and
there was printed in large letters upon it " For the Lord,"
he said, " For some months it has been on my mind that
I ought to put aside a portion of my daily pay for God,
believing that He would require it by-and-by. Now I
think that the time has come, and the contents of the can-
vas bag are for you and for the service of the Lord." I
turned out the money that was in the bag, and there
was some J^i, 15s. in English money.

During the time that I had been solitary and lonely on
board ship, journeying towards China, it had been put
into the heart of this young soldier to provide in some
measure for my wants and the wants of the work in which
I was to be engaged. And not only so, but he went round
here, there, and everywhere, and as a Methodist, I should
say that he was my " society steward." He gathered to-
gether the moneys ; and at the end of the first year of my
life in China, unsustained by any society, living — you may
put it as you like — living in the way I have mentioned, ends
met, and I was not in debt. But moreover, then and for
a little while after, until I became connected with a society
that supplied my wants, I had always a handful of Eng-
lish sovereigns ; but I have very rarely seen them since.

I mention these things to tell you that


for those who trust in Him ; but still at the same
time it is quite evident that He provides through human
instrumentality ; but then the blessedness of it is that He
knows when to send the help, and we may trust Him
under all circumstances.

I am not going to inflict a speech on this meeting, but
I am going to give you a little story or two. I am glad
to hear my friend Mr. Gough, who is a very old friend of
mine, say that the Chinese ought to be well spoken of.


I translated the "Pilgrim's Progress" into the Canton
dialect, taking it from the work of Mr. Burns, a name
with which you are familiar. We had in our school a
Christian girl who was the daughter of a Christian, and
the grand-daughter of a Christian. She read about
Christiana and her boys travelling towards the promised
land, and one day in an experience meeting this girl said,
" I have been reading about Mercy, and I am delighted
with Mercy. I saw how she left her father and mother's
house, and how she cast in her lot with Christiana, and
travelled with the family, and journeyed on and grew
better and better, serving the Lord devotedly. I want to
be Mercy." She became a loving, faithful servant of
Jesus. She married one of our preachers, and had a
child, who is still living ; and in the course of a few
years died, after doing service, not merely as a preacher's
wife in different ways, but teaching a school as well.
That is one case — a thoroughly lovable young Chinese


One day one of our preachers came to a brother
missionary of mine, and said, " My wife is dying." The
woman had been a candidate for baptism for ever so many
months, and once and again we had said to her husband,
" Do not you thinknow that your wife might be baptized?"
The first time he said, " Well, no, she is not sufficiently
instructed ;" and after a month or two I remember saying
to him, " Well, do not you think that your wife might be
baptized ? " " Well, I do not think that she is ready yet.
Her temper is not good." He was waiting for all sorts
of fruits of the Spirit.

He took us to her death-bed, and that woman that he
himself thought was not ready to be baptized, we found just
on the verge of Jordan, and it seemed as if she was already
a seraph. Every word she spoke, every look that beamed
from her, and every glance other eye, spoke of her rest in
Christ, and of a joyous exultation and ahope of heaven, and
she died rejoicing in the Lord. Her old father-in-law came
to our experience meeting the next week, and he said, "I
see everything in a new light. I see how Jesus makes
the dying bed smooth and happy. I see how easy it is
for the Lord to save a soul. I see it to be so exceedingly
easy that I hardly dare tell the people how easy it is to
obtain salvation."

I have known many happy Christian death-beds from
which, trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, the soul has
wended its way to glory.


In a station where I was three years I baptized some
men. The oldest of them was an old man eighty years
of age. He had been eighty years in the darkness of
heathenism. His conversion came about in this way.
Some fifteen years ago a brother of his, a younger man
than himself, was converted. After a time he was in the
employ of the mission, as our chapel-keeper, and he
became in the course of a few years a very earnest and
devoted Christian man, especially giving himself to
prayer. He had had little or no education, but he read
the Word of God and became well acquainted with it, and
especially sought by prayer and by communion with the
Lord to realize for himself the blessings of salvation.
And he obtained them and was a happy man.

He died, and about eight years after his death this aged
brother of his came to me and said, " I want to become a



follower of the Lord Jesus. I wish you would baptize
me and take me into the Church, and point out to me the
way to heaven." I said, " You remember your brother,
of course?" " Oh yes, yes.'' I said to him, "When did
this desire spring up in your soul ? ''' " Well, some years
ago," he said, " I was at some of your services ; but I
have not thought about these things until lately ; but of
late I have had a strong desire to seek and to obtain the
salvation of my soul." I said to him, " Your brother's
prayers are noiv being answered ; " and I had pleasure,
such as some of the brethren around me know well —
unspeakable joy — in the reception of that aged man into
the Church of Christ by baptism, a man born anew even
when so old.


Now a word or two about these provinces in the south.
I belong, my lord, to the south of China. The
province into which the Inland Mission sent no man, not
even an itinerant last year, is a neighbouring province
to ours. Now I throw out a challenge to this mission
and to the brethren connected with it, that they do in
the year 18S3 enter the province of Kwang-si.

I have conversed with Mr. Taylor repeatedly on his
idea of having two men for each of these eighteen
provinces. It is evident that that idea is not fully
realized yet ; but, surely wiih the elasticity that there is
in this mission, you might this year succeed in entering
the province of KwANG-Sl, certainly in itinerating there,
and probably in opening mission stations.

It is quite true, as has been said, that nothing has
been done in that province by any other society during
the last year. One society in Canton has touched on
the borders of the province. The first city from
KWANG-TUNG has been reached. Now this Kwang-si
province, about which so much has been said to-day in
such an affecting way, I wish to lay on somebody's heart,
and not merely on somebody's, but on several hearts. Let
it be known that there is in your hearts a desire that two
men should go to this province. There is no doubt that
the funds can be supplied.

I dare say that if two labourers were sent to Canton
they would find half a-dozen missionaries' houses open to
them to receive them and their wives if they were married,
and there they might find house and harbour until they
were prepared to go up our great west river and enter
this said province. I ask Mr. Bailer whether it is not
true. He has often tasted of our hospitality in the south.
He knows that men already on the spot are desirous that
v/e should get farther inland ; and there is no doubt that
the provincial city of Kwaxg-tuxg might be a stepping-
stone, if not to the provincial city of KwAXG-Sl, yet
certainly to an entry upon that province.


Perhaps there is a man here already qualified to
go. I do not know. The Lord knows. Cannot one
of those stout-hearted brethren near by here take the
leadership of that work ? And will not the Lord in
answer to prayer give him some young companion as
yet untrained and untried in the work? do I not know
whom to name ? It is no use to mention names. One
of those men who have travelled through half China,
or perhaps through the very length and breadth of the
land, might be led by the good Spirit of God, and the
hand of God upon him, to undertake the enterprise of
taking by the hand a young Christian helper, and in the
name of the Lord Jesus taking possession of Kwaxg-SI,
into which you have not yet entered. I ask, can it be
done? Undoubtedly. Shall it be done? The Lord,
who created for His osvn glory the seven millions of
KwANG-si, as well as the other unnumbered millions of

China — the good Lord, even Jesus Himself — may soon
find the man and send him on his way ; and then, in
addition to the provinces already entered, you will have
entered the last province that seems most specially to
call for labourers and to call for your work ; and there-
fore: before sitting down, I give you just two words as a
motto — the Lord imprint them on som.e hearts here —
" Go forward ! " " Go forward ! "

exhibited a well-worn purse, and said referring to the
canvas bag Air. Piercy had named, that after the
afternoon meeting the purse was put into the hands of
one of the missionaries [Mr. Bailer], and upon beicg
opened v/as found to contain ^40 in gold.

Rev. P. "W. BALLER.
My lord, dear Christian friends, I cannot tell of the
same length of time of service as those who have already
spoken this evening.


But I can speak of a fewyears that I have been in China,
and I think that to-night it might be interesting and help-
ful to mention some of the causes of encouragement in
connection with our work there at the present time.

There never has been a time when China has been so
fully open to the Gospel, and when there were so many
things to give us hope and encouragement to go on and
serve the Lord there.

The Gospel has never been preached so widely ; not to
mention the names of provinces, and prefectuial cities,
and district cities, it has been preached from Pekin on
the north, right to the very south, and from the sea coast
at Shanghai, to the borders of Thibet, as far as the
authorities will allow the ambassadors of Christ to go.

It has been my great privilege to preach in thirteen of
the provinces ; and I may say that it has been one of the
greatest joys of iny life, not only to have preached it myself,
but, in any feeble measure, to have helped others in the
same work.


And then the Word of God has been circulated very
widely, and is still being circulated. Books, and pam-
phlets, and tracts, all helpful to a knowledge of God
and the Lord Jesus Christ, are being scattered broadcast,
and followed up by prayer in every part of the empire.

It seems to me as though God had desired to call
our attention in this way to the fact that the set time
to favour China had come. There never has been such
a time in her historj'. Why is it that God has allowed
the whole nation to be in seclusion so long ? Is it net


that He has given the Gospel to her so widely and so
fully now? We have heard twice to-day that there is
only one province in which the missionary work has not
been going on — the province of KwAXG-SI. In all other
provinces the v.'oik has been .going on, and missi'.inary
churches have been formed, and the name of our God has
been glorified.

Having been connected for some time with itinerant
work in China, I should like to give a few words of ex-
planation. Since I have been home I have met v;ith
friends who seem to think that we go about over the
country in an aimless sort of Ti'ay,just going to one place
and staying a little while, and then running somewhere
else, and then running here, and there, and everywhere, as
if there v.'ere no method and no design in it all.

It should be remembered that it is not at all easy to



effect a settlement in some places, and this itinerancy has
been, to a very large extent, essential in order to


Something is done when, in some of these interior pro-
vinces where they have never seen a foreigner before, you
disabuse their minds of the belief that foreigners are half
men and half beasts, and show them that they can eat
the same as other men, and that they are men like them-

How often are we asked the question in China whether
we have ever been to the country where they are all
women, and whether in our country there is a set of
people who have to be carried about by means of a pole
through their chest ! Something is done when their minds
are disabused of these ideas. When they have such ideas
is it to be supposed that they will welcome us with open
arms ? Settled work there must be, as the


and of the Gospel being preached over and over again,
and of the missionary seeking, by his presence and by his
testimony, to commend the Gospel which he preaches,
and so to get a place for permanently carrying on the
work of God. It has been done, and, bv the grace
of God, it v/ill be done more fully. In places where,
eight years ago, the name of Christ was not known,
God has blessed the work, and churches have sprung up,
and souls have been born again.

One of the first journeys that was taken to the north-
west province of Shen-si was taken by Mr. King and
myself We travelled up the river Han, nearly two
thousand miles, and met not a single Christian ; and we
found no place where v/e could carry on permanent work.

What is the case at the present time ? In that pro-
vince where a few years since there was no native
Christian, no station, and no missionary settled, there is a
Church now of between


Mr. and Mrs. Easton are carrying on the work, and the
natives themselves are spreading it ; and, in company with
Mr. King, are, in their own provmces, seeking to carry out
the work, and give others the blessings of which they have
been partakers. These are causes for thanksgiving.

We may, however, sometimes have causes of discourage-
ment. Missionaries are not angels without wings. We
are men of like passions as other men, — very ordinary
men, most of us. But, thinking over what has been
done by God, we are very grateful, and are not disposed to
mourn too much over difficulties where they are met with,
but to thank God and take courage, and still go forward.

Then, with regard to the work that has been done


That is a subject about which, I think, there is a good
deal of mistiness in the minds of many. There is an
idea that the women of China are in the same position as
the women of India, — that they are secluded in zenanas,
and that it is a very difficult thing to reach them at all.
Such is not the case.

Speaking generally, the women of China are quite as
accessible as the women here in England ; and there is
not the slightest hindrance to our sisters going in and out
among them, and preaching the Gospel, and doing for
them as much as can be done here at home for the
women who need the Gospel.

In Kan-SUH, the north-westerly province of China,
Miss Wilson and Miss Jones are working, and Mr.
Parker and his wife have been there for some time.
Mrs. Easton is in the adjoining province of Shen-si ; and
away in the south-west of China, Miss Kidd and Mrs.
Broumton and Mrs. George Clarke are at work.

It was a very great privilege to me to accompany Miss
Kidd and Mrs. Broumton across to the west of China.
They were


that had ever been across. We set out on our journey
with considerable fear and trembling. We did not know
what might happen. The province of Hu-NAN, through
which we had to pass, is noted for its anti-foreign feeling ;
and most of the riots and reports that go about respecting
foreigners are supposed to emanate from that province.
We found, however, contrary to our expectations, that


and received us with a great deal of kindness.

There is a very large floating population, and a great
many of the boats on the large lake in that province— the
Tung-t'ing lake — are manned by women, and worked by
them. These women came round our boat as soon as
we anchored, and our sisters had not the slightest diffi-
culty in preaching the Gospel to them ; and, instead of
being very hostile, they were highly delighted to see our
sisters. They stroked their hands, and stroked their
cheeks, and said, " Dear me ! what beautiful white skins
you have got. How much powder do you use?" And
they complimented them on their good looks, and said,
" What have you come for ? " Our sisters were able to
tell them, and they sang Chinese hymns to them, and
they were highly delighted to listen.

They very much appreciated the Gospel hymns,
"Jesus loves me," " Rock of Ages," " Guide me, O Thou
great Jehovah," "When He cometh,'' and others. The
hymns which we enjoy and appreciate here at home, the
Chinese enjoy and appreciate. And why should they
not? The hymns go home to their hearts, and they
enjoy them.

Our sister. Miss Kerr, began this work before she could
speak very much of the language. We used to have good
meetings in the morning, with nice hymns, andthev/omen
v/ere defighted to hear, and they would come in numbers
bringing their little girls with them. We had got a text
before us, and we said, " I suppose you do not understand
what all this is about. We will explain it." Then we
explained it, a verse at a time. With regard to visiting
the homes of the people, there are, I believe, very few
cities in the whole of the eighteen provinces where our
sisters could not get into the houses and preach the Gos-
pel to the women.

What are the women of China to do


and tell them the Gospel ? They will have nobody to tell
them. Men cannot go to them. We would if we could,
but the customs of the country debar men from so doing.
When we do get an opportunity we try to speak to them,
but we cannot visit them in the same way as our sisters

In the north of China, during the famme, our sisters found
very ready access. Itwasmygreat privilege to go with Mrs.
Taylor, and Miss Crickmay, and Miss Home. We found
travelling in the north of China exceedingly comfortable.
They have scenery there such as you have not here.
We mixed with the people, and the inns were all
that we needed ; and v/e found that God blessed us, and,
instead of meeting with difliculty and opposition, the
people received us gladly wherever we went.

We had not any difficulty in getting the women to-
gether when we arrived. Our sisters formed a school,
and they have got the children there now. When the
girls were brought in they were like little scarecrows.
Their skins were black, and they were covered with filth,
and looked more dead than alive : but a very few weeks
of careful training, cleanliness, regular feeding, and proper


clothing made a wonderful difference. Now there are
twelve or thirteen girls, andmost of them, I believe, have
given evidence of loving the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the kind of work that has been, and is being
carried on by our sisters. There is a great field for
women's work in China — I believe greater there than

God has been very gracious to us as a mission, in pre-
serving the lives of so many. Mr. Edward Fishe lost
his life in trying to evangelize the province of Kwang-SI.
The province was depopulated, owing to the rebellion,
and they had very poor accommodation, and the result
was that Mr. Fishe got a very heavy cold which settled
uponhislungs,andhe died. Several of us have been about
in all the famine-smitten districts, and among all the pes-
tilence that followed the famine, and with that exception
God has preserved us all.

At T'ai-yiien Fu, during the famine, we saw some men
carrying something on a pole. I could not see what it
was, and I followed them, and found that it was a man
who had died in the street of starvation. They just put
a piece of cord round his legs, and carried him outside the
city to bury him. There was no coffin. They had two
cemeteries in which the graves were dug about two feet
deep with a partition of earth between them about six
inches thick. The body was dropped into the grave, and
the earth was loosely covered over ; and that was the
way in which the millions that died from the famine were
buried. Can you wonder that pestilence followed, and
that millions that escaped the ravages of the famine, but
whose constitutions were already enfeebled by it, were
carried away afterwards by the pestilence which followed
in its wake ? But though we have been about in many of
these places, and might have been carried off, yet God
has been pleased to spare us right on until now.

Before I sit down I should like to say a few words as
to the


in the conversion of the Chinese. It has been my privi-
lege to see a Chinaman die. I count it a great privilege.
We have heard of one who has been called away, and
who had known the Gospel from her infancy. It is a
matter of great rejoicing that she passed away rejoicing
in the Lord. But I have seen the same thing in the case
of the Chinaman, and seen the same grace of God mani-
fested in his death that is manifested in the death of
European Christians.

When I went to China first, we went by way of
America, and on the way I saw the first man die that I
had ever seen die, and he was a Chinaman. He had been
I think kicked by a horse. They had taken him
in at one of the sinall stations in the west of America,
where medical help could be procured, and just as we got
to the station the man died. So far as one knew, he died
without hope beyond the tomb, and it made a deep im-
pression upon me. But after I had been in China about
eighteen months or two years, I saw a native Christian
die. He was a man in whose life there were many
things that one would fain have seen altered, and
marked by a great many blemishes. He had an affection
of the throat, and was unable to speak, but he beckoned
me to his bedside. He was sitting there just dying, and
I said, " How is it with you now.' Is your spirit at
peace ? Are you going to heaven .'' and are you trusting
in the Lord Jesus ? " He put his fingers together, and
made the shape of a cross with them, and then he pointed
to his heart, and then he pointed up to heaven. That
preached me a sermon. He had the power of the cross ;
the Lord Jesus Christ had given peace to his heart ; and
he had a bright hope of immortality and eternal life, and
he was going to enjoy i^ The grace of God can do for

the Chinese what it does for us. And oh ! that by the
grace of God, and the pouring out of His Holy Spirit, there
may be this witness of the power of His truth multiplied
through the length and breadth of the land !

announced that a lady had authorized him to say that she
would be very glad to give ^200 towards the commence-
ment of a mission in the province of Kwang-si.

Dear Christian friends, it has done my heart good to
hear so much about China, and to hear it from those who
have been so many years in that country. I represent
here, I think, those people whom we heard about just
now, who do not love the Chinese, for I never had any
love whatever for the Chinese before I went into China ;
and I think that, if we want to get love for the Chinese,
we must go to China and see them, and then we shall
soon get love for them, because they are a most interest-
ing people, and when once you have shaken hands with
a Christian Chinaman — when once you have sat down at
the Lord's Table with a Christian Chinaman — why, your
heart changes altogether in your feelings towards the
Chinese, and you see how closely they come to you. You

Online LibraryChina Inland MissionChina's millions (Volume 1882) → online text (page 23 of 36)