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and family. This was the more imperative in his case as he had no family of his own. He promptly and cordially as. sumed the responsibility, and the situation he held yielded ample funds for the purpose. But when he was led by Chris. tian motives to abandon that employment, and accept a position which, while securing his dependants from beggary, was likely to call for the exercise of no inconsiderable self-denial, it was natural that his heathen relatives should assail him with cruel upbraidings and persecutions. Such were the effects which really followed his pious decision. His home was rendered a scene of wretchedness, and for many days his widowed sister bitterly accused him of meanness, selfishness, and inhumanity, and threatened him with the vengeance of the gods for his departure from the practice of his ancestors. The new disciple bore her rajlings with uncomplaining submission, often entreating her with tearful eyes to listen to the wonderful teachings which had occasioned his seemingly strange conduct, and pledging that if she would patiently hear and consider these things she would eventually justify what he had done. Months passed away, and at length a change came over the woman's mind. She beheld her brother's holy walk, marvelled at his forbearance, and hearkened with amazement to his prayers. Her conscience troubled her. To her brother's great joy she asked him to read to her of the Word of God, and peniten. tially sought his forgiveness for all the hard things she had said to him. She joined him in prayer two or three times a day, and, as he once observed to me, "she appeared as though she could never hear too much of the Saviour's love and grace.” Latterly, Mrs. Hu has been of much service to her in confirming her resolutions to follow Christ, and especially in strengthening her for an open profession of his name. And now, after a long attendance on the public services, she has become enrolled amongst the lew who glory in the cross of Christ as their sole hope and plea for salvation and eternal life. In answer to my questions on Sunday morning, she modestly but firml, declared her solemn intention to
live and die a whole-hearted follower of the Lamb. Gratefully acknowledging Mrs. Hu's efforts for her welfare, she yet mainly ascribed the great change she had experienced to her brother's affectionate solicitude and godly example. Who will not pray that she may shine as the crown of his rejoicing in the judgment-day?
Mrs. Tang, the other recipient of the rite of baptism, is the mother of an earn. est man who has been in the church for more than a year. From the first, this man has borne a bold testimony to the excellency and power of the religion of Jesus. At his own home, among his neighbours in the busy streets, on the river, and wherever he may go, his voice is lifted up in honour of his Lord and Saviour. His mother thought him mad, and many shared her opinion. Now, however, she has become of his way of thinking, and is doing her utmost to induce her neighbours to embrace the same views, and pursue the blessedness she has attained. The change in her case has been brought about in this wise. Refusing for many months to extend any real regard to the exhortations of her son, she was nevertheless induced by Mrs. Hu to allow her house to be used for a weekly gathering of females for religious instruction. This meeting was generally conducted by Mrs. Hu's husband, and was supplemented by private conversations with the attendants on the part of Mrs. Hu, with the view of enforcing the subjects treated by her husband. Mrs. Tang was an object of special interest to her. After this had gone on for some time, the venerable widow expressed herself convinced of the divine origin of the new religion, and in proof of this agreed to the clearing of the house of all idolatrous objects. But she was still in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity, knowing nothing of spiritual life and liberty. At length God laid her on a sick bed, and her sickness proved very severe and protracted. Native medi. cal skill utterly failed in the treatment of her disease, and now she was brought to serious concern about her soul. Her son and Mrs. Hu spent much time conversing and praying with her, and she was drawn by the Divine blessing on these means
to the sense of sins forgiven. Happiness but his heart is opening to gracious she had never known took possession of influences, and we believe that ere long her soul, and she resolved that if God he will be wholly on the Lord's side. restored her to health, her remaining within a few yards of Hsu sat Han HsienFears should be devoted to his service. seng, the brother who has lately come to From that time she improved in health, us from the Romish communion. This and ever since she has been a delighted man has furnished abundant proofs of attendant on the services of the Lord's sincerity in the change he has made, and house. She believes that God afflicted bids fair to be a most valuable accession her body to save her soul, and on being to our numbers. He is a man of literary asked last Sunday morning, in the pres. turn, who by his grave and thoughtful cha ence of the congregation, whether she racter secures general esteem. His abanthought she could endure persecution donment of popery has been most thorough for Christ, she replied with fervour, “I and enlightened, and consequent on an fear nothing that can come to me, be independent personal examination of the cause I have the evidence in what the inspired records. Little did the papal Lord Jesus has done for me already, that missionaries imagine, when stationing he will be sufficient for me in any cir. themselves within a stone's throw of our cumstances that may arise." As she is city chapel, obviously in opposition to us, connected with our little chapel in the that this their catechist would thereby suburbs of the city, and greatly resem come to the discovery of his errors, and bles Mrs. Hu in her energy of character, end in joining the sect he had been taught we anticipate that she will be very use
to revile. It was the contiguity of posiful in promoting the work amongst the tion that brought him into contact with women in that locality. Blessed be God our venerable Wang, who asked him for for these new trophies of grace.
A statement of his religious opinions, and There were other features in last Sun. then vigorously denounced them as day morning's service on which it would unsupported by the infallible standardbe interesting to expatiate. By my side the Word. Although attempting a reply sat the old mandarin, Hsu Lan Ye, whose to the arguments of Wang, the poor interest in the Gospel is increasing. So Catholic soon found himself in a dilemma, far has he become enamoured of the from his ignorance of the Scriptures, golden moral precepts of our sacred which he confessed he had never personwritings, that he has caused some of them ally consulted. Wang presented him to be written out on large coloured sheets, with a Bible, but this was taken from him and suspended in the public office with by the indignant French priest, and in which he is connected. He did us good his presence committed to the flames. service a little while ago, by voluntarily Bnt the man's eyes were now opened, issuing a proclamation, threatening with and the action of the priest only promptpains and penalties anyone who mighted him to go and obtain another copy of molest us in our attention to the public the condemned book, which was diligently services at our chapels. This was occa read in secret. The priest's suspicions sioned by a savage attack which was made were aroused, and he sent the man away upon one of our chapels, for the purpose to Peking, that he might be kept from of casting odium on the women wbo were the contaminating influence of our teackworshipping with us. There has been no ings. This course proved but an adrepetition of the offence, which is doubtless ditional link in the chain of events which greatly owing to his timely interference. was drawing him to the truth. While in He remained with us as a spectator at one Peking, he was specially noticed by the of our recent sacramental services, and at authorities of the corrupt church, and its close expressed himself as affected with a view to the deliverance of one so by what he had heard, and begged to be dangerously affected, extraordinary exallowed to contribute his offering along pedients were resorted to. He was shewn with the offerings of the members. We the bones and other relics of distinguished cannot speak of him as fully converted, saints, and was urged to appropriate the
virtue which frequent contact with these baubles would yield. He became ineffably disgusted, and resolved to separate from a church which had so miserably, departed from the spirit of the Divine Word, and forthwith returned to Tientsin, that he might unite himself with us. The enraged priest has repeatedly sent messengers to warn him that he is on the high road to damnation; but finding that some of these deputies have also awakened up to the conviction that they are not so enlightened as they should be, he has discontinued the policy. His final act was to visit the lost sheep himself, and to announce to him that he was delivered over to the devil, to whose dark abodes his new teachers and all associated with them were fast hastening. Han is now at peace, and he and his son, an intelligent youth, eighteen years of age, are amongst the most regular and interested of our worshippers.
At Han's elbow sat the young man whose baptism I noticed a few weeks ago. He has obtained the sanction of his employer to the complete observance of the Sabbath. His fine countenance was unusually radiant last Sunday morning, from the fact that he had at his side his aged father, who has avowed himself a thorough believer in the religion his son has embraced. This promising young man has become the priest of the household, and twice a day reads the Word of Life to his parents, and conducts family prayer. His mother is so anxious to learn all she can about the Saviour and his work, that she has sent a special message to Mrs. Hu, desiring her to go and instruct her and pray with her. The whole family will soon be in the way of peace. Turn. ing from Wang, my eyes rested on Mu, who was mentioned to you as baptized at the same time. He appeared amongst us fresh from an iconoclastic clearing of his house of all idols and idolatrons emblems. From the time that he received the truth he has protested against the continuance of these things under his roof, but owing to the stormy disposition of his wife, who is a weak and super. stitious woman, he has refrained from their violent exclusion, excepting from one room which he determined should be
free from their obnoxious presence. Increasing light, however, has rendered him increasingly concerned about the matter, and a few days ago, after praying for strength to discharge what he conceived to be his duty, he set to work, and destroyed every vestige of the once cherished, but now detested, pagan symbols, His wife looked on with horror, and when the brave man had finished his work, she poured forth a volley of cruel reproaches, and predicted that the direst calamities would overtake him, in punishment of his diabolical conduct. She spent many hours, weeping and bemoaning her lot, and, indeed, seemed as though life had no more attractions for her. At this crisis, Mrs. Hu visited her, and endeav. oured to satisfy her that her fears were groundless. She left her somewhat reassured, and as several days have passed away without any visible evil effects, the woman is beginning to think that after all her husband may be right. The good man himself is happier in consequence of the act, and he believes most firmly that his wife will be brought to Christ. Near to Mu sat an old man who has come a journey of sixty miles, for the sole purpose of hearing more of the word of salvation. He was visiting this city a year ago, and even then applied for baptism ; but as he was returning to his home before he could gain much correct knowledge, we did not feel at liberty to comply with his request. He was sent to his home in possession of suitable christian books, which he was urged to read with prayerful attention. Sickness came upon him, and this led him to much prayer and meditation; and after an interval of twelve months, he has come baok to us for more information, and expressing strong desires for admission into the Church. He speaks of many of his neighbours as equally anxious for Christian instruction. I have dwelt too long on Sabbath days' experiences, or I should go on to speak of an encouraging service I held in another of our chapels in the afternoon, at which we had a large attendance of women ; and also of the evening service at our new chapel, where we had a crowded audience, which, in addition to the addresses of our native brethren and myself, was powerfully appealed too by my friend, the Rev. Jonathan Lees. I have said sufficient to enable you to feel that God's presence Was with us in no ordinary manifestation, and that the sentiments of all hearts must have been those of exultation and joy. To God alone be all the glory.
I have now to speak of a matter which is drawing largely on our sympathies, and probably may prove a providential indication of the course we are to take in the future extension of our mission. For the present we shall refrain from any confi. dent expression of opinion on the subject, and simply relate facts as they have transpired, that you may rejoice with us in the spread of God's work. In the early part of this year a stranger, stooping beneath the weight of years and infirmity, took his seat in our city chapel. His manner attracted attention, and led to enquiries as to his place of residence and the objects bringing him away from home. He stated that he was from a village in the Shantung province, he being the head-man of the village, and that he had come to Tientsin, a distance of nearly one hundred miles, in search of saving truth. This was in consequence of a dream in a season of sickness. Being an old man, and knowing that he must soon die, he had experienced much anxiety as to what comes after death, and wished for some one to take of these things and shew them unto him. It was while passing through these struggles that he fell ill, and on two occasions dreamt that life had come to a close. According to his description he fancied himself conducted after death to an immense and beautiful place, where was situated a magnificent mansion, guard ed by beings of surpassing loveliness and parity. Looking through the open doors of this glorious palace, he observed that it was filled with beings of similar appearance, who were doing homage to One seated upon a throne, whose glory resembled the brightness of the sun. He longed to enter the palace and join them in their exalted employments, but was prevented from doing this by one of the keepers of the gates, who gently reminded him that all who went therein had provid. ed themselves while on earth with the re.
quisite attire, and that as he was destitute of such clothing he could not be allowed to pass through. On hearing this he became greatly distressed, but was immediately comforted by being told that he should be taken back to the place from whence he came, where he would be taught by competent persons what must be done to secure this blessed inheritance. Having had this remarkable dream on two different occasions, the old man's thoughts became intensely absorbed in its solution, He resorted to some Roman Catholics who reside in the neighbourhood, and asked for a statement of the doctrines in which they believed. The little they told him secured his confidence, and settled him in the purpose to embrace the Christian religion ; but remembering that purity was set forth in his dream as an indispensable requisite for admission to the palace, and remarking that the lives of his Catholic friends were far from being irreproachable, he concluded that it would be to his advantage to visit Tientsin, where he would have the opportunity as he thought of referring to the highest models of the Church for guidance in the pursuit of excellence. On arriving at Tientsin, he enquired for the Roman Catholic temple, and was directed by mistake to our chapel. He at once repaired thither. Supposing himself to have attained the object of his journeyings, he assumed the position of a learner, and listened with wonder to the views of spiritual truth which were propounded in his hearing. The more he heard the more he rejoiced, and he felt that the treasure he was seeking had come within his reach. After spending some time amongst us, he returned to his distant home, carrying with him a judicious selection of books, and promising a speedy renewal of his visit. A few months rolled over, and the promise was fulfilled. This time he came to request that we would send a teacher to labour for a season amongst his neighbours, offering to find a room for his accommodation, and to provide another room for public preaching. The books he took away on his former visit had done their work : he had gained more light, and many of his friends had read them to profit, and now united with
baptize him, because he had been bap- books we had given him, and collecting tized by the Roman Catholics. The course his family and friends together very often taken by this poor man has involved him to read to them and to pray. He promisin great poverty. He cannot return to ed to be in Teintsin at a certain time to his friends, as they would renounce him. spend a few days, and hoped the foreign for having joined the church of Jesus, so teachers would give him baptism. At the he waits here hoping to meet with some time fixed he came, and all were pleased employment. May the Lord open his way with his clear views of Christian truth, before him, and keep him steadfast in and his religious experience. On examChrist Jesus.
ining him, I asked him if he had any Chang-ten-Yuen, aged thirty-one, is a idolatrous images in his house. He recarrier of goods. For three years he has plied, “No. During the war, when the been hearing the word of God, but has English troops were marching towards never felt its power until a few months Pekin, they passed through Yang-tsun. ago under the preaching of Wang-Hein- As they came near, all the people fled, and Seng. He is a bold energetic young man, I and my family with the rest. We took and soon as he felt the truth of Christi- nothing with us out of the house, and anity, at once gave up his idols, and de- when we came back, the house was stript sired to be baptized. Though not an of everything even the idols." I said I intelligent man, he is decided as a be- did not think the English soldiers had liever in Jesus. His calling exposes him plundered his house. “Oh, no," he said; to great temptations, especially to a vio “I know they did not; it was some of my lation of the sabbath, but he has deter neighbours who returned before me, and mined to abstain from labour on the they had helped themselves to my goods Lord's-day, and to be a true and devoted and gods. From that time I have never Christian.
had an image in my house, for I lust my Tu-Yun-Chai, thirty-six years old, is a confidence in their supposed power, and man of moderate intelligence and a far now I believe in one God." mer. Some months ago, he came to Tien- The other man, Wang Hwan Hsin, aged tsin on business, and stepped into our thirty-four, is likewise from the councity chapel. He then heard what deeply try, a city called Paou-ti, distant from interested him, so much so that he re- Tientsin about forty miles. For some mained several weeks, that he might daily time he has been residing in this city, in learn more of the truth as it is in Jesus. the employment of a Mandarin, and has He soon felt and acknowledged the truth been a constant and attentive hearer of of the way of salvation, and wished to be the Gospel. His heart seems fully given baptized before returning to the country. to the Saviour, and he witnessed a good We told him he had better wait, and as confession before the church. he could read, he might take some books These cases show how the work of the with him which would increase his light, Lord is gradually progressing in this reand if, after some time, he still felt in- gion. Many other signs of good appear clined to become a Christian, he might around us, and we are encouraged on return to Tientsin, and if the church ap- every side. Oh for a wide-spread diffusion proved him, he might be baptized. He of the Spirit's power, that thousands returned home to Yang-tsun, a large town might be born in a day. Pray for those on the banks of the Pei-ho, on the great whom the Lord has given us, that they road to Pekin, and distant about twenty- may be faithful to the end ; and pray for two miles from Tientsin. During his us, that the word of the Lord may have absence, we sent a colporteur to visit him, free course and be glorified. who found him earnestly studying the