« VorigeDoorgaan »
Some readily confessed their ignorance in reference to the state of the soul after death. All listened with apparent interest to what was said, but some question directly foreign to the subject in hand would betray the real direction of their thoughts."
In a letter of Sept. 14th, again he writes:"Shanghai is still in a very unsettled state. The Imperial troops are encamped about it, and battles are affairs of constant occurrence. Yesterday afternoon we went to call upon some missionary families who live not far from the city wall, and near the camp of the Imperialists. As we were approaching their residence, the thunder of artillery and the sight of smoke not far distant somewhat startled us. We went on however, and from the verandah of Brother Carpenter's house we had a view of the battlefield, less than a mile distant. The Imperialists were just retreating in good order to their camp. We saw their long lines fairly fluttering in the breeze, for without exaggeration about every tenth man carries a banner.
firing at them from the walls.
quite a smart engagement in the
The rebels were
There had been
MISSIONARY'S HOUSE RIDDLED.
in passing across the fields to the house of Brother Cunnyngham, we saw a man lying dead by the road-side. He had been killed by a stray ball while looking on. Coming to the door of Mr. C's. house, we counted in it six marks of balls; and he informed us that the house had been hit more than forty times within the last year. Proceeding a little further to the house of Brother Yates, we found it riddled with balls; and yet there he resides with his wife, for he cannot find another place where to lay his head.
"You will be ready to ask if the missionaries do not feel that their lives are in danger. The most of us are in no special peril; only those who reside near the wall need feel anxiety. The rela tions sustained by the missionaries, and by the foreign community in general, to the belligerents are complicated and curious. The territory occupied by foreigners is really under martial law. The three powers,' English, French and American furnish each a regular guard, who are stationed at certain points to prevent any armed Chinamen from setting foot on their territory. It is said that yesterday the two armies, while
fighting, encroached somewhat on the neutral ground, when a few English marines fired into them, causing their immediate flight, one part to the city, and the other to their camp.
"The obstacles to the success of missionary efforts in China are many and peculiar. When we survey the desolations around us, and then think of our own weakness, we should assuredly fold our hands in utter despair did we not remember that Christ lives, and that all power is given to him in heaven and on earth. This great empire is surely a part of that world which is to be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Jesus has both the power and the disposition to secure the interests and the progress of his own kingdom. It does not become us then to be painfully anxious on these points, except so far as they are connected with our own faithfulness. Though we who are now in the field may labor on till death, uncheered by a single ray of success, yet we believe our lives. will not have been in vain. God will graciously accept our efforts; yea, he will make them conducive to the future triumph of his gospel in this
OBSTACLES TO GOSPEL.
benighted land. And we, from our mansions of rest may be permitted to witness the progress of the chariot of salvation along the path which we had a hand in preparing."
The number of the people-No Sabbath-Chinese Funeral-Excursion with Rev. Mr. Edkins-Stopped by officials at SooChow-Sent back under escort.
THUS the young missionary entered upon his labors, not over-confident in himself, but looking to the right source for help. The following extract from his first letter to the American Board still further shows how formidable the work appears to his first vision of it.
"One thing which struck me forcibly at first, and continues to be a matter of daily wonder, is the number of the people. They congregate everywhere. The streets are thronged; the houses are crowded; the boats in the river are overflowing. You can find no retired spot, out of your own house, where you may go forth, to walk, like Isaac, and meditate at eventide.' Take what direction you please, and penetrate as far as you will into the country, you will find thickly inhabited hamlets, and be jostled by bus