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Still at Ping-Hoo-Burdon returns to Shanghai-Interesting Cases-China opening-To Ningpo-Mr. Burdon's WeddingRemarkable Cascade.
ON the 31st of March, 1857, Mr. Aitchison wrote: "I regret to say that about the first of February circumstances compelled my dear brother Burdon to return to Shanghai, and there take up his abode. his abode. His only colleague in the mission was compelled by ill health to sail for England, leaving a large house and boardingschool without an occupant and superintendent. The path of duty was thus plainly marked out for him, and we were compelled to dissolve our agreeable copartnership. Our experience demonstrated, to ourselves at least, the practicability of union among Christians of various denominations. Each retained his own opinions on questions of doctrine and ecclesiastical government,
To the Mission House.
and at the same time respected the opinions of the other. Common interests, labors, and hopes bound us together, and kept our hearts in harmony. Oh for the realization of a like union. among all the members of the Church of Christ!
"I was not left long alone. Mr. Blodget visited me early in February, and soon after his departure I was joined by Rev. Mr. Edkins, of the London Missionary Society, the companion, as you will remember, of my first excursion into the interior. We shall continue to labor together, at least until the way is open to the 'regions beyond.' Mr. Macy is entertaining the question of a removal northward on account of the commotions at Canton. If he comes I shall hope to have his company in the delightful privations and labors of the itinerant life."
In regard to their services in Ping-Hoo, Mr. Aitchison adds :—
"Some of the neighbors have already formed the habit of coming to listen. A few occasionally remain to attend family worship. I wish you could be present at one of these social exercises. As we all, preacher, teacher, and servants read the Bible in turn, verse by verse, you would be
struck with the difference of the various dialects. Our household, including boatmen, comprise individuals from various parts of the Empire. There is one from Peking, one from Shantung, one from Nanking, one from Hoo-chow, one from Noo-sih, and one from Shanghai. All these differ considerably in the pronunciation and arrangement of words. We thus exhibit the spectacle, on a small scale, of a second Babel, or as I would prefer to say, a second Pentecost. Oh that each one of the number was intent on declaring the wonderful works of God!
"After a brief exposition and application of the portion of Scripture read, we sing a hymn and unite in prayer, in which latter exercise all reverently kneel, whatever may be the real state of their hearts. These seasons are pleasant and profitable. The Chinese see that our devotions are rational and heartfelt, very different from the mummeries practiced in their temples and dwellings.
"As yet I have little to report in the way of visible success. Some cases, however, have awakened hope in my breast, and at least kept
me from despondency. Two or three of these I will now briefly mention.
"My own teacher is in many respects quite an interesting character.* He is a native of Shantung, a northern province, and of course speaks the Mandarin dialect. Part of his life has been spent at Peking in the service of the Russians there resident. He was born,' to use his own phraseology, a Romanist,' and has been carefully trained in Papal schools. He can sing, and talk bad Latin. His knowledge of the Scriptures is not inconsiderable, though mixed with many erroneous notions. In his feelings and tastes he sympathizes with foreigners. For some reason or other he became dissatisfied with the system in which he was educated, dismissed the idea of entering the priesthood for which he was destined, and came to Shanghai. There for the first time he heard the truth preached in its purity. His understanding responded to its claim; his heart also, it is to be hoped. About eight months ago he became my teacher. During all this time his mind has been brought into daily contact with the word of God. He has seen its
*Not the same spoken of in a former chapter.
authority appealed to as the basis of every belief and practice. The consequence is that his prejudices have gradually melted away. His errors have been corrected, and his mind enlightened.
"A few evenings since he told me of his own accord that he agreed with me on all subjects but two, the worship of the Virgin and Purgatory. About these he still felt some hesitation. pointed to the Bible and asked him to produce its testimony in favor of these dogmas. He made no attempt to reply. I then set before him in a few words the common Protestant view, to the correctness of which he assented.
"For myself, as an individual, he professes the warmest attachment, and his mind is full of plans to promote my usefulness. One of these, which partakes largely of the nature of an 'air castle,' contemplates my removal to the vicinity of the imperial capital. According to his statements there would be a promising field of labor among multitudes of Romanists who are weary of the Papal yoke. More than once he has expressed a wish to be received to Christian fellowship, but I have as yet taken no step in that direction. There are still some inconsistencies