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called 'Snowy Valley,' where we arrived at two o'clock. After dinner we sallied forth for exploration, and came at once upon a cataract pouring over a perpendicular ledge of rock three hundred feet high. We crawled cautiously to the edge of the abyss, and with awe-stricken spirits gazed downwards. It was an hour of rich enjoyment; the sunlight just fading among the magnificent peaks that towered all around us, and the quiet brook gliding peacefully to the plunging point, held us enchained.
"The next morning four of us set out to visit the higher fall, (500 feet,) and were well repaid for our toil and drenching, for it was a rainy morning. Friday we returned by a nearer route to the foot of the mountain, where we embarked on bamboo rafts. Gliding pleasantly along at the foot of the hills, over the rocky bed of the stream, now deep, now shallow, beguiling the time by conversation and singing, we reached our boat at sunset, and started for Ningpo, where we landed early next morning.
"On such trips there are many little privations and hardships to which one must submit, but with good company they are delightful."
Abandons Ping-Hoo-New Treaties-Death of his father-in-law, and of Mrs. Burdon.
AFTER all that had been accomplished, and all that had been hoped for, at Ping-Hoo, it was still found impracticable to retain the place, even as an out-station, because of the unsettled state of the country, and the loneliness of the situation. Having been compelled, as we have seen, to part with his tried friend and companion, Mr. Aitchison returned in the spring of 1858 to Shanghai, there to study and wait further developments of Providence, devoting himself in the mean time to such missionary service as the circumstances would permit. Having no chapel of his own, he held for a time a daily service in that which was under the care of Mr. Burdon, residing also in his family.
Although war had been raging all the time since he entered the country, yet now a new and
PLAN OF STUDY.
more portentous cloud is rising. Misunderstandings with the French and English threaten a more serious outbreak than ever before. The rupture came, with increased disturbance and trouble. The whole country was excited, and further attempts to effect a settlement in the interior were necessarily held in abeyance. But busy as ever, Mr. Aitchison engaged in preaching as opportunity offered, making also brief excursions into the surrounding country, while the greater part of his time was spent in poring over that "infinite quantity," as he called it, the Chinese language and literature, intending thereby to lay up rich stores of knowledge for future use, when the right spot for him should be found.
"As a Chinese student," so wrote his friend Mr. Burdon, at a later day, "he was from the first enthusiastic, and his interest ended only with his life. His theory on this point was, that the first five years in China should be principally spent in study, with as much of actual missionary work as is consistent with that object; but that afterwards a missionary's time should be spent principally in preaching and diffusing the gospel.
among the people, with just as much of study as will be consistent with that. And he adopted this theory on the principle, that though death should be ever present to our minds, as possibly and even probably near, yet all our plans and works should generally be undertaken and carried out as though long years of usefulness were before us."
At length, in June, 1858, by the treaties of Tientsin, the country, so far as foreign war was concerned, was pacified; and, as all had anticipated, new facilities for the spread of the gospel were obtained. Indeed, beside giving access to no less than thirteen new ports for trade, the entire kingdom seemed to be at once opened to missionary labors; and as the wonderful intelligence was sent to England with all possible despatch, and thence flashed across the Atlantic by the submarine cable just laid, the two continents stood still for a moment and rejoiced together in the wonderful things God had thus wrought. Of this new state of things Mr. Aitchison speaks in the following language:
"The treaties recently signed at Tientsin, between China on the one hand, and the four great