Volume. XXVII, No. 41
Sunday, 07 April 2013


James Hudson Taylor - Part 2


Back at Shanghai, Taylor decided to reach the Taipings. Ten days later he was off. Partly to explore openings for future residence and partly to throw Imperialists off his trail, he proceeded up the Yangtze leisurely. From his boat, he visited 58 villages. Only seven of them had ever seen a Protestant missionary. He preached, removed tumors and distributed books. The people would run from him at times or throw mud and stones. Medical box and skill was the only thing used to combat this. Passing his 23rd birthday he came within 70 miles of the Taipings. However he was divinely hindered in his attempt to reach Nanking, and in five more years the rebels were all but extinguished anyway. Taylor returned to Shanghai and on August 24, 1855, he toured southward to Ningpo. Now he was writing a girl back home, Elizabeth Sisson, proposing marriage...not even noticing young Maria Dyer who lived there (whom he eventually did marry).

On October 18, 1855 he left Shanghai again, this time going to Tsungming, a large island in the Yangtze mouth. He felt this would be a good place to labor and on November 5 he returned to Shanghai to restock the medicine chest, collect letters and fit himself with winter clothes. However he was then ordered out of Tsungming permanently, as local doctors complained to the magistrate that they were losing business to the foreign doctor. These six weeks were his first "inland" experience.

William Burns, a Scottish evangelist, came across his path and for seven months, 1855-56, they worked together as a gospel team. In February of 1856, they both felt called to Swatow (now Shantou), 1,000 miles south. They decided to go and arrived March 12. It was no easy place to get the attention of a hardened, embittered people. Tropical summer soon put Taylor into a state of exhaustion as the prickly heat and unending perspiration plus the stench of the night soil pails left him weak. He left his rice diet in May and added tea, eggs and toast. The mail was not encouraging either. Miss Sisson rejected his proposal to join him, and the CES, his mission board, informed him there were no funds left to send to him. By midsummer, 1856, he was torn 100 different ways, but in July he decided to go back north, at Burns request, to get much needed medical equipment from Shanghai. Taylor arrived to find nearly all his medical supplies had been accidentally destroyed by fire. Then came the distressing news that Burns was arrested by Chinese authorities and sent on a 31 day journey to Canton.

Hudson then decided to settle at Ningpo and in October, 1856, made his way back there. On his way down he was robbed of his traveling bed, spare clothes, two watches, surgical instruments, concertina, sister Amelia\'s photo and a Bible given to him by his mother. With no salary coming in now he would have been destitute and helpless had not his expenses fallen sharply because he had adopted the Chinese dress and level of living. Despite his setbacks he continued to preach to those who were in darkness.

As 1856 ended and the new year began, he knew he would have to resign from his mission board, CES. He considered joining some other society but a letter from George encouraged him to live by faith. So in June he resigned at age 25.


Dr. Parker, a fellow missionary, had established a hospital and dispensary at Ningpo. A new family, the Jones\', had arrived and the missionary community was fervent in spirit. Once a week they all dined at the school run by Miss Mary Ann Aldersey, a 60 year old Englishwoman, reputed to be the first woman missionary to China. She had two young helpers, Burella and Maria Dyer. Burella became engaged to missionary associate, John Burdon.

 
On Christmas day, 1856, the missionary compound had a party where a friendship between Hudson and Maria developed. Taylor had to return to Shanghai, but on March 23 he wrote asking to be engaged. Ordered by Miss Aldersey (a guardian of sorts), Maria painfully refused. However, as both plunged into the Lord\'s work and prayed, they decided to get engaged on November 14, 1857, approval or not.

As 1859 came around, Maria turned 21 (born January 16, 1837), and four days later on the 20th, she married Hudson Taylor. A happier couple could not be found...they had waited over two years.

The work in the compound continued. John Jones became the pastor, Maria ran the little school as Taylor\'s small group at Ningpo kept pursuing mission work in a great heathen city. In 1859, Mrs. Taylor fell grievously ill, recovering to give birth to their first child, Grace, on July 31.

The treaty of Tientsin, ratified in 1860, gave missionaries new freedoms but Taylor\'s health was so bad with all the pressures that a furlough seemed to be his only hope for life. So in August they left Shanghai, arriving back in England in November, 1860, seven years after he first left for China. They lived in Bayswater where their first son, Herbert, was born (2nd child) in April, 1861. Taylor, realizing he could not soon return, undertook various responsibilities. First, the translating and revision of the Ningpo New Testament (a five year project) and then enrolling in a medical course. He also wrote a book, China, Its Spiritual Needs and Claims (October, 1865). Other children were born. Bertie (number 3) came in 1862, followed by Freddie in 1863 and Samuel in 1864. As only four children returned to China, it is thought that Herbert must have died in infancy. These London years brought tests as severe as any that followed with poor health, funds and a growing family.

The China Inland Mission was born on Sunday, June 25, 1865 on the sands of Brighton\'s beach where Hudson Taylor was gripped with a heavy burden and asked God for 24 missionaries to return with him to China. He opened a bank account with $50.00 and soon the volunteers and money began coming in. At this time even the renowned Charles Spurgeon heard Taylor and was impressed by his zeal for China. Apparently God was too, for within the year, he had raised $13,000.00 and accepted 24 volunteers. On December 7, a baby born prematurely died at birth. Maria\'s lungs were permanently affected with tuberculosis at about this time and it took months for her to recover.

On May 26, 1866, the Taylors left for China after 5½ years of working and recruiting at home. Of the 24 volunteers, eight preceded him and 16 came with the family. On board were a married couple, five single men and nine single ladies. They ran into a terrible typhoon in the South China Sea and only prayer and work beyond measure aboard the Lammermuir prevented a catastrophe.

On September 30, 1866, they were towed towards Shanghai by a steam tug. It was back to Ningpo by canal, but overcrowded conditions at the missionary compound compelled him to go to Hangchow in December. Taylor\'s methods were met with scorn, the Chinese dress being the big item that annoyed the western community as it did previously. Keeping his new missionaries in line with his policies was somewhat a task also. In early February, 1867, little Maria was born (number 6). By April the group was in danger of a split. Taylor admitted his folly in re-baptizing Anglicans and never again swerved from a true interdenominational position.

He went westward in June looking for new stations. The heat climbed to 103 degrees in August. Taylor was recovering from inflamed eyes and wife Maria was ill. The death of 8 year old Gracie Taylor on August 23, 1867 probably saved the mission. The girl was praying for an idol maker just before she died and it united the mission. In September, 1868 the last dissident was dismissed.

The Taylors had gone to Yangchow on June 1, 1868 with their four children. By July 20 they had their own compound. Suddenly, handbills warned against the foreigners. Ignorance and priestly hostility brought fear of the West. Not only that, but the foreigners (Taylors) offered exceptional prospects for looting. Saturday, August 22, 1868 has to be one of the most traumatic days in the mission\'s history. The mission compound was attacked and as Taylor and a friend ran for help, the home was looted and burned causing serious injuries on several individuals. The battered missionaries left Yangchow for Chinkiang (now Zhenjiang) where they were made comfortable. Maria Taylor could not walk unaided and ached in every bone. However, they did not want to press charges. The British Navy, hearing of the problem, sailed up the Yangtze deep into the territory to protest this outrage. This was to produce negative results as Western Imperialism became the excuse for Communist infiltration later.


…………….to be continued.


     Deacon Wai Kin Wong

 

(Adapted from Original Article by Ed Reese,

Christian Hall of Fame booklet series)

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Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life University (Sihanoukville).
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