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  • CHARLES SPURGEON -
    THE SWORD AND THE TROWEL - JANUARY, 1869.


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    “BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL.”

    BY C. H. SPURGEON.

    THE Orphanage at Stockwell was not of our designing, but a work given us by our Great Taskmaster, whom it is joy to serve. Entering upon the work at his bidding, we felt sure of his help; we prayed for it, and at ‘once received delightful earnests or what the Lord intended to bestow. Month by month the hand of the All-sufficient God has sent a goodly portion of the sum required to erect the buildings, until on this first month of 1869, we are able to record that when the students have paid all their amount, and Messrs.WINNER &GOODALL have finished the two houses given by the Baptist churches (and both these amounts are sure to be made up ere long), the whole of the Orphanage buildings will be paid for. -In fact, the whole amount needed may be said to be raised. Blessed, for ever blessed be the name of the Lord.

    In the month of December there still remained £1,500 to be raised, and much prayer was offered by me both day and night distinctly for this amount. The Lord began to answer, and stayed not has hand till he had given all. A beloved sister in the Lord called with £100, half of which she gave to the College, and the other £50 to the Orphanage. Here was a commencement. A day or two afterwards, a legacy left by Mr. Doodle, of Long Crendon, which amounted net to £225, was paid. Two days after, our dear brother and deacon, MR. Hands, volunteered £200 to furnish the house which he had already given, and then to crown all, we received by post from some generous friend unknown to us, two Bank of England notes for £500 each: we believe it to be from the same hand which sent large sums before. The Lord abundantly bless all these donors, and especially that unknown steward of his house who so bounteously and secretly helps the orphan’s cause. We sang “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” with the family in which we reside, and then retired to rest with a heart full of gratitude, magnifying the faithfulness of the Lord. On the next service night we held a special meeting to the Lord that heareth prayer, and thus we set up our Ebenezer to his name.

    Under our heavy domestic trial, which is now we trust much alleviated, the Lord in infinite pity has spared us all anxiety about the Orphanage and College. “He stayeth his rough wind in the day of his east wind.” Blessed be his name!

    To all donors, great and small, to all who helped the Bazaar, whether as sellers or buyers, to all collectors, to all who have prayed for us, we tender loving acknowledgments, and ask them to join with us in praise.

    Thus encouraged, we set forward to the daily task of managing the Orphanage, and seeking from our heavenly Father the needed supplies.

    According to the amount of funds sent will be the number which the houses will contain. We shall begin with fifty, and proceed to receive fresh accessions as the houses are finished and fit for occupation, by which time we shall hope to have two hundred and fifty boys under our care. “The Lord will provide” is the motto which we have engraved upon the pillars of the entrance arch, and in confidence in that truth, we already rejoice with exceeding great joy at the misery which will be relieved, and the benefit which will be bestowed, by THE STOCKWELLORPHANAGE.THE APOSTOLIC WORK IN CHINA.

    NO mission now existing has so gully our confidence and good wishes as the work of Mr. Hudson Taylor in China. It is conducted on those principles of faith in God which most dearly commend themselves to our innermost soul. The man at the head is “a vessel fit for the Master’s use.”

    His methods of procedure command our veneration — by which we mean more than our judgment or our admiration; and the success attending the whole is such as cheers our heart and reveals the divine seal upon the entire enterprise. Now comes lastly, the only thing wanted, the growl of the devil, the surest mark that his kingdom is in danger. At the risk, which we hope is a great one, that the readers of the Sword and Trowel have read” China Inland Mission, Occasional Paper, Number 15,” we give lengthy extracts from the narrative of the great trial and peril of Hr. Taylor, and the brethren in the city of Yang-chau; upon which we take leave to say, that only weak-minded believers will be moved by the criticisms of newspapers, who revile, firstly, all evangelization, and secondly, the method adopted by Mr. Taylor of naturalizing his fellow-laborers and himself by the adoption of the Chinese dress and habits. This is the right if not the only way. Let these devoted men and women persevere in it. As to these missionaries causing strife, is it not always so where the true faith is in active exercise?

    Did not our Lord foretell that it should be so? A gun-boat has been sent, but Mr. Taylor never asked for it; if it be needed, it is not of his seeking.

    He has not resisted evil, but suffered it like the lowly Lamb who was dumb before his shearers. As an Englishman, he has a right to protection; as a Christian, he has not clamored for it. we question if a more wonderful instance of the patience of the saints has been exhibited since the days of Stephen. The whole matter is a loud call in providence to the Christian church in England. Friends mush help who never helped before, and all must pray, and good will come one of evil. “Yang-chau is a city of 360,000 inhabitants, some fifteen miles up the northern branch of the Grand Canal. We arrived there in our boats on the 1st of June, and went ashore to an hotel in the city on the 8th. After a tedious battle with difficulties, the narration of which within reasonable limits is impossible, and after fruitless negotiations for, perhaps, thirty different houses, we succeeded in renting one on the 17th of July, the Prefect having given us a proclamation; and some of my family moved into the house on the 20th. When the fact of our having been baffled in Chinkiang became noised abroad at Yang-chau, it suggested the idea that it would not be very difficult to eject us from that city; and, while the mass of the people were quite friendly, the literary classes were looking on our arrival with great jealousy, and commencing those efforts which resulted in the attacks on us on the 22nd and 23rd of August. “More than a fortnight before the attack on us I was informed that there had been a meeting of stone of the literary and military Bachelors, at which it was determined to stir up the people by ‘agitating reports,’ and thus to eject us from Yang-chau. I endeavored to quiet the fears of my informant, one of the agents who had assisted us in renting the house there; but from that time we were frequently annoyed, and sometimes endangered, by the throwing of stones at and into our windows. “Ere long small anonymous handbills in manuscript were posted up, containing absurd charges against us, and threatening us, the landlord, and the house-agents; and the people began to be very troublesome; but by patiently endeavoring to pacify them then we succeeded in avoiding any outbreak. These handbills proving insufficient to effect the malignant purpose of. their authors, larger ones, nearly a yard long, were posted up, calling us ‘ Brigands of the Religion of Jesus,’ stating that we scooped out the eves of the dying, opened foundling hospitals to eat the children, etc., etc. This roused the people so much that though we were able to prevent a riot by taking our stand at the door of the premises, and arguing all day with them as they assembled, I felt it incumbent on me to write to the Prefect, and request him to take such steps as should appear to him requisite. This! did on Friday, August 14th, but on the following day I only received an evasive reply from him. “On Saturday, August 15th, some of the better disposed people forewarned us that a riot might be expected on the morrow, and advised our adopting every precaution to avoid collision with the people. We at once built up as many entrances to the house as possible, and on Saturday afternoon, placing two large chairs across the narrow passage which leads from the street to the house, two of us seated ourselves in them, and so closed the way. A crowd of from one hundred to two hundred persons were assembled, and from time to time we addressed them, with the effect of preventing any actual breach of the peace. “On Sunday, August 16th, a new placard was freely posted about, more vile and irritating than the previous ones. It concluded with a notification that on the examination day the graduates and the people would come to our house and burn it down; when all, natives and foreigners, would be destroyed indiscriminately. “On Saturday, August 22nd, I first became aware of imminent danger about four p.m., when one of the servants came running into the house and asked me to come out at once, as both the inner and outer gates had been burst open, and a crowd was already on the premises. Losing no time, I went and found it was indeed so, but succeeded in getting them out, and in stationing two of our number at the end of the entrance lane, as before, while the gates were repaired by the carpenters then working on the premises. A little later the people began to pelt those sitting at the door — a thing not attempted before; and at dark, instead of going home, the rioters only became more uproarious. We sent messengers at intervals to the Prefect; but they neither returned themselves nor did any help come.

    The attack became general; some of the shutters of the upstairs rooms of the house were dashed in from behind, part of the garden wall was being pulled down, and it was evident that without help we could not long keep the people out. Mr. Duncan and I. therefore, determined to endeavor to make our way through the mob to the Prefect, as there was now no hope of Chinese messengers reaching him. Commending ourselves to the care of our Father, and asking the needed graceif’a violent death were awaiting us (we had previously in the house commended those we were leaving behind to God’s care), we assayed to set out. We saw at once that it was impossible to pass through the mob in front of the house, who now also occupied the rooms at the entrance and the end of the passage; but by passing through a neighbor’s house we succeeded in eluding the rioters immediately about the door. We had not proceeded far, however, when we were recognized, and the cry was raised, ‘the foreign devils are fleeing.’

    Happily I knew a by-way leading through some fields, by taking which we eluded most of those following us, while our rapid pace soon distanced those who still pursued us, and the thick darkness favored us much.

    Moreover, the path we had taken misled many of the people, who thought we were fleeing to the East Gate to escape from the city; and, consequently, many persons ran off by a short cut, expecting to meet us there. All this was .providential, as it gave us a few minutes at a time when every moment was precious. But when we turned into the main street we were assaulted with stones, and a mob gathered behind us, increasing at every step. Our rapid strides still kept a clear space between us and them, but we were nearly exhausted, and our legs so hurt with the stones and bricks thrown at us that we were almost failing, when we reached the door of the Ya-mun. But for the protection afforded us by the darkness, we should have scarcely reached it alive. The gale-keepers were just closing the doors as we approached, alarmed by the yells of the people behind us; but the momentary delay gave time for the crowd to come up and close upon us; the as vet unbarred gates gave way to the pressure, and we were precipitated into the entrance-hall. I am convinced that had the gates been barred they would not have been opened for us, and we should have been torn in pieces by the enraged mob. We rushed into the judgment-hall and cried, ‘Save life, save life,’ a cry which a Chinese mandarin is bound to attend to at any hour of day or night, We were taken to the room of the secretary and kept waiting for about three-quarters of an hour before we had an audience with the Prefect, all the time hearing the yells of the mob destroying, for aught we knew, not only the property, but possibly the lives, of those so dear to us. And at last, when we did get au audience, it was almost more than we could bear with composure, to be asked as to what we really did with the babies? Whether it was true we had bought them, and how many? What was really the cause of all this rioting? etc., etc. At last [told his excellency that the real cause of all this trouble was his own neglect in not taking measures when the matter was small and manageable; that I must now request him first to take steps to repress the riot, and save any of our friends who might still be alive, and afterwards make such inquiries as he might wish, or I would not answer for the result. ‘Ah,’ said he, ‘very true, very true; first quiet the people, and then inquire.

    Sit still, and I will go to see what can be done.’ “He went out, telling us to remain, as the only chance of his effecting anything depended on our keeping out of sight; for by this time the number of rioters amounted to eight or ten thousand. (The natives estimated them at twenty thousand.) “We were kept in the torture of suspense for two hours, when the Prefect returned with the governor of the military forces of the city — some 3,000 men, and told us that all was quiet now; that they had seized several of those who were plundering the premises, and would have them punished.

    We returned under escort. On the way back we were told that all the foreigners we had left in the house were killed. We had to cry to God to support us. though we hoped this might prove exaggerated or untrue. “When we reached the house, the scene was such as baffles all description.

    Here, a pile of half-burned reeds showed where one of the attempts to set the house on fire had been made; there, debris of a broken-down wall was to be seen; and strewn about everywhere were the remains of boxes and furniture, scattered papers and letters, broken work-boxes, writing-desks, dressing-cases, and surgical-instrument cases; smouldering remains of valuable books, etc., etc.; but no trace of inhabitants within. “It was sometime ere I was able to learn that they had escaped, and then it was not easy to ascertain where they were. At last I found them in the house of one of the neighbors, under the care of an officer. On learning from him that he considered it safe to remove them into the house, I took them back again, and was then informed of what transpired during our absence. “After we left, Messrs. Reid and Rudland kept the doors and entrance as long as possible, determined only to retire from point to point as actually compelled, and hoping to retard the progress of the rioters until help arrived. While they were keeping the people out at the front door, a wall that had been built to close u a side door was pulled down, and they had to retire to a nearer point. Now all the teachers’ and servants’ things were at the mercy of the mob, by whom they were all removed or destroyed, save a few which one or two had previously managed to secrete elsewhere. In the meantime the windows in the main building continued to be assailed with showers of stones; and the walls at the hack were broken through. Mr. Rudland therefore went to try anal keep the people at bay there. The hope of plunder being evidently more promising behind the house, and the means of defense being absent there, the mob concentrated their efforts in that direction, and the front of the premises was left comparatively open. When Mr. Rid became aware of this, he left the servants in charge at the front and joined Mr. Rudland in the main building: the latter going upstairs while Mr. Reid remained below. “Instead of attempting to describe what followed, I will simply transcribe an account written by Miss Blatchley. It commences with the departure of Mr. Duncan and myself to the Prefect’s : — “‘The next four or five terrible hours it is difficult to describe, we were separated now; and to personal danger was added the tenfold more painful suspense as to the fate of those away from us. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Duncan were out in the streets, exposed to the fury of the mob; Messrs. Reid and Rudland, with the servants, were endeavoring still to guard the entrance; and we, ladies and children, were alone in the upper story of the house. It was unsafe to remain in any of the bedrooms, on account of the stones and bricks which were being showered in at the windows; so we brought the children into Mrs. Taylor’s room — the middle of the three front apartments — and gathered there ourselves to plead with God to protect and save us, and especially to take care of our brothers, who were in the fore-front of the danger. Sometimes a fresh outburst among the rioters made our hearts chill for a moment, but we preserved our calmness and sustained our courage by wrestling in prayer. “‘Presently Mr. Rudland came up so exhausted that he could hardly stand, and with his clothes all stained with mud. He said that the people had already broken through, and were in the premises. “‘We could hear that the rioters were already in the house, and were expecting every moment to see them come up the stairs, when Mr. Reid called out for, the court below, in a hollow, hoarse voice, as if utterly exhausted. ‘ Mrs. Taylor! come down if you can. They’re setting the house on fire, and I can’t help you.” We dragged the sheets and blankets off the bed, and Mr. Rudland got out upon the projecting roof under the window, and let down Mrs. Rudland, our head printer’s young wife, and Bertie. Mr. Reid hurried them away, and concealed them in the well-house, and then .returned for others. But, in the meantime, a tall, strong man, naked to the waist, came into the room: and we could see others carrying off boxes from the adjoining rooms. Mrs. Taylor kept him parleying for a few minutes: but he soon began to lay hands upon us, and search our persons for money, etc. Mrs. Taylor had advised me to get a few dollars, in case we should need to escape by boat from the city, and I had tied a small bag with seven or eight dollars in it upon the sidefastening of my dress. The man snatched this from me, and asked for more threatening to cut my head off if I didn’t comply; but the threat was a very vain one, as he had no weapon to carry it unto execution. (We heard afterwards that the men downstairs were armed with clubs, spears, knives, etc.) He next tore off Miss Desgraz’s pocket, and took away her hair-ornament; and then being soon satisfied that nothing was concealed about the thin summer clothing we wore, he turned to the boxes and drawers. “‘Somewhere about this time nurse escaped with baby by going downstairs. after a man who was carrying off a box, behind which she screened baby from the stones and brickbats. She rushed through the fire and the bottom of the stairs and so got to the front, and took refuge in the wellhouse.

    At the same time, Mr. Rudland was letting down by the blankets Freddy and Samuel, and the little Chinese girl whom Miss Desgraz had adopted, while the man in our room was still busy searching re,’ money and other small valuables which he could conceal in his waistband. Mrs. Taylor was speaking to him, with her hand raised, when he caught sight of her wedding-ring shining in the candlelight and tore it from her finger: remonstrance was, of course, vain. “‘Mr. Reid was again calling to us to hasten, and the smoke was by this time becoming oppressive; while the noise of falling walls, and the almost fiendish yelling of. the mob, warned us that no time must be lost. Miss Desgraz was just safely down when the men below cast a heap of burning materials immediately under the window, and cut off escape for us who remained — that is, Mrs. Taylor, Mr. Rudland, and myself. But just then our attention was directed, not to the means of escape, but to the immediate safety of Mr. Rudland, The man who searched us had now turned to him as he stood upon the roof. and reaching over the low wall caught him by the tail, and dragged him down upon the tiles. He felt about his person and discovered his watch, and struggled to get possession of it.

    But Mr. Rudland, determined that he should not have it, took it himself from his bosom and threw it out into the darkness, thinking it just possible that the man might leave us to seek it. This so enraged his assailant that he attempted to thrust Mr. Rudland off the roof, but Mrs. Taylor and I together caught hold of him and dragged him into the room. The man was becoming more and more exasperated; he snatched an immense brick from the wall, which had been partly broken down in the scuffle, and lifted his arm to dash it at Mr. Rudland’s head. Again we saw his intention, and caught hold, of the raised arm in time to prevent what mast have been a death-blow. Why the man did not attempt to resist or do us violence, I cannot tell. Except that God restrained him. “‘Seeing Mr. Rudland on an equal footing with himself (for he was now inside the room), and in a position for fair play, the man, like a true Chinaman, preferred not to face his opponent under these circumstances, and with all haste climbing over the wall, made his way across the trees into the adjoining room, crying to his fellows below, “Come up, come up!”

    We were anxious now to make our own escape. One of us proposed trying the windows of the side rooms, but if we got out of these we should be outside our own premises, and, more over-separated from those who had got out at the front. To go down by the staircase was out of the question: at the bottom was a large fire, by the light of which several men were breaking open and ransacking boxes. Not knowing what to do, we returned to the front room, and found that the fire below had been dragged away by Mr. Reid, who had by this time returned after being many times obliged to hide among the rockery from his assailants. He said there was not a moment to lose; re must jump down and he would catch, us. Mrs. Taylor went to the edge of the roof, and jumped from it — a height. of from twelve to fifteen feet. I saw her fall upon her side, partially .caught by Mr. Reid; and saw that Mr. Reid was ready to receive me. I let myself fall from the edge, but at t-he same time a brickbat struck Mr. Reid in the eye, and rendered him blind and almost insensible. Consequently, I fell upon the stones ,upon my back. For the instant I felt that I was either dying or stunned; but to lie there was certain death. Somehow I got upon my feet and then fell again: I got up and fell three or four times berate I was able to keep up. Then I saw that Mr. Rudland, who had dropped himself from the roof uninjured, was assisting Mrs. Taylor: she could hardly stand. He had been attacked by a man with a club, but had escaped with a slight bruise.

    Mr. Reid, who was almost stunned by the blow he had received, and nearly fainting with pain, entreated that some one would ]end him away: and the showers of bricks which were flying about us made us exert to the utmost what little ‘strength we had remaining. The night was very dark, and the glare of. the fire we were leaving made the darkness seem still more dense.

    With what haste we could we stumbled over the broken rocks towards the entrance, but finding one of the doors by which we must pass closed and barred, we were brought to a standstill. We waited here while Mr. Rudland went to fetch those who were in the well-house, and when we were altogether — the poor children only half dressed and with bare feet, for they had been taken out of bed — we made our way as quietly as possible round by an opening where the rioters had knocked down the wall, and so got into one of our neighbor’s houses by a doorway. We were conducted first to one room, then to another, for concealment, as the danger of discovery seemed to increase; and were finally taken to the innermost apartments of the house. We sat there in the darkness — such a long, long time it seemed — hoping and fearing, as to what had become of Mr. Taylor and Mr. Duncan Mr. Reid lay groaning with pain; the poor tired children wanted to sleep, and: we dared: not let them, as we might have. to flee again at any moment. Mr. Taylor was almost fainting from loss of blood; and I now found out that my arm was bleeding from a bad cut, and it was so painful I could not move it: while many of us were stiff and sore with bruises. “‘One of our teachers had joined us in our place of refuge, and from time to time he acquainted us with what was going on outside. From him we learned: that the Prefect had: come with his soldiers, and was driving away the rioters; and was guarding the house in which we were concealed. But still no word of Mr. Taylor. “‘At last, after the sounds of yelling and fighting had subsided, we received the joyful tidings that he and Mr. Duncan had come; and soon Mr. Taylor’s own voice confirmed: the report. He was not even wounded seriously, only somewhat famed by a severe blow from a stone which had struck him in the hollow of the knee, on his way to the Ya-mun. “‘We were now once more all together, and all living; and our-first thought was to lift our hearts to God in thanksgiving. At that moment we thought little of the destruction of our property, the loss amounting as we have since estimated, to above ~500. Moreover, we found that our house had not been burnt down, as have been reported to us, for the neighbors had interfered and helped to put the fires out, for fear their own dwellings should be consumed. Mr. Taylor having called in the Che-hian to see Mr. Reid’s condition, and having previously ascertained from him that it was safe to return to our own quarters, the wounded were removed as soon as possible, and we once more entered the house.’ [Here Mr. Taylor resumes.] “It was past midnight when we returned to the house. A guard of soldiers and some men from the Mandarin’s kept watch till dawn: then they left us, and it appeared that none were appointed to take their place. The people soon began to re-collect; and again commenced four or five long and anxious hours. After a short but ineffectual attempt to keep them out, they were able to make their way into the open ground, and it was evident that the plunder of the preceding evening had whetted the appetite of the people. Once more commending all to the care of our covenant-keeping God, who had so mercifully preserved us through the preceding night, I left them and went to the Prefect’s for aid. “Another long and anxious delay here awaited me. The Prefect had not risen, had not bathed, had not breakfasted:. I sent a. message in that [did not wish for an interview, but that the riotous proceedings had again commenced, and that there was no one there to repress the mob. After a time I was told that the Prefect had dispersed the mob. “To those I had left behind the time had been one of peculiarly painful suspense;: indeed, it had seemed a climax of the anxieties and dangers of the night. As I “have before remarked, many were already injured.. Now, there was no darkness to favor an escape, and the front of the house was surrounded as well as the back. When the wall had been broken through Messrs. Duncan and Rudland took their seats at the entrance, the front garden and rockery being covered by a crowd which every moment increased. A few stones were thrown in at the open front of the upstairs rooms, but the Lord graciously restrained the crowd from doing much in this way: and just as anxiety was at its acme, and the impossibility of much longer keeping back the crowd from before and behind was evident, God sent help; the soldiers began to disperse the. people, and the grounds were gradually cleared; and ere long the soldiers had the undivided privilege of looting to themselves — a privilege they did not fail to improve. “In the afternoon, the magistrate engaged four boats, and procured sedanchairs, and coolies for the luggage, and. sent us to the South Gate. Next morning we were escorted as far as Kwa-chau — the point of juncture of the northern branch of the Grand Canal with the Yang-tse-kiang — and proceeded to Chin-kiang. “On our arrival in Chin-Kiang, we were received by the foreign residents with the utmost sympathy, and all seemed to vie with each other in their kindness and hospitality. Though most of us were perfect strangers to them, they opened their houses to us, and did everything in their power ~o assist us Their kindness we can never forget.”

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