« AnteriorContinuar »
and native preacher's room. It is not ordinarily filled with a congregation, but was more than full because the missionary was there. We had a long service, at which several candidates were examined, but only two, both young men, were accepted for baptism. This service was held on a weekday, and the candidates were baptized on Sunday morning, at the general gathering at Yang-Pan.
Sz-CHIA-KAO. WITH regard to Sz-Chia-Kao, I have the following entry in my journal under date June 17th, written at Yang-Pan :
" I have had a very pleasant em. ployment to-day, though it is Saturday. I had engaged to visit, yesterday, a village seven li (two-and-a-half miles) from this, where we have a small society connected with the Yang-Pan church, but was detained by a sharp storm of wind and dust, so that it was dark when I arrived, and most of the people who had gathered and waited for me some time had returned to their homes. I told the leading man that I would go over this morning if he would get them together again, and so fulfil my promise. When I got there they were all waiting for me, and many of the villagers who never attend our services gathered about the house and filled the little courtyard. I preached to them, and made some general remarks about the irreverent way in which I had noticed the Chinese pray for rain, as well as their praying to the wrong object. These remarks seemed to impress a number of women in the yard, who nodded their heads to signify their acquiescence with my opinions. When preaching was over, I was rather amused at one of our members speak ing to a strange youth as he was leaving the chapel, and telling him that “when he prayed for rain again he must do as the Mu-Sz had been recommending them, and pray to Shang Ti” (the supreme God). "But where can I see him?" said the youth; and for the moment the zealous brother was rather confused and nonplussed, as a reply to that question involved more theology than he was prepared to deal out at such short notice.
There were five candidates for membership to be examined, three of them women, and for their convenience, chiefly, I had agreed to hold this baptismal service at this
place to day. They were wives and daughters of members. There were also two young men, and two children. Being satisfied with their examination, the baptismal service proceeded, and after sprinkling, I was about to engage in prayer, when I hearů a young man who was kneel. ing, with his child over his shoulder, which child I had baptized in due form, say to the native preacher* Why will the Pastor not baptize me ? Not hearing what he said, I simply told him to hush, but he turned to me and said quite alond“Will you not baptize me, Pastor ?" It turned out that I had baptized the child only, and not the father, forgetting as I passed from one to the other that he also was a candidate and not a member, I soon corrected the mistake and then concluded the service. It struck me that such a scene in one of our home churches would have produced rather a comical effect on the congregation, but I am thankful to say that here it passed off as just the right and proper thing.
There is a very interesting and instructive incident in connection with this young man and his family, of which his own conversion is a part. It appears that some seven years ago, when our interest was first started in this village, that his father and elder brother became members of the church but soon fell away from their faith, and were excluded from our fellowship. The family has since passed through great amiction and suffered much worldly loss--and latterly in his forced leisure, and as if impelled by some good spirit, the old man has spent a good deal of his time in reading his New Testament and Hymn Book, often doing this aloud to his family. This exercise especially interested the daughter of the old man, whose heart seems to have been converted through the truths which thus came to her knowledge. She received with great ardour the doctrines of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, and the providence of God the Father. As these doctrines took hold of her beart she began to expostulate with her father and brother about having left the Christians, and urged upon them that God had visited the family with all the troubles they had lately passed through to rebuke them for their backsliding. She moreover insisted
that unless they repented and speedi. ly turned to the Lord still heavier afflictions would fall upon them. She got them to pray and again to attend preaching, and the whole family has thus been attending the services for several months. To-day, father and elder son are re-admitted to the church, while the mother, the younger son, and the grandson are baptized. The daughter is an unbaptized Christian, having had to marry into a heathen family, but whenever she comes over to see her parents (she generally manages to come on preaching day) she joins with the people of God, and has declared she will not give her husband and his family any rest until they also become Christians, but will despite their opposition, talk to them and pray for them. I am sorry I had not the pleasure of seeing this young woman whose heart the love of God has so strongly moved. These particulars were given to me by the native preacher on the station, and while devoutly thanking God for his great grace in her experience, I am sure all who know the facts will pray for her that her faith and zeal may be sustained and her labours increasingly crowned with blessing. A SOLEMN AND TOUCHING INCIDENT
AT CHU-CHIA-TSAI. I have just had a very good and comforting service in the Chapel with the native brethren, and it is now the hottest part of a summer's day, when everybody keeps inside for a few hours to shelter them from the burning sun. I wish to give you a few particulars of interest connected with the work of God in this place. The work generally is not in a very prosperous nor even encouraging condition, but one incident which occurred to day has given me some comfort. I have admitted to our fellowship a mother and her son who have come of their own free accord from the Roman Catholics. When we first came to Chu-Chia, the Roman Catholics had a tolerably large society, but it has from various causes dwindled away. The head of the family to which I have referred, was for some years the leading laymen of this congregation, but five years ago he obtained a situation under a Mandarin, now exercising his office on the borders of Manchuria. Before leaving this place he had become dissatisfied with the Roman Catholics, and urged his wife and children to
attend the services in our Chapel. He has subsequently in his letters to his family, urged them to identify themselves with our Church, as being a purer form of the Christian faith. His instructions have been attended to by his wife and two sous so far as attendance on our services is concerned, but it was only during the past week that the mother and eldest son fully decided on seeking union with the Church. This step was in the providence of God, determined upon by a very painful yet interesting circumstance. There were two sons in the family when the father went away, the eldest now about twentyone years of age, had been baptized by the priest, along with his father and mother. The younger had, either from association or boyish preference always got to our Chapel, and attended our day-school. He was a modest boy, and only began to attract our attention about two years ago. The teacher and native preacher, spoke of him as a good boy, and as being wishful for baptism. On learning that the family was connected with the Roman Catholics, I deemed it adviseable to wait until he was older and the opinion of his parents especially his father, could be ascertained. The boy took it upon himself to write a letter to his father, in which he set before him his state of mind, and his desire to become united with the Protestant Church. His father's reply was in every way encouraging, containing his full consent to his acting according his own convictions. On my next visit I found him modestly waiting to be received as a follower of Christ, and I remembered how strikingly his answers to the questions I put to him, were indicative of a clear head and warm heart, and a sincere love of Christ; his mother was there to shew not only her approval, but to solicit baptism for her son. He was still a scholar in the School, and both for character and diligence in his studies, was commended by the teacher, and so he was baptized by me, April 25th 1875.
In January of this year he was elected as one of the junior students both on account of his Christian character and general ability, as well as his own wish to give special attention to the study of christian doctrine. Little did we think that his career was to be so short, and that the devotion he showed to his studies, and
his pleasure in the acquaintance he was struck with his haggard face, daily obtained with God's word, were and saw the hand of death was on only indications that his character him, His face lighted up with a was rapidly ripening for the kingdom flash of joy when he saw me, which of heaven. But one day before my however the convulsive throbs, which arrival in this place, he was seized had already set in soon dissipated, with sickness, which on the second my worst fears were realized, from day was very threatening in its what had been told me, I thought it symptoms. He seemed to know that was typhoid fever, and such it was his sickness was unto death, and told in one of its severest types, unhis mother that he should not get fortunately I had no suitable medibetter. He sent a request to his cine with me, and if I had, he was too teacher, for special prayer to be made far gone to be benefitted by its adfor him in the School. He was much minstration. At the urgent request beloved by all his fellow pupils, and of his mother I gave him a little many earnest prayers were offered soothing mixture, but he only refor him by these young Christians. quested that I should pray for him, He then called his mother to his bed very shortly after he became unconside and tried to impress upon her cious and died that same night, May that though he was about to die, she 31st. His fellow students carried must not weep for him, for he would him to his grave, and according to be happy with Christ, and that she his request, only Christian rites were must try to think of him as in heaven observed at his funeral. and try to meet him there. He very Last Sunday a most effective and earnestly begged of her, not to use impressive reference was made to any superstitious ceremonies at his him in the Chapel, by the school funeral, not even to the burning teacher, who is also one of our native of a piece of paper, nor to allow assistants. He addressed the conany of the neighbours or friends to gregation after the admission of do so. As you love me mother, as mother and brother to our fellowyour son, said he, you will attend to ship. He spoke of his known piety, this request of mine. Let me be his love of the Scriptures, his earnestburied as a Christian. Then he ness in the service of Christ, and his changed the subject, and pleaded happy death. Then he said "this with her and his elder brother most youth's career shames some of earnestly to leave the Roman Cath- us, who have been in the Church olics, and join themselves to our many more years than he has." Church ; so powerful were his urgent Some of us have been ten, some requests, and the reasons he gave for seven, some five years connected with them, that all present were deeply the Church af Christ, and have not moved, and the influence upon his made so much progress in spiritual mother an brother, is shewn in the life, as he who had only been one action which they have now taken. year in the Church. If the Lord had
In every interval of freedom from called one of us, instead of him, great pain, he was either engaged in should we have been ready, God prayer or reading his New Testament. speaks to us all in this event, and A neighbour who was in to give him urges “ work while it is called to medicine, noticing his reading, beg- day, for the night cometh when no ged him to put the book down and man can work." I was much pleased rest, and tried to take it from him, with the old man's testimony, and he clutched his book with eager trust that God will impress it upon grasp and said, “No this is the word the hearts of all who heard it. of life, this is food for my soul, it While we deplore the loss to the tells me of Christ and the things of Church of one so promising in ability, heaven which I hope soon to enjoy, for usefulness, we still rejoice in the this book is my only greatest treasure. hope that he is ever with the Lord.
When he heard of my arrival, he His death, too, may be the occasion immediately sent a request for me to of quickening and salvation to many visit him. As I entered the room, I who are left
J. INNOCENT. A MISCONCEPTION CORRECTED. Some friends, looking at the large balance in our fund at the last Conference, think that we have a surplus of money, and are relaxing their efforts. This is a great mistake. Take out of the balance the sum which belongs to the Training Institution, with one or two other sumns, and not more than £1300 remains, which is scarcely sufficient to enable the Treasurer to meet demands till remittances come in from the circuits. Our utmost efforts must be made both at Anniversaries and amongst collectors, or, with our increasing expenditure, we shall be in debt and difficulty,