From Hudson Taylor's Notes
I had lived in China for a year and a half.
I'd learned so much, I felt as though China had always been my home. I miss England, of course, but feel comfortable here.
Recently, God sent a Scottish missionary, William Burns to team with me. He was seventeen years older, like a father for me. We got along quite well and after much prayer together, chose to leave on my tenth missionary journey on December 17, 1855.
I had previously told you about the thirty mile restriction from ports placed on foreigners and Mr. Burns conviction that we obey God's charge to go into all the world to preach the Gospel. We intended to travel beyond thirty miles on this journey.
On past missionary journeys, I found myself in trouble way too often. I always went to the center of the city to gather the people and to preach and found myself arrested or attacked. The people did not trust foreigners. Now that I dress like a Chinese, the people are more willing to listen to the Gospel. But it isn't enough.
Mr. Burns taught me an important lesson. Start preaching as we enter the city. Let the people on the outer edges of the city get to know us, rather than spread rumors. Tell them first about the love of God and let them invite others to hear our message. What a great idea!
We preached in temples, tea shops, and anywhere people gathered.
While preaching In the city on Nanxun, just south of Tai Hu, the Great Lake, we discovered a group of people had staged a terrible play in a field outside the city. It encouraged Chinese families to sell their daughters and to gamble.
Mr. Burns jumped on the stage and called out to the people, "What are you doing? This type of behavior will lead you to hell."
The leaders of the play grabbed both Mr. Burns and me and walked us away from the property. Some of the leaders in Nanxun came to us and asked us to try again to stop the wicked activity outside the city.
The next day Burns and I went back to the field. This time I jumped to the stage and ordered the people to stop. As the men came to force me to leave, Burns stood boldly and ordered them to sit down. I managed to say "Pity your own souls," before being dragged off the stage. I must admit, though, the guards did not hurt me.
The men let me go and walked back to the play. I followed them and this time stopped in the middle of the crowd. I stood on a stool and shouted, "What you see all around you is wrong. You know I am right"
Burns joined me. "Would you like your own daughters to be sold like these women?"
The people in the crowd mumbled, "No."
Burns shouted again, "They why buy other men's daughters?"
Some of the people listened and left. But not everyone.
We did what God asked. It would have been nice if all the people had listened. Then the play would have stopped. Unfortunately, not everyone listens to the Truth.
This did not stop us. I will tell you more next time.
Please pray for the people from Nanxun that they will have ears to hear about God's love.
J. Hudson Taylor
Do you have any questions?
Photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.