Monday, October 28, 2013

Hudson Taylor-The Urgency of Peace

By Mary Vee
Year: February, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Had we stood by and done nothing, the Chinese would have killed the missionaries in our compound.

The local people became angry when Mr. and Mrs. Nicol insisted on wearing only English clothing. 

An outburst of disagreements clawed at the unity our missionary group once had. For the sake of the ministry, and to bring our group to an agreement I held a meeting to discuss the issues. 

All the missionaries present except Mr. Nicol held to their decision to wear Chinese clothes as long as they served in China. Mr. Nicol, on the other hand feared the Chinese and resolved to push forward to only wear English clothes for his and his wife's protection. A second missionary chose to agree with Mr. Nicol.

The local Chinese people threw stones at the missionary compound. Any time any of us walked in the streets men and women picked up stones and threw them at us. 

This simply could not continue. By God's grace we were called here to be a testimony to these people. I determined in my heart not to be chased out of the city because of this issue. The time had come to meet with Chinese officials.

I put on my Chinese attire: a long blue silk robe tied around the waist with a belt. Over the robe, a short jacket of brown satin. Also, black satin boots, and a cap with a very broad brim, red tassel, and a button marking a professor's distinction. Mr. Green and Mr. Valentine joined me, wearing European clothes. Mr. Tsiu gave us instruction as to the proper way to bow before an official.

We arrived at the prefect's, the city's high official, and requested to speak with him. The servant returned to the door and informed us the prefect did not have any interest in speaking with us.

Mr. Green squinted his eyes and shouted, "We will take the matter into the hands of the British consul."

Amazingly enough, the door opened wide and the servant invited us inside. The Prefect met us. We immediately bowed as Mr. Tsiu instructed. This seemed to have impressed the Prefect. He showed us to a meeting room and when he told us to sit, we sat in the place intended for the lower classes. 

"Please." He motioned for us to move. "Sit over here." He pointed to the seats of honor. This showed us he was pleased with our choosing to sit in the lower class area.

We talked for some time, answering his questions, and showing our desire to help the Chinese people medically and to tell them about the God who loves them. He seemed quite pleased with our comments.

A few days later, I was pleased to see the clinic filled with patients waiting to be seen. Mr. Tsiu and other missionaries ventured out to the streets to preach the Gospel and reported no one threw stones at them.

We were surprised by a visit from the prefect's secretary. He wanted to inspect the compound. I think the prefect was curious what a missionary facility looked like. At the end of the inspection, the secretary bowed in appreciation. "Your facility is all you have said. The clinic is helping our people. We are pleased to have you here."

I knew we would be accepted by everyone in the city now that the prefect had a report of our work. 

The urgency of bringing about this peace took a lot of strength. I can't tell you how tempted we were to give up and go home. Praise God He gave us the strength to challenge the misunderstandings and show the officials how God desires to show His love to the Chinese people.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of trial

Photo courtesy of

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. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

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