By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1867
Hudson Taylor: age 35
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
The best solution to learning the reason why two of our missionaries had been beaten in Huzhou was for me to pay a visit to the city officials.
Maria and I decided to take our family and two female missionaries on this fact finding mission. We all dressed in our best Chinese clothing to show our respect. The women and children boarded a slower sailing ship while I boarded a power boat. In addition to our official paperwork granting permission to travel, I packed my shotgun.
Our first stop was the home where the missionaries had paid a deposit for their rental. The landlord came to the door and bowed. "Come inside."
He showed us where to sit. "I have come regarding the money we paid to rent this house."
"Yes." He nodded. "You must understand there has been a great uprising in my city because of your missionaries. I don't want my house ruined in future riots. If you provide papers showing assurances this home will be protected, I will let you and the other missionaries move in."
"I will see what I can do," I said.
"This is the month of December. You realize many merchants come to Huzhou and get drunk with the money they make. There are many riots. I am sorry to say, but sometimes the fighting is so bad the mandarin has been pulled off his sadan chair and severely beaten. I don't think you will find the help you need from the government."
"I see. Thank you for your help."
We went to the city official's home next. There we learned men from the educational class, Buddhist and Taoist scholars started the riots. They didn't want their people to listen and learn about any other teachings. Foreigners brought in ideas of the steam engine and the telegraph. This bothered those who loved the old way of doing things.
Missionaries bringing information about Christianity upset the educational class as well. The teachings show justice for all groups of people. If the Chinese listen and follow the ways of God, they would no longer be under the control of the educational class.
Riots sprang from the streets to beat and chase away all Westerners, whether they had the proper traveling permits or not.
My wife, the other missionaries, and I talked about the situation and decided this was not the time to start a church in Huzhou. We planned to visit again next year and prayed God would open a door allowing us to tell the citizens about God's love.
We returned to our base camp in Hangzhou. I found several messages and letters on my desk when I returned. One piece of great news, new missionaries left London and would arrive by Christmas. In addition to the coming Christmas celebrations William Rudland and his fiancé, Mary, would be married.
What a joyful way to finish the year.
Our mission survived many trials this year and learned many new ways to survive here in China. I can't wait to see how God will lead this work in the new year, 1868.
Please pray for us as we grown our ministry and share God's love to the people in China.
Merry Christmas to you and may your New Year be filled with God's blessings.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of torment
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.