By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1868
Hudson Taylor: age 36
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Told by Maria Taylor
Told by Maria Taylor
We were in dire trouble. A huge mob gathered outside our house and threatened to kill all of us. Hudson and George sneaked out a side door and ran to get help.
I was six months pregnant but refused to let the pregnancy slow my efforts to protect the others. I took the women and children upstairs to pray while the remaining men stayed on the main floor.
The mob shouted horrible things and banged on the gate until they broke it down. The noise was so terrifying even we could hear what damage the mob did.
We women gathered the children close to us. They were frightened, so were we. We hushed the little ones by holding them close.
The mob's anger grew. They ran to the house and pounded on the door. Soon they would break it down and barge inside.
William Rudland, one of the missionaries stationed downstairs, burst through the door. "They've set the house on fire. Quick we must leap to the ground through the window." He rushed to the window and climbed out toward the roof. "Come, I'll help you."
One by one he helped to lower women and children down the twelve foot distance to the ground below.
Suddenly a Chinese man burst into the room. He came toward me. "You see we are all women and children, aren't you ashamed to hurt us?"
He didn't answer, but came closer to me and jerked off my wedding ring. He stole a woman's brooch and a purse she had hidden in her dress. As he turned to the dresser drawers, William helped another woman escape down to the court.
The attacker saw William and ran after him. He tried to steal William's watch, but William threw it to the ground, hoping the attacker would leap after it. He didn't. Instead the attacker became angrier. He grabbed a brick and raised his arm to strike William.
I couldn't bare to watch. I pushed my arm into the way to prevent the brick from hitting William. The attacker turned to me and raised his arm to strike me. I pressed my hands on my hips and looked him straight in the eye. "Would you attack an unarmed woman?"
He dropped the brick and leaned out toward the roof. He shouted to the mob below. "Come up here!" He left the room calling to his friends.
In the meantime the mob started fires in the court, preventing our escape. Henry Reid, one of the missionaries on the ground did everything he could to move the burning objects out of the way. "Hurry. Jump. I'll catch you. Hurry!"
I had no choice. I prayed for God's protection of the baby I carried and leaped. I landed on my leg and twisted it. Emily jumped next. I hurried to stand and turned to watch her fall through the air, just as one of the men from the mob threw a brick at Henry Reid's head. It threw him off balance so he could not catch her. Emily fell flat on her back.
Rudland jumped last and helped Emily, Henry, and me flee the house. We ran to the same neighbor's house that helped Henry and George escape. The neighbors took us to an inner room where we would be hidden.
Henry Reid groaned on the floor from his injury, I had a severe cut but my sprained leg hurt much worse, and Emily couldn't move her arm due to a compound fracture.
Our injuries may have stole our attention, but we continued to pray for Hudson and George's safety. Who knows what the mob has done to them.
I, Maria Taylor, am writing this for my husband, Hudson. Please pray for us. Our lives are at risk.
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.