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in Laou-ling until Monday, the 27th June, hearing of my condition, tbey considered it desirable that carts should be despatched for us at once. These carts, leaving Tien-tsin on the morning of the dreadful massacre, reached us on the 23rd. In consequence of my sickness, letters from friendɛ urged our immediate return • But that Providential band that has shielded me from danger in so many instances, interposed to prevent our rushing into the very midst of thousands of murderous vagabonds, who, having accomplished their fiendish and bloody undertaking of June 21st, were already infesting the roads to the city, and would only have been too delighted to meet with more “foreign devils,” to be added to the list of the massacred.
It so happened that I had arranged to hold two important services on Sunday, June 26th, viz., a gathering of the Churches in the morning for the administration of the Lord's Supper, and a meeting in the afternoon for the examination of candidates for baptism. Therefore, although our Tien-tsin friends urged an immediate return (unconscious, alas! that events were about to transpire there which will henceforth brand the city with a Cawnpore infamy), I felt that duty required me to re. main until the Sabbath was over. The preservation of the lives of my beloved wife and myself is doubt. less attributable, under God, to this circumstance. On the morning of Sunday a messenger arrived from Tien-tsin, bringing a detailed account of the massacre. Mr. Hall, who had arrived in Tien-tsin on the day preceding the massacre, wrote, under date June 22_“You will bear from Chu and others of the terrible crisis through which we are passing After many anxious consultations with friends and the Consul, I write to say that Mr. Lay begs you, if things are quiet at Chu Chia, to remain there until you hear from us again. There is not a moment to be lost in conveying you this intimation, as the excitement here is awful beyond description, and we are afraid of your coming into the very midst of it. Not a foreigner can leave Tientsin to-day, as thousands of murderous vagabonds are threatening the settlement. Chung Ta Jen and the other officials are helpless, but Chung
expresses hope that the thing will die out to-day or to-morrow. I will despatch a messenger as soon as it is possible to say anything more definitively. I shall try to do this tomorrow.”
Then followed particulars concern. ing the massacre, showing how our own members had been involved in suffering, and our chapels sacked. Private letters were received by Mr. Hu from his family and friends, telling him of the calamities which had overtaken his household, because of their connection with Europeans and Christianity. How every member of bis family had been compelled to fly from their home, his wife having part of her clothing stripped from her in her flight-how everything of value in his house had been carried away and the house destroyed. How the Christians of every Church had been cruelly maltreated, and all the chapels sacked ; and how the French buildings, civil as well as ecclesiastical, had been burnt to the ground, and every French subject murdered! He was almost heartbroken, and we felt that for all of us it was a day of great sorrow. How intensely we longed to be with our beloved brethren in Tien-tsin in this time of trouble, to share their experiences and be enriched by their sympathy! But this could not be, and whether we should ever see their faces again seemed very doubtful. Nothing but our confidence in God gave us any reasonable foundation to hope that our lives would be spared.
in our distress we entered the sanctuary, and, after we had sung a hymn, I requested Mr. Hu to lead us in prayer. He endeavoured to do so, but for a time it seemed as though the emotion welling up in his heart would drown all power of utterance. Having said“ Heavenly Father,” he was unable to articulate a syllable. But after a time he prayed as I never heard him pray before. With such hallowed fervour and blessed power did he seem to be endeavouring to dig down to the depths of his spirit, to know whether the principles he professed had their foundation in his heart and conscience to understand, once for all, whether the religion he had advocated for so many years was a vital thing with him, a reality that could support him in the hour of
sorrow. And victory cane. With much honour conferred upon me a burst of thrilling eloquence, as to become a martyr in the language such as I had never pre cause of the Saviour.” Mr. Hu's viously heard him employ poured address, succeeded by one equally from his lips whilst he announced vigorous and stirring by our venerhis perfect trust in that God who able Wang, who had accompanied me had permitted calamity to overtake on this trip, resulted in the strengthour Churches, and his determination oning of the believers' faith. that, in the midst of persecution, Our hearts were very heavy when and peril, and death itself, he would the night of this second Sabbath continue to confide in, and cling to, closed without bringing any Tienthe blessed Saviour. The prayer tsin tidings. But shortly after produced the profou adest impression dusk we were delighted to learn that upon the hearts of all who heard it. some three or four students of our
The Sabbath over, we anxiously theological class had arrived with deliberated as to our future course, letters. These communications were when it appeared as though our only soon in our hands, and we read with safe, and therefore only wise plan, eager interest the following lines would be to remain temporarily from Mr. Hall:-" There is little to where we were. So we decided to add to what I said in my last hurried stay, in the meantime anticipating and sorrowful note. Excitement is most anxiously tidings from Tien- still intense, and there is no rest tsin. For eight long days, including for us night or day. The officials sleepless nigats, we were doomed to assure us that all is quiet in the disappointment. Particulars of the direction of Laou-ling, but we do Tien-tsin massacre were spread far not know how far to believe any. and wide, and our lives were threat thing they say. I do think you had ened. Many of the villagers at Chu better leave and take the risks; but Chia Tsai, who had no connection be sure to take quiet and retired with our Church, dreading an attack, roads. Stay as short a time as removed their families and house possible at the inns, and take the hold goods, in the dead of night, to most insignificant country inns, distant villages. The whole district especially as you near Tien-tsin. We was in a state of panic. Still, we are in horrible anxiety about you; did not feel as though we could take. and although we commend you to oar departure until further com. God, we cannot but wonder whether munications should arrive from we shall get you back to us in Tien-tsin. On Sunday, July 3rd, we safety." once more met with our people in the Inquiring of the messengers what house of God. We did our utmost was the condition of the roads, and to allay their anxiety. Mr. Hu, in whether it would be practicable for addressing them, said : “No sooner us to travel towards Tien-tsin, we have we received intelligence from were told that the very name of a Tien-tsin that our churches there foreigner was hated, and that any are suffering from persecution, than attempt on oar part to travel many of you tremble with fear. towards the city would involve us in What kind of religion do you call the greatest peril, and probably that? It seems to me that if any result in our death. Under these of you have reason to be alarmed, I circumstances I regar led it as have, after receiving the informa simple madness to expose the lives tion I have about my family. But, of my wife and myself to danger so instead of yielding to despondency, imminent. Only one course seemed I feel that there is something in this open to us, viz., to travel overland to religion of Jesus that sustains me; Chefoo. The very thought of underand although my property is de- taking such a journey was cheerless stroyed, and my family driven enough, especially considering that from their home, I know not a lady, whose system had already whither, I can still trust in God; been considerably shattered by reand even though I may here. peated shocks, was to be subjected after suffer, or even die, in the to its fatigues and hardships. In service of Christ, I shall continue to addition to this, our funds were trust in him. Why," he continued, exhausted, as in leaving Tien-tsin “I am afraid I shall not have so I had only provided a sufficient sum
for one month's expenditure, which had already more than expired. But there was no alternative. On Monday morning we succeeded in borrowing about £15 or £16 in small sums from our members, and although inadequate, we could only accept it and trust in God for further supplies. To make matters worse, one of our Tien-tsin carters had turned out a most treacherous and dangerous man. Since his arrival he had gone about fanning the spirit of hostility to us, which already existed in the neighbourhood, into a flame, and we were compelled, although a monetary sacrifice was involved, to dismiss him.
Our arrangements for the journey were soon complete, and about noon on Monday, July 4th, we assembled our little band of believers together, joining in singing, “ Praise God from whom all blessings flow;' and after uniting in prayer, commending them and ourselves to God, with tearful eyes and aching hearts we left thea, taking with us Messrs. Wang and Hu, and two of our most trustworthy members, wondering as we departed whether we should be preserved during our long journey from the hands of violent men, and whether we should ever again behold the faces of those whom we left in cir. cumstances of such deep distress.
Brevity forbids me giving a detailed account of this memorable journey. How we spent the first night in company with our worthy friends at San Sien Chia; how, as we journeyed on, the natives peered into our faces, not with the ordinary dull and idle stare of curiosity, but with an expression of astonishment, as though amazed, after the tidings they had received, that we should be travelling in the interior of the country. Sometimes light seemed to break in upon their minds, and we heard the whisper, “ Pan Chia” (They are removing).
The story of that journey, with all its varied and trying experiences, would be a long one--indeed, much too long to be recorded in these pages. Suffice it to say that we travelled twelve long days in springless carts, over stony and mountainous roads, under the burning heat of a July sun, whilst every step we took was aught with danger. When, after
travelling from four a.m. till dusk, we arrived at the miserable mosquitoinfested huts provided for travellers, we were afraid to lay our aching bones down during the few hours allotted for rest, lest a night attack should be made upon us. My fears were excited, too, on account of Mrs. Hodge. After travelling seven days, without a single hour's unbroken rest, her exhaustion was such as to render it impossible for her to proceed by cart. Providentially, we succeeded in securing a mule-litter to convey her the remainder of the journey. Then came the monetary difficulty. Although we had exercised the most rigid economy, in addition to keeping back the greater part of the amount due to the carters, our funds were still insufficient. Providence again interposed, and from an entirely unexpected source deliverance came.
On the 15th July we reached our destination, and although we had not a shilling in our pockets, and were all but prostrated by the fatigues and hardships of the journey, we felt that we had abundant cause for gratitude to God, who had preserved us in our wanderings, permitted us to behold the faces of English friends once again; and who had delivered us from the horrible anxiety to which we had been subjected, placing us in circumstances of safety and comfort. We had travelled nearly 500 English miles since leaving Laou-ling, and on one occasion at least had reason to quake with fear. When four days' journey distant from Chefoo, we found ourselves in the important market-town of Sah Ho shortly before dusk. The market was not over when we arrived, and the people were very much excited, owing to a statement circulated amongst them that day, to the effect that there was not a single foreigner left in Chefoo, part having been mur. dered, and the remainder driven to the shipping; the European houses, as alleged, being in the occupancy of the Chinese. Sleepless and anxious we spent the night-watches; for the above rumours had such an effect upon the populace, that it seemed very questionable whether we should be permitted to leave the place alive; but, although some excitement continued during the After further deliberation and earnest prayer, our return was determined upon, and arrangements made for our departure. I left Tien-tsin on Wednesday, August 3rd, the day when the remains of the murdered Sisters of Charity and other French subjects were removed from the English cemetery to their final resting-place in the Consular grounds; the day, too, when the first martyr in connection with our Chinese Mission entered into rest.
After spending some days at Chefoo, Mrs. Hodge and myself came on to Shanghai, where we spent several days of delightful intercourse with our old friends the Rev. J. W. and Mrs. Lambuth, at whose house we also met with Mr. and Mrs. Wright, whose names are familiar to our friends throughout the Connexion. We took passage by the steamship Hippa rcus, August 16th, and arrived in London on Sunday, October 23rd. W. B. HODGE.
whole night, providentially we were not molested.
The deportment of our devoted brethren Wang and Hu, throughout the whole of this trying journey, is deserving of special recognition.
During our stay in Chefoo we were entertained by Mr. Holmes, the United States Consul, who treated us with the greatest generosity. After spending a few days there to recruit, my intense desire to see Mr. Hall impelled me to go up to Tien-tsin. Little did I imagine that visit would be fraught with such important issues. Arriving in Tien-tsin, I was delighted to find that our beloved brother Hall, although worn and wearied by night. watching and protracted anxiety, was nevertheless, all things considered, remarkably strong and cheerful. Having spent some time together in discussing the aspects and prospects of the mission, with the general question of the massacre, he soon discovered that I was suffering to such a degree that I was utterly unfit to bear the excitement still prevailing in the neighbour. hood. He strongly urged me to return to England, informing me that our medical adviser—who had watched my case ever since my head was injured by the blows inflicted upon me by the robber gang, fifteen months ago--regarded this course as absolutely necessary, especially under existing circumstances.
So far as my personal feeling was concerned, although I could not charge myself with cowardice, I did feel that the prevalent excitement was too much for my suffering nervous system, and that a few days' residence in Tien-tsin would com. pletely prostrate me. In accordance with Mr. Hall's recommendation, I waited upon Dr. Frazer, who assured me that it was impossible for me to secure the re-establishment of my health in China; that home-life, rest, and the advice of some eminent physician were absolutely requisite for this. I still hesitated, mainly because the idea of leaving my mis. sionary brethren in circumstances of trial, and our Chinese brethren in peril, was repulsive to me. But there seemed no alternative. In ad. dition to my own case, Mrs. Hodge's health rendered entire change and rest essential.
THE late disturbances in China have had a serious effect on the relations of Europeans with that country. A grave crisis has been brought about in regard to both commercial and missionary enterprises, and we who are interested in the latter need seriously to ponder the situation, and, seeking Divine direction, enter upon plans of future action. With reference to our own mission, there is much in the experience of the past few months to fill us with sadness and sorrow. The letters of my esteemed colleagues on the field, and the facts made public through the press, have awakened in the hearts of all a distressing anxiety. We feel called upon to look those facts fairly in the face, and in the light of them to ask what is best to be done.
Mr. Hall, in a private letter written in September, gives the following summary of the state of the mission :
“Our churches are scattered ; your old teacher Lien has gone to heaven, his wounds being too serious to admit of recovery. We cannot go to the city even yet, and we have no prospect of resuming mission work for twelve months to come. No public gatherings are to be held until the whole thing is settled. We have pri. vate meetings, however, on our respective mission premises (for converts). Our chapels (in the city) are all as they were left on the day of the massacre. None of our Laou-ling folks dare come near us. Mr. Hu has offered to try to go out there for a few days, to settle up money matters and quietly encourage the hearts of the people. Oh, my dear - -, this is a sad and heart-rending wind-up of our ten years of labour in Coina, and I am sure it will be as distressing for you to read as it is for me to write these things.”
In addition to these particulars, we are informed that most of the members of our churches in Tien-tsin have been driven from their homes, and beaten and plundered, by lawless scoundrels who took advantage of the popular turmoil to persecute the native Christians. Mr. Hu's house was completely sacked, and his wife and daughter-in-law driven away almost naked from their home to seek shelter amongst strangers; and that at the time Mr. Hu was in Laou-ling. Mr. Chang had to pay a ransom, for which he and his family escaped with their lives; but his property was destroyed. Others were plundered and wounded when flying for refuge to the houses of the missionaries. The latter for days and weeks were in the greatest peril, “subject to periodical excite ments after the first days of terror, never knowing what it was to feel perfectly secure.” Ladies and child. ren were put on board the steamers in the river, while the gentlemen remained on shore, under guard, to de fend their property from straggling thieves.
These are only a few of the facts which have been detailed to us, and give but a faint idea of the distress ing trials through which the mis. sionaries and their converts have passed. If we realize the position thus indicated, we must feel the deepest sympathy with our distressed brethren, and constantly bear them before God in our prayers. Exempt as we are from such trials, we are bound to feel for those who suffer for the cause of God. This is our first duty, apart from the practical bearings of the question. Many of these people have not long been brought into the light for which they are now persecuted, and it must be painfully trying to find them selves in such straits. It may be
that some will not be able to bear the fiery test, which cannot surprise us; but others will bear it, and be stronger when the crisis is past. so that the present situation, with all its saddening features, has some encouraging aspects. Like all persecutions, it is purifying and strength. ening, as well as depressing and withering. The weak and faithless, the insincere and sordid, will shrink from the struggle and the danger; but the true will remain firm, and rise to the claims of the emergency. Already such instances have occurred. In one letter Mr. Hall says, “Some of our native brethren have acted gloriously,” Mr. Turnock also says, "Our men have, many of them, lost their all; but they are bold in Christ's name, and seem willing for his sake to endure loss." When the news of the massacre was conveyed to Laou-ling, and Mr. Hu was in. formed of the destruction of his house and flight of his family, he calmly stood up before the Church and people, urging them to be stead. fast in persecution, saying he had more need to fear than they had, but by the grace of God he would meet the worst that could come, rather than deny his Saviour. See, too, his courage in going out to Laou-ling again, through a region fraught with danger, to comfort and counsel the forlorn disciples there!
When his wife fled, she went to some relations' house twenty miles from Tien-tsin; but they would not receive her because she was a Christian, and they feared consequences. She had to hire rooms in an inn.
Other cases might be cited of the firmness and faithfulness of many of these converts to Christ. Let us ask, have we not expected some such result? Is not persecution the natural and common result of con. versions to Christianity? We have always found it to be so, and we always expected it would be so in China. We would not have it otherwise. True, we would not court or provoke opposition, but are prepared to meet with it as the natural result of the success of the Gospel. In this way, though unsought by us, the genuine results of our labours are being tested and exhibited before God and man. These are circumstances in which virtues we all admire are cultivated and trained, in men who