James Legge, Missionary and Scholar
Chapter V. Life in Hong Kong
TWO letters, written by Dr
Legge soon after his arrival in Hong Kong, give a glimpse of struggle and
'Hong Kong, Nov. 13, 1843.
I have not been able to save
a farthing, nor do I see that I shall ever be able to do so. And yet there
were months together, in Malacca, when we had only a little rice and some
boiled or fried fish for dinner. I can only do what I can—make every effort
to make ends meet—give my children a good education and leave them an
unstained name. The missionary, who will simply walk within the line of his
proper duty, can save money only in very peculiar circumstances.'
iJune 17, 1844.
'Our expenses in removing
from Malacca to Hong Kong have been very considerable, and here they have
been very heavy, principally on account of so much sickness; and our losses
have not been small. I bought a goat in Malacca for 12 dollars, just before
I left, to give us milk on the voyage. She and her kid died soon after our
arrival here, because we had no proper place to shelter them in. When Mary
fell ill and we were about to remove into a house of our own, I bought a
Chinese cow and her calf for 30 dollars; the calf died soon after in a
small, damp, new-built place, the only place we had for them. The cow as a
consequence—they are not like cows trained at home—ran dry immediately, and
I changed her for another cow and calf, giving 12 dollars in addition. That
calf died in the same way, and now a mutchkin of milk a day would cost
nearly six dollars a month, but we do the best we can to drink our tea
Their early days in Hong Kong
were also disturbed owing to the unsettled state of the island.
One night they were awakened
by an attack of Chinese burglars. A number of them collected outside and
threatened to force their way in and plunder the house unless money were
handed out to them. Dr Legge replied, 'If you break in, it will cost at
least two of you your lives,' and thrust the barrel of his rifle through the
Venetian blinds. For about half an hour the burglars walked round and round
the house, trying every door and window. Unable to effect an entrance, they
went up the hill a little distance, made a bonfire of every combustible they
could collect, danced round it, and went away. A week or two before, a large
band of robbers had broken into a house across the street. One of the
occupants succeeded in getting to the Police Station and giving the alarm.
Half a dozen policemen went up with guns and found the burglars in
possession of the plate-chest, several having already run off with booty to
the shore where the boat was lying in which they had come from the other
side of the harbour. The chief policeman ordered his men to fire. Dr Legge,
being awakened by the shots, came across from his own house to find a scene
of confusion, with the leader of the burglars bleeding to death on the
Hong Kong, Feb. 25,1844.
*1 am very happy in my work.
I opened a new chapel in the heart of the Chinese population in January
which is attended in a very encouraging way. A-fat, the first Chinese
Protestant convert, is labouring with me. I have plenty of work too in
visiting the Chinese. This is a most interesting department of missionary
labour and a most difficult one. It requires an easy address which I sadly
want, and much tact—much acquaintance with human nature, and consistency of
Christian character. By and by, I hope to see a flourishing school and a
Theological Seminary, with an Institute for native girls, all flourishing
here. My hands will be full.'
Hong Kong, Oct. 25,1844.
'I have been ill with fever
and brought very low. For two days it seemed that my work in time was done.
I was bid to look more directly in the face of eternity than I had done
before. But, oh, how little satisfaction did the contemplation of my past
life give. I trust I have received an impulse from this last dealing of God
with me that will not cease with my life. A sincere, simple, watchful,
humble, devoted missionary's career must and will be my aim. God has brought
every member of our mission through the furnace during the first year of our
labours in China, and I trust it will be seen that we have all been
Recovering from this illness
he resumed work. The following letter shows the uncertainty of communication
with the East at this time.
Hong Kong, April 8, 1845.
'My Dear John,
'Since I last wrote I have
received William's letter of October and yours of the 27th of September. The
former came to hand nearly a month before the other—the vessel which was
bringing the September mail having been wrecked on the coast of Java. As my
command of the language increases, so do my engagements. Nearly every day I
spend two hours at least visiting, distributing tracts, and talking till my
tongue is really tired. I expect ere long there will be a large gathering of
the natives round us. Two of my old pupils followed me up last month from
Here is an idyllic picture
which falls into the year 1845, just a little before his compulsory visit
home on account of health. Those who knew Dr Legge, can so well picture him
sitting in the alcove.
'Last month I paid a visit to
Canton, and was exceedingly struck with the opportunities for missionary
labour which that populous city affords. I am convinced that any amount of
work can be carried on in it, with ordinary prudence. I took with me 3000
copies of two-sheet tracts upon the ten commandments, 2500 of which were
distributed in six days. A Chinese merchant took a friend and myself one day
an excursion, to visit some celebrated flower-gardens, about three miles up
the river from the factories. It happened to be the day for visitors, and
the walks were crowded. On my suggesting to my native friend, that I should
like to distribute some tracts among the people, and speak to them about the
doctrines of Jesus, he at once bestirred himself, and circulated the
intelligence throughout the gardens. I sat down in a small portico, at a
corner of one of the walks, while the people passed along in files in front
of it, each individual receiving a tract, and collecting, every now and
then, into companies of from thirty to fifty, to hear it explained. In this
way 500 tracts were distributed. It was an interesting fact to reflect, that
five hundred immortal beings had that morning, for the first time, learned
their duty to their Maker, and heard of One who came from heaven to earth to
seek and to save them. May the seed that was thus sown be found after many
In 1845, however, Dr Legge
was obliged, after long and severe attacks of fever, to return to England
with his wife and two daughters. He was also accompanied by three of his
Hong Kong, Nov. 18,1845.
'Our luggage is all on board
the Duke of Portland and we are likely to sail to-morrow. It is with much
reluctance that I quit this post. Just as the machinery requisite to
effective operations in our work has been completed through my labours, and
a course of action has been commenced which bids fair to be crowned with no
ordinary success, I am called to put off my armour and retire. But if the
experience of the last six years has taught me anything, it is these two
lessons—that God will be all in all, and that there is in the human mind
such a tendency to self-exaltation, self-confidence, that we ought to
welcome any dispensation of Providence, however afflictive and mysterious,
by which it is repressed.
'It is with much pleasure I
hail the quiet months of the voyage. Oh, the luxury of unbending the mind
after six years of unusual tension. I have had no repose—no rest since I
left home. You know I am bringing home three Chinese boys with me. They must
just go to school as other boys. The principal object is that they get hold
of the English, so as to be able to read it with intelligence and to speak
These three lads in due time
returned to the East and maintained there a Christian character and
reputation. One of them, Song Hoot Kiam, filled for many years the
responsible post of chief cashier of the P. and O. Company at their station
of Singapore. In 1890, when Dr Legge's second son visited Singapore, he
received much hospitality from him. Song Hoot Kiam still spoke English
perfectly, and was only too delighted to see and entertain his old friend,
Dr Legge's son.
The two years at home
restored the missionary to vigour, though then, as ever, idleness was to him
unknown. Indeed, the holiday of a missionary meant to him little but hard
labour. He travelled here, there and everywhere, preaching and addressing
Dunfermline, Nov. 6, 1846.
'I preached three times in
Stirling on Sabbath and had a public meeting next day. On Tuesday morning a
long walk round Stirling Castle, anything more magnificent I have never
enjoyed. In the afternoon a beautiful sail down the Forth to Alloa and a
meeting there in the evening as good as could be expected on a tempestuous
night in Scotland. Yesterday we came on here: a meeting of spirit and
productiveness last night. In half an hour we drive to Inverkeithing for a
meeting there. All the day I have enjoyed myself exceedingly. My lodging is
with Professor MacMichael of the Relief Church. A delightful stroll over all
the ruins and antiquities of this place. I have stood on St Margaret's
shrine, upon the Bruce's grave, and under the shade of an upshoot from the
root of the tree that Wallace planted on his mother's grave. A mavis and
half a dozen chaffinches were pluming themselves among the branches; a rich
inheritance in nature and in the associations of history.'
DR. LEGGE AND HIS THREE CHINESE STUDENTS.
From a fainting by H. Room.
Here is another letter in
homely vein, to his brother John, which will illustrate the difficulties of
London, Dec. 26, 1846.
'I must give you some history
of my journeying. I started from Huntly determined (D.V.), if my health
stood out, to have my Christmas dinner here with Dr John Morison of Brompton.
I succeeded, though things seemed more than once, as determined as I was, to
baulk the realisation of my purpose.
'After writing to William for
Mr Leslie, I walked down to the office of the Newcastle steamer, and there
outside was a notice: "Will sail on Thursday at 4 p.m." In fact, I found she
had not got back from her trip of the week previous, and the Thursday's
sailing was a mere contingency. Off I went to the coach office, and found
the mail started at three, but demurring to the expense, I proceeded to the
packet office and took my place in a Leith schooner. She was to sail at
three o'clock, and there I was quietly and comfortably waiting for the
lifting of the anchor, when I heard a whisper that the bar was very rough.
The master, when questioned, said he was prepared to sail, but did not know
whether the tug could tow them out. To the tug I went and got the master of
it to take his vessel out and have a look at the bar. Back he came, and the
word was: "No towing across the bar to-day." I ran with all my speed to the
hotel, and was just in time to catch the mail on the start. I thought I
could ride outside to Edinburgh, but by the time we reached Montrose I had
no more life in me than a huge icicle. So then I got ensconced inside, and
we reached Edinburgh in time to be an hour too late for the 5 a.m. train.
There was no help for it but to make a comfortable breakfast, and be in
readiness to start a quarter past 8. The snow was lying prodigiously deep
between Stonehaven and Montrose. We reached Berwick at half-past 10, and I
got upon the coach expecting to be in Newcastle by 6, and was luxuriating in
the anticipation of a good dinner and a warm bath. But down came the snow
and nearly blocked our way. Eleven hours we sat upon the coach, and reached
Newcastle 40 minutes too late for the train. A special one was started about
eleven. A cold and dreary night it was, but all was forgotten in the light
of the radiant countenances that beamed upon me here between one and two
London, March 5,1847.
'I have more than enough upon
my hands. My engagements for this month are just twenty-five. On Tuesday
evening we had a magnificent meeting. Every hole and corner was crammed,
stairs, passages and all. There could not be fewer than 2500 people present,
and another thousand went away. I was the chief speaker of the evening.'
Falmouth, 27, 1847.
'Several friends down here
set up a roaring, as if they had been so many bulls of Bashan, at my not
coming to fulfil my engagements, that I was obliged to start for Exeter by
the express. Thence I came by coach to this town—a ride of 105 miles. We
were twelve mortal hours upon the road. I got to Falmouth about four o'clock
in the morning; not like "patience on a monument smiling at grief," but
impatience impersonate on the top of a coach, wan and weary, with head half
sunk between the shoulders, hands pushed to the very extremity of greatcoat
pockets, knees crunched together, and teeth firmly compressed to prevent
their chattering. All's well, however, that ends well. I have slept and
breakfasted, and am ready for action.
'God knows my supreme desire
is to return and serve Him among the Chinese. I desire to feel that His will
concerning us is not a series of arbitrary resolutions, but determinations
for the wisest and the best, to which our ignorance and wilfulness must bow
with praise and adoration.'
'I preached here (where his
brother, the Rev. Dr George Legge, was minister), twice on Sabbath, and
lectured on Monday evening upon China. Tuesday morning took me and the
Chinese lads to Manchester, where I preached in the evening at an
ordination, and next night was the best public meeting, many people said,
that they had ever had in Manchester. The same evening we went on to
Rochdale, and thence on Thursday to Hull. There we had an overflowing
meeting. On Saturday we came on here, and I addressed about a thousand
children in the afternoon and preached in the evening. A meeting to-night,
for which I have retained the lads, but to-morrow I shall send them on to
London, following myself on Thursday. The fatigue and excitement have been
too much for them, and for myself also.'
He had already written to his
father—'I have had a sufficiency, I am sure, of travelling and journeying
through England. It will be something to call to mind on the other side of
the earth the various public meetings which I have attended and all the men
of eminence and goodness whom I have heard, and with whom I have associated.
My services, too, I trust, have not been unuseful to the great cause in
which they have been put forth. But I am tired of this life, and long to be
back again among the Chinese. My health is thoroughly re-established, and
every Chinese book on which I happen to cast my eye seems to put forth
characters of reproach and to tell me that I am not where I ought to be.'
London, Feb. 9, 1848.
'The principal engagement of
to-day was a private audience, first of Prince Albert, and secondly of the
Queen, along with the Chinese lads. I knew nothing of it till a letter came
from Lord Morpeth, saying that if I would be at the Palace at three o'clock
to-day he would be there to conduct me to the presence. Our audience was
very pleasant and courteous on the part of the Queen, and His Royal
Highness. He is a fine, handsome, gentlemanly-looking man, and she is a
sweet, quiet little body. She was dressed simply and unpretendingly. Her eye
is fine and rolling, and a frequent smile, showing her two front teeth,
makes you half forget you are before Majesty, though there is a very
powerful dignity about all her bearing. Our conversation was all about China
and the lads. The boys were much taken by surprise, having been expecting to
see a person gorgeously dressed, with a crown and all the other
paraphernalia of royalty. The interview will give the injunction of Peter a
heartiness to my mind; and for the words "Honour the King " I shall be
inclined to substitute "Love the Queen."'
DR. JAMES LEGGE.
From the portrait by George Richmond.
Later in the spring Dr Legge
and his family sailed again for Hong Kong. One day, shortly after leaving
Singapore, the cry of 'fire' rang through the ship. Smoke poured from the
hold; instantly the pumps were manned, the men passengers put under Dr
Legge's direction. He marshalled them in a line to convey buckets to and
fro. The steward had gone down into the spirit hold with a candle, which had
upset and set fire to a quantity of straw. In trying to stamp it out he
forgot to turn off the tap of the spirit cask, and thus the flames spread
After hard work, the combined
efforts of crew and passengers succeeded in getting the fire under, and they
reached Hong Kong without further mishap.
The prospect of war at this
time drew forth the following sentence in a letter.
'We ask our friends' writes
Dr Legge, 'to join with us in prayer to the Governor among the nations, that
he will avert the catastrophe of war. Wonderfully did he overrule the events
of the last war, to present a great and effectual door for the preaching of
his glorious gospel. Let its "still small voice" but continue to be heard by
the Chinese for a few years, and it will open all their country more
effectually to the rest of the world, than could be done by the thunder of
all the cannon in the British armies.'
A little daughter Annie, born
in England the year before, died a few months later, to the great grief of
her parents. Towards the end of September Dr Legge writes:—'This mail will
carry tidings of sorrow and death into fifty families, I suppose, in
Britain. There has been raging one of the most furious typhoons by which
this coast has been visited for many years. Houses were blown down and
unroofed, and many vessels dismasted or sunk. Not fewer than a thousand
Chinese must have perished in the Canton river alone, and one boat which was
cruising about this island with a company of invalid policemen, went down,
only six out of twenty-eight escaping. Among these drowned was a very
respectable man, a police inspector, converted, I hope, through my
instrumentality. He had his only son with him, a fine lad of eighteen. How
desolate is his widow. You will imagine what were my wife's feelings during
all this storm when I tell you that she was alone, with reason to believe
that I was exposed in a frail barque to its fury. On Wednesday evening I
embarked on a passage boat for Canton, and had got only about twenty-five
miles when we saw the typhoon coming. Providentially there was a small
harbour near, into which we put, and there we remained for thirty hours. It
was Monday evening before my wife heard of our safety. Had not the wind
failed us soon after our setting out, we must have been carried far beyond
our shelter. The fury of the tempest was inconceivable.
'Our hearts have been cheered
by tokens of God's blessing on our mission. Last Saturday fifteen
individuals made application to me for baptism. Five of them were boys in
the school, three of them evidently most deeply impressed by the truth. They
have been long revolving the step they have taken, for more indeed than
three years. Their decision opens a wide prospect of usefulness to me in the
Seminary. I shall now have a succession of faithful disciples under my care
to train for the ministry.
'Thus amid our desolation in
the loss of Annie we have been cheered.'
Some months later he
writes:—'I anticipate baptising two more of our boys next Sabbath, and with
them a man of thirty-six, a scholar from a considerable distance, who has
been residing here for between two and three months to be instructed in
Christianity. His case is one of much interest. The two boys are from the
first class and of very good abilities. In a year or two they will be quite
fit for enrolment as theological students. Thus I am more and more
encouraged to prosecute my plans to rear up a native ministry. Two other
boys have made a formal application for baptism. We are in no hurry to
baptise our candidates. They are well instructed and they give us all the
evidence we can expect of their sincerity. Kim-Lin and A-Sow are going on
very well. They are both labouring away at Euclid.'
In this place comes in a
letter addressed to his friends of the Committee of the Religious Tract
Society. Dr Legge writes:—
'In the early part of this
month I paid a visit, with some friends, to Tae-Pang, a walled town upon the
coast, about thirty miles to the north from Hong Kong. Walking through one
of the streets, I met an old man, between seventy and eighty, with whom I
entered into conversation, presenting him with a copy of the "Ten
Commandments," in the form of a sheet tract "These," said he, "I know; they
are the Commandments of Jesus. Two years ago I met with a book about the
doctrines of Jesus, and now I worship Him." You will conceive how my heart
was lifted up on finding that your silent messengers had thus prepared the
way of the missionary. "Who was Jesus?" and "Why do you worship Him?" were
questions put to the old man. "Jesus," he replied, "was the Son of God, and
He came into the world to be the Saviour. His work was to save men from
their sins; and I know that I am a great sinner. In the night-time, at the
first and third watch, I get up and pray to Jesus to have mercy upon me." I
endeavoured to improve my brief interview with him to the best advantage,
and when I am able to revisit the town will seek the old man out. His
appointed time upon earth must be drawing near its close, but may we not
hope that he will have cause to be thankful for the Tract Society throughout
The Doctor writes again to
the Society :—
'There came a man of
education to Hong Kong, about the middle of March, from a distance of a
hundred and fifty miles, and introducing himself to our colporteur. A-Sum,
requested to be instructed in the Christian doctrine. The way in which he
states he was brought here was this. An acquaintance came from his town last
year to Hong Kong, with a cargo of mats to sell, and while he was here
received a tract from A-Sum, which he handed to our friend on his return
home. This produced a considerable impression on his mind, which was much
increased by conversations in the beginning of this year with another
acquaintance, the manager of a rope-walk in this settlement, whom A-Sum and
myself have often visited. This man having gone home in January to see his
family, talked often among his friends of the gospel of Jesus, which had
been pressed on his acceptance. Our friend was prepared to be interested by
such a topic, and when the ropemaker returned to Hong Kong last month, he
came with him. Since he has been here he has read and heard much of the
Scriptures, and has recently formally applied for baptism. Being a scholar,
his progress in knowledge has been rapid. When told that by embracing
Christianity he would be brought to poverty, and that we could not do
anything for him in a worldly point of view, he replied that the Bible told
him that God is supreme, the Creator and the Sustainer of all men; and he is
ready, without fear, to cast himself on God.'
Another example of the
gracious influences that are at work in places where no missionary has ever
lifted up the voice of mercy came under the notice of Dr Legge whilst on a
journey of some distance into the interior. In the crowded street of a small
town he was accosted by a venerable-looking old man, whose snowy head
bespoke respect for him, in these terms:—'Pray, sir, are you a worshipper of
Jesus'? Being answered in the affirmative, he rejoined, with evident
pleasure, 'So am I; I pray to Him every morning and evening.' Dr Legge was
surprised to hear such a declaration in a place where, as far as he knew, no
missionary had ever been before, and questioned the man further as to who
Jesus was, and how he had come to know Him. He found that the old man
understood the outline of Gospel truth, which he had learned from a copy of
the Gospel of Luke, that by some means had come into his hands. We suppose
that he had overheard the doctor speaking to passers-by of the Gospel, and
had recognised this stranger's doctrine as that which he had found, in some
measure at least, precious to his soul.
In a letter of this period to
the London Missionary Society occurs another reference to A-Sow which is of
'I am quite as frequently
cheered by evidences that the truth is among us, working both powerfully and
beautifully. As an instance of this I may refer to a simple but affecting
occurrence at a Bible class of the men members about three months ago. I had
been speaking on Matt, xviii. 19, "If two of you shall agree on earth,"
etc., when A-Sum, one of our oldest members rose up and said that he had
something which he wished to say to myself and his brethren.
"You all know my son-in-law,
A-Sow. Formerly he was one of us, but we had to expel him from the church.
Of the life which he has been living for several years I need not now speak.
He has been very bad, and he was as hardened as he was dissipated, and
repulsed me when I tried to advise him. Lately he was taken ill, and
thinking his heart might be softened, I ventured to speak to him about his
soul. He heard me quietly, and to-day he rose and came to this place of
worship. It is the first time he has been in God's house for years. Far as
he has gone astray, and deeply as he has sinned, perhaps God will have mercy
upon him yet. I feel it is in my heart to ask you all to pray with me that
he may be brought back to the fold. What you said, sir, about the verse 'If
two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask it
shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven' has so moved me that
I could not but give expression to my feelings."
'The tearful eyes and
quivering voice with which this was spoken by my old friend, and the way in
which it was responded to by the others, made me feel that indeed I was
among Christian brethren, and that the Gospel operates upon the Chinese to
soften the soul and to intensify and sanctify the relative afflictions just
as it does upon Englishmen. May it be done for the backslider as we asked.'
'I have entered this month
(May 1849) into a new and important relation. I was asked to undertake the
duties of a pastor to the English congregation of Union Church. I replied
that I would do so, but could only preach once on Sunday, as I had to preach
in the evening in Chinese, and besides, could not accomplish two sermons a
week with all my other duties. The step is an important one. It places me in
a new position which will have its difficulties and advantages.'
A correspondent writes:—
'One of the most romantic
incidents which associates itself with Dr Legge's life is connected with the
career of a young Scotsman who came up to London as a journeyman printer. He
was from the same county of Aberdeen.
'Mr Alexander Wylie had
connected himself with Albany Congregational Church, near Regent's Park,
where a Scotsman was pastor.
'Something had put into the
heart of the young printer that he was called to be a missionary. He was
already a Sunday-school teacher. One day he was, according to custom, poring
over the treasures of an old book-stall, and came upon one of the Jesuit
Latin-Chinese grammars. Here was his opportunity. With dogged Scots
perseverance he mastered Latin that he might learn Chinese. He had made some
progress, and China seems always to have been in his mind as his final
'About this time Dr Legge
visited England, and Wylie, hearing this, entered into communication with
him. Dr Legge saw there was true grit in the man, and encouraged him, giving
him such aid as was in his power to give.
'In due time he offered
himself to the London Missionary Society, and for many years superintended
the Society's printing press at Shanghai. When this was given up he offered
himself to the British and Foreign Bible Society, and was accepted as that
Society's agent for China. All the time, however, he was applying himself
with more and more zeal to the acquirement of the language in its higher
departments. His influence as agent of the Bible Society, and as a helper in
the work of the Religious Tract Society became more and more apparent. He
was a very distinguished Chinese scholar, and had a world-wide fame among
I. MARKET PLACE, EUROPEAN QUARTER, SHANGHAI.
2. STREET IN HONG KONG.
'Dr Legge's estimate of the
man and scholar may be judged from the fact that he remarked to the writer,
that in some branches of Chinese scholarship he regarded Mr Wylie as his
superior. As an old man, he returned to England nearly blind from the
excessive study of a language whose characters are so trying to all but the
best of eyes.
'After the Philadelphia
Exhibition, Mr Wylie called on me and stated that he desired to place, where
it would be valued, the remarkable collection of Chinese Christian
literature which he had collected and sent to Philadelphia. He asked my
opinion as to whether it should go to the British Museum, or to Oxford for
the Bodleian. The fact that Dr Legge was at Oxford decided the matter, and
two large cases of literature are now safely placed in the famous library.
Dr Legge engaged to make a classified catalogue of the whole, and he
rejoiced to have this collection where he hoped it might prove to be very
valuable as the years went on.'
A friend who had known Dr
Legge at Hong Kong, writes:—
'As to the dear Professor.
What can I say? As often as I think of him, and it is not seldom, so often
does my heart go out towards him in ever increasing love and gratitude. I
sometimes think that I should never have been in my present condition of
useful work, but for his fatherly love to me 42 years ago. I was then a
young man in Hong Kong, surrounded by gay companions, and beset by unlimited
temptations, specially peculiar to youth. This the Doctor knew, and no
father could have been more kind to his own son than he was to me.
"Think of my house as your
home in any time of trouble or temptation," said he. Yes, his was a loyal
spirit, which must have been "greatly beloved " by the All-Father. It is men
like him who make England strong, able to govern and guide the weaker
nations, rather than army or navy. The one trains the physical to overcome
the physical foe, but the sweet Professor ever sought to train the
spiritual, the real man, that he might overcome spiritual foes, and so reign
and govern for ever, and I have yet to learn that a man so helped, makes, if
need be, a less better soldier against his nation's enemies.
'Dr Legge preached from
personal experience, the ever present power of Christ to help in time of
temptation. My faith was much strengthened by such teaching, and often
before leaving the private house to go down to the day's work and
besetments, I would stand on the top of the stone steps and go no further
until I had realised the Divine presence. Then I sang on my way, ready for
whatever might be awaiting me.
'The evening tea-meetings,
specially for the army and navy, were of such delight to the doctor, and
under the blessed influence of his words, and the singing of some simple
hymn, I have seen great bearded men weeping as women weep, none the less
better soldiers and sailors for that.
'I need scarcely say, that
such a man was loved and trusted by all who knew him. More than once in the
evening time, when feeling lonely and sad, or under the stress of
temptation, I have turned towards the missionary's house as a storm-tossed
ship is turned towards a safe harbour. But I am deeply conscious that I do
not possess power of language to speak sufficiently of all the good I
received from that sweet, pure life.'
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