From the Mission Field

THE spiritual needs of the Chinese Empire are of very great magnitude. Little more than the fringe of the darkness has after all been touched. The Holy Spirit has, however, been working wonderfully in the hearts of the people of God, stirring them to labor; but how utterly insignificant, amongst three hundred millions of heathen, are the two thousand four hundred Protestant missionaries (men and women) now in China I In all parts, but specially in the interior, millions remain unreached, while to this day the provinces of Hunan and Kwang-si, with their twenty or thirty millions of people, are still without any resident missionary.
Amongst other interesting and encouraging examples of the power of true Christian faith, "China's Millions" records the story of an old man named Li Pu-cheo, He came forward on the occasion of a conference, and laid on the table a piece of silver, value about four taels, which he wished to be given to Mrs. Hsi, the widow of the pastor, because she is a widow. This man was converted fifteen years ago through a conversation with a missionary, who was then in P'ing-yang Fu. Formerly Li Pu-cheo had been a vendor of native medicine; but, as he told us himself the other night, from the time he went out of the gate of P'ing-yang Fu after that conversation, till now, he has preached the Gospel.
“We had an interesting talk with him one evening after the conference before he went away, and he told us some of his experiences. Being asked, ' On whom do you depend for food? ‘he replied, I depend on the Lord Jesus.' And perhaps there is no one on earth, except himself, who knows what those few words mean to Li Pu-cheo! Having years ago heard Pastor Hsi say that covetousness was idolatry, in order to guard against the possibility of setting his heart on money, he has ever since refused to receive payment for his services in the opium refuge or evangelistic work. He will set off on a preaching tour through the villages, carrying no money, and depending on the hospitality of those to whom he goes.
“Not long ago he and another man started for four days' preaching, but the old man relates that the Holy Spirit did not permit them to return under ten days. He is the father of the work in the Yoh-yang district. Some money was given to him while he was in Hung-Tung, and it was then found that the old man's winter coat was in pawn. He had pawned it in order to help to pay the expense of some place in the village he wanted to use as a little chapel. He had been feeling the cold in the early mornings and evenings, yet had given the silver to Mrs. Hsi without knowing where the money would come from to redeem the coat.
“Having a wadded gown I had been keeping for old Mr. Li (for I had noticed last winter how shabby his own looked), I gladly gave it to him, and he received it with these words, ' I am better off than the Lord Jesus was.”
Another story from the same source records the experiences of an opium eater.
“Among those received was a man who came to the refuge to break off his opium, and was saved; then he went home and told his wife, who also broke off her opium, and is now earnestly seeking the light. After this they took down their idols and ancestral tablet. For this insult to the religion and customs of their country the man was badly beaten by his family.
When asked how he felt while being beaten, he said, I remembered the words of Jesus, "Love your enemies."'
“Another man baptized was also an opium smoker, and was bitterly persecuted by his mother for becoming a Christian; but he remained true to the Lord, and now his mother and wife have both become interested through his changed life, and his wife has broken off opium. This man is proving to be a great help in the work.
“One of the women received was formerly a Buddhist, and had tried almost everything to get rid of sin; she is now a bright Christian, and brings many city women to the mission.”
Yet how few are the laborers in this great empire of China! Just one here and there, like a little drinking fountain in the midst of the huge desert of idolatry and superstition.