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JIN K O - N I U 









Probably many into whose hands this little 
in memoriam may fall will, not unnaturally, 
exclaim, "Where is its raison cVHre? The 
life sketched in the following pages is devoid 
of novelty or even of special incident." This 
was also the feeling of those dearest to J essie, 
combined with the difficulty of reproducing 
her personality, joyous and eager in the days of 
health — patient and cheery when deprived of 
it, the only uniqueness being that in both she 
was so natural : no haloed saint, but a happy 
Christian girl and woman. 

Our friends, however, and her own, seemed 
to wish that some little record of her life and 
work should be attempted, and suggestions 
to the same effect came from various quarters, 
one of which may be given as a sample : 



•^Surely no more beautiful sermon was 
^v/tT preached than her life has been through 
A.'! this time of weary suffering, and i pray 
jV:^t it may be used to lead many to the 
Saviour, Whom she loved and served. I 
hope some one will write an account of her 
life. F am sure it would Ih^ a help to many, 
and you must not think of the human shrink- 
ing from i)uMicity she might have had on 
^^rth — she is far above all that now. and will 
only desire what may bring glory to God !" 

So it comes that this little book* consist- 
ing mostly t)l iVagments, in which Jessie is 
rtllowc*d to tt'ii her own stv>ry by quotations 
from lrll<M'4, ru ., jjoes forth with the prayer 
th;)t !•» ll»o»«i' who knrw her it nviy recall the 
llttjr riirij»«'*i* mission. uy whom they loved, 
Mini lo miIh'Ih, hi* i\\\ inceniive to be ready to 
ill) iIm' Mii'iIi-i'm will, .md to all, prove a call 
III iiiMir piiiyf't lor (liiiK) and the Chinese. 

riir I liHiMi Irih, "jln Lfk S(*/*on the cover, 
ii.pM ti< Ml llic iiitmi* by which slu^ was known 
in ill* ' liiiM'fcjr, llif siirnami* Jin (love) 


being the nearest approach to Johnston, and 
Lek-se (strength of the West) very nearly 
representing the sound ** Jessie." The whole 
simply and beautifully conveyed the idea that 
the keynote of her life was love in action. 

Hearty thanks are due to those who have 
helped us by contributing material and photo- 
graphs, especially to Miss M. E. Talmage, 
and to W. W. Callender, Esq., for his most 
kind and able assistance. 

E. B. J. 

December, i907' 



Early Days (M. L. J.), 1861— 1885 .... 1 

The Call to China (J. M. J.) . . 17 

A Message to Children .... 19 

The Call to Missionary Service . 23 

In China (L. E. J.), 1885— 1904 .... 31 

Beginnings 33 

Up-country Trips 42 

Hospital Visiting 60 

School Work 66 

First Furlough (1893- 1894) .... 98 

Second Term (1895- 19CX)) 103 

Furlough in 1900 113 

Last Years (1901-1907) 116 

Extracts from Letters (J. M. J.). ic,o4— 1907 . 123 

Stories (J. M. J.) 15J 

BuEY*s Story 157 

Amoy: Notes of a Sermon at Creek End 167 

Nau-a 172 




Stories (J. M. J.) — continued: 

A Night-school in China » ^77 

"Black Silk" and "Black Satin'* . 182 

Darkness and Dawn 186 

Contrasts 200 



Jin Ko-niu (Jessie Johnston), 1900 .... Frontispiece 

"The Family removed to Upper Norwood " . 12 

At her Desk in Amoy . . . . . . . 20 

Tee-a with her Husband and Family .... 28 

" Our First Visit was to the School " .... 34 

Kolong-su, Amoy . . . • 38^ 

' ' Red-tiled Cottages amongst the Banyans " . . 44 

'• Dreadfully Ignorant !" . . . . . 50 

•• Such a Contrast!" 51 

• • What good Fortune ... to have seen these Foreigners ! " 54 

Amoy Women's School 55 

Group of Women and Children on Dispensary Day . 61 

Teacher and Matrons 67 

" Pigtails sticking out all round " 68- 

* * We had such Fun arranging Planks ! " . . . . 70 

A Lesson in Geography 73. 

Pupils in Girls' School, Amoy — Doing Sums ... 74 

Pupils in Girls' School, Amoy — Washing Day ... 75 

•• Brides from the School" 83. 

Sixty-five Pupils in Amoy School who all became Teachers 87 

" Managed to get a Chair " 9a 

Women at their Doorways Spinning .... 91 

Some of the Forty Children in the Amoy Home . . 93. 

'♦Home" 9^ 

£h-mung-kang 104 

Pastor and Family — Eh-mung-kang 105 

Women's Conference at Amoy 109. 




* ' In Appearance Syrian Children surpassed the Chinese " 1 14 

Up a River near Amoy 118 

Schoolgirls Marching 139 

Mca and Hoey 140 

••Those Twins" 145 

*• Buey was soon at Work" 158 

Buey and Four of her Pupils 159 

" The Unwieldy Sails were Spread " .... 163 

Some of the Audience on the Women's Side . . 168 

Nau-a 173 

Black Grunters 174 

Night-school Material 178 

•' A Few Yards of Sandy Soil which he Cultivated " .183 

Hair Ornaments of Country Women (North) . 186 

Hair Ornaments of Country Women (South) . . 187 

•• He is of no Use : He is Blind ! " 188 

•• We thought of our Merry Party in the Children's Home " 189 
" Vendor of Sugar-cane, Pea-nuts, etc." . . .190 

'• The Roof of the Temple looked Picturesque " . 191 

•• Motley Groups" 193 

•• Many Women came from Villages " .... 195 

Koai-a some Years Later 198 

Graves ... 201 


M. L. J. 

I86I— 1885 


Jessie M. Johnston was born in Mentieth 
Row, Glasgow, on October 8th, 1861. She 
was a minister's bairn, and a missionary's too, 
for her father, James Johnston, had spent the 
first years of his ministry in Amoy, China, 
and it was only when compelled to give up 
the long-cherished hope of returning to work 
there that he settled down to be the hard- 
working pastor of St. James' Free Church, 
a large congregation in that great Scottish 
city. How much these two facts coloured 
her life and determined its bent it would be 
hard to say. The daily arrival of the white- 
haired beadle with peppermint rock in his 
pocket ; the importance and solemnity of the 
high-backed corner pew ; the sacred quiet of 
the busy Sabbath days, when ** father " must 
not be disturbed ; the long silent walks to 
church, and the sense of freedom and rest on 
the homeward way when the two long services 

were ended and tongues were free to chatter 

3 1—2 

4 //y A's-yw 

— all went to form the atrix^tspci^ere :r. which 
she and her companion sister were i^o^jghi 
up. The life - long de\"odon of that much- 
revered father to all the wider interests 
of the kingdom of Christ, and eJLr!y far.i:Iiarity 
with queer Chinese soapsione n^r-^res and 
ornaments, no doubt had liis::ng ir.njence. 

Even in those early days corr.pvan:onship 
counted for much in her life. The long 
summer afternoons at play on the terrace as 
an eager leader in all childish grames were 
times of unmixed deli^fht, and woe-beoone 
and disconsolate was the face flattened against 
the rain-washed panes when wet days kept 
the little girls at home. Even then, however, 
there were the reels of cotton in the old 
nurse's workbox, that could be duly named 
and made to serve as playmates, and the 
large family of dolls to fall back upon, failing 
more lively company. 

Happy days followed, too, when younger 
brothers and sisters came into the home. 
The lively nursery, with its cosy fire and tea- 
table, was always a favourite spot, and Jessie's 
advent there was a signal for plenty of noise 
and frolic. 

Her craving for the society of girl-friends 
made school-life a source of unending interest. 
Lessons never gave her any trouble beyond 
the drudgery of learning to spell. But, de- 
lightful as it was to come home **dux," or to 


tell of the keen rivalry in the large classes of 
the Scottish public day-schools, the doings 
and sayings of **the girls" counted for much 
more. It was this innate love of her kind, 
be they black, white, or yellow, that made 
life so interesting to her, and kept her heart 
and thought busy to the last. It was this 
same natural gift consecrated, which gave her 
so warm a place in the affections of those 
among and for whom she worked in later 
days. But that is to anticipate. 

For a winter or two the long walks or bus 
drives to the West End were given up, and 
home-lessons took their place. The young 
student tutor found his work very entertain- 
ing, and used to enjoy rousing his pupils to 
eager defence of their heroes or their prin- 
ciples. They, on their part, were much con- 
cerned for his orthodoxy, and plied him with 
arguments based on a thorough grounding in 
the Shorter Catechism. He opened a new 
world to them by his enthusiastic apprecia- 
tion of Milton and Carlyle, and his philo- 
sophizing over men and matters. It was 
then, too, that she turned eagerly to the 
library bookshelves and became an omni- 
vorous reader. Poetry, travel, and story- 
books were eagerly devoured ; biography 
was keenly relished ; and the Memoirs of the 
Wesley Family was so notable a find that 
hours were spent over it, and meals were 


a distressing interruption. Owing to the 
father s serious illness, the parents were away 
from home that winter (1875-76), and their 
absence brought new responsibilities to the 
elder sisters. The faithful nurse, who took 
charge in the home, was ready and able to 
conduct family prayers with the children, but 
objected to doing so if her fellow-servants 
were present. The sisters were quite clear 
that this dividing of the household would not 
be a faithful carrying out of their parents' 
wishes, but to take the duty upon themselves 
was a great ordeal. With much trepidation 
it was, however, undertaken, and this first 
attempt at leading others in praise and 
prayer was always looked back to as a 
definite step forward in the path of confes- 
sion and service. 

When books failed, many a long hour was 
beguiled in ''telling story"; for the two 
sisters had a world of their own, to which 
they retired at will; peopled by ** families" 
of their own invention, whose history was 
followed for years, and added to day by day. 
When the days seemed uneventful or dull, 
some very thrilling experiences had to be 
introduced into the " families " to supply the 
lacking interest. ** Making poetry " was 
another delight very early indulged in, and 
some of the verses written in her girlhood 
gave expression to the deeper thoughts that 


lay beneath. For, though Jessie was a very 
natural child, dearly loving fun and excite- 
ment, and not too fond of steady work or the 
drudgery of practising or sewing, she never 
remembered the time when she did not con- 
sciously love the Lord Jesus and wish to 
please Him. 

She had, too, a wakeful conscience, which 
insisted on being attended to or made her 
very unhappy. The visit of Messrs. Moody 
and Sankey to Scotland in 1872-73 brought 
a new element into the religious life of 
Glasgow, and the Saturday meetings for 
children were much enjoyed. Perhaps it 
was in those days of fervour that the thought 
of service became more prominent, though 
it had never been altogether absent. Her 
birthday verse, as she called Pro v. xxxi. 8,* 
was always looked upon almost as a personal 
command and prophecy. Many a long talk 
was carried on in low tones under the bed- 
clothes concerning the ways and means of 
carrying out what she even then hoped 
would be her life-work, and very fervent was 
the deep desire suggested by one of her 
father's sermons — to be among *' those who 
turn many to righteousness," who shall shine 
**as the stars for ever and ever." 

The family left Glasgow for Bridge of 

* " Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of 
all such as are appointed to destruction." 


Allan in 1877, and while there Jessie was 
asked by a friend of her mother's to help in 
a small mission Sunday-school. It was her 
first experience of such work, and the little 
class of boys and girls became a great interest 
to her. It was quite hard to give them up 
when, in the spring of 1878, she went to 
Switzerland to study French and German in 
a Lausanne boarding-school. 

How she did enjoy that year ! The Ian- 
;uage study was a real pleasure to her, and 
ler quick memory stood her in good stead. 
In addition to the pages of literature and 
history that had to be learned by rote, she 
would commit long poems for pleasure, and 
coax ** Fraulein " to teach her nursery rhymes 
and WeihnachtS'lieder. But it was not only 
the opportunity for a favourite study that 
made life in Lausanne so pleasant : every 
phase of school-life was a new pleasure, and 
she shared in all with zest, from the little 
prayer-meeting organized among the girls 
to the gatherings of the ''Poetical Society'* 
which met in the attic, and to which the 
following lines were among her contributions : 

An Incident at the Party. 

In the cold deserted schoolroom. 
Where the midnight shadows fall, 

And weirdly in the moonlight 
Dance on the ink-stained wall. 


There, alone in the darkness, 

Silent and sad she lay, 
In the silver light of the moonbeams — 

Was she watching the shadows play ? 

Or heard she the sounds of music 

In the distant halls below, 
And the laughter of girlish voices 

As they flitted to and fro ? 

Was she dreaming of former splendour, 

And hopes now past and fled, 
As she lay in the April stillness, 

While the shifting moonbeams sped ? 

«i> *s^ *V «*' «*' 

-1* ^ ^^ *,» ^* 

Softly around her, her garments 

In creamy whiteness hang, 
For the form alone in the darkness 

Is but the last merangue ! 

There, too, her love of girl society was 
fully met. She was a universal favourite 
with teachers and scholars, teased and petted 
in turns by all, but making, at the same 
time, true, earnest friendships which have 
stood the test of years and distance. Many 
of these were renewed during the long 
months of her illness, and photographs of her 
friends, and afterwards of their children, were 
among her treasured possessions, any ad- 
ditions to the store being hailed with eager 
pleasure and subjected to much friendly 
scrutiny and comment. 

But while busy in many ways, Jessie was 
often sorely dissatisfied with herself and her 


attainments. Perhaps being the eldest of 
eight made her feel older than she really was. 
rLre is something amusing and almost 
pathetic in the lines written in the summer 
of 1879. They would be more appropriate 
to eighty than eighteen ! But she wrote 
them in dead earnest, and the feeling they 
expressed was a real one. 

Eighteen years ! Why, the acorns sown 

Those eighteen years ago 
Will have sprouted and shot up woody trees, 
With knotted trunks and rugged knees. 
Where sweet birds chant soft melodies, 

When the morning star sets low. 

Eighteen years ! to have lingered here, 

A name upon God's earth. 
While the work and the tears are throbbing on. 
And restless days and hours are gone — 
Are weary, sobbing, helpless, gone 

To God, who gave them birth ! 

This craving for some definite work was 
very happily answered by Him Who was 
guiding this child of His in ways that she 
knew not. 

When school-days were over, there were 
home duties to be taken up. Younger 
brothers and sisters had to be helped with 
their lessons, and soon Jessie had a school- 
room party in her charge. Lessons in that 
schoolroom may have been somewhat erratic, 
but they certainly were never dull. She had 


the happy knack of finding anything that she 
undertook to be of paramount interest. Her 
scholars, whether English or Chinese, were 
always apt to be prodigies. " My pupils," 
she writes, "are the admiration of all — as 
good as gold !" The methods she used were 
not always of the orthodox pattern. There 
were novel rewards and punishments, and 
wonderful shouting choruses to enliven the 
time. The mother of one of these early 

pupils writes : ** How fond was of * Miss 

Jessie M ... I am sure her Christian in- 
fluence and example has affected her life, for 
she is such a good, earnest, Christian wife 
and mother, bringing up her little ones for 

It was in 1880 that the family removed to 
Upper Norwood, and there a new and 
absorbing interest came into Jessie's life in 
connexion with the Young Women's Christian 
Association. After taking secular classes on 
week evenings at the rooms of the Institute, 
and helping in her mother's large Friday 
evening Bible-class, she became teacher of 
the Sunday afternoon class, and remained 
keenly interested in it until she left for China 
in the autumn of 1885. ** Going to the 
Institute *' was a real treat to her. She loved 
to count up the girls who came, and to 
account for absent ones. Many little notes 
were written to members in business houses 

fiKsv Hn,Li UiN'KH Norwood. 
( [ \m y.W.C. A. ii lu Ihc righl.) 


reminding them of different classes, or inviting 
them to some special event. ** I have been 
writing charming notes all the week, and 
actually visiting absentees ! Delightful work !" 
she writes in a characteristic letter to a sister, 
in which she speaks of her French class as **so 
enthusiastic!" Her own naive enthusiasm 
was infectious. Though by no means fond 
of early rising, she arranged for long country 
walks with the members on summer morn- 
ings, and entered con amore into every 
scheme for making the Institute home-like, 
and a happy gathering-place. She really 
loved the girls, and enjoyed being with them, 
and the Sunday teas in the interval before 
evening service were appreciated as heartily 
by her as by any member of her large class. 
Certainly the work there was very helpful to 
the young teacher. She learned much while 
aiding others. At one time of revival, when 
special services were being held in the 
Y.W.C.A., she and her sister agreed together 
to pray definitely for a number of girls known 
to them as not yet having decided for Christ, 
and it was with awe and wonder that they 
noticed one after another of these profess 
themselves on the Lord's side until each 
name on the list was accounted for. This 
was a lesson on the efficacy of prayer not 
soon forgotten. But it was only one of 
many lessons learned in that happy training- 


ground. The love and labour so freely 
bestowed on the young members was very 
warmly reciprocated. On the great event 
of the Annual Gathering Jessie's favourite 
post was that of doorkeeper, and there was 
always a merry group of ** helpers" at that 
end of the hall. Some were with difficulty 
persuaded to come any further in ! And 
when she left for China she was followed by 
the prayers and interest of many. Indeed, 
all through her years of absence they kept in 
touch with her, sending contributions to the 
Baby Home in Amoy, which are continued 
even now for her sake. 

In the meantime her lifelong desire was 
forming into a definite purpose, and not 
Africa, with its attractive black babies, but 
China, where her father's missionary service 
began, was to be the sphere of work for her 
also. How this call came, and the training 
for it, she has told herself in a paper written 
during her illness, and in a message written, 
by request, for the children of the English 
Presbyterian Church, and reprinted now by 
kind permission. 

'* I have had such a happy life!" was her 
own verdict in looking back over it when 
first she knew that her call Home was at 
hand. Yet it might so easily have been 
otherwise but for the grace of God, Who 
early gave her an anchorage of trust in Him. 


Like many who share in her brightness of 
disposition and gay spirits, she had varying 
moods, and was very susceptible to all outside 
influences. It was from her own experience 
that she wrote as a girl : 

It was April, and April tear-drops 

Were beating against the sun. 
And April sorrow had filled the earth, 

As its gladness before had done. 

I stood by the open casement, 

Watching the rain — 
How it dimpled the tiny pools in the road. 

And kissed them smooth again. 

The little white daisies were smiling 

Down in the grass, 
Dreaming of golden sunshine hours 

When the showers should pass. 

And I, too, was dreaming and smiling, 

As I watched the rain, 
Till a shadow seemed to fall from the clouds 

And settle over the lane. 

It frightened the baby daisies 

Till they quite forgot to smile, 
And it entered the casement softly. 

And stole o'er my heart the while. 

It came like a dim foreboding 

Of a sorrow far away. 
Like the mist that shadows the river 

At the dying of the day. 

She was so imaginative that her more 
matter-of-fact sister was often hard put to it 
to allay the fears she would conjure up and 


torment herself with. She was keenly sensi- 
tive to praise and blame, and her love of 
popularity was often a temptation, and might 
easily have become a source of trouble to 
herself and others. She was naturally timid, 
too, in many ways, and her nervous shrink- 
ing from such objects as mice and cock- 
roaches, dead or alive, was only too well 
known to her brothers and sisters, and 
tempted them to many a prank. Long 
after, she wrote from a Chinese village : ** I 
couldn't possibly live in China, if I could not 
pray about rats !" Though very plucky in 
bearing the few physical pains of which she 
had any experience until the last long ilU 
ness, she had the greatest dread and appre- 
hension of sickness for herself or others, and 
one felt how true it was when she wrote : 
" Had I known beforehand that I would be 
like this, it would have shadowed my whole 
life " ; and yet, thanks to her Father's good- 
ness to His child, she could add, **but now it 
is simply nothing to me." 


J. M. J. 


Once there was a little girl who was given 
a pretty blue book to read before going to 
bed. There was a little prayer in the book 
which she liked very much, and used nearly 
every day of her life. Would you like to 
know it ? 

** Lord, prepare me for what Thou art 
preparing for me." 

We can help to prepare ourselves for some 
things. This little girl, when quite tiny, 
hoped some day to be a missionary, but she 
hated sums. Once her mother said : ** What 
sort of missionary will you be if you can't 
keep accounts i*" Neither did she like 
waking up in the morning. Her mother 
said : " Who do you expect will waken you 
when you are a missionary T' 

She had not thought before that doing 

sums and getting up punctually were ways of 

preparing to be a missionary. Later, when 

she had to keep the accounts of the Women's 

19 2 — 2 


Missionary Association in Amoy, she was 
very glad that she had learnt arithmetic. 

"Can do" is easily carried about, and it 
is well worth while to prepare ourselves for 
life in every way possible. 

Still, there are so many things that we 


fel '1 ri H 



cannot prepare for, and the little prayer 
covers all these. 

This little girl was very strong. Even 
when she grew older she thought it would 
be dreadful to be ill, and have to stay in bed 
and never go out. And yet God knew that 
this was what was preparing for her. So 


when one day in Amoy she found, on getting 
up, she could not stand nor move, and the 
doctors said she must leave China, and would 
never be well again, she found, too, that her 
favourite little prayer had been answered, 
and that one can be ready for anything when 
God has prepared the heart. Then, even to 
be ill is not dreadful at all. 

The Chinese speak of the heart's eye. Is 
it not nice that with our heart s eyes we 
can see all over the world ? The missionary 
who was once that little girl now lives at 
St. Leonard's, but her heart's eyes see the 
merry school-children in Amoy and the dear 
little girls in the Baby Home there. They 
see the women weaving and spinning in the 
villages, and the Bible-women with fans and 
hymn-books visiting and teaching them, and 
she wonders whom God is preparing to help 
them in her place. Perhaps He is preparing 
a missionary life for some of you. It is the 
very happiest and grandest thing in the world 
to be a missionary — at least, she thinks so ; 
only one must have the prepared heart. 

Many children in Amoy are giving their 
hearts to the Lord Jesus this year. One 
little girl writes : ** I wish very much to trust 
in the Saviour, and that all I do may please 
Him." And Golden Flower says : ** I know 
surely that God has already forgiven my 
sins, and that I truly belong to the Lord 

• ♦ 


h-^tu. \\\\k\ l»uvr (MUriH;^d His sheepfold. I 
llcMtl) (m«i1 UMH^r^fciiujily for 1 lis goodness." 

l^tvJMy M\M \\yA\\^ »o C1(kI is the very best 
Hi^\H IH j*u^|MH^ lot lilr, If you do this, and 
•♦i»l> («ml Ip |Mv|HUV yiHi for what He is 
|<*f|*»ulm* Ipi vom. vou urrd not be afraid of 
•M*v(l»l»»ij \\sv \\\\\\w may brinj^. for the peace 
\i\ \\\i\\ ^\\\ l«^. vp\M^. auvl His justice passeth 

VViiv.u \^K\\s \^\\v\ a^krvl inr for a message 
(!<♦ |lu- t liilvli^'ii. I ^^^»M^hl I wvHild pass on 
Mm* li^h- >Ui'-» i'i«v\v>i \ oMjhihl to know her 
i.ji ^i.ll l.viiV'i Uk*\M fuvyv>nr dse did. 
I'l.iL^*.* .iiunv v*t \\*v» v*VH yMv^^^i hv>w that is. 

licQlt M Iv>HNSrON. 



The question with, I think, nearly every 
missionary is : How is it that so few offer 
to fill up gaps in the ranks for foreign 
service ? 

It may be that with many earnest, capable, 
and educated Christian girls the real reason 
is that they do not realize when the time for 
decision has come. This was the case with 
the small child whose story was in the 
Children s Messenger for March, and perhaps 
the sequel may influence some. 

Her father had been a Chinese missionary, 
and from babyhood the drawing-room chif- 
fonnier, with its contents, was a familiar object : 
the odour of Buddhist prayer-beads, the 
compass pointing South, the wonderful silk 
robes, and many other things, even to the 
little yellow slippers with turned-up toes, 
which were sometimes worn to children's 
parties, were all strangely attractive. Al- 



though nothing was said by anyone, she 
always expected to be a missionary. 

However, when about eight years old, 
interest in China declined. She was taken 
to a meeting at Mrs. Murray Mitchell's, 
where a most delightful lady spoke on Africa, 
and told stories of little black girls with funny, 
mischievous ways, especially of a naughty 
little one who had played some very ridi- 
culous prank. It seemed little heathen 
children were just like English girls. It 
must be delightful to be a missionary in 
Africa ! So, later on, when the missionary 
lady met her toiling upstairs, carrying a 
drawing-room chair, and asked, ** Would you 
not like to be a missionary in Africa some 
day ?" although far too shy to answer, that 
missionary must have seen ** Yes " in the 
shining eyes and little hot face. 

Then came school-days and other days, 
all full and interesting. With seven brothers 
and sisters life cannot be dull. When, later 
on, work for the Y.W.C.A. and such-like 
was taken up, other things seemed to slip 
the memory. And although every time a 
Communion Service came round the prayer 
went up, ** Lord, let me be a missionary," it 
came almost as a shock one day when the 
mother said: **You used to speak a good 
deal about being a missionary. I do not 
wish to urge you in any way, but if you 


are still thinking of it, it is about time to 
prepare/' There was a little talk, and the 
preference for Africa came up. In mention- 
ing the various pros and cons, the difficulty 
of the Chinese language was spoken of. 
This proved quite an attraction, and when 
the thought of China having been her 
father s former field was added, as well as 
that it was the place where many mis- 
sionaries whom she knew were working, the 
scales turned in its favour. 

Not very long after came a visit from a 
missionary, who put the question point- 
blank, and then the real difficulty came to 
the front. ** Indeed, I am not worthy. I 
have no common sense. M. is the one with 
common sense. Just ask mother." 

On saying ** Good night " the missionary 
remarked : *' How cold your hands are, 
child !" Was it any wonder, with so much 
to think about and decide ? Fortunately 
there was the old refuge of prayer, and a 
saying of the grandmother was remembered : 
** One has no right to be without common 
sense. It can be had by prayer, just as 
other things can.'' 

As twenty - two was considered rather 
young, a six months' course at the Normal 
Training School in Gray's Inn Road was 
proposed. This proved invaluable. As a 
rule, many years of teaching are not desirable 


as a preparation for missionary life. Both 
circumstances and pupils are very different 
on the mission-field from at home, and it is 
difficult for those who have long taught, to 
adapt themselves to the new conditions ; but 
a short course is of the greatest help, as one 
must not only teach in schools, but in women's 
classes, village and city homes, and hospital 
wards. Knowledge of the best methods of 
educational work, of discipline, of interesting 
pupils, of asking and answering questions — 
all are priceless. 

Lessons in singing, in first aid and nursing, 
in cooking, and dressmaking — all found a 

Ahhough the servant difficulty is not great 
in most of our districts in South China, it is 
always well to know how a thing should be 

Of the preparation, farewell meetings, and 
^jood-byes, little need be said. 

Two of tlu* chief fears of this missionary 
were thai sht* might have to go to the bazaars 
and cater for the boarders, as **madame'* 
had ihuie in the Swiss school, and that she 
n\iyht have to teach cutting-out and sewing 
pl thintiiie garments. Both these fears 
prm'ed yriHuulU\HH, as most of one's fears 
urta, Uimcviltit^H there are, which some feel 
mvich murti kwuly than others. There was 
" nniaiionMy whu used to run up and down 


Stairs to make a little noise in the quiet 
house to which she was so little accustomed. 
Later on she abandoned this practice ! In 
the writer's opinion, one of the chief diffi- 
culties a missionary experiences is to be able 
to adapt herself to every circumstance and 
every person, and on every occasion to be 
prepared, smiling and friendly. The first, 
and middle, and last lesson to be learned is 
readiness to do the Master's will, and that 
her own wishes and inclinations are of no 
importance whatever. The first year or two, 
before methods are understood or appreciated, 
are always the hardest. But if there were 
ten times the difficulties or hardships, would 
it not be well worth while ? Let me prove it. 

To the big girls boarding-school in Amoy 
came a very dirty and unpleasant little girl, 
Tee- a by name — so disagreeable in her habits 
that no one would associate with her ; so in- 
tractable that she climbed, not only the trees 
in the garden, but found her way up the 
outside of the latticed veranda to the roof; 
so undisciplined that the Ko-niu had to be 
called down after midnight to stop a stand-up 
fight with her neighbour. 

Some years later there was a women's 
conference in Amoy, the first held in South 
China. As the five-minut6 bell rang, one 
after another rose to speak or report on the 
different subjects under discussion. 


Amongst others, a sweet-looking girl ad- 
vanced to the platform, with hair neatly 
coiled and dress prettily arranged. She was 

teacher in a country school far removed from 
foreigners and with few Christian companions. 
Her subject was, "Shall we admit Heathen 
Children to Christian Day-Schools ?" And 


she gave instance after instance of heathen 
children in her school who had benefited by 
the teaching received. 

The school matron was sitting beside me. 
She was a trustworthy woman, but had little 
faith in schoolgirls, being, perhaps, rather 
old to understand them. She turned with 
tears in her eyes. ** Do you know," she said, 
" that is Tee-a ?" 

The hospital ward for women in Amoy 
was crowded and noisy. After the Gospel 
talk many gathered round to have a further 
chat. Amongst them came an old woman. 
She had attended irregularly for many 
months. Her disease was incurable, and 
the doctor could only give a little medicine 
to alleviate the pain. She was very poor. 
When I first saw her she was very wretched. 
That day she came with a beaming face. 
" Ko-niu,'* she said, ** I cannot come again, 
but I know that what you have told me is 
true. I know that the Heavenly Father 
will receive me, and that I shall meet you 
again there some day.'* 

You may have disappointments in the 
mission-field, you may meet with discourage- 
ments, but what does disappointment count 
for, or what discouragement, or what does 
anything matter in the face of facts like 
these "i 


L. E. J. 
1885— 1904 

I KNOW that far across the sea 

There dwelleth one 
Whose thoughts are sure to turn to me 

When work is done. 

Ah, yes ! and still, when other cares 

Engross the mind. 
The heart is still as closely knit, 

The thought as kind. 

Think' St thou I grieve because these cares 

Thus intervene ? 
Nay ! love is often deepest felt 

With such between. 

And will our Heavenly Father's heart 

Less tender prove 
When earthly ties and cares engage 

His children's love ? 

Oh no ! His thoughts to usward turn 

More kindly far. 
And when we love and work most we 

Most like Him are. 

Still let us strive to live with Him, 

His face before, 
And loving others, still contrive 

To love Him more. ; 

So, working, praying heartily, 

We like Him grow, 
And loving Him and those around. 

His love shall know. 

J. M. J, 

Amoy, 1885. 

{Written to her sister.) 



Jessie sailed for China in October, 1885, just 
after her twenty-fourth birthday. S he describes 
her arrival in Amoy on December i ith : 

** It was rather a dull morning when we 
reached Anioy, but the sandy beach and houses 
of Kolong-su looked home-like, and before 
long Mr. McGregor* and Miss Maclagan were 
on board, and brought us ashore for break- 
fast. Miss M. and I. are to take possession 
of the Ladies* House, which has just been 
cleaned and painted. It has a very pretty 
situation, with lovely glimpses of the sea 
and hills beyond, and little winding paths 
lead up to the great grey boulders above us. 

**You may be sure that one of our first 
visits here was to the school, which com- 
pared favourably with those we visited else- 
where, and the hearty greeting we received 
from the children was most encouraging. I 
quite longed that some of those who are 

* Now Dr. McGregor. 

33 3 


carrying on this work at home could have 
stood with us in the bright, airy schoolroom, 
and have heard the ' Peng-an ' ( Peace) 
which echoed from every corner. On 

"Odb First Visit was to the School," 

Saturday morning, directly after breakfast, 
a messenger was sent to say that the whole 
school was coming to pay me a visit, and I 
had barely time to come downstairs before 


the tramp of feet was heard, and two by two 
the twenty-three girls, their matron, and 
teacher, filed up the approach to our house. 
I waited in the drawing-room to receive 
them as they crowded in, and felt very 
helpless as I smiled a reply to all their good 
wishes. A little quietness followed while 
Miss M. kindly interpreted some of their 
words, and told them how I hoped soon to 
understand and speak to them in their own 
language. I was at a loss as to how such 
guests should be entertained, but they solved 
the problem themselves by beginning a tour 
of the room and examining each object 
minutely. Fortunately our furniture is but 
scant, as this proved a lengthy proceeding, 
and somewhat monotonous. However, our 
guests were well pleased, and proposed to 
visit our bedrooms ; and on Miss M. con- 
senting, the whole party trooped upstairs, 
and I soon heard great chattering and laugh- 
ing over my boots and slippers. It seems 
they had been promised to see over the 
house after I came. A photograph of my 
father interested them very much, as they 
had heard of him before. It is pleasant to 
find that he is still remembered out here by 
several, my teacher amongst others. 

"The girls were very curious to know 
whether I sang or not, and what my name 
would be. The latter question puzzled me, 


36 JIN KO-mU 

but I have since heard that it is to be * Jin/ 
the nearest approach in Chinese to Johnston, 
and meaning * love.' As Miss M.*s name 
is *An* (Peace), the Ladies' House at 
Amoy ought to be a pleasant place to 
live in !" 

To Jessie the study of the Chinese language 
was a real pleasure, and she managed very 
early to understand and make herself under- 
stood in the Amoy colloquial. Any phrase 
heard she quickly made a note of, and used 
on the earliest opportunity. She used to 
love to run down to have a chat or game 
with the schoolgirls, and proverbs or quaint 
expressions caught from them were quickly 
added to her own vocabulary. The study of 
the written character she found very interest- 
ing, and an entry in her diary after four 
months showed that she began then to read 
her verse in turn at morning prayers, giving 
first the character sound and then the trans- 
lation into colloquial. 

Later, when school - teaching and other 
work made daily study impossible, she 
enjoyed using the leisure of the summer 
holidays for reading with some competent 

Jessie was never one who, from having 
a knowledge of character, decried the use of 
the Romanized writing. On the contrary, 
she took a pride in the fact that the early 


Amoy missionaries were noted amongst the 
pioneers of Romanization, and lost no oppor- 
tunity of explaining the immense advantages 
that flow from its use. To quote her own 
words : ** For producing capable, intelligent 
Christians give me the Romanized colloquial." 

A friend, visiting Amoy about two years 
after Jessie's arrival, writes : ** She seems to 
me to have made most excellent progress 
with the language, and to know it very well 
for such a short residence here, and she 
seems to have learnt it most carefully and 

In the following letter, written after being 
out just a year, she tells her mother how she 
prepares for a class in colloquial : 

**It takes a long, weary time to prepare. 
For instance, one lesson which takes about 
half an hour to hear requires often more than 
one afternoon's preparation. The pupils are 
revising, and so learn five or six chapters of 
a book about the Judges and Kings. Well, 
I have to read these over, not only so as to 
understand the sense, but to know each 
word's meaning, and when to use it. In one 
page there may be twenty or thirty new 
words — e.g., all Goliath's armour ; or, again, 
I may pass a page with only one or two 
words to look up. 

** After the gist of the thing is in my head, 
I begin to write out about fifty questions or 

so. These have to be carefully prepared, 
and put into proper idiom. Of course it 
gets easier each time. Still, there are so 
many new words, and it is so easy to make 
mistakes in idiom, or only to make half 
sense out of it, that I think the wisest course 
is to plod on, doing everything as thoroughly 
as possible." 

Jessie's early days in Amoy were greatly 
brightened by the friends she found. She 
often wrote, " They spoil me out here," and 
" They are all so good to me," In her own 
mission — the English Presbyterian — there 
were married missionaries, and in their 
houses she received a warm welcome, and 
a romp with their children was always a 
treat to one who had come from a big 
houseful of brothers and sisters. Dr. and 
Mrs. Talmage, of the A.R.M., admitted her 
early to a daughter's place in their home, 


and happy indeed were the times she spent 
there. Their advice and encouragement, 
and, still more, the strength and beauty of 
their lives, were a great inspiration to this 
very young missionary. 

It is not necessary to mention each, be- 
cause the whole missionary community were 
soon her friends, for she had an undoubted 
gift for friendship ; but mention must be 
made of the seven " ko-niu," 

"Ko-niu"isthe Amoy word for "unmarried 
lady," and there were just the perfect number 
of these at this time on the island. Two 
belonged to the London Mission, and had 
come out only a few weeks before Jessie ; 
her colleague, Miss Maclagan, has already 
been mentioned ; the two daughters of 
Dr. and Mrs. Talmage had been several 
years at work, and understood both the 
language and the people ; and the young 

40 /AV KO-NIU 

daughter of another missionary, with Jessie, 
completed the group. These seven saw a 
good deal of each other. A friend writes 
from Amoy about this time : '* Jessie is as 
merry as ever, and it does one's heart good 
to hear her merry laugh. She has lost none 
of the cheery ring in it through all her hard 
study and all the difficulties of a life out 

An early institution in connexion with the 
missionary life in Amoy is what is known as 
** ko-niu le-pai," or the single ladies* prayer- 
meeting. By six o'clock on Saturday even- 
ings, all through the year, the unmarried 
ladies, if wanted, must be looked for at this 
gathering, for it is counted one of the most 
binding of engagements, although the most 
informal of meetings. The attendances vary 
from two or three in the winter months, 
when inland visiting is in full swing, to 
twenty or more in recent summers, when 
the ladies of all three missions are down 
from the six inland stations for the hot 
weather. Each takes her turn in leading. 
A passage of Scripture is chosen, and read 
around verse by verse in turn, a hymn sung, 
and then each one tells of any case of special 
need which she has met with during the 
week. Then all kneel in prayer, and the 
petitions go up in a ceaseless stream, as each 
begins as her neighbour ends, until the circle 


is completed. There is a wonderful feeling 
of all being ** with one mind, in one place." 
Many a young missionary has had ready 
sympathy and advice from the more ex- 
perienced ones of the group as she has told 
of her puzzling cases. 


In those early days, when travelling was a 
more difficult matter than it is now, these 
ladies seldom went to visit the inland places 
alone, but generally with one of another 
mission, to save the giving up of classes in 
the centre station. One good result of this 
was that, travelling with a member of another 
mission, the churches of both were visited, 
and a great feeling of unity, arising from 
knowledge of and interest in each other's 
fields, was the result. Most of Jessies 
journeys were with Miss M. Talmage, her 
lifelong friend. The following extract from 
a letter written just four months after arrival 
gives some idea of the method adopted for a 
short week-end trip : 

** These trips up-country are delightful, 
and this is the very season for going. I 
have been to several places. Each time 
Miss M. goes off on Sunday morning to 

the next station, and leaves me with the 



women, so that I can hear texts, talk, and 
teach to my heart's content, and each time 
I find it so much easier both to talk and to 
understand. On Saturday I got a note to 
say I must be on the boat by eleven ; there- 
fore I sallied forth, attended to the veranda 
steps by G. with the cake-box. I went 
down the broad stone steps, stopping to 
smell the roses and gather a spray of white 
blossom as I passed. Before me our coolie, 
with my bedding on a pole over his shoulder, 
and our boy * Gift,* with my shawl and 
books, marched in procession. The coolie 
is a fine, tall man, with the most dignified 
bearing — quite a credit to our establishment. 
* Gift * is about sixteen, and very tall for his 
age, with moderate good looks, very willing, 
but so noisy ! I was taking him with us, as 
we needed a boy to cook and look after the 
luggage, and serve as a sort of escort. At 
the end of the long narrow stone jetty the 
coolie deposited his burden in a little * sam- 
pan ' (rowing-boat) and returned, while we 
rowed out to the American Gospel boat. I 
arrived first, and sat on the roof of the cabin, 
which is slightly raised above the deck to 
allow of windows, and soon after Miss M. 
came. We then settled our baggage in the 
cabin, and ourselves perched on the wooden 
boards, which serve as beds. 

" About two o'clock we reached the land- 


ing-place, but could not land till nearly five, 
as the sun was too hot for our twenty 
minutes' walk across country. When we 
were able to land in the little boat sent out 
for us, we found quite a crowd on shore 
watching us pick our way over the rocks 
and sand. We exchanged greetings, and 


getting a porter for our luggage, began 
our walk through the village and over the 
fields to our destination — a row of red-tiled 
cottages, nestling among the banyans, in the 
distance, at the foot of a cluster of rugged 

" After supper we went down to prayers 
in the chapel. The women sit by them- 


selves even then, and the helper's wife had 
her two little girls, about as sleepy as I was 
— such bright, bonny little damsels. We 
went early to bed, and notwithstanding the 
mosquito netting, the creatures were dreadful. 

** Sunday was a lovely day, and I almost 
envied Miss M. her long chair-ride to Te- 
soa. However, I went back to our quarters, 
from whence I could see the helper's wife 
and bairns, beautifully dressed, going over 
the lesson for the day. I soon joined her 
and the other women, who, with their babies 
tied to their backs, were assembling to the 
number of eighteen or twenty. I noticed a 
few hooks, on which the women hung their 
skirts on entering. They were nearly all 
withered dames, wrinkled and yellow ; but 
one or two young women also appeared, and 
after coming up to greet the ko-niu, settled 
themselves on one of the red benches which 
ran round the room, and had a chat together 
before service-time. 

** The preacher soon came in, and we sang 
a hymn. The singing was much better than 
at Kang-thau. There a chorus of cats would 
be harmony compared to it. The old women 
sat swaying to and fro and holding up their 
books. At the end of each line they would 
hurry to read through the next, and directly 
it was read would begin their drone again, 
regardless of their neighbours, time, tune. 


or anything. After singing, some one was 
called on to pray, and then the chapter for 
the day was read and explained, and different 
people were called on to say their verses. 

** There was an interval of about ten 
minutes between this early worship and the 
regular service, which is conducted in the 
same way as at home. The women behaved 
wonderfully well. Of course the minister 
had to pause once or twice, to ask them not 
to talk, and to speak to some children who 
were laughing and running up and down. 

** After church I heard the women repeat 
texts, and then retreated upstairs ; but a poor 
old body followed me with a handkerchief of 
what I feared was some dreadful cake, but it 
turned out to be pea-nuts. She would crack 
them, blow off the husk, and pop them into 
my hands, till my appetite for dinner dis- 
appeared. A number of others soon followed 
her, and I determined to improve the occa- 
sion, so brought out a picture of Christ 
coming to the disciples on the lake, which 
greatly interested them. I read them the 
account in the Bible and gave them a little 
' doctrine,' which I had prepared with my 
teacher. They understood, and repeated it 
to new-comers, so I felt quite encouraged. 
They left me when I began lunch, so I had 
a little leisure. 

** As I was finishing I heard some whisper- 


ing, and saw some women at the bottom of 
the stair, who told me they were waiting for 
afternoon meeting, so I had to hurry down. 
They soon gathered round, and I found to 
my dismay that they expected me to take it. 
However, I asked the helper's wife, and she 
did it very nicely. Afterwards the Bible- 
woman improved the time before service 
by speaking some more * doctrine.' The 
women were dreadfully sleepy, and so was I. 
I could hardly keep my eyes open, it was 
so hot and close. One old woman at the 
back amused me by coming forward and 
shaking the others, pulling their sleeves, and 
directing their attention to the speaker, who 
was going on regardless of listeners on our 
side of the screen. One woman before me 
was not even then sufficiently awake, so the 
undaunted arouser seized her by the eyelids 
and pulled them open, pushing her along the 
form at the same time ! I feared a like fate, 
and by a severe effort kept awake during 
service, after which the people separated. 

**One of the men came and spoke across 
the screen, asking me to go along with the 
Bible-woman, as it might draw some to hear 
her, so I ran up for my hat and umbrella, 
and, supported by three old women, had a 
lovely walk through the fields to a little 
village on the shore, where a crowd speedily 
collected to admire me!, and listened very 


attentively while the Bible-woman spoke. I 
invited them to attend the chapel, and some 
of the women promised. I only hope they 
will come. 

** Afterwards I was conducted to a very 
dirty yard, where a heathen woman brought 
basins of greasy, sugarless, and milkless tea 
and some little papers of cakes. I tasted, 
and then put it down, as is considered polite ; 
but she said, * She is afraid ; she will not 
take our food,' so I courageously drained 
the cup, and took nibbles of the cake, carry- 
ing away the remainder, which I gave to a 
child on the way. Leaving amid many kind 
invitations to come again, I ran on in front 
of my guides, but was stopped by hearing 
them call, and, seeing that another woman 
was with them, I returned, and found the 
new-comer very anxious to see me. The 
Bible-woman tried to speak to her, but she 
would listen to no one but me, so I produced 
one of Mrs. Grimke's cards (I wish I had 
more of them) in the Amoy dialect, and read 
it to her, and urged her to go to church. 
She asked me if I would be there, so I told 
her to come, and that the preacher's wife 
would tell me if she had been. When she 
left I was tired of the slow pace of my 
guides, who, with long poles to aid their 
tiny feet, were hobbling along and laughing 
at my impatience ; so I told them I would 


go quicker, and had a regular race home, to 
work off some of my superfluous energy. I 
had time to wash my hands before Miss M. 
appeared, and then we talked and read with 
the women till 7.30, after which came even- 
ing prayers and then to bed, as we had to be 
up by five o'clock, to catch the tide." 

At other times long tours would be taken, 
lasting a month or more, stopping at various 
chapels at night, and staying one or more 
days in each, as seemed best, visiting the 
women connected with the little congrega- 
tions, and seeking out their daughters, and, 
if of suitable age, inviting them to come to 
school. The women said she ** had an 
attractive way,'* and certainly many little 
maidens, at first reluctant to face the ordeal 
of a journey by land, and, worse still, by 
water, and the strange new thing — a girls' 
school — were persuaded, and came to find it 
the happiest place they knew. The follow- 
ing extracts from letters give some idea of 
this country work : 

" Gospel Boat, 

" October 28, 1887. 

** Here we are, cosily ensconced in our 
little cabin. The passage was very quick, 
as we had a high wind in our favour. Such 
waves ! We were tossed about like a nut- 
shell in our Gospel boat. 



" I sat on deck, and watched the last 

golden rays of the sun disappear as we 

passed through the 'sea's gate' into the 

river. Then the silver moon appeared and 

gilded all the ripples 

in a pathway to the 

sky. Everything now 

looks so quiet and 

peaceful— the great 

hills stretching up to 

heaven and the tiny 

villages under the 

banyans sheltering at 

their feet. 

"These country 
people, although 
nominally Christian, 
are dreadfully ig- 
norant. Speak of 
women's work! ltis,I 
think, most necessary. 
The women in these 
villages know nothing. 
When asked, 'Who 
is Jesus ?' they cannot 
tell. They never pray. 
Yet some of these women are helpers' wives, 
and some have husbands who for years have 
attended church. Without women to teach 
them in their homes and behind the preacher's 


screens, they seem to come and go, and get no 
teaching at all. I was much pleased to meet 
four former schoolgirls. Such a contrast ! 

" We have had a lovely day. Last night 
one of the helpers came in and planned out 

our trip for us ; so we started off at eight 
o'clock, leaving the Bible-woman to go in 
another direction. Poor thing ! she is so 
lonely, and for three nights had not slept at 


all because of the dirt. These women have 
many hardships. We walked for the first 
hour of our trip, and did so enjoy it — such 
fresh country air and real highland scenery — 
rivers, and burns, and rocks, and high hills 
hemming us in — and such lovely fern-fronds 
at every turn. We had about two hours of 
chair-ride after our walk, and had some 
experience of fording rivers. Twice the 
water was so deep as to be above the men's 
knees, and nearly touched the bottom of 
our chairs. In one place we saw some men 
fishing from a raft of long slender logs. It 
seemed to act as ferry-boat as well, as I 
saw some men waiting to cross on it with 
burdens. For the most part, however, we 
were alone ; not even a hamlet in sight. 

** This place we have reached is so 
strange. The village is really one huge 
round tower — a blank wall to the outside, 
with tiny slit-like prison windows and a 
small entrance-gate. The church is built 
outside, but we went in to visit some Chris- 
tians, and saw the interior. Just inside the 
thick stone wall, and lining its lower portion, 
is a row of wooden stalls, where many of the 
inhabitants live. Another strong stone tower, 
just like the outer one, rises within the stalls 
and towers above them. We step inside, 
and find ourselves in a large stone-paved 
court, open to the sky. It is, of course, 


circular, and a raised pavement runs round 
it. Doors open into rooms the thickness 
of the wall — dark, gloomy-looking places ; 
but here the people live like one large 
family. We just sat and watched as the 
women sat at the doors, one picking a goose, 
another smoking, another nursing her baby, 
and so on. In one corner was a loom, in 
another the stone mill for husking rice^ Piles 
of brushwood for fuel were collected in a 
third corner, and in a fourth was a place 
where the rubbish of ages seemed stowed 
away. One of the girls took us upstairs to 
the second floor, also a ring of dwelling- 
houses. Another and broader flight of steps 
led to a third landing, where old chairs, bins 
of rice, etc., were kept ; and one more climb 
led up to the attic, round which were stored 
the ancestral tablets and idols of the popu- 
lation ! Nicely out of the way ! It was so 
strange to look down over the railing on one 
hand into the round court, with its busy 
groups of people, pigs, and hens, and on the 
other side to peer through the narrow 
windows in the thick masonry of the wall, 
at the natural rampart of mountains, and 
rivers beyond. 

'* While we were talking to a woman, a man 
came in and examined us most thoroughly, 
saying finally : * What good fortune I have 
met with to-day to have seen these foreigners!' 


We had a long talk with some old schoolgirls, 
and saw all the women church members in 
the place, then went home to supper. Look- 
ing up, we saw door and window packed with 

human heads — men's heads — watching us. 
They were strangers, had never seen the 
like of us before, and nothing would satisfy 
them but that we should go down and ' talk 
some doctrine.' They were most polite and 


attentive, listened for a long time, and went 
away praising the teaching. 

" The people are always pleased when we 
talk a little to them. I was amused to hear 

Amov Women's School. 

one of my chair-bearers — a heathen — speak- 
ing about us at a place where we rested. A 
man asked as usual, ' Are they men or 
women?' 'Women.' 'Can they speak our 
words?' 'Oh yes! thoroughly well.' 'Can 


they read ?' * Read ! they read our words 
and their own words easily, and they read 
a great deal/ ' Are they married ?* * No, 
they are ko-nius. They go about everywhere 
exhorting men to do right/ 

*' The scenery here reminds me much of 
Switzerland. Such an outlook down the 
valley, with its ripe rice-fields, terraced to 
the water s edge, and higher up pine-woods 
towering up the mountain-sides to the clear 
blue of the skies. The people are very 
simple and warm-hearted (I wish they were 
cleaner!), and I think it is wonderful how 
they come willingly at the busiest time of the 
day to spend two or three hours over the 
Word of God. Many walk great distances 
to be in church on Sunday. There is a 
woman here we are trying hard to persuade 
to come to the women's school in Amoy. 
She is over sixty, but seems both intelligent 
and quiet — two important qualifications for a 
Bible-woman. Even though she might not 
become a regular Bible-woman, she would 
learn a great deal, and be able to help others 
if she would only come down.*' 

*ff ^P fff ^^ "ff 

In later years the interest of this work 
was increased by the pleasure of visiting old 
pupils, seeing their homes and admiring 
their babies, who were eagerly shown to 


" Ko-niu Ma," or ** Grandmother Ko-niu." 
Jessie had a large number of such grand- 
children, and took a great delight in them> 
rarely forgetting their names, and always look- 
ing out for their mother s best characteristics 
to reappear in them. She writes again : 

" I have been going from place to place 
spending a night at each. It is very hard 
to refuse to remain longer. The people find 
it difficult to understand why I won't stay 
with them, and each place seems to think it 
has a special claim. There are the greatest 
opportunities on every hand, hundreds ready 
to listen, and so few to tell them what they 
need so much to hear. I have never seen 
such readiness to receive us, although we 
have always had open doors. We went to 
two villages to-day, which took us out of the 
way. At the first about twenty men meet 
for worship, but only one girl, who was in 
school for two months, knows anything on 
the women's side. She can read, fortunately — 
the Romanized, of course. I had a crowd of 
women there. At the next place there are a 
number of Christians, who meet at the house 
of one of them. Here there are very few 
women. We need to come oftener and get 
hold of the wives and daughters. We ought 
to be everywhere oftener." 

This letter is written on one of her last 
journeys, for the need of workers is not 


decreasing, but growing, as the church 
spreads further and further over the rich 
plains and up the terraced hills of South 

She loved a friendly chat with the pastors 
and preachers in the various stations. They 
are often very lonely, and the missionary's 
visit is a great help and stimulus. The 
conversation usually was about the women 
of the church and the girls who might come 
down to school. Sometimes a thought from 
some commentary she had been reading was 
brought to bear on the lesson for the day, 
and the passage discussed, and at other 
times bits of news from the papers she had 
been reading in her chair. 

The following is a letter from a young 
preacher to whom she had sent a clock. He 
is now pastor at Eh-mung-Kang. 

Letter from Pastor Yew when in his 
First Charge, a Small Town inland. 

'* All the Brethren and Sisters of Stonewell 
beg to thank you for the clock. Every 
evening since you sent it I have been able 
to read and speak to many of the Gospel. 
This is how it is : when it is evening, 
numbers of young people come in to hear 
the clock strike, and then I get them to stay 
for a talk. I am so glad of this, for since I 


came to Stonewell we have had to have our 
evening prayers almost always alone, and 
now many attend. 

** I thought I would like to tell you that 
the weather is cooler, so that perhaps you 
will be able to come to us. But please do 
not come in the second week of next month, 
as I must be away then. 

" I hear that you have had sorrow.* I 
pray that God may comfort you. I also 
have had sorrow, and have received of His 
comfort. I cannot say any words of con- 
solation, for I know you understand all the 
words of consolation in the Holy Book. 

** May the Lord grant you peace from 
henceforth, that your heart may be free to 
serve Him, which is, I know, your greatest 
desire ! 

" Greetings from Hoai-tek." 

* This refers to her brother's death in 1896. 


Another important branch of the work is 
hospital visiting. It is a grand thing to see 
the poor sick folk being helped and healed, 
but it is a still greater joy to see them, 
whether healed or not, get the peace into 
their faces and the joy that comes from the 
knowledge of Christ. Once or twice a week 
the doctor arranges for out-patients to be 
seen. Sometimes these come in great 
numbers, and when they have received 
their *' tally " they are drafted into the wait- 
ing-rooms for men and women. Many a 
time Jessie crossed the harbour and spoke 
in the crowded room to the waiting women, 
some half afraid to listen lest a spell be cast 
upon them ; others, who had been before, 
eagerly drinking in all that was said. When 
almost all have gone, the missionary finds 
her way up to the wards where the in- 
patients are, and gathers them and the 

relatives who are nursing them together for 



another talk. Again and again in Jessie's 
diary is found the entry, " Had such a good 
time at hospital"; and in her notebook the 
names of diose present, and little details 
about them, or some of their remarks : 
" Tiong-so said to me to-day, ' I believe it 

is true that Jesus loves us, because you love 
us so.' " 

" Hok - so is troubled about devils. She 
had vowed that she would make offerings 
if she got better, and feared they would 
trouble her if she did not pay her vow." 

" I showed a picture of the ' Sower' to the 


women to-day, and Ki-po-so said : ' I used 
to hear them speak of that in church. I was 
not allowed to go, but when no one was by 
I went ; and I thought I am like the seed 
among thorns ; and I comforted myself that 
even if one stalk grows up among the thorns 
the farmer will see it ; and I prayed that 
God would let me grow up, notwithstanding 
my troubles/ '' 

Whenever she could she was glad to visit 
former patients. Indeed, the necessity of 
helping them after they leave, and the im- 
possibility of overtaking it, is a burden on 
any hospital worker. Take the following 
example from a diary of 1888: **Went to 
hospital ; in out- ward saw Eng-a. She 
seemed at first not to be interested, but 
presently said : ' I will tell you how it is. 
Ten years or so ago I went into hospital 
and heard the Gospel. I believed it, and 
went home to tell my friends. I thought 
they would believe, but instead they reviled 
and beat me. Still I believed, but my sons 
died, and my mother-in-law died, and I have 
had nothing but trouble all these years. The 
neighbours say it is because I worship God. 
I do not know how it may be.' '' 

The following from a letter written about 
this time may be of interest : ** I had a nice 
talk with a woman in hospital yesterday. 
She and her daughter of twelve had never 


heard a word of the Gospel. She listened 
eagerly, and promised to pray daily, * God, 
have mercy on me and forgive my sins/ 
Another woman had come two years ago, and 
remembered my being there and telling her to 
worship God. Still another followed me 
about to hear more, and seemed more or less 
impressed. It is such a responsibility to talk 
to them. I was thinking of Paul's words : 
* An Apostle by the commandment of God' 
— one sent by God. If only a messenger, 
then only concerned with the delivery of the 
message. It is restful." 

One more quotation must be given : 
" On Tuesday I went over to the hospital 
and saw a woman in whom I am interested. 
She wanted me to go to see her mother ; 
but I had a whole ward of in-patients to talk 
to, so said I would go another time. We 
had hardly begun when some one called out 
that Miss A. had gone to see the out- 
patients, so the woman begged me to ask her 
to come upstairs and take my place, that I 
might be free to go with her to visit. I 
agreed, as I knew the wife of one of the 
pastors was with the out-patients. But you 
should have heard the indignation of the 
other women who were just gathered ready ! 
One of them clutched me, and I had to dis- 
engage her hands, promising to come again 
and speak to them. 


'* When we reached the house a number 
of women came together. Three of them 
had dressed to go to the hospital to listen to 
the teaching there, and they were very atten- 
tive. I gave them a verse to remember for 
next time, as I hope to go again. The 
woman who led me would hardly let me go. 
When I said, * You will be too late to see 
the doctor,' she replied : * Oh, I can go next 
week ; the doctrine is more important. Tell 
them more ; they have never heard before.' 
I promised to go to her house in the after- 
noon. I had been twice before, so felt sure 
I knew the way ; but found I was not so 
certain after all, as I took a wrong turning 
and could not make it out. However, I 
visited at least half a dozen houses, and could 
have gone into twice as many more had there 
been time. At one place they were gambling, 
but an old hospital patient dragged me in to 
speak to them. 

" I was very sorry not to find the house I 
set out to visit. I heard afterwards that the 
woman had collected her neighbours and 
prepared tea for me. When I said, * Oh, 
you must not get tea ready another time,' 
she said : ' You see, we want you to talk to 
us, and tell us a great deal about God ; and 
you will get hoarse, so we must have tea, 
and then you can talk longer.' I must go 
there again soon. When I told her that I 


had mistaken the way, although I had been 
twice already, she said : * You see, how can 
we remember the heavenly way when we 
only hear it twice ? Just as you forget the 
road, so we forget/ Her father-in-law tries 
to hinder her, but every time I go she has a 
number of friends gathered to hear." 



Although each different department of work 
in Amoy proved fascinating to Jessie, just as 
it happened to be the thing to be done, or, as 
she said, '* It is a comfort to find that what 
one has to do always seems pleasantest," yet 
the girls' school was perhaps nearest her 
heart. We see her on the day of her arrival 
visiting the school, and next day being visited 
by them. In February she was giving 
lessons in reading to two backward children. 
She writes in an early letter : 

** Round the school there is a veranda closed 
in with lattice- work, and doors lead into the dif- 
ferent class-rooms, which, with their varnished 
forms and desks, maps and pictures, look a 
very cheery edition of an English school. 
The teacher at her table quietly reading and 
the girls in their forms softly repeating their 
lessons are, however, very different, though 
in many ways as nice. All wear trousers, 

wide, loose, coloured ones, embroidered or 




trimmed at the foot, and over them a long 
wide jacket buttoned down one side and 
embroidered round the neck. The sleeves 
are so long and loose that at first sight you 

I »v//w; 


would imagine the people had no arms. The 
little girls are the funniest mites. I would 
give a good deal to be able to put one or two 
in a box to send you. I can only laugh at 
them when they come dancing round with 


their queer little pigtails sticking out all 
round. They usually wear their hair in a 
plait ; not at the back of their heads, however, 
but at one side and sticking straight out. 
Then, above their foreheads, they sometimes 
have a narrow band of coloured cloth tied 
under their hair behind and waving in two 
long tails. The women often wear a black 

band in winter to keep them warm. I can't 
see how it answers ! The older girls wear 
long plaits or have their hair smoothly 
brushed back and rolled into a flat ' bun * 
with pins and combs and bunches of gay 
artificial flowers. Every one has exactly the 
same glossy black shade. Such nice faces 
some have, the bigger ones sweet and gentle- 


looking, the tinies rosy and mischievous. I 
must, however, tell you the whole truth — 
some are very ugly ! One little thing I have 
up for reading, called Khun-a, is specially so, 
such a yellow little thing !" 

It was very characteristic that a few weeks 
later she says : ** Perhaps you remember my 
writing of Khun-a as such an ugly little 
thing. She looks a different being, and is 
brightening up, and quite a pleasure to teach." 

A run down to school and a chat or a 
game with the girls was always a cure for 
threatenings of home-sickness in the early 
days. ** Last night I was down at school. 
I had looked in on the girls on our way home 
from tennis, and they exhibited a little 
spinning machine for making braid. One of 
the bigger girls was delighted to show off 
and give me a lesson, amid shouts of laughter 
at my awkwardness in moving the bobbins. 
At last I succeeded in mastering the process, 
to their delight, and promised in return to 
come down in the evening and sing to them. 
So after supper and prayers I set off. The 
moon, which is bright just now, had hardly 
risen, so I had some difficulty in finding my 
way down to the school. Half a dozen girls 
were waiting at the gate and triumphantly 
seized my hands to escort me safely in, 
where matron, teacher and pupils were sit- 
ting at their desks to listen. I did not 


venture to think of my temerity, and seated 
myself at the tiny American organ, while one 
girl stood behind fanning me. It was an 
inspiration to sing — all those e^er faces 
bending forward After a while I proposed 
' When He cometh,' which they sang in 

Chinese and I in English, Then they were 
clamorous for marching, so we tried that. I 
wish you had been there to see ! Chinese 
girls have plenty of fun in them, and are 
quick enough at learning. 

" I trotted down to find the schoolgirls in 
a grand state of excitement fitting the bed- 


planks together. We had such a business — 
and the amount of talking and laughing over 
it ! I was down ever so long super- 

Sickness in the school was a sore worry to 
her, but with a number of boarders a good 
deal of "matron'* work is necessary even 
when the Chinese matron is doing her best. 
The following letter gives an idea of what is 
involved when things were not going very 
well : 

"Truly one's time is taken up with a 
variety of things ! This morning, after 
breakfast, I went down to school to inspect 
the sick girls, and was collared by the matron 
to listen to a string of complaints about the 
difificulty of buying vegetables. After sooth- 
ing her down, I had to go into the last 
fortnight's accounts to see if the food was all 
right. Then down to school again with the 
doctor to see a girl who he fears has diph- 
theria. After he went, I had to dose her 
and get a room cleared out for her to be 
isolated from the others. Then a lecture to 
another girl who had bound her feet in the 
holidays and is threatened with hip disease. 
Again a talk about buying another bed, 
patching quilts and arranging which girls 
should sleep together, some being ill, some 
small, and some rough and others dainty. 
That settled, I had to collect empty medicine- 


bottles and have them sent to the hospital to 
be refilled, and attend to an order for eye- 
bandages, so what can I do about my home 
mail r 

This part of school work was to her the 
least attractive. She writes very character- 
istically : ** I give arsenic to four girls three 
times a day. It is a bother, as it has to go 
on for a month. They are dear girls !'* 

Long journeys were often taken to get 
some special little recreant down to school if 
she had failed to appear when the term 
began. And Jessie would often arrive back 
from a trip taken at the commencement of a 
term, like the piper of Hamelin, with a train 
of young hopefuls behind her, whom she had 
lured from their homes. 

In school there was good order and dis- 
cipline, with very few rules and almost no 
punishments. On one occasion the matron 
had complained of several girls that they 
were very careless, and when she had told 
them to do their work again, they had been 
rude to her. This charge was made so 
seriously that Jessie felt the delinquents must 
be treated in an exemplary manner. So she 
called the school together and pointed out 
the wrong, and then, ruler in hand, called 
out the girls of whom the matron had com- 
plained in turn, and gave a few strokes on 
the palm to each. The caning was both an 


unaccustomed and an unpleasant task to her, 
and she was terribly afraid of hurting them. 
She noticed that the young sinners, who came 
up weeping, went away comforted, and 
realized that to them the punishment was 
very slight. With her usual readiness, after 

Lesson in Geography. 

all was over, she told them solemnly that 
this time she had only punished " to the 
point of shame "/ if it had to be done again it 
would be " to the point of pain " as well. It 
never had to be done again. 

As to the curriculum, that was slowly 
evolved. The founders of the school made 


the formation of Christian character the first 
object, and Jessie realized that that must be 
always of paramount importance. Bible 
lessons and learning to read, so that the Book 

GcRLs" School, Amov : Doing Sums. 

might be studied by each girl for herself, 
took the first place. Other lessons naturally 
followed, such as geography and history. 
Arithmetic was carried to its utmost limits, 
the older girls being led to understand the 


why and wherefore of a cube-root rule, and 
to think a problem in the comparative rates 
at which the planets revolve — a fascinating 
riddle ! Chinese girls have good heads, and 

GiHLs' School, Amoy : Washino Day. 

yet are so apt to rely on memory that 
great stress was laid on this study, so as to 
teach them to think and reason. Classes in 
very elementary astronomy, geology, and 
physiology were as great a pleasure to the 


teacher as to the taught, and the lessons 
were enlivened with quaint and ingenious 

An essay appended here shows a very 
crude attempt at composition. 

** Essay on the Earth. 

** The earth has mountains and houses and 
trees. It also has men and Bibles to look 
at. It also has water and girls' schools. It 
has birds and umbrellas and chairs to sit on. 
It has seas and churches and boats and 
clocks to see, and gardens to play in, and 
geography and organs and fields. It has 
serpents and dogs and pigs and clothes to 
wear. The earth has pomegranates and the 
earth has lamps and stoves and leaves and 
tables and streets and ducks and grass and 
graves and sheep and fruit and hymns to 
sing and potatoes. 

" Mee A." 

Jessie's genuine love for the girls never 
failed to beget love, and when any child was 
too shy to ask an interview, a tiny note was 
slipped into her hand or between the pages 
of her book, or sent up to the house by a 
small messenger. An amusing specimen, 
the only one to hand, is added. Sin-a had 
evidently been in disgrace for some es- 


capade, but was not quite sure where the 
fault lay. 

Letter to Teacher Love, the Great One 


** Lately I heard that Teacher's precious 
body was not well. Is it now better ? 

'* This foolish pupil received Teacher's 
jade-stone letter. Her heart rejoiced know- 
ing that Teacher loved as formerly her stupid 

" Teacher, you are, of course, full of wis- 
dom and knowledge, and therefore under- 
stand about every matter. I am just like a 
little bird flying in space, when suddenly a 
bad man comes and sets a trap to catch it ; 
or like a little lamb running after its mother 
to eat grass, when, all at once, a cruel dog 
bites it ; or like a cicada in a tree which 
a wicked child catches and eats. . . . Teacher, 
if this foolish one has done wrong, I hope 
you will forgive, and be graciously pleased 
to write a precious line to let this stupid one 

"This foolish one's humble hands have 
written these unsightly words : may I hope 
that Teacher's honourable eyes will stoop to 
read } 

'' SiN-A, the Fool." 

A letter from another child, when Jessie 


was at home on furlough, is just such a newsy 
one as she loved to receive. 

Letter written by '* Black Silk " when 
IN School at Amoy (hek Story is 
given ON P. 182). 

Letter to the Ko-niu we love, 

** Since you left we have already received 
three letters from you, and a photograph at 
which we may all look. These have given 
us great pleasure, and all your pupils are 

** We have been doing arithmetic from 
weights and measures up to interest. In our 
Scripture lesson we have been reviewing 
from Genesis to Malachi, especially taking 
up types of Christ. We have done geo- 
graphy and maps. We have besides had 
lessons in teaching just as you used to give 
us. Hoat-a gave a model lesson in arith- 
metic, Him-a on '' Pilgrim's Progress/' See-a 
on Character, Toan-a on Scripture, and we 
all criticized. 

'* Now I have to give you some sad news. 
Teacher Pure has lost her mother. I think 
it was plague. Nui's mother has died of 
the same disease, and also lu's father. 
Kui-a's mother has died of plague, and she 
has gone home and can't return to school. 


Plague IS very bad at E-mung-kang. At 
first we were allowed to go over on Sundays 
to help teach, but now we are forbidden, so 
we don't go. These things have made us 
very sad, but we know God must have a 
good reason for allowing them to happen. 

** As to my father, he has given up gam- 
bling, but he is not yet quite cured of the 
opium habit. The Church has suspended 
him from Communion, but they hope he may 
give up smoking and repent. I am praying 
that he may. 

** I hope you are well. We are well. The 
matron has invited me to go home with her 
these holidays, and I have been allowed to 


** Your pupil, 

'' Tiu." 

Plague is mentioned in the above letter. 
Each year it returns and carries hundreds 
of victims to the grave. The following from 
Jessie, written at a country station, gives 
some idea of what is meant by the words, 
** Plague has broken out in China": 

** Plague is raging here. In the street, 
parallel with the chapel, there have been 
eight deaths in the last day or two ; and here, 
in our own chapel street, there were two 
deaths yesterday in the house opposite, and 
one in a Christian family next door, besides 


Others in the same street. A man was here 
in the chapel yesterday morning. He went 
to help in the house opposite — the street is 
narrow enough almost to shake hands across 
— and came back feeling ill. He lay down 
in a room here and got fever and became 
unconscious. His son came and fetched 
him home in a chair — tied in, as he could not 
sit up. I hear he is a little better to-day. 
They usually either die or get better in a 
day. The rats are dying in great numbers. 
We went to see a woman in trouble as her 
son is in debt. On both sides her neighbours 
have died of plague. One girl from next 
door sent in to beg for a basin of rice. She 
had a good meal and died directly after. 
Her sister died the same day — yesterday. 
I have just opened the window, and hear 
another beginning to wail for the dead.*' 

Being very reserved about her own spiritual 
life, Jessie made no effort to probe the secrets 
of her pupil's hearts, though she had many 
earnest talks with them, and was very glad 
when they would tell her that they had 
decided to serve Christ. She preferred that 
a girl should join the Church when at home 
either during the long summer vacation or 
after leaving school. She explains her reasons 
for this : 

** I do not approve of the girls joining the 
Church when at school. It is better to let 


them be tested in their own villages first. 
It is an encouragement, too, to the country 
pastors to receive members in their own 
churches. At this Presbytery I had the sorrow 
of hearing of one of our old girls shut out 
from membership because she never went to 
church. I remember her as one of my 
favourites when I arrived, before I could 
speak much. Her name was ** Joy," and she 
was a bonny, bright girl. She was admitted 
to Church membership, but when she left 
school her home was in heathen surroundings, 
her people cold and indifferent, and so she 
gradually succumbed to worldly influences, 
bound her feet, and gave up attending church. 
She had little help, poor child! If she had 
not been admitted to the Church in Amoy, I 
can't help thinking she would not have been 
looked upon as a black sheep, and might 
have had more encouragement. At any 
rate, her falling away would not have been so 
injurious to the school and to the cause of 
educating girls. 

** I find it very difficult to get at the girls. 
They will talk or pray with ease^ but what is 
their real self it is very hard to see. One 
has to watch their lives. It is so easy for 
the Chinese to talk or write." 

She did all she could to help and encourage 

old pupils by visits and letters, and rejoiced 

greatly in their faithfulness. '^We saw a 



very bonny, healthy-looking girl who, in her 
grandfather's days, was in school, but on his 
death was removed, and now has nothing but 
heathen uncles and aunts. She has stood out 
steadily against worshipping her dead grand- 
mother, will not bind her feet, and insists on 
being married to a Christian. It is wonder- 
ful how she has kept firm in spite of jeers 
and taunts. I wish we could have her in 
school again. There is good hope of her 
marrying a preacher." 

This leads on to the subject of Jessie's 
match-making. Force of circumstances led 
her into it. In visiting the churches inland 
she would often find a good, earnest preacher 
doing all he could for the place in which he 
was stationed, but tied to a raw heathen girl 
or one who was Christian only in name, and 
in no way a '' helpmeet." Such a wife is not 
only useless for teaching the women, but is a 
positive hindrance, and Jessie took far too 
lively an interest in the churches to be able 
to look on such a state of affairs with in- 
difference. Again, when one of her brightest 
pupils was married to a very ignorant, loutish 
fellow she felt it keenly. So when any 
student applied through a friend, via the 
senior missionary, for a bride from the 
school, the opportunity to assist in the choice 
was not allowed to slip. Sometimes it was 
the mother of a girl, who begged that a 


suitable husband might be found for "Sweet- 
ness" or "Gold-needle." On such occasions 
Dr. McGregor always had to give a very 
full account of the students he had who were 
not yet engaged. Their mental and mora] 
attainments were carefully gone into, and 
the temperaments of the prospective bride 

and bridegroom, that, if possible, they might 
be so balanced as to bring about in more 
important matters that mutual accommoda- 
tion for which Mr. and Mrs. Jack Spratt 
were so noted. In speaking of this subject, 
Chinese custom in marriage must be remem- 
bered. No personal choice is ever \ 


as neither may see the other, much less 
have any conversation. A " go-between *' is 
always needed. This ** go-between *' may be 
bribed or influenced in many ways, so that 
she is not always to be relied upon. 

Jessie writes : *' B. is going regularly to 
church, and is anxious to come to the 
women's school. She told me that when 
she spoke of coming to read, her mother-in- 
law said : * All right. If you ask the ko-niu 
to get a wife for my second son, who can 
take your place here and wait on me, I am 
quite willing for you to read.' So she asked 
me to find one for her. I have, unfortunately, 
a good many such matters on hand just now. 
The father of one of our girls wishes to go 
to Formosa, and has a daughter whose future 
troubles him. He says his father is con- 
stantly advising him to sell her, and get 
capital to engage in business. ' What is 
the use of having a girl worth more than a 
hundred dollars — a big, healthy daughter of 
seventeen — if you don't sell her ?' How- 
ever, the father wishes me to take her as a 
wife for my table-boy at 60 dollars, instead 
of 120 dollars which he could easily get 
from a heathen. What do you think of the 
proposal T 

One girl, who had rapidly passed through 
school, doing very well in every subject, and 
early becoming teacher, and at last head 


teacher in the school, had an idea that she 
would like to be as Jin Ko-niu herself, and 
live the single life of bliss ! But such notions 
received no encouragement, and when a par- 
ticularly choice young preacher was wanting 
a real helpmeet this advanced young woman 
was persuaded to allow her consent to be 
given, and they were married. Not long 
after **Pure'' admitted to being very happy, 
and although it is ten years ago now, they 
are still ** very happy.'* " Pure " is managing 
to combine most successfully the duties of 
wife, mother, housekeeper, and curate. 

The following letter is from Pu-a, who 
was another such multum in parvo. She 
was a miserable little slave-girl, rescued by 
Dr. Lang from a cruel mistress, and sent to 
the Amoy school. She helped to nurse the 
children in the Home, and was later married 
to a preacher in a small town. She died, 
having caught infection nursing a plague- 
stricken woman. 

** Teacher. I am now living far from you, 
and it is hard to send letters to and fro, and 
to tell and to hear news. However, there is 
now an opportunity, and so I wish to write 
a few words, which will be like paying you 
a little visit. I hope you are strong and 

** I am at River- end, and have opened a 


little school. There are old women, girls, 
and boys studying in it — about a dozen alto- 
gether. I hope you will pray that God will 
grant His Holy Spirit's help, that I may 
know how to teach them, because, with the 
children and adults together, it is very diffi- 
cult. I beg of you to pray that I may be a 
help to them all. 

** I wonder when you will be able to come 
and visit River-end. I would so much like 
to see you again. We have bought a site, 
but have not money yet to build a church. 
Do pray that we may be able soon to build, 
and that the hearts of many may be opened 
to give. 

** I often think of you and of all your kind- 
ness. Please remember me to the children 
in the Home. 

** Pu-A writes." 

Jessie believed strongly in giving her 
pupils positions of responsibility as soon as 
possible. Often a girl, who had been grow- 
ing a little slack in her work, was braced to 
greater self-respect by having a few back- 
ward juniors handed over to her for extra 
coaching. Any improvement in these was 
noticed, and a word of praise to the young 
teacher proved, perhaps, the turning-point of 
effort for herself. 

Sixty-five of Jessie's pupils have been. 


or Still are, teachers. Over twenty are the 
wives of preachers or teachers, eight or ten 
the wives of pastors, and three are doctors. 

Eleven years by Chinese calculation, which 
is nine or ten by ours, was considered the 
best age at which to admit pupils to the 

Amoy boarding-school. The course of study 
was planned out for six years, and in the last 
two years of her course the pupil had lessons 
in the art of teaching and assisted with the 
younger classes. This normal training was 
a great help to the girls, for in the few years 


between school-days and marriage they could 
be used to meet the great demand for 
teachers, not only in the large centre schools 
at Chincheu, Changpu, and Eng-chhun, but 
sometimes also in the schools of the London 
and American Missions. 

Another important sphere for these girls 
is the country schools. Each large centre, 
such as Amoy, has several districts or 
pastorates worked from it. Jessie's ambition 
was to have a little girls' boarding-school in 
connexion with each of these. Sometimes a 
would-be pupil is too young to enter the 
Amoy school. Or, again, she or her relatives 
may be unwilling for the long journey or 
reluctant to unbind her feet. A few terms 
at one of these schools often creates a desire 
to learn more and willingness to conform to 
the rules of the big boarding-school. There 
are also women at many of these inland 
places who want to learn to read and to have 
an opportunity of being taught Bible-truth, 
and yet cannot find time or opportunity for 
a couple of terms in the Amoy women's 
school. These come for longer or shorter 
periods to the country school, and study 
under the young teacher, who has no easy 
task with such mixed ages and stages to 
manage. The pastor's wife, if she is a suit- 
able woman, acts as adviser and matron, and 
the ko-niu must pay frequent visits to in- 


spect, encourage, and counsel the girl who 
has been placed in this somewhat lonely and 
difficult sphere. References to these little 
schools are constantly found in her letters, 
and below there is an account of an examina- 
tion at one of them : 

" Bay-pay School Examination. 

** I came on to Bay-pay to-day to examine 
the girls' school. For the last fortnight we 
have had a downpour of rain ; as the heathen 
say, * Heaven has broken its bottom.' Every- 
thing is dripping and mouldy, and the roads 
are turned into pitfalls of clay and mire. 

" We had an amusing few minutes landing 
at Pechuia, where a stretch of ooze lay 
between the river and the chapel. They 
fetched me some straw mats, but the men 
went barefoot, and the mud was a good way 
over their ankles. The worst of it was that 
the mats slipped at each step over the soft 
mud, so that, in spite of two helpers and an 
umbrella, it was all I could do to cross with- 
out a fall. 

** Next morning I heard the rain drip 
again, and feared there was no prospect of 
getting on ; however, the boy had managed 
to get a chair, and it really cleared a little, so 
we started off. The row in the canal boat 
between the rice-fields was pleasant. Just 


as we were getting into it, a huge red idol 
with a black beard was being carried out of 
a temple to go the round of the boats, as 
there is a good deal of plague about, and they 
look to him to stop it. 

" Down the road a party of girls and 

women were gathering scarlet arbutus berries, 
which looked pretty among their green 
leaves. Some coolies had laid down their 
loads and were picking and eating the fruit, 
and there seemed to be a good deal of talk 
going on. Passing through the half-way 
village, many of the women, silting inside 


their doorways spinning or sewing, smiled to 
us and called out a greeting. The houses 
look comfortless, and seem to have no room 
for anything. 

Doorways Spinning, 

" By the time we reached Bay-pay the 
rain had begun to fall again ; but the women 
and girls were waiting, and I was so glad 
that 1 had come, though my dress was still 
quite damp from the soaking of the day 


before, and I could not put on my shoes at 
all, as the boy, in washing them to remove 
the thick mud, had made them wetter than 
they were before ! 

** This afternoon I have been hearing their 
lessons. They have done very well indeed. 
All can read a little, even those who only 
came a month ago. One little girl of ten 
repeated the first three chapters of the 
Gospel of John, was questioned in the life 
of Christ, and read and translated several 
chapters in character. Her copy-books were 
in both character and Roman letters, and she 
could do sums in three rules. 

** All but two, one girl and one woman, 
have unbound their feet, which has been a 
hard piece of work. Binding is a universal 
custom here. One girl is very anxious to 
come, but her father says if she unbinds he 
will either break her legs or make her do 
coolie work like a man. 

** One of the girls has five brothers, named 
respectively Iron - Beater, Pewter - Beater, 
Silver - Beater, Brass - Beater, and Rice- 
Beater. Brass-Beater became a Christian, 
and after many years of opposition his 
mother and two elder brothers have followed 
him. So the sister has unbound her feet and 
come to school. She is a bright girl, and in 
less than a month has learned to spell out 
words. I gave her and three others New 


ataments. The rest got bags with thimbles 

I needles, and all were greatly pleased." 

fLittle children were always a delight to 

gsie, and when in 1887 the missionaries 

mad it necessary to start a baby home, she 

> appointed secretary. Visits to the Home 

tore very frequent. She writes : " The 

fuldren are darlings ; such wee chatter- 

I love them dearly, and even the 

aby cries to come to ; 
■leant much care and trouble. 

llness there 
From the 
mall beginning q( half a dozen little cast- 
out girls there are now over forty at present 


in the Home. Three or four of the " chatter- 
boxes" above mentioned have now babies of 
their own, and are doing good work in their 
homes. Moa and Hoe, who are referred to 
on p. 140, are Home children. 

The women's school has been mentioned. 
In Amoy there is a solid red-brick building, 
erected as a memorial of an American lady, 
and in that is held the adult school for the 
women of all three missions. It is very 
difficult for a woman in a village — say at five 
to eight or ten miles from church — to get 
instruction. Perhaps her men - folk have 
heard the Gospel preached in the little town 
to which they have gone on regularly re- 
curring market - days, and she may have 
heard from them enough to make her long 
to hear more. They can go on Sundays to 
Church and weekly gain in knowledge, but 
her bound feet, and, still more, the bindings 
of custom, prevent her, if at all young, from 
going the long walk to service. For such as 
she the women's school is a veritable gate 
of heaven. Sometimes it is a heathen girl 
who has been from infancy engaged to some 
young man who, having lately heard the 
Gospel, wishes his wife to know something 
of it too. Besides, there are a few who are 
thought suitable for Bible-women, and these 
are trained in a longer course of study. 
Less of this work fell to Jessie's share, as 


the Americans take by far the larger part of 
the work, and it must be confessed that she 
found the obtuse country-women less con- 
genial than the bright schoolgirls. One 
short extract must, however, be given : 

** I first remember Bian-so at the women's 
school. The advanced class had just finished 
their lesson, when some one said : * Bian-so 
has prepared something to read with you, 
ko-niu.' So I sent for her and she soon 
appeared, a great, stout, rosy-cheeked young 
woman of twenty- six or so. She was very 
shy of me, and could hardly screw up courage 
to read a verse or two, but after a little we 
became great friends. Her husband was a 
preacher, but she was much opposed to the 
doctrine, and had even gone so far as to 
drag him out of the chapel one day. Her 
babies died, and she was so far softened as 
to come and read in the women's school for 
a term. She told me afterwards that she 
really understood very little that first term, 
the singing and praying were all so new 
to her. 

** When Bian-so went home, her mother 
was very angry because she had been in 
Amoy, and the neighbours would have 
nothing to say to her, and looked at her 
as if she were a * big tail of fish,' as she told 
me afterwards. Matters became so serious 
that her husband was obliged to bring her 


down to Anioy one night under cover of 
the darkness. I remember so well running 
across to the college to see her. She was 
getting supper ready in the kitchen, and a 
tremendous thunderstorm came up, with 
torrents of rain and loud peals of thunder. 
She did not seem to think of the lightning 
that blazed in at the door, as she told me 
how every one was against her. Her brother 
had tried to kill her, and her husband could 
not interfere, in case of raising a clan fight. 
Some women had managed to stop him, and 
knock the long pipe with which he was beat- 
ing her out of his hand. She seemed rather 
indignant with her husband. He is rather a 
weak man, I fear. I reminded her how badly 
she had treated him. That amused her, and 
she smiled as she said : * Yes, I did not only 
scold, I beat him well' Poor woman ! her 
knowledge of the truth was so slight to stand 
all the persecution she met. I could only 
point to the black hanging clouds, and remind 
her of how soon they would pass away and 
the sun shine again. 

" Last autumn I visited Kang-bay, a few 
houses clustered together among rice-fields. 
It was a stormy afternoon, and my chair was 
nearly blown away, so I was glad when at 
last the key of the church was forthcoming, 
and I could find shelter in the missionaries* 
little den off the meeting-room. 


" Soon the door opened, and Bian-so 
appeared, breathless from a hurried walk 
across the fields. How nice it was to see 
her, and what a good talk we had ! 

"*WelI, Bian-so/ I said at last, * do you 
remember the thunderstorm and our talk 
in the kitchen ?' 

" ' Indeed I do. It was only last night I 
was telling Ham-sian' (the woman who 
saved her from her brother and who had 
joined us) * about it. God has been good 
to me. First He took away my babies, and 
so led me to Amoy to learn about my 
Saviour. Then I did not know very much, 
and He let my mother and friends get angry 
so that I was driven back to learn more, and 
now He has made them kind to me again.' 
And she told how her mother had begged 
her to return, and how every one seemed 
pleased to see her. * When I think of Jesus 
and His love to me, it fills my throat,' she 
said ; and her eyes were full of tears as she 
spoke. Just a few months before one of the 
bitterest opponents of the * worship,' now 
she is an earnest helper." 



Jessie's first term of seven and a half years 

in Amoy was an almost unbroken record of 

splendid health. She was very careful in 

early days to do nothinj^ rash. She was 

helped in this by what she used laughingly 

to declare was her mother s parting text to 

her: *'A living dog is better than a dead 

lion." Warned of the strength of the sun, 

she was willing to use a sun-helmet and 

whitocovered umbrella. Sunset chills were 

guarded against with a little wrap. No one 

was more ready to take advice from those 

whom she knew had more experience than 

herself. When her sister came out, she 

preached to her what she herself had 

practised when she said : ** Do as people tell 

you in your first year or two, and then you 

will find out what you can stand." She 

found she could stand a great deal, and her 

long journeys in rain and sun, and fearless 

facing of hardships, were perhaps made 



possible by the care in her days of ac- 

A journey home by America had been 
planned, but the wife of a missionary being 
ordered home ill, Jessie took instead the 
ordinary route home, so as to help her and 
her children on the journey. 

What a home-coming it was! Jessie, as 
eldest sister, had always taken an immense 
pride in the doings and sayings of the 
younger ones. One notebook is labelled 
" Facts about the Children in case any 
become famous !" Many early letters be- 
moan that she will never see them again as 


they were when she left. Two happy sum- 
mers were spent all together at Swanage and 
Eydon, and in the winter a great deal of 
deputation work was done. Speaking was 
not a burden to Jessie as it is to some, 
perhaps partly because she made no speeches, 
and only told her story of the work and the 
people. Her manner was very natural, and 
her own interest so evident that listeners 
could not but feel the influence. One who 
heard her writes : **When on furlough, Miss 
Johnston was full of life and energy and con- 
tagious enthusiasm for the great cause of our 
China Mission, which she loved so much." 
In going about in the various presbyteries 
she made many friends, and was always 
interested afterwards in the churches she 
had visited. Another writes : ** My hus- 
band's friend used to say to me, ' I wish you 
knew Miss Johnston — you would like her*; 
and I did like her. No one could help it, I 
should think. She spoke at our meeting. 
She was so perfectly natural, and when she 
spoke she did not use set phrases, but made 
us feel in touch with the work at once." 

Not only at the meetings, but in talks at 
other times, her earnest purpose could not 
but be felt. *' I don't know that I have ever 
met anyone who made me want more to go 
to the foreign field," is the report of a 


On the last day of October, 1894, Jessie 
sailed again for Amoy. Some verses written 
by her young brother at this time picture her 
as those at home saw her during those days : 

** Some time ago the eldest went 
To far off lands, who, having spent 
A week of years, a number meet 
To prove her term was quite complete, 
Returned that she might serve two ends — 
Her own advantage and her friends'. 

" A ship must land to fill with coal, 
Enough to last the stoker's hole : 
So came she back from labour's sea 
To fill her store with energy. 
Altho' 'twas quite, as all remarked. 
As full as when she first embarked, 
Or fuller — hush ! — the voyage back 
Had doubtless well supplied the lack ! 
She also came to sit and let 
Her friends and all among us get 
A chance within our minds to paint 
Afresh, what time had made so faint ; 
And now we have her portrait right 
In gaudy colours new and bright. 
And in a thousand changing ways 
The canvas of our mind displays 
The chiefest object of our thought 
In pictures accurately wrought. 

" One has her pensive, almost sad ; 
Another, eminently glad. 
We see her arguing with force ; 
Up goes her hand — * That's it, of course !' 
Engraved for ever on this slab 
We have her grinning from a cab ; 


Here chased by cows through five-barred gates, 

Here seizing all the dinner-plates ; 

This, putting on her specs to see 

Which of the puddings it will be ; 

Now calling mice a pesky brood, 

Now preaching to a multitude ; 

Here sitting silent, mending socks, 

Or packing up her curio box : 

And many other living scenes 

Are pictured on our mental screens," 



Jessie arrived in Amoy, for her second term 
of service, on the morning of New Year's 
Day, 1895, and that day received calls from 
300 people. Though she had heartily en- 
joyed her furlough, she was genuinely 
delighted to be back in the midst of all the 
work and the people she loved so well. She 
was glad to note improvement in various 
places, and tells of this in the following 
letters : 

'* Eh-mung-kang. 

** We are having encouragement in 
Eh-mung-kang. Last Sunday's text was 
Ps. cxxvi. 6,* and I could not help thinking 
of the former days when Sunday after Sunday 

* "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing 
precious seed, shall doubtless come again with 
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him," 



one's heart sank at the sight of empty forms, 
while now our little room is well filled with 
regular attendants, and we are able to divide 
the women into two classes for instruction. 
They have to stand out against much opposi- 

Church Buildcngs, 

tion, and it is often a wonder to us how, with 
their little knowledge, they keep firm. One 
woman, whose son has disowned her, persists 
in coming, although she knows that on her 
return she may find her pigs sold or her fowls 


killed. She is often four or five meals with- 
out being able to cook anything, and has 
either to go without food or beg her dinner 
from a neighbour in exchange for washing 
or sewing for her. Another has met with 
death after death in the family, and all her 
neighbours tell her it is on account of her for- 

saking the idols. Still she comes regularly. 
' I can understand the words, but not the 
meaning, of what I hear,' she says. ' When 
will God make it plain to me ?' Another 
who, after months of visiting, at last was 
persuaded to venture to church, had a serious 
illness which lasted for weeks. In spite of 
the scorn of her neighbours she is coming 


twice every Sunday, and is praying for her 
brothers, one of whom has begun to come 
with her. I was showing pictures the other 
day, and was surprised at her asking very 
earnestly, * Who was that with one arm 
raised ?' It turned out to be a picture of the 
Lord speaking to Nicodemus, which I had 
passed over hurriedly, as one does not often 
show pictures of the Saviour. She was so 
anxious to know, that I told her, and asked 
why she was interested in that picture 
specially. * Because,' she answered, * the 
other night that figure came to me and told 
me not to be afraid, but to try to learn more. 
I knew at once when I saw the picture that 
it was the same.* Her husband has failed in 
business since her coming, but she is still 
bright and faithful in her attendance. 

** To us it is very strange how in Eh-mung- 
kang every one who begins to believe seems 
to meet with trouble immediately. We 
would try to make it smooth and easy for the 
new-comers, but we know it must be all right, 
though our hearts are often sore for them, and 
we wonder why they have such fires to go 
through — fires that would try the faith of 
some of the strongest of us. There is not 
one in the congregation who has not a hard 
struggle. Do pray for us and them. We 
long so for Christ's Church to be firmly 
established in Eh-mung-kang." 


No life seemed to Jessie so well worth 
living as that of a missionary, and she always 
hoped to be joined by some of the brothers 
and sisters. When, eighteen months after 
her return to Amoy, one of the younger 
sisters had written that there was a chance 
she might come out, she wrote eagerly : 
** What a girl you are ! You write that you 
are * more than willing to be a missionary,' 
and here is the chance slip, slipping. I find 
it so difficult to wait. The committee write 
me that they are looking for some one, and 
you leisurely tell me of all your doings, and 
add this sentence that sets me dancing with 
impatience. Every one asks if none of my 
sisters are coming, and I never know what 
excuse to make for you. I am envious for 
you that you should have the joy of the life 
here. There is no work to compare with it, 
in my mind." 

Later, when she heard that the doctor's 
verdict was favourable, she wrote again : 
** I have been singing songs of thankfulness 
in my heart. I am so glad for you. There 
is such a grand field here. It seems such an 
honour for us to be allowed to occupy it. 
Dear child, don't be frightened. I have 
found it so true, ' My God shall supply all 
your need.' We have such need, such wants, 
but the supply is all-sufficient. There is 
nothing like teaching for helping you in 


Bible knowledge too. . . . Good night. May 
God guide you and keep you wherever your 
lot may be cast !'' 

One of the chief events of her second term 
of work was the Women's Conference, the 
first of its kind, in South China at any rate. 
She writes of it : 

** How I wish you could have been with 
us in the Douglas Memorial Church and 
seen the place ! The screen usually dividing 
men's and women's sides of the church re- 
moved, and the crowd of eager, interested 
faces stretching from platform to door. It 
has been from beginning to end a great 

*' Last summer Miss D. begged me to try 
and arrange a gathering of our teachers for 
mutual help and encouragement. It seemed 
rather a difficult undertaking, but we kept 
the thought in mind, and in spite of a busy 
winter's work managed to make out a pro- 
gramme and talk this over with one and 
another, so that by spring our plans were 
matured enough to permit of sending invita- 
tions north, south, west and even east to the 
native mission station in Quemoy, with the 
result that over lOO delegates reached 
Kolong-su for a week of meetings, discus- 
sion and prayer. All these were the wives 
of pastors and preachers, Bible -women, 
school-teachers, etc. It has been grand/ 


At one meeting seventeen spoke, of whom 
only five were European. Each mounted to 
the pulpit and gave a five-minute speech so 
modestly and clearly that we were filled with 
wonder and thanksgiving. At another meet- 
ing twenty-eight spoke, some only a word or 
two, others at greater length, answering ques- 
tions previously allotted to them, so that 
the answers might be thought out and pre- 

'* To the Chinese it has been a revelation. 
Some wished the meetings might go on for 
ever. A few of those in charge, however, 
were very glad to see the last batch of 
delegates safely off to their homes. It is no 
light matter to arrange for mothers and 
babies and young girls travelling in China, 
especially in this hot weather." 

The growth of the work was a care as well 
as a joy. **Mr. T. came back from up-country 
and gave us an interesting account at the 
prayer-meeting. At Siong-si the preacher 
and sixteen brethren take it in turn to go out 
twice a week to preach to heathen ; as a 
consequence the chapel is crowded, seats 
have been bought and an awning erected in 
the yard, but even with that, there is still no 
room, so that they do not know how to invite 
new-comers, as there is no place for them. 
At Chinchew they said there were 600 at 
church on Sunday. There thirty-two men 


go out to preach twice a week, and now they 
are starting the plan at An-hai, and sixteen 
have given in their names as willing. At 
Chioh-sai, a new station, they could not get 
the people away at nights. They would 
listen as long as the Christians had voice to 

** Mr. T. said to me it seemed as if we had 
prayed for blessing at the New Year, and 
now it had come we could not take full 
advantage of it, greatly for want of money. 
Sites offered we had prayed for long and now 
can't buy — people ready and no place for 
them. What does the home Church mean }^* 

Success means invariably growth of ex- 
penditure. Jessie herself found that, and 
declared it '* very interesting to invest one's 
money in this way." 

To her sister in Damascus she wrote : 
" My aim is to have two Bible-women for 
each of the pastorates and one for Eh-mung- 
kang, and also to have a school in each for 
women and girls to learn to read the Bible. 
Pechuia School is now open. It is so nice 
and convenient. Bay-pay will be open next 
week, I hope. 1 1, too, is very nice, and I am 
hoping against hope to manage one at 
An-hai this year, and perhaps at Chi-be next 
year. The Bay-pay one took at least ^15 
(which I managed), and the church itself put 
out over /"s —most marvellous ! You can't 


think how wonderful it is to have the natives 
do anything for girls* education. I have 
promised to go North in a month or two to 
see about An-hai. I fear it will take another 
;^io or ;^20. I could manage it, but fear I 
shall have to go away this summer, which 
would mean extra expense. It means plan- 
ning. It's awfully interesting to be a mis- 
sionary ! Don't you think so T' 


The summer of 1898 was spent in Ku-liang, 
and was the first she had not passed in Amoy 
except when on furlough. When her next 
term was completed, she and the two Misses 
Talmage journeyed home by Egypt and 
Palestine and visited her sister in Damascus, 
who was working under the British Syrian 
Mission. To her father she writes : ** You 
say you never had any great desire to 
visit the Holy Land. I have always felt 
that too, but this visit has been a revelation, 
and made the Bible a more living book. It 
has opened it up in a way I could not have 
believed. For one thing, the Holy Land is 
so small. Although one reads of and hears 
this, only a visit can make it real. From the 
hill above Nazareth we could see the Plain 
of Esdraelon, with so many cities named in 
both Old and New Testaments — the whole 
area steeped in history, and the view ranging 
from Carmel by the sea to Hermon in the 
north, and the hills beyond the Jordan Valley 
to the east." 

113 8 


A journal was kept of this trip, and after re- 
turning to China, she showed curios and spoke 
to many of what she had seen. Small bottles 
with water from the Red Sea, Nile, Dead 
Sea, and Jordan, caused, perhaps, the greatest 
sensation, some even going the length of 
tasting a drop from each. One woman said : 

" Well, 1 always believed in Jerusalem, but 
now that you have seen it I know that it 
must be there !" With the aid of sheets and 
sundry black skirts Syrian women of various 
sects were represented by the schoolgirls at 
a women's meeting. But the effect was so 
realistic that the women were much embar- 

FURLOUGH IN 1966 i 1 5 

rassed, and were with difficulty persuaded 
that the **coat does not make the man." 

During the six or seven weeks which 
Jessie spent at Damascus she helped in 
some of the English classes in her sister's 
school, *' St PauVs." Her pupils here soon 
took a high place in her affections, and she 
kept a note of their names, and used to ask 
after many of them. She once went the 
length of saying that in appearance the 
Syrian children surpassed the Chinese! 
Thence the journey was continued through 
Switzerland home. 

Six months later, in January, 1901, she 
started for China via the United States, 
where she was to meet the Misses Talmage, 
and return with them. So the trip round 
the world was successfully accomplished, and 
became a pleasant memory. 




Her last years in China had now begun, and 
were at first full and busy as before, with 
school, visiting, and all the other routine of 
mission life. 

At her desk Jessie loved to work, writing 
letters to interest home friends, or studying 
and translating or preparing books for 
Chinese use. This was chiefly done in col- 
laboration with Miss M. Talmage, to whose 
friendship from her earliest missionary days 
she owed so much. A short, simple Life of 
Christ, an easy Catechism, a Teacher's 
Handbook, and several tracts and short 
articles, both in Chinese and English were 
their joint work. But a primer for the 
study of character by progression from the 
simpler to the more complicated characters, 
classifying each under its radical, and giving 
exercises in writing after each reading lesson, 
was the chef-cTceuvre. The pupil is carried 

on step by step, understanding the proper 



value of each character as well as its name 
and meaning, till, after mastering the three 
volumes, he is able to write letters, do 
accounts, and read the Bible and any or- 
dinary newspaper in Classical (Wenli). It has 
been adopted as a school text-book in many 
places, and the new missionaries find it a 
great help in their studies. The help of a 
Chinaman was, of course, required for this 
work, and the tutor of the Theological 
College, during vacation, was of the greatest 
assistance, and took a deep interest in the 
preparation of the book. 

Jessie's relations with her fellow-mis- 
sionaries were always of the happiest, and 
she was glad of the close fellowship enjoyed 
with the American and London missionaries. 
With the clerical and medical missionaries of 
her own mission she was on the friendliest 
terms, and felt strongly that the work of men 
and women was oney and the more each knew 
of the other's doings, and the more mutual 
consultation and arrangement there was, the 
better the work of both would progress. 

A member of another mission in Amoy 
writes of her : ** Jin was loved not only by 
her own mission, but the members of other 
missions here, both native and foreign, 
claimed her as their own. She was loved 
and known by very many, and, regardless of 
mission distinction, they went to her for 

advice and help. All with one accord hold 
her ill very high esteem. Although she was 
a very busy missionary, she always had time 
to give to every one of the very many who 
sought her counsel. Her sound judgment, 

cheerfulness, optimistic view of things, keen 
sense of humour, courtesy, kindness and un- 
usual intelligence, made friends for her every- 
where. Her knowledge of and ability] to 
speak the Chinese language were above the 


average. These qualifications, added to the 
greatest of all — her whole-hearted trust in 
God and in His promises — made her a model 

Another writes : ** I am sending you my 
last circular letter, as I know you will be 
interested in the start of female education in 
this corner of our province. How genuinely 
pleased our dear friend Jin Ko-niu would 
have been in this development ! Humble 
beginnings for her were always full of hope, 
for she seemed to see a beautiful flower 
where others could only discern a tiny and, 
perhaps, unsightly bud. This I have ex- 
perienced again and again in telling her of 
some of my experiences in the country and 
in hearing her tell of hers." 

Another : " How the women and girls 
loved her ! Long will she be spoken of 
with esteem and affection through the 
valleys and hills in the wide region about 
Amoy. And we, who had the privilege of 
coming in contact with her bright and 
attractive personality, were helped and 
cheered time and again." 

Attacks of dengue fever and pleurisy broke 
into these days of work, and the unusual 
experience of being an invalid was felt. It 
was long before she yielded to the pains that 
seemed to grip her and were an indication of 
deep-seated trouble; and when movement was 


torture, she still tried to overcome the growing 
stiffness with calisthenic exercises. 

The day came when going about was no 
longer possible, and the doctor ordered her 
back to Europe, hoping that a winter on 
the Mediterranean would restore health. 
Another opinion was taken before leaving, 
and it was decided to return home direct. 

So, lovingly and skilfully nursed by a 
fellow-missionary, Jessie arrived in England, 
and was taken to see a London specialist. 
His verdict was that nothing could be done. 
He was rather taken aback by her bright 
smile and cordial ** Oh, thank you !'' 

It was on a brilliant day in March, 1904, 
that Jessie was brought to St. Leonard's on a 
stretcher, and laid in the sunny room where 
she was to spend so many weeks. She was 
so glad to be at home, and full of the pleasure 
of seeing father, mother, brothers, and sisters, 
and full, too, of the bright hope which had 
been given her by the doctors of a short, 
speedy journey to the better Home above. 

In seeing friends, writing and receiving 
letters, planning presents, and reading books, 
the better days passed quickly. There were 
other days when there was much weariness 
and weakness, with fever and a longing to be 
able to move even a little in the bed ; and the 
journey that was to be only a few short 
months stretched into years instead, and the 


gates of Heaven, so often nearly reached, 
seemed closed. They opened to others as 
she lay waiting, and she saw fellow-mission- 
aries, Chinese friends, and even the father 
who had been chaplain as well, all enter first. 

Yet it was wonderful how bright and 
merry she was. All family jokes were re- 
tailed in her room, and when three or four of 
the family all came up together, there was 
plenty of chaff and fun and laughter. Such 
expressions as ** sick-room" and ** sufferer*' 
she repudiated, and much preferred the 
thought that she was a soldier called from 
the fighting-line to act as sentinel. **When 
you see me turn coward," she said, " remind 
me that I am a soldier." When one and 
another passed her and entered the *' Pearly 
Gates," she said, " I seem to be shunted to a 
side-line when close to the terminus, to let 
the expresses go by." She sometimes said, 
** I am glad in God's will ; I don't like the 
idea of just submitting." 

At times when she had freer use of her 
arms she loved to work, and many little 
knitted and crocheted things were made for 
friends, both white and yellow. She had 
always been so busy and active that her 
happiest hours were when she was doing 
some useful work. She wrote some articles 
for the mission magazines, and once or twice 
for the Chinese paper in Amoy. One night 


whrn sh(* h:id not slept, she made a rhyme 
In Cliiiu\s(! on teaching. They seem to 
enjoy rhymed exhortations, and the old 
si hooloirls were pleased to get this message 
from (Mie they loved so well 

1I(T thoughts were much out in Amoy, 
and sh(* ** rejoiced greatly" when she heard 
of h(T i^irls "walking in truth." The news 
of th(» R(! in the schools made her very 
i^lad, and she* praised and prayed the more. 
\V(! ()ft(*n saw her lying with her hands 
IoKUhI. and knew she was bringing definite 
cases to the Lord for help and healing. 

It was ai^ain a sunny March day when, on 
l\ilni Sunday, the beautiful gates were sud- 
denly lluni:^ wid(i open, and Jessie was ** at 
I loine with the Lord.'' 

Sin- had felt latterly that the Heavenly 
r^ither's plan for her might be recovery and 
n^turn to China, and she had been so glad 
about it. Hut on a day lately when pain and 
weakness had been much felt, she began to 
wonder if she were mistaken. We said we 
could not tell, and she only answered cheerily, 
" Well, either way is all right." 


J. M. J. 
1 904- 1 907 


Most of the following were written to her 
great friend, Miss M. Talmage. 

On her voyage home : 

'^ February (iy 1904. — Here I am in my bunk, 
most comfortable, with the electric fan going 
and M. getting things out of the top berth, 
which is our cupboard. With the exception 
of a wretched five or ten minutes getting to 
the cabin here, we have had an easy time. 
I am feeling stronger already. M. is so 
good about everything. This bunk, which 
I feared would not be nice, is really the 
best I could have, out of the draught and 
with the hard mattress, which does not 

''February 9. — Do you know, we have 
discovered the reason why it was such a 
business to get into this cabin and bunk. 
It is the best place for me in the ship. The 
air blows fresh and cool over me without any 
draught and keeps the cabin so nice. I 



could not think why the pain in getting in 
was permitted, so that I had to be bundled 
here, and behold ! it was the plan for making 
me take this bunk, which is far the best. 
Every one is so kind. The steward and I 
are great friends. When I apologized for 
troubling him, he said, * I always have time 
ior y oil !' I tell the details to show how well 
off I am. I am able to turn about and feel 
hungry. I hope to try to get out soon." 

'^February 25. — We are in the canal, and 
hope to reach Port Said to-night. How it 
brings up our escapades of 1900! Hadn't 
we a good time ! . . . We have had twenty- 
three days of the most lovely weather. I get 
letters from home at every port. Mother is 
ready to meet me anywhere. I have Amoy 
* mail ' every day." (Friends had prepared 
surprise envelopes, with photos, letters, etc., 
to be opened on the voyage.) 

** Naples, February 29. — We had a bad 
roll on yesterday, not enough to be un- 
comfortable, but we could not read or write 
very easily. ... I can't write letters, but 
how I could talk ! . . . I have not got up 
at all since coming on board. I have not 
once sat up. So long as I lie propped with 
pillows I am all right:" 

** March 8. — Really nearinghome, and port 
open and sea steady. There has been a 
good deal of motion in the second class, but 


here I have not suffered at all. ... M. is 
packing in a grand confusion on the floor." 

After hearing the specialist's opinion she 
wrote : 

''March 15, 1904. — I could not write you 
by last mail after seeing the doctor. Father 
said he was writing to Mrs. T., and neither 
M. nor I felt we could do more than let you 
hear through her. You would guess what 
the doctor's verdict was when you heard we 
came down here straight away. It is almost 
all on your account that I feel sad. For my- 
self, it seems something too wonderful, to be 
really called for and wanted by our Master. 
It is only a little while at best. . . . 

** We were cared for so all the voyage, and 
I have so long known what it is to trust God, 
that there is no question of fear or un- 
certainty. We know^ don't we ? 

" What jolly times we have had ! What 
happy lives in China! and soon it will be 
grand to be together in the Fathers Home 
above. ... I have been reading so often 

"*God broke our years to hours and days, 
That hour by hour, and day by day, 
Just going on a little way, we might be able all along 
To feel quite strong/ etc. 

— the lines which I copied out for you. I am 
very cosy here in L.*s room with such a 
wealth of flowers. It is lovely having M. 
here and her father. He brought me such 


lovely violets and primroses this morning. 
I must not write more. Think of the after- 
wards !" 

Miss L., a fellow- missionary, wrote to the 
same friend : 

''March 17, 1904. — I have been to see 
Jin. . . . She is so bright, so like herself, 
that it is almost impossible to realize that she 
will never be about again. She is so bright 
that it helps them all to be bright. ... Jin 
said, * Oh ! I am so happy !* and she looked 
it, too. Her eyes fairly jumped for joy. 
She said, ' I have had the best of it all 
along !' " 

Another friend, a member of Committee, 
wrote : 

''April I, 1904. — I promised Jessie John- 
ston when I saw her a few days ago that I 
would write to you, or, rather, I asked her if 
she thought I might, and she did. So I 
want to tell you about my little visit to her 
at St. Leonard's. I was in lodgings just 
opposite from Thursday to Monday, and on 
Friday morning I sat for about an hour with 
her. She looked so like her dear bright self, 
and her face was beaming with joy. As she 
was in comparative comfort and had had a 
good night, she was able to speak of many of 
her Amoy interests, and told me all about 
the new members at Eh-mung-kang. . . . 
I feel as though I had been to the land of 


Beulah or the Delectable Mountains. It is 
so beautiful to see her made ready to rejoice 
in His Will — not only to bear it. . . . You 
know more than I can tell you what our 
mission will be in Amoy without her, but her 
influence will long live and continue to speed 
the King^s service through her pupils, and 
friends and prayers laid up." 

Jessie writes on April 20 : 

** Such a lovely morning. The window is 
wide open, and just a wee fire in the grate. 
I wish you could see the daffodils, moss and 
wild flowers on the bamboo table beside 
me. ... I am sending some stockings to 
the preachers and material to the pastors' 
wives, also to Bi so and Sia Sian-si-niu, and 
hope they will like it. . . . L. had to leave 
the room because she and I got laughing 
over her efforts to get my pillow right. It is 
very awkward not to be able to laugh 
properly !" 

^\' April 27. — I just love to look at the 
photo of the Kang-thau road. What jolly 
times we have had there ! 

**They thought I should be here three 
months after arriving in March, but I am 
very much better since then, so one can't say 
at all. I am wearying to go, though one 
could not have a happier sickness — only dis- 
comfort, no pain, good sleep, tempting food, 
lots of lively times with. L. and the boys and 



Others. It is the old refrain — * goodness 
and mercy ' all the way. And we have an 
eternity together to look forward to. . . . 
The news has come of Dr. H.'s passing — just 
the date he gave me. Strange he should go 
before me after all, and here am I really 
better in some ways." 

" May 25. — Yesterday some of the family 
and a cousin came to my room, and we 
played quartettes of proverbs. You should 
have heard the shouts of laughter. You 
would have thought there was not much 
illness in that quarter!*' 

'\fuly 29. — Sometimes, not often, I wake 
up thinking, ' Oh dear ! another long day of 
waiting,' and a word of prayer and the tired 
feeling goes, and the early post brings a 
letter, or something turns up to pass the 
time. . . . 

" Yesterday the boxes came from China. 
L. had a grand time, and brought tray-loads 
for me to see. We felt quite blue over the 
unpacking. It seemed a sort of break with 
China and our dear Amoy home. It is far 
easier for me than were I able to be about 
and yet not go back. As it is, I have a fine 

^' June 9. — Dear me ! I am so interrupted. 
I have had a gay, giddy week. Last Satur- 
day a nice long call from Miss B. I much 
enjoyed the talk. Monday, two local visitors; 


Tuesday, two more ; Wednesday, another, 
and two young girls to play the violin ; and 
to-day our President and another lady. 
Fancy ! I had fourteen China letters on 
Sunday. I just had a glorious day, revelling 
in them. God does give me perfect peace. 
He is always so good to me, and I know 
you won't sorrow overmuch, for it is only a 
little while, and He will be seeing us both all 
the time. ... I like to hear all the news. 
L. and I just shouted over Miss K.'s class ! 
It is capital. 

" You may be pretty sure I am having a 
good time whenever your thoughts travel 
this way, and I know that is all the time. 
I'll be reading, or sleeping, or lying thinking 
and watching the sun on the flowers, or 
chatting or laughing with L. or the 
boys. ..." 

'^August 3, 1904. — Amn't I staying on 
and on } I shall be very eager to hear why 
all this delay. But what blessings, what 
comforts I have! It is indeed true, 'As thy 
days, so shall thy strength be.' There is 
always help ready for the asking. ... We 
are a lively party — fancy five sisters at home 
together ! . . . I am as interested in every- 
thing as ever. To-day last year I took 
* koniu le-pai ' . . ." (see p. 40). 

^^ September 30, 1904. — On Sunday we 

thought the call had come. I was so breath 


132 ji\ A'ox/r 

less. It did not hurt at all, and it seemed 
such an easy, pleasant way of going, but with 
remedies the attack passed off. I am indeed 
led through green pastures and quiet resting- 
places. ... I am ver\' earthly. I do enjoy 
fun and business so much, and can't bear to 
voice the deep feelings and thoughts to out- 
siders. I never say things to people like 
you read of in memoirs, and it would be verj^ 
difficult to lie and mope. It is much more 
natural and easy for me to enjoy life. I feel 
very like that hymn * Waiting/ If it is to 
work God calls, then it is lovely ; but if to 
wait, why, then it must be all right. There 
is a limit to all waiting and suffering — a 
glorious time ahead. What does the ' little 
while ' matter ? and if by it we can in any 
way glorify God, why, it is just too good. 
' His will can only mean the choicest good 
for me.' But then everything is made so 
easy for me. It is hardly fair to speak of 
suffering. Aren't you proving it true, ' My 
God shall supply a//'? I am." 

" October 14. — Oh, it seemed such an age 
since a mail, and when, on the 8th, none 
came, I began to despair. Then Sunday — 
hurrah ! — six letters, and behold, on Monday, 
over twenty letters to your wondering and 
gloriously delighted friend Jin. You can 
imagine how I revelled in them ; and coming 
when M. was here we could talk and discuss 


to our hearts content. We had a lovely 
time. . . . The boys gave me a lovely 
huge fern, which stands on a pedestal in my 

** November 9. — I am kept in perfect peace 
and comfort all through. When I am worse 
there is the great joy of feeling I may enter 
in at any moment the gates of the City, and 
when better, I can enjoy the good things of 
life. You need never be sad for me. Do 
you like this } I think you will. 

" This life doth but our life begin, 
Is but outside the porch of the abode, 
And death the going home, the entering in. 
The stepping forth on the wide world of God." 

*' November 28. — Such a lovely sunny 
morning. My natural woman would just 
love to be trotting along with you down to 
Sin-lo-thau jetty for a day at Kang-thau. 
Would it not be more than lovely ! Well, it 
is nice to have many such days to look back 
upon. This is M.'s last day in England. . . . 
I sometimes just long to be in the rush of 
Amoy life again and at Sa-loh ! . . . This is 
just a lovely home to be ill in — every one so 
kind and cheerful, and everything I want to 
be had for the asking. In the evenings they 
all come and read aloud and sew. It is most 
cheerful. ..." 

''November 29. — This day last year I had 


my last lovely Sunday at Sa-loh. How well 
I remember it ! On Saturday we took 
* Home * photos and called on the B s., etc. 
I had a jolly little lunch with Mrs. T.,and in 
the evening we three and Mrs. M. sat in the 
back veranda. What a comfort we did not 
know it was the last time ! How it would 
have spoilt it all !" 

^'December 2. — It will be a year on the 
1 8th since I went to bed with these spasms. 
How little we thought I would know so much 
about lying in bed ! I'm getting quite a lazy 
thing. I do nothing but read and sleep and 
eat. I like an active life better !" 

'' December 2t, 1904. — I'm having such a 
lovely Christmas ! You should see my room 
all decorated with holly and ivy and beautiful 
chrysanthemums and lily- of- the- valley. To- 
day a big box of bright-red-berried holly 
came from Ireland. Everyone is so mindful. 
The heaps of cards and flowers and presents 
that have been coming in these days is 
marvellous, and I am so well to-day to enjoy 
it all. After tea all the family are coming to 
my room, and we are to have a huge bran-pie. 
There has not been such a big home-party 
for many years. Father is all right again 
and enjoying everything." 

''January 23, 1905. — For years, ever since 
I was ten or twelve years old, I have prayed 
almost daily, * Lord, prepare me for what 


Thou art preparing for me.' It was in one 
of Miss Havergal's little books for children. 
I thought it would be nice for the Chinese, 
and amused myself translating it. It could 
probably be better done, but I send it for 
what it is worth. ... I pray daily, many 
times a day, for Mr. Campbell Browns 
meetings, and have spoken to others." 

''February 8. — What do you think Vm 
doing these days ? Yesterday I was so busy 
I could not write a line. All day I was 
knitting gloves for you ! There is love in 
every stitch, and I am so enjoying it. It is 
such easy, pleasant work, and does not tire 
the eyes, but the fingers are fikie, and take a 
lot of time. You would laugh to see me and 
my knitting — I laugh myself. . . . These 
are nice white wool gloves — so warm, and fit 
me nicely. I am measuring the fingers by 
my own. ... I enjoy puzzling out patterns 
and doing things — what pleasure there is in 
the world ! — and never having done such 
things, it is the more new and interesting. 

** Today I am worrying L. to start a 
' Baby Roll ' for the mission.* I am offering 
to start the certificates and booklets if the 
committee approve. ... I had a little 

The Baby Band was started at the Synod of 1905, 
and Jessie greatly rejoiced in each addition to the roll, 
and all the little members were remembered by her 
in prayer. 


malaria last week ; was so glad I had written 

''February 22. — I am tired these days. . . . 
I count it a good night when I get to sleep 
before three. I am quite comfortable, and 
find the time pass easily even when it goes 
on to five o'clock ; then I nearly always get 
an hour or two. Oh, I have so much to be 
thankful for ! Isn't prayer a boon i^" 

''February 24. — I've finished your gloves! 
. . . Doesn't it seem queer I can't be out 
there, where there is so much to do ? Some- 
times I would give the world to go back and 
work! And then I think. How foolish! 
Surely God keeps watch above His own, 
and will arrange all right for His work. . . ." 

"March 10. — I thought I should not get a 
line written this week, but am better to-day. 
On Monday I had malaria, and on Wednes- 
day fever and pains, but so joyful in my 
soul. ... It was such a comfort, when I 
knew any moment I might go, to feel no 
fear, no doubt — ^just such joy. It was good 
of God to let me have the foretaste, and I 
am glad to have you know. God will be 
sure to be near, and physical pain is nothing 
when the heart is at peace. . . . The doctor 
says only the girls* good nursing has kept 
me — the least roughness would be fatal — so 
I am giving them each certificates : ^ I have 
been kept from glory for many months by the 


care of this excellent woman ^ and */ have 
been enabled, to crochet many egg- cosies and 
bedroom slippers by the attentions of this 
estimable nurse /' Does this read frivolous ? 
I don't mean it so, but the funny side always 
comes up. It always has done, and I quite 
feel there will be fun and humour in heaven, 
else why is the gift allowed ? It helps us 
here a great deal. We have lots of laughing 
and fun. This is all about me'' 

''March 15. — I am longing to know about 
the meetings. What a business all the pre- 
paration must have been! It was splendid 
to get the women down, and I do hope you 
had a real stirring of ' dry bones.' Oh, how 
I should have loved to be there! Tm glad 
I was not so sleepy then, for I could pray for 
you night and day. I can move myself very 
slightly by putting my hands underneath. It 
is a great relief, and partly due to my being 
so thin and light. . . . Please congratulate 
Ti S. S. on the new church. I should like to 
see it. May it bring gladness to many who live 
in darkness, and quicken all the members ! . . ." 

''March 23. — It is just a line I can send. 
I'm so tired, but you understand. These lines 
have been rhyming in my head since Sunday, 
from an old Scotch version of Ps. xxiii. : 

" * Yer sel is nar me, 
Yer staff and yer stock 
Haud me aye cheery.' 


** Do you remember my saying, *To die I 
could stand, and to get well and come back, 
but not to be an invalid ' ? and how you 
said, * Yes, Jin, you could be happy that way, 
too?' I felt grateful at the time, because I 
knew you were right, and I should not have 
said it ; and it is true. It is just wonderful 
how full of peace and happiness one can be 
in circumstances one naturally would most 
go against ; and I am so surrounded with 
love and comfort/ 

''March 28. — I am more than rejoiced 
to hear of the meetings, and am so grateful 
to you all for letting us know about them. 
I do appreciate your taking time to write. I 
am in great hopes of getting ' Home * this 
month. Don't think I am the least whit less 
interested in every bit of news. I just 
devour the letters ! My heart all the time 
sings, * God is good !' " 

''May 18. — I had such a nice long call 
from Miss C. W., and we had great fun 
telling about Foochow, and of her arrival in 
Amoy with the eleven, and how we pre- 
pared tea for them at Sa-loh, and only one 
turned up ! Do you remember it } I have 
been reading Gordon's book on Prayer, and 
much like it. I, too, have wondered if God 
were calling me to pray more. It is a great 
joy to join you in this little bit of work left." 

"May 25. — I have just been gloating over 


the school photos. I keep them by my bed- 
side, and don't think a day passes but 1 have 
them out to ponder. The school marching 

Schoolgirls Marching, 

and turning their backs, with the dog, is 
capital — so natural and so quaint — and the 
classes are just delightful. . . . Changes in 

I40 JII^~K0-NIU 

the children's Home or school — all — any 
news is most interesting." 

"■June 23. — How very nice Moa's photo 
(and the baby) is, and Hoey's ! I just feast 

my eyes on them. Moa's face is so exceed- 
ingly nice, and she is so tastefully dressed. 
Dr. M. (Moderator oF Synod) has been here ; 
it was his first free time. Wasn't it good of 
him to come? He had an arm-chair, and 


spent an hour or two before and an hour 
or two after dinner, and we talked the whole 
time ! He is going to China in November. 
How nice the Prayer Calendars are!'' 

^' July 5. — I may not be able to write 
to-morrow, as this week I have had another 
turn of malaria, so I want to make sure of a 
letter, while I am a'little better, this afternoon. 
I am sending you some magazines. You 
see I have been busy, though most were 
written a month or so ago. I hope the 
Tek-chhiu Kha account is correct. Do you 
remember that day, and what a good time 
we had at Phoa-bo T 

A friend mentioned having made some 
extracts from her letters to send to mutual 
friends, and that others, strangers to her, had 
been helped and encouraged by them. 

In answer, Jessie wrote : 

**What do you find to 'extract' in my 
letters."^ It appals me! I am but a worm 
of the dust, if you only knew. When these 
people get to heaven, and say, * Where is 
Miss Johnston on her throne ?* think how I 
shall feel when they are pointed out a low 
footstool ! You will get such a shock to see 
the real me in heaven — such y/rong motives, 
and omissions; and careless performance. 
But, indeed, it is only the words of Christ, 
* Whosoever cometh,' and such, that are one's 
comfort and rest.*' 


^' July 17. — Yes, indeed, I will pray for . . . 
as I do for all your work. Lately I have 
been praying that God will thrust forth 
labourers. They seem so slow in answering 
the call. I like that verse so much : 

" * One who was known in storms to sail 
I have on board ; 
Above the raging of the gale 
I hear my Lord/ 

How that knowledge keeps one at rest !" 
''July 18.— 

" A cloudy day 
And an irritable J. {that's me /). 

The school examination papers you sent 
created great fun/' 

^'July 20. — Well, I have had a day ! A 
visit from Mrs. W. How we talked! I 
enjoyed it very much, hearing about every- 
thing. She has just left, and the time passed 
very quickly. . . . The other night when I 
could not sleep I made a Ka-oh Sian-si Koa 
(school-teachers hymn), which you will find 
enclosed. I wonder what you will think of 
it. I thought it might be printed at the end 
of our Ka-hoat (lessons on teaching) when 
we have a new edition, or as a leaflet to give 
to the girls who go out as teachers — that is, 
if you think it of any use. ... I am so 
glad about the women's meetings. Mrs. W. 
made me hungry for the old active life." 

'^ July 29. — To-day brings the school 


plans. I like them very much. I had 
hardly any sleep last night with thinking 
of the school up till nearly 6 a.m. My 
meditation this morning was on * Commit 
thy way ' and * Rest in the Lord.' What a 
lot I have yet to learn ! I get so worked up 
over things. No wonder I am still here !" 

(A new girls' school had to be built in 
Amoy, and Jessie's great ambition was to 
have a good building, as there had been 
much overcrowding. She felt, too, that the 
supply of teachers greatly depended on Amoy 
being efficiently equipped. But the Com- 
mittee could not grant more than ;^500. 
Some relatives and friends, hearing of this, 
collected nearly another ^^500. This kind- 
ness greatly touched and delighted Jessie.) 

''August 2. — Amy's sister writes that she 
is very near the Border ; they cannot hope 
to have her long ; but she has no pain. 
Doesn't it seem strange to think that when 
you were helping me a year and eight months 
ago she was well and strong, looking forward 
to her furlough } , . . There is such need 
of workers. What can we do but pray ? 
Christians seem deaf to the glorious call to 
work in China. Can you understand it ^ 
But * what is it to the Lord to save by many 
or by few T He will surely be doubly near 
in this time of stress." 

^'August lo. — I was much interested in 


Children's Home news. Do you like the 
giving away of children whom we have long 
cared for? I don't a bit. Look what a 
splendid lot the older ones have turned out. 
Is not An-a very young to begin trousseau- 
making ? I thought we were to keep them 
till twenty. She will need all the help she 
can get in the wilds of the South ! Will you 
be very careful of Un-tian ? How I love 
writing to you about them all. Amy will 
likely get to heaven before me. I have less 
pain just now. It makes me long to be at 
work — oh ! just long for it. I'm glad you will 
have Hoey in school another year. The 
photos of the thirteen were very good. I 
knew almost all. What a big girl Sui-soat 
is ! Khun-a looks so nice. I thank you for 
telling me about the women at the Home." 

** September 7. — There are so many, many 
faults to fight still. . . . You will pray that 
I may be brave and bright, a help, not a 
hindrance. I know you do. I am sorry I 
wrote you about the worrying over the school 
plans. It is over now. God will surely 
arrange that we have a nice school building." 

** September 20. — Oh, the photos are 
lovely ! I'm just awfully pleased with them. 
How good to send them for my birthday! 
Chhin-a's and Bo-gi s came first ... we just 
pored over them. Hoai-tek has made such 
a fierce face, but Chhin-a is her own dear 


sensible self, and the children are very nice. 
They never take as they should do. those 
twins, but it is very like them. I like the 
wee boy. Will you tell them when you see 
them how pleased I am to have the group ? 
They are a fine family," 

" October 4. — Father has been very ill. 
He is just twice my age, and we both have 
' wonderful rallying powers,' according to the 
doctors !" 

"October 5. — J. and M. came last night. 
Father wanted them, but he is much better 
again. I don't know when 1 'II go. As 


father is much better, J. goes back to-night. 
I do so wish I could help. All I can do is 
to be as little bother as possible. I had such 
a lot of birthday letters. Such a big mail, 
and just right, for the Suez Canal will be 
blocked till the 8th." 

*' October 8. — Father seems better to day. 
He and I may go any time, or he may rally 
and get quite strong again. A fortnight ago 
he was playing croquet and so well." 

''October i6. — Father has gone 'Home.' 
He left us last night very peacefully. . . . 
Yesterday he was very weak, though with- 
out much pain. There was a consulting 
physician, and both he and R. seemed to 
think it was serious yesterday, and last night 
he slipped quietly Home. I was awake all 
night, but heard no sound. The last time I 
saw father he was so cheery, and gave me my 
text, our favourite, his and mine, * Surely 
goodness and mercy,' etc., and he is already 
in the * House of the Lord.' Your Jin is a 
laggard. Every one gets before her." 

''October 19. — I have been very drowsy 
these days and could not write. . . . Every 
one is so kind. Father left such a dear letter 
to us all. I expect he will have so many 
round him 111 hardly get in a word ! Oh, 
the brightness of the joy ! the goodness 
and kindness of our Lord ! They had the 
'tie funeral service downstairs to-day, and 


again I had all peace reading about the 
* crossing ' in * Pilgrim's Progress ' — some 
*wept' and some 'shouted for joy/ It 
seemed so near and real. How I longed to 
hear the call !" 

** October 26. — Your Jin is often impatient 
as one and another passes her and casts 
anchor. A. we only heard of this morning, 
and she was so well and strong long after I 
came home. I wonder why I am left. It is 
a strain on my friends . . . but it is all well. 
Dr. M, took the service at father's grave ; 
was it not nice ? J. said it was a lovely 
evening, and such a quiet spot, and a robin 
came and sang on a tree close by. There 
have been notices in all the papers, some 
such nice ones, but no one can tell what he 
accomplished in his long, full life. One 
sentence in his letter struck me forcibly : 
' Let each seek personal perfection, but do 
not fret if you do not find it in one another.'" 

''November 2 " (written when very ill). — 
** Just a line. Td like to make comments on 
your letter, but I can't see. . . . My eyes 
will close with lead weights, so I will stop 
and think for a while. . . . God is a God 
of great kindness. I love to think of father 
with Him Whom his *soul loveth,' and we'll 
soon be there too. I'm better for a while." 

** December 6. — I have been so tired lately. 

I lay with my eyes shut nearly all day and 

10 — 2 


night. It was too tiring to open them. I 
thought I was Home. Now I am off on 
another tack — long or short, I know not. 
When the doctors say, ' pulse no weaker,' 
and I feel the strength coming back, then I 
pray to be brave. When I am lying tired I 
think of old China tales, and L. sometimes 
writes them for me. It is all I can do, and 

About this time she was longing to go, but, 
speaking of it, said : ** I don't think you quite 
understand — if a hundred gates were open 
into heaven, and all the sentinels asleep, I 
would not go one moment before the Master 
calls me." 

''December lo. — The Master's peace is 
unfailing. . . . Soon . . . oh, won't it be 
grand! *A little while — only a little while* 
— and then always with the Master ! I don't 
know when I shall go, but it will be the right 

''December 29." — Her sister wrote: *' Jessie 
was very well for Christmas. If it had not 
been for her, we would have made little of it 
this year, but she has taken great interest in 
buying us all presents and making * high- 
class poetry'! When she woke I helped 
her to make up her parcels and write out her 
rhymes. We were all ready by dinner-time, 
and J. had arrived, so we were a big party. 
Quantities of flowers had been sent. to Jessie, 


SO she had quite a garden. After dinner the 
tub was filled with presents and * poems.' 
Jessie always loves to have some sweets to 
hand to her visitors. We had made some 
fun of this ; and R.'s present was a big box 
of candied fruit, with the inscription : 

" * You talked to me the other night 

About the joys of giving, 
And told me that to give aright 

Made life well worth the living. 
I chuckled to myself with glee, 

And thought of bliss that comes 
From giving such a one a box 

Of candied sugar-plums !' 

'' The night-nurse is a great comfort, and 
Jessie finds her so, though she mourns over 
her as a life-prolonger ! All through the fun 
the thought of last Christmas has never been 
away. What do people do who believe in 
purgatory? * In His presence is fullness of 
joy ' is such a different thing." 

Jessie herself wrote later : 

** Christmas has come and gone. It was 
a very happy one. ... I thought — we all 
did — of father last year . . . and this year in 
the Glory-land, with the Father of all and 
Christ his Saviour ! What a change ! How 
could we be sad } And it is such a little 
while till we all are there, too ! . . . Thank 
you for the photo of your room. How 
natural it is! How I would like — like is not 
the word — to be in that ^ rocker M" 


''January i8, 1906. — IVe been so excited 
over the elections. It was touch-and-go to 
the end ; and I am so divided on the cause 
and on the parties here that it is harrow- 
ing. . . . What joy and gratitude I have 
about the Bay-pay Conference ! Do thank 
M. for telling me the names of all the women. 
How I rejoiced and gave thanks ! Of course 
there are rocks ahead and disappointments, 
and Satan will be working hard. I am pray- 
ing chiefly now lest he work discourage- 
ment and faction, but thanksgiving is the 
keynote. ... I have written a Chinese 
letter, which L. is sending. We thought it 
might be printed. ... It may not be worth 
it ; if not, don't have it done. I just thought 
it might be a reminder to some old school- 
girls, and so a little help to them." 

Her friend had five hundred copies printed 
and distributed among her many Chinese 
friends, and reported how very greatly they 
were enjoyed by them. 

''March 14. — Oh, I've been dissipating 
at a great rate ! Last week the chimney- 
sweep. I did enjoy him ! — an honest British 
workman. All the things taken out of my 
room, and me under a dust-sheet ! Then, 
this week, Aunt C. and Miss R. (a friend 
from China). We talked hours ! Yester- 
day she sat for an hour or so, and then, 
in the afternoon, I had the dentist. What 


do you think of that? R. and he lifted 
the bed near the window, and I saw out 
and he saw in, and stopped quite a big hole 
— nerve exposed and all ! I quite enjoyed 
the novelty! What am I made of ? Some- 
thing pretty indestructible, I think — some 
fabric that won't wear out! To-night J. is 
down, and is to have a magic-lantern show 
in. my room.'' 

''April 7. — There is one Rock on which I 
lean, sure and steadfast : * Him that cometh 
unto Me, I will in no wise cast out/ If it 
were not for Christ's words to the most 
graceless — the most unworthy — I would be 
desperate. But I can trust Him. I some- 
times think I haven't done one thing right ; 
but, then, that is mistrust. He knows and 
understands the bungling. No, I can rest 
quiet and leave it all ! . . . The Master 
appoints our places, and He sees best." 

" May 3. — You were brought so near 
when C. came. My heart ached to be with 
you all again, teaching and helping. It was 
almost more than I could bear ; the * Why }' 
of it all came very near the surface . . . 
but it is restful to turn to the other side 
and know that the * far better ' will soon 
be mine ; meanwhile it is a joy to do His 
will — to know He can trust us to suffer 
without knowing the reason^ as some one 
put it. We know in Whom we tru 


soon we'll be over there, * for ever with the 
Lord/ " 

''May ID. — We both know the peace of 
leaving things with ' our Father.'. . . It is 
true my three crosses are gone : for the first, 
'troubling my friends,' they won't seem to 
hear of; and the second, * being out of 
things' — I really am * in ' everything most 
wonderfully, thanks to letters keeping me in 
touch with all; and the third, * physical 
suffering,' gone, too, only tired. ... I am 
so glad about your school enlargement. It 
is capital." 

''May 14. — You should see my table! A 
huge vase of lilacs and a rose-bush growing 
with six buds opening. In the middle a 
most exquisite pink carnation and pale-yellow 
tulips. Then there is my book corner, a 
vase for pencils, knife, etc , an upright stand 
for letters to answer. . . . Behind all is the 
big screen of pictures and photos. . . . You 
are not praying for me to get well "i Please 
don't ! . . . Oh, how glad I was about your 
school revival, and Hoey and Loan leading ! 
It is just splendid ! I am so glad !" 

"May 22. — I was almost *Home' last week. 
Heaven seems near — near! — and the gates 
swing open only to close again for a little 
while. I am getting accustomed now to one 
and another passing in first, but I do not 
think the Master is going to call me to stay 


much longer. ... I do love to look at the 
photos, but I am so tired these days, and 
often can't look at all. ... I wonder if you 
could remember, when convenient, a dear 
little Chin-a in our school, and our old 
teacher, now a widow ? Tve had such nice 
letters from them. Please thank the girls 
for their beautiful letter. . . . You all spoil 
me with kindness, and I can just pray ; but 
it is a big * just/ isn't it T 

''June I. — The first of June! I never 
expected to write this mail, and behold my 
*firm and vigorous pen'! (The letter was 
written in pencil, like all the others, and 
evidently with great effort.) ''I've been think- 
ing much of the wideness of God's kingdom 
and the broadness of His plans. How little 
we know of all ! Our part is just to do, 
moment by moment, the little bit of work 
given. It makes it grand, and yet so simple, 
doesn't it ?" 

Here the letters fail us, but the haven so 
often neared was not yet within reach. There 
were months of weakness, sleeplessness, and 
delirium to be passed through, and when 
towards Christmas-time she began to regain 
lost ground, there was in her quiet cheerful- 
ness a loss of the old, quick brightness and 
mental vigour that had always been such a 
part of herself that her friends missed it sadly. 


She was very happy during the months 
that followed. Nothing seemed to trouble 
her. She was freer, too, in her powers of 
movement, and could enjoy being carried 
from one room to another, and even down- 
stairs, to share in the hymn-singing on Sun- 
day evenings. The China mail, which in the 
past months had so often to be left untouched, 
was welcomed again. With her old hopeful 
spirit she noted the signs of physical amend- 
ment, and began to look forward to further 
progress — even with distant anticipations of 
a return to her well-beloved work some day. 
But this was not to be. Something far better 
was in store for her, and on March 24, 1907, 
suddenly the call so long listened for was 
heard, and she entered into fullness of joy for 
evermore ! 


J. M. J. 


She stood at the top of the slippery bank 
before the cottage door — -a compact little 
figure in a dark blue coat and trousers of 
Chinese make. Her face was broad and 
rosy, and her dark eyes looked out over 
the plain before her. The "Great Hat" 
Mountain towered above her, and the tiny 
footpath, worn by passing feet, straggled 
across the plain to her right and to her left 
past some eating-stalls, and ended in the 
one village street, where stood the Christian 
chapel, little different from the other houses 
of the village. 

She wore a look of quiet content till a tall 
foreigner strode out up the village street. 
He paused on seeing the girl, as he knew 
she had belonged to the Amoy Mission 
School, and looked rather . sternl y throug h 
his kind eyes at the tig' ' ^~ 

small shoes with their I 

"What is the mes 


asked. " Why are you not reading in school 
this year ?" 

The girl was silent, shamed by his dis- 
approval, and he soon passed away over the 
plain and through the mountains to the sea. 

A voice was heard calling her, and Buey 
hastened down the slope, and stepped through 
the open door with its high board to keep 
the chickens and pigs within the courtyard. 
Many doors opened off the court, and many 


people crowded into its tiny space. The 
men were washing the soil of the rice-fields 
from their feet and legs. They wore the 
loose blue cotton clothes of the Chinese 

farmer. Children ran about among the 
chickens. A brick stove stood in the court, 
and over it an old woman was busy watching 
the rice in a big iron rice-boiler, and cutting 


up vegetables and bean curd for the evening 

Buey was soon at work, and, after the 
men had eaten, the women finished what 
was left over from their repast. It was a 
Christian house, and evening prayers followed. 
The tired working folk soon separated to 
their different rooms, and Buey and the old 
woman went to bed. The old woman soon 
slept, but Buey lay with open eyes thinking 
of the future. All seemed hopeless. Who 
was there to help her.'^ The missionary had 
gone to Amoy. The old woman had bought 
her years ago to be the wife of her son, a 
sickly lad, who had lately taken to opium- 
smoking and gambling. Her own father and 
mother were heathens, who lived in a village 
far below in the plain, and would not think 
of rescuing her from a difficulty so common 
to girls in China. She thought of the Mission 
School, and what she had learnt there ; and 
as she prayed to the * God of heaven ' a plan 
unfolded itself to her practical mind. 

Not many days after, the few Christians 
met for worship in the little chapel in the 
street. An old man preached to the stolid 
farmers who formed his audience. A wooden 
screen, with a chintz curtain hung from an 
iron rod, ran up the length of the church, 
ending at the wall on one side of the pulpit. 
Behind it was a long narrow table and a few 

^VBY^S work i6i 

benches, where some women and children sat 
through the service. Buey spoke to one 
of these — a tall old woman. Her face was 
wrinkled, but her smile was pleasant. She 
agreed to go with the girl for help to the 
Mission School. 

When the time came, Buey stood — clean 
and quiet as usual — by a fence not far from 
her home. Her clothes were packed in a 
blue cotton cloth, and she scanned the 
hill-side anxiously for the tall figure of the 
old woman, who had not come. It was little 
wonder, for the ground was sodden with rain, 
which poured in torrents, and the woman 
dreaded an attack of rheumatism in her feeble 
old bones. Buey looked towards the sea- 
road, but she did not know the way. She 
could not return to the noisy courtyard and 
her opium-smoking fiance. She thought she 
could remember a little the long journey to 
her home in the plain, where some Christians 
lived who might help her. So down the 
steep hills she travelled the long day, past 
the huge boulders with bracken and maiden- 
hair at their bases, down the slippery granite 
slabs, which served as stairway in some parts 
of the mountain, along the dripping foot- 
path, through the shallow rivers and weary 
stretches of heavy sand, until she arrived at 
the house of a Christian. 

It was a busy farmstead to which she 


1 62 JIN KO'NIU 

came. Outside, the roadway and the rice- 
fields were turned into sheets of water, and 
the courtyard looked melancholy with its be- 
draggled live stock in pools of rain, tut 
inside the family were cheery enough. The 
old grannie was nursing a baby, and the 
mother was busy with her elder daughter at 
the loom. True, the farmer looked some- 
what disconsolately at the landscape, but the 
children were busy at play or preparing food 
for the animals which (locked round. At the 
great wooden entrance Buey appeared wet 
and footsore, but smiling. A warm welcome 
was given her, the ever-ready teapot was pro- 
duced, and the rice-pot set a- boiling. Behind 
the bamboo screen she found dry clothing, 
and was able to remove the bandages — long 
blue strips of cotton — which crippled her poor 
feet. Plans were discussed. The women 
talked much, and the tall farmer came to her 
help. He had some furniture to take to his 
father in Pechuia, which he said he could 
take at one end of his pole ; Buey must 
squeeze herself into a big basket and balance 
the other end, for her crushed feet refused to 
carry her any further. 

In a day or two they set out. Buey was 
rosy and smiling, and her heart was happier, 
though still anxious. She carried an umbrella 
to hide her from any curious passer-by. The 
farmer, with his rquick carrying step, passed 


in the bright sunshine along the narrow mud 
footpaths between the ricerfields. Blue smoke 
from cooking breakfasts went up from the 
red-tiled houses, and all the plain was busy 

The Unwibldv S; 

with fresh life after the rains. Parties of 
coolies, laden with pigs and farm produce for 
the Pechuia market, joined them, following 
single file, and among them Buey, with dis- 
may, recognized her heathen brother. He 

1 64 JIN KO'NIU 

seemed amused at the curious burden, and 
when a roadside eating-house was reached, 
he came up to make some laughing inquiries. 
Buey turned her umbrella as he tried to scan 
her face, and prayed again to the " God of 
Heaven " for help. 

**What are you doing with a woman in 
your basket ?'* queried the brother. 

** Oh, just doing a kindness — helping the 
poor thing along — she can't walk !" said the 
farmer. ** But it isn't polite to look at women. 
Come along and get something to eat." 

In the afternoon they reached the pastor's 
house, and a passage in a junk for Amoy was 

As the great sculling-oar creaked in its 
socket and the un wieldly sails were spread, 
the curious brother caught a glimpse of who 
had been in the basket, but it was too late 
then to try to drag her home. 

Next morning the rosy, happy Buey, no 
longer shadowed by trouble, surrounded by 
all her schoolmates, greeted the ladies as 
they came in for prayers. Buey took. her 
old place at the desk, but all the anxiety was 
transferred to her teachers. 

Some days after, up the dusty road came 
some farmers from the plains, among them 
Buey's father. He wandered at will through 
the schoolrooms, saw the heaped rice-boiler, 
watched the merry schoolgirls, looked at 


their lesson-books with their familiar Chinese 
characters, and examined the beautiful 
needlework on which some were engaged. 
He said little, but he and his companions 
soon trudged away again along the broad 
white road to the sea. 

It seemed as though there would be no 
more trouble, but the old woman was not 
going to give up so easily the wife she had 
procured for her son at such a bargain long 
ago. Many months passed, and then a 
deputation came to demand that Buey be 
returned. Pleading was vain and argument 
useless, so the ladies acquiesced, at the same 
time producing their trump card — a full 
account of all that the girl had cost. ** Here 
is Buey, and if you pay the bill you can have 
her," said the ladies. Ready-money is always 
difficult for a countryman to obtain, and when 
the alternative was that Buey should be 
entered as a regular scholar, it seemed easier 
to agree to that. The three rules for pupils 
entering the boarding-school are : that feet 
be unbound, that the pupil stay at least 
three years, and that she be married to a 

The men went away to tell the old woman 
the result of their quest. Next night there 
was much loud talking in the cottage on the 
hill, the Christians approving of what had 
been done, and others agreeing with the old 


woman that no fate was bad enough for a girl 
who was so bold and insubordinate. 

As the years passed there were several 
attempts made to catch Buey and bring her 
forcibly back to her doom, but somehow they 
failed. By Chinese law, if the girl reached 
twenty-three before the marriage took place 
she would be free. But at last the ladies 
heard with gladness that the father had per- 
suaded the old woman to make arrangements 
for his daughters marriage to a Christian, 
and the sickly youth, being under authority, 
had nothing to say. 

In the far-off, busy city of Chang-chew, a 
young Christian tradesman was found willing 
to pay the ransom money for a wife. Before 
her marriage Buey became teacher in the 
mission-school of the large city where she 
was to make her home. She had learnt to 
trust the Father in heaven Who had been 
her helper in time of need. Two little sons 
now like to watch the bright placid face, and 
a great river rolls between her new surround- 
ings and the sodden plain where she tramped 
in the day of her trial. 


It was a clear afternoon in December. The 
sun shone brightly through the windows of 
the whitewashed church at Creek End as 
Pastor Lee rose to address his flock. 
Mr. Lee is a tall, fine-looking man of thirty 
or forty, and his eye glanced rapidly over the 
fifty or sixty men and women in front of him 
— hard-featured, wrinkled men and women, 
in coarse blue coats and trousers, with here 
and there a rainbow-vestured boy or girl to 
enliven the scene and distract attention. 
His own little daughter in gay attire drummed 
her tiny heels against the wooden plat- 
form where she sat at his feet. The subject 
of the morning sermon had been **The 
Broad and Narrow Way," and doubtless 
Pastor Lee had experience of the capacity or 
incapacity of his audience, for instead of 
giving out a fresh text for the afternoon, he 

* Reprinted from Our Sisten in Other Land%, hy 
kind permission of the editor. 



went through a brief summary of his morning 
discourse, and then turned briskly to a bald- 
headed, wizened old woman, who woke up 
from a nap to answer him " Mrs. Hu, were 
you at church this morning ?" " Yes, I was 

here." " Can you tell me what the sermon 
was about?" "No, I can't do that," said 
Mrs. Hu, "for I came late, and had to go 
out to cook the rice for dinner." "Well, 
this afternoon you have .been here all the 

AAfOY 169 

time ; what have you heard ?" ** I didn't 
hear anything. I don't understand about 
hearing." " Now, Mrs. Hu, I know you 
have come a long way and have a long way 
to go home. You ought to listen very well, 
or else your coming and going is useless. 
Isn't that true i^ — Brother B., what did you 
hear ?" ** The broad way leads to death, 
and the narrow to life," said Brother B., with 
much difficulty and many grunts and groans. 
** That's right ; and what death does it mean 
— the body's or the soul's death T' ** The 
soul's death in hell." **Yes." ** The devil 
is in hell," volunteered Brother B., much 
encouraged. Then followed questions to 
Brother C. on the second birth, ending, 
**Are you born again, Brother C. ?" Silence, 
on which the pastor explained shortly the 
fruits of the second birth, and asked, " Have 
you sinned against God ?" ** Well, maybe, 
perhaps I have." ** It isn't only maybe. I'll 
make it plainer to you. Did you ever wor- 
ship idols.'*' **No, I worship God, I've 
nothing to do with idols." *' But long ago 
did you noti^" "Oh, before I knew — I once 
did." *' Wasn't that sinning against God ?" 
**Yes, so it was." "And again, you sell 
meat. Suppose a man comes along and asks 
the price of a piece, won't you sometimes 
say, * It is 220 cash, and cheap at that, and 
very little gain on it,' when you know well 


enough you are making a good deal ?" " Of 
course I do ; if I didn't say that, people 
would not buy from me." " Then you prefer 
a few cash to telling the truth. Isn't that 
sin .f* — Sister D., how are you to day }'\ " I'm 
much better;" and Sister D. is only stopped 
from a voluble explanation of her illness and 
its cure by the question, " Did the idols make 
you better?" **Oh dear no; God did." 
*' Then do you worship idols anv more T^ 
" No, no." •' Not at all ?" ^' No/' '' What 
about the ancestral tablets ?" " I love my 
parents very much. I must worship them." 
" But it was God Who made you better, and 
He says, * Thou shalt make no graven 
image.' — Brother H., what did you get from 
the sermon this morning?" "My ear is 
rather deaf, and I'm not very well. I did 
not hear a word." " I think you sat too far 
back. Come and sit nearer, and you'll hear 
better. Now I'll tell you what I said over 
again. — Sister E., how did God save us?!' 
** By sending His Son." *' How did God 
save us by His Son ?" " By His death." 
*/ Has God forgiven your sin ?" ** Yes." 
" How do you know He has?" " They told 
me so at the hospital." ** God has promised 
to forgive sin ; do you trust Him ?" ** Yes ; 
I have not much sin, it is true. My sins are 
very light, but what there is I trust Him to 
forgive." ** Sister M., what do you re- 

AMOy 171 

member ?" ** I don't remember anything at 
all." ** Why, what a bad memory you 
have!" shouted a heathen woman who had 
been listening curiously at the door. ** You 
ought to listen ; I remember better than you 
do." " Why don't you always come ?" said 
the pastor. ** You understand how to listen ; 
you must come again." " I am very poor ; 
shall I get employment if I come ?" ** You 
come and hear, and you'll soon know about 
it. You are God's child, and if you truly 
worship Him, He will certainly take care of 
you. — Now Siong-liu (to his child), don't 
clatter your feet on the pulpit steps. — Brother 
S., if you suffer persecution, must you com- 
plain ?" '' No." " Why not ?" As Brother 
S. cannot answer, Pastor Lee takes an 
instance of a man travelling to Singapore, 
who does not grumble over the incon- 
veniences of the journey because of his hope 
of gain in the future. 

Here my notes come to an end, and I 
fancy the questioning also ; the strange 
congregation disperses in the gloaming, and 
we wend our way over the mud to the 
sampan waiting for us in the creek. 


Peh-chioh might be called a mud village. 
True, at certain tides there is a sun-baked 
road leading round the creek, but usually the 
chair-bearers plunge and slip in the black 
ooze which covers the stones of the pathway 
crossing the shallow water. And when a boat 
is hired one has the doubtful pleasure when 
landing of being carried pick-a-back over 
yards of deep black mud to the firm shell- 
strewn ground on which the village stands. 

It is an everyday, straggling Chinese 
village, but it has the distinction of possessing 
a Christian church and very many Christian 
families. Dirty, healthy little children tumble 
over the ground in front of mud hovels, where 
the loom takes up the chief part of the 
common room. Curious farm implements are 
hung about everywhere. Bins of rice and 
stacks of fuel help to fill up the apartment. 
The spinning-wheel stands by the door, and 

huge black grunters, along with hens and 


chickens, wander at their tviil through house 
and tiny courtyard. 

In one of these houses an old man thought 
it would be " profitable " to become a Chris- 
tian, and for many Sundays attended the little 

chapel at the village corner, although not a 
church member. After some time his tall 
daughter-in-law was allowed to read in the 
Bay-pay school. She studied to some pur- 
pose, for when the old gentleman thought he 

"would join the Roman Catholics, as more 
ready to help in this world's matters, she 
refused to accompany him, saying that she 
had already found the true God, and could 

Black Gruntebs. 

not worship idols, as the images of the Virgin 

and Child are called in China. 

Her husband had turned out a gambler, 

and been sent abroad, and the family was 
■ altogether unsatisfactory. The old man beat 
■and starved the girl, but to no avail. In 

NAU'A^^ 175 

the end he took a knife to stab her, and was 
only prevented by being forcibly dragged 
away. After this she fled, and in her loneli- 
ness had a dream that God would help her. 
She decided on going to the mandarin. 
When the case was tried, the whole plain 
was full of people. It was a most desperate 
and unusual course for a girl to take in China. 
The heathen expected her to be handed back 
to the father-in-law, but the Christians had 
gathered in full force, and were praying for 
her. To the surprise of all, the mandarin 
decided in favour of the Christian girl, saying 
that there was abundant evidence that the 
old man could not rule his own family, as 
Confucius had ordained. He asked where 
she would like to go, and she answered 
immediately, ** To the ko-niu." The man- 
darin agreed, saying the father-in-law must 
give money for her support ; but to make 
things even, he said she should receive three 
slaps on her face ! 

The Christians were overjoyed at the de- 
cision, and helped the girl to find her way to 
Amoy, where she was allowed to study in the 
women's school. From it she went to act 
as matron in the children's home ; but the 
easy, careless ways of the heathen still had a 
hold on her, and she was transferred to the 
girl's school, where it was felt she would do 
better with supervision as under-matron. 


She proved fairly satisfactory, and was sent 
later on to her old school at Bay-pay, to do 
what she could to help the children and 
women in the district round. 

The old church at West Plain had at that 
time no woman teacher, and it was proposed 
that the Bay-pay women should take turns to 
help there on Sundays. The bulk of the 
work fell on Nau-a, and, even at the rainy 
season, when the river separating the two 
churches was flooded, she rarely missed her 
weekly visit. It was no easy thing for a 
Chinese woman whose feet had been crushed 
to take the long walk in her thin cotton 
garments, and face the few women who would 
venture out in such weather to meet her. 

When one of the ladies spoke of the 
flooded river, she replied : '' Yes ; but when 
I see it I think of the hymn, 

** * But none of the ransomed ever knew 
How deep were the waters crossed. 
Nor how dark was the night that the Lord passed 
Ere He found His sheep that was lost,' 

and that helps me/' 


Behind the low hill, over against the little 
church at Kang-khau, the glow of the sunset 
still flames red, but high in the east the 
moonlight is already piercing the few even- 
ing clouds. From the sands and the waves 
troops of tall girls and red-hooded children 
have wound their way home laden with the 
spoils of the ocean. The men of the village, 
with light ploughshares over their shoulders, 
and driving their small brown cattle, have 
sauntered in from the fields ; and the white 
haze over the red-tiled house-roofs is fading 
into the air as the kitchen fires die out, and 
the chatter over the steaming rice-bowls gives 
place to long pipes and gossip in the moon- 
light The one foreigner in the village 
lingers on the little veranda, loath to leave 
the quiet splendour of the heavens for the 
dirt and noise below. But a warning babel 

'•' Reprinted, by permission, from Our Sisters in Other 
Lands, April, 1902. 

177 12 


of voices causes her to hasten down to meet 
the inflow from the village — a noisy crew — 
boys and girls, rosy-cheeked and healthy 
from the sea-breezes and the brine ; young 
women and old, in the inevitable blue jacket 
and trousers of village workaday dress ; 

mothers, and sisters, and grannies, flocking to 
the novelty of the night-school. 

The little church looks clean, with its white- 
washed wails and the bright red curtains by 
which the men's seats are divided from the 
women's. The preacher is lighting the lamps, 
and soon forms . are arranged, and some sort 
of order established among the noisy, eager 


crowd. Near the further door at least twenty 
boys and girls swing respectively bare toes 
and little bandaged feet, to the rhythm of a 
Chinese version of ** Jesus loves me," and 
sorely tax the patience of their young teacher, 
with her baby wrapped warm in the folds of 
her long blue coat. By the lamp on the table 
sits Mrs. Peow, the Bible- woman, repeating 
line by line the first hymn in the Chinese 
hymnal : 

" The Supreme created heaven and earth. 
He gives birth to all things : He is all-powerful." 

After her, laboriously, in slow tones, follow 
the voices of the older women, as their work- 
begrimed fingers wear their way down the 
columns of strange characters. The younger 
women are gathered round the second Bible- 
woman, and there is much laughter as they 
try to recognize the letters of the Romanized 
Chinese primer: *' U, u — that is what the 
children call when they play. L, 1 — that is, 
how the wind blows ! Ng — we go to the hills 
to gather *ng.' Hi, hi — that is the market: 
there is a market at Cheng-tan. S — that 
is like a serpent. O — that is a baby s hat." 
With their smooth, glossy hair, flowers, gilt 
pins, and bright faces, these make a very 
attractive group, and a very pleasant class to 

The advanced class, the ** Red Covers," 



Study in a low monotone — a busy, eager set 
of scholars, from tiny ** Pomegranate " to 
middle-aged Mrs. ** Hanging Brow/* all being 
proud to work their way, unaided, through 
their bright new books. Even the pulpit is 
occupied with two or three, anxious to add 
writing to their accomplishments, and taking 
possession of the preachers desk for their 

Round the ko-niu are the "unadjustables," 
the new-comers, the old women too old to 
remember even a single hymn, and the little 
girls with babies strapped to their shoulders, 
who cannot be kept away, but poke their 
eager little heads against one's arm, or steal 
a soft grimy hand on to one's knee. And in 
every hiding hole behind the pulpit, over the 
screen, are the boys, big and little, trying 
hard to keep quiet as the sad price of non- 

After about an hour the busy hum of study 
is stopped, forms are dragged into position, 
a Bible picture is shown, and questions and 
answers follow in rapid succession, for the 
Kang-khau womeo and children are quick 
and responsive, and the children's faces, as 
they crowd near the platform, are an inspira- 
tion ; while the row on row of girls and women 
— wondering, surprised, interested — make one 
long for the right words to teach and help 
them. The Commandments repeated in con- 


cert, a verse learnt, a hymn sung, a short 
prayer, and the night-school is over for to-day, 
although the ** Red Covers " linger for their 
turn, and will not be dismissed. 

Soon after nine the lights are out in the 
little church, but heaven's lights are ablaze 
as a crowd of blue-clad women watch at the 
foot of the ladder to call out good night ere 
the door of the tiny room on the roof closes. 

Not so long ago the Kang-khau church 
was a small mud-floored building, dirty and 
low. Then the '' Red Covers " were non- 
existent, and the bright little preacher's wife, 
so busy to-night helping every one, was a 
heathen, unable to read or write, bound foot 
and mind. Then, almost the only Christian 
woman in the place was the mother of little 
** Pomegranate," and she so ignorant that she 
had sold three of her daughters to heathen, 
and was only persuaded to keep this last little 
girl by the gift of a dollar to buy her clothes. 
Mrs. Peow, the Bible-woman, herself had 
destroyed two of her baby girls ; and most 
of the helpers of this evening had wor- 
shipped the old tree-stump by the sand-drift 
at the entrance to the village. ** What hath 
God wrought!" 



It was a forlorn little family group that we 
found on our veranda, well out of the glaring 
sunshine of a hot summer day. The father 
was a small, unkempt-looking man with 
scanty clothing, and his two little girls 
looked with anxious, frightened eyes at the 
foreign ladies whom they saw for the first 
time. He had only lately become a Christian, 
having been a play-actor in one of the 
densely populated villages near Amoy. It 
was a heathen village, and when the Chinese 
Christians began preaching there, claiming it 
for Christ, the headmen of the village at once 
took prompt measures of opposition, sending 
round cakes with a stern message that if 
anyone dared to become a Christian, he must 
leave the village. 

But the words of the Christians had 
entered the heart of the play-actor, and he 
felt he must leave his acting and opium- 
smoking and find his way back by road and 

junk to the '' Ancestral Home," which was 



but a dingy cabin after all, with a few yards 
of sandy soil which he and his son cultivated, 
and which were all the family had to support 
them. The ground was near the sea, and 

A Few Yardi! 

millet or rice would not grow then', so they 
planted their long, red, sweet pntatui's. ur <» 
few ground-nuts, and watered thcni uDxinusly 
from tiny buckets on a lonjj; poir, '\'\\v 
mother's time had been much takiru up by 


the care of the second son, a delicate, de- 
formed little boy, and all the family was 
sickly from want of food and care. 

Now the mother had died of plague, and 
no one in a heathen village would attend to 
the two little girls, who now stood on our 
veranda, looking at once so sad and eager. 
The Christians nearest their village, though 
willingly doing what they could, were too 
poor to support the children, and it was with 
thankful hearts that we found we could make 
room for little " Black Silk" in the girls' school, 
while tiny " Black Satin's *' pleading eyes were 
irresistible, and she found her way to the 
Baby Home. 

Soon it was discovered that though "Black 
Silk " looked but three or four years old, she 
was a very clever little girl of eight or ten. 
Hands and head worked well, and the bright 
eyes delighted the teacher who gave the Bible 
lesson every morning. Year by year ** Black 
Silk " reached a higher class till she was 
in the top form in school ; but, strange to say, 
she hardly grew at all, and still occupied the 
front bench with the tiny children. Nice hot 
basins of rice with a little fish or meat and 
vegetables seemed to make little difference. 
Even cod-liver oil was resorted to, but 
though she was quite well, the height-mark 
on the door, anxiously examined from time 
to time, grew little higher. What was to be 


done ? At last some one suggested that she 
should be sent for change of air ; and although 
it seemed a little hard to send a mite of four- 
teen or fifteen so far away, she went as 
teacher to'a mission-school in the north, three 
or four days' journey away. 

There she worked splendidly. Both in 
discipline and progress her pupils were in the 
first rank, and with all her heart she strove 
to lead them to Christ. So when, later on, 
a head teacher was wanted for the ** Eternal 
Springs " School, '' Black Silk '' was again 
sent to the fore. 

The north air seemed to suit her, and she 
grew to the average size of a Chinese woman. 
She worked well, as usual, and I think the 
ladies in Eng-chhun were as sorry as she 
when the time for parting came, and she left 
to marry the tall, nice-looking brother of the 
pastor at Golden Well. 

So the tale ends like a fairy story after all 
with wedding bells, and we hope they will 
live happily ever after. 


A FEW of US sat at tea in the hall, which was 
crossed by four passages to allow any cool 
winds that blew to reach the room which 


served as reception and dining room. Sud- 
denly the glass doors at the end of one of the 
corridors was darkened, and a number of 
Chinese women entered. 
, From their clothing one could see that they 

Hair Ornaments 

were field-women from a district two or three 
days' journey to the north of Amoy. Some 
carried babies tied to their backs by a square 
blue-checked cloth. All wore silver ear-rings 
and gilt or silver pins and flowers in their 
glossy hair. They wore red shoes on their 


bare feet. There were many children with 
them, and as each woman tried to explain 
the reason of their coming, it was some little 
time before one could understand. 

At last the centre of interest was dragged 
forward — a tiny mite of a child about three 

He is of no Use: He is Blind." 

or four years old. There he stood on the 
table, the small pathetic face and thtn little 
hands and cheeks. " We wish to give him 
to you," they said. " He is of no use to us : 
he is blind." 

We thought of our merry little party in 
the Children's Home, and our hearts ached 


toadd him to the number, but it could not be 
done. He had parents to support him, and 
there were others more needy. " Then we 
must give him to the b^gars or throw him 

Children's Home." 

away," they said. "A blind child is of 
no use." 

So the little figure was lifted down and 
dragged wearily after the noisy group, 
leaving a pain in the hearts of the mission- 

aries far greater than the strain of their daily 


» « « * » 

It was midday. The deserted tennis-lawn 
with its level stretch of cool green lay on one 

hand of the roadway, and on the other stood 
the temple of the " Protector of Life, Great 
Emperor." On the open ground before the 

DARKNESS .1X11 />.lli:\ i-yi 

temple one or two viriwiors o) Mimir-tant;, 
pea-nuts and tea plied ii drstillury tradr, ami 
some children played with sioik-s and hits of 

The roof of the lumpU; l')<ik(:<i picturesque 
with its red and '^r*:v.u ;jlazed tiles, ami in 
one corner the smoke rosr: la/ily fnitn a pillar 

in which was an openinj^ where paper, picked 
up by the virtuous, was burning. 

A wide openin;^ in the high, wooden paling 
gave access to the temple itself. Through 
this an old woman passed, her Muc garinctits 
patched and fadc^d. and hi'r gny hair hound 
by a black band of i-Ioili. The great hlack 
idol, with its hid<:ous liu'i-, was sealed direelly 
in front of her, while the gnddrss of iiu^rcv 


and lesser deities crowded the niches in the 
wall and lined the long, high table. Pewter- 
stands filled with fine ash held the thin 
incense-sticks which were placed in front of 
the gods. The old woman took up two semi- 
circular pieces of bamboo-root which were 
lying on the table, and kneeling on the dusty 
floor after worshipping the image, she threw 
them again and again until she gained a 
satisfactory answer. Then, after consultation 
with the priest, who had emerged from a side- 
door, she drew a slip of bamboo, on which 
characters were written, from a tin cylinder 
hanging on the wall. After reading it the 
priest handed her a paper with a few written 
characters, in which, after more prostrations, 
she placed a little of the fine ash from one of 
the pewter-stands. 

Some loungers were standing by the 
temple smoking. *' A powder for her grand- 
child ; he is dying," said one, as she hurried 
cLway, her features twitching and her eyes 
dull, her only hope the incense powder and 
her worship of the '' Protector of Life, Great 


# * * « 9it 


It was market-day at White- water Camp, and 
a babel of sounds rose from the narrow street 
in which the Christian church was built. In 


most of the shops medicine was sold, and one 
caught weird glimpses of dried snakes, sharks' 
fins, tigers' flesh, and live tree-loads, together 
with many vegetable compounds. The narrow 
pavements at either side were lined with 
motley groups of fruit-sellers and others 
bringing market produce from the country. 

Every now and th<:n a pi^ was carried past, 
squealing, tied to a bamboo pole, and the 
chorus of voices rose high. 

The wide doors of the mission-church stwjd 
open, and the preacher, a delicate, con- 
sumptive- IfK>king man, was anxiously trying 
to make his voice h'ytrd al^ijve the din out- 
side. In front sat the Church elders, S';em- 
ingly oblivious of the nois'iS without. Each 


carried a Bible and hymn-book, and appeared 
to be listening attentively. Near the door 
a shifting crowd, attracted by the novelty, 
passed in and out, staying for a longer or 
shorter period as they were more or less 
interested. Beside the large central door of 
the church a smaller entrance led to a space 
screened off for the women behind and at 
either side of the pulpit. The townswomen 
looked gay and attractive in their coloured 
and elaborately trimmed garments, mostly of 
foreign material. Some had the crushed and 
bandaged feet of the Chinese lady, while 
others wore the stamp of the Christian in 
the natural feet and prettily worked "Gospel" 

Many women came from villages in the 
country, and could be told at once by their 
long jackets of native homespun. Their 
skirts were of gay pleatings of yellow and 
red, and, on entering, were immediately 
taken off and hung up on pegs on the walls. 
They wore the high-heeled shoe and false 
bandages which the exigencies of farm life 
required, and carried branches as walking- 
sticks, 5 feet long, painted a bright red, and 
often finished with some carved device. 

When service was over, the country women 
pored over their well-worn hymn-books, re- 
peating the names of the strange characters 
with the help of some brightly adorned little 


schoolgirl. Many of the women conned 
over passages of Scripture they had prepared 
for the missionary. Some read over the 
afternoon's lesson, and others had questions 
to ask. 

"Many Woms 

A pleasant -faced, middle-aged woman was 
sitting with a ten-year-old boy at her side. 

" I did not know you had a son of that 
age," remarked the missionar)'. 


** Oh no ! This is my newly adopted son !" 
answered the woman brightly. ** He was 
stung on the foot by a serpent the other day, 
and his father feared he would be lame for 
life, so he took him to the river-bank and 
buried him up to his neck in mud, thinking 
the incoming tide would drown him ; but 
some Christians heard of it, and dug the lad 
out, and they gave him to me. 1 got some 
medicine for his foot, and it quite healed. 
His father wanted him back again, but the 
boy prefers to stay with me. I call him 
Joseph, for he was saved out of a pit. You 
do want to stay with me, Joseph, don't you, 
and to worship the true God ?" 

The bright smile of the lad was sufficient, 

without his emphatic, ** I do !" 

jfc jfc ^ ^ ^ 

•jP •jP "IP TP TP 

A little crowd was gathered in a picturesque, 
dirty little Chinese village. The blue waves 
of the Pacific broke in a white line on the 
stretch of sandy beach before them. A 
matronly woman, a few books tied in her 
handkerchief, passed by the group. Her 
curiosity was aroused, and she looked in- 
quiringly at the sack of coarse matting which 
was being tied up by a respectable-looking 

** What is he doing T she said. 

** His wife has had a baby girl, and he 
says he can't keep any more daughters. 


There is no one in the village wanting one 
just now, so he is going to throw her into 
the sea !" 

In vain the Bible- woman expostulated, and 
spoke of the duty of parents to their children. 
It was all of no use, and he was carrying the 
sack to the sea when she remembered the 
Children's Home in Amoy. 

"Wait at least a day or two," she en- 
treated, ** until I find out whether the Chris- 
tian ladies will take the baby." 

He consented. Fortunately there was a 
vacancy, and the little one was soon in safe 


It was such a funny little group that I came 
upon on rounding the corner by the well, 
sitting on a piece of matting in the only 
shade that was to be found anywhere that 
hot July day — tiny girls with little flowered 
coats, shaven heads, and tight pig- tails stick- 
ing out in all directions. In the eldest I 
recognized a seven-year-old schoolgirl. She 
had a book in her hand, from which she was 
reading to the others. 

** What are you reading about, Koai-a?" I 


The little maid rose from her low bamboo 
stool and looked up from the book she was 
holding so tightly in her pretty hands, over 
which the silver bracelets dropped. 

" I am reading about the management of a 
family," she replied seriously. 
The grave eyes of all the prospective 


managers of families being upon me, I had 
to keep the laughter out of my own, but it 
helped me up the last stretch of hill into the 
road where Koai-a s grandfather — an old sea- 
pirate, now a Church member and captain of 
the mission-boat — was smoking peacefully at 
his son's house door. 


Looking down from the shade of the 
veranda, we saw a spare, blue-clad figure 
hurrying along the white road. He wore 
the broad bamboo hat and straw sandals of 
a Chinese coolie. A long box was slung 
over his shoulders at the end of a pole, and 
balanced by some rough digging implements. 
** It is a coffin," we were told, *' and he is 
going to bury his child round the hill corner." 

* * * Hf * 

Again, we were passing through some 
narrow unsavoury lanes near our home. A 
woman sat sewing by a still narrower foot- 
path on the right hand, and a little crowd 
was collected at the house further back. 
** The son in there has died," she said, in 
reply to our inquiries. ** He had just taken 
his degree, poor fellow ! worked too hard, and 
died of consumption. It was sad to hear 
him repeat over and over again, * I have 

been of no use to you, my parents ; I have 



only wasted your money — it is all waste, 
waste, waste.' " 

* « « * « 

On the hill before our house an old woman 
was wailing. She lay prostrate before two 






newly made graves, and all one could hear 
was the constant repetition of the cry heard 
so long ago, " My son, my son; would that I 
had died for thee, my son, my son !"