How these testimonies came to be written . . .
IT SEEMS fitting that this little book of personal testimonies to answered prayer should have a brief introductory word as to how they came to be written. The question has been asked by some who read many of these testimonies as they appeared in the pages of The Sunday School Times: "How could you write such personal and sacred incidents in your life?" I could not have written them but for a very clear, God-given leading.
The story is as follows: When in Canada on our first furloughs I was frequently amazed at the incredulity expressed when definite testimony was given to an answer to prayer. Sometimes this was shown by an expressive shrug of the shoulders, sometimes by a sudden silence or turning of the topic of conversation, and sometimes more openly by the query: "How do you know that it might not have happened so, anyway?"
Gradually the impression deepened: "If they will not believe one, two, or a dozen testimonies, will they believe the combined testimonies of one whole life?"
The more I thought of what it would mean to record the sacred incidents connected with answers to prayer the more I shrank from the publicity, and from undertaking the task. There were dozens of answers far too sacred for the public eye, which were known only to a few, others known only to God. But if the record were to carry weight with those who did not believe in the supernatural element in prayer, many personal and scarcely less sacred incidents must of necessity be made public.
Again and again I laid the matter aside as impossible. But I know now that the thing was of GOD. As months, even years, passed, the impelling sense that the record of answers to prayer must be written gave me no rest.
It was at the close of the 1908-10 furlough - during which, as a family, we had been blessed with many and, to our weak faith, wonderful answers to prayer - that my oldest son urged me to put down in some definite form the answers to prayer of my life, and extracted from me a solemn promise that I would do so.
But months passed after returning to China, and the record had not been touched. Then came a sudden and serious illness which threatened my life, when the doctor told me I must not delay in getting my affairs in order!
It was then that an overwhelming sense of regret took possession of me that I had not set down the prayer testimonies, and solemnly I covenanted with the Lord that if He would raise me up they should be written.
There was no more question of what others might think; the one thought was to obey. The Lord raised me up; and although He had to deal with me very sternly once more before I really set myself to the task, the testimonies that are given here were written at last - most of them in odd moments of time during strenuous missionary journeys among the heathen.
Thus it will be seen that these incidents of answered prayer are not given as being more wonderful, or more worthy of record, than multitudes the world over could testify to; but they are written and sent out simply and only because I had to write them or disobey GOD.
1. "GETTING THINGS FROM GOD"
The simplicity of petition.
2. EARLY LESSONS IN THE LIFE OF FAITH
Led by a bird. Toothache taken away. Reward of seeking first the Kingdom. Financial aid. Sunday-school scholars given. Guidance in time of crisis. A prayer preparation for China. A beautiful seal on the new life.
3. "GO FORWARD ON YOUR KNEES" (1887-1894)
The key-note of pioneer years. Help in the lan�guage from the Home Base. Prayer-opened doors. Deliverance in time of peril. "Kept by the power of God." Prayer and medical work. Converts from the first. Wang Feng-ao, the proud Confucian scholar. Wang Fu-Lin, the opium fiend. Dr. Hunter Cor�bett's testimony. The result of obedience. From the gates of death. Lord Sandwich's testimony.
4. A GOD-GIVEN FIELD (1894-1900)
A promise given. The promise fulfilled. Our great need. One need supplied - an evan�gelist. A second need supplied - a Bible�woman. Paying the price of petition. A touch of healing. A Chinaman's faith, - the locust story! A Christian woman's faith for her child. Our child died - a case of un�answered prayer. A GOD of deliverances.
5. OUR DELIVERANCE FROM THE BOXERS (1900)
A clear answer to prayers in the home church. Led on through dangers and trials. Safely brought through.
6. �PROVING GOD'S FAITHFULNESS (1902-1908)
God must come first. A hard proposition. In the furnace. Made willing in the day of GOD's power. Testimony to God's abundant faithfulness. A Bible-woman of exceptional power given. GOD meeting the Home message - 'Retrench." Abundant funds pro�vided. A beautiful instance of "GOD's wire�less." A case of "While they are yet speak�ing, I will hear." The life made easier. A child's fever restrained. Blessing in the work, converts given. A God-suggested remedy. Chinese prevailing prayer for Mr. Goforth. Women sent to us. Doors for preaching opened. Workers supplied abundantly. Kept from smallpox. We may trust Him wholly.
7. THE STORY OF ONE FURLOUGH (1908-1910)
Meeting a condition of petition - obedience. Six difficult doors opened. Trusting - for everything. Apples sent in abundance. Fruit, the best, in abundance. A telephone supplied. A fur coat. God's wonderful keeping power, a blessed experience. Help for the children's sewing. Another case of "GOD's wireless." A timely offer. A daughter's guardian pro�vided. A case of the LORD's lovingkindness�a red cloth ulster! Too many to record.
8. OUR GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
A blessed incident from Keswick. A verse of a hymn given. A governess provided. Rain withheld in answer to prayer. Five pounds sent. Sewing and prayer. A gracious lead�ing, and a great need supplied. An incident in Tientsin. More help with the sewing. A sewing machine supplied. A case of tuber�culosis healed. Two incidents of prayer and revival. Fifty dollars sent for friends in need. Another case of spiritual "wireless." Led to a lost key.
9. TO HIS PRAISE!
Trusting God to supply needs. His faithfulness. Prayer and dress. The restraining power of prayer - my son in the Great War. A prayer answered abundantly for one at home. Our GOD-given site. Closing words. All in "abide." Bible study on prayer.
10. VICTORY FOUND
Childhood yearnings for the presence of CHRIST. Half-hearted conflict with sin in early years in China. Pride and bad temper. Secretly criticized by Chinese women. How to live CHRIST as well as preach him. Heights and depths of spiritual experience. Lifelong prayer for the fulness of the SPIRIT. The conference at Niagara-on-the-Lake, June, 1916. A speaker's message and leaflet on "The Victorious Life." CHRIST accepted as SAVIOUR from the power of sin as well as from its penalty. The joy of realizing his Indwelling Presence. All summed up in one word, "Rest�ing." Bible-study on "The Life of Victory in CHRIST".