THE spirit of the Confucian scholar Hsi met with its Master Christ, and overwhelmed by the vision yielded all to His control. Constrained by His love the souls of men were sought and won; led by His Spirit, churches were established in the faith; sharing His sufferings, their failures became his burden.
In the darkest days the Hwochow Church has known, when many forsook their faith, he was strengthened by a dream, in which he saw a tree cut down to the ground, only to sprout again, and throw out branches stronger than before.
In his dream, Pastor Hsi knew this tree to be the Hwochow Church. He knew that though it were brought low, it would revive, and by faith obtained the promise, the fulfilment of which is recorded in these pages.
When Thou wouldst pour the Living Stream
Then I would be the earthen cup,
Filled to the brim and sparkling clear.
The Fountain Thou and Living Spring
Flow Thou through me, the vessel weak,
That thirsty souls may taste Thy grace.
When Thou wouldst warn the people, Lord,
Then I would be the golden bell
Swung high athwart the lofty tower
Morning and evening sounding loud;
That young and old may wake from sleep,
Yea, e'en the deaf hear that strong sound.
When Thou wouldst light the darkness, Lord,
Then I would be the silver lamp
Whose oil supply can never fail.
Placed high, to shed the beams afar,
That darkness may be turned to light,
And men and women see Thy face.
When Thou wouldst slay the wolves, O Lord!
Then I would be the keen-edged sword;
Clean, free from rust, sharpened and sure,
The handle grasped, my God, by Thee.
To kill the cruel, ravening foe,
And save the sheep for whom Christ died.
Translated from Pastor Hsi
by F. L. F.