Young Taylor began the study of medicine as well as Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. He realized, however, that the most important preparation of all must take place in the realm of his own soul. In China he would have to depend utterly upon his Lord for protection, supplies -- everything. Lest a dismal failure befall him later on, he determined to test thoroughly the Saviour's promise: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that I will do." He resolved to learn, as he said, "before leaving England, to move man, through God, by prayer alone."

He made the test in a specific situation relative to his salary. His employer had asked Hudson to remind him whenever his salary became due. This he determined not to do as per the usual custom but rather to leave it wholly in the hands of the Lord. While he was continuing in earnest prayer about the matter, the time came for the payment of a quarter's salary. On settling up his accounts one Saturday night he found himself possessed of only one remaining coin -- a half crown piece. About ten o'clock on Sunday night as he was doing gospel work in the various lodging houses, a poor man asked him to go and pray with his wife who was dying. He was led down a court and up a miserable flight of stairs into a wretched room. What a pathetic sight there presented itself. Four or five children stood about, their sunken cheeks and temples telling unmistakably the story of slow starvation, and lying on a wretched pallet was a forlorn-looking mother with a tiny infant moaning at her side. "Ah," thought Taylor, "if I had two shillings and a sixpence, instead of half-a-crown, how gladly should they have one-and-sixpence of it." He was willing to give them part of what he had, but not the entire coin. He sought to comfort them by saying that however distressing their circumstances, there was a kind and loving Father looking down from Heaven. But something within him cried, "You hypocrite! Telling these unconverted people about a kind and loving Father in Heaven, and not prepared yourself to trust Him without half-a-crown."

He was now feeling very miserable. If his coin were only changed, he would gladly give a florin and keep only the sixpence remaining. But he was not yet prepared to trust in God alone, without the sixpence. Not being able to continue the conversation, he said to the man: "You asked me to come and pray with your wife. Let us pray." He knelt down, but no sooner had he said, "Our Father," than he heard a voice within saying, "Dare you mock God? Dare you kneel down and call Him Father with that half crown in your pocket?" Finishing the prayer, he arose.

"I put my hand into my pocket," he says, "and slowly drawing out the half crown gave it to the man, telling him that it might seem a small matter for me to relieve them, seeing that I was comparatively well off, but that in parting with that coin I was giving him my all; but that what I had been trying to tell them was indeed true -- God really is a Father and may be trusted. And how the joy came back in full flood-tide in my heart! Not only was the poor woman's life saved, but my life had been saved too." He was convinced that money thus given in Christ's name was a loan which He would repay.

He went home happy in heart, and before retiring asked the Lord not to let his loan be a long one or he would have nothing to eat the next day. Early the next morning the postman's knock was heard at the door. He very rarely ever received a letter on Monday morning, hence he was surprised when the landlady came in with a letter. On opening the envelope he found a sheet of blank paper and a half sovereign. "Praise the Lord!" he exclaimed. "Four hundred percent for a twelve hours' investment!" He then and there learned that the bank of Heaven is always dependable and pays good dividends.


From: Heroes of Faith on Pioneer Trails by E. Myers Harrison. Published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, c1945.