“For thirty-one years he was addicted to the smoking of opium. When the brethren first saw him, he seemed just ready to fall into the grave. He also had a bad reputation throughout the town, being accustomed to meddling with other people’s business. He was a man of good natural abilities, and the people feared him. He has given up his opium and his other vile practices. His whole character seems to have undergone a change. He also has been called, as have all the others in that town, to experience persecution. His enemies are those of his own house. His opium-smoking, and all his other wickedness, they could endure; but they cannot endure his Christianity, his temperance, his meek and quiet spirit. One of my visits to Peh-chui-ia was on the day after his friends had been manifesting, especial opposition to him. I found him greatly rejoicing that he had been called to suffer persecution for Christ’s sake, and that he had been enabled to bear it so meekly. He said the Holy Scriptures had been verified, referring to Matthew v.11, 12. He said that he had been enabled to preach the Gospel to those who had met to oppose him for two hours, until his voice failed him. He was still quite hoarse from his much speaking. He had told them of the change which he had experienced through the power of the Holy Spirit on his heart; but he also said he knew they could not understand his meaning, when he spoke of the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart. If they would worship Jesus, however, and pray to the Holy Spirit to change their hearts, as his had been changed, then they would understand him.”
An interesting case narrated in the life of W. C. Burns is that of Si-boo, who afterwards went as an evangelist among his own countrymen at Singapore.
“On Mr. Burns’ first visit to Pechuia, he found amongst the foremost and most interesting of his hearers, a youth of about eighteen or twenty, called Si-boo.
“Of stature rather under the average of his countrymen, with an eye and countenance more open than usual, and a free and confiding manner, he soon attracted the attention of the missionary. His position in life was above the class of common mechanics, and his education rather good for his position. His occupation was to carve small idols in wood for the houses of his idolatrous countrymen, of every variety of style and workmanship, some plain and cheap, and some of the most elaborate and costly description. Had Si-boo been of the spirit of Demetrius, he would have opposed and persecuted Mr. Burns for bringing his craft into danger. But instead of that, he manifested a spirit of earnest, truthful inquiry, although that inquiry was one in which all the prepossessions, and prejudices, and passions of mind and heart were against the truth—an inquiry in which all the influence of friends, and all his prospects in life, were cast into the wrong balance. By the