On the 30th of August, 1854, Mr. Talmage wrote, enclosing the subjoined appeal of the church at Peh-chui-ia for a missionary. It is addressed to the American Board, which these brethren call “the Public Society.” A duplicate letter was sent at the same time to Mr. Burns to be presented to the Board of Foreign Missions of the English Presbyterian Church. “They tell us,” says Mr. Talmage, “that every sentence has been prayed over. According to their own statement, they would write a sentence, and then pray, and then write another sentence, and then pray again.”
“By the mercy and grace of God, called to be little children of the Saviour Jesus, we send this letter to the Public Society, desiring that God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, may bestow grace and peace on all the saints connected with the Public Society. We desire you to know the boundless grace and favor of God towards us, and in behalf of us, little children, heartily to thank God because that the announcement of God’s grace has been conveyed by your nation to our nation, and to our province, even to Amoy, and to our market-town Peh-chui-ia. We desire the Public Society to be thoroughly informed, so that they may very heartily thank God and the Lord Jesus Christ; for we at Peh-chui-ia originally dwelt in the region of death and gloomy darkness, a place under the curse of God, and were exposed to God’s righteous punishment. But many thanks to God’s compassion and mercy, the Holy Spirit influenced the pastors of your nation to send holy brethren (Amoy native Christians), in company with the English pastor, the teacher, William Burns, unto our market town, to unfold the holy announcement of grace, and preach the Gospel. Many thanks to God, whose grace called several brethren, by day and by night, to listen to the preaching of the Gospel, for the space of four months. Many thanks to the Holy Spirit, who opened our darkened hearts, and led us unto the Saviour Jesus, whose precious blood delivers from sin. By the grace of God five persons were received into the Church and baptized. Again, two months afterwards four persons were received into the Church and baptized. There are still some ten persons and more, from different quarters, not yet baptized, who have been operated on, so that they listen to the preaching with gladness of heart.
“By the will of God, the English pastor has been called to return to his own nation. Our place is distant from Amoy by water, several tens of ‘lis,’ [One li is about one-third of a mile] so that it is difficult to come and go. The two pastors of your nation at Amoy (Messrs. Doty and Talmage) have not a moment to spare from labor, for the holy brethren there are many; and it is difficult for them to leave home.
“We, the brethren of the church at our market town, with united heart pray, earnestly beseeching God again graciously to compassionate us, and send a pastor from the Public Society of your nation, that he may quickly come, and instruct us plainly in the Gospel.