I had a growing conviction [he wrote] that God would have me seek from Him the needed workers and go forth with them. But for a long time un belief hindered my taking the first step….

In the study of that divine Word, I learned that to obtain successful workers, not elaborate appeals for help, but first earnest prayer to God to thrust forth labourers, and second the deepening of the spiritual life of the Church, so that men should be unable to stay at home, were what was needed. I saw that the apostolic plan was not to raise ways and means, but to go and do the work, trusting His sure promise who has said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” …

But how inconsistent unbelief always is! I had no doubt but that if I prayed for fellow-workers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they would be given. I had no doubt but that, in answer to such prayer, the means for our going forth would be provided, and that doors would be opened be fore us in unreached parts of the Empire. But I had not then learned to trust God for keeping power and grace for myself, so no wonder I could not trust Him to keep others who might be pre pared to go with me. I feared that amid the dangers, difficulties and trials necessarily connected with such work, some comparatively inexperienced Christians might break down, and bitterly reproach me for encouraging them to undertake an enterprise for which they were unequal.

Yet what was I to do?

The sense of bloodguiltiness became more and more intense.

Simply be cause I refused to ask for them, the labourers did not come forward, did not go out to China: and every day tens of thousands in that land were passing into Christless graves! Perishing China so filled my heart and mind that there was no rest by day and little sleep by night, till health gave way.

Mrs Howard Taylor and George Verwer, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009).