Brave Chinese Boy
( Originally Published 1902 )
THE besieged in Pekin sent a number of natives with messages to Tien-Tsin, almost all of whom were detected and killed. Three, however, returned. One of them was a Chinese boy, fifteen years of age, who carried the message from Sir Claude MacDonald to Mr. Charles, in Tien-Tsin, which prompted the relief force to start immediately, and not wait until September, and likely saved the besieged from annihilation. He had been a scholar in the Sunday School of the Congregational Mission in Pekin, and when the Boxer troubles became more threatening, his employer discharged him, fearing that the mob would burn down his establishment if he kept a Sunday School scholar in it. When the Boxers came through the streets he joined their ranks, as a pretended follower, and spent the night in howling, and making as much noise as the rest. After the Congregational Mission buildings had been destroyed, a missionary went to the neighborhood of the ruins, to see if there were any native Christians desiring shelter. He found this lad, who followed him into the Methodist Mission, and afterward went with the missionaries and native Christians into the British legation. He offered to risk his life in undertaking to carry a message to Tien-Tsin. They dressed him up as a beggar, gave him a bowl of porridge, with Sir Claude MacDonald's letter, wrapped in oiled silk, at the bottom of it, and let him down in a basket from the Tartar wall. This was done on the night of July the fourth ; he reached Tien-Tsin, after a series of thrilling adventures, on July the twenty-first, delivered his message, and in one week to the day, he was back again, with encouraging news, to the British legation. They cheered him lustily, and honored him as one of the greatest heroes of the siege.
This boy's bravery, devotion to the allied forces, and signal service in their behalf, entitled him to the esteem and gratitude of the civilized world.
If this heathen Chinese Sunday School scholar could be so brave and do so much for the cause of God, what great things should the Sunday School scholars of Christian lands undertake for the cause of Christ and his church, and what an inspiration this example of heroism should be to all workers, old and young, in the service of the Master.