Prayer Saved The Besieged In Pekin
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
FEW times in the history of this world have there been so many or earnest prayers offered to God as those in behalf of the besieged in Pekin. Those within prayed as well as watched and fought, and the civilized world sent up one united prayer for their deliverance. At times the imprisoned ones felt that there was almost no hope for their rescue, and up to the day that help came they did not know what moment the Chinese might make a successful rush upon them, or explode a mine beneath them and send them into eternity. So many providential things occurred during the siege that the Christians came to believe that God would somehow save them. At the time a furious gale was blowing a fire was started that threatened to destroy all the buildings of the legation, and in a moment of time the fierce wind ceased. There were only eight hundred foreigners, and it was seriously debated whether it was safe to share the protection of the legation with the native Christians ; but the missionaries were unwilling to be saved and leave the converts to die, and without the help of these native Christians it is likely the besieged would not have been able to hold out. The wells were low, but four thousand drank from them in the day-time, and at night the Lord filled them up so that the next day the four thousand were refreshed again, and the process of replenishing continued till the day of the rescue. There was the unexpected discovery of supplies of food and of material for bags for the fortifications. In these and in many others things God's interposing hand seemed to be so manifest, that the imperilled ones came to believe that God intended to save them from slaughter. During the siege texts of Scripture were used as an encouragement to faith. One day, Mrs. Arthur Smith handed Dr. Martin a text which she said Mrs. Conger had taken from her daily reading as an appropriate one for the day. Dr. Martin tacked it up at the gate-house. It was II. Corinthians I : 8-I I. " We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver : in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us. Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf."
Christian people throughout the civilized world and many who do not publicly profess Christ, firmly believe that God came in answer to prayer and saved the besieged ones in Pekin.