Archive for the ‘James Hudson Taylor’ Category

He prayed about things as if everything depended upon the praying . . . but he worked also, as if everything depended on his working

October 20, 2009

Hudson Taylor’s son, Howard, commented on his father’s response to a dying girl. He said to a prayer group to ‘pray, while I work’ – while he gave the girl the kiss of life. ‘He prayed about things as if everything depended upon the praying . . . but he worked also, as if everything depended on his working.’

Roger Steer, J. Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ, OMF, 1990, p.271

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Not ‘My country right or wrong’

September 10, 2009

Hudson Taylor opposed British action in 1856 over the ship ‘Arrow’ and the British attack on Guangzhou.

Roger Steer, Hudson Taylor, p.128

The gospel is the rule that evaluates all cultures and societies – including one’s own. Relativism claims that all cultures are equal and Nationalism (nearly) claims one’s own culture is superior to others and is the judge of others. The gospel is the criterion that avoids both these errors.

The benefits of the gospel to China

September 10, 2009

During the 1894 China Japan war over Korea 200 severly wounded Chinese came to the CIM hospital in Chefoo (Yantai, Shandong) from Weihai. Arthur Douthwaite carried out emergency operations on 163 men altogether. At the end of the war a Chinese general came to the hospital, accompanied by a brass band and a unit of soldiers. He erected a gold-embossed inscription expressing the thanks of the Chinese army. When he heard that stone was needed to build a new school at Chefoo he arrnaged for it to be provided from an army quarry and transported by soldiers.

Roger Steer, Hudson Taylor, OMF, 1990, pp.339-340

Also, CIM missionaries John Jones and Hudson Taylor helped opium addicts break their addiction. ibid., pp.144, 156

The urgency of Mission

September 10, 2009

In his missionary endeavour in China one of Hudson Taylor’s young converts was a young man called Nee Yung Fa. He was a Ningbo cotton dealer, and he was converted under Hudson’s preaching. He was also a leader in a reformed Buddhist sect – now this was a sect that didn’t go in for idolatry at all, but they were searching for truth and for the real true and living God. At the end of one of Hudson Taylor’s sermons, Nee Yung Fa stood up in his place and turned to address the audience and said: ‘I have long searched for the truth as my father did before me. I have travelled far but I haven’t found it. I found no rest in Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, but I do find rest in what I have heard tonight. From now on I will believe in Jesus’. Nee Yung Fa took Hudson Taylor back to his group of Buddhist believers, and he addressed that group and told his own testimony. Then another individual there was converted, and both of them were baptised. The other member of the group asked Hudson Taylor: ‘How long has the gospel been known in England?’. How long has the gospel been known in England? ‘For several hundred years’, he replied with a great tone of embarrassment. ‘What!’, exclaimed Nee, ‘What? Several hundred years, and you have only come to preach to us now? My father sought after the truth for more than 20 years and died not finding it! Why didn’t you come sooner?’.

Roger Steer, Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ, p.156 – online source

A man is drowning, I tell you

August 29, 2009

A Chinese, Peter, fell head first into a canal. The water was low and he was held fast in deep sludge somewhere under the water. Hudson Taylor saw a fishing boat with a drag net and hooks. ‘Come!’ he shouted, ‘Come and drag this spot. A man is drowning!’

‘It is not convenient,’ the fisherman replied.

‘Don’t talk of convenience – a man is drowning, I tell you!’

‘We are busy fishing and cannot come.’

‘Never mind fishing. I’ll give you more money than many a day’s fishing will bring. Just come. Come at once!’

‘How much money will you give us?’

Taylor couldn’t believe his ears. ‘We can’t discuss that now! Come quickly, or it will be too late. I’ll give you five dollars.’

‘We won’t drag for that. Give us $20 and we will drag.’

‘I haven’t got that much. Come quickly and I will give you all I have!’

‘How much will that be?’

‘I don’t know exactly. About $14 I think.’

At last, but even then slowly, the fishermen brought their boat over and let down the net. In less than one minute they brought up Peter’s body…During Taylor’s attempts at rescuscitation the fishermen complained they weren’t being paid immediately.

source unknown, p.121

Becoming all things to all men

August 25, 2009

Surely no follower of this meek and lowly One will be likely to conclude that it is ‘beneath the dignity of a Christian missionary’ to seek identification with this poor people… Let us rather be imitators of Him (who washed His disciples’ feet).

We have to deal with a people whose prejudices in favour of their own customs and habits are the growth of centuries and millenniums. Nor are their preferences ill-founded. These who know them most intimately respect them most; and see best the necessity for many of their habits and customs – this being found in the climate, productions, and conformation of the people. There is perhaps no country in the world in which religious toleration is carried to so great an extent as in China; the only objection that prince or people have to Christianity is that it is a foreign religion, and that its tendencies are to approximate believers to foreign nations.

I am not peculiar in holding the opinion that the foreign dress and carriage of missionaries – to a certain extent affected by some of their converts and pupils – the foreign appearance of the chapels, and indeed, the foreign air given to everything connected with religion, have very largely hindered the rapid dissemination of the truth among the Chinese. But why need such a foreign aspect be given to Christianity? The word of God does not require it; nor I conceive would reason justify it. It is not their denationalization but their Christianization that we seek.

We wish to see Christian (Chinese) – true Christians, but withal true Chinese in every sense of the word. We wish to see churches and Christian Chinese presided over by pastors and officers of their own countrymen, worshiping the true God in the land of their fathers, in the costume of their fathers, in their own tongue wherein they were born, and in edifices of a thoroughly Chinese style of architecture.

It is enough that the disciple be as his master (Jesus Christ).

If we really desire to see the Chinese such as we have described, let us as far as possible set before them a correct example: let us in everything unsinful become Chinese, that by all things we may save some. Let us adopt their costume, acquire their language, study to imitate their habits, and approximate to their diet as far as health and constitution will allow. Let us live in their houses, making no unnecessary alterations in external appearance, and only so far modifying internal arrangements as attention to health and efficiency for work absolutely require.

James Hudson Taylor addressing a letter to all who would seek to join him in this new work in 1867. Source

It is wonderful to see God’s providence in granting Taylor’s wish for ‘churches and Christian Chinese presided over by pastors and officers of their own countrymen’ through the forced eviction of foreign missionaries by the communist regime. Could he have imagined that tens of millions would worship the true God in China as they do today?

God’s Provision

August 24, 2009

I do want you, dear friends, to realise this principle of working with GOD, and trusting Him for all. If the work is at the command of GOD we can go to Him with fullest confidence for workers. And when GOD gives the workers, then we can go to Him for the means. We always accept
a suitable volunteer, whether we have funds in hand or not.

Then we very often say, Now, dear friend, your first work will be to join us in praying for the money to send you to China. As soon as there is money enough, the time of year and other circumstances being suitable, the volunteer goes out. We do not wait until there is a remittance in hand to give him when he gets there. The LORD will, in the meanwhile, provide the means, and the money will be wired to China in time to supply his wants. Let us see that we keep GOD before our eyes ;that we walk in His ways, and seek to please and glorify Him in everything, great and small. Depend upon it, GOD’S work done in GOD’S way will never lack GOD’S supplies.

Roger Steer, J.Hudson Taylor: A Man in Christ, O M F Books (October 1993) p.299

Hudson Taylor on debt

August 6, 2009

The (Chinese Evangelization Society)  itself was in debt. … To me it seemed that the teaching of God’s word was unmistakably clear: ‘Owe no man anything.’ To borrow money implied, to my mind, a contradiction of Scripture — a confession that God had withheld some good thing, and a determination to get for ourselves what He had not given. … If the Word taught me anything, it taught me to have no connection with debt.

James Hudson Taylor

Indebtedness to people we don’t know for things we don’t need implies disbelief in the God who knows us well enough to give to, and withhold from, us for our good.

Bible – personal study

July 28, 2009

You don’t tune up the instruments after the concert is over.

Hudson Taylor

i.e. spend time in prayer and the study of God’s Word before the business of the day

Evangelism – A Need for the Eternal Perspective

June 8, 2009

Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.

James Hudson Taylor