Monday, July 6, 2009

Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret

An excerpt from the book Husdon Taylor's Spiritual Secret:

Hudson addresses an assembly of ministers at the Perth Conference in Scotland.

"He began his address by transporting his audience half-way around the world, vividly recounting a true story of a journey he made in October, 1856, from Shanghai to Ning-po aboard a Chinese junk.

Among his fellows passangers had been a Chinese man who was educated in England and went by the name of Peter. As Hudson talked with him he learned that while the man knew the teachings of Christianity, he had never made a personal commitment to Christ. As Hudson and Peter began developing a friendship on this journey, Hudson had opportunities to talk to the man about his spiritual needs.

As the junk approached the city of Sung-kiang-Fu, Hudson was in his cabin, preparing to go ashore to preach and distribute tracts when he heard a splash and then a cry of alarm that a man had fallen overboard. Rushing onto the deck, Hudson didn't see his new friend Peter. Was he the missing man?

"Yes," the boatman told Hudson, showing no concern. "He went down over there."

After convincing the reluctant captain to drop his sails. Hudson jumped over the side and began swimming back to the spot where Peter had disappeared. But the tide was running out, and the low shrubless shore provided no good landmark. His search seemed hopeless. Just then Hudson spotted some nearby fishermen with a dragnet - just what he needed.

"Come," he cried out in Chinese. "Come and drag over here. A man is drowning!"

"Veh bin," the fishermen replied, "It is not convenient."

"Come quickly or it will be too late," Hudson pleaded.

"We are busy fishing."

"Never mind your fishing. Come at once and I will pay you well."

"How much will you give us?" the fishermen wanted to know.

"Five dollars. But hurry."

"Too little!" they called back. "We won't come for less than thirty."

Hudson told them, "I don't have that much with me. But I'll give you all I have."

"How much is that?" they asked.

"I don't know. About fourteen dollars."

They finally brought their net over. The first time they passed it through the water they dragged up the missing man. But all Hudson's efforts to revive Peter failed. It was too late. The fisherman's indifference had cost him his life.

At the conclusion of that story a murmur of indignation swept over the crowd listening to Hudson. How could anyone be so callous and selfish?

That was the moment Hudson drove home his point:
'Is the body then, of so much more value than the soul? We condemn those heathen fishermen. We say they were guilty of the man's death - because they easily could have saved him, and did not do it. But what of the millions whom we leave to perish, and that eternally? What of the plain command, 'Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature'?..."

...the Lord commands us, commands us each one individually - 'Go,' He says, 'God into all the world and preach the Gospel to eveyr creature.' Will you say to him, 'It is not convenient'? Will you tell him you are busy fishing - having bought a piece of land, purchased five yoke of oxen, married a wife, or for other reasons cannot obey? Will he accept such excuses? Have you forgotten that 'we must all stand before the judgement seat of Christ,' that every one may receive the things done in the body. Oh, remember, pray for, labour for the unevangelised millions of China or you will sin against your own soul!"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Quite convicting! Even if we do not feel called to go to the far corners of the world we still have a responsibility in some way to aid in the spreading of the Gospel, whether through support, prayer etc. Are we compelled? For those of us who stay behind, are we seeking out opportunities in our own backyards to share the good news of Christ? Are we supporting those who are going? God, stir our hearts!

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