Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China. Born in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England in 1832. He became a doctor and then sailed to China with the Chinese Evangelization Society in 1853. Thus began his life's mission to share Christ with the people of China.
This book was so refreshing. I find so many today, not only water-down the gospel, prayer, and Bible reading but water-down Jesus.
Not Hudson Taylor.
After reading this book I want to spend more time with Jesus, more time reading His Word and wait on Him to work in me.
I'll be honest, some of the book did drag on a bit, but it was so worth it to get to the good parts. And there are a lot of good parts!
One of my favorite parts was the story of his conversion.
Like so many others I've read, Hudson Taylor had a praying mother. A mother who spend countless hours on her knees for the salvation of her children. If you are a mother, never give up on your children, keep them in your prayers always. I've read so many stories of those who came to Christ late in their life because of a praying mother. Don't give up, God hears you.
'Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.' Psalms 112:1-2
He read the words, 'The finished work of Christ.'
"Why does the writer use those words?' he questioned. 'Why does he not say, 'the atoning or propitiatory work of Christ?'
Immediately, It is finished shone out as in letters of light. Finished? What was finished?
'A full and perfect atonement for sin,' his heart replied. 'The debt was paid by the great Substitute. Christ died for our sins,' and 'not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.'
Then came the thought with startling clearness, 'If the whole work is finished, the whole debt paid, what is there left for me to do?'
The one, the only answer took possession of his soul: 'There was nothing in the world for me to do save to fall upon my knees and accepting this Savior and His salvation to praise Him for evermore.'
'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' Jeremiah 33:3
I loved this so much! How many of us have books on our bookshelves that could lead our child to Christ?
God then put a deep desire to go to China in Hudson Taylor's heart, but the way was not easy and he had to learn to completely trust in God. Finances were a big obstacle as it is for many. God taught Hudson to trust in Him to supply.
Hudson writes here to his sister:
"His love is unfailing, His word unchangeable, His power ever the same, therefore the heart that trusts Him is kept in 'perfect peace'...I know He tries me only to increase my faith, and that it is all in love. Well, if He is glorified, I am content."
Hudson Taylor and the mission that was set up never solicited for money, yet God always provided, many times just in time!
Once in China he had hurdle after hurdle. Here was a place where no protestant missionary had come before. Foreigners were looked on suspiciously, housing was difficult to find and He was often laughed at because of his clothing and speech.
He decided to dress himself in Chinese dress and found it made a world of difference. The people were able to listen to what he had to say instead of laughing at his English clothing! They wanted to hear what this Englishman who dressed like them had to say.
He wrote of his troubles to his sister and said:
"You ask how I get over my troubles. This is the way...I take them to the Lord. Since writing the above, I have been reading my evening portion - Psalms 72 to 74. Read them and see how applicable they are. I don't know how it is, but I can seldom read Scripture now without tears of joy and gratitude..."
Hudson Taylor went through struggle after struggle. Losing many people in his life he loved dearly, including his wife and some of his children. He also had to deal with illness throughout his own life. The enemy worked hard to overcome Hudson Taylor, but ultimately failed. Praise be to God! God always works all things for good to those who love Him!
So now onto Hudson Taylor's spiritual secret.
It came to him through a letter written by his friend John McCarthy. Here's a portion of the letter:
"...Do you know, I now think that this striving, longing, hoping for better days to come is not the true way to holiness, happiness or usefulness. It is better, no doubt, far better than being satisfied with poor attainments, but not the best way after all. I have been struck with a passage from a book...entitled Christ is All. It says,
'He is most holy who has most of Christ within, and joys most fully in the finished work. It is defective faith which clogs the feet and causes many to fall.'
This last sentence, I think I now fully endorse. To let my loving Savior work in me His will, my sanctification, is what I would live for by His grace. Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power;...resting in the love of an almighty Savior, in the joy of a complete salvation, 'from all sin' - this is not new, and yet 'tis new to me. I feel as though the dawning of a glorious day had risen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust. I seem to have got to the edge only, but of a boundless sea; to have sipped only, but of that which fully satisfies. Christ literally all seems to me, now, the power, the only power for service, the only ground for unchanging joy...
How then to have our faith increased? Only by thinking of all that Jesus is and all He is for us: His life, His death, His work, He Himself as revealed to us in the Word, to be the subject of our constant thoughts. Not a striving to have faith...but a looking off to the Faithful One seems all we need; a resting in the Loved One entirely, for time and for eternity."
Hudson Taylor later wrote of this letter:
"As I read, I saw it all, I looked to Jesus, and when I saw - oh, how joy flowed!"
Hudson says of this secret:
"The secret was that Jesus was satisfying the deep thirst of the heart and soul."
"It was resting in Jesus now, and letting Him do the work - which makes all the difference."
We often encourage each other to be like Jesus, but the real secret is not striving to be like Jesus but to abide in Jesus. Abide in Him completely.
1. to remain; continue; stay
2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside
3. to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last.
This chapter (14) goes on to share a letter Hudson Taylor wrote to his sister about his experience. It is a beautiful letter, a letter that moved his sister "to enter into this rest of faith" as well. The letter itself is to long to share here, but I highly recommend you find a way to read it!
The author of this book, which was Hudson's son, says here:
"God was first in Hudson Taylor's life - not the work, not the needs of China or of the Mission, not his own experiences. He knew that the promise was true, 'Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
...and here he quotes Oswald Chambers:
"God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome."
"To him, the secret of overcoming lay in daily, hourly fellowship with God; and this, he found, could only be maintained by secret prayer and feeding upon the Word through which He reveals Himself to the waiting soul."
The author finished the book with these words:
"The hardest part of a missionary career, Mr. Taylor found, is to maintain regular, prayerful Bible study. 'Satan will always find you something to do,' he would say, 'when you ought to be occupied about that, if it is only arranging a window blind.' Fully would he have endorsed the weighty words:
Then he quotes Andrew Murray:
"Take time. Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you. Take time to read His Word as in His presence, that from it you may know what He asks of you and what He promises you. Let the Word create around you, create within you a holy atmosphere, a holy heavenly light, in which your soul will be refreshed and strengthened for the work of daily life."
The book ends with this powerful quote by E.M. Bounds:
"The past has not exhausted the possibilities nor the demands for doing great things for God. The church that is dependent on its past history for its miracles of power and grace is a fallen church...
The greatest benefactor this age could have is the man who will bring the teachers and the church back to prayer."
Communion with the living God through prayer is so much more than we can comprehend. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is when Jesus prays for us as believers. A prayer of oneness, a prayer that we will abide in Him.
This prayer always humbles me. The Savior of the world, on his knees, praying for me, praying for you.
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—
I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
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