James Hudson Taylor (21 May 1832 – 3 June 1905), was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China, and founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM) (now OMF International).
Taylor spent 51 years in China. The society that he began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces.
“Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.”
“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.”
“Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power.”
“The power of prayer has never been tried to its full capacity in any church. If we want to see mighty wonders of divine grace and power wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let the whole Church answer God’s standing challenged; “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knows not.”
“Do we give sufficient attention to the theme of gaining Christ? It is our joy and privilege to know Him as God’s unspeakable gift, but none knew this more fully than the apostle Paul. But was he satisfied with this knowledge? Or was Paul’s soul-consuming desire, at all possible cost, to gain Christ; and thus to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings? Oh that Christ may be so known by us as a ‘living, bright reality’ that our one desire-our one absorbing heart-passion may be that we personally gain Christ-that we personally know Him as the apostle longed to do.”
“You must go forward on your knees.”
“All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they believed that God would be with them.”
“I myself, for instance, am not especially gifted, and am shy by nature, but my gracious and merciful God and Father inclined Himself to me, and when I was weak in faith He strengthened me while I was still young. He taught me in my helplessness to rest on Him, and to pray even about little things in which another might have felt able to help himself.”
“The branch of the vine does not worry, and toil, and rush here to seek for sunshine, and there to find rain. No; it rests in union and communion with the vine; and at the right time, and in the right way, is the right fruit found on it. Let us so abide in the Lord Jesus.”
“To every toiling, heavy-laden sinner, Jesus says, ‘Come to me and rest’. But there are many toiling, heavy-laden believers, too. For them this same invitation is meant. Note well the words of Jesus, if you are heavy-laden with your service, and do not mistake it. It is not, ‘Go, labor on,’ as perhaps you imagine. On the contrary, it is stop, turn back, ‘Come to me and rest.’ Never, never did Christ send a heavy laden one to work; never, never did He send a hungry one, a weary one, a sick or sorrowing one, away on any service. For such the Bible only says, ‘Come, come, come.’”
“In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are-dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.”
“I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.”
- A Prayer for Public Worship (challies.com)
Soli Deo Gloria
Thanks Don! The biographies of men such as Hudson Taylor are a source of inspiration, and also a rebuke to us in our time. When we judge ourselves by the standards of our own time, we might be tempted to pride. When we consider ourselves alongside these men whom God has used so greatly, we don’t look too good do we. If we saw ourselves in our true light, then we might be inclined to cry out to God, and He might just have mercy upon us and use us more. Isaiah 64.