Missionary to China
Hudson Taylor was born in London in 1832. Eventually accepting Jesus in his teen years, he began preparing himself for missionary service to China and complete dependence on God, through living in an austere and “only ask God” lifestyle similar to George Müller. He served in China for 51 years and was instrumental in bringing 800 missionaries to China, founding 125 schools and bringing about the conversion of 18,000 Chinese. Sensitive to his Chinese milieu, he adopted the Chinese dress, including wearing a pigtail. He is credited with fostering the widest evangelistic effort since the time of Paul.
His Conversion Reading Tract
Some Quotations and Resources
"He chose the lowest place as the place best adapted to accomplish His purpose. In like manner we learn from the passage which heads this paper, and from other similar passages, that in order to enrich us, poor bankrupts, He intelligently and cheerfully emptied Himself of all His riches; and this He did, not by distributing them among us, but by leaving them behind — as neither needed nor suited to effect His purpose." Read Spiritual Sciences
"Now, as to spiritual preparation, I scarcely know where to begin. Of all preparation the most important is to know God. I think there is no question about this. And to know God you must know His Word. I would urge upon all of you to make a devotional study of the Word of God the first thing in your lives, the first thing absolutely. God has given to you and to me a plan by which we may infallibly succeed in all that we put our hands to" Read Spiritual Preparation of the Missionary Volunteer
This is one of the BEST articles I have ever read on the necessary qualifications of missionary candidates. Here is one paragraph:
"He should have shown himself useful and ready to help, and that in some measure at least his character should already have influenced and impressed others. But more than this, a missionary should be unselfish, considerate of and attentive to the feelings and needs of others. He should be patient—not apathetic, but able to bear opposition calmly and with long-suffering; he should be persevering also, not easily discouraged. With this is needed power to influence and to lead. I must not omit to mention one most important characteristic of a successful missionary—absence of pride of race; for nothing so much repels those amongst whom we labour, and 'The Lord resisteth the proud.' Power to come down to the level of those he seeks to save, and to become one with them, is most important."
(Read all of Hudson's Taylor on the Missionary's Qualifications
This book should be required reading for everyone contemplating becoming a missionary. Here Hudson shares his early conversions struggles, his surrender that led to God calling him to China, his preparation in England—living as if he were already in China, etc.. It could be easily read to children as well.
Hudson Taylor: The Exchange Life (Chapter describing his receiving Jesus as His victory.
Taylor was a struggling Christian much of his life. As a teen he pretty much gave up on God. But one afternoon he decided to read a tract that he found in his pastor father's study, figuring that he would read the story and ignore the Bible admonition. But coming upon the words "the finished work of Christ," he saw what he had been missing and became a rejoicing Christian. As you probably know, he eventually went to China and there did a great work for God. However, in spite of his busy service for God he still found himself constantly struggling. Then one day a missionary affiliated with him in China sent him a letter that contained a quote that changed his life. This "Exchanged Life" chapter describes his experience. It is one of the most important chapters in Christian biography on victory. Read it prayerfully and expectantly for a blessing in your own life.
Henry Law's Christ is All
For many years people attributed the quote to Steven Tyng and his book "Christ Is All." Being a book hound I went to the trouble to find it and read it. The words are not found there. With the help of Google Books I discovered the quote in Henry Law's Christ Is All, which you can read in the next link.
Henry Law: Christ Is All (This chapter contains the quote that changed Hudson Taylor's life)
“The believer does not need to wait until he sees the reason of God’s afflictive dealings with him ere he is satisfied; he knows that all things work together for good to them that love God; that all God’s dealings are those of a loving Father, who only permits that which for the time being is grievous in order to accomplish results that cannot be achieved in any less painful way. The wise and trustful child of God rejoices in tribulation… Our Heavenly Father delights to trust a trustworthy child with a trial in which he can bring glory to God, and through which he will receive permanent enlargement of heart and blessing for himself and others.” (Read about how Taylor worked in China)
"That very day God responded, as he shared after the fact: 'If God would only save me completely, then I would do ANYTHING in His cause He might direct.' Never shall I forget the feeling that came over me then. Words can never describe it. I felt I was in the presence of God, entering into covenant with the Almighty. I felt as though I wished to withdraw my promise but could not. Something seemed to say ‘Your prayer is answered, your conditions are accepted,’ and from that time the conviction never left me that I was called to China.” (Read Hudson Taylor's account of this story)
"We are a supernatural people, born again by a supernatural birth, kept by a supernatural power, sustained on supernatural food, taught by a supernatural Teacher, from a supernatural Book. We are led by a supernatural Captain in right paths to assured victories. The risen Saviour, ere He ascended on high, said “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, Go ye therefore “Disciple, baptize, teach all nations. “And, Lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the world.” And again, “Ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” Not many days after this, in answer to united and continued prayer, the Holy Ghost did come upon them and they were all ﬁlled. Praise God, He remains with us still. The power given is not a gift from the Holy Ghost. He, Himself, is the Power. To-day He is as truly available and as mighty in power as He was on the day of Pentecost. But has the whole Church ever, since the days before Pentecost, put aside every other work and waited for Him for ten days, that that power might be manifested? Has there not been a source of failure here? We have given too much attention to methods, and to machinery, and to resources, and too little to the Source of Power; the ﬁlling with the Holy Ghost. This, I think you will agree with me, is the great weakness, has been the great weakness of our service in the past, and unless remedied will be the great weakness in the future. We are commanded to be ﬁlled with the Spirit. If we are not ﬁlled we are living in disobedience and sin, and the cause of our sin is the cause of Israel’s sin of old, is the sin of unbelief." (Read all of this sermon)
Taylor sent a tract entitle How To Live On Christ by Harriet Beecher Stowe after he experienced the Exchanged Life. The source for his tract remained a mystery for many years. Several years ago, using the internet tools available today, I was able to locate the words, and found they were in a preface she penned for a biography of a young woman.
"There is such a way of living with, or in Christ, that watchfulness, prayer, devotion, patience, gentleness, meekness, become so many sweet and spontaneous impulses, instead of labored acquisitions, alternately the subjects of hope and of despair; and this is true freedom ." (Read the entire tract and learn where Taylor found the information for the tract)
I found this tract among Hudson Taylor's letters when doing research.
"And the point to which as an older brother allow me to draw your attention is this: For the first 3 years that I preached, I saw scarcely any fruit resulting from my labors, but when 4 years, 3 months since it pleased God to bring me into such a state, that I was willing to be content to be only the instrument provided any good was done, and was willing to give to God all the glory if any good was accomplished, it pleased Him to allow me at once to see fruit, yea much fruit resulting from my labours." (Read the entire letter)
“'My dear Macartney,' he replied, 'the peace you speak of is in my case more than a delightful privilege, it is a necessity.' He said most emphatically, 'I could not possibly get through the work I have to do without the peace of God ‘which passeth all understanding’ keeping my heart and mind.'” (Read the rest of the article on the peace that He enjoyed)
"After a few minutes of earnest intercession, Taylor returned to the deck conﬁdent that their prayers had been heard. Finding the ﬁrst ofﬁcer, non believer, in charge, he asked him to let down the corners of the mainsail. 'What would be the good of that?' he asked. Hudson told him that four of them had been asking God to send a wind, that it was coming immediately and that there was not a moment to lose, since they were so near the reefs. Looking contemptuously, the ofﬁcer replied with an oath: “Nonsense! You can’t pray up a wind.” Noticing a few moments later that the topmost sail was beginning to tremble, he said: 'That is only a cat’s-paw-a mere puff of wind.' 'Never mind what you think,' cried Hudson. 'Let down the mainsail quickly.' (Read the entire story.)
"It commences with instructions concerning the burnt-offering, the sacriﬁce in performing a vow, and the free-will offering. It was not to be supposed that any one might present his sacriﬁce to GOD according to his own thought and plan. If it were to be acceptable - a sweet savor unto the LORD - it must be an offering in every respect such as GOD had appointed. We cannot become acceptable to GOD in ways of our own devising; from beginning to end it must be, “Not my will, but Thine, be done.” (Read the entire sermon)