In his book ‘It is not death to die’ Jim Cromarty shares the story of Hudson Taylor, the story of a man of faith. Arguably one of the most effective missionaries of all time Hudson Taylor’s heart was set on taking the gospel to China from a young age. To this end he trained in medicine, having to overcome his poor background and the lack of finance to achieve this, and learnt how to share the good news of the gospel with the poor in the area in which he was training.
China Inland Mission founded
At the age of only 21 he first travelled to China and made several more visits in the next 12 years before God called him on Brighton beach to found the China Inland Mission in 1865. I well remember Chinese delegates at a leadership conference held in Brighton in 1991 going to the beach and giving thanks to God that that was the place in which Hudson Taylor received his call, his obedient response resulting in millions of Chinese finding Christ as their Saviour.
To read this excellent biography of Hudson Taylor, first published in 2001 but now in its second reprint, one encounters a man of passion for the gospel, a man of faith who trusted in God to provide (he never took offerings at the end of his many speaking engagements to publicise the CIM), a man of love and compassion, and a man sold out for God.
He identified with the Chinese people as closely as possible, including wearing their dress and taking their hairstyle, and trained up hundreds of Chinese evangelists to join over one thousand ex-patriot missionaries as they reached all provinces in that vast nation. He travelled widely internationally to recruit people for his mission, often suffering illness through many of the hardships that travel in the late-Victorian era exacerbated.
In China he and his fellow workers frequently faced severe opposition including riots, attacks, theft and destruction of property. But he taught his fellow missionaries not to retaliate nor seek compensation, a response that on occasion impressed the local people.
In the anti-foreigner Boxer rebellion of 1900, when Hudson Taylor was out of the country, several of his colleagues were executed together with their families (58 adults, 21 children), something that weighed heavily on his heart.
Hudson Taylor died in Switzerland in 1905, one year after his second wife Jennie died of cancer.
I can whole-heartedly recommend this substantial biography. You will discover there is much to learn and be challenged by as you read of a man who was passionate about advancing the Kingdom in his generation, the fruit of which is still being seen and multiplied over a century later.
Click ‘It is not death to die’ for a link to Amazon.