áJ. Hudson Taylor



J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) was an English missionary to China.


James Hudson Taylor was born at Barnsley, England, May 21, 1832. He was fortunate to have been born in a home of genuine piety. Heaven lay about him in his infancy. He saw it in his father's faith and in his mother's prayers. Even prior to his birth his parents had dedicated him to God and prayed that he might be a missionary to China, though this information was withheld from him until long after he had reached that land.

Despite the godly example and teaching of his parents, Hudson became a skeptical and worldly young man. He began to think that for some reason or other he could not be saved and that the only thing for him to do was to take his fill of this world, since there was no hope for him in the next.

Hudson Taylor's conversion, like all else in his life, is a monument to the power of prayer. When he was about seventeen years of age he went one afternoon into his father's library in search of a book with which to while away the time. Finally he picked up a gospel tract which looked interesting, saying to himself: "There will be a story at the beginning and a sermon at the end. I will read the former and skip the latter."

Little did he know what was going on at that very time in the heart of his mother, who was on a visit seventy or eighty miles away. That very afternoon she went to her room with an intense yearning for the conversion of her son, turned the key in the door and resolved not to leave the spot until her prayers were answered. Hour after hour she continued pleading, until at length she arose with glad assurance that the object of her prayers had already been accomplished.

Meanwhile, in the course of reading the tract, Hudson had come upon the expression, "The finished work of Christ." Remembering the words, "It is finished," he raised the question, "What was finished?" He at once replied: "A full and perfect atonement and satisfaction for sin. The debt was paid by the Substitute. Christ died for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." Next came the thought, "If the whole work was finished and the whole debt paid, what is there left for me to do?" Then came the blessed realization that there was nothing in the world to be done but to fall down on one's knees in prayer and in faith accept the salvation wrought out by Christ. "Thus," says Hudson, "while my dear mother was praising God on her knees in her chamber, I was praising Him in the old warehouse to which I had gone alone to read at my leisure this little book."

Several days later he told his sister of his new-found joy in Christ and secured her promise not to speak of it to anyone. When the mother returned a fortnight later, he met her at the door and told her he had a piece of good news for her. Writing many years later, Hudson Taylor said: "I can almost feel that dear mother's arms around my neck, as she pressed me to her bosom and said, 'I know, my boy. I have been rejoicing for a fortnight in the glad tidings you have to tell me.' 'Has Amelia broken her promise?' I asked in surprise. 'She said she would tell no one.' My dear mother assured me that it was not from any human source that she had learned the tidings and went on to tell the incident mentioned above."

While the mother far away was praying in faith that he might that very day enter into the experience of salvation, he actually tasted its felicity, having realized that there was nothing for him to do but to lay hold of the finished work of Calvary, in faith believing, in prayer receiving. Mother and son alike were casting their anchor in the promise of John 14:13, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." The text was precious to him, first of all, because it led his polluted soul to Calvary's cleansing fountain, and because it brought him toŚ THE ALTAR OF CONSECRATION


From: Heroes of Faith on Pioneer Trails by E. Myers Harrison. Published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, c1945.


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