Remembering Great Christian Heroes : Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)






Remembering Great Christian Heroes : Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)
Hudson was born into a Methodist family which had a great interest in mission work. He decided at an early age that he would be a missionary in China. At the age of seventeen, just at the point where his faith was being undermined by his exposure to the outside world, Hudson was filled with the Holy Ghost. He began studying the Bible and engaged in various evangelical works.
But Hudson knew that there was more, a purpose for his life that he was not yet aware of He became restless and prayed constantly for understanding. And then one night the presence of God was in his room and Hudson knew that he was to be sent to China.
Hudson started preparing for the mission. He started studying medicine and learning Chinese. By the time he was 21, although he had not completed his studies, he was on the way to China. The journey took six months and he was finally in Shanghai. He spent the first few years learning the Chinese language and understanding the Chinese people. He married Maria in 1858.
In 1860 Hudson and his new family returned to England. He was there for five years. During this time he wrote many articles about China and worked on a Chinese version of the New Testament. He raised the money to establish the China Inland Mission, and in 1866 Hudson, with his wife and family and for sixteen missionaries returned to China.
Although the work of the mission went well, Hudson faced personal tragedy with the death, within three years, of three of his children and of his beloved wife. The older children remained safely in England. But in 1871 Hudson returned to England to be with his children. During the journey he met Jennie, a woman who had been a friend of the family some years earlier. By the end of the journey they decided to marry. Some time later the couple returned to China to continue the work which Hudson had started.
Hudson was still beset with problems. He had a fall which damaged his back and he was unable to walk. The couple returned to England. Whilst paralysed and confined to bed, Hudson published a pamphlet in 1875 which asked for prayer on behalf of the hundred and fifty million Chinese. There was an overwhelming response to the appeal. Over sixty people volunteered to go to China. Hudson slowly recovered and was able to go to China.
The China Inland Mission was able to send out over seventy missionaries to provinces in China. In 1886 Hudson decided that he wanted another one hundred missionaries to start work in 1887. The cost of doing this would be high and Hudson returned to England to raise the funds and find the people. Again the response was tremendous. The money was raised and the one hundred missionaries were selected from over six hundred people who volunteered.
In 1888 Hudson visited America. He spoke at many meetings and, again, the response was tremendous. He obtained both money and missionaries. This became the pattern for the China Inland Mission. Hudson found himself ravelling all over the world, talking about China and the vision that God had given him to bring the Gospel to the Chinese.
In 1905 Hudson, now seventy three years old, returned to China. But without Jennie who had died the previous year. Hudson visited all the places that held special memories for him and then he died.
Hudson Taylor obeyed God and took Christianity throughout China. Instead of staying on the coast with the other missionary groups, he went to where the people were. Christianity was proclaimed throughout the provinces of China. The fruit of Hudson's obedience can be seen in China now. Although Christianity is savagely suppressed by the evil regime who believe that they currently run China, this is the country with the fastest growing Christian church. This is not a building or a denomination but the Church of Jesus Christ.

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