Sunday, October 26, 2008

God Manifest In Flesh

When Jesus described the heart He called it a treasure chest, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things." (Matthew 12:35)

Whenever I read this text I always think of a treasure chest, a place where the real nature of a man abides. Inside every one of us there is a strongbox of treasured values and morals and deepest beliefs. This is where we keep our memories, our loves and hates, our ambitions and our attitudes. These we guard jealously and protect as our own peculiar treasure. You have a treasure chest in your bosom and so do I. The Saviour said so.

Much of the treasure that is stored away in our hearts is never brought out and put on display. It is too private, too personal, too peculiar, and many times it is too perverse. We would be embarrassed for others to know what rubbish we have been saving up.

We will close the lid on the contents of our treasure chest. But I must tell you that the contents of our treasure chests are not all secret. The Saviour said, "…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matt. 12:34) He says the treasure chest leaks, it overflows into our words. Solomon described this overflow as being like a spring, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23)

A survey of the Scriptures reveals some painful facts.

Our words and our works and our attitudes and our relationships and our appearance and our worship conspire to show others what is in our treasure chest. Embarrassing, isn't it?

But this treasure chest analogy has a bright side to it as well. You see, the Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. All His words and works and relationships and appearance and worship of God blended harmoniously to reveal the heart of God. It is true that our Lord concealed His own glory in His humanity. But it is also true that He revealed the glory of the Father in all He did.

When my Saviour opened the treasure chest of His heart, He brought forth the Diamonds of His Deity, the Rubies of His Righteousness, the Pearls of His Power, the Gold of His Father's Glory, the Garnets of His Grace, the Jasper of His Justice, the Sapphires of His Sovereignty, the Jade of His Joy, the Amethysts of His Affections, and the Opals of His Omniscience.

Is it any wonder the temple guards returned empty handed when they were sent to arrest Him, saying, "Never man spake like this man"! Is it any wonder Niocodemus honoured our Lord with the words, "No man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him "? Is it any wonder the apostle Paul described his own life goal as being, "That I may know him"? Is it any wonder we who know Him find Him to be altogether lovely?

Is it any wonder that we fall down speechless at His feet in eternal wonder that He has bestowed His treasure in these earthen vessels?

All glory to His Name!

Buddy Smith
Used With Permission

An Embarrassment Of Riches (The Preacher's Dilemma)

The following two quotes by Charles Spurgeon were taken from Spurgeon's Autobiography, Volume 1, pages 203-204, 206-207.

If a man be truly called to the ministry, I will defy him to withhold himself from it. A man who has really within him the inspiration of the Holy Ghost calling him to preach, cannot help it, - he must preach. As fire within the bones, so will that influence be until it blazes forth. Friends may check him, foes criticise him, despisers sneer at him, the man is indomitable; he must preach if he has the call of Heaven. All earth might forsake him; but he would preach to the barren mountain-tops. If he has the call of Heaven, if he had no congregation, he would preach to the rippling waterfalls, and let the brooks hear his voice. He could not be silent. He would become a voice crying in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." I no more believe it possible to stop ministers than to stop the stars of heaven. I think it no more possible to make a man cease from preaching, if he is really called, than to stay some mighty cataract, by seeking, in an infant's cup, to catch the rushing torrent. The man has been moved of Heaven, who shall stop him? He has been touched of God, who shall impede him? With an eagle's wing, he must fly; who shall chain him to the earth? With a seraph's voice, he must speak; who shall seal his lips? And when a man does speak as the Spirit gives him utterance, he will feel a holy joy akin to that of Heaven; and when it is over, he wishes to be at his work again, he longs to be once more preaching. Is not the Lord's Word like a fire within me? Must I not speak if God has placed it there?

In my earlier days, I read, somewhere or other, in a volume of Lectures upon Homiletics, a statement which considerably alarmed me at the time; it was something to this effect: - "If any man shall find a difficulty in selecting a text, he had better at once go back to the grocer's shop, or to the plough, for he evidently has not the capacity required for a minister." Now, as such had been very frequently my cross and burden, I enquired within myself whether I should resort to some form of secular labour, and leave the ministry; but I have not done so, for I still have the conviction that, although condemned by the sweeping judgment of the lecturer, I follow a call to which God has manifestly set His seal. I was so much in trouble of conscience through the aforesaid severe remark, that I asked my grandfather, who had been in the ministry some fifty years, whether he was ever perplexed in choosing his theme. He told me frankly that this had always been his greatest trouble, compared with which, preaching in itself was no anxiety at all. I remember the venerable man's remark, "The difficulty is not because there are not enough texts, but because there are so many, that I am in a strait betwixt them." We are something like the lover of choice flowers, who finds himself surrounded by all the beauties of the garden, with permission to select but one. How long he lingers between the rose and the lily, and how great the difficulty to prefer one among ten thousand lovely blooms! To me, still, I must admit, my text-selection is a very great embarrassment, - embarras de richesse, as the French say, - an embarrassment of riches, very different from the bewilderment of poverty, - the anxiety of attending to the most pressing of so many truths, all clamouring for a hearing, so many duties all needing enforcing, and so many spiritual needs of the people all demanding supply. I confess that I frequently sit hour after hour praying and waiting for a subject, and that this is the main part of my study; much hard labour have I spent in manipulating topics, ruminating upon points of doctrine, making skeletons out of verses, and then burying every bone of them in the catacombs of oblivion, drifting on and on over leagues of broken water, till I see the red lights, and make sail direct to the desired haven. I believe that, almost any Saturday in my life, I prepare enough outlines of Sermons, if I felt at liberty to preach them, to last me for a month, but I no more dare to use them than an honest mariner would run to shore a cargo of contraband goods.

Inoculated With the Gospel

The following is an article from THE PERSUADER and also a book written in April, 2002. You can find more of our materials on our web site http://www.thepersuader.org/. All our material is without charge. (Pro. 23:23)

Inoculated With the Gospel

Galatians 1:6-9

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."

The title of this message came as a result of a preacher who said to me one day, "Many of our church members have been inoculated with the gospel." This statement sounds like a good thing until you understand what the word "inoculated" means. The health dictionary states that "inoculation" is the act or practice of communicating a disease to a person, by inserting contagious matter in his skin or flesh. After reading that definition one may have a tendency to say that being inoculated with the gospel sounds like a good thing, but when the gospel is heard and the heart is stirred without a completed work of the Holy Spirit, a person will make a profession -- be inoculated with a profession that does not give peace and satisfaction because it is not real.

But there is a problem -- inoculation in the end keeps you from getting the disease. Inoculation really causes one to be immune to the disease for which they are inoculated or vaccinated. The encyclopedia states that vaccination is the inoculation of a person (or animal) in order to bring about immunity to an infection organism.

Being exposed to the truth concerning "inoculation" causes me to come to the conclusion that many Baptist, as well as other denominations today, have been inoculated with the gospel which in reality has caused them to become immune to the gospel.

With these thoughts in mind, I would like to use the physical inoculation to make application to the spiritual inoculation of the gospel. To do this let us develop the four following points: 1) Inoculation requires a vaccine. 2) The vaccine must be administered. 3) Booster shots are needed. 4) Sometimes a person still gets the disease.

1. Inoculation requires a Vaccine.

The encyclopedia states that a vaccine may consist of living organisms that are weakened in a laboratory so that they create immunity without giving them the disease. This is usually done by doctors who are specialist in their field. The vaccine they develop consists of a shot or a pill called oral vaccine. This means that the living organisms have been tampered with to create the vaccine that produces immunity.

Now let us make a spiritual application. Paul spoke to the church at Galatia and said, " I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." (Gal. 1:6-7) In these verses we see the use of "another" is used twice in our English language while the Greek uses two words. The first "another" is translated from the Greek word "heteros" while the second is from the Greek word "allos." "Heteros" means another of a different kind while "allos" means another of the same kind. Thus, we can summarize what Paul said, "I marvel that you are moved unto a gospel of a different kind which is not of the same kind -- of the saving kind." This is a result of the gospel having been tampered with or weakened by man, usually doctors who have been cloned out of religious institutions that are weakening the gospel.

The gospel is the good news of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. The gospel also includes the virgin birth, His sinless life, as well as His death, burial, and resurrection, and also includes His ascension, His ministry of intercession, and His bodily coming back again. Anyone who tampers with or weakens the gospel in any way produces a "heteros" gospel, thus producing a spiritual vaccine which when administered will cause immunity to the gospel.

2. The vaccine must be administered.

In the health world human instruments, such as doctors and nurses, are used to administer the vaccine. At first the vaccine was administered in shot form but later an easier method was developed -- in some cases that of an oral vaccine.

God's way in administering the gospel is by using human instruments. Rom. 10:13-15: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" I Cor. 3:5: "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?" Therefore we conclude from the Scriptures that no one will be saved without the aid of a human instrument. But the problem is that many human instruments have developed a weakened form of the gospel by using their "canned plan" on every one they meet.

By a "canned plan" I mean they use the same technique on every one they deal with. Some say, "If you want to go to heaven just raise your hand and pray this simple prayer and ask Jesus into your heart." Then they tell them they are saved because they prayed the prayer. The problem with this is that this is a spiritual vaccine that inoculates them with the gospel which in reality keeps them from receiving the gospel. Others use the Roman Road plan on everyone they deal with no matter what their need is. This too results in many being inoculated with the gospel instead of receiving the gospel.

Still others would refute these methods just mentioned as "easy believism" and would never practice such. Yet, they use Rom. 10:13 and put pressure on those they deal with by saying they call God a liar if they say they are not saved after they prayed because they heard them call on the name of the Lord out loud in their presence. This is just another form of vaccine developed by man to inoculate men with the gospel. All these spiritual vaccines, and many others, even though not mentioned, are used to get numbers while leaving many immune to the gospel -- not saved.

3. Booster shots are needed.

In health the encyclopedia states that periodic booster immunization is recommended with most vaccines because the immunity caused by the initial inoculation may decrease with time. Therefore, booster shots are needed.

This point holds true with all who have been inoculated with the gospel. They all need spiritual booster shots of the gospel from time to time to keep them in their immunized state so that they do not receive the gospel -- be saved. When doubt enters as a result of a person not having anything real, well meaning preachers and altar workers have their booster shots ready to administer assurance so that the person they are dealing with will stay immune to the gospel. These spiritual booster shots come in many forms.

1) That's just the devil making you doubt.

Sometimes this is the impression a person gets within due to the traditional teaching he has received. When really this is the devil trying to tell that person he is OK because "that is what happens to everybody who is saved -- they doubt." Usually the devil uses some human instrument to keep you immune to the gospel by telling you "it sounds good to me." Preachers, you are not God and a lost person who has received the vaccine of the gospel does not need to hear that from you for they have a tendency to be lifted up with pride and hold on to their profession when in reality they are lost.

There are those who say that one of the ways you know that you are saved is that you doubt. This is contrary to Scripture. I Thess. 1:5 states plainly that when the gospel is received there is much assurance which is the opposite of doubt. I Thess. 1:5: "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." Therefore, if one has continuous doubt, it is because they have been inoculated with the gospel and are not really saved.

2) If you are not sure, just settle it now.

Another booster shot is administered by telling someone who comes to you saying they are not sure whether they are saved and you tell them just to bow their heads and ask Jesus into their heart. No one can be saved until they have the reality that they are lost. And that takes a completed work of Holy Ghost conviction for that reality to be present in a person. Therefore, if someone tries this technique on another person, they are administering a booster shot and causing that person to be immune to the gospel.

3) You need to be baptized by this church to make sure you are in the bride.

I have heard this told to someone who was not sure that they were saved. The preacher they went to said to this individual, "What you need is to be baptized by our church to make sure you are in the bride of Christ. It just might be that the church that baptized you may not be able to trace their lineage all the way back to Christ and we can." That individual submitted to that pastor's suggestion and as far as I know is still holding on to their profession. Brethren that is not only a booster shot of the gospel that keeps one immune to the truth of the gospel, but it is really "baptismal regeneration" which is contrary to the Scriptures.

4) You go to church and tithe.

This booster shot is real to me because I experienced this when I was in my 20's. I went to the pastor telling him that I was not sure if I was saved. He basically said you go to church three times a week and pay your tithe and that statement (booster shot) puffed me up with pride and caused me to go for years immune to the gospel.

5) You have had answered prayers.

Many administer booster shots of this nature to those who have had answered prayer. They do this by quoting John 9:31: "We know that God heareth not sinners." They quote that to give assurance to others, without looking at the context. A lost man said that to a bunch of Pharisees and it was based upon their tradition. The truth of the matter is that in Acts 10:31 the Bible stated plainly that an angel told Cornelius--a lost man, "Thy prayer is heard." This statement given to someone who is in doubt of their salvation is nothing more than a spiritual booster shot to keep that person immune to the gospel.

There are many other forms of spiritual booster shots I could mention but I think these are enough to let you see the problem -- many in our churches are lost because they have been inoculated with the gospel by well meaning preachers and personal workers who short circuit the work of the Holy Ghost thus causing those they deal with to be immune to the truth of the gospel. And when those come back to the same preacher, they administer them booster shots to keep them in their lost condition. Paul said in essence in Gal. 1:8-9, "Let those who practice such, go on to hell (be accursed)."

4. Sometimes the person still gets the disease.

Sometimes even after the vaccine has been given and the booster shots are administered (in health) the person still gets the disease when exposed to a strong source of the living organism. The good part of this in the health world is that there are a few who get the disease who have been inoculated. The sad part is that in the spiritual world there are few who encounter the strong source of the truth of the gospel and are saved. Mat. 7:13-14: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

But thank the Lord for the few, many of whom were saved in spite of the inoculation and booster shots that tried to keep them immune to the gospel. Paul said in I Thess. 1:5: "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake." This "power" and "Holy Ghost" refers to a completed work of Holy Ghost conviction. To explain this I will copy here a part of the message "Unbeatable Combination" printed in the Oct.-Dec. 2000 issue of The Persuader which dealt with the salvation of the eunuch in Acts. 8:26-37. (Quote):

The Holy Spirit was working His work in Acts 8. The Bible refers to His work as the "sanctification of the Spirit" in two verses. (I Peter 1:2: "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." II Thess. 2:13: "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.") "Sanctification of the Spirit" means the setting apart work of the Holy Spirit in salvation.

1) He prepares the sinner.

He does this by giving light to every sinner. (John 1:9: "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.") He does this in creation (Rom. 1:20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.") which reveals that God exists. (Psa. 19:1-4: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.") Therefore, every man is without excuse. (Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.") If a sinner will step in light that there is a God, the Holy Spirit will cause him to begin to seek God. (Heb. 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.") The eunuch left his country in search of God.

2) He plants the seed.

When the eunuch went to Jerusalem to find God, no doubt he felt he had failed for he was returning home in our text just as empty as he had left. The only difference was he had a copy of a portion of the Word of God -- Isaiah 53.

3) He positions the saint.

The Holy Spirit moved on Philip while he was in revival at Samaria. Philip obeyed, went where the Lord told him, met the eunuch's chariot, and heard him reading from Isaiah 53. After asking him if he understood what he read, the eunuch made a true statement in verse 31, "How can I unless some man should guide me?" God's plan in everyone's salvation experience includes a human instrument. (Rom. 10:13-15: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" I Cor. 3:5: "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?")

4) He plows the soil.

Every sinner's heart must be plowed with the plow share of the gospel sharpened by the Holy Spirit. Acts. 8:35 states that Philip "preached Jesus" (the gospel) to the eunuch from Isaiah 53. This is the Lord's way. (I Cor. 1:21: "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.") A sinner's heart must be plowed if it is ever to become good ground and be saved. (Mat. 13:23: "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.")

5) He produces all that is necessary to be saved.

The Holy Spirit produces conviction which is called "reprove" in John 16:8. ("And when he (Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.") "Reprove" means to convince and convict. Every sinner must be convinced of his root sin against God -- unbelief. Also he must be convinced of the righteousness of God who is Jesus. (I Cor. 1:30: "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.") When convinced, then comes conviction -- being guilty of sin against a Holy God, deserving the judgment of God which is an eternity in hell. But the Lord does not save you just to keep you out of hell. He saves you for His glory. Conviction must be complete of all three ingredients -- sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Another name for conviction is godly sorrow (deep God caused grief) which works repentance. (II Cor. 7:10: "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.") Repentance is a change of mind, but more. It is a change of heart, a change of attitude, and a change of direction. It is a turning toward God from sin, self, and the world and taking up sides with God against yourself.

Repentance is a work of God and is a must if one is to be saved. When repentance is worked the Holy Spirit produces faith. Faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.") and not something you work up.

When repentance and faith are granted, then and only then can one obey the gospel, which is to repent and believe. (End Quote)

In conclusion I would like to say that a person who has had the vaccine and booster shots administered, but gets the disease when he encounters a strong organism of the disease, will have fever and the shakes. In a similar manner when one who has been inoculated with the gospel and had booster shots, when he comes in contact with Holy Ghost conviction will also have the shakes. He spiritually will be like Jeremiah when he encountered the Lord -- "all my bones shake." (Jer. 23:9) When Holy Ghost conviction comes there will be a shaking in your soul for there is a battle for your soul. The devil wants your soul and so does the Lord. That is why the devil wants you inoculated with the gospel so you will be immune to it and be lost forever. He gets many because Mat. 7:22-23 says: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

But the Lord wants you to be exposed to Holy Ghost conviction so that you might receive the gospel in power and assurance. That is why He is so longsuffering and good to you. "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Rom. 2:4.

Have you received the gospel or are you just inoculated with it? II Cor. 13:5 says: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

Inoculation in the health world is good but not in the spiritual world. It is good for the devil but not your soul. And Paul in essence said, "Let those, who inoculate with the gospel or give booster shots to immune you from the gospel, just go on to hell (be accursed)." (Gal. 1:8-9)

I pray this message will speak to your heart concerning your condition. If you need more information on any particular subject mentioned in this message, just contact me by phone, snail mail, or e-mail. If I can be of help in any way please feel free to contact me. I am your friend and I care. I also understand.

Because of Calvary,
Edgar Lee Paschall
(Used With Permission, according to their website)

Jerry's Notes: There are many solid and hardhitting articles that The Persuader sends out, which for the most part I agree with. Two points in this article I wanted to bring attention to because I disagree with them, but the rest of the article is worth reading and considering:

1) He mentions that answered prayer is not a valid measure of whether someone is saved or not. I agree in the general sense that God may have mercy on the lost and when they are humbly seeking Him, He may answer some of their prayers - though He is not obligated to do so. I have tried searching the Bible on this - and cannot find any passage that directly teaches that God ONLY answers the prayers of the saved. The Bible teaches that God doesn't answer the prayers of the wicked and those that regard iniquity in their heart (and this can even apply to a saved person). I think there are times that a lost person may be humbled enough that they cry out to God for His deliverance from a situation or His provision or mercy, and He grants it - though at that point in time they had not yet turned to Him for salvation (for whatever reason).

Cornelius' prayer was in regards to how to be saved. God will certainly answer THAT prayer from a contrite heart! As a baby Christian, I misunderstood a passage of Scripture, which the Devil used to wreak havoc in my spiritual life and convince me that I had lost my salvation. Even after hearing my pastor explain that salvation was eternal, that you could never lose it, I was not convinced (I did not yet have the Biblical foundation to see that I had a wrong understanding of that passage, and did not know and had not read enough Scripture to realize the overall teaching of Scripture regarding salvation - see Romans 10:17 - I did not yet have the faith to grasp this). What convinced me was about one or two months of seeing the Lord answer all my prayers (as I continued to read the Bible and seek the Lord, even though I wasn't sure of my standing before Him). I do not think He would have answered my prayers if I was condemned to Hell without hope of His mercy. Though, He may answer some prayers of the lost, He will not answer them all.

2) He mentions that faith is the gift referred to in Ephesians 2:8-9; however, I believe that salvation (ie. by grace are ye saved) is the gift of God. There are various other passages that clearly teach this. If God gave or offered faith to only some people, then I think God would be unjust, as we need faith to be saved. I believe the gift is salvation - freely offered to all - but our response is to repent of our sins and place our faith in the Saviour and His finished work of redemption.

Adoniram Judson - Apostle of the Love of Christ in Burma

Giants of the Missionary Trail

Adoniram Judson
Apostle of the Love of Christ in Burma


by Eugene Myers Harrison

There it was -- the site of the historic Let-ma-yoon prison, famous for its heathen horrors and its Christian conquests. Soon after commencing my missionary service in Burma, I went to Mandalay, then through the dense jungle growth to the memorial slab marking the site where Adoniram and Ann Judson, America's first missionaries, endured such incredible sufferings as ambassadors of Christ.

As I stood there I recalled the confident prediction Judson made in 1816, in his first tract for the Burmese people: "About one hundred or at most two hundred years hence the religion of Buddha, of Brahma, of Mohammed and of Rome, with all other false religions, will disappear and the religion of Christ will pervade the whole world." Why is it, as we hasten toward the termination of the two hundred years of which Judson spoke, that the unsaved multitudes of earth are greater by at least one thousand million than they were when Judson made his prediction?

In a day when the cause of world evangelism is so sadly languishing, it will be a humbling and inspiring experience for the Christians of America to turn aside and expose their souls afresh to the story of one who was magnificently captivated by the love of Christ. The love of Christ was his hope, his incentive, and his consolation. The love of Christ sang and sobbed and shouted its way through all the changing scenes, manifold trials and monumental accomplishments of the five great epochs of his life.

I. The Love of Christ Cleansed His Polluted Heart

In the Baptist meeting house in Malden, Massachusetts, the traveler will find a marble tablet bearing the following inscription:

IN MEMORIAM

REV. ADONIRAM JUDSON

BORN AUG. 9, 1788

DIED APRIL 12, 1850

MALDEN, HIS BIRTHPLACE

THE OCEAN, HIS SEPULCHRE

CONVERTED BURMANS AND

THE BURMAN BIBLE

HIS MONUMENT.

HIS RECORD IS ON HIGH.

Judson was a very precocious boy. When only three years of age he learned to read under the tutelage of his mother while his father was absent on a journey. How great was the father's astonishment and delight upon his return, to hear his young son read to him a chapter from the Bible.

He grew up in a devout Christian home. His father, a Congregational minister, cherished the fond hope that his son would follow in his footsteps. But Adoniram was enamored of his brilliance and could not think of wasting his superb talents in so dull a calling as the ministry. Having vanquished all rivals in intellectual contests, he graduated at nineteen from Providence College (now Brown University) as valedictorian. He entertained the most extravagant ambitions and his imagination ran wild as he contemplated his future eminence. He pictured himself as an orator, greater than Demosthenes, swaying the multitudes with his eloquence; as a second Homer, writing immortal poems; as a second Alexander the Great, weeping because there were no more worlds to conquer.

Judson was not only inordinately ambitious; he was also openly atheistic. It was during the early years of the nineteenth century, while Judson was in college, that French infidelity swept over the country. With only three or four exceptions, all the students of Yale were avowed infidels and preferred to call each other by the names of leading infidels such as Tom Paine or Voltaire, instead of their own names.

Providence College did not escape the contaminations of this vile flood of skepticism. In the class just above that of Judson was a young man by the name of Ernest [other sources identify this individual as "E___" and "Jacob Eames"], who was exceptionally gifted, witty and clever, and an outspoken atheist. An intimate friendship developed between these two brilliant young men, with the result that Judson also became a bold exponent of infidelity, to the extreme mortification of his father and mother. When his father sought to argue with him, he quickly demonstrated his intellectual superiority, but he had no answer to his mother's tears and solemn warnings.

One day he set out on horseback on a tour of adventure through several states. He joined a band of strolling players and lived, as he himself related later, "a wild, reckless life." Leaving the troupe after a few weeks, he continued his trip on horseback, stopping on a certain historic night at a country inn. Apologetically, the landlord explained that, only one room being vacant, he would be obliged to put him next door to a young man who was extremely ill; in fact, probably dying.

"I'll take the room," said Judson. "Death has no terrors for me. You see, I'm an atheist."

Judson retired but sleep eluded him. The partition was very thin and for long hours he listened to the groans of the dying man -- groans of agony and groans of despair. "The poor fellow is evidently dying in terror. I suppose I should go to his assistance, but what could I say that would help him?" thought Judson to himself; and he shivered at the very thought of going into the presence of the dying man. He felt a blush of shame steal over him. What would his late unbelieving companions think if they knew of his weakness? Above all, what would witty, brilliant Ernest say, if he knew? As he tried to compose himself, the dreadful cries from the next room continued. He pulled the blankets over his head but still he heard the awful sounds and shuddered! Finally, all became quiet in the next room. At dawn, having had no sleep, he rose and inquired of the innkeeper concerning his fellow lodger.

"He is dead." "Dead!" replied Judson. "And do you know who he was?"

"Yes," the innkeeper answered, "he was a graduate of Providence College, a young fellow named Ernest."

Judson was overwhelmed by the news that the young man who died the previous night in the adjoining room in evident terror of death was his college friend Ernest, who had led him into infidelity. For many hours the words "Dead! Lost! Lost!" kept ringing in his ears. There was now just one place that beckoned him. Turning his horse's direction, he went home and begged his father and mother to help him find a faith that would stand the test of life and of death, of time and eternity.

The brilliant young skeptic realized at last that he needed:

A faith for the testing of life!

A faith for the exigencies of death!

A faith for time and eternity!


At this time of acute spiritual struggle, when his mind was filled with the dark clouds of infidelity and his soul enveloped with the black darkness of sin; he turned to the Word of God. Before long his heart was cleansed, his mind illumined and his soul enraptured by the incoming tide of the love of Christ. Henceforth Ephesians 3:17-19 was his great text and the love of Christ was his theme. Henceforth he was magnificently captivated by the love of Christ as he explored the mystic meaning and the abounding fullness of its fourfold dimension -- its breath and length, its depth and height.

II. The Love of Christ Sanctified His Ambitions

As a student at Andover Seminary, Judson heard and read of the work that William Carey and his associates were opening up in India. This influenced him to give serious consideration to the question of foreign missions. His first conclusion was that surely the love of Christ, which had so marvelously banished the darkness from his own soul, was meant for all mankind. By day he was haunted by the vision of vast nations bound and dying in the darksome prison house of sin. By night he spent long, sleepless hours contemplating the hapless condition of teeming multitudes beyond the sea sinking into Christless graves. But it was not easy to find and accept his place in the divine program. There was a terrific struggle in his soul between his worldly ambitions and the claims of the love of Christ. Then one epochal day he went out into the woods and fell down, praying: "More than all else, I long to please Thee, my Lord. What wilt Thou have me to do?" As he prayed, he felt the presence of Jesus close beside him and heard His voice saying, "Go to the uttermost parts and preach the gospel of My love. I send you forth, like Paul, as a witness to distant nations." And, also like Paul, he rose up determined not to be disobedient to his Lord's commission.

He soon gathered around him a group of kindred spirits. Among these were four young men who had come to Andover from William's College: Samuel J. Mills, Jr., James Richards, Luther Rice and Gordon Hall. Already, while in college, these young men had taken refuge from a storm under a haystack and had solemnly dedicated their lives to take the gospel to the "far away places." But there was no missionary society to send them forth. The question which now burdened Judson and his associates was that which Paul raised, "How shall [we] preach unless [we] be sent?" In response to the challenge of these consecrated young lives, a missionary society was formed, consecrated money poured in, the necessary equipment was provided and the missionaries arranged to depart. On the 5th day of February, 1812, Judson was married to Ann Hasseltine, who was destined to become the heroic "Ann of Ava." The next day he and his fellow appointees received solemn ordination at Salem, and on the 19th the Judsons embarked on the sail ship Caravan, bound for Calcutta.

During the long voyage the Judsons changed not only their physical, but also their denominational, latitude and longitude. As the result of a protracted study of the New Testament in the original Greek, they decided to become Baptists. Upon reaching Calcutta they had blessed fellowship with the English Baptist missionaries, Carey, Marshman and Ward, and formally aligned themselves with the Baptists.

This was a serious decision. They could no longer expect support from the churches that sent them out. Would the Baptists of the United States, at that time a very feeble people, rise up to their support? Just at this critical juncture another difficulty arose. They were peremptorily ordered out of India by the East India Company, on the expectation that the missionaries would interfere with its nefarious trading practices. After a long journey to the Isle of France, they returned to India and landed at Madras. Again the East India Company ordered them to leave the country immediately, else they would be deported back to England and America. Accordingly, they embarked on the Georgianna, which Judson described as a "crazy old vessel." For three weeks they were tossed about by a fierce monsoon in the Bay of Bengal. Ann became desperately ill, and Judson expected her death momentarily. Attended only by her husband, Ann gave birth to her first baby, which soon died and was buried at sea. As they sailed into the harbor of Rangoon, Ann finally rallied. Before them lay a squalid, unspeakably filthy village, whose uncivilized life had been utterly untouched and unsoftened by western influence. The night was made terrible by the cries of the dogs and pigs fighting for the garbage littered throughout the village. That night, said Judson in a letter written soon thereafter, "we have marked as the most gloomy and distressing we have ever passed." Instead of rejoicing that at last they had reached a heathen land where they might stay and proclaim the gospel, they found consolation, he writes, "only in looking beyond our pilgrimage, which we hoped would be short, to that peaceful region where the weary are at rest." Speedy death, either from disease or at the hands of Burma's notoriously cruel officials, seemed to stare them in the face and they were sorely tempted to return to America, concluding that God had shut the door in their face. But as they prayed through the long vigils of the night, the voice of the Lord comforted them, saying, "Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God." Assured that their blessed Lord was with them and that their commission was still binding, they determined to go forward, whatever the cost, soothed and sustained by the constraints of divine love. They were:

Assured of their Lord's presence!

Comforted by His promise!

Made strong in His love!


The next morning, July 13, 1813, they disembarked. Look ye mortals! Look ye angels! Look ye ages to come! Behold the scene as these two intrepid souls leave the vessel, thereby committing themselves irrevocably to the dark uncertainties of the future, although Mrs. Judson was still so ill she had to be carried in a stretcher! Behold and weep as they go forth together into the chamber of horrors and the vale of bitter tears!

Then began the third great epoch in Judson's memorable pilgrimage.

III. The Love of Christ Glorified His Tribulations

Following the missionaries in their holy adventure, we behold scenes too horrible for words. On one occasion Judson, pitifully weak and emaciated, was driven in chains across the burning tropical sands, until, his back lacerated beneath the lash and his feet covered with blisters, he fell to the ground and prayed that the mercy of God might grant him a speedy death. For almost two years he was incarcerated in a prison too vile to house animals. He was bound with three pairs of chains and his feet were fastened in stocks which at times were elevated, so that only his shoulders touched the ground. The room into which he and many other prisoners were crowded, was without a window and felt like a fiery furnace under the merciless glare of the tropical sun. The stench of the place was terrible, vermin crawled everywhere and the jailer, Mr. Spotted Face, was a brute in human form. And, as Judson saw other prisoners dragged out to execution, he lived in terrifying suspense and was able to say with Paul, "I die daily."

Surely he would have fallen and perished under the weight of his cross, except for the tender, persistent, beautiful ministrations of Ann. As often as possible she bribed the jailer and then, under cover of darkness, crept to the door of Judson's den, bringing food and whispering words of hope and consolation. Finally for three long weeks she did not appear; but, upon her return, she bore in her arms a newborn baby to explain her absence. An epidemic of smallpox was raging unchecked through the city and little Maria was smitten with the dread disease. Due to the double strain of concern for her imprisoned husband and the suffering baby, Ann found herself unable to nurse the little one. Tormented by its pitiful cries, Ann took her baby up and down the streets of the city, pleading for mercy and for milk: "You women who have babies, have mercy on my baby and nurse her!"

Near the prison gate was a caged lion, whose fearful bellowings had told all that he was being starved against the day when he would be turned loose upon some of the prisoners. But the lion died of hunger before the plan was executed. Thereupon, plucky Mrs. Judson cleaned out the cage and secured permission for her husband to stay there for a few weeks, since he was critically ill with a fever.

One of the most pathetic pages in the history of Christian missions is that which describes the scene when Judson was finally released and returned to the mission house seeking Ann, who again had failed to visit him for some weeks. As he ambled down the street as fast as his maimed ankles would permit, the tormenting question kept repeating itself, "Is Ann still alive?" Upon reaching the house, the first object to attract his attention was a fat, half-naked Burman woman squatting in the ashes beside a pan of coals and holding on her knees an emaciated baby, so begrimed with dirt that it did not occur to him that it could be his own. Across the foot of the bed, as though she had fallen there, lay a human object that, at the first glance, was no more recognizable than his child. The face was of a ghastly paleness and the body shrunken to the last degree of emaciation. The glossy black curls had all been shorn from the finely-shaped head. There lay the faithful and devoted wife who had followed him so unwearily from prison to prison, ever alleviating his distresses and consoling him in his trials. Presently Ann felt warm tears falling upon her face and, rousing from her stupor, saw Judson by her side.

And there were other sorrows. Before he had been in Burma fourteen years he buried Ann and all of his children. But "the love that never fails" sustained him. "If I had not felt certain," he says, "that every additional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated sufferings." Judson joined with Paul in declaring: "The love of Christ constraineth [me]... Therefore will I rather glory... in reproaches... in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake."

Thus began the fourth epoch in the life of this amazing man, this apostle of the love of Christ in Burma.

IV. The Love of Christ Animated All His Undertakings

Judson had two master passions. One was to translate the Bible into the Burmese language so that multitudes whom he would never see could read it and hear God's voice speaking directly to their own hearts. Having mastered the intricacies of this very difficult tongue, he spent long days, weary months and exhausting years in translation. It was while engaged in this pursuit that he was dragged away to languish in prison at Ava and Oung-Pen-La. Ruffians were plundering every white man's house. What was to be done to preserve the precious manuscripts? What seemed to be a clever plan occurred to Ann: She would hide the manuscripts in a pillow! Having done this, she brought the pillow to the prison and no one dreamed that the white man's head rested at night on the most precious of treasures -- the Word of God.

Then came a crushing misfortune. Taking a fancy to the pillow, the jailer grabbed it and kept it as his own. Judson's spirit groaned within him. What an irreparable loss! But Ann's ingenuity was not yet exhausted. Having made a prettier, nicer pillow, she brought it to the prison and Judson said to the jailer, "How would you like to exchange the old, soiled pillow for this bright new one?" Mr. Spotted Face readily agreed, wondering at the odd taste of the white man. Thus the precious manuscripts were recovered. Many times, smitten down with disease and at death's door, he breathed out the prayer, "Lord, let me finish my work. Spare me long enough to put Thy saving Word into the hands of a perishing people." What a day of rejoicing it was when the Word of God came off the press with its stupendous invitation, "Whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely."

Judson's concern to get the gospel into the language of other tribes and nations was shared by his wife. Ann was the first missionary to learn Siamese and to translate a portion of Scripture, the Gospel of Matthew, into that tongue.

Judson had a second passion and prayer, namely, to lead individuals to know Christ in His transforming power and to live to see one hundred converts. With great tact and consuming zeal, he preached by the road side and dealt with inquirers. Years went by without a single convert, but he refused to be discouraged. When a member of the Mission Board in America wrote, deploring the lack of results, and inquired concerning the prospects, this intrepid ambassador of Christ replied, "The prospects are as bright as the promise of God." There were many disappointments, but six years of unwearied effort and fervent supplication were finally rewarded. His Journal, of June 27, 1819, gives the thrilling record. "We proceeded," he says, "to a large pond, the bank of which is graced with an enormous image of Buddha, and there administered baptism to Maung Nau, the first Burman convert. Oh, may it prove the beginning of a series of baptisms in the Burman empire, which shall continue in uninterrupted succession to the end of time!"

With a judicious admixture of gentle entreaty and stern warning, he sought one day to point out to a native woman the momentous alternatives that lay before her. Making two divergent marks on the ground, he said, "This leads to eternal life, while this leads to eternal destruction. Will you leave this straight and narrow path drawn by the Saviour's finger for that which leads to everlasting despair? Will you? Will you?"

Many years later this woman, now an earnest and active Christian, said, "Even now I can hear that terribly earnest 'Will you?' coming from the teacher's lips as though it was the voice of God." Yes, the voice of God! Many listened wistfully to the foreigner's preaching, for even their depraved hearts discerned in his message the tender and imperious accents of the voice of God.

The voice of God!

Its tenderness!

Its imperiousness!

Will you heed the tender and imperious accents of the Voice of God?


Judson frequently went on extended preaching trips to villages scattered through the jungles. As Lower Burma is a delta region with innumerable streams, he usually traveled by boat. While living at Amherst, he became exceedingly burdened for the salvation of his boatman.

He frequently went to the man's house to converse with him on his favorite theme, the love of Christ, but as soon as Judson left, the man and his wife would scrub the bamboo house to remove the contaminations caused by contact with the foreigner. As they traveled by boat from village to village, Judson had many hours in which to enlighten his unwilling auditor concerning his soul's need and to tell him of the Redeemer's love. When a trip was completed and the man asked for his wages, Judson would say, "Come to the service Sunday morning and I will pay you." Greatly impressed by the missionary's life and passionate concern on his behalf, the man eventually came to appreciate and to appropriate "the riches of love in Christ Jesus." And so it was that the erstwhile depraved and stony-hearted boatman became not only a Christian, but also a very zealous evangelist among his own people.

The desperate need of a perishing people was matched by the love of Christ blazing in the soul of Adoniram Judson. In a letter pleading for missionary reinforcements, he speaks of "the sin of turning a deaf ear to the plaintive cry of millions of immortal beings, who, by their darkness and misery, cry, day and night, 'Come to our rescue, ye bright sons and daughters of America. Come and save us, for we are sinking into hell!'"

In the year 1828 an event of vast significance took place. Having come in contact with the Karens, a race of wild people living in remote and almost inaccessible jungles, Judson longed for the opportunity of winning a Karen for Christ and thus reaching his race. This opportunity came to him through Ko Tha Byu, a Karen slave who was sold one day in the bazaar in Moulmein and bought by a native Christian, who forthwith brought him to Judson to be taught and, if possible, evangelized. Ko Tha Byu was a desperate robber bandit. He had taken part in approximately thirty murders and was a hardened criminal with a vicious nature and an ungovernable temper. Patiently, prayerfully, and lovingly, Judson instructed the wretched, depraved creature, who eventually not only yielded to the transforming power of Christ but went through the jungles as a flaming evangelist among his people. The hearts of the Karens were remarkably and providentially prepared for the reception of the gospel message by a tradition prevalent among them to this effect:

Long, long ago the Karen elder brother and his young white brother lived close together. God gave each of them a Book of Gold containing all they needed for their salvation, success and happiness. The Karen brother neglected and lost his Book of Gold and so he fell into a wretched type of existence, ignorant and cruelly oppressed by the Burmese. The white brother, however, prized his Golden Book, or Book of God, and so, when he sailed away across the oceans, God greatly blessed him. Some day the white brother will return, bringing with him God's Book, which, if the Karen people will receive and obey, will bring to them salvation and untold blessings.

Accordingly, as Ko Tha Byu went on his unwearying preaching tours through the jungles, declaring that the long-looked-for white brother had returned with God's Book, hundreds received the message with gladness.

When a depraved slave, a bandit and murderer, was brought to Judson in 1828, who would have imagined that, a century later, the Christian Karens alone would have many splendid high schools, hundreds of village schools, some 800 self-supporting churches and a Christian constituency of more than 150,000?

Being a missionary meant, to Judson, just one thing: to join with Christ in a supreme endeavor "to seek and to save that which was lost." He was a tireless seeker of souls and the theme of his message never varied. The following entry from his diary is typical:

March 11, Lord's day. Again took the main river. Soon came upon a boat full of men. Their chief, an elderly man, stated that he had already heard much of the gospel ... We went to the shore and spent several hours very delightfully, under the shade of the overhanging trees and the banner of the love of Jesus ... The old man went on his way, rejoicing aloud and declaring his resolution to make known the eternal God and the dying love of Jesus, all along the banks of the Yoon-za-len, his native stream.

In these deserts let me labor,
On these mountains let me tell
How He died -- The blessed Savior,
To redeem a world from hell.

The banner of the love of Jesus!
The dying love of Jesus!
The redeeming love of the blessed Saviour!


Answering a communication from a group of missionary candidates in Hamilton, New York, Judson warned of the danger of growing weary in preaching the gospel and of substituting other activities for the business of winning lost souls. He says:

Satan will sympathize with you in the matter and he will present some chapel of ease in which to officiate in your native tongue, some government situation, some professorship or editorship, some literary or scientific pursuit, some supernumerary translation, or, at least, some system of schools; anything, in a word, that will help you without much surrender of character, to slip out of real missionary work.

If all missionaries in all lands had shared Judson's passion for souls, his vision of missionary conquest would not now be so far short of realization. In his first tract for the Burmese people, written in 1816, he included this sanguine prediction:

About one or at most two hundred years hence the religion of Buddha, of Brahma, of Muhammad and of Rome, together with all other false religions, will disappear and the religion of Christ will pervade the whole world; all quarrels and wars will cease and all the tribes of men will be like a band of mutually loving brothers.

More than a century and a quarter have passed since that prediction was made. We are hastening toward the termination of the two hundred years of which he spoke and, due to the tremendous increase in population, there are more -- vastly more -- unreached and unsaved people in heathen lands today than there were when Carey inaugurated the modern missionary movement. Adoniram Judson is still the voice of God, calling us to pray, witness and sacrifice.

By the mercy of God, Judson lived not only to translate the entire Bible into the Burmese tongue, but also to see thousands pass from darkness and death to light and immortality. At the time of his death there were sixty-three churches and seven thousand converts. "In achieving these triumphs," writes Dr. Boreham, "Judson constantly adhered to his favorite theme -- the love of Christ." He seemed convinced, as Dr. Wayland intimates, that the whole world could be converted if only each individual could be persuaded that there was a place for him in the divine love.

After eight years of loneliness following the death of Ann, Judson had married Sarah Boardman and, during their eleven years of married life, eight children were born to them, three of whom died at an early age. Upon Sarah's death, Judson returned to his homeland after thirty-three years absence for his only furlough. While at home he married Emily Chubbuck, who returned with him to Burma to share the fervent labors of his closing years.

The year 1850 ushered in the final epoch in the life of this hero of the Cross.

V. The Love of Christ Ushered Him into the Fathers House

Judson became critically ill in the spring of 1850 and it was believed that his only hope of recovery lay in taking a long sea voyage. A French barque, the Aristide Marie, was scheduled to sail from Moulmein on the 3rd of April. The stricken missionary was carried on board by his weeping converts. When the ship, after certain delays, sailed several days later, he was accompanied only by Mr. Thomas Ranney, a fellow missionary. On April 12, 1850, Adoniram Judson breathed his last and on the same day his body was buried at sea. Meanwhile, Mrs. Judson waited in agonized suspense for four months before learning of her husband's death.

During the last days and weeks of his earthly life, he frequently referred to "the love of Christ" -- his favorite theme, and chief inspiration. As his eyes kindled and the tears chased each other down his cheeks, he would smilingly exclaim, "Oh, the love of Christ! The wondrous love of Christ! The blessed efficacy of the love of Christ!" One day he said,

I have had such views of the loving condescension of Christ and the glories of Heaven, as I believe are seldom granted to mortal men. Oh, the love of Christ! It is the secret of life's inspiration and the source of Heaven's bliss. Oh, the love of Jesus! We cannot understand it now, but what a beautiful study for eternity!

The love of Christ! The efficacy of the love of Christ! The secret of life's inspiration! The source of Heaven's bliss! A study for eternity! Oh, the wondrous love of Christ!

Shortly before his departure to receive "a victor's crown," he expressed pleasure at the prospect of being buried at sea. It afforded, he said, a sense of freedom and expansion, in agreeable contrast with the dark and narrow confines of the grave, to which he had committed the forms of so many whom he had loved. The vast blue ocean, to which his body was committed a few days later, seemed to Adoniram Judson a beautiful symbol of the love of Christ--

Boundless in its breadth,
Infinite in its length,
Unfathomable in its depth,
And measureless in its height.


In the exigencies of death, as in the ordeals of life, Ephesians 3:17-19 was uppermost in Judson's mind. The love of Christ cleansed his polluted heart, sanctified his ambitions, glorified his tribulations, animated all his undertakings and transformed the Valley of Shadows into the bursting dawn of eternal day.

For more chapters of these inspiring missionary stories:

Giants of the Missionary Trail - by Eugene Myers Harrison

George Grenfell - A Light in Congo Darkness

Giants of the Missionary Trail

George Grenfell
A Light in Congo Darkness


by Eugene Myers Harrison

Huge crocodiles dozing on the muddy banks of the mighty Congo sullenly opened their beady eyes to gaze at the strange monster, then hastily plunged into the river. The cause of their alarm was a small steamer, named the Peace, the first ship ever to breast the Congo waters under steam power. The crocodiles were not alone in being alarmed at the sight and sound of the throbbing steamer. Frequently the Africans were so startled they fled pell-mell into the jungles or were so aroused they swarmed out in their canoes to do battle.

Coming in sight of a large village, the white captain shouted orders to his black crew. The boat slowed up and drew within fifty yards of the shore. The captain's keen eyes observed that the people were friendly, so he climbed down into the ship's canoe and was paddled ashore by several of his men. Scores of natives crowded around to look at the strange man with the white face, who proceeded to tell them that he was a missionary and had come to bring the light and love of God.

"Do you mean to suggest that we are living in darkness?" asked the chief somewhat petulantly.

Just then the missionary heard the sound of sobbing. Making his way through the crowd he found two little girls bound with cords and tied to a tree. "What does this mean?" he asked.

With no evidence of shame, the chief told how he and his warriors armed with spears and bows and arrows, had gone far up the river in their canoes on a raiding expedition against another tribe. "And these girls," continued the chief, "are part of the booty we captured. They are my slaves and are tied here until somebody buys them."

His heart touched by the sight of the trembling, sobbing girls, the white man promptly handed over some beads and cloth, took the girls down to the river and told them to get into the canoe. As they were paddled out to the S.S. Peace, they kept wondering if the white man would be cruel to them.

Soon the ship started upstream again and the astonishment of the girls knew no bounds as they sped swiftly past forests and villages on the banks. On and on they went for several hours. Eventually, the Peace turned a bend in the river and the missionary saw a whole fleet of canoes filled with fierce-looking warriors, some holding spears, others with bows in their hands and poisoned arrows drawn to the head.

These Congo men were enraged because, just a few days earlier, people from down the river had suddenly raided their town, burned many of their huts, killed many of the villagers and taken away some of their children. Since the Peace had also come from down-river, those on board must likewise be enemies, they conjectured.

At a signal from the chief, the fierce battle-cry of the tribe was sounded and a shower of spears and arrows struck the steamer. One of them almost pierced the missionary captain. Suddenly one of the little slave girls began to shout and wave her hand. "What is it?" asked the missionary.

"See!" she answered excitedly, pointing to a warrior who was standing up in a canoe and preparing to hurl another spear. "That is my brother and this is my town!"

"Call to him and attract his attention!" said the captain. The little girl shouted as loudly as she could, but the African warriors were making a fearful din, and the only answer was a hail of spears and arrows. Hastily, the captain issued an order to the steamer's African engineer, and in a moment a wild, piercing shriek rent the air, then several others in quick succession. The warriors ceased their yelling and stood as if turned to stone. They had never before heard the whistle of a steamer!

"Shout again - quickly!" said the captain to the little Congo girl.

Instantly the shrill childish voice rang out across the water, calling first her brother's name and then her own. The astonished warrior dropped his spear, seized his oar and quickly paddled to the steamer. In response to instructions from the captain, the girl told how the white man in "the big canoe that smokes" had found her and the other girl in the town of their enemies, had saved them from slavery, had brought them safely home, and now was going to set them free.

The story passed quickly from one canoe to another, as the two girls were taken ashore; and as the captain walked up the village street all the warriors who, only a few minutes before, had tried to kill him, were now gazing wonderingly at the white friend who had brought back the daughters they thought they had lost forever. Now they were ready to listen to his story of the great Father God who sent His Son to be the Light of this dark and sinful world.

This remarkable ship captain was George Grenfell, pioneer missionary in the vast Congo region of Africa. The statement of Jesus concerning John the Baptist, "He was a burning and a shining light," was almost constantly in his mind. He was convinced that the desperate need of the whole wide world is the saving light of the gospel of Christ and that it was his business to take that light to Congo's millions. His life may be summarized in three statements: I. A Light Begins to Shine; II. A Shining Light Lightens the Congo Darkness; III. A Burning Light Burns Out.

I. A Light Begins to Shine

George Grenfell was born August 21, 1849, in Sancreed, near Land's End in Cornwall, England, being the son of a carpenter. When he was three years old, the family moved to Birmingham, where George and his brother began to attend the Sunday school of the Heneage Street Baptist Church. When fifteen years of age, in the spiritual aftermath of the great revival of 1859, he was soundly converted and baptized. Thus the candle of his life was lit by contact with Him who is "this dark world's light," and very soon thereafter he began to think seriously of being a light-bearer for Christ in the Dark Continent. Like Mackay of Uganda, Laws of Livingstonia, and many others, he found in David Livingstone his hero and human inspiration. The Pathfinder's books were eagerly devoured as fast as they came from the press.

About the time of his baptism, George left school and became an apprentice in a large hardware and machinery plant. Here he acquired that knowledge of machinery which proved to be of such inestimable value in his subsequent missionary career. It was also while working in this plant that through an accident he lost the sight of one of his eyes.

George aligned himself with a group of very zealous young men connected with the Heneage Street Church. Their Sunday, beginning with a morning prayer meeting at seven, included usually seven services, with tract distribution and personal work during the intervals. Then, after such a strenuous Sunday, they regularly went to the minister's house at 6:30 Monday morning for studies in Greek and Bible! Moreover, they published a paper called Mission Work, the object of which was to set before its readers "proofs from all quarters of the globe that the gospel is, as of old, the power of God unto salvation." Its editor was George Grenfell.

It was this sort of consecrated enthusiasm Christ needed in Africa. Finally convinced of a divine call to be a missionary, George gave up business at the age of twenty-four and entered the Baptist College at Bristol. After a year's training, he was accepted by the Baptist Missionary Society for service in Africa and sailed with the veteran, Alfred Saker, who was in England on furlough. They reached the Cameroons in January 1875. Early the next year Grenfell married Miss Mary Ha[w]kes. She died in less than a year, and Grenfell experienced his first great sorrow.

Six hundred miles south of the Cameroons, the Congo, second largest of the world's rivers, enters the Atlantic. A hundred miles from the sea, navigation was barred by a series of cataracts, beyond which the map was blank. How incredible that this great river, called the Congo or the Lualaba, should have flowed almost entirely across the African continent for thousands of years and yet, until seventy-five years ago, its vast basin, an area as large as all of Europe, was a land of mystery. On one occasion a native, who was said to have traveled rather extensively, was questioned by a European traveler.

"Do you know where this river goes?"

"It flows north and east."

"And then?"

"It keeps on flowing north and east."

"And then?"

"Allah yallim -- God knows."

Until seventy-five years ago that was the sum of human knowledge on the subject -- "Allah yallim." Livingstone, to be sure, had reached the Lualaba in 1871 at Nyangwe, where he wrote his burning indictment of the slave trade. At first he thought he had found the long-sought source of the Nile, but later suspected it might turn out to be the Congo. He urged the powerful Mohammedan, Tiptu Tib, to help him secure supplies and carriers for the purpose of ascending the river. The appeal fell on unresponsive ears, and Livingstone had to content himself with exploring the upper reaches of the Lualaba and its eastern branch, the Luapula, until in 1873 at Chitambo's village he knelt down to die, his work for Christ and Africa bravely done. But as for the further course of the Lualaba for more than 2,000 miles -- "Allah yallim."

So it was until August 8, 1877, when Henry M. Stanley and his sadly depleted, half-starved caravan reached Boma, near the mouth of the Congo, after their heroic odyssey of 999 days in crossing Africa. But some months before Stanley's sensational achievement had turned the eyes of the world on Equatorial Africa, two men were independently planning to plant a chain of mission stations far in the interior or even across the continent. One of these was Grenfell, then laboring in the Cameroons. The other was Robert Arthington, who in England had dedicated his fortune to Christ and himself to poverty in order to supply money to various missionary societies. This noble man deprived himself of all but the barest of necessities, wore the same coat for seventeen years, and even begrudged the use of candles, that he might devote the utmost farthing to world evangelization.

On May 14, 1877, Arthington offered the Baptist Society 1,000 pounds for the purpose of taking "the blessed light of the gospel" to the Congo region. With astounding vision he wrote: "I hope we shall soon have a steamer on the Congo, to carry the gospel eastward, and south and north of the river, as the way may open, as far as Nyangwe." The Society did not act, however, until the publication of Stanley's letter in the Daily Telegraph, September 17, 1877.

Early in 1878 Grenfell was on his way along the bank of the Congo. "So," as stated by C. H. Patton in The Lure of Africa, "the Baptists were the first to see and to seize the great opening made by Stanley's explorations." Grenfell encountered almost insuperable difficulties. But finally, after thirteen attempts, after splashing through many swamps and tramping through grass often fifteen feet high, after frequent perilous escapes from savages and after one of his companions had been severely wounded, he passed the cataracts and reached Stanley Pool, in February, 1881. By means of the vast system of waterways created by the Congo and its numerous tributaries, some twenty or twenty-five million people could be reached. Canoes were available but they were both slow and dangerous. Hippopotami often upset them, after which crocodiles feasted upon the occupants. The solution of the problem was a steamer, as had been suggested several years earlier by Robert Arthington, who now provided one thousand pounds toward its construction and three thousand pounds toward its perpetual maintenance. "I believe the time is come," wrote this noble-hearted man, "when we should place a steamer on the Congo River, where we can sail north-eastward into the heart of Africa for many hundred miles uninterruptedly and bring the glad tidings of the everlasting gospel to thousands of human beings who now are ignorant of the way of life and of immortality."

Grenfell, who had remarried in 1879 [other sources indicate 1878], left his wife on the Congo and proceeded to England, where he supervised the construction of the Peace, a screw steamer 78 feet in length and drawing twelve inches of water. After it had been tested on the Thames, it was taken apart, put in 800 packages weighing 65 pounds each and shipped to the mouth of the Congo. It took a thousand men to carry the vessel and necessary food supplies up the river and past the rapids to Stanley Pool. Grenfell had brought with him a young missionary engineer whose special assignment was to put the vessel together and then keep it in good running order. Soon after reaching African soil, he fell sick and died. Two other engineers were promptly sent out from England, but both of them died within a few weeks.

So Grenfell himself had to undertake the gigantic task of putting the ship together. This he successfully accomplished. He declared that the Peace was "prayed together." Certainly much prayer, as well as hard work and ingenuity, had been necessary. Finally the vessel was launched, steam was up and the Peace began to move. "She lives, Master! She lives!" shouted the excited Africans.

At last George Grenfell was able to begin in earnest his remarkable work of missionary exploration and of establishing mission stations as centers of light. He thought of himself as a successor of John the Baptist, of whom John the Apostle wrote: "The same came... to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe." And it was Grenfell's great yearning to be worthy of the tribute Jesus paid the Forerunner, "He was a burning and a shining light."

"I am the light of the world." A life cannot shine until lighted at that resplendent Flame!

"Let your light so shine." A life is lighted to lighten! He was a SHINING light.

II. A Shining Light Lightens the Congo Darkness

The maiden voyage of the steamer Peace covered twelve hundred miles and brought many memorable adventures. Captain Grenfell went half way to Stanley Falls and turned aside to explore several of the chief tributaries. Having decided on Lukolela as the site of a mission station as soon as a missionary was sent out, he stayed there two days making friends with the people. As he stopped in the villages, his heart was saddened to encounter ever fresh examples of the hideousness and depravity of barbarism. In certain areas he found many evidences of fetishism, with its many facets and its degrading idolatry. "It was," he said, "a wondrous joy to take for the first time the light of life into those regions of darkness, cruelty, and death."

In order to indicate something of the abysmal darkness into which Grenfell brought "the light of life" and to show the unrealism of those who oppose missions on the ground that the heathen should not be disturbed in the tranquility and beauty of their native religious customs, a few facts and incidents will be cited.

Grenfell found six general types of atrocious practices being committed by Congo peoples, all of which were either definitely a part of their religious system or an expression of the depravity from which their religion was powerless to lift them. These types were: burial murders, witchcraft cruelties, slave raiding, cannibalism, sensuality, and sadistic methods of punishment.

1. Burial Murders

Among practically all the tribes of the entire Congo area, no free person of any consequence could be buried without the sacrifice of one or many lives. This was due to their belief that the dead notability must not be ushered into the spirit world alone. There must be at least one wife or one servant -- in the case of a chief or king or queen, many servants -- to accompany the deceased and to carry on the spirit life as nearly as possible on the lines of the terrestrial existence. The practice of interring pottery, cloth, beads, cooking utensils and various implements involved a staggering waste of property; but much more tragic was the waste of human life.

In his diary dated July 7, 1889, Grenfell relates:

We hear two people are tied up at Mungula's, ready to be buried alive. The man killed yesterday was decapitated; his skull will soon adorn Mungula's house. The woman killed yesterday was beaten to death with sticks. At 3:15 I went and started to protest against burying the two victims with the corpse. The wild-looking executioner untied the young woman and took her into the house where the grave had been dug. I followed him and found the young man who was to be her fellow-victim already seated by the side of the grave . . . I rebuked the old chief sharply and explained to the onlookers that God, who had given life, would call to account those who took it away. My heart was very hot within me to see the tears of the poor crying victims of such cruel customs. Three times I warned Mungula plainly that he would have to meet me and these innocent victims before God's throne and answer for their lives. But we had not turned our backs more than a few seconds when the poor victims were thrown into the grave and the corpse placed on their bodies. They were speedily covered in and buried alive.
Again he writes: "April 13, 1890. We hear that on Manga being dead three people were killed yesterday and that four more are tied up for today."

Upon returning home from a trip, Grenfell states:

June 17, 1890. While I was away, Ngoie brought a slave to sell. James, my native helper, would not buy. In less than five minutes the slave's head was off and lying on the beach. One of Boyambula's men has lost his wife just recently and has killed nine slaves.
On April 15, 1889, Grenfell writes:

James tells me that some eight people have been killed to accompany chief Ibaka. His wives had a woman given them to kill. They dispatched her with their hoes, as their custom is. Two or three were buried alive, others beaten to death with sticks, and one or two drowned.
Here is an extract from his Diary dated January 14, 1889: "I learn on reaching Lukolela that when Mangaba and another chief died recently some dozen people were killed -- Mangaba's principal wife for one and a little child for a pillow!"

The activities connected with the death of a great Baluba chief are thus described by a missionary:

When an important chief expires, a young slave is slain and laid by the corpse for two days. After two or three days of ceaseless lamentation another slave is sacrificed. When the funeral procession is set in motion two men are beaten to death with clubs and thrown across the public road without burial; it is their mission to tell passers by that their master has gone along that way to his last dwelling. When the grave has been dug two female slaves of the dead man descend therein and lie beside the corpse. If the wretched women do not willingly submit to this ordeal, they are bound and compelled to do so. After six slaves have been butchered and thrown into the tomb, the place is filled with dirt, the two female slaves thus being buried alive.
2. Witchcraft Cruelties

Relatively speaking, burial customs slew their thousands while witchcraft ordeals slew their tens of thousands. By virtue of these ordeals, the population in one single area was reduced from about ten thousand in 1845 to two thousand in 1885. In all Central Africa it was well-nigh impossible, in native belief, to die a natural death. Illness and death were normally caused by the use of occult powers or "the evil eye." If a man or woman was killed by a crocodile, leopard, buffalo, elephant or python, the animal in question was believed to be a witch in disguise or at least under the direction of a witch. All sickness, except in extreme old age, was attributed to witchcraft. Consequently, after every death from either disease or accident, a witch-doctor was called in to "smell out" the guilty party, who was forthwith made to undergo the poison ordeal. If he was lucky enough to vomit the poison, he was innocent, but if he died, which usually happened, he was clearly guilty. In frequent instances public opinion was so excited the accused person was killed at sight whereupon his body was cut open and searched for the conclusive proof of witchcraft, namely, the presence of a gallbladder. Since every normal human being has a gallbladder, all accused and slaughtered persons were proved to be witches.

A missionary, describing a poison ordeal, says that the witch-doctor or medicine man usually came forth with an animal skin around his loins, his body painted with ochre and carrying a spear, an axe and an executioner's knife. He proceeded to prepare a large dose of poison, made from the bark of a certain tree which the accused person usually drank readily, expecting to be vindicated, knowing that he had not used witchcraft powers about which, in fact, he probably knew nothing. If he threw up the poison, he was innocent and the person who accused him was likely to be caught and cut to pieces by relatives of the prisoner. But if he could not bring up the poison concoction quickly, and this was usually the case, he sank to the ground in terrific pain. This was clear proof of his guilt, and the relatives of the person whom his sorceries were supposed to have killed, hurled themselves upon him and cut him to pieces.

In his translation work, Grenfell learned that there was no word for "forgiveness." Unhappy Congo, where no one knew what it was to forgive or be forgiven!

3. Slave Raiding

As indicated in the story of the two slave girls rescued by Grenfell, raiding for the purpose of securing slaves was a very common, as well as a very devastating, practice. Such raids were undertaken to replenish the slave labor supply, which was constantly being depleted by burial murders, poison ordeals, harsh treatment or by disease.

Slaves were also sought because of their market value, especially where Arab or Portuguese slave traders could be contacted. This form of "man's inhumanity to man" brought indescribable suffering.

4. Cannibalism

A further reason for the slave raids mentioned above was to secure victims for cannibal feasts. When Grenfell reached the principal Bangala settlement in November, 1888, the people were busy killing and cutting up slaves in preparation for a feast. The pathway into the town was lined by hideous rows of skulls, and most of the people were decorated with necklaces of human teeth taken from captives they had eaten.

Being thin sometimes had special advantages in the Congo. As Grenfell went about in the steamer, he often took school-boys with him to sing the gospel and perhaps act as interpreters. On numerous occasions he was entreated to sell a fat boatman in his employ or some of the school-boys who, coming from the shores of the salt sea, were considered especially appetizing. One day a lad rushed up to him and said: "Master, three of us were captured. They ate the other two, but I was so thin they turned me loose!"

In most sections of the Congo, man was the most voracious of all the carnivora. When the son of chief Mata Bwiki was asked if he had eaten human flesh he replied: "Ah yes! And I wish I could eat everybody on earth."

On the Mubangi River there was a much greater demand for human flesh than the local markets could supply. The people on the Lulongo chiefly made their living by conducting raids and selling the captives to the Mubangi. In Pioneering on the Congo, a missionary says:

They fought the unsuspecting and unprepared people, killed many in the process and brought the rest home with them. They divided up their human booty and kept them in their towns, tied up and kept alive with a minimum of food. A party would be made up and sold to the Mubangi for ivory. The purchasers would then feed up their starvelings until they were fat enough for the market, then butcher and sell them in pieces.
One of the Bangala chiefs visited by Missionary Bentley in 1887 had already eaten seven of his wives. He was careful to explain, however, that he had not done this selfishly, because he had bidden the relatives to each feast in turn, thus avoiding any family unpleasantness!

Among the Manbettu and Mabode tribes, the bodies of enemies slain in battle were either eaten at once or carried off in long slices as provisions for subsequent use. The prisoners were taken along and penned up like cattle for future consumption. According to Torday:

It often happens among the Ngombe tribes that the poor creature destined for the knife is exposed for sale in the market. He walks to and fro and epicures come to examine him. They describe the parts they prefer -- one the arm, one the leg, breast, or head. The portions which are purchased are marked off with lines of colored ochre. When the entire body is sold, the wretch is slain.
The first place in this Chapter of Horrors must be given to the Nsakara, the Nyamnyam, the Basoka and the Manyema. The Nsakara specialized in eating the victims sacrificed on the graves of chiefs, consuming these holocausts of slaughtered slaves in elaborate feasts lasting several days. The carnivorous lust of the Nyamnyam and Basoka led them to eat dead bodies, unless death was due to an infectious disease. The Manyema were human vultures who deliberately ate dead bodies several days old without cooking them.

5. Sensuality

Many other types of barbaric degeneracy could be cited. Grenfell says: "The chief characteristics of Balobo people are drunkenness, immorality and cruelty, from each of which vices spring actions almost too terrible to describe." In one place of which he speaks, the death of a chief's wife was followed by four days of "unbridled license in every species of sensuality," in addition to the sacrifice of four slaves.

6. Methods of Punishment

Methods of punishment were in part prompted by a sadistic enjoyment in inflicting pain. "Thieves," says Grenfell, "are often punished by gagging with a stick thrust through the flesh of the cheeks. Sometimes they are tormented by having their bodies rubbed with pepper before being decapitated." Guilt for petty offenses was often determined by having the accused thrust his arm into a pot of boiling water. If his arm was unscalded, he was innocent. Among the Ngombe, women ofttimes were required to put a certain stringent sap under the lid of one eye. If innocent, the eye would not be damaged. As a result of this ordeal a large number of one-eyed women were in evidence in this region.

When a well-known chief, Maidi, was too old to conduct expeditions against other tribes, in connection with which his soldiers slaughtered the captives right before his eyes, he set about tormenting those of his own subjects who failed to please his fancy. Sometimes he shut up women in pens with dogs, leaving them without food, until the famished dogs ate the women. Sometimes he tied poor wretches to trees and let them starve. Other victims were buried alive up to their necks and left to become the prey of wild beasts.

For almost twenty-five years Grenfell steamed along the Congo and its tributaries in the Peace or its larger successors, the Goodwill and the Endeavor establishing mission stations and taking the light of redemption's story to those dwelling in the habitations of darkness. In one of his letters he says:

I cannot write you a tithe of the woes that have come unto my notice and have made my heart bleed as I have voyaged along. Cruelty, sin and slavery are as millstones around the necks of the people, dragging them down into a sea of sorrows. I pray that God will speedily make manifest to these poor brethren of ours that light which is the light of life, even Jesus Christ, our living Lord.
The light! The light of life!

It was that light he sought to diffuse!

In the habitations of darkness, "He was... a SHINING light."

III. A Burning Light Burns Out

To be "a burning and a shining light" was Grenfell's passionate desire. Like John the Baptist he was a shining light because he was first and always a burning light. Taking the "blessed gospel light" to Congo's wretched millions called forth his utmost energy, and in this service his flame never flickered, despite manifold sorrows.

There were the sorrows of pity. At Stanley Falls he saw the notorious Tippu Tib, who conducted wholesale slave raids throughout vast areas of Central and Eastern Africa. The devastations and crimes of the Arabs made him sick at heart. "We counted," he says, "twenty burned villages and thousands of fugitive canoes." Among the smoking ruins of one of these villages, a man called out, "We have nothing left, nothing! Our houses are burned, our plantations are destroyed, and our women and children have been taken away into slavery."

There were the sorrows of anxiety. Grenfell's life was in peril countless times and he admitted that it was a heavy strain to keep one's spirits up when disaster constantly threatened. At the end of one of his voyages he writes:

Thank God we are safely back. It might have been otherwise, for we have encountered perils not a few. But the winds which were sometimes simply terrific, and the rocks, which knocked three holes in the steamer when we were fleeing from cannibals, have not wrecked us. We have been attacked by natives about twenty different times; we have been stoned and shot at with arrows, and have been the mark for spears more than we can count.
There were the sorrows of indignation. Grenfell was sadly disillusioned by the administration of the Congo Free State by the Belgians. Knowing the chaos and savagery of native rule, he expected a great improvement from the rule of the Belgians and assisted them in many ways, notably by serving in 1891 as a capitol Commissioner to settle the southern boundary of the State. Even prior to this, however, he had begun to have serious misgivings, as he saw the Belgian octopus fastening itself on the Congo and as King Leopold enunciated the monstrous, doctrine that this vast region and its inhabitants were his personal property. His disillusionment corresponded to that of the Africans, who at first were charmed to discover the value of raw rubber and that it would enable them to buy glittering trinkets and cloth on which their hearts were set.

Before long, however, with spirits crushed by forced labor, floggings, imprisonments, mutilations and murders, they cried out in bitter despair, "Rubber is death!" When, therefore, in 1890 the Belgian authorities commandeered the Peace to further their own schemes, Grenfell made such an effective protest in England that the steamer was restored and the Belgian King bestowed on him at a personal interview in Brussels the insignia of "Chevalier of the Order of Leopold." Somewhat humorously, Grenfell described himself as feeling "like barn door with a brass knocker." It was a poignant sorrow of his last years to observe that while King Leopold was hypocritically professing to bestow thousands in philanthropic efforts for the uplift of Central Africa, he was in reality sending his myrmidons over the Congo with orders to make the people produce more rubber and was filling his personal coffers with millions saturated with African blood. The Belgians also hindered him in his efforts to establish mission stations all the way across Central Africa. By patient persistence, however, he succeeded in establishing stations farther and farther along the course of the Congo, even as far as Yakusu and Yalemba.

Grenfell was indignant at the preferential treatment accorded the Catholics and that the Catholics, instead of seeking the untouched masses of heathenism, made a special point to establish a rival mission wherever he established a station and sought by various devices to subvert his converts.

Added to the other sorrows were the sorrows of death. Africa was already known as the White Man's Grave. The toll of missionary life was greatest in the Congo, which was called "the shortcut to heaven." In 1883-84 seven of Grenfell's colleagues finished their course after only a few months of service. In 1885 four men died in three months, and in 1887 six missionaries fell in five months. In other years also there were distressing losses. Some people at the home base felt that the loss in life was too enormous and that the Congo Mission should be abandoned or at least curtailed. But Grenfell was of a different spirit. In 1888 he wrote to the Society: "We can't continue as we are. It is either advance or retreat. But if it is retreat, you must not count on me. I will be no party to it, and you will have to do without me."

The sorrows of death came even closer and almost crushed him. He had buried his first wife in the Cameroons, and it was his sad lot to bury four of his children on the Congo. These graves were like milestones along the river as he pushed farther and farther inland. His grave was destined to be the farthest of all.

Grenfell's last years were darkened by the sorrows of illness but gladdened by the sweet joys of harvest. In 1902 he writes of the work at Bolobo: "Our services are crowded as they have never been before. God's Spirit is manifestly working." In his voyages up and down the river he saw many evidences of happy change. Poison ordeals, burial murders and other abhorrent practices were diminishing and "the light of life" was beginning to dawn in many dark hearts. Concerning one place he states,

Just twenty years have elapsed since I first landed at the foot of this cliff and was driven off at the point of native spears. The reception this time was very different. The teacher and a little crowd of school children stood on the beach to welcome us.
In 1905 he says of another place:

It was here that, twenty-one years ago, we first came into view of the burning villages of the big Arab slave-raid of 1884. This time, as we were looking for a good camping place, we suddenly heard strike up 'All Hail the Power,' from on board one of the big fishing canoes hidden among the reeds so that we had not observed it. What a glorious welcome! Whose heart would not be moved to hear 'Crown Him Lord of All' under such circumstances? I little thought to live to see so blessed a change, and my heart went forth in praise.
He believed that love, which is the essence of Christianity, should and would find expression in [selfless] service. He established a printing press, taught brick making, treated the sick, engaged in translation, and rendered such distinguished service in exploration and cartography that the Royal Geographical Society awarded him a Gold Medal in 1886. He was the first person to steam up the Congo and to explore many of its tributaries.

In a letter to a friend, he wrote:

I know John 3:16 and that's good enough holding-ground for my anchor ... Our Christianity is too much a matter of words and far too little a matter of works. One might think that works were of the Devil by the assiduity with which the great proportion of church members keep clear of them.
Soon after opening up a new station at Yalemba, near Stanley Falls, he fell ill of haematuric fever. His native boys, who affectionately called him Tata or Father, gently took him on board the Peace and steamed down to Bapoto. He rapidly grew weaker and his soul departed July 1, 1906. His last words were, "Jesus is mine."

One of the native boys, Balsuti, concludes the account of the burial with these beautiful words: "Then we sang another hymn. Last of all we closed the grave. And so the death of Tata finished." In the words of: Hawker, "Well written, O Balsuti: 'The death of Tata finished,' but not the life!"

When Jesus referred to John the Baptist as "a burning and a shining light," He was thinking of a candle, which must pay a heavy price to shine. What does it cost a candle to furnish light? It costs its very existence! It costs everything! Even so, to take the light of the saving gospel into the dark Congo cost Grenfell and the early missionaries everything. Who else will pay that price?

For more chapters of these inspiring missionary stories:

Giants of the Missionary Trail - by Eugene Myers Harrison