Hudson Taylor’s Letter to His Parents

A timely encouragement to my soul. A letter from Taylor to his parents. He was 36 years old at the time and the China Inland Missions has just started, with many many troubles from rioters to diplomatic crises to troubles at home.

” I have often asked you to remember me in prayer,” he said (Mar. 13, 1869), ” and when I have done so there has been much need of it. That need has never been greater than at the present time. Envied by some, despised by many, hated perhaps by others ; often blamed for things I never heard of, or had nothing to do with ; an innovator on what have become established rules of missionary practice ; an opponent of mighty systems of heathen error and superstition ; working without precedent in many respects, and with few experienced helpers ; often sick in body, as well as perplexed in mind and embarrassed by circumstances ; had not the Lord been specially gracious to me, had not my mind been sustained by the conviction that the work is His, and that He is with me in what it is no empty figure to call ‘ the thick of the conflict,’ I must have fainted and broken down. But the battle is the Lord’s and He will conquer. We may fail, do fail continually ; but He never fails. Still I need your prayers more than ever before.

” My own position becomes continually more and more responsible, and my need greater of special grace to fill it ; but I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious Master. I cannot tell you how I am buffeted sometimes by temptation. I never knew how bad a heart I had. Yet I do know that I love God and love His work, and desire to serve Him only and in all things.

And I value above all things that precious Saviour in Whom alone I can be accepted. Often I am tempted to think that one so full of sin cannot be a child of God at all ; but I try to throw it back, and rejoice all the more in the preciousness of Jesus, and in the riches of that grace that has made us ` accepted in the Beloved.’ Beloved He is of God ; beloved He ought to be of us. But oh, how short I fall here again! May God help me to love Him more and serve Him better. Do pray for me. Pray that the Lord will keep me from sin, will sanctify me wholly, will use me more largely in His service.”

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