My Story

I was a freshman student of a few weeks at the University of South Carolina walking down the sidewalk between the reflection pond and the Thomas Cooper Library. I was on my way back to my dorm room, having just finished up a Sunday lunch at the Russell House student union cafeteria. I was briskly hustling to my dorm, trying to figure out how to use the remainder of my afternoon. And there they stood. Three guys in conversation and from the looks of it, easily recognizable as most probably one student standing with a couple of religious recruiter types. Two of the guys, apparently students, were persuading a third student to hear them out. I had seen similar fundamentalist style encounters on Main Street, while growing up in my hometown of Greenville, SC and it made me quite nervous. And although God had been dealing with me, a typical prodigal freshman student, I had no interest whatsoever in being a target of these religious do-gooders. I would avoid them at all costs.

However, God had other plans. Just as I veered off, well south of the sidewalk, the third student had had his fill of the discussion and left, leading the two recruiters to simultaneously turn and see me standing there just a few feet away. Foiled! Their first words, which I still remember clearly, were, “Excuse me but we are starting a Bible study on campus and wondered if you might be interested?” Of course, even though I had been attending church on Sunday mornings, was also sensing that I might fail out of my first semester in college, and it appeared that God was working me over pretty well, I had no interest whatsoever. The short story is that I tried everything I could do deflect their pressure (which really wasn’t that strong) but eventually, I was willing to take their information and depart with it in hand. The new Bible study would start the next night at 7:00 pm at the USC International House on the other side of campus from my dorm. I would not be there!

As I continued heading down the sidewalk, progressing toward the Longstreet Theater and Sumter Street, confident that I had dodged a bullet, it was as if I was walking with my back toward God – and I was. However, before I reached the steps to Green Street, I sensed that the Lord was speaking to me, not audibly, but simply and firmly to my heart. As odd as it may seem, I looked back and up, feeling as if I was indeed running from God. He certainly seemed “spatially” in the distance behind me. But I heard Him say to my heart, “What do I have to do in order to get your attention?” That was enough! I thought to myself, and considered my recent circumstances and on the spot, I made a commitment to the Lord, “I will be at that Bible study tomorrow night.” Honestly, I had made many similar religious promises and commitments to God in the past, but I knew that I must keep this one.

Monday evening came, classes were finished, dinner was done and I knew it was time to go – yes, to attend the Bible study. With a sense of both dread and resignation, I reached in my desk drawer and pulled out my childhood black, King James Version of the Bible, well-hidden in the back of the drawer so that no one else could know that I actually had taken a Bible with me to college. Hiding it under my arm as best as I could, and filled with embarrassment that I might be “found out” that evening, I took the long trek across campus to the International Student house. When I finally arrived, I met the few guys (maybe six) who had shown up for this inaugural Bible study, including some awkward moments of introduction and the Bible study began. Without including all of the details, I must say that God was not only working, He was working powerfully in me. For the first time in my life, after having been raised in the church from infancy and attending almost everything the church offered, I found myself interested in what God had to say. Of course, I had been interested a good deal in the past, but not enough to want to give Him my all or my life. Somehow, however, on that reflection pool sidewalk, or in my dorm room, or on the way to the Bible study or possibly during the Bible study, I had been converted, i.e. made new and alive (the scholars call it regenerated; the revivalists call it “born again”). I was now a true disciple of Jesus Christ; it was all so very new and there was no turning back for me!

The Bible study that I attended that night was the first ever meeting on the USC campus of a Christian organization known as “The Navigators”! Distinguished by their emphasis on discipleship, the Navigators were a ministry that, in addition to First Baptist Church of Columbia, guided me in finding and knowing Jesus Christ. In the coming years, I would discover that through the impact and influence of all types of ministries, individuals and other sources, I was ultimately being (and am still being) discipled by Jesus Christ, the risen, living Savior. He graciously and sovereignly called me to Himself that Sunday afternoon and that call was a simple one: “Follow Me!” Simple but profound, because I knew that if I was going to truly follow Jesus as His disciple, it would mean giving up myself and making Him first in everything.  He would take me by the hand, so to speak, and guide me along the way. This is the manner of discipleship – Jesus walking alongside us, His followers, and working His will in our lives, guiding and teaching us through the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells believers. The Holy Spirit is in charge of the entire process because the Holy Spirit is truly the One who orchestrates the discipleship process.

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Christmas Reflection 2015

Born in a Barn (Stable)?

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6-7

The above words were written 7 centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, but the prophet Isaiah, who penned them, provided great expectations for the people of Israel who, over the ensuing centuries, were waiting for deliverance in their bondage. These descriptors and names of the coming liberator are deeply profound.

Without providing an exhaustive explanation, the reader or listener would discover that the messiah would exhibit the following traits, as listed in the above verses:

The coming deliverer would be born, while also being “everlasting.” He would be a son, while also being a “Father.” He would be a man (human) while also being known by the name “Mighty God.” These paradoxes could only be true if the one coming was also “God become man.” The one coming must be fully man and fully God. He will be a king ruling over a spiritual kingdom (this is where the waiting Jews were confused) and will provide Wonderful (acts of wonders – or miracles) Counsel (words of wisdom from above). As the miracle or wonder working spokesman for God, Jesus fulfilled this promising prophecy and would say and do only what the Father dictates, while showing us His Father’s glory and revealing His Father’s will.

Ultimately, it would be through the perfect life that He lived and the gory, shameful death that he died (on a despicable cross, the capital punishment of his day, an embarrassing sign of one “cursed by God”) that Christ would provide peace. Absorbing the curse of God upon our sins and experiencing the wrath of God toward our sins, Jesus becomes a perfect sacrifice and substitute for those who receive him as Lord and Savior. Turning from sin and trusting in Christ alone as the only hope for forgiveness, one finds Him, the one who indeed is the true “Prince of Peace,” and the only One who can take away our guilt and provide acceptance before a holy and pure God.

This is the Christmas message, God becoming man, in order to live the life we cannot live and to die a death that we deserve. Needy men and women still seek him and in doing so, discover that the baby born in the cattle feeding trough is actually God in the flesh and the resurrected Lord of the universe! Let us bow before Him and worship with the angels!


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Quotes from William Bridge, A Lifting Up for the Downcast

The Good Man’s Peace

“It is true the saints grieve, but then dolent et de dolore gaudent (they grieve and rejoice that they can grieve): they are troubled for sin; and they have rest and quiet in this, that they can be troubled for their sin: they have no peace in their sin; but they have peace in this, that they can have no peace in their sin. … No, they will say, I am glad that I am grieved for sin; and the Lord knows, it is my trouble that I can be grieved no more; I have quiet and peace in that I am troubled.” (16)

True Peace May Be Interrupted

“Dispute not with God lest you be confounded; dispute not with Satan lest you be deceived.” (40)

Saints Should Not Be Discouraged, Whatever Their Condition Be

“A praying man can never be very miserable, whatever his condition be, for he has the ear of God; the Spirit within to indite, a Friend in heaven to present, and God Himself to receive his desires as a Father.” (55)

A Lifting Up In The Case Of Great Sins

“Nine things there are, which usually are the grounds and occasions of the discouragements of God’s people.

  1. Sometimes their discouragements are drawn from their greater and grosser sins.
  2. Sometimes they arise from the weakness of grace.
  3. Sometimes they are taken from their failing in and non-acceptance of duty.
  4. Sometimes they are drawn from their lack of evidence for heaven, and non-assurance of the love of God.
  5. Sometimes they come from their temptations.
  6. Sometimes from their desertions.
  7. Sometimes from their afflictions.
  8. Sometimes from their unserviceableness.
  9. Sometimes from their condition itself.” (67)

“Chrysostom of Constantinople had so great a sense of the evil of it, that when the Empress Eudoxia sent him a threatening message, Go, tell her, said he, Nil nisi pecatum metuo (I fear nothing but sin).  And in some respects the sins of the godly are worse than the sins of others, for they grieve the Spirit more, they dishonour Christ more, they grieve the saints more, they wound the name of God more, they are more against the love, and grace, and favour of God than other men’s sins are.” (68)

“Their (believers’) sins may hide God’s face: but as their sins did not hinder God and them from coming together at first, so their sins shall never part God and them.  Their sins may cause a strangeness between God and them, but shall never cause an enmity.  Their sins may hide God’s face from them, but shall never turn God’s back upon them.” (70)

“But again you say, suppose that a man’s sins be exceeding great, gross, and heinous;… though your sin be great, is not God’s mercy great, exceeding great?  Is not the satisfaction made by Christ great?  Are the merits of Christ’s blood small?  Is not God, the great God of heaven and earth, able to do great things?  You grant that God is almighty in providing for you, and is He not almighty also in pardoning?  Will you rob God of his almightiness in pardoning?  You say your sin is great, but is it infinite?  Is not God alone infinite?  Is your sin as big as God, as big as Christ?  Is Jesus Christ only a Mediator for small sins?” (74)

“True humiliation is no enemy but a real friend unto spiritual joy, to our rejoicing in God.  The more a man is humbled for sin committed, the more he will rejoice in God, and rejoice that he can grieve for sin.  He grieves, and rejoices that he can grieve for sin.” (82)

A Lifting Up in the Case of Weak Grace

“The more extensive a man’s obedience is unto God’s commandments, the more he is grown in grace.” (102)

“The more a man sees and understands his Christian liberty, and yet walks the more strictly, the more he grows in grace.  Some think they grow in grace because they have more understanding in their Christian liberty, though they walk more loosely.  These are deceived in their spiritual growth.” (103)

A Lifting Up in the Case of Miscarriage of Duties                

“Prayer is the pouring out of the soul to God; not the pouring out of words, nor the pouring out of expressions; but the pouring out of the soul to God.” (115)

“Oh, again you say, but I am afraid that the Lord will never hear my prayer, or regard my duty because I am so selfish in it. And did not those seek themselves at first, who came unto Christ for cure?  All true love begins in self-love.  The sweetest flower grows on a dirty stalk.  And I pray, what think you of Jonah?  The Lord heard me, says he, out of hell, and yet I cried, says he, by reason of mine affliction.” (123)

“We must learn to leave the event and success of our spiritual things unto God Himself; so shall we never be discouraged in any duty.” (127)

A Lifting Up in the Lack of Assurance

“No: for if you be drawn to Christ, does it matter whether it be done with a cord of flax or a cord of silk?  God has two arms whereby He draws us unto Himself—the arm of His love is put forth in the promise, the arm of His anger and justice is put forth in the threatening; and with both these He lifts up the fallen sinner.” (137)

“Assurance of faith comforts, but the reliance of faith saves.” (142)

A Lifting Up in the Case of Temptation

“So spiritually: there are two sorts of people in the world: one that is very confident of his salvation, and full of comfort, yet he prays not in private, reads not, meditates not, examines not his own heart, takes no pains about his soul, but is often spending, keeping ill company, will be sometimes drunk, swear, and be unclean, yet he is very confident he shall go to heaven; the other prays, hears, reads, meditates, walks with all strictness in his life and behaviour, yet he is always doubting and fearing, but through grace he has some comfort.” (159)

“Temptations answered by reason will return again, but temptations dipped in the blood of Christ will return no more, or not with such violence and success.” (170)

A Lifting Up in the Case of Desertion

“Now I ask, what is the reason why God forsakes His people for a time, or a moment?  Has He any design but love?  Does He not withdraw Himself from them, that He may draw them to Himself?  …Does He not forsake them for a moment, that He may see their love to Him?  In the time of His presence we have the sense of His love to us; but in the time of His absence, then He sees, and we ourselves have the sense of, our love to Him.” (176-77)

“Now so it is, He may hide His face, He may withdraw and deny particular comforts and manifestations, yet love me eternally.” (188)

“When God seems to be mine enemy and to stand with a drawn sword against me, then do I cast and throw myself into His arms.” –Luther (190)

“If He has loved once, He will love me to the end; and therefore though for the present He hides His face from me, yet I shall see His face again.” (191)

A Lifting Up in the Case of Affliction

“But the Lord not only upholds His people under sufferings, but He gives them much light therewith.  The school of the cross is the school of light. …when is God more present with His people than when they are most afflicted?  God is always at the back of affliction.  There heaven opened to Stephen.  Afflictions are the rusty lock oftentimes which opens the door into the presence chamber. …as they have most of God when they are most afflicted, so in time of their sufferings they have most communion and fellowship with Jesus.” (196-97)

“But so it is that a Christian has never more experience of God’s upholding sustaining grace, his sin is never more revealed and healed, his grace is never more present with him, than when he is most afflicted: and he is never more partaker of Christ’s sufferings than in and by his own sufferings.  Surely therefore, he has no reason for his discouragements, whatever his afflictions be.” (198)

“I have gained more by my sickness than by many a sermon…  And this I must needs say, I have had more of God’s presence in my affliction than ever I had before.” (206-07)

“Death is the worst that can befall; and what is death, but an inlet to eternal life unto the people of God?” (207)

“What though men hate me, if Christ loves me?” (209)

“There are but two things to bear, sin and sufferings.  Christ has borne all your sins; will not you bear His sufferings?” (210)

“The more serviceable a man is to God the more he honours God, and the more he honours God the more he honours himself.” (Bernard, 214)

“The true Christian does God’s work without any great noise or notice of himself.” (229)

“How is it therefore with you?  Have you a skill at pulling down what is man’s and neither skill nor heart to set up what is God’s?  Have you been employed and used in God’s service, and have you done your own work fully, and God’s work by halves?  Are you not contented to be laid by, and that God should use another?  Do you make a noise in the work?  Are your hands not under your wings?  Have you made a goodly outward bargain of the Lord’s work and service as a shoehorn to your own ends?  Have you not grown in experience, faith and holiness, by this work, but in pride rather?  Have you not been very tender of the name of God in your service; nor been acquainted with God’s design; nor thine heart drawn out the more to love the Lord?” (230)

“In case God does not call you forth to any work or special employment, then act thus:
“Consider that you have now the more time to mind your own soul, and to attend to your own condition.  Some are so much employed, that they have not time enough to pray, read, meditate, examine their own hearts, and look into their own condition.  Yea, even though a man’s work lies in the ministry, it is possible that he may so mind his public work, as to neglect his private.  But now, if you have no public employment or service, then you have the more time to spend upon your own soul, the more time to converse with the Lord in private, and to look into your own condition.” (231)

A Lifting Up in the Case of Discouragements Drawn from the Condition Itself

“…why does the Lord permit the condition of His people to be so unsettled in the world?  It is that they may settle upon Himself.” (241)

“Now you complain, Oh, my heart is dead, my heart is dead.  This argues that it is but a deadness that is opposite to liveliness, else you could not feel your own deadness.  A man that is stark dead, cannot feel that he is dead.” (245)

“Do hypocrites ordinarily think that they are hypocrites?  Where do you find in the Scripture that hypocrites ordinarily think they are hypocrites?  If hypocrisy be a man’s burden, it is not his condition.” (248)

The Cure of Discouragements by Faith in Jesus Christ

“Hoping, trusting, waiting on God, is the special, if not the only, means appointed against all discouragements.” (262)

“‘Come, my beloved brother,’ said Latimer to his fellow prisoner when he went to the stake, ‘though we pass through the fire to-day, yet we shall light such a candle in England as shall never be put out again.’” (274)

“There is a two-fold presumption which you read of in Scripture: the one is that whereby men rest upon their own works for salvation without Christ… The other is that whereby men do as they think, or in their own way rest on Christ for salvation, and yet live without works and obedience: and therein they presume also because they take mercy when it is not given them.  But if I rest on the promise or on Christ, that I may be made the more holy, doing what I can to be fruitful in every good work, yet resting upon Christ for all, this is no presumption.” (279)



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Highlights from: Stephen Neill: A History of Christian Missions (Part II)

Part II

Chapter 8: Introduction

“The Protestant Churches owe an immeasurable debt to the Evangelical Revival in the broad sense of that term.  Many forces – high Anglican piety, the mystical tradition, the pietism both of Halle and of Herrnhut – combined to produce John Wesley and the Methodist movement in Britain.” (213-14)

“For this was the great age of societies.  In many cases the Protestant Churches as such were unable or unwilling themselves to take up the cause of missions.  This was left to the voluntary societies, dependent on the initiative of consecrated individuals, and relying for financial support on the voluntary gifts of interested Christians.” (214)

 (c. 1915?) “The primary barrier of language had been surmounted.  Some languages in every known family of languages had been learned, and in many cases reduced to writing for the first time by the missionaries.” (215)

 Chapter 9: New Forces in Europe and America, 1792-1858

“It is doubtful if there is another people on the face of the earth who, in proportion to their numbers, have given so many missionaries to the Church, or have paid so great a price in sacrifice and martyrdom.  At home not only do they build and maintain all their own churches, schools, and other institutions, but they sustain their missionary guests as well.  They regularly support the world-wide work of their Churches.” –Comments on the Samoan Church (253)

“In 1846 Krapf was joined by Johannes Rebmann, who held the fort, often almost alone, until 1874.  The two made a number of remarkable journeys inland, in the course of which they discovered Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peaks in Africa.  An unbelieving world was not prepared to accept the fact of never-melting snow on the Equator, and high scientific authorities affirmed that the missionaries must have been deceived by the sun shining on limestone formations at a distance.  The missionaries, being continentals, were unmoved, reckoning that they knew snow when they saw it.” (268)

Chapter 10: The Heyday of Colonialism, 1858-1914

“In the spirit of prayer the missionaries in Korea were led to accept the ‘Nevius method’, and to make its four principles their guiding rule in the development of the work:

  1. Each Christian should ‘abide in the calling wherein he was found’, support himself by his own work, and be a witness for Christ by life and word in his own neighborhood.
  2. Church methods and machinery should be developed only in so far as the Korean Church was able to take responsibility for the same.
  3. The Church itself should call out for whole-time work those who seemed best qualified for it, and whom the Church was able to support.
  4. Churches were to be built in native style, and by the Christians themselves from their own resources.” (290-91)

“His [Thomas Valpy French’s] companion on the voyage was a young American of the Reformed Church, Samuel M. Zwemer… Zwemer lived for more than sixty years, to be scholar, preacher, writer, evangelist, and apologist throughout the world of Christian missions to Muslims.  At the great Tambaram Missionary Conference of 1938, the most moving of all the speeches was that of the veteran Dr. Paul Harrison, who, having told the story of the five converts that the mission had won in fifty years, sat down with the quiet words: ‘The Church in Arabia salutes you.’” (311)

“The last thing they [missionaries in Africa] desired was to create a new and separate Africa; yet again and again they found themselves the center of a new settlement, made up of freed slave children, of men who for some reason had lost their identity with their tribe, of criminals fleeing from justice (murderers not excluded!), and of young men who wished to learn the skills which only the white man could teach.  Willy-nilly, the missionary had become a chief.  As Dan Crawford picturesquely expressed it: “Many a little Protestant Pope in the lonely bush is forced by his self-imposed isolation to be prophet, priest, and king rolled into one – really a very big duck he, in his own private pond….Quite seriously, he is forced to be a bit of a policeman, muddled up in matters not even remotely in his sphere.” (321)

“The chairman of the conference was the American Methodist layman John Raleigh Mott (1865-1955), who, though he was never a missionary, was destined to play a leading part in all protestant missionary affairs for fifty years.  His name was associated with the slogan through which he had given inspiration to the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions in the 1880s and 1890s: ‘The Evangelization of the World in this Generation.’” (332)

Chapter 11: Rome, the Orthodox, and the World, 1815-1914

“Orthodoxy was beginning to rediscover the treasures of its own historic past, in the theology of the great Greek Fathers of the Church and in its unique liturgical tradition.” (370)

“It may be convenient to arrange this brief summary of Orthodox missionary activity around the names of three great missionaries.  [Michael Jakovlevitch Glucharev (Makary); John Veniaminov; Ivan Kasatkin (Nikolai)]” (371-75) “Michael Jakovlevitch Glucharev was born in 1792. …In 1819 he became a monk, and took the name Makary.” (371) “And [Makary] constantly impressed on his fellow workers that baptism is the beginning of the process of conversion and not the end of it.  Use must be made of every possible means to help the converts to live their lives genuinely as Christians.  They must be encouraged to adopt a more settled way of life, taught agriculture and gardening, and helped to practice such handicrafts as are possible in the life of a village.  The result of these principles is that Makary did not originate any mass movement; he is not recorded to have baptized more than 675 candidates in the course of fourteen years.” (371)

“On one occasion, a lama spoke in such glowing terms of Christ – ‘If all men were true Christians, they would find it impossible to sleep, they would be constantly awake from unutterable joy, and that would be heaven on earth’ – that Spiridon asked him why he was not baptized. “The important thing [was the reply] is not baptism but the renewal of life.  What good does it do you Russians that you call yourselves Christians?  Excuse my frankness.  You Russians do not know Christ, and you do not believe in him.  You live in such a way that we uncultured folk flee from you, and fear you like the plague.

“This is not the whole of Orthodox missionary work; the imperfection of much of it is balanced by the heroic example of the saints and the solid achievements that they have left behind.  But it is good that Christians should hear and mark all that can be said from the other side.  Our sharpest critics are often our best friends; and no reader of the New Testament need be surprised to learn that the work of God in the world goes forward in spite of the imperfections as well as because of the virtues of Christian believers.” (378-79)


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Highlights from: Stephen Neill: A History of Christian Missions (Part I)

Neill, Stephen. A History of Christian Missions. 2nd Edition. Edited by Owen Chadwick. London: Penguin Books, 1986.

 Chapter 2: The Conquest of the Roman World, A.D. 100-500

“in A.D. 529…Christianity was fashionable…” (41)

“Faith became superficial, and was identified with the acceptance of dogmatic teachings rather than with a radical change of inner being.  As the Church became rich, bishoprics became objects of contention rather than instruments of humble service.  With a new freedom, the Church was able to go out into the world; at the same time, in a new and dangerous fashion, the world entered into the Church.” (41)

“The Cappadocian Fathers – Basil (c.330-79), Gregory of Nazianzus (329-89), and Gregory of Nyssa (c.330-95) – had received the best education that the times offered, the two former having been, in fact, fellow-students of the future Emperor Julian in the University of Athens.  Perfectly familiar with Homer and Plato and Demosthenes, these fathers wrote in a Greek which, though not classical, is clear and idiomatic and admirably adapted to the purposes for which they used it.  Purists, and defenders of Hebrew as the only tongue in which theology can really be expressed, may criticize the Hellenization of the Gospel as necessarily deformation.  But, if the Word of God was to make itself at home in a world in which Greek was the universal medium, it could do so in no other way than by teaching itself to think and speak in Greek.” (41-42)

“In all this side of Church history there is much that is grievous and discreditable – the rivalries of the great sees and their incumbents, political chicanery, personal malevolence, and even bribery and corruption.  But the Church lived in its humble and faithful members, and in the ceaseless life of prayer and worship in which the true apostolic succession was to be found.” (42)

Chapter 3: The Dark Age, 500-1000

“Once the Arabs had begun to emerge from the fastnesses of their deserts, their progress was astonishingly rapid.  By 650 the ancient empire of Persia had been destroyed.  Jerusalem fell in 638, Caesarea in 640, and with them Palestine and Syria came under Muslim domination.” (54)

“…though less violent than has often been represented, the Muslim conquest was a major disaster for the Christian world.” (55)

Chapter 6: The Roman Catholic Missions, 1600-1787

“In two hundred years the Jesuit Order had only 456 members in China, of whom nearly one fifth were Chinese.  Mortality through disease and persecution was heavy.  Every journey was an adventure.  Of 376 Jesuits sent to China between 1581 and 1712, 127 were lost on the voyage through disease or shipwreck.  It is amazing that so small a company of men achieved so much.” (176)

“The first principle of Protestant missions has been that Christians should have the Bible in their hands in their own language at the earliest possible date.” (177)

Chapter 7: New Beginnings in East and West, 1600-1800

The Mission on the Middle Volga. … Peter the Great confirmed the promises of his predecessors, and further added the privilege of exemption from the hated military service for those who would accept baptism.  It is not surprising that these offers proved welcome to the inhabitants.  It is recorded that, in the years 1701 to 1705, 3,683 pagan Tschermisses accepted baptism.” (184)

“Cyril Vasilyevich Suchanov (1741-1814).  This layman devoted his whole life to the conversion of the Tungus people of Dauria.  Believing that missionary work depended more on quality of life than on the spoken word, he reduced his personal possessions to what he could carry about in a travelling-bag, moved ceaselessly among the nomads, and won their whole-hearted affection.” (185)

“In the Protestant world, during the period of the Reformation, there was little time for thought of missions.  Until 1648 the Protestants were fighting for their lives;…” (187)

“Johann Gerhard (d. 1637).  Gerhard’s point of view was that the command of Christ to preach the Gospel to all the world ceased with the apostles.” (189)

“Only one baptism of an Indian in the Church of England is recorded in the seventeenth century.” (197-98)

“By far the most famous of all the missionaries who have worked in South India was Christian Friedrich Schwartz (1726-98)…” (198) “And the young Rajah Saraboji, who had been for years under Schwartz’s care, also set up a marble monument, with the epitaph that he had himself composed:
Firm wast thou, humble and wise,
Honest and pure, free from disguise;
Father of orphans, the widow’s support;
Comfort in sorrow of every sort.
To the benighted, dispenser of light,
Doing, and pointing to, that which is right.
Blessing to princes, to people, to me,
May I, my Father, be worthy of thee,
Wisheth and prayeth thy Sarabojee.” (199-200)

“One of the fruits of the Missionary College at Copenhagen was the mission of Hans Egede to Greenland.” (200) “But the value of her sacrifice is seen in the words of a dying Greenlander: You have been more kind to us than we have been to one another; you have fed us when we were famished; you have buried our dead, who would else have been a prey to dogs, foxes, and ravens; and in particular you have told us of God and how to become blessed, so that we may now die gladly, in expectation of a better life hereafter.” (201)

“The noted Congregationalist minister Cotton Mather (1663-1728) in Boston corresponded with Francke in Halle and with the missionaries in Tranquebar, and agreed with them that a world-wide preaching of the eternal Gospel, free from confessional limitations, would help to usher in that great outpouring of the Spirit which would be one of the signs of the end of the age.  Jonathan Edwards (1703-58), theologian and revivalist and later president of Princeton, put mission in the centre of his programme, and associated it with the idea of a world-wide ‘Concert of Prayer’ for missionary work.  This idea, originating in Scotland, caught the imagination of Edwards, who set out the programme at length in A Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth, Pursuant to Scripture Promises, and Prophecies Concerning the Last Time.” (203-04)


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