He was seriously ill with hepatitis, and what seemed like a setback would soon give rise to one of the two most decisive event of his life.His burden for China grew for the next four years in England.Abiding in Christ produced in Hudson Taylor’s life great action and risk and discipline and self-denial — all of it sustained by great peace and great joy. Unlike Robert and Hannah Smith, two of the early influences of the Keswick, Hudson Taylor did not make shipwreck of his faith.
He had an experience indeed, and then he proved Christ over and over, as the old song says, “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him o’re and o’re.” So his life is worth looking at.
He was born May 21, 1832, in Barnsley, England into a devout Methodist home.
That was the birthplace of the China Inland Mission. The missionaries would have no guaranteed salaries, they were not to appeal for funds, and they were to adopt Chinese dress and press the gospel to the interior. As we realized that Christ literally meant what He said — that “shall” meant shall, and “never” meant never, and “thirst” meant thirst — our heart overflowed with joy as we accepted the gift. He is speaking of a thirty-year-long experience in which he battled with some very low times.
On May 26, the following year (1566) Hudson and Maria and their children sailed with the largest group of missionaries that had ever sailed to China — sixteen besides themselves. I have continually to mourn that I follow at such a distance and learn so slowly to imitate my precious Master. Oh, the thirst with which we had sat down, but oh, the joy with which we sprang from our seat, praising the Lord that the thirsting days were all past, and past for ever! “The thirsting days were all past,” does not mean he never had desires for Jesus again.
Whatever else Keswick’s teaching may have gotten wrong, it was not wrong to say to all Christians: There is more joy, more peace, more love, more power, more fruit to be enjoyed in Christ than we are presently enjoying.
Any view of the Christian life that does not promote the desire for, and the pursuit of, this inexpressible fullness — this more — is as defective as the view that says it’s usual way of coming is through a single crisis experience of full consecration.On Sunday, June 25th, 1865, unable to bear the sight of a congregation of a thousand or more Christian people rejoicing in their own security, while millions were perishing for lack of knowledge, I wandered out on the sands alone, in great spiritual agony; and there the LORD conquered my unbelief, and I surrendered myself to GOD for this service.I told Him that all the responsibility as to issues and consequences must rest with Him; that as His servant, it was mine to obey and to follow Him — His, to direct, to care for, and to guide me and those who might labour with me.Need I say that peace at once flowed into my burdened heart?There and then I asked Him for twenty-four fellow-workers, two for each of eleven inland provinces which were without a missionary, and two for Mongolia; and writing the petition on the margin of the Bible I had with me, I returned home with a heart enjoying rest such as it had been a stranger to for months.After four years Taylor resigned from the Chinese Evangelistic Society because he had a deep conviction that borrowing money to sustain Christ’s work was wrong. To satisfy my conscience I was therefore compelled to resign connection with the Society which had hitherto supplied my salary.” — following the lead of his hero George Mueller.