January Sermon Illustrations

January 5, 2010

This is an unpublished incident in the life of Hudson Taylor. He came to the city of Hangchow. The next day, with a bag of books over his shoulder, he started an evangelistic tour of the city. Great crowds followed him about. At night, weary, he sat down to rest at a tea house in the suburbs on the way to his boat in the river. As he sat at the table he saw peering at him though the gathering gloom an elderly Chinese. The man was evidently seeking someone.

"Are you a foreigner?"

"Yes, I am an Englishman."

"Are there books in that bag on the table?"

"Yes, there are."

"Are you a teacher of a foreign religion?"

"Yes, of the Jesus religion."

The Chinese then told Taylor that he had been an earnest seeker after truth for many years, but could find no religion which could take the burden of guilt from his soul. A few nights before, he had had a vision: a man in white had told him to go to Hangchow, that he would find there a foreigner sitting in an inn, with a bag of books on the table before him. He had visited the inn but had found no such person. Finally, hearing of this inn in the suburbs, he had as a last hope come thither. He asked Taylor to tell him the truth, whereupon he preached the gospel and gave him a New Testament. Two days later Taylor visited his house and found he had destroyed all his idols and was rejoicing in Jesus Christ. Taylor left the man adoring God not only for his power to save, but also for his marvelous and miraculous ways of leading souls to the messenger and the message of the gospel.

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