Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hudson Taylor on the Death of Christians

Excerpt from a letter written bv Hudson Taylor, in China at the time, to a friend in England.  Taylor's wife and new-born son Noel had just died(their oldest son, Samuel, died earlier that year). Their second youngest child was staying with friends elsewhere in China and the other children had been sent to England not long before this event:
 
It is Sunday evening.  I am writing from Mr. White's bungalow.  The cool air, the mellow, autumnal beauty of the scene, the magnificent Yangtze - with Silver Island, beautifully wooded, reposing, as it were, on its bosom - combine to make one feel as if it were a vision of dreamland rather than actual reality.  And my feelings accord.  But a few months ago my home was full, now so silent and lonely - Samuel, Noel, my precious wife, with Jesus; the elder children far, far away, and even little T'ien-pao in Yang-chow.  Often, of late years, has duty called me from my loved ones, but I have returned, and so warm has been the welcome!  Now I am alone.  Can it be that there is no return from this journey, no home-gathering  to look forward to? Is it real, and not a sorrowful dream that those dearest to me lie beneath the cold sod?  Ah, it is indeed true!  But not more so, than that there is a home-coming  awaiting me which no parting shall break into, no tears mar….Love gave the blow that for a little while makes the desert more dreary, but heaven more home-like.  "I go to prepare a place for you":  and is not our part of the preparation the peopling it with those we love? 
And the same loving Hand that makes Heaven more home-like is the while loosening the ties that binding us to this world, thus helping our earth-cleaving spirits to sit looser, awaiting our own summons, whether personally to be "present with the Lord," or at "the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior"  "Even so, come, Lord Jesus," come quickly!

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