by C. T. Studd
C.T. Studd gave up fame and fortune to follow Jesus to the unreached peoples of China and later Africa. These quotes are taken from several of his sermons.
“We shall go crusading for Christ. We have the men, the means, and the ways-steam and electricity and iron have leveled the lands and bridged the seas. The doors of the world have opened wide for us by our God. We pray and preach; we bow the knee; we receive; we administer the Holy Communion of the Passion of Christ; we recite the Creed triumphantly; we are optimists everyone; we shout ‘Onward Christian soldiers, marching on to war,’ and then? . . . and then? . . . we whisper, ‘I pray Thee have me excused!!!’ What glorious humbugs we are!’
“‘Follow Me,’ says Jesus. ‘I will,’ we reply, yet somehow forget that Christ pleased not Himself, deliberately made Himself poor to save others and became the first foreign missionary. We all pray to be like Jesus, yet refuse to pay the price.”
“Five hundred millions of heathen have not yet been evangelized, so it is computed! Yet our great Missionary Societies have reached high water-mark, and if they have not already begun to retrench, are seriously thinking of doing so. Meanwhile, the heart of Asia, the heart of Africa, and well nigh the whole continent of South America, are untouched with the Gospel of Christ.
Last June at the mouth of the Congo, there awaited a thousand prospectors, traders, merchants and gold seekers, waiting to rush into these regions as soon as the government opened the door to them, for rumor declared that there is an abundance of gold. If such men hear so loudly the call of gold and obey it, can it be that the ears of Christ’s soldiers are deaf to the call of God, and the cries of the dying souls of men? Are gamblers for gold so many, and gamblers for God so few?
‘My Montenegrins,’ said King Nicholas, ‘will henceforth spill their blood for their persecuted compatriots.’ When shall God be able to say to the devil, ‘Hast thou seen My Christians of today? No longer do they seek for gold or pleasure, for honors or ease. From henceforth My Christians will spill their blood for the love and cause of My beloved Son and the salvation of the neediest of men.”
“There are more than twice as many Christian ‘officers’ at home among peaceful Britain’s 40 million evangelized inhabitants, than the whole number of Christ’s forces fighting at the front among 1,200 million heathen! And yet such call themselves soldiers of Christ.”
“Yes, when? When indeed shall we see a real ‘Church Militant here upon the earth?’ “Christ’s call is to feed the hungry, not the full; to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; not to call the scoffers, but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers and artistic musical performances, but to raise living churches of souls among the destitute, to capture men from the devil’s clutches and snatch them from the very jaws of hell, to enlist and train them for Jesus, and make them into an Almighty Army of God.
But this can only be accomplished by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered Holy Ghost religion, where neither Church nor State, neither man nor traditions are worshipped or preached, but only Christ and Him crucified. Not to confess Christ by fancy collars, church steeples or rich embroidered altar-cloths, but by reckless sacrifice and heroism in the foremost trenches…
I am more than ever determined that no ring or limit shall be placed around us, other than that of our Lord Himself, ‘To the uttermost parts,’ ‘To every creature.’ I belong and will ever belong to ‘The Great God’ party. I will have naught to do with ‘The Little God’ party…
Nail the colors to the mast! That is the right thing to do, and, therefore, that is what we must do, and do it now. What colors? The colors of Christ, the work He has given us to do-the evangelization of all the un-evangelized. Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible, by faith in the omnipotence, fidelity and wisdom of the Almighty Savior Who gave the command. Is there a wall in our path? By our God we will leap over it! Are there lions and scorpions in our way! We will trample them under our feet! Does a mountain bar our progress? Saying, ‘Be thou removed and cast into the sea,’ we will march on. Soldiers of Jesus! Never surrender! Nail the colors to the mast!”
“The difficulty is to believe that He can deign to use such scallywags as us, but of course He wants Faith and Fools rather than talents and culture. All God wants is a heart, any old turnip will do for a head; so long as we are empty, all is well, for then He fills with the Holy Ghost. The fiery baptism of the Holy Ghost will change soft, sleek Christians into hot, lively heroes for Christ, who will advance and fight and die, but not mark time.
“Believing that further delay would be sinful, some of God’s insignificants and nobodies in particular, but trusting in our Omnipotent God, have decided on certain simple lines, according to the Book of God, to make a definite attempt to render the evangelization of the world an accomplished fact. For this purpose we have banded ourselves together under the name of ‘Christ’s Etceteras,’ and invite others of God’s people to join us in this glorious enterprise.
We are merely Christ’s nobodies, otherwise Christ’s Etceteras. We rejoice in and thank God for the good work being carried on in the already occupied lands by God’s Regular Forces. We seek to attack and win to Christ only those parts of the devil’s empire which are beyond the extremist outposts of the regular army of God . . . Our method is to search and find out what parts of the world at present remain un-evangelized, and then by faith in Christ, by prayer to God, by obedience to the Holy Ghost, by courage, determination, and supreme sacrifice, to accomplish their evangelization with the utmost dispatch.
Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! In God’s Holy Name let us arise and build! ‘The God of Heaven, He will fight for us,’ as we for Him. We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear?
Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God; we will venture our all for Him; we will live, and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God, than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position, the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real Holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a Masculine Holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.”
C.T. Studd was a wealthy and famous Cricket player in London. He gave up his fame and fortune to follow Jesus to the unreached peoples of the interiors of China and Africa. In 1885, he led the Cambridge Seven to China. Ten years later, he was instrumental in the start of the Student Volunteer Movement which thrust hundreds of university students into the harvest fields. Then, at the age of fifty, he initiated a campaign to reach the largest un-evangelized region of Africa at that time. C.T. embodied the heroic spirit, the apostolic ambition, of which this generation is in need.