Thoughts on the Way Home

Monday, September 21, 2009

C. T. Studd: Soldier of the Cross Pt. 1 - Mack Tomlinson


C. T. Studd: Soldier of the Cross

'If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him'.

This statement became the driving force in the life of C. T. Studd of 19th century England. Charlie Studd was nurtured in the lap of luxury among British high society, but in his early twenties, he forsook it for the foreign mission field, ultimately becoming one of the most dedicated and sacrificial missionaries in the history of the church.

By the time he was sixteen, Charlie had become an expert cricket player, and by eighteen, he had a Cambridge career in cricket and had already become the most famous player in Britain. But that year of 1878, he came to known and love Jesus Christ. It wasn't long before the fame and notoriety did not satisfy, and C. T. was stirred to seek something higher and more eternal, as he had seen his own father do at the end of his life.

C. T. determined that his life would be consistent and fixed for one purpose in view--being obedient to God's will. He soon set himself to seek an empowering of the Holy Spirit, and before long, the love of God was poured out upon Him in fullness by an empowering of the Spirit he had not known before.

Within a few months, Charlie was burdened very specifically to make himself available for work in China. When he made this decision known, he received strong opposition from family, friends, and even other Christians. But he had come to the point that he never looked back. His guiding principle he stated in simple words: 'How can I spend the best years of my life living for the honors of this world, when thousands of souls are perishing every day?'

Charlie soon wrote to his mother: 'Mother dear, I do pray God will show you that it is such a privilege to give up a child to be used of God in saving sinners who have never heard of the name of Jesus'. Soon after this letter, he met with Hudson Taylor, who was home from China to enlist any Christian workers who felt called to go to China. It wasn't long before Studd was accepted by Taylor as a member of the China Inland Mission, along with six other young friends--M. Beauchamp, A. T. Pohill-Turner, D. E. Hoste, C. H. Pohill-Turner, W. W. Cassels, and Stanley P. Smith. Charlie and his six friends made up what was known as The Cambridge Seven, who were leaving promising careers and heading to China, which stirred the news across Britain. They set sail for China in February of 1885.

-- to be continued

Mack Tomlinson