Hudson Taylor : biography
James Hudson Taylor () (21 May 1832 – 3 June 1905), was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China, and founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM) (now OMF International). Taylor spent 51 years in China. The society that he began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools p. 43 and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces. pp. 281–282
Taylor was known for his sensitivity to Chinese culture and zeal for evangelism. He adopted wearing native Chinese clothing even though this was rare among missionaries of that time. Under his leadership, the CIM was singularly non-denominational in practice and accepted members from all Protestant groups, including individuals from the working class and single women as well as multinational recruits. Primarily because of the CIM's campaign against the Opium trade, Taylor has been referred to as one of the most significant Europeans to visit China in the 19th Century. page needed Historian Ruth Tucker summarises the theme of his life:
Taylor was able to preach in several varieties of Chinese, including Mandarin, Chaozhou, and the Wu dialects of Shanghai and Ningbo. The last of these he knew well enough to help prepare a colloquial edition of the New Testament written in it., retrieved 15 October 2009.
Return to China
The arrival of the largest party of missionaries ever sent to China—as well as their intent to be dressed in native clothing—gave the foreign settlement in Shanghai much to talk about and some criticism began for the young China Inland Mission. The party donned Chinese clothing, notwithstanding—even the women missionaries—which was deemed semi-scandalous at the time. When other missionaries sought to preserve their British ways, Taylor was convinced that the Gospel would only take root on Chinese soil if missionaries were willing to affirm the culture of the people they were seeking to reach. He argued, from the example of the Apostle Paul, “Let us in everything not sinful become like the Chinese, that by all means we may save some.”
They travelled down the Grand Canal of China to make the first settlement in the war-torn city of Hangzhou. Another daughter was born to them in China (Maria Hudson Taylor). Taylor began practising much sought-after medical work and preaching every day under an exhausting schedule. Hundreds came to hear and be treated.
Conflicts within the Lammermuir team limited their effectiveness, but when Taylor's daughter Grace died of meningitis in 1867, they united for a time and sorted out their discord after witnessing Taylor place the cares of his fellow missionaries above even the concern that he had for his ailing daughter.
Riot in Yangzhou
In 1868 the Taylors took a party of missionaries up to Yangzhou to start a new work. But problems continued in 1868, when their mission premises were attacked, looted and burned during the Yangzhou riot. Despite the violence and injuries, no one was killed. Unfortunately, the international outrage at the Chinese for the attack on these British nationals (and the subsequent arrival of the Royal Navy) caused also the China Inland Mission and Taylor to be criticised in the British press for almost starting a war. Taylor never requested military intervention, but some voices in the British Parliament called for "the withdrawal of all missionaries from China". However, the Taylors returned to Yangzhou later that year, to continue in the work and many converts to Christianity were made.
In 1869 Hudson was influenced by a passage on personal holiness from a book called "Christ Is All" by Henry Law that was sent to him by a fellow missionary, John McCarthy. "The Lord Jesus received is holiness begun; the Lord Jesus cherished is holiness advancing; the Lord Jesus counted upon as never absent would be holiness complete." This new understanding of continually abiding in Christ endured for the rest of his life. At the time, he was quoted by fellow missionary Charles Henry Judd as saying: ”Oh, Mr. Judd, God has made me a new man!”.
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