Guest Post by John Paton

Since I’m away for a few days, I asked John Paton if he wouldn’t mind leaving a guest post. He graciously obliged, thanks to his 524-page autobiography that he left behind in 1891. I realize that reading dusty quotes by dead guys is probably less thrilling than looking at your friend’s Facebook pictures.

However, all these quotations strike a theme, common in Paton, that I think is extremely relevant today. See if you can pick up on that theme, and ask yourself if Paton is right or wrong.

I clearly saw that all at home had free access to the Bible and the means of grace, with Gospel light shining all around them, while the poor Heathen were perishing, without even the chance of knowing all God’s love and mercy to men…Some retorted upon me, “There are Heathen at home; let us seek and save, first of all, the lost ones perishing at our doors.” This I felt to be most true and an appalling fact; but I unfailingly observed that those who made this retort neglected these Home Heathen themselves; and so the objection, as from them, lost all its power.

My heart often says within itself – when, when will men’s eyes at home be opened? When will the rich and the learned . . . renounce their shallow frivolities, and go to live amongst the poor, the ignorant, the outcast, and the lost, and write their eternal fame on the souls by them blessed and brought to the Savior? Those who have tasted this highest joy, “The joy of the Lord,” will never again ask – Is Life worth living? Life, any life, would be well spent, under any conceivable conditions, in bringing one human soul to konw and love and serve God and His Son, and thereby securing for yourself at least one temple where your name and memory would be held for ever and for ever in affectionate praise,–a regenerated Heart in Heaven. That fame will prove immortal when all the poems and monuments and pyramids of Earth have gone into dust.

What could not the Church accomplish if the educated and gifted Elders and others in Christian lands would set themselves thus to work for Jesus, to teach the ignorant, to protect the tempted, and to rescue the fallen.

Your own Towns and Villages are overmanned; why not resign your charges, and go to the millions of Heathendom?


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07 2009

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