When his mother arrived, Hudson was peeling the melted candles from the inside of his pocket, with large tears rolling down his cheeks.
Hudson Taylor- Part 1
A Character story about consecration.
What is a hero? It is someone who has done something truly great, something that benefited other people. In these stories, we are learning about God's heroes.
"Children," Mrs. Taylor called, "please get yourselves ready for dinner. It's 12:28 and your father will be here in two minutes."
"Yes, Mother," responded Hudson as he took his younger sister, Amelia by the hand and led her to the table. He knew well enough how important it was to be punctual!
Exactly two minutes later, Mr. Taylor entered the side door and walked straight to the table. "Ah, children, how good to see that you are on time today. Perhaps you learned a lesson yesterday?" The two children nodded their heads enthusiastically. "And you dressed quickly this morning. That is commendable."
The children nodded again, not sure what the word meant, but assuming from their father's face that it was good. "Remember what I have told you- learn to dress quickly, for you have to do it once, at least, every day of your life. Now let us begin."
After grace, each began to eat, being extra careful to observe the strictest of manners. "Did you children learn anything this morning?" Mr. Taylor asked.
Amelia again nodded her head but remained silent. "And what is it that you learned this morning, my Dear?"
"Aleph, beth, gimel, daleth," she responded.
"That's very good. Did mother teacher you the first letters of the Hebrew alphabet?"
She shook her head. "No, Hudson did," she responded. "He's a grand brother!" This was true. Hudson Taylor earlier had taught his sister to walk as well. They spent much time together and grew very close, especially when their two brothers died as children. Yes, Hudson was known to tease Amelia from time to time, but they also loved to play together. Often Hudson would imitate his father as they played church. He would preach, and his sister and her dolls would be the congregation.
Actually Mr. Taylor was not a preacher but a chemist with his work area connected to the house. (Today we would call him a pharmacist.) But on Sundays he would travel to Methodist churches in that part of England as a lay preacher, and Hudson often went with him.
"Father," Amelia said as they continued their dinner, "may I have a sweet at bedtime if I'm a good girl all day?"
"I'm afraid not, Amelia. You might as well learn early not to give your body whatever it wants. By and by you will have to say 'No' to yourself when we are not there to help you. So let us try to practice now, for the sooner you begin, the stronger will be the habit."
After another silence Hudson asked, "Father, after the meal, will you read some more of Peter Parley's book on China?"
"Yes, of course. We always have time for that," he replied with a broad grin. "And we will, of course, pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers into this field, to spread the precious message of salvation. Oh, why do not the churches see the need to send missionaries to the multitudes in China?"
"Father," Hudson beamed, "when I grow up, I'm going to be a missionary to China myself. I want to tell them about Jesus."
"That's wonderful, my boy. And I know the Lord sees your heart." But as he talked, Mr. Taylor looked sadly at his dear wife. They did not want to discourage the enthusiasm of their oldest son. And, yes, they had dedicated him to work for the Lord in China before he was born. But, for some reason known only to God, James Hudson Taylor was born with a very sickly body. He was not well enough to attend school until he was eleven, and then only for two years. But he did want to serve God, and be a part of the answers to his father's many prayers.
Besides the instruction from his mother, Hudson learned much in two other ways. The Taylors were very hospitable and often guest preachers and missionaries would spend time in their home. When it was proper to do so, Hudson loved to ask the guests about people far away and usually would include his pledge to be a missionary in China some day.
He also loved to read. When he was older, Hudson read Parley's China by candlelight so many times that he almost knew it by heart. Of course, there were no electric lights in the 1830's in England, and Mrs. Taylor was strict about keeping the candles in safe places so no one started a fire.
One evening when it was time for bed, Hudson was in the midst of a very interesting book and didn't want to put it down. "I've got an idea," he said to himself. "I'll sneak some of the old candle ends to my bedroom and, when mother has said 'good-night, and takes the lamp, I'll be able to light them and finish my book." When a guest arrived, he sneaked into another room, stuffed a few candle ends into his pocket, and bid a hurried good-night' to everyone. But the guest was very friendly, and took hold of Hudson, lifting him into his lap.
"You're a fine lad," he began. "Tell me some of the things you are learning."
"Ah, Latin, Sir, and..ah.. mathematics, and.." Hudson squirmed nervously, glancing at the fireplace nearby. How he wanted to jump down! Soon the warm fire melted the candle ends in his pocket! Finally, after some time, his mother told Hudson it was time for bed. The boy hopped down, and ran into his room. When his mother arrived, Hudson was peeling the melted candles from the inside of his pocket, with large tears rolling down his cheeks. When he saw how disappointed his mother looked, he felt even worse. "I'm sorry I tried to deceive you, Mother," he sobbed. "Will you ever forgive me? I want to do right. Please pray for me, won't you?"