Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It would be hell to me if . . . .

Gut-check time. Complete this sentence: "It would be hell to me if . . . ."

Henry Martyn (1781-1812), Anglican missionary, was the guest of a muslim friend for dinner. His host described for him a painting he had seen of Jesus bowing down before Muhammad. Martyn tells us what happened next:

"I was cut to the soul at this blasphemy. Mirza Seid Ali perceived that I was considerably disordered and asked what it was that was so offensive? I told him 'I could not endure existence if Jesus was not glorified; it would be hell to me if He were to be always thus dishonored.' He was astonished and again asked 'Why?' 'If anyone pluck out your eyes,' I replied, 'there is no saying why you feel pain; it is feeling. It is because I am one with Christ that I am thus dreadfully wounded.'"

Quoted in Constance E. Padwick, Henry Martyn: Confessor Of The Faith, page 265.

The ultimate personal motive for evangelism, missions and revival: "I could not endure existence, if the world were to go on trivializing Jesus. It would be hell to me, if the blasphemies obscuring the display of his glory were to succeed in my generation."

Lord, preserve us in this passion.