Faithful Heroes: James Hudson Taylor

James Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China for 51 years and founder of the China Inland Mission.
He was born on May 22, 1832 in Barnsley, Yorkshire, England. His father, James was a pharmacist and Methodist lay preacher.
As a young man he ran away from his parents Christian beliefs.

James Hudson Taylor

He came to Christ at the age of 17, after reading a pamphlet named “Poor Richard” and committed to going to China as a missionary. He began studying the languages of Mandarin, Greek, Hebrew and Latin.
In 1852, he began studying medicine at the Royal London Hospital in London.
He departed for China on September 19, 1853, before completing his medical studies. He was ofen poorly received by the people and often referred to as the “black devil” becaue of the overcoat he wore.
In 1858, he married Maria Jane Dyer. They adopted an orphan in the area and their first child died. Their daughter, Grace, was born the following year. Six more children would eventually join the family, with half of the children dying in childhood.
On a five year furlough to England, he completed his medical training and speaking on the needs of the Chinese.
In 1865, he founded the China Inland Mission and

James Hudson Taylor in Chinese clothing

began to prepare missionaries.
He returned to China in 1866. The missionaries in his mission wore Chinese clothing, because Taylor believed the Chinese would accept the missionaries if they adopted their culture.
His wife, Maria, died of cholera in 1870. Taylor mourned deeply and returned to England the following year. While in England, he married fellow missionary Jane “Jennie” Elizabeth Faulding. Between battling illnesses, he returned to China and continued working to open mission stations.
He was distressed by news of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900.
In 1902, health issues led to him formerly resignning his post. His wife, Jennie, died of cancer in 1904.
In 1905, he returned to China for the final time. He died suddenly at his home in Changsha on June 3, 1905 and was buried next to his first wife, Maria, in a small English Cemetery located near the Yangtze River.
His descendants have continued his ministry to China through the early 21st Century.

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