[ 1 minutes to read ]
In Heathendom every true convert becomes at once a Missionary. The changed life, shining out amid the surrounding darkness, is a Gospel in largest Capitals which all can read. Our Islanders, especially, having little to engage or otherwise distract attention, become intense and devoted workers for the Lord Jesus, if once the Divine Passion for souls stirs within them. Many a reader, not making due allowance for these special circumstances, would therefore be tempted to think our estimate of their enthusiasm for the Gospel was overdone; but thoughtful men will easily perceive that Natives, touched with the mighty impulses of Calvary, and undistracted by social pleasures or politics, by literature or business claims, would almost by a moral necessity pour all the currents of their being into Religion, and probably show an apostolic devotion and self-sacrifice too seldom seen, alas, amid the thousand clamouring appeals of Civilization.
A Heathen has been all his days groping after peace of soul in dark superstition and degrading rites. You pour into his soul the light of Revelation. He learns that God is love, that God sent His Son to die for him, and that he is the heir of Life Eternal in and through Jesus Christ. By the blessed enlightenment of the Spirit of the Lord he believes all this. He passes into a third heaven of joy, and he burns to tell every one of the Glad Tidings. Others see the change in his disposition, in his character, in his whole life and actions; and amid such surroundings, every Convert is a burning and a shining light. Even whole populations are thus brought into the Outer Court of the Temple; and Islands, still Heathen and Cannibal, are positively eager for the Missionary to live amongst them, and would guard his life and property now in complete security, where a very few years ago everything would have been instantly sacrificed on touching their shores! They are not Christianized, neither are the Civilized, but the light has been kindled all around them, and though still only shining afar, they cannot but rejoice in its beams.
Missionary Patriarch—The True Story of John G. Paton, James Paton Ed., pp. 388-389