What a Studd
The following is from a great audio web site called Sermon Index. If you ever wished there was a site that archives a wide variety of sermons, there it is. Tell me about others if you know them. Two other favorites of mine over the years are Preaching Today and Mars Hill Audio.
C.T. Studd was an outstanding County and All-England Cricketer. He was a freshman at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1879-1880, and took a degree in law. By that time he had been challenged to a missionary career and, forsaking his cricketing fame and the family fortune, he followed Hudson Taylor to China. He returned 21 years later, broken in health, after serving in China and India. Unexpectedly he received a new and very distinct call to the heart of Africa.
At 53, leaving his invalid wife in England, he set out in utter reliance on God's promises. His answer to all who questioned the wisdom of his action was found on a postcard on his desk: If Jesus Christ be God, and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him. Some sayings The best training for a soldier of Christ is not merely a theological college. They always seem to turn out sausages of varying lengths, tied at each end, without the glorious freedom a Christian ought to abound and rejoice in. You see, when in hand-to-hand conflict with the world and the devil, neat little biblical confectionery is like shooting lions with a pea-shooter: one needs a man who will let himself go and deliver blows right and left as hard as he can hit, trusting in the Holy Ghost.
It's experience, not preaching that hurts the devil and confounds the world. The training is not that of the schools but of the market: it's the hot, free heart and not the balanced head that knocks the devil out. Nothing but forked-lightning Christians will count. A lost reputation is the best degree for Christ's service. It is not so much the degree of arts that is needed, but that of hearts, loyal and true, that love not their lives to the death: large and loving hearts which seek to save the lost multitudes, rather than guard the ninety-nine well-fed sheep in the British pen.
I don't understand his decision to leave his invalid wife but perhaps his longer biography explains more, and I intend to look that up.