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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY - CLASSIC TESTIMONIES… James Gilmour, Apostle to Mongolia… The conclusion.

They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. – Revelation 12:11.

13. Mrs. Gilmour's Death. Affliction finally took hold of Mrs. Gilmour, the disease sure of its prey, no matter how long it would be in securing it. Six weeks before the end came they talked over spiritual things, lest later she might not be able to speak of them. In simple, childlike faith, on September 19, 1885, she passed away and the eleven years of happy married life were brought to an end.

14. Phases of His Work. Tobacco, opium, and whiskey were the three great evils of the Mongolians and against them Gilmour presented Christ with great power. He made abstinence from all three conditions of church membership. Opposition was strong, but he stood his ground, declaring that "to leave Christians drinking whiskey and smoking tobacco would be preaching forgiveness of sin thru Christ to men who were still going on in the practice of what their consciences told them was sin."

Imagine his embarrassment when he had to acknowledge to a deputation of Mongolians, favorably-disposed to Christianity, who came to him to know if it were true that a certain missionary in Peking smoked after he preached, that this was true. These men left and never returned to hear him. Still he was undaunted. Christ he would preach and leave the results with his Lord. He went afoot to save expense and was barred from decent inns because he was a tramp. He hired a donkey to carry his baggage, to give him respectability. An agent of the Bible Society and a native quarreled.

This spread and met Gilmour everywhere he went, and people told him they did not want a religion that was not better than their own. Alone he pressed forward, sowing in tears as few missionaries ever are called upon to do; lonely and alone, is it any wonder that he had seasons of depression and urged the church at home to pray for him, and help him with her sympathy? He was willing to be all things lawful in order to win some trophies of the cross.

He became a vegetarian to win some of higher moral standards; he dressed like a shopkeeper; ate porridge, native fashion, in the street in order to win souls for Christ. His living expenses averaged about six cents per day. Some think he shortened his usefulness by such methods, but none were as capable of judging what was best as he who was on the field and understood conditions.

15. His Work. Upon reaching a new city he pitched his tent on a main thoroughfare, and from early morn till late at night healed the sick, preached and talked to inquirers. During one eight months' campaign he saw about 6,000 patients, preached to nearly 24,000 people, sold 3,000 books, distributed 4,500 tracts, traveled 1,860 miles and spent about $200, and added, sadly, that but two openly confessed Christ.

He longed for a helper on his field, but the Society was unable to supply him. At last, when one did come, the first thing he did was to send Gilmour home on furlough. When the faithful missionary reached England in 1889 he was so thin of body and the marks of struggle so prominent in his face, that his friends did not know him. How delighted he was to be with his motherless boys, who had been sent home after their mother's death to be educated. His book, "Gilmour and His Boys," has touched many a heart.

16. The End. In due time he returned to Mongolia again. He continued his work along the same lines. In April, 1891, he returned to Tientsin to attend the North China District Committee of the London Missionary Society. They honored him by making him chairman and he served them well. During the time he was the guest of Dr. Roberts. Suddenly he was stricken with typhus fever of a very malignant type. On May 21, 1891, he fell asleep, to be forever at rest with the Lord. When news of his death circulated in far-away Mongolia, strong, grown-up men wept like children when they were told that
"their Gilmour was dead."

Chronology of Events in Gilmour's Life
1843 Born at Cathkin. Scotland. June 12.
1862 Entered Glasgow University.
1867 Offered himself to London Missionary Society.
1869 Entered Highgate Missionary Society.
1870 Ordained in Augustine Chapel. Edinburgh, February 10;
Sailed from Liverpool on Diomed for Mongolia, February 22.
1870 Arrived at Peking, May 18;
Massacre of 13 French Catholics, June 22;
Journey from Peking to Kiachta, August 5 to September 28.
1874 Married to Miss Prankard, December 8.
1876 156 days' journey with wife In Mongolia, begun April 7.
1882 Furlough to England, Spring to September 1883;
Published "Among the Mongols," April.
1884 His first convert, March 1.
1885 Mrs. Gilmour died, September 19.
1886 Two oldest children went to England, March 23.
1889 Second furlough to England, April 4, to May 14,1890.
1891 Died in Tientsin. May 21.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes, and give all you have, to win the lost to Christ? Then like, the James Gilmour, put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water, and dare to follow Jesus wherever He leads you?

Loving Father, I thank you for the life of James Gilmour, and I pray that anyone reading this may be inspired by his testimony to give their life to you, and that you would use them in the same way, as you used James. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to be a person of like faith, that I may bring glory to your name. In the wonderful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Be encouraged.

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