“I happened to be in the courtyard when it happened.” He said it quiet. Reverent.
“About sixty missionaries were driven in and herded together, awaiting execution. What impressed me most of all about these people was their amazing fearlessness. There was no panic, no crying for mercy. Roman Catholic and Protestant alike… they awaited death with perfect calm.”
He stops for a moment. Tears fill his eyes. “I’m convinced that there can be no salvation for us sinners except through the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. This terrible massacre has led me to look into the Scriptures.”
Then he tells the story of a thirteen year old girl.
Just before the carnage began, the golden-haired girl stepped out and went to stand before the governor. “Why are you planning to kill us,” she asked. Her voice carried to the farthest corner of the courtyard.
“Haven’t our doctors come from far-off lands to give their lives for your people? Many with hopeless diseases have been healed; some who were blind have received their sight, and health and happiness have been brought into thousands of your homes because of what our doctors have done.
“Is it because of this good that has been done that you are going to kill us?” The governor’s head was down. He had nothing to say. There was really nothing he could say.
The golden haired girl continued. “Governor, you talk a lot about filial piety. It is your claim, is it not, that among the hundred virtues filial piety takes the highest place. But you have hundreds of young men in this province who are opium sots and gamblers. Can they exercise filial piety?
“Can they love their parents and obey their will? Our missionaries have come from foreign lands and have preached Jesus to them, and He has saved them and given them power to live rightly and to love and obey their parents. Is it then, perhaps, because of this good that has been done that we are to be killed?”
By this time the governor was writhing. Each word seemed to touch him to the quick. It was far more than a defense, that brave speech, it was a sentence. It was the girl who sat in judgment and the governor stood at the bar.
But the drama only lasted for one brief moment.
A soldier, standing near the girl, grasped her by her golden hair, and with one blow of his sword severed her head from her body. That was the signal for the massacre to begin.
“I saw fifty-nine men, women, and children killed that afternoon,” went on the gentleman. “Even in the moment of death every face seemed to hold a smile of peace.
“Is it any wonder, therefore, that such marvelous fortitude should have led me to search your Scriptures and to have compelled me to believe that the Bible is in very truth the word of God?”
~Testimony taken from a firsthand account written by missionary to China, Jonathan Goforth
And how can we live Christ if we are living for the approval of man? And how can we eat Christ if we eat the world’s fare? And how can we walk the narrow road if we are too caught up on the broad path leading to destruction?
Before God, I repent.
Some things in life are worth dying for.
Some things are worthy to be set apart unto.
Many, many things are worthy of nothing but to be left behind, set aside, turned away from. Our very selves are considered as nothing… when we have The Pearl of Great Price, the Treasure worth giving everything up for.
May I die to all else, big and small, in living and in dying, each day, every breath. Jesus, may I live it true: All I have is CHRIST.