In June 1849, 17 year old Hudson Taylor came to know Christ personally after reading a tract– out of boredom. Taylor “became…convinced that Jesus had done everything necessary for him, Hudson. There was nothing he himself needed but to accept the ‘finished work of Christ’….”.
In the months after, Taylor was filled with “turbulent emotions and spiritual agitation”. There was much joy at his experience of God’s love but also fears of failing, of leaving God again. Towards the end of that year, Taylor was in the midst of a prayer of thanksgiving when he had a life-defining encounter with God.
“Well do I remember that occasion, how in the gladness of my heart I poured out my soul before God, and again and again confessing my grateful love to Him who had done everything for me— who had saved me when I had given up all hope and even desire for salvation— I besought Him to give me some work for Him, as an outlet for love and gratitude; some self-denying service, no matter what it might be, however trying or however trivial; something with which He would be pleased,… Well do I remember, …the deep solemnity that came over my soul with the assurance that my offering was accepted. The presence of God became unutterably real and blessed, and I well remember… stretching myself on the ground, and lying there before Him with unspeakable awe and unspeakable joy. For what service I was accepted I knew not. But a deep consciousness that I was not my own took possession of me…”
Source: Irene Chang et al (eds), Christ Alone. A Pictorial Presentation of Hudson Taylor’s Life and Legacy, OMF Hong Kong, 2005.