A Most Remarkable Letter – C. T. Studd
The following excerpt is one of the most remarkable letters and statements of faith I have ever read. The following comes from the biography of C. T. Studd and are Studd’s own words recorded there:
“We should go crusading for Christ [wrote C.T.]. We have the men, the means, and the ways—steam and electricity and iron have leveled the lands and bridged the seas. The doors of the world have been opened wide for us by our God. We pray and preach; we bow the knee; we receive, we administer the Holy Communion of the passion of Christ; we recite the creed triumphantly; we are optimists everyone; we shout “Onward Christian soldiers, marching on to war,” and then? . . . and then? . . . we whisper, “I pray Thee have me excused!” What glorious humbugs we are!
Five hundred millions of heathen have not yet been evangelized, so it is computed! Yet our great missionary societies have reached high watermark, and if they have not already begun to retrench, are seriously thinking of doing so. Meanwhile, the heart of Asia, the heart of Africa, and well nigh the whole continent of South America, are untouched with the gospel of Christ.
Last June at the mouth of the Congo there awaited a thousand prospectors, traders, merchants and gold seekers, waiting to rush into these regions as soon as the government opened the door to them, for rumor declared that there is an abundance of gold. If such men hear so loudly the call of gold and obey it, can it be that the ears of Christ’s soldiers are deaf to the call of God, and the cries of the dying souls of men? Are gamblers for gold so many, and gamblers for God so few?
“My Montenegrins,” said King Nicholas, “will henceforth spill their blood for their persecuted compatriots.” When shall God be able to say to the devil, “Have you seen My Christians of today? No longer do they seek for gold or pleasure, for honors or ease; from henceforth My Christians will spill their blood for the love and cause of My beloved Son, and the salvation of the neediest of men.” Yes, when? When indeed shall we see a real “Church Militant” here upon earth?
He thus proceeded to outline the principles of the New Crusade.
Believing that further delay would be sinful, some of God’s insignificants and nobodies in particular, but trusting in our omnipotent God, have decided on certain simple lines, according to the Book of God, to make a definite attempt to render the evangelization of the world an accomplished fact. For this purpose we have banded ourselves together under the name of “Christ’s Etceteras,” and invite others of God’s people to join us in this glorious enterprise. We are merely Christ’s nobodies, otherwise Christ’s Etceteras. We rejoice in and thank God for the good work being carried on in the already occupied lands by God’s regular forces. We seek to attack and win to Christ only those parts of the devil’s empire which are beyond the extremest outposts of the regular army of God. Christ’s Etceteras are a union mission; a Christian, and, therefore, an international brotherhood; a supplementary Worldwide Evangelization Crusade.
Our method is to search and find out what parts of the world at present remain unevangelized, and then by faith in Christ, by prayer to God, by obedience to the Holy Spirit, by courage, determination, and supreme sacrifice, to accomplish their evangelization with the utmost dispatch.
The head, the commander, the director of this mission is the triune God.
David selected five smooth stones from the brook to polish off Goliath. We therefore have selected the following five to be the basis of our operations, to which everyone who joins must adhere:
(1) Absolute faith in the deity of each person of the Trinity.
(2) Absolute belief in the full inspiration of the Old and New Testament Scriptures.
(3) Vow to know and to preach none other save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
(4) Obedience to Christ’s command to love all who love the Lord Jesus sincerely without respect of persons and to love all men.
(5) Absolute faith in the will, power, and providence of God to meet our every need in His service.
The funds for this work shall be sought from God only. Nobody else shall ever be asked for either a donation or subscription. No collection for Etcetera work shall be taken up at any meeting held or recognized by this brotherhood. If we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we have the word of Christ that God will supply our needs. If we degenerate into seeking anything else, the sooner we cease to exist, the better for ourselves, for the world, and for the cause of Christ.
The Etcetera evangelist must be a man of God and not a child of man. He is not the salaried servant of the Etcetera Committee. He is a servant of Jesus Christ with whom he has settled terms of agreement already. He knows no other master. He has not the ghost of a doubt about God supplying his need; he carries his checkbook with him always, and has no fear of the checks being dishonored. If death overtakes him on the battlefield, he knows such to be a special mark of Christ’s favor, who has thus honored and promoted him sooner than he had any right to expect. As he looks to God to supply his needs, so also shall he look to God for his guidance and shall obey Him.
Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time for waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! In God’s holy name let us arise and build! “The God of Heaven, He will fight for us,” as we for Him. We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the whole world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts. We will a thousand times sooner die trusting only in our God than live trusting in man. And when we come to this position the battle is already won, and the end of the glorious campaign in sight. We will have the real holiness of God, not the sickly stuff of talk and dainty words and pretty thoughts; we will have a masculine holiness, one of daring faith and works for Jesus Christ.”
Grubb, Norman. C. T. Studd: Cricketer & Pioneer (pp. 128-141). CLC Publications.