Book Recommendation: As to Death - Biography of Samuel Dyer

The cover of As To Death - Biography of Samuel Dyer
The cover of As To Death - Biography of Samuel Dyer (photo: Provided by Paul Wu )
By CCD contributor: Paul Wu April 3rd, 2020

In the history of China's modern missions, the British missionary Hudson Taylor undoubtedly has a very important status. The China Inland Mission established by him has not only changed the development of the Chinese church at that time, but its ideology has also influenced the Chinese church development for a long time.

To know Hudson Taylor, it is important for us to know people who have an influence on him. And Hudson Taylor's father-in-law, the missionary of the London Society, Samuel Dyer, is such a great man.

Born in 1804, Samuel Dyer was one of the early missionaries among the Chinese people in the London Missionary Society. When he was young, there is one sentence in Revelation: "Brothers have overcome it because of the blood of the Lamb and the Word they have witnessed. Although they die, they do not spare their lives." (12:11) The sentence inspired his enthusiasm of mission to the Far East. He arrived in Southeast Asia with his wife in 1827, preached among the overseas Chinese community, and prepared for entering Chinese missions. He got to know Robert Morrison and other staff here. Under the training of Robert Morrison, his spiritual maturity has gradually matured and his various abilities have gradually increased.

The most important ministry of Samuel Dyer's life is the language and the Chinese translation of the Bible. He used the western orthodox method of creating living characters to create long-term Chinese characters. He re-translated the Bible in simple and plain Chinese. Because of his in-depth study of the original text of the Bible, and his direct experience in missionary work in China, his opinion was adopted by the London Club, with the composition of the "Commissioned Translation Committee" and the publication of the commissioned translation. This book makes a detailed record and research of the life story of Samuel Dyer. In 1843, Samuel Dyer could finally enter China, but he stopped his mission and rested in the arms of the Lord.

More than ten years later, Hudson Taylor came to China with the enthusiasm of evangelism. He soon met Mary, the daughter of Samuel Dyer, and soon became married. After Hudson Taylor inherited his father-in-law's unfinished business, he founded the Mainland China Association, which has a significant influence on the history of mission, so that the gospel can spread and take root in China.

The book As To Death - Biography of Samuel Dyer written by James Hudson Taylor III, is an excellent spiritual biography. The author James Hudson Taylor III (1929 -2009), was born in Kaifeng, Henan Province, China. He is the fourth generation's descendant of Hudson Taylor, and his father was James Hudson Taylor II. In 1980 he became the seventh Chief Director of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. He moved to Hong Kong with his wife in 1991. In 1993, the International Professional Services Agency (MSI) was established in Mainland China.

As To Death-Biography of Samuel Dyer is a good book worth reading. For the Christian, we can learn from the short life of the legend of this spiritual man, imitating his loyalty to the Lord, the noble qualities of working till the rest. It has a very important learning significance for our life today and participating in church service. For researchers in modern Chinese churches and the Chinese translation of the Bible, this book provides a lot of useful historical information and has very important reference value.

- Translated by Kevin Feng

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