A Look at a Book
C. T. Studd: Cricketeer & Pioneer
by Norman Grubb
At God’s command I left all that is usually thought to make life worth living … and have been called fool and fanatic again and again.–C.T. Studd
In his biography of C.T. Studd, Norman Grubb details both the exploits and the courageous faith that drove this pioneer missionary and founder of Worldwide Evangelization Crusade. Compiled from C.T.’s personal correspondence and from Norman’s personal experiences with him on the mission field and as his son-in-law, this book gives a clear and powerful portrait of one who dared to follow Christ without counting the cost or looking back.
C.T. Studd earned fame nationwide as an all-England cricketer as a member of the Eton XI. But when he met Jesus Christ, his passion for the game changed to a passion for seeing souls come to Christ. First he took his team-mates to hear D.L. Moody, and then, after graduating, he and six other Cambridge athletes renounced their careers to join Hudson Taylor’s China Inland Mission. Before leaving for China, the "Cambridge Seven" led revival meetings that swept across the universities of England. Thousands of students and professors came to hear such an unlikely group talk about accepting Jesus Christ.
While living in China–dressing in Chinese costume, eating Chinese food, trekking across the country, and preaching the gospel–C.T. received an inheritance, part of his family for-tune. He promptly gave it all away to various Christian missions. In Norman’s words, "As coolly and deliberately as a business man invests in some ‘gilt-edged’ securities, as being both safe and yielding good interest, so C.T. invested in the Bank of Heaven."
The chapters on C.T.’s unique courtship and marriage to fellow missionary Priscilla Stewart is delightful reading, as are the details of the life of faith they lived with their four daughters in inland China. But that was just an initiation into God’s plans for C.T. After ten years in China, the Studds returned to London because of the illness of both C.T. and ‘Scilla. No sooner had C.T. recovered when he went to the United States where the revival begun by the "Cambridge Seven" in England had spread to American college campuses. Then it was back to the foreign field to pastor a church in South India, even though he suffered from asthma. Six years later back again in England, C.T. became a sought-after evangelist because of his enthusiasm, humor and direct manner.
However, it was at fifty years of age and after fifteen years of ill-health that C.T. received his greatest challenge: to bring Jesus Christ to the natives of central Africa, and to the entire unevangelized world. He went–once again staking all on the faithfulness of God–against the advice of his doctor, without the support of any mission, nor even the approval of his invalid wife. Aboard ship bound for Africa, God told him that this trip was not only for Africa, but for the whole unevangelized world. C.T.’s response? "To human reason the thing was ridiculous, but faith in Jesus laughs at impossibilities."
I encourage anyone who wants to see an example of how God can pour out "rivets of living water" through one willing vessel to read C.T. Studd: Cricketer and Pioneer. In Alfred Buxton’s words, "C.T.’s life stands as…a sign to all succeeding generations that it is worthwhile to lose all this world can offer and stake everything on the world to come. His life will be an eternal rebuke to easy-going Christianity."
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 1
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Weekend in New York 1995
- The Letter to the Romans
- The Mailbox
- God’s Promises
- A Look at a Book
- Questions & Answers
- The Walk Through The Bible
- God’s Wonderful Plan
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- Excerpt from After C.T. Studd
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By