In the 1700s, a young man named James Taylor proposed marriage to his girlfriend, and a wedding date was set. Neither of them were Christians. James, in fact, so detested itinerant preachers that he often pelted them with rotten tomatoes or eggs.
Shortly before his wedding, one of John Wesley’s circuit riders entered town, and James, hearing of it, wanted to disrupt the meeting. But as James listened in the fringes of the crowd, the preachers quoted Joshua 24:15: But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
The words stuck James like an arrow.
When the day of his wedding arrived, the verse was still lodged in his thoughts. That morning James retired to the field to think. He was about to take a wife, to establish a home, but he wasn’t serving the Lord. He knelt in the grass and earnestly asked Christ to be his Savior. By the time he finished praying, he was alarmed to discover it was time for the wedding.
Rushing to the chapel, he apologized for being late, and the ceremony proceeded. Then he shocked his bride and guests, by announcing he had become a Christian. He soon began witnessing to his new wife, but she remained resistant. Finally one day James came home so burdened for her that he picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. There with a forceful hand he made her kneel beside him. Soon both were weeping, and there she too, became a Christian.
Generations have since passed, each filled with Christian workers serving the Lord. Including among them is James Taylor’s great-grandson, Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission, who opened the interior of China to the gospel of Jesus Christ