Book: They Were Pilgrims
It’s been a while since I finished reading a book – I’ve been doing a lot more skimming of different books (or starting books), and trying to learn Hebrew vocabulary, so this feels like an achievement of sorts. This book is a collection of 4 biographies of Christians who lived in the 1700s and 1800s, none of whom lived beyond 31.
David Brainerd (1718-1747), Henry Martyn (1781-1812), Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843), and Ion Grant Neville Keith-Falconer (1856-1887) were all remarkable in the scholarship, and their various life achievements, but also in their passion to go to remote peoples and share the Christian gospel with them.
What do I gain by reading these biographies of people who I’ve already out-lived? On the one hand, a sense of terrible inadequacy. What have I done with my life, really, when by their ages, they’d gone and done amazing things in unreached parts of the world? The person who loaned me the book had a more comforting perspective. Do the most you can with what you’ve been given, knowing that God will raise up people who will accomplish these things as He needs them.
If you’re not a believer, what might you get from this book? A sense of the way the world was in a bygone age, where travel was far more life-threatening, where people – even those weighed down with illness – could summon up the courage to follow their dreams. And perhaps a sense of a passionate faith that you might not get the chance to see very often these days.