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A veteran missionary stood before the general assembly of the Scottish Presbyterian Church to make an appeal for missionary work in India. But there was no response. In the midst of his appeal he fainted and was carried away by a doctor. When he opened his eyes, he cried, “Where am I? Where am I?” The doctor said, “Lie still. You just had a heart attack.” The missionary shot back, “I haven’t finished my appeal. Take me back. Take me back. I must finish my appeal.” In spite of the advice of the doctor and organisers, the missionary wanted to speak to the crowd. So, with the help of two people, one on each side, he stood on the platform and renewed his appeal. He said, “When Queen Victoria calls for volunteers to India, hundreds of young men respond, but, when King Jesus calls, no one goes.” Then he paused. There was silence. Again he said, “Is it true that the fathers and mothers of Scotland have no more sons to give for India?” Again he paused. An uneasy silence continued in the hall. Then the missionary concluded, “Very well, then aged though I am, I’ll will go back to India. I can lie down on the banks of the Ganges and I can die and thereby I can let the people of India know that there was one man in Scotland who loved them enough to give his life for them.” At this moment, the silence gave way to the cries of many young people who said, “I will go! I will go.” The veteran missionary was none other than Dr. Alexander Duff (1806-1878) who brought English education to India.

Adapted from Oswald J. Smith


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