At the age of three, his mother died and David soon found himself bouncing between the homes of relatives and family friends. This unstable life ended when, at the age of sixteen, he was sent to live his his loving, godly Uncle and Aunt. They gladly opened their home to David and provided him with a thorough college education.
It was during his time at Marshall College that David trusted Jesus Christ as his personal savior and gave his life to be an ambassador for Christ! After College, he went on to Seminary, where he began to have a deep interest in India. In 1850, he set sail to begin his work in India.
David’s work in India was filled with victory, pain, success, and hardship. But his whole attitude was that of a surrendered man. His life belonged to Christ and he gave everything for His cause. His commitment for Christ was shown by his attitude in a letter he wrote to his beloved Aunt when she was going through a severe sickness:
Let us all strive to be resigned to the will of our Heavenly Father, be it life or death. For if we are sure of an interest in Christ, why should we shrink from death? Are not the dead who die in the Lord blessed? For you, my dear kind aunt, I feel that to depart and be with Christ is far better. It will be to your soul but the entrance into life everlasting for Christ has passed through it and taken away all its sting. Let us not fear to die for it argues a weakness of faith. If death has not been wholly deprived of his terrors in our hearts let us go and pray and pray again until we obtain such a holy boldness as to be able to meet him. We should always be ready to die always have clean hearts and quiet consciences hearts washed in Jesus blood and consciences void of offence.
Little did David know that these truths would become so real in his own life. In 1857, just seven years after David began his missionary work, a rebellion broke out that threatened the safety of the missionaries. For weeks, they were harrassed by the rebels, who would yell, “Where is your Jesus now? What will become of you?”
What I have to say lastly is this: How greatly I desire that you who are not yet enlisted in my Lord’s band would come to Him because you see what a kind and gracious Lord He is.
Young men, if you could see our Captain, you would down on your knees and beg Him to let you enter the ranks of those who follow Him. It is heaven to serve Jesus. I am a recruiting sergeant, and I would rejoice to find a few recruits at this moment.
Every man must serve somebody: we have no choice as to that fact. Those who have no master are slaves to themselves. Depend upon it, you will either serve Satan or Christ. Either self, or the Savior. You will find sin, self, Satan, and the world to be hard masters; but if you wear the uniform of Christ, you will find Him so meek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls.
He is the most noble of captains. There never was one like Him among the greatest of princes. He is always to be found in the thickest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold He always takes the bleak side of the hill. The heaviest end of the cross lies ever on His shoulders.
These forty years and more have I served Him, blessed be His name! and I have had nothing but love from Him. I would be glad to continue yet another forty years in the same dear service here below, if so it pleased Him.
His service is life, peace, joy. Oh, that you would enter on it at once. God help you to enlist under the banner of Jesus even this day. Amen.”
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