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A Farewell Letter to his Grandchildren

by C. T. Studd (1860-1931); written the year he died, age 70.

C. T. StuddI MUST hurry up. I have been down to the River often lately; in fact I've lived in sight of the other shore these seven years. I have often desired to write to you but have not been fit enough to do so. Now I believe the Lord has allowed me another innings, and I rejoice. I long to leave this world and go to be with Jesus but I long to do something more for Him who did so much for me; I want to rescue others from the cruel hands of Satan and set them on the road to heaven.

I very much want you all to pray for me, that this 70-year-worn-out-old-body (called your grand-father) may not be a supreme hindrance to me in my service to Jesus.

I shall evidently never have the joy of seeing you with these natural eyes nor of speaking to you, but that makes me long to write my heart to you. ... God has taken me to many parts of this world and I have met many people, and I want to give you all the results of what experience I have obtained: and so I plunge in at once.

My loving advice to you is summed up in a few lines which I want you to learn by heart:

Only one life, 'twill soon be past;
Only what's done for Jesus will last.

Sometimes it seems like yesterday that I was at Lords playing cricket and with my life in front of me. I have seemed to be young for many years; and then quite suddenly old age has come. These last years have been sorrowful and yet the most happy and fruitful of my life. They have fulfilled the words God gave to me just after leaving Cambridge at the start of a legal career. I have come to understand better than before what the religion of our Lord Jesus really is and the awful caricature we have made of it. It is the one really noble thing on earth, and in essence, it is not getting but giving. Our lives must be of this pattern of Jesus. He gave up heaven to come to earth to shame, torture and death on the Cross to save us; we must give up earth in order to follow Christ and save our fellow men. Unfortunately we don't desire to do the will of God; we do not wish for the holy, loving and unselfish place, but that of selfishness, the root of all sin. Unless we get Jesus to change our hearts we should all go to the place where sin reigns supreme and where there is sorrow for ever. But God sent Jesus to change our hearts, and as we gaze on this marvellous love of God for us, our hearts must love Him and desire to become like Him. The greatest joy anyone can have on earth is to walk with Jesus: and this is what it means to be a Christian. Then you must love Jesus more than even your own life or family, if you will follow Him. Only those who walk with God on earth will live with Jesus in heaven.

Now my children, I want each of you when you wake up every morning to open your mouth and heart and thank Jesus for such an amazing life and death and love; and then I want you to walk that day with Jesus and so placard Christ as crucified for all around you, and be the means of saving others who would otherwise go to hell. Oh, how I long that you should all walk and talk every day with Jesus.

Now I must finish this letter. I say, love Jesus supremely, more than anybody on earth and do as He asks, then you will live the happiest possible life that anyone can live. When you love Jesus you will love His children too. Oh, is it not wonderful to placard this world with "Jesus, crucified for us"?

Your loving old grandfather.

From Fool and Fanatic?: Quotations from the Letters of C.T. Studd. compiled by Jean Walker. Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire [England]: Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, ©1980.

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