Venerable Teacher Talmage


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Tribute Of Pastor Iap Han Chiong.

Forty Years in South China

The Life of Rev. John Van Nest Talmage, D.D  by Fagg, Rev. John Gerardus XII. In Memoriam

[Pastor Iap 葉漢章牧師 was the first pastor of the Chinese Church]

Teacher Talmage(打馬字牧師) was very gentle. He wished ever to be at peace with men. If he saw a man in error he used words of meekness in convincing and converting the man from his error. Whether he exhorted, encouraged or instructed, his words were words of prudence, seasoned with salt, so that men were glad to receive and obey.

Teacher Talmage was a lover of men. When he saw a man in distress and it was right for him to help, he helped. In peril, he exerted himself to deliver the man; in weakness, in danger of falling, he tried to uphold; suffering oppression, he arose to the defense, fearing no power, but contending earnestly for the right.

Teacher Talmage was very gracious in receiving men, whether men of position or the common people. He treated all alike. If they wished to discuss any matter with him and get his advice, he would patiently listen to their tale. If he had any counsel to give, he gave it. If he felt he could not conscicntiously have anything to do with the affair, he told the men forthwith.

He could pierce through words, and see through men's countenances and judge what the man was, who was addressing him.

Teacher Talmage had great eloquence and possessed great intelligence. His utterance was clear, his voice powerful, his exposition of doctrine very thorough. Men listened and the truth entered their ears and their hearts understood.

Teacher Talmage was grave in manner. He commanded the respect and praise of men. His was a truly ministerial bearing. Men within and without the Church venerated him.

Sometimes differences between brethren arose. Teacher Talmage earnestly exhorted to harmony. Even serious differences, which looked beyond healing, were removed, because men felt constrained to listen to his counsel.

Teacher Talmage was exceedingly diligent. When not otherwise engaged, morning and afternoon found him in his study reading, writing, preparing sermons, translating books.

He preached every Sabbath. He conducted classes of catechumens. He founded the Girls' School at the Church "Under the Bamboos." He founded the Theological Seminary. Others taught with him, but he was the master spirit. He was ten points careful that everything relating to the organization and administration of the Church should be in accordance with the Holy Book.

Only at the urgent request of two physicians did he finally leave China. He was prepared to die and to be buried at Amoy. And this was not because he was not honored in his ancestral country, or could find no home. No, he had sons, he had a brother, he had nephews and nieces, he had many relatives and friends who greatly reverenced and loved him.

But Teacher Talmage could not bear to be separated from the Church in China. Surely this was imitating the heart of Christ. Surely this was loving the people of China to the utmost.


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