The son of a wealthy British planter, C.T. Studd accepted Christ at the age of 16. He lived the next several years in selfish pleasure and fame. An outstanding cricket player, he became captain of his team his last year at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882, Studd heard the preaching of Moody and began to be burdened for lost souls around him. However, it wasn’t until 1884, when his brother took seriously ill, that Studd was faced with the question, “What is all the fame and flattery worth … when a man comes to face eternity?” He made a decision and later wrote: “I knew that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come.”
In 1885, God led Studd to China as part of the famous “Cambridge Seven” of the China Inland Mission (CIM). This was not without opposition from his family, but he would obey God in his calling to the “thousands of souls perishing every day and night without even knowledge of the Lord Jesus.” While in China, he reached the age to receive his inheritance, today equal to over four million dollars. After much prayer, he gave away most of it to various ministries. Soon he met and married Priscilla Stewart, a dedicated missionary with CIM. When presented with the rest of Studd’s inheritance before their wedding, she urged that they give away even that. They had four daughters which Studd believed was God’s way to teach the Chinese the value of girls.
The couple served in China until 1894, when ill health took them back to England. Studd traveled to America to urge university students to live for the Lord. Years later, they went to India where Studd pastored a church. Finally, in 1910, against the admonishments of many, Studd left his family in Britain to pioneer work in the Belgian Congo, saying, “God has called me to go, and I will go… though my grave may only become a stepping stone that younger men may follow.” He died in Africa in 1931, saying, “My only joys therefore are that when God has given me a work to do, I have not refused it.”
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”