CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS
A remarkable experience was that of a native of Surinam, Dutch Guiana, whose story was told by Prof. Henry Dosker in the Missionary Review of the World ten or twelve years ago.
Some sixty years ago the Bush natives of Surinam were fetish worshipers, given to witchcraft and sorcery, which was called winti,
or demoniacal possession. Professor Dosker says:
“John King, however, seems, from his early boy-hood, to have been a white raven among his relatives and daily associates. In vain, efforts were made to bring him under the influence of the winti.
He was persecuted and tortured; for three months at a time he was manacled hand and foot, and rubbed with sharp, aromatic herbs—all to no purpose. At last the Gran-winti declared that he had no power over King, because his heart belonged to the God of heaven.”
King was instructed, he says, by dreams and visions, in which Christ was revealed to him; and he was told to go to the missionaries, who would teach him to read God’s Book.
“There seems no reason to doubt the veracity of this strange story. It seems to have been an actual experience in King’s life; and it certainly was the beginning of a new existence. Staehelin and the other Moravian missionaries, who knew the character and piety of King, never doubted the story.
“This experience was followed by others of a similar nature; and King steadfastly refused to further join in any idolatrous practices. His tribesmen, however, wanted to compel him to bow to an idol; but King said that the Lord spoke to him, ‘If thou kneelest to the idol, thou shalt die. But I will save thee from their hands. Fear not, I am with thee.’
“The turbulent, frantic heathen closed about King.
And a martyr’s death seemed to confront him, when suddenly he knelt down and prayed aloud: ‘My Saviour, if I do this in my own strength, then may my words have no effect at all; but if Thou hast elected me to bring them to Thee, help me, then, O Lord, to convert them to Thee, and cause them to see that Thou hast sent me.’
“When King arose after this prayer, his tormentors were stealthily leaving the place; and, unhindered, he returned to his own house.
“With great zeal King now began the work to which he felt himself called. He went to Paramaribo and visited the Moravian missionaries, who taught him to read and write, and instructed him in the truth of God. He advanced rapidly, while the mysterious visions and dreams continued. The missionaries warned him not to trust in them nor to be puffed up on their account; and King accepted their admonitions with the utmost humility.”
This man continued for years in his work. Many an incident, both in the Bible stories and in modern times, affords suggestion of the divine possibilities in spreading the light of truth in ways out of the ordinary in this generation of world evangelization.
Of the closing days of God’s work, the Lord says that He will “bring the blind by a way that they knew not.” We shall see His arm revealed in saving power.
“It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.” Acts 2:17. A great work is to be done quickly.