Recently I was getting ready to take a trip, and I asked my wife to suggest a good book to take to read. Together we looked through our bookshelf. After a brief prayer I decided to take a book about Bill Borden. Biographies are my favorite type of book and this one of Bill Borden ranks right at the top of my list of favorites, along with a biography of Charles Cowman, Missionary Warrior written by his wife, Letty Cowman.
The story of Bill Borden will touch your heart and challenge you. I had read stories about him and had even given illustrations about him, but I had never read his full biography. Mrs. Howard Taylor, daughter-in-law of Hudson Taylor, is an excellent writer. She and her husband wrote Hudson Taylor’s biography, God’s Man in China. Mrs. Taylor had access to letters and people who knew Bill Borden and this allowed her to bring out the greatness as well as interesting details about his life.
The story is of a young boy who fell in love with Jesus after being dealt with by his pastor, Dr. R.A. Torrey, at Moody Church in Chicago. The fire burned continually stronger in his heart until the day he went home to be with the Lord at the age of 25. After Borden graduated from high school his wealthy father sent him around the world to places like Japan, China, India, and Egypt. On that trip God spoke to his heart about giving his life to reach the precious souls on the foreign mission field.
As you read the story you will see his Christ-likeness and the testimony of a young man who had “everything” in the world’s eyes but gave it all up. As a freshman at Yale University he had a burden to reach the lost students. He started holding Bible studies. By the time he graduated, 1,000 of the 1,300 students in his school were attending his Bible studies. He also made a profound impact on the lives of his teachers.
Like Jesus, Bill Borden touched the lives of people he met each day. His passion to tell others about Christ came from the love he had for his Saviour. His strong belief that the Moslems could be reached came from a deep faith in the power of his God.
When I read a book I will normally mark up pages I really like—normally 20-25% of the book. When I finished this book I saw I had marked 245 of the 285 pages. This book gives the most inspiring account of a Christian that I have ever read, outside of the Bible. I felt like I knew Borden, even though he has been gone for almost 100 years.
From 1926 to 1957 (my version was 1957) this book went through 16 printings. There is an edited version but do not settle for it. Make sure you get the unabridged version if possible.
I encourage everyone to read this book, especially young men in high school or college. When you read it take time to read carefully every story and letter.