The following Public Domain biography of Jonathan Goforth is now available for download in PDF:
Rosalind Goforth, Goforth of China. London & Edinburgh: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, Ltd., 1937. Hbk. pp.364.
Goforth of China
Dr. Goforth was one of the most radiant, dynamic personalities that ever enriched my life. God’s missionary program of the past half-century would not have been complete without him; the literature of missionary biography would be sadly lacking without this story of his life and work. He towers as a spiritual giant among God’s missionary heroes of his generation.
He was an electric, radiant personality, flooding his immediate environment – wherever he might be – with the sunlight that was deep in his heart and shone on his face because his life was “hid with Christ in God.” For some twenty years I had the privilege of knowing this man of God intimately – at conferences in America, in the mission field in China, in his home in Toronto, and in my home in Philadelphia. In all these places the rare sunshine of his presence abides as an undying memory.
With the sunshine of God’s love in his heart there was an irresistible enthusiasm and a tireless energy. Nothing could stop his dynamic drive in that to which God had commissioned him. It was the same when he was seventy-seven as when he was fifty-seven. The loss of his eyesight during the last three years of his life did not halt the energy-it seemed only to heighten it. When this providence of God was permitted, after forty-eight years of missionary service, the undaunted apostle of the Gospel said to a newspaper reporter: “Bless you my boy, I’d go back for another forty-eight years if my sight were only good.”
But Dr. Goforth’s radiant smile and brilliant spirit did not mean indifference to the dark side of life, its stern realities and the sinister attacks of the Adversary. With his warmth and love there was also keenest discernment of the falsehood of Modernism, and an unswerving, undying intolerance of all that sets itself against the Word of God. The sharply defined issue between Modernism and Fundamentalism in the foreign mission field was coming to the front in the summer of 1920, when Mrs. Trumhull and I had an unforgettable visit with Dr. and Mrs. Goforth in their home at Kikungshan. Dr. Goforth told me, with fire in his eye and his heart, of the inroads on missionary testimony being made by missionaries who were betraying the faith and substituting eternally fatal poison for the Gospel and the Word. Always he stood like Gibraltar, steadfast and uncompromising for the old faith which is ever new; and that is another reason why God so abundantly