"YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN"
~100 WELL - KNOWN
MEN IN ALL
RANKS OF LIFE
The Moody of Japan
PAUL KANAMORI, called "The Moody of Japan,"
one of the most influential scholars, teachers, and
preachers in modern Japan, was reared in a native school
which was attended by some hundred or more scholars.
He told how one of the scholars became possessed of a
Bible, which he read without any aid of commentary. He
was fascinated, and, like a boy, could not keep it to him-
self. Others became readers, until quite one hundred
boys were Bible-readers and formed themselves into a
kind of fellowship.
As time went on, these boys, without any teacher or
instructor or help of any kind, were gradually but surely
converted to the Lord Jesus Christ. The joy of the re-
ligion of Jesus filled their souls, and they made it known.
They went into the open market place, as did those in the
Acts of the Apostles, and bore their testimony to the
truths they had embraced.
This was over fifty years ago, with the result that they
were persecuted with such severity that they were greatly
tried. Eventually, one by one they could not withstand
the enemy, and only some forty remained loyal and true.
This company went out one night to a place known as
the Flowery Mount, and there they consecrated them-
selves fully to the service of Jesus Christ, as their Divine
Saviour, and dedicated their powers to Him. They drew
up a statement of their faith and pledged themselves, at
all costs, to be loyal to their belief. These boys varied
in age from thirteen to eighteen years of age.
Kanamori was one of these boys, and an elder one. As
the leader of the company, he was watched, and eventually
was cast into prison. He was searched on entering the
jail; but he had taken the precaution to conceal the
Gospels according to Matthew and John in the lining of
his waistcoat. These he fed upon during his exile. Then,
fearing lest he should be detected and deprived of these
precious portions, which were the bread of life to his
spiritual nature, he set to work and committed them to
memory. Then, said he, "They might take the Word of
God from me altogether, but they could never take that
which I had in my memory."
The time came when he was released, and he acquired
once more a copy of the Bible and a copy of "Pilgrim's
Progress." He soon afterwards joined a Christian College
and became the pastor of a Church.
It was during his connection with this college that he had
a sad backset, for he came under the spell of the New
Theology and Higher Criticism. He was charmed and
enthralled with the German books upon the new inter-
pretation of the Bible. He devoured the productions of
the latest and cleverest writers, and became a full-blown
Modernist. He was a great linguist and scholar, never
ceasing in his studies and attainments. The time came
when he was so advanced in his theories that his con-
science began to trouble him. How could he be one thing
in the study and another man in the pulpit?
He consulted his many friends, but all persuaded him
to go on with his pulpit work; but he said very emphatic-
ally, "I could not be two-faced, I must give up my Church.
I could not be receiving their money and neglecting to
preach the Gospel. I had become [like] an unbeliever."Eventu-
ally he resigned his charge. He became an out-and-out
Modernist. The Bible was full of
mistakes. The myths
errorswere many, and the Book was uninspired. It
was on a par with books of Moh_mm_d, Buddha, and
others. Everything he read was destructive and he was
no better than an agnostic.
"Now I must look for a new sphere of labour, and so
I went through my country lecturing upon socialism and
economics and abandoned the Gospel and the Cross.
Christ was not Divine, He died as a good man with a
fine character, He was only the son of Joseph and Mary.
The virgin birth was all a myth. When He died there was
an end to Him. His resurrection was all imagination.
The disciples were deluded."
It is hard to believe that after such a previous history
and career that he lived and worked in this dark ex-
perience for no less than twenty-four years. Now no one
could imagine his being idle. He told how he had trans-
lated the German writers into his own language and how
those volumes were simply devoured by the young aspiring
scholars of the times. His writings were read by all the
intellectuals until he became well known throughout
Japan as the scholar and teacher for the schools. He was
indeed a wanderer from God and a prodigal, "[eating of] the
husks that the swine did eat[.]"
At the end of this long period an event happened which
brought him to think and consider his ways. Though he
had forgotten his Heavenly Father, He had not forgotten
him. His dear wife, the mother of his nine children, was
called Home. It was a very sad and terrible loss. He
was smitten in a very vital place. His children could not
be comforted. They cried day and night. There was no
comfort in his theories and myths. His beliefs were
hollow and meaningless. Where could he go, to whom
could he look for help and relief? His children kept
coming to him for help, but he could give them none.
They talked of their mother being in Heaven, and yet
needed so much on earth and in their home. They sought
comfort in her photographs. They had them placed in
the different rooms of the house. They had one in the
kitchen. They kept talking to them. Mother seemed very
near in spirit. Then the youngest child cross-questioned
him: "You go away and come back again. Mother has
gone away. Why does she not come back again?" Then
he told this little one, only four years of age, "God needs
mother and she is kept busy and is very happy." "But
father, cannot you go and take mother's place and let her
come here? We all so need her and want her." Then he
said the first one the child asked for, when it comes from
school is "mother," not "father," but there was no
mother. In his own thoughts he was thrown back to the
resurrection. "I am the [R]esurrection, and the [L]ife[,]"
saith the Lord. "he that believeth in [M]e, though he
were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and
believeth in [M]e shall never die." He saw his only hope
was in the living, risen, Divine Saviour.
He went through a long period of struggle and deep
repentance, when one day the light broke in. His Hea-
venly Father received the prodigal. "As He put the robe
on me, the ring of heirship on my finger and shoes on my
feet, I began to realise He had received me. The old joy
and experience came back, and I felt compelled to make
it known. I became as a child, in the pure simplicity of
childlike confidence and faith." He accepted the Saviour
once more to deliver him from his errors and unbelief.
"He healed my backslidings, He loved me freely" (Jer.
The speaker mourned, on account of the years of more
than waste that had marked his career, and the great
numbers that had gone wrong through his teaching,
erroneous teaching. There was nothing that could blot
that out. Still he rejoiced in that God had spared him
ten years to preach the Cross of Christ. "Wherever I go
I preach but one theme, Jesus Christ, and [H]im crucified."
He rejoiced that during the past ten years he had seen
over seven thousand five hundred people in his own
country turn to God, and many turned from their disbelief
and error back to the old paths and to the saving power
of the Cross.
In his closing remarks, he testified to his firm and
unreserved faith in the inspired Word of God. He
held up the Bible, saying, "he believed in it from cover
[Twice-Born Men] [Christian Home Bible Course]