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Missionaries’ Lives Spared from Marytrdom As They Sang the Hymn, "Face to Face"

Many years ago, a band of Chinese terrorists had captured Rev. and Mrs. Porteous, who were serving as missionaries in China with the old China Inland Mission. The terrorists led them to a lonely spot on a hill and declared, “This is the place!”

It was the place where they were to be executed, but when the executioner readied his long knife for the kill, the couple began to sing:

Face to face with Christ my Savior,

Face to face – what will it be

When with rapture I behold Him,

Jesus Christ who died for me?

Face to face I shall behold Him,

Far beyond the starry sky;

Face to face, in all His glory,

I shall see Him by and by.

The missionary couple awaited their execution, but to their surprise, no order was given. The executioner shouldered his axe-like knife and Mr. and Mrs. Porteous were released (Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 More Hymn Stories, p.87).

They had anticipated seeing Jesus. They had anticipated the glory ahead, and it helped them face almost certain death; it helped them bear their cross.

From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Glimpse the Glory, 11/21/2009

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