One of the people groups among the New Hebrides islands where John Paton worked, the Aneityumese people, longed to have a Bible in their own mother tongue, in which no book or page had ever been written. John Paton writes:

“The consecrated brain and hand of their Missionaries kept toiling day and night in translating the book of God. And the willing hands and feet of the Natives kept toiling through fifteen long but unwearying years, planting and preparing arrowroot to pay the £1,200 required to be laid out in the printing and publishing of the book.

“Year after year the arrowroot, too sacred to be used for their daily food, was set apart as the Lord’s portion. The Missionaries sent it to Australia and Scotland, where it was sold by private friends, and the whole proceeds consecrated to this purpose. On the completion of the great undertaking by the Bible Society, it was found that the Natives had earned so much as to pay every penny of the outlay. Their first Bibles went out to them, purchased with the consecrated toils of fifteen years!

“...Let those who lightly esteem their Bibles think on these things ...The labour and proceeds of fifteen years for the Bible did not appear to these poor converted Savages  too much to pay for that Word of God ...which had revealed to them the grace of God in Christ, and which had opened their eyes to the wonders and glories of redeeming love! ...It had lifted them out of savagery, and set them at the feet of the Lord Jesus.”

John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides (pp.77,78)

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