Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Motivations to learn Greek, from an old missionary

Before John Paton was even 12 years old he was very busy learning his father’s trade (making stockings) from 6am to 10pm.

Nevertheless, because he wanted to be a missionary, he studied Greek during his 30min breakfast break, his 1hr lunch break, and his 30min supper break.

When still under twelve years of age, I started to learn my father's trade, in which I made surprising progress. We wrought from six in the morning till ten at night, with an hour at dinner-time and half an hour at breakfast and again at supper. These spare moments every day I devoutly spent on my books, chiefly in the rudiments of Latin and Greek; for I had given my soul to God, and was resolved to aim at being a Missionary of the Cross, or a Minister of the Gospel.

From The Story of John G. Paton Told for Young Folks or, Thirty Years among South Sea Cannibals by James Paton. New York: A. L. Burt Company, Publishers, [1892].