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Missionary Patriarch: The True Story of John G. Paton: Evangelist for Jesus Christ Among the South Sea Cannibals
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Missionary Patriarch: The True Story of John G. Paton: Evangelist for Jesus Christ Among the South Sea Cannibals

4.46 of 5 stars 4.46  ·  rating details  ·  197 ratings  ·  36 reviews
John G. Paton's accounts of evangelism among the South Sea Cannibals are extraordinary, but what sets this book apart is that it contains one of the finest testimonies of multi-generational love and devotion between a father and son found outside the Scriptures. In this autobiographical account, Paton describes how his father's love and training prepared him to endure bitt ...more
Hardcover, 524 pages
Published December 25th 2001 by Vision Forum (first published 1898)
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Sep 26, 2012 Johanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely everyone!
This was one of the most amazing books I have ever read! I can't imagine reading it and not being strongly impressed by the truth and wonder of God's providence. Besides being very encouraging, I found this book to be very rebuking(in a good way). It shows how little most of us Christians in America today know about true suffering for Christ. John Paton's stories of his missionary experience in the New Hebrides are an amazing recount of God's awesome workings and providences, it is full of inspi ...more
Crazycalvinist O'flaherty
This volume is an a multi-volume originally published in 3 separate volumes. I have just finished the first part, volume one, and its quite a remarkable story of God preserving His own, and of someone living with utter dependance for every day alive on God's keeping him from being killed and eaten alive by heathen canibals.
It reads a litle like an adventure story, except it is true, yet almost seems beyond belief, it is so incredible what he survived and how the Lord kept him alive and comparati
What a great autobiography! Can't say enough. A man goes to preach the gospel to the cannibals on one of the islands in the South Pacific in the 1800's just 19 years after two other missionaries were eaten for trying to do the same. He is alone and threatened every day but trusts in the Lord for help.
Best autobiography I've ever read. John G. Paton writes in such a way that his autobiography reads more like a thrilling adventure story because of the amazing way God moves through this faithful follower of Christ. I have put this autobiography on my "You've-gotta-read-this" list.
In this amazing autobiography, John Paton describes his upbringing in Scotland, his success in ministry in London, and his dangerous work among the natives of the New Hebrides Islands. The stories of the events of his life are amazingly detailed and powerful, as they demonstrate his faith in God and his care for the lost. As these events happened in the second half of the nineteenth century, it provides a great insight into the history of England and its relationship with the church and mission ...more
(Note: I read the 5th edition of volume 1, published about 1890, and ending with Paton's departure from Tanna.)

I should note, first, that I am an anthropologist and that I do fieldwork on the islands of Vanuatu (previously New Hebrides), including some of the islands where JG Paton served as a missionary. I read this book to gain a better understanding of the early colonial history of the archipelago, especially the role of missionaries in the development of the islands to their present state.

I finished reading this incredibly story months ago and yet it is still very... present. It's as if I'm still trying to internalize and process what I read--it is just so incredible! It easily moved up into the top tier of my favorite books. It's really that great.

Honestly, I didn't know what to expect. It was free on Kindle (free is good), I love reading missionary biographies, and I had stalled out on another book (also free on Kindle and also a missionary-related book, go figure!). But reall
Wendy Sparkes
What a heart for the Lord this missionary had!

John G. Paton served among the Cannibals of the New Hebrides (now known as Vanuatu) from 1857 (aged 33) to 1887 sharing the love of Jesus despite many difficult & dangerous situations. He also was key in getting the Missionary ship the Dayspring established to help support the missionaries serving on those islands of the South Seas.

The style of writing is obviously of the 1800s, & although I found it more difficult to read on occasions, it wa
Scott Johnson
John G. Paton spent his life telling two stories. First, he told the story of God's bringing salvation to sinners through the death and resurrection of His Son. But he also told the story of how God used him and other missionaries to bring a little heaven to earth as the gospel of Jesus Christ took root among the violent and pagan people of the New Hebrides. In his autobiography, as Paton tells the latter, the prior story of God's redeeming grace is ever in view. The result is a book as God-glor ...more
It is a magnificent book. Paton writes engagingly and well. His hair-raising adventures--both in the New Hebrides and in the more "civilised" lands of Scotland and Australia--drag you in, often with white-knuckle tension. His later account of the evangelisation and transformation of the Aniwan cannibals is thrilling in a different, more uplifting way. Meanwhile his personality shines through saintly and kind, but uncompromisingly, tenaciously courageous with an added helping of what can only be ...more
This is an incredible read. What a story! It's riveting - especially the first half. It's action packed. John Paton was a missionary to modern day Vanuatu. He lived for 5 years on an island of cannibals while enduring life threatening situations almost daily. It was his custom to run in-between warring tribes in order to stop the violence. He frequently succeeded. He would preach to and reason with the savage heathens even while they were trying to kill each other (or him).

I found it especially
Read at least three times. Oh, how inspiring is this man's faith and humility!! I love the story. Reminds me that "yea, tho I walk in the valley of the shadow of death," the One Who created me, sustains me yet. Powerful book.
The compassion and courage of this pioneer missionary is inspirational. That his efforts for the sake of Christ were so dramatically effective among the Aniwa (New Hebrides) people is astonishing. The major change occured in the relationships among the people of that small island, from living in fear and focused on revenge and death at all times to kindness and fellowship--in the span of one decade! The stories of the individual lives John Paton encountered are the heart of this book and help th ...more
Jimmy Reagan
Perhaps the best biography I’ve ever read! It is hard to fathom following the Lord with all he faced among the cannibals in the South Seas Islands. He had a thousand opportunities to quit serving the Lord and never did. When he had to guard the grave of his wife to keep the natives from digging up her body to eat it, you feel like quitting for him. He was betrayed often, his work collapsed over and over, and good results were elusive for such a long time. Finally, he perseveres to see the Lord h ...more
Becky Hintz
A classic missionary autobiography. This book has it all--The childhood home that shaped Paton's unwavering devotion to Christ, the early preparation for overseas ministry, danger and adventure and intrigue among the cannibals, profound loss and disappointments and perseverance, wild success in a second attempt, and finally, many years of support-raising to continue the mission. May we never forget that the "exciting parts" are impossible without this last, more mundane chapter of the story.
Read this as a child/teen. Would love to reread.
Jane Eyre had the opportunity of a lifetime, to marry a missionary, travel and die of one disease or another. John Paton's Autobiographical account of mission work in the New Hebrides takes the reader back to ritualistic ancient cultures and their thirst for blood. The relent work of the mission was unending.
Offering the notes / letters/ writings by his wife who did pass away with fever, I could vividly see her flour and the native wearing a kilt. This is all that I can say, you should read this
Kevin Winner
I have yet to read a book, apart from the Bible, that has inspired and revived my spirit more to follow the call of Christ. Seeing this man in action and in faith pursuing the salvation of others and enduring the trials that come along with that will motivate you to live more faithfully in pursuit of Christ. Paton not only has a heart for the New Hebrides, but also for those who read his writings, and that is apparent through this book.

A must read for anyone interested in missions!
This is book everyone looking for encouragement in their walk with the Lord needs to read.
Two major lessons:
1). God who calls is the one who enables those whom He calls. God gives the fruit on the labour of his servants, even if it takes scores of years.
2). The commitment of those who answers the call is invaluable - something dearly missing in modern day society.
I fully recommend the book. Actually, one needs to read it at least once a year.
Luke Burgess
The beginning of this book which records the impact of Mr. Paton's father upon his life should be required for any Christian father. I have read and reread that particular passage on many occasions. The book as a whole is one of the best biographies I've ever read. It conveys a life of faith, and a evangelistic passion and courage that comes from it. Great from many perspectives.
Lee Gerrietts
This book was profound for me to see the zeal and love a man had for the Gospel and missions to the heathens. I highly recommend reading this autobiography. At a minimum listen to John Piper'stalk or biographical sketch of John G Paton.

In particular he love for his father and their relationship has had a lasting impact on me.
The life this man led and what he went through in his service to Christ was incredible. Paton was a true pioneer in carrying the gospel to the darkest parts of the world. God blessed him by using him to change hearts and also by calling him to suffer.
Andy Anderson
We you think you have it bad, pick up this book and find out about a missionary to the cannibals. Awesome book on perseverence and God protection. Slow read and detailed but incredible stories of how God changed the hearts and lives of man-eating people.
What a life of service! John Paton has shared the remarkable story of his life as a missionary in the 1800's to the natives of the New Hebrides. Told very humbly and honestly, this book is an inspiration to follow God's call and see His hand at work.
Josh Taylor
Absolutely brilliant, packed with great humour.
Enough to go back to not just for illustrations, or personal enjoyment, but as help to carry on in challenge and adversity.
John Yelverton
This was one of the most touching and beautiful autobiographies that I have ever read. The hardships that this man endured, while never losing his faith, is truly remarkable.
John G. Paton chronicles his years of laboring in missions, seeing God's hand move to provide in amazing ways and change the hearts of entire heathen tribes.
Justin Orman
One of the seminal lives in the Christian missionary movement. Alongside Taylor and Judson in my favorite missionary biographies.
The story of how God used this guy is amazing. It's free from Amazon on Kindle so go read it yourself! His faith=wow.
It was impressing and astonishing on how the indians came to church after believing in God and repenting.
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“Beautiful was it to mark how the poorest began to improve in personal appearance immediately after they came to our Class; how they gradually got shoes and one bit of clothing after another, to enable them to attend our other Meetings, and then to go to Church; and, above all, how eagerly they sought to bring others with them, taking a deep personal interest in all the work of the Mission. Long after they themselves could appear in excellent dress, many of them still continued to attend in their working clothes, and to bring other and poorer girls with them to that Morning Class, and thereby helped to improve and elevate their companions. My delight in that Bible Class was among the purest joys in all my life, and the results were amongst the most certain and precious of all my Ministry.” 0 likes
“as I had only once to die, I was content to leave the time and place and means in the hand of God” 0 likes
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