Life of Henry Martyn, Missionary to India and Persia, 1781 to 1812
By Sarah J. Rhea
Henry was not immune to cupid's bow, for he had what he called his "beloved idol." She was Lydia Grenfill, a young lady six years his senior, whose home was not far from his in the south of England. Of his love he said, "I endeavored to analyze it that I might see how worthless such love to a speck of earth was when compared with divine love." He also said, "To preach the Gospel to my poor fellow creatures that they might obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus seems then a glorious calling and Lydia a small hindrance." Unlike his hero David Brainerd, whose friend Jerusha Edwards (daughter of the famous Jonathan Edwards) was to David a great source of encouragement and who tenderly cared for him in his dying days, Lydia was indeed a hindrance-and no small hindrance! Her reluctance to leave the shores of England and join Henry in his missionary work was a source of great distress and discouragement to him; however, Henry did not allow his love for Lydia to keep him from the work to which God had called him. He again said, "I feel no wish to live except to be employed in that work for which Christ died." On the eve of his departure from England, he said, "With a Bible in my hand and Christ at my right hand strengthening me, I can do all things."