George Henry Lang - A Tribute.
Having known Mr. G. H. Lang for nearly 60 years, I am glad to be given the opportunity of paying a tribute to his memory; in doing so, I desire only to 'magnify the grace of God' in him.
First, I would say, that over the years, I have been growingly conscious of his deep spirituality; he was one of those rare souls who really lived in Heaven; he found himself truly to be 'a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth'. His 'city home' was in Heaven from which he saw himself to be sent to this world as an ambassador for Christ. He was completely devoid of any earthly nationalism—it mattered little to him where he was down here, except that he should be in the place of Christ's choosing for the moment; so from time to time, he was found in many countries on the service of his Lord, now enduring the scorching heat of Arabian deserts, now the freezing cold of Russian steppes; he was equally content to be posted by his Sovereign in some primitive village of 'the pensive East', or in some great city of the West with all its modern amenities. Thus, he roamed the world, as Christ's 'ambassador at large', beseeching sinners to be reconciled to God.
He was essentially a man of faith, never looking to man for the means of his subsistence, but only to his heavenly Father, and faith grew with its exercise. In this school, like his great predecessor, he learned in whatsoever state he was, therewith to be content; he learned the secret of how to run low and how to run over. And he was such a man of faith because he was such a man of prayer; his prayers were always unusual and as inspiring as they were unique; he spoke with an intimacy to his heavenly Father as one who knew God, but whose intimacy was the very soul of reverence.
I think I may truthfully say that he was the most apostolic man I have ever met, perhaps for that very reason he was a very controversialist figure; a correspondent suggested to me that he was the most controversial figure in brethren circles since J. N. Darby; yet it would be true to say that he himself was not a controversialist. A very close student of the Word, and an independent thinker, he was not prepared to take traditional interpretations unless he was personally convinced that they were right. Though completely convinced of the eternal security of the believer, many of his views on prophecy led him into avenues of thought and teaching where a great number of us felt unable to follow. Unfortunately, this closed doors to his otherwise extremely valuable ministry. Perhaps one of the greatest teachers of his time, multitudes could testify to the great help they have received from him, either from his public utterances or from his numerous writings. It was only to be in his presence to realize that one was in the presence of a true saint of God whose holy life gave weight and authority to all he taught.
From our midst has gone 'a prince and a great man'; he has been an ensample to the flock. If we cannot follow all he taught, we may well follow his faith, and like him, come to the Scriptures with an open mind and teachable heart, ever keeping before us that day, quickly coming, when differences of judgment will have disappeared for ever and when 'we shall know even as we are known'.
"The Witness" December 1958.