Apostles Sang Hymns To God While In Prison
Sundar Singh was arrested for preaching in a forbidden Tibetan village. But his joy was so great--joy that he might suffer for Jesus' sake--that he sang and preached all night long from his tiny cell window. The enraged officials tried to silence him with torture, but he sang hymns of praise to Jesus all the more.
Everest and Kanchinjunga tower into the sky above the little town of Ghum. Here Sundar left his Tibetan companion Tharchin while he himself made his way to the forbidden village of Ilom.
The days that followed his arrival there were crowded with such suffering as even he had seldom known. He was first of all arrested and flung into prison, but that very experience seemed to fill him with joy—joy that he might suffer for Jesus’ sake. In his Urdu New Testament he wrote: “Christ’s presence has turned my prison into a blessed heaven. What will it be like in Heaven itself?” So exultant was he that he could not help singing all night and preaching from the tiny window of his vermin-infested cell throughout the day. Crowds, reluctant to listen in the open market place, hung on his words when they came from his prison.
Guards, hastily summoned by the infuriated magistrates, suddenly entered the little cell and dragged the sadhu into the courtyard. He was flung down onto some rough boards, and found his feet fastened to them as Western prisoners used to be fixed in the stocks. Then his arms were stretched above his head and his hands fastened in the same way. One of the guards opened the prison gate and flung the wooden frame, with the sadhu stretched upon it, into the market place. By the shops, at the side, there was some shelter, but the stocks were thrown down in the dust in the center of the square, where the sun burned into the hot ground all day long.
The crowds milled about the halfconscious figure fastened to the boards, shouting furiously. They were silenced as Sundar once more began to sing what the people now recognized as a hymn of praise to Jesus.
With sadistic fury, priests and prison guards returned to drop scores of leeches on the prostrate captive. The people watched silently as the small worm-like creatures crawled over the sadhu's naked form, sucking his blood and nibbling their way below the skin into his quivering flesh. Legs, arms and body were soon everywhere broken by wounds, swelling and bleeding in the sun.
Sundar never ceased singing or preaching the joys of following Jesus. The crowd listened incredulously.
He was almost unconscious when he was dragged out into the jungle beyond the town and flung down on a rubbish heap to die.
That night, from half a dozen houses, like shadows flitting in the moonlight, came men and women to succour him, to free him from his stocks, to dress his wounds, and to lead him to a place of safety. Once more, as Sundar told Tharchin when he at last staggered into Ghum, his rescuers were members of that underground Christian movement, the Sannyasi Mission.