This is an excerpt from John MacArthur’s book, Hard to Believe:
“A missionary whose story has influenced my life greatly is a man…named Henry Martyn. After a long and difficult life of Christian service in India, he announced he was going to Persia (modern Iran), because God had laid it upon his heart to translate the New Testament and the Psalms into the Persian language.
By then he was an old man. People told him that if he stayed in India, he would die from the heat, and that Persia was hotter than India. But he went nonetheless. There he studed the Persian language and then translated the entire New Testament and Psalms in nine months. Then he learned that he couldn’t print or circulate them until he received the Shah’s permission. He traveled six hundred miles to Tehran; there he was denied permission to see the Shah. He turned around made a four-hundred-mile trip to find the British ambassador, who gave him the proper letters of introduction and sent him the four hundred miles back to Tehran. This was in 1812, and Martyn made the whole trip on the back of a mule, traveling at night and resting by day, protected from the sweltering desert sun by nothing but a strip of canvas.
He finally arrived back in Tehran, was received by the Shah, and secured permission for the Scriptures to be printed and criculated in Persia. Ten days later he died. But shortly before his death, he had written this statement in his diary: ‘I sat in the orchard, and thought, with sweet comfort and peace, of my God; in solitude my Company, my Friend, and Comforter.’
He certainly did not live a life of ease, but it was a life worth remembering. and he’s one of many God used to turn redemptive history.”