Biography of John Sung by Leslie T Lyall

Leslie T. Lyall, A Biography of John Sung. Flame for God in the Far East, 4th edn

John Sung was a Chinese evangelist. He travelled to the US, where he earned a Ph.D. from Ohio State University before studying theology at Union Theological Seminary. Ralph R. Covell, writing in the Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, notes that…

After his return to China in 1927, he engaged in widespread evangelism, teaching, and training throughout all of China and in most of the countries of the southeast Pacific. He did much of this work as a part of the Bethel Band, an indigenous revivalist organizatiion. Whereever he went, his work resulted in widespread conversions and in renewal of the church…

Page 652

This is the standard biography of this remarkable man, kindly provided by Book Aid for digitisation. This book is still in copyright, so I am grateful to OMF International-UK for granting permission to place it on-line.

Leslie T. Lyall, A Biography of John Sung. Flame for God in the Far East, 4th edn. London: China Inland Mission, 1954. Hbk. pp.204. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]


  • Foreword by John R.W. Stott
  • Preface
  • Preface to the 4th Edn.
  • Prologue
  1. Childhood, 1901-1909
  2. The Hinghwa Revival. 1909-1913
  3. The Little Pastor, 1913-1919
  4. Student Days in America, 1919-1923
  5. Inner Conflict, 1923-1926
  6. The Blinding Revelation, 1926-1927
  7. Into Arabia, 1927
  8. Beginning in Jerusalem, 1927-1930
  9. And in Samaria, 1930-1931
  10. A Night to be Remembered
  11. With Bethel in Manchuria, 1931
  12. With Bethel in South China, 1931-1932
  13. With Bethel in North China, 1932-1933
  14. Last Months with Bethel
  15. A Voice Crying, 1934-1935
  16. Not Without Honour
  17. The Lame Walk

These Seventy Years: Autobiography of Thomas Lewis

Picture of Thomas Lewis [1859-1929]
Thomas Lewis [1859-1929]

Thomas Lewis served with the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) in Africa in the areas known today as Cameroon, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this pulic domain book available for digitisation.

Thomas Lewis [1859-1929], These Seventy Years. An Autobiography. London: The Carey Press, 1930. Hbk. pp.300. [Click to visit the download page for this title]


  • Preface
  1. Early Years
  2. At College
  3. Before the Candidate Committee
  4. Sailing For Africa
  5. Along the West African Coast
  6. Vixtoria and its Peoples
  7. My First Christmas in Africa
  8. Germany Annexes Cameroons
  9. Lasts Days in Cameroons
  10. My First Furlough
  11. First Voyage up the Congo River
  12. San Salvador and the First Baptisms
  13. Mostly Concerning Colleagues
  14. The King’s Golden Necklace
  15. Developments of the Native Church
  16. Building a Mission Station
  17. Pioneering in Zomboland
  18. Moving the Tent
  19. Travels from Kibokolo
  20. Difficulties and Setbacks
  21. A Critical Period
  22. Further Travels
  23. Changes
  24. Kimpese and the Valley of the Shadow
  25. Unsettled Days and the Return to Kimpese
  26. A Fresh Start at Kibokolo
  27. “The Stones of Kibokolo”
  28. Reflections
  29. Nkand’a Nzambi—Book of God
  30. Final Words
  • Index

W. Holman Bentley, Congo Pioneer

Hendrina Margo Bentley [1855-1938], W. Holman Bentley: The Life and Labours of a Congo Pioneer.

An important biography on the noted Baptist Missionary Society pioneer in the Congo W. Holman Bentley, written by his widow. My thanks to Redcliffe College for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

Hendrina Margo Bentley [1855-1938], W. Holman Bentley: The Life and Labours of a Congo Pioneer. London: The Carey Press, 1907. pp.446. [Click to visit the download page for this title]


  • Preface
  1. Early Life and Home Influences
  2. The Voyage Out
  3. The San Salvador
  4. Early Days
  5. To Stanley Pool
  6. Manyanga
  7. ‘In Journeys Oft’
  8. ‘A People in Darkness’
  9. Arthington at Last
  10. First Furlough, and Many Labours
  11. To the Field Once More
  12. Up the River
  13. Settles at Wathen
  14. The Man and His Methods
  15. Mission Policy and Personal Dealings
  16. Itinerating: Privlieges and Perils
  17. Progress, Encouragement, and Trials
  18. Third Period in the Congo
  19. Last Days and Home-Call
  20. Recollections and Testimonies
  • Appendix
  • Index

Love that was Stronger – Lilias Trotter of Algiers

I.R. Govan Stewart, The Love That Was Stronger. Lilias Trotter of Algiers

The story of the pioneer missionary Lilias Trotter, who travelled in North Africa where no white woman had before gone, begins in the days when Moody and Sankey stirred Britain and America with virile spiritual life. The unfolding of her experience which reached to the deep things of God,and the beauty of her life should be known to a generation which is characterised by breadth rather than depth of knowledge. The real fascination of the story is the strength of her love for the Son of God.

From the dustjacket

The work in North Africa begun by the Algiers Mission Band continues through AWM-Pioneers: inspiring people with news of how God is moving in the hearts of Muslims across the Arab world; encouraging people to join in with God’s Kingdom purposes and get involved in cross-cultural ministry. This copyright work appears by permission of AWM-Pioneers.

I.R. Govan Stewart, The Love That Was Stronger. Lilias Trotter of Algiers. London: Algiers Mission Band, 1958. Hbk. pp.96. [Click here to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. A Victorian Upbringing
  2. A Spiritual Experience
  3. Adventuring in Algiers
  4. Challenging Islam
  5. The Lure of the Desert
  6. Out of Death—Life
  7. Traveller and Mystic
  8. Thirty Years Retrospect
  9. Dar Naama
  10. Retrieval and Advance
  11. Triumph

Can Africa Be Won by William Roome

William John Waterman Roome [1865-1937], Can Africa Be Won?

This book has one purpose.

To reveal something of the Wonderlands of Africa, the conditions of the People, the extent and problems of Africa’s Evangelisation, the life of its Missionaries, so that Home Christians may see, know and feel what their Representatives in the Advance Line of the Kingdom of God have to face.

Also, it is hoped some consideration as to ways and means, the personnel, and possibilities of the future may help to hasten the day where every Ethiopian’s outstretched hands shall be grasped in loving and intelligent sympathy.

Foreword, page ix

My thanks to Redcliffe College for making a copy of this public domain title available digitisation.

William John Waterman Roome [1865-1937], Can Africa Be Won? London: A & C Black, 1927. Hbk. pp.216. [Click to visit the download page]


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  1. The Romance of Africa
  2. Heathenism in Africa
  3. Tribalism in Africa
  4. Racialism in Africa
  5. Islam in Africa
  6. Commerce in Africa
  7. Administration in Africa
  8. The Redemption of Africa
  9. A Scheme in Equatorial Africa
  • Epilogue. The Story is Told!
  • Appendix. Population, Tribal and Religious Census of Africa

Records of the South American Missionary Society

Elizabeth Lydia (Marsh) Gardiner, Records of the South American Missionary Society or Fifty Years' Work in South America (British Guiana Excepted)

These records were compiled by the wife of the founder of the South American Missionary Society, Captain Allen Gardiner. They cover the first 50 years of the Society’s work.

My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this public domain book for digitisation.

Elizabeth Lydia (Marsh) Gardiner, Records of the South American Missionary Society or Fifty Years’ Work in South America (British Guiana Excepted). London: South American Missionary Society, [1896?]. Hbk. pp.101. [Click here to visit the download page]


  • Preface to the Fourth Edition
  • Story of the Four Boys, Threeboys, Uroopa, Sesoi and Jack
  • Opening of Ushuaia Station by Mr Stirling
  • Consecration of the Rev. W.H. Stirling to be the First Bishop of the Falkland Islands
  • Baptism of Thirty-Six Natives
  • The Christian Village of Ushuaia
  • A New Station
  • The Argentine Colony
  • The Amazon Mission
  • The Paraquay Mission (The Gran Chaco)
  • Araucania
  • The Chaplaincies
  • Argentine Republic—Rosario
  • Uruguay—Salto
  • San Paulo and Santos
  • Chanaral
  • Quino
  • The Welsh Colony—River Chuput
  • Straits of Magellan
  • Missions to Seamen
  • Panama


More than fifty years have now passed since the formation of this Society, and more than forty since the death of the Founder.

In once more reviewing its history, our first feeling is one of deep regret for our failures, and of profound sorrow for the feebleness of our efforts, and the little progress yet made in bringing the light of the glorious gospel of God to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death. Nevertheless, we have cause to render hearty thanks to the God of our mercies, in that He has given us. some fruit of our labour, and has permitted us to rejoice over many Christian lives and many happy deaths in the once savage country of Tierra del Fuego; also for the brightening prospects of the missions to the Paraguayan Chaco, and to the Indians of Araucania.

To go back, we must remind our readers that as long ago as 1830, fourteen years before this Society was formed, four natives of Tierra del Fuego were brought to England by the late Admiral FitzRoy, then captain of H.M.S. Beagle. He with the greatest kindness fed, clothed, and partially educated them; finally restoring them to their own land with many presents. They were accompanied by a young man who had volunteered his services as missionary; but the people proved to be so wild and rough that he was discouraged, and the attempt was abandoned. Nevertheless, one at least of these four benefited sufficiently by the training he received to become, at a later period, of great use to the mission afterwards formed.

Again, after many preliminary journeys made by Commander Gardiner in various countries of South America, at least three distinct but futile efforts were made to form a missionary station. The first in 1844, in Patagonia; next in that part of the Chaco which adjoins Bolivia, in 1846; then in Tierra del Fuego in 1848. After this last followed’ the attempt which came to so tragical an end in 1851. Then it was that the conscience of England was awakened to a long-neglected duty, for, as one of the weekly papers expressed it, “They buried themselves on the desert shore, but the whole people of England attends their funeral.”

Yet still a period of darkness and painful effort had to be passed through before any fruit was seen, reminding us of those words of St. Paul, ” We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselve~, but in God which raiseth the dead.”

Pages 5-6.

James Chalmers of New Guinea by William Robson

William Robson, James Chalmers of New Guinea

This is a biography of the famous missionary to the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea (as they are now called), James Chalmers.

My thanks to Book Aid for making a copy of this public domain title available for scanning.

William Robson, James Chalmers of New Guinea. London:Pickering & Inglis, [1933]. Hbk. pp.191. [Click here to visit the download page]


  • Preface
  1. The South Seas
  2. Life and Work in Rarotonga
  3. The New Guinea Mission]
  4. Exploring for Stations
  5. Peace, Mercy, and Justice
  6. A Voyage in a Lakotoi
  7. The Work Consolidated
  8. The Fly River
  9. A Martyr’s Crown


A life more varied than that of James Chalmers cannot be found in the annals of Christian service. Many of its highest acts of heroism are unrecorded. He was one of the few men who have gone to foreign shores that answer to the popular conception of an ideal missionary. His journeys among the islands were those of a daring pioneer, his life among the savages that of an intrepid adventurer. But he was also a noble servant of God, a humble man of prayer and faith, a fearless saint in the face of danger, a wise counsellor in the midst of trouble, a contented man in the monotony of the humdrum.

The reference to his work in Rarotonga is necessarily brief. Numerous reforms were introduced into the Mission there. He was not the man to rest con – tent with a round of duties which might be helpful only to those who voluntarily came to church, or lived near the Mission premises, but regarded every soul upon the island as put by God under his care, and having. equal claim for spiritual help. Thus he interpreted his Lord’s command, “Go ye … and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

Those ten years in Rarotonga were a fitting prelude to the more difficult work performed in New Guinea. The perils attendant upon much of it we can but imperfectly realise.

His labours ended by his gaining the martyr’s crown, but the result of his life’s work was the marmarvellous transformation which was wrought in the character and lives of the savage people among whom he had lived.

The life of a man such as James Chalmers can never fail to be a source of interest, inspiration, and noble resolve to every one. May he “being dead, yet speak” to those who would “serve the Lord Christ.”

William Robson

John Thomas, First Baptist Missionary to Bengal

John Thomas (1757-1801)
Photo credit: Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford

Dr John Thomas [1757-1801] was a founding member of the Baptist Missionary Society and accompanied William Carey to India in 1793. Charles Bennett Lewis’s biography is one of the standard works on Thomas. The original from which this digital copy was made is held in Spurgeon’s College Library. This book is in the public domain.

Charles Bennett Lewis [1821-1890], The Life of John Thomas. Surgeon of the Earl of Oxford and First Baptist Missionary to Bengal. London: MacMillan & Co., 1873. Hbk. pp.417. [Click to visit the download page for this title]


  • Preface
  1. Mr Thomas’s Early Life—1757-83
  2. Calcutta in the Latter half of the Eighteenth Century
  3. Voyages to Calcutta and engagement as a Missionary—1783-87
  4. The First Year at Malda—1787-8
  5. Controversy and Disaster—1788-89
  6. Harla Gachi—1789-90
  7. Reconciliation and Return to England—1790-92
  8. Missionary Projects in Bengal
  9. The Baptist Missionary Society and its First Enterprise
  10. How the Lord made Room for His Servants, that they might dwell in the Land—1793-4
  11. Moypaldiggy—1794-7
  12. Having no certain dwelling-place—1797-9
  13. Serampore—1799-1800
  14. Cast down, but not destroyed—1799-1800
  15. Dinajpur and Sadamahal—1801
  16. Concluding Observations
  • Appendix

Call from India to the Church of England: A Report

Church of England Missionary Council, The World Call to the Church. The Call From India

This report was issued in 1926 as a wake up call to the Church of England to focus attention on the needs of the church in India. It includes a brief history of Anglican missions in India up to that date.

My thanks to The Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide for providing a copy for digitisation.

Church of England Missionary Council, The World Call to the Church. The Call From India. London: Press and Publications Board of the Church Assembly, 1926. Hbk. pp.130. [Click to visit the download page]


  • General Preface
  • Bibliography
  • Foreword by Members of the Commision
  1. India and Its Peoples
  2. The Influence of British Rule
  3. Early History of the Christian Church in India
  4. Anglican Missions
  5. The Response of the Intelligentia to the Gospel
  6. The Response of the Caste People in the Villages
  7. The Response of the Aborigines
  8. The Response of the Outcastes
  9. The Lines of Advance
  10. Ceylon
  11. The Appeal to the Home Chuch
  • Appendix I. A Survey of Anglical Missionary Work in India According to Dioceses
  • Appendix II. The Indian Church Measure
  • Index

General Preface

A few words are necessary about the origin an.d purpose of these Reports.

Great movements, volcanic in their force and extent, are shaking the foundations and altering the whole aspect of human society. Old races are awakening, new races are tingling with adolescence; and the younger generation, everywhere ignorant, and untried though it be, is minded to take command. There is need everywhere of the guidance, and the constructive force which only the Christian Church can give. So we have thought and said for twenty years.

But the moment has come to face actual facts. If, as we believe, the times are making a new and unprecedented call upon the Church, it is high time that we knew accurately in terms of men and money what that call really is. It may be that the facts when known will themselves act with awakening power upon the Church. It may be that the young men and women when they see the God-given opportunity for adventure and sacrifice will not be ‘disobedient unto the heavenly vision,’ and a great movement of self-offering will be seen in our time such as the Church has never known hitherto. On the other hand, it may be that the Church will turn a deaf ear, that the seductive influences of comfort and the zest of domestic controversy may have paralysed her spirit. Whichever way it be, the Church of our generation is on its trial, and the opportunity before us is the tribunal before which we shall be judged. At all costs it is necessary that the whole Church should know the facts. It is the watchman’s duty to give the warning and sound the call to arms. When he has done that, the responsibility lies on the Church, and he has delivered his soul.

It was with these thoughts in our mind that we of the Missionary Council in January of this year laid before the accredited Missionary Societies our plan for a series of comprehensive Reports. We selected four great areas where we deemed the needs were most urgent; namely, Africa, India, the Far East, and Moslem lands, and we invited them to form with us four Commissions dealing with these areas. The response was unanimous and cordial, and since then, representatives of the Societies and other groups with specialized knowledge have given their time and experience unstintingly to the work.

Pages v-vi.

Stones of Fire by Isobel Kuhn

R.S.B.S Students shaking hands at the close of the school, February 1950.

The “Stone of Fire” of the title are the Lisu people of the Tibetan plateau, amongst whom Isobel Kuhn served. This title is still in copyright and appears here by kind permission of OMF International-UK. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this book for digitisation.

Isobel Kuhn [1902-1957], Stones of Fire. London: China Inland Mission, 1951. Hbk. pp.152. [Click here to visit the download page for this title]


  • Prelude
  1. A Stone is quarried
  2. Stones in His Pocket
  3. A Stone Selected
  4. Two Stones are Set Together
  5. War—as Diamond Dust
  6. The Climax of the Lapidary’s Skill
  7. Made only of Desert Dust
  8. The Coomunist Stone of Fire
  9. From His Pocket to His Crown


Stones of fire. The first time I ever saw them was in a setting as unique as unexpected.

It was many years ago, in the days of youthful agnosticism, and while travelling with the Players’ Club of our university. A yachting club had sponsored our play that night, and after the performance they gave us a dance at their clubhouse on the waters of a lovely lake.

A member of the club, given as partner and until then unknown to me, said, as the orchestra ceased playing, “Come out on to the verandah a moment. I want to show you something.” Dancing up to the clubhouse door which opened on to a balcony over the lake, he led me on to that unlit piazza. Electric light from the ballroom streamed through the doorway, whilst out on the lake the moon was making a softer brilliance on the rippling waters. Giving a quick glance at my puzzled face, this strange man thrust his hand into his trousers pocket, pulled out something and held it in the light from the doorway for me to look at.

“Have you ever seen anything like this?” he inquired. On his open palm lay about ten little pale stones, but as I gazed I became entranced, for each little stone was shooting fire ruby lights, emerald lights, golden lights, amethyst-they were indescribable. It was as if tiny living rainbows had been captured and put into pale translucent prisons from which they were sending forth rays of fire. I was enthralled.

“Oh how beautiful! What are they?” I cried.

“Mexican opals” my partner replied casually. “I like them, and so I carry them loose in my pocket. I like to put my hand down and feel them, even if there is not time to take them out and look at them. I carry them with me wherever I go.”

That was all; but I never forgot those beautiful stones. Not long after that, Christ challenged me and I yielded. In course of time He took me to the end of the earth, and there, in a setting as unique and as unexpected as in the first instance, I found the living counterpart of the little opals from that scene of my youth. The pocket this time was a canyon, thousands of feet deep in mother earth, tucked into the foothills of the Tibetan plateau. The geins were simple unpretentious tribesfolk, rock-like in their fidelities but flashing fire if the depths of their love was touched. Stones of fire. While watching them battle with untoward circumstance, the analogy dawned on me, sweeping me back a quarter of a century in time and over half the world in space. But there it was, perfect. Let us look at them in the light of a comment from Dr. Campbell Morgan….

Pages 7-8.