Robben Island. Thirty-Four Years of Ministry Amongst the Lepers of South Africa

Cover: James Wescott Fish [1852-1937], Robben Island. An Account of Thirty-Four Years' Gospel Work Amongst Lepers of South Africa.

Robben Island, located in Table Bay, South Africa, was used from the 17th Century on as a prison, an animal quarantine station and, from 1845, a Leper Colony. In this book James Wescott Fish records his lifetime of service amongst the lepers there.

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

James Wescott Fish [1852-1937], Robben Island. An Account of Thirty-Four Years’ Gospel Work Amongst Lepers of South Africa. Kilmarnock: John Ritchie, 1924. Hbk. pp.210. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  • Introduction
  1. Foreword
  2. The Early History of Robben Island (by G.F. Gresley)
  3. The History of Leprosy
  4. Thirty-Four Years’ Work Amongst the Lepers (by James W. Fish)
  5. A Never-to-be-Forgotten Day
  6. Gospel Tent Work in South Africa
  7. Our First Visit to Robben Island
  8. Eight Days with the Lepers
  9. The Love of Christ Constraineth
  10. Gospel Work among the Soldiers During the Boer War
  11. A Visit to Pondoland
  12. Back to Robben Island
  13. Trophies of Grace among the Lepers
  14. “Lonely Hearts to Cherish”
  15. A Terrible Scourge
  16. Visits to the Transvaal
  17. Visitors to the Island
  18. “Faith Healers” at Robben Island
  19. “One Soweth, Another Reapeth”
  20. Home Again to England

Chapter 2. The Early History of Robben Island

Probably but few of the residents on the sea coast of Cape Colony, give more than an occasional passing thought to the little barren-looking patch of land, situated at the month of Table Bay, known as Robben Island, or the Isle of Seals. It is, however, an object of much interest to those who arrive for the first time in South Africa by the mail steamers. For who can be unmoved on first hearing of the inhabitants who are inmates of its various institutions – the Law-breakers, the Lunatics, and the Lepers.

Few places probably, so small and insignificant-looking, can boast of having played so important a part in the history of a vast multitude of people, as can this little island in the rise, progress, and present welfare of the Cape Colony. I make no apology, therefore, in calling the attention of the readers of my narrative to the Island’s early history. And I claim for it more than a momentary passing attention. I ask for a respectful and reverential regard. And I assert that it has a right to such, for the pages of South African history tell of strange events here in the far-off past, and the existence of ancient ruins on the island, recently brought to light, speak of busy scenes, and many hands at work, in days long gone by.

Pages 10-11.

With the Arabs in Tent and Town by Archibald Forder

Archibald Forder [1863-1934], With the Arabs in Tent and Town. An Account of Missionary Work, Life and Experiences in Moab and Edom and the First Missionary Journey into Arabia from the North, 3rd edn.

This is Archibald Forder’s own account of his work amongst the Bedouin people in Moab, Edom and Arabia. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain title for digtisation.

Archibald Forder [1863-1934], With the Arabs in Tent and Town. An Account of Missionary Work, Life and Experiences in Moab and Edom and the First Missionary Journey into Arabia from the North, 3rd edn. London: Marshall Brothers, [1902]. Hbk. pp.241. [Click to visit the Archibald Forder page for the download link for this title]

Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  1. Early Life and Leading
  2. Life and Work in Kerak
  3. From Moab to the Entrance into Arabia
  4. Leaving for the Jowf. To the Edge of the Desert
  5. From Orman to Kaf and Ithera
  6. What Happened at Ithera, and the Desert Journey to Jowf
  7. Arrival at the Jowf, with an Account of All that Befell Me There
  8. The Climax at the Jowf and Return to Jerusalem
  9. Danger and Deliverances
  10. Religion and Customs of the Arabs
  11. Discouragements Versus Encouragements and Otherwise

Chapter 1. Early Life and Leading

August, 1874, the quiet town of Salisbury, Wilts, was visited by the late Robert Moffat, the veteran pioneer of African missions. Hundreds flocked to hear the grand old man as he told out in simple boldness the remarkable story of his life and some of his thrilling experiences during his missionary career. Among others in that vast audience that evening was the writer, then a lad of eight years of age, who had been led by a boyish spirit of curiosity to attend the meeting. He was the son of godly parents, of that town, and was then but a schoolboy. One result of that gathering was, that the missionary fire was kindled in that lad’s heart never to be put out, although sometimes damped. Outwardly there was nothing that would even encourage the thought of ever becoming a missionary, but Psalm xxxvii, 4 and 5…

Pages 1-2.

New Book on the Serampore Mission

The Rev Dr Johnson Thomaskutty, my friend at Serampore College, India, has asked me to publicise a significant new book on Chrtistian mission in India, which I am happy to do.

Serampore Mission: Perspectives in Contexts

Serampore Mission: Perspectives in Contexts

Edited by Johnson Thomaskutty

The Serampore College—one of the historical institutions in India, founded by the initiatives of William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward in 1818—celebrated its bicentenary year in 2018. The Serampore College as a well established educational institution reached its current status by crossing several historical milestones and achieving national and international acclamations such as the Royal Charter of Incorporation (1827) and the confirmation of the Charter by the Bengal Government Act IV (1918).

In the current book, the biblical, historical, hermeneutical, theological, missional, ministerial, and contextual disciplines of the Serampore Mission movement are integrally analyzed from multiple perspectives. The contemporary outlook and significance of the movement are investigated in closer relationship with faith, scripture, and theology. As the nation of India advances as a global community, the book attempts to revisit and re-interpret the basic principles and strategies of the Serampore Mission from multiple vantage points.

Through the consultation, we ultimately attempted to revisit the Serampore Mission from a holistic perspective and to develop ideas for contemporary application. The Biblical and hermeneutical, linguistic and translational, theological and ethical, historical and ecumenical, dialogical and religious, ecological and contextual, and missional and ministerial aspects of the movement were examined with a key focus on their significance in today’s life-situation. It was also an attempt to fill the gap between the contexts of the Serampore Mission in its own Sitz im Leben and the contemporary realities of the twenty-first century CE with the help of hypothetical brainstorming and critical investigations.

The missionary movement in Serampore and in the extended Indian sub-continent under the leadership of William Carey, Joshua Marshman, and William Ward and the establishment of the Serampore College were key initiatives in the history of Christianity in India. The unique contributions of Hannah Marshman as a woman, who endeavored hard in the movement, enable us to think beyond the traditional boundaries of the “Trio” to the wider level of the “Quartet.” The mission’s contributions to the academic world, ecclesiastical contexts, and the society as a whole need to be acknowledged with high esteem and at the same time re-evaluated in order to derive new meanings for the twenty-first century missionary, ministerial, and academic exercises.

This book is an attempt to answer some of the significant questions such as: First, how do we understand the Christian identity in the contemporary socio-political and multi-religious context of India? Second, how can the missional and ministerial tasks of the church be integrated with the combined efforts of missiologists, biblical scholars, educators, historians, religious scholars and theologians? Third, what are the challenges we confront in India today to consider the missional, ministerial, and hermeneutical aspects with greater priority? Fourth, how significant is the Serampore Mission in the contemporary Indian context? How does it continue to influence the academic world, the Church, and the general public? And fifth, how do the contributions of the Serampore missionaries continue to influence Christian communities in their witness, mission, and evangelism? As we flip through the pages of the book, the above stated questions shall enable us to fathom the realities with a contemporary outlook.

The title Serampore Mission: Perspectives in Contexts requires some explanation. The usage “Serampore Mission” is an overarching expression to understand the contributions of the missionaries as biblical expositors, theologians of their own times, vernacular linguists and translators, educators with deep impression, ministerial and missional experts, botanists, liberators, social transformers, founders and administrators, editors and publishers, and the like. The virtue of versatility and multifaceted missional and ministerial strategies of the missionaries are explored here with vigor for further reflection and action. The usage of the term “Perspectives” enables the readers to fathom deep into how scholars from multiple vantage points deliberated their views concerning the contributions of the Serampore missionaries. Moreover, the authors of the essays are experts in different fields of studies and they reflect their views about the Serampore Mission with profundity and brilliance.

As the Serampore missionaries perceived the reality of God, human struggles, and the cosmic order from a transformative and liberative point of view, it is our task to conceptualize and systematize their contributions with a holistic outlook and a paradigmatic perception. In that way, we can transform our present struggles and future hopes based on the past axioms of the missionaries. The term “Contexts” is used with a broader spectrum of understanding in order to reconstruct the views from multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-denominational, and multi-lingual contexts of the nation. The authors here represent diverse contexts and with multiple perspectives to invigorate the mission and ministry of the Serampore missionaries.

Publication details

Johnson Thomaskutty, ed., Serampore Mission: Perspective in Contexts. ISPCK, 2019. ISBN-10: 9388945069. ISBN-13: 978-9388945066. Pbk. pp.338.

Available from

Life of George Borrow and the Bible in Spain

George Borrow [1803–1881]

George Borrow, a Norfolk man, served with the British and Foreign Bible Society. His first posting was to Russia in 1833, where he oversaw the printing of a Manchu New Testament and then to Portugal and Spain (1835-1840) as a colporteur. In his native Norfolk he spent much of his time among the Romanies, so it was natural that he should seek these people out in Spain also. He learnt their language sufficiently to compile a Romani-English Dictionary and to translate the Gospel of Luke into it. He wrote of his adventures on the Iberian Peninsula in The Bible in Spain (1843).

Visit the George Borrow page for the download links to his Biography by Herbert Jenkins and to The Bible in Spain.

Copies of these public domain works were kindly provided by Redcliffe College and Book Aid respectively.

Preface

During the whole of Borrow’s manhood there was probably only one period when he was unquestionably happy in his work and content with his surroundings. He may almost be said to have concentrated into the seven years (1833-1840) that he was employed by the British and Foreign Bible Society in Russia, Portugal and Spain, a lifetime’s energy and resource. From an unknown hackwriter, who hawked about unsaleable translations of Welsh and Danish bards, a travelling tinker and a vagabond Ulysses, he became a person of considerable importance. His name was acclaimed with praise and enthusiasm at Bible meetings from one end of the country to the other. He developed an astonishing aptitude for affairs, a tireless energy, and a diplomatic resourcefulness that aroused silent wonder in . those who had hitherto regarded him as a failure. His illegal imprisonment in Madrid nearly brought about a diplomatic rupture between Great Britain and Spain, and later his missionary work in the Peninsula was referred to by Sir Robert Peel in the House of Commons as an instance of what could be achieved by courage and determination in the face of great difficulties.

Page ix

Robert Clark Pioneer Missionary to the Punjab

Robert Clark [1825–1900]

This is the standard biography of Robert Clark, the renowned pioneer Church Society Missionary to the “Panjab” (now Punjab). My thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

Henry Martyn Clark [1857?-1916], Robert Clark of the Punjab. Pioneer and Missionary Statesman. London: Andrew Melrose, 1907. Hbk. pp.364. [Click to visit the Robert Clark page for the download to this title and others]

Contents

  • Preface
  1. Ancestry and Boyhood
  2. Years of Preparation
  3. Called to be a Missionary
  4. The Story of the Panjab
  5. The Panjab: Its Peoples and Religions
  6. Founding the Punjab Missions
  7. Early Converts
  8. A New Field: Afghanistan
  9. At Peshawar and Amritsar
  10. Pioneer Work in Cashmere and Thibet
  11. Apostle to the Afghans
  12. The Afghan Mission
  13. Trials, Losses, and Gains—Cashmere
  14. Early Days in Cashmere
  15. The Cashmire Mission
  16. The Cashmire Mission—continued
  17. Development of the Panjab Mission
  18. Founding a Native Church
  19. Facing Social Problems
  20. Educating the Convert
  21. Victory in Cashmere
  22. Medical Missions and Bible Commentaries
  23. Native Church Council and Alexandra School
  24. Mission Secretariat
  25. Mission Secretariat—continued
  26. Retrospect and Rest
  • Index

Then and Now in the Kenya Colony by Willis R. Hotchkiss

Willis Ray Hotchkiss [1873-1948], Then and Now in Kenya Colony. Forty Adventurous Years in East Africa

This is an account by Willis Ray Hotchkiss [1873-1948] of his 40 years of service with the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya. My thanks to Redcliffe College for making this book, which entered the public domain this year, available for digitisation.

Willis Ray Hotchkiss [1873-1948], Then and Now in Kenya Colony. Forty Adventurous Years in East Africa. London & Edinburgh: Oliphants, 1937. Hbk. pp.160. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  • Foreword by Lewis Speery Chafer
  1. The Beginning of the Trail
  2. Heading into the Unknown
  3. Adventures by the Way
  4. Our Troubles Begin
  5. A Rhino Saves the Situation
  6. Down in the Depths
  7. Testing and Proving the Promise
  8. The Beginning in Lumbwa
  9. Some Side Lights on Missionary Work
  10. Meet a Great Medicine Man
  11. Progress is Not Always Forward
  12. The Curse of Babal Still Here
  13. Some Strange Things
  14. Flying Over Africa

Foreword

…. Mr. Hotchkiss went out as one of the first missionaries of the Africa Inland Mission. That he achieved much under God for that great movement in its early days is disclosed in one terse sentence written by the late Charles Hurlburt, founder of the Mission, to Mr. Hotchkiss’ mother regarding the early crisis in the Mission : ” Surely through your faithful son God has saved this work for His own glory.” The reading of this thrilling narrative in manuscript form has stirred my own heart as few missionary records have ever done. The book will claim a large place in missionary literature. Christian character and courage are both contagious, and none can avoid the uplift who will read this modest record of Mr. Hotchkiss’ great life and service.


Lewis Sperry Chafer, page 6

Biography of Daniel Mtusu by Donald Fraser

Daniel Mtusu (frontispiece)

This biography of Malawian Christian Daniel Mtusa was written by Donald Fraser, based on Mtusu’s own account of his life. My thanks to Redcliffe College for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.

Donald Fraser [1870-1933], The Autobiography of an African. Retold in Biographical Form & in the Wild African Setting of the Life of Daniel Mtusu. London: Seeley, Service & Co Ltd., 1925. Hbk. pp.210. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  1. The Red Land and the Red Chief
  2. The Child
  3. The Herd-Lad
  4. The House-Boy
  5. The Contest
  6. War
  7. Restless Desires
  8. Discussions
  9. The Decision
  10. The Baptism
  11. The Witness
  12. A Shameful Assault
  13. Citizenship
  14. Adventures
  15. The Teacher
  16. Pioneering
  17. Beulah Land
  18. A Filibuster
  19. An Adventorous Journey
  20. Tempting Offers
  21. A Village Flitting
  22. The Evangelist
  23. Perils of the Way
  24. The Preacher
  25. His Character
  26. His Death
  • Author’s Note

Author’s Note

A few years ago I asked Daniel Mtusu, the subject of this book, to write for roe an account of his life. He had completed it to a period a little beyond the time of his baptism, and was contemplating a further instalment when he died. His friend, the Rev. Andrew Mkochi, completed the story for me. I have rewritten in English what they have told me in their own language, and have added a certain amount of background to their pictures, so as to make them more intelligible to readers at home. I have followed throughout their account of events, and especially Daniel’s own story of his youth and mental awakening.

My thanks are due to Rev. Charles Stuart, Miss Genner and to my wife for revising what I have written, and for many valuable suggestions. Rev. Alex. A. Russell has most kindly seen the book through the press, a work which I could not do personally, as I am in Nyasaland and my publisher in London…

Page 8

Massacre at Sianfu

E.R. Beckman [1866-?], The Massacre at Sianfu and Other Experiences in Connection With the Scandinavian Alliance Mission of North America

This is an account of the experiences of members of the Scandinavian Alliance Mission of North America in China, during the Xinhai Revolution of 1911. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

E.R. Beckman [1866-?], The Massacre at Sianfu and Other Experiences in Connection With the Scandinavian Alliance Mission of North America. Chicago: J.V. Martenson, 1913. Hbk. pp.138. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  • Preface
  • The Scandinavian Alliance Mission
  • Field of Work in China of the Scandinavian Alliance Mission of North America
  • During Our Sojourn in the Homelands
  • Forebodings of the Revolution
  • The Revolutionary Outbreak
  • The Attack
  • Mr W.T. Vatne
  • Our Stay at the Military Academy
  • The Funeral
  • Confusing Conditions in General
  • The Journey to the Coast
  • Foreigners Murdered and Illtreated in Other Parts of the Country
  • Sympathy Shown Me at Shanghai and Other Places
  • Mr W.T. Want’s Account to the President
  • From Shanghai to Stockholm by the Siberian Route
  • New Trials

Preface

The terrible incident which took place at Sianfu, China, when the revolution broke out there in October 1911, has greatly stirred up the feelings of a large number of friends of the Mission in the homelands.
I have repeatedly been asked to relate the story of this outrage by which some of my fellow workers and I were cruelly beheaded our dear ones, whose blood was shed, so to speak, to saturate the gospel seed which had been sown du1·ing the preceeding years; and how I succeeded to rescue my youngest child, a four year old girl, by running through the raging mob, which pursued and hunted me throughout the night.
In order to satisfy the many friends who wished to know the details of this incident and still avoid the hard task of continually repeating this heartrenching story, a book was published in the Swedish language soon after I arrived in Sweden on my way from China relating this sorrowful event.

Page 5

Crusader in Kashmir by Ernest F. Neve

Ernest Frederic Neve [1861-1946], A Crusader in Kashmir. Being the Life of Dr Arthur Neve, with an Account of the Medical Missionary Work of Two Brothers & Its Later Developments Down to the Present Day

A biography of Arthur Neve, medical missionary to Kashmir, written by his younger brother. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain book for digitisation.

Ernest Frederic Neve [1861-1946], A Crusader in Kashmir. Being the Life of Dr Arthur Neve, with an Account of the Medical Missionary Work of Two Brothers & Its Later Developments Down to the Present Day. London: Seeley, Service & Co. Ltd., 1928. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  1. Arthur Neve—Early Days
  2. Evolution of a Medical Mission
  3. A Practical Idealist
  4. Arthur Neve, Pioneer & Travellers
  5. The Campaign Extended
  6. Last Years of Service
  7. Medical Missions: Their Utility & Influence
  8. Medical Missions: Their Place & Power
  9. The Kashmir Medical Missions Hospital
  10. In the Wards
  11. Full Speed Ahead
  12. The Problem of Leprosy
  13. Is Leprosy Contagious?
  14. Can Lepers be Cleansed?
  15. Amongst the Villages
  16. A Land of Rovers & Mountain Passes
  17. A Mountain Climb
  18. Further Afield
  19. Near the Roof of the World
  20. Aims & Achievements
  • Index

Introduction

Has the Church of Great Britain, using the word in its widest acceptation, at all adequately heard or acted upon the call to go over and help India? Has there ever been manifested more than a minute fraction of the zeal in carrying on a modern crusade in India which was shown by the heroic and chivalrous but misguided hordes who poured Eastward to recover an empty Sepulchre and who fought the Moslem with his own weapons?

Taking India as a whole, the Church of Christ is in contact chiefly with three great groups of peoples the Hindus, the Mohammedans and the Depressed classes.

It is common knowledge that the last group is very accessible to Christian teaching. Many thousands have been baptized both in the south, where the work of the Indian Bishop of Dornakal is well known, and also in the north, where the chief numerical additions to the Church have been from this class.

Page 11

History of the Presbyterian Mission to China and Formosa

James Johnston [1819-1905], China and Formosa. The Story of the Mission of the Presbyterian Church of England

This is a well-illustrated history of the work of the English Presbyterian mission in China and Formosa (now Taiwan). My thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide for providing a copy of this rare public domain title for digitisation.

James Johnston [1819-1905], China and Formosa. The Story of the Mission of the Presbyterian Church of England. London: Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ltd., 1897. Hbk. pp.400. [Click to visit the download page for this title]

Contents

  • Preface
  1. Origin of the China Mission of the Presbyterian Church of England
  2. The Mission Field
  3. The People and Their Disposition Towards Us
  4. The Practical Religion of the Chinese
  5. The Planting of the Mission
  6. Times of Blessing
  7. The Story of the Amoy Mission
  8. The Story of the Shatow Mission
  9. The Story of the Formosa Mission
  10. A Retrospect
  11. Looking Forward
  12. The Story of the Amoy Mission (continued)
  13. The Story of the Amoy Mission (continued)
  14. The Story of the Shatow Mission (continued)
  15. The Story of the Shatow Mission (continued)
  16. The Story of the Formosa Mission (continued)
  17. The Story of the Formosa Mission (continued)
  18. The Story of the Singapore Mission
  19. Facts and Reflections
  20. Other Missions in China
  • Appendix
  • Index

Preface

In writing the history of the Mission of the Presbyterian Church of England during the last fifty years, at the request of several of its Missionaries, and with the approval of the Committee, my great aim has been to bring the remote near, and to make the strange familiar. To do this I have endeavoured, by descriptions of the country and its people, to bring the field of labour, and the nature of the work, before the minds of our people at home, and by allowing the Missionaries to tell their own tale of difficulties, trials, and sorrows, and of triumphs, encouragements, and joys, in their own words, to bring them near to the hearts of all interested in the progress of the kingdom of God in heathen lands.

In this my chief difficulty has been the modest reserve of the Missionaries in all that was personal…

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