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

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

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.

Future of Africa: A Missions Textbook by Donald Fraser

Religions of Africa, circa 1911
Religions of Africa, circa 1911

This text-book is the fifth in a series of textbooks issued conjointly by the leading rnissionary societies in Great Britain for the use of Study Circles. Like its predecessors, “The Uplift of China,” “The Desire of India,” “The Reproach of Islam,” and “The Decisive Hour of Christian Missions,” the book has been written and edited with its special purpose in view. It is designed primarily for the use of those who study it chapter by chapter and meet periodically in Study Circles for discussion.

Editorial Note, page iii.

Donald Fraser, noted missionary to Malawi, discusses mission work among the pagan races of Central and South Africa. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

Donald Fraser [1870-1933], The Future of Africa. London: United Council for Missionary Education, [1911]. Hbk. pp.293. [Click to visit the download page for this title]


  • Editorial Note
  • Author’s Preface
  1. Early Discovery
  2. The Opening Up of Pagan Africa
  3. The Hand of Europe in Africa
  4. The Conditions Revealed
  5. The Hand of the Church in Africa
  6. Results of Mission Work
  7. The Needs of Pagan Africa
  8. The Church’s Task
  • Appendices
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Chapter 1: Early Discovery

From time immemorial Africa has held its fascination or the race. Greece embodied Africa in myth; Rome sent her legions thither in lust of conquest; Gaul sent her traders in search of barter and commerce; in North Africa there were reared some of the earliest leaders and saints of the Christian Church. Looking down the early centuries we search vainly, however, for further records of Africa than dim hints of futile attempts to cross her sealed threshold The spent waves of past humanity seem but to have swept to her edge, and then to have broken and retreated with the tide.

If we turn from yesterday to to-day, what have we? Africa-but yesterday chiefly a name and a by-word, to-day assuming rank as a great world force, covered with an advancing network of civilisation, a region of illimitable possibilities. The causes that have furthered this development, the purpose that underlies it, the responsibility the Christian world bears towards its furtherance, such questions constitute the theme of this book.
Africa of to-day presents a complex picture. In area, a “vast ill-formed triangle,” the continent covers eleven and a half million miles in space. Each side of the triangle is pierced by a mighty river; on the north the Nile, on the west the Congo, on the east the Zambesi. An African traveller has roughly classified the great continent thus: North Africa where men go for health, South Africa where they go for wealth, Central Africa where, they go for adventure. Its population of about one hundred and sixty millions seems enormous. Yet, in comparison to the area it is small, and computed at fifteen to the square mile. Its races are innumerable; its dialects a vast confusion. The climate of Africa is modified by its elevation above the sea-level, but two-thirds of the continent lies within the tropics. The religions of Africa may be unequally divided under three heads: Christianity, Mohammedanism, and Paganism. Africa’s territorial divisions are, in the main, a matter of recent history. Eight million square miles of its area are partitioned amongst the various European powers.

To Britain the appeal of Africa is specially strong. Pioneers, missionaries, traders, travellers, soldiers, civil servants, serried rank upon serried rank have flowed out from this tiny island kingdom, many of them to live and die for that far country. For all types of men, Africa holds an abiding fascination. The student, the trader, the hunter, the philanthropist, firstly and lastly the evangelist, each and all have felt it, and in each case it differs. The riddle of the human race, its origin and development, the greed of gain, the desire for sport and adventure, the love of fellowmen, the sense of the mysterious awful responsibility of millions of souls still ignorant of Christ. All this is embodied in Africa and has its significance for the readers of her story….

Pages 1-4.

Robert and Louisa Stewart, Missionaries to China

Mary E. Watson, Robert and Louisa Watson. In Life and Death.

Robert & Louisa Stewart served in China’s Fujian province with the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.), where they developed a number of innovative evangelistic techniques.

… Using Christian materials as a major part of the curriculum in day schools for boys and girls, education became their major means for establishing indigenous churches. The employment of single women missionaries to open many inland stations was another distinctive strategy. In addition, Louisa was a pioneer in training mature Christian women to become indigenous missionaries called “Bible women.” Convinced that illiterate women could be taught to read more quickly through a romanized colloquial text. Louisa was also a major figure in the translation and publication of the romanized New Testament in the Fuzhou dialect.

Lauren Pfister, “Stewart, Louisa,” Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, page.908

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

Mary E. Watson, Robert and Louisa Stewart. In Life and Death. London: Marshall Brothers, 1895. Hbk. pp.243. [Click to visit the download page for this title]


  • Preface
  1. Some Reminiscences of Robert Stewart
  2. Ambassadors For Christ
  3. The Whirlwind
  4. The Joyful Sound
  5. Native Boys and Girls at School
  6. Christ Magnified
  7. “Possessions”
  8. Hands Clasped
  9. Strong Consolation
  10. “Called, and Chosen, and Faithful

Chapter 2: Ambassadors For Christ

Various proposals have been made as to writing a Life of Robert and Louisa Stewart; but they have all been declined.

Lives so truly lived in secret with God are not easy to record. And even if the attempt were successfully made, is there not a danger of exalting the human and losing sight of the fact that ” all things are of God?”

It has been thought, therefore, that it is sufficient for God’s glory, to print some letters lately received, and supply a few details of the earlier times. Their letters were not kept, at Mr. Stewart’s earnest request.

Feeling that anything too personal would have been repugnant to the feelings of our dear brother and sister, we refrain from writing their biographies; but we know their wish would be that we should write and print anything that would awaken love and sympathy for China and the Chinese-anything that would show the friends who have helped through prayer and by their gifts that the need now is not less, but greater. Their voices seem to plead with us from the glory, “Fill up the ranks.” Who will be baptized for the dead?

They went out to Foochow in September, 1876, just after their marriage.
Learning the language was of course the first work.

Then Mr. Stewart was given charge of the school for native catechists belonging to the Church Missionary Society.

Mrs. Stewart, after a time, opened a school to train native Bible-women.
The money to build it was given by personal friends.

Then came the pressing need of English ladies to teach and superintend their Chinese sisters.

After eight years abroad Mr. and Mrs. Stewart came home, and the matter was taken up by the C.E.Z.M.S., who agreed to send ladies to China, arranging that the funds for India and China should be kept separate.

The all-absorbing thought was, “How can the Gospel be preached to this generation of the Chinese?” And visions rose of devoted English ladies residing in every one of the many cities of the Fuhkien province, superintending hundreds of native Bible-women.

Pages 17-18.

Story of the Police Court Mission 1876-1926

John Hasloch Potter [1847-1935], In As Much. The Story of the Police Court Mission 1876—1926

The Police Court Mission was a forerunner of the UK Probation Service that was founded in 1907, but its importance is often overlooked. I was very pleased to find a copy of this rare and significant book recently at Book Aid and am endeavouring to ensure that the hard copy finds a safe home in a Bible College library within the UK.

Follow the link below to visit the Police Court Mission page, where you will find a download link for this book and a helpful article which explains the mission’s significance.

John Hasloch Potter [1847-1935], In As Much. The Story of the Police Court Mission 1876—1926. London: Williams & Norgate, Ltd., 1927. Hbk. pp.136. [This title is in the public domain]


  • Foreword
  • Apologia
  • Preface
  1. The C.E.T.S.
  2. The Birth of the Mission
  3. The First Offenders Act
  4. Changed Conditions—The Boy
  5. The Boy
  6. Juvenile Courts
  7. Boys’ Shelter Home
  8. Girls
  9. Women’s Work
  10. Separation Orders
  11. Separation Orders—continued
  12. General Work
  13. Robert Holmes’ Experiences
  14. Odds and Ends
  15. Magnetic Influence
  16. Results
  17. Ways of Helping
  • Note on the American Probation System

Robert Morrison – A Master Builder by Marshall Broomhall

Marshall Broomhall [1866-1937], Robert Morrison, A Master Builder

A biography of the Presbyterian Missionary to Macao, Bible translator and Lexicographer Robert Morrison by the Editorial Secretary of the China Inland Mission. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

Marshall Broomhall [1866-1937], Robert Morrison, A Master Builder. London: China Inland Mission, 1924. Hbk. pp.238. [Click to visit the Robert Morrison page for the download link for this title and others]


  • Author’s Preface
  • Table of Dates
  1. The Great Closed Land
  2. A Great Tribulation and a Little Child
  3. The Hidden Man of the Heart
  4. High Employ
  5. The Call of China
  6. The Voyage
  7. Old Canyon
  8. Facing Life’s Task
  9. Some Momentous Decisions
  10. Overlapping Extraordinary
  11. A Colleague at Last
  12. The Ultra-Ganges Mission
  13. Dismissed but Indispensible
  14. Lonely and in Constant Apprehension
  15. An Iona in the East
  16. Translating the Scriptures
  17. Sorrow Upon Sorrow
  18. An International Impasse
  19. The Great Fire
  20. After Fifteen Years
  21. Two Years in England
  22. In Stress and Storm
  23. All Manner of Service
  24. Missionary Reinforcement
  25. A Painful Parting
  26. Faithful unto Death
  27. Unfading Glory
  28. Epilogue
  29. Appendices
  30. Index

Author’s Preface

“The pioneer is forgotten” wrote Robert Morrison in a fit of depression. To him in his lonely post it seemed so, but the statement is not true for all time. The pioneer, like the prophet, may be despised or even slain by his contemporaries, but posterity will build his tomb. In Morrison’s case he lived to be honoured beyond most missionaries, and time has only added lustre to his name.

It is fitting that his life and work should be again recalled, for a new and promising chapter in the evangelization of China has commenced. The Christian Church which Morrison set forth to found in the land of Sinim has lately claimed the right to administer her own affairs where able to do so. The great gulf between a land with no followers of Christ – we speak of the Protestant Church alone – and a land with a Church strong enough to desire self-government, has, thank God, been bridged. On the one side of that great span stands Morrison, the dauntless master-builder, and on the other side the first National Christian Conference which met at Shanghai less than two years ago.

Page ix

Press Release: Operation Mobilisation Archive

Operation Mobilisation: Logos II

International missions archive to move to Leuven

On 19 October in Leuven, Belgium, Operation Mobilisation International (OM) will formally signify the transfer of the organisation’s records to EVADOC, Belgium’s archive for Protestantism and Evangelicalism. The archive will include sixty years of material which covers Bible smuggling into Soviet Russia, shipwreck, overland passage to India, mountain adventures in the Himalayas, and the growth of a movement estimated to have touched the lives of nearly one billion people worldwide. Linked with KADOC-KU Leuven, Catholic University of Leuven, Evadoc is a leading research unit in the history of evangelicalism and protestantism in the Low Countries. Evadoc’s first task will be to catalogue the materials. OM’s formal declaration of the transfer of its archives will take place at Evadoc’s 10 year anniversary Study and Meeting day, at the Evangelical Theological Faculty, Sint-Jansbergsesteenweg 95-97, 3001 Leuven, Belgium.
Aaldert Prins, spokesman for EVADOC, said today: “The OM archive is one of the greatest treasures of the modern protestant missionary movement. I am delighted that OM has chosen to entrust its records to EVADOC.”
George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation, said today “Dr. Louis Palau said the story of OM is ‘one of the most thrilling, visionary, motivating stories in the history of Christian missions’. More than 100,000 young and older people have now served with this movement – often among the least reached peoples on earth. It’s their written reports and stories that have shaped OM’s legacy. That’s why today I’m thankful to EVADOC for this significant step we have taken together to conserve our history. As OM’s archives move to Leuven and become more widely available for historical missions research, my prayer is that many will be encouraged to believe God for even greater things than OM’s early pioneers could ever have imagined!” Dr. George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation

OM was founded by three young students, still in their teens, in 1957, who took a Dodge truck full of Christian literature down to Mexico from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. In 1960 the mission organisation, then called Send The Light (STL), began to work in Europe, opening a Christian book store in Spain despite religious restrictions imposed by General Franco. The pioneer workers went on to smuggle Bibles and Christian literature into Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe. Shortly afterwards the organisation was renamed Operation Mobilisation. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, OM teams travelled overland from Zaventem, Belgium, to the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian sub-continent.
In 1971 OM launched its first ship, Logos. This was followed in 1977 by the Doulos, then the world’s oldest still operating passenger vessel and largest floating book-shop. In 1988 the Logos sank off the coast of Argentina, resulting in the dramatic rescue of all on board. Within a year, Logos was replaced with Logos II, and in 2009 Logos II was replaced by a much larger ship, Logos Hope. OM ships have visited 483 different ports in more than 150 countries around the world. 48 million visitors have come on board. 
From 1989 to 2001, OM’s Love Europe programme saw more than 30,000 young people travel to cities and rural areas ranging from Lisbon to Moscow and Oslo to Istanbul to share a message of hope and love through, music, art, dance, the printed word and intercultural contact.
OM Belgium celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and OM international its 60th anniversary in 2017. EVADOC is therefore delighted to participate in conserving the heritage of this significant international mission organisation.
Further information on OM is available at


For further media information and interviews, please contact Martin Turner, national director of OM, Belgium, at [email protected], or on +447753683337 (English, French and Dutch)

Notes for editors:

1 EVADOC vzw is the Protestant-Evangelical Archive and Documentation Centre for Belgium and works closely with KADOC-KU Leuven, Catholic University of Leuven.

2 Operation Mobilisation (OM) is an international Christian missions organisation, separately registered in the USA, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and most other countries in which it operates. In Belgium, OM is based at Fabrieksstraat 63, 1930 Zaventem, and registered as Operatie Mobilisatie vzw, Opération Mobilisation asbl.

General contact with OM in Belgium is be via [email protected]