Our Empire’s Debt to Missions by James N. Ogilvie

James Nicoll Ogilvie [1860-1926], Our Empires Debt to Missions. The Duff Missionary Lecture 1923.The relationship of the British Empire with Christian missions is a subject that is often discussed. Anyone tasked with an essay on such a subject could do worse than refer to this volume, written as it is by someone who is clearly in favour of the partnership. This material was originally presented as the Duff Missionary Lecture in 1923 and appeared in print in a slightly expanded form the following year.

My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of the book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.

James Nicoll Ogilvie [1860-1926], Our Empires Debt to Missions. The Duff Missionary Lecture 1923. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1924. Hbk. pp.276. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  • Preface
  1. The Adjustment of Relations – Recognition of Christian Missions by the Empire
  2. The Adjustment of Relations – Recognition of the Empire by Christian Missions
  3. The Civilising Work of Missions Among the Child-Races of the Empire
  4. Missions and Eastern Civilisations
  5. Christian Missions and the Average Man of Other Faiths
  6. Concerning Criticisms
  7. Christian Missions – The Empire’s Conscience
  8. In Payment of the Debt – Postscript
  • Index


A few years hence the British Empire will reach its three hundred and fiftieth anniversary, seeing that its beginning may fairly be assigned to the year 1578. It was in that year that Queen Elizabeth gave her royal authorisation to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, “to take possession of all remote and barbarous lands, unoccupied by any Christian prince or people.” To-day, this frank disregard of the eighth commandment, when dealing with lands or peoples beyond the Christian pale, amazes us, but it is entirely characteristic of the international morality of the Europe of that time. Spain, Portugal and France, each in turn, had followed this loose moral code in their overseas expansion, and had done so with the express sanction of the Pope. [Continue reading]

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