History of Christian Missions in China to c.1928

Paul King [1853-?], Weighed in China's Balance. An Attempt at ExplanationPaul King’s history of missionary work in China includes a survey of China’s history before the Nestorians first brought Christianity there in the 8th century. It goes on to describe the growth of the church up to the early 20th Century. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of this book to scan. This title is now in the Public Domain.

Paul King [1853-?], Weighed in China’s Balance. An Attempt at Explanation. London: Heath Cranton Ltd., 1928. Hbk. pp.238. [Click to download complete book in PDF]

Chapter 1

The preaching of the Gospel to the millions of China -The danger of underestimating the mentality of the hearers” You’ve got to explain your millennium to people, Billy.”

Whether optimistic or pessimistic by nature nearly all mature human beings must admit that this world is, and always has been, in a bad way. But what a good many of us contrive to ignore is that a very large part of national and international, collective and individual, misery is self-inflicted and avoidable. “What a piece of work is

“What a piece of work is man!” as Hamlet remarked. In the whole range of zoology there is no more amazing animal, and it sometimes occurs to one whimsically that instead of collecting lions and bears, monkeys and snakes, eagles and peacocks in cages for exhibition, it might be better worth while to fill these cages with choice specimens of the human race – not only murderers, robbers, pirates and savages, but assortments of politicians, surgeons, philosophers, teachers, soldiers and saints.

After all, not visibly but in the pages of history and biography this has been done, and into that vast, discoloured and thaumaturgic mirror we can all peer at will to see “in a glass darkly” the most stupefying kaleidoscope of good and evil, ignorance, knowledge and perversity. In this welter of sensation and confusion two things are striking, namely, our capacity for believing in what is quite unknowable, also what is demonstrably false, and our even stranger gift for disbelieving or at least disregarding the few facts – such as that two and two make four – which are more or less indisputable. [Continue reading]