Missionary Training Book on India from 1909

Surendra Kumar Datta, The Desire of IndiaThis book was written as a text book to provide information on the state of mission work in India. As such it provides an useful historical summary of the growth of the church in that country prior to World War I.

The PDF is larger than usual because the book contains some superb greyscale photographs and a colour map which I wanted to make available in a high-quality format.

Surendra Kumar Datta, The Desire of India. London: Church Missionary Society, 1909. Hbk. pp.320.  [Download complete book in PDF]

Reproduced by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society.


Editorial Note
Author’s Preface
Note on Pronunciation

1 – The Land and its Inhabitants
2 – The Life of the People
3 – India’s Search
4 – India’s Invaders
5 – Christianity in India
6 – Problems and Methods
7 – The Indian Church
8 – The Need of India

Chart of Indian History

The Desire Of India

Chapter I

The Land and Its Inhabitants

For centuries Western nations have looked The Wealth of upon India as a land of marvellous wealth, India and the splendours of her kings have seemed beyond the power of imagination. It was the story of India’s wealth that sent Columbus · in quest of the Western route when he discovered America. It was this story that excited the cupidity of Europe, and led to the establishment of British rule in India. Closer investigation has revealed how disappointing have been these dreams of riches. India’s material resources do not approach those of China, and it is questionable whether her people have the capacity to develop them with the vigour and energy of the European and Mongolian races. India’s wealth lies in her people. Their spiritual genius and their religious instincts are her best and most precious treasure. Her greatest sons have ever been possessed with a passion to know the Real and the Infinite, and have pursued it with earnestness of purpose. Their children have entered into a heritage of spiritual capacities and ideals, the development of which may mean the enriching of the world. [Continue reading]

Mary Slessor by Cuthbert McEvoy

Mary Mitchell Slessor [1848-1915]Mary Slessor was recently featured in an on-line list of  six inspiring Christian missionaries, so I thought I would take a brief break from uploading CMS books to include this slim volume:

Cuthbert McEvoy [1870-1944], Mary Slessor, 6th edn. London: The Carey Press, n.d. Pbk. pp.63. Click to download complete book in PDF.

Mary Slessor served in the city of Calabar, which is in Nigeria. This material is in the Public Domain.


1 – Early Life and Trials
2 – “Send Me”
3 – On the Field
4 – Maryu Slessor at Work
5 – A Mysterious Check and a Perilous Enterprise
6 – The Great Achievement
7 – Spade-Work and Honour
8 – Personal Characteristics and Closing Scenes

Chapter I

Early Life and Trials

Mary Mitchell Slessor, the factory girl who became the most remarkable woman missionary of her age, was born on December 2nd, 1848, in Aberdeen. Amid the shadows of a home darkened by intemperance and poverty, Mary, the second of seven children, found guidance in the example of a saintly mother, who, with rare courage and patience, kept the light of faith shining above the dreary sorrow of her lot.

In these facts may be found a clue to the secret of Mary Slessor’s extraordinary career. The land of her birth was the native land of great missionary leaders such as Duff, Moffat, Mackay and Livingstone. The example of intemperance that darkened the days of her childhood explains why it was that her gentle nature flamed into a stem indignation that more than once cowed the drunken loafers of Okoyong. Her noble mother set the compass of her daughter’s devoted life. Her duties as elder sister trained her to be the mother of her people; and the struggle with poverty made her the stateswoman and economist she afterwards became. But in the fact that her spirit was the victor, and not the victim, of the unfavourable elements of her environment; that instead of succumbing, as so many in her position might have done, she soared-in this we can only acknowledge, as she herself would have acknowledged, the gift of the grace of God. [Continue reading]

Roland Bateman, Missionary Bible Translator in the Punjab

R. Maconachie, Rowland Bateman. Nineteenth Century ApostleRoland Bateman [1860-1916] served as a Bible translator in the Punjab. This book, written by a close friend in the Indian Civil Service, tells the story of his life and work.

R. Maconachie, Rowland Bateman. Nineteenth Century Apostle. London: Church Missionary Society, 1917. Hbk. pp.208. [Click to download in PDF]

Reproduced by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society.


1 – Parentage, Birth, and Early Days
2 – The Punjab as a Missionary Environment
3 – His Personality
4 – Work at Dera Ismail Khan, 1868-9
5 – Work at Amritsar and Lahore, 1869-72
6 – Itineration From Manhopur, 1872-4
7 – Early Visits to Narowal, 1872-4
8 – Narowal, Home, and Narowal Again-Typhoid Fever, 1874-7
9 – Clarkabad – Marriage – Second Furlough – Narowal – Kashmir, 1876-85
10 – Narowal – Three Visits to England – Beginning of “Outcaste” Work – Last Years at Narowal, 1886-97
11 – Home – Canada – The Indian Aftermath – Last Days in India, 1897-1902
12 – A “Fisher of Men” – Living Epistles
13 – Deputation Work – Sermons – Addresses
14 – R.B. as He Appeared to His Friends
15 – Work in England, 1902-15
16 – The End – A Beginning


If any reader of this book is given to the habit of “skipping over” a Preface, I hope he will make an exception in the present case, otherwise an injustice may be done to him whose life is here described, as well as to the writer, though that is a point of less importance. Had Rowland Bateman (or as I shall generally call him for convenience “R. B.”) followed his own inclinations, he would not have had his biography written at all. During the course, however, of his last illness, representations were made to him that an account of the work which God had done through him might still after his death serve the great cause to which he had so whole-heartedly given his life. After some hesitation he acquiesced in the proposal, but expressed his wish that I should write the story. I take up the task therefore as a trust, and can only hope that remembering steadily the purpose of the book, and doing my best to represent faithfully the man and his work, I may produce something not quite unworthy of the “noble dead.” [Continue reading]

Arthur Neve of Kashmir by A.P. Shepherd

A Wayside Audience - Dr. A. Neve and Mr. Gustafson in the Shigar Valley

Arthur Neve of Kashmir by A.P. Shepherd

The case of Kashmir illustrates well one of the problems one faces when in dividing the world according to modern national borders when studying the history of mission. Both boundaries and country names have changed over time, so it is often difficult to decide in which country to place some titles.

Both India and Pakistan both appear in the top 4 countries requested in my Facebook Group Poll, so I hope that this account of Arthur Neve’s life as a medical missionary proves of interest.

A.P. Shepherd, Arthur Neve of Kashmir. London: Church Missionary Society, 1926. Hbk. pp.136. Click to download in PDF.

This title is reproduced by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society.


1 – Boyhood
2 – The Spoil of Conquerors
3 – On the Road to Srinagar
4 – The City of the Sun
5 – The Hospital
6 – The Doctor on His Rounds
7 – The Earthquake
8 – The City of Dreadful Death
9 – A Mountain Holiday
10 – Some Patients
11 – On the Great Trade Route
12 – Flood, Famine, and Plague
13 – The Healing Hand
14 – After Thirty Years
15 – Home Life and Holidays
16 – War Pictures
17 – L’Envoi



It is written of an officer in the army of King Charles I that “he served his king with difficult, dangerous, and ‘expensive loyalty.” These words aptly describe Arthur Neve of Kashmir and the service which he gave so unsparingly for thirty-eight years in Kashmir and beyond. Endowed with gifts which would have won him fame and distinction at home, he yet chose to devote his life to the service of God and humanity in one of the world’s backwaters.

No attempt has been made in these pages to give a complete and detailed account of Dr. Neve’s career; but it has seemed well to present in broad outline some pictures of the man at his work in order to show to the men and women of to-day the life of a medical missionary. Dr. Neve’s desire was “to make it easier for those who come after.” The hospital at Srinagar, where his brother still works, and the hospitals along the North-West Frontier are waiting with eager longing to welcome physicians and surgeons who will build on foundations that were well laid by the great men who have gone before.

Salisbury Square,
July, 1926

[Continue reading]

Mary Bird in Persia by Clara C. Rice

Clara C. Rice, Mary Bird in Persia
I am pleased to be able to upload a biography of Mary Bird, who served the Lord in Persia – modern-day Iran. You will note from the photograph above that the original was quite foxed – something which happily I have been able to remove in the digitised version.

Clara C. Rice, Mary Bird in Persia. London: Church Missionary Society, 1916. Hbk. pp.200. [Click to download in PDF]

Reproduced by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society.


1 – Mary Bird-Her Ancestry, Early Life, and Personality
2 – Ancient Persia
3 – Modern Persia
4 – Persian Conditions and Customs
5 – Mary Bird as a Pioneer
6 – ”Khanum Maryam,” The Friend of the Persians
7 – The Attitude of the Persians to “Khanum Maryum”
8 – Mary Bird as a “Doctor”
9 – Mary Bird as a “Teacher”
10 – Mary Bird as a Friend and an Inspiration
11 – “A Faithful Soldier and Servant” at Work and at Rest
12 – The Present Opportunity in Persia
Glossary of Persian Terms



All who had the privilege of knowing Mary Bird intimately, and of being her fellow workers in the great cause of foreign Missions, will rejoice that this memoir is being given to the public. The story of her life and labours can hardly fail to be an inspiration to those who read it. One could not see much of her without realizing the Presence of the Master to Whose service all her time and her talents were consecrated.

And now that she has gone to be with Him in a higher sphere of service, it is well that this book should go forth on its mission as a call to others to follow the King with the same whole-hearted devotion with which she followed Him. It would have been a loss to the Church of Christ if no such record had been written. Not indeed that it would be possible or desirable for many workers, either at home or abroad, to attempt to mould their lives upon hers in detail. Few, if any, could with advantage follow her example in ignoring the claims of the body to a reasonable measure of recreation, food, and sleep. It was a marvel to those who watched her self-denying labours that she lived so long. [Continue reading]

Egypt and Palestine – The Way of Partnership

S.A. Morrison, The Way of Partnership With the C.M.S. in Egypt and PalestineThis little book tells the story of the Church Missionary Society’s work in Egypt and Palestine up to the early 1930s.

S.A. Morrison, The Way of Partnership With the C.M.S. in Egypt and Palestine. London: Church Missionary Society, 1936. Hbk. pp.87. Click to download in PDF.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society


1 – Palestine – A Ministry of Reconciliation
2 – Palestine – Greater Works Than These
3 – Palestine – For the Healing of the Nations
4 – Egypt – The Old and the New
5 – Egypt – The Spirit of Life
6 – Egypt – Evangelism by the Church
7 – Palestine and Egypt


It is a great pleasure to me to be asked to write a Fore· word to this book on the Near East, first because it is written by my old friend and colleague, Mr. Morrison, and secondly because I still regard the Near East as the land of my adoption, where I spent the best years of my life in missionary service.

The tide – The Way of Partnership – is both significant and well chosen, for perhaps nowhere in the whole world is there more need to-day for the interpretation of the Gospel in terms of partnership than in Palestine and Egypt. Palestine, with its warring creeds and race conflicts, presents a baffling problem to the missionary, and the contribution of the C.M.S. to the solution of this is a notable one. The Jerusalem Girls’ College in which three societies co-operate, is a good illustration of missionary partnership; but the pupils are an equally good example, for in this college Arabs, Jews, and Christians are studying together and learning to appreciate each other’s point of view.

Egypt, with its ancient Coptic Church and its aggressive Mohammedanism, offers another difficult problem, particularly just now when probably a thousand Christians a year are becoming Moslems.

Mr. Morrison is a recognized authority on missionary questions in the Near East, and he tells his story of nearly a century’s missionary effort by the C.M.S. with balanced judgment and insight. He reminds us of the days of the good Bishop Gobat, who founded the first Christian school in Palestine with a small class of nine Arab boys, and thus laid the first foundations of an educational system in what was then an illiterate country. [Click to continue reading]

W. Wilson Cash’s The Changing Sudan

W. Wilson Cash, The Changing SudanThis book was written in the hope that it would encourage fresh support for missionary work in Sudan.  It is reproduced here by kind permission of the CMS.

W. Wilson Cash, The Changing Sudan, 2nd edn. London: Church Missionary Society, 1931. Pbk. pp.88. Download in PDF.


1 – The Sudan Exploited
2 – The Sudan Liberated
3 – The New Sudan
4 – Open Doors in the North
5 – An Heroic Adventure
6 – Pagan Tribes and the Gospel
7 – Building For the Future


In January, 1929, I was privileged to visit once more the Northern Sudan, in order to confer with the missionaries and government officials on the future policy of the Church Missionary Society work in the Sudan.

The visit was a brief but very busy one, and as a result of it certain important decisions were made by the C.M.S. for the future development of the two missions in the northern and southern areas.

I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my deep gratitude to the Governor-General, Sir John Maffey, to J. G. Matthew, Esq., Secretary for Education, Health, etc., in the Sudan Government, and to the many officials all of whom from the day of my arrival to the time I left the Sudan showed me such generous hospitality, friendship, and kindness, and to whose ready help any success that attended my work was largely due.

I also wish to record my deep appreciation to the missionaries who gave me such loyal and wholehearted co-operation in my efforts. Their work is beyond praise ; and I came away with an impression of profound thankfulness for the great service they are rendering to the Kingdom of God.

I cannot close this Foreword without recording the special service rendered by Bishop Gwynne as chairman of our conferences, Dr. Lasbrey, the then secretary of the Egypt and Northern Sudan Mission, and Bishop Kitching and Archdeacon Shaw, both of whom travelled over a thousand miles to join in the discussions and who brought to our problems expert knowledge and advice. [Continue reading]

With the C.M.S. in West Africa by P.L. Garlick

Phyllis L. Garlick, With the C.M.S. in West Africa.By kind permission of the Church Missionary Society, the following book on mission work in Nigeria and Niger available on-line for free download.

Phyllis L. Garlick, With the C.M.S. in West Africa. A Study in Partnership. London: Church Missionary Society, 1935. Hbk. pp.80. Download in PDF.


1 – The First Furrow
2 – Sierra Leone: Keeping Step
3 – The Yoruba Country: Fruit of the Field
4 – Northern Nigeria: Tilling Hard Ground
5 – The Niger Diocese: In Harness Together
6 – The Adventure of Working with God


Have we the imagination to grasp the big thing that the C.M.S. has done in West Africa? If so this book will grip us from start to finish. Here is the account of a mission field less than a century old which has given from its African people no less than six bishops to the Church. Here slavery once flourished and an African had but a slave-market value, while to-day we think in terms of trusteeship, partnership, and educational developments. The Dark Continent has become a land of promise and its people once fettered are free. The share the C.M.S. has ha in this transformation is set before us vividly in this book and it has been no small share.

West Africa was the first Mission of the Society. For a long period the C.M.S. was the only Anglican society on the west coast. To-day, when others are taking their share in West African evangelization, it is still true to say that by far the larger proportion of the Church’s work is carried by the C.M.S. A mixed community of slaves has become a Church, a people who once were cannibals are leading the way in African evangelism. To-day Sierra Leone and Nigeria have a self-supporting and self-governing Church which raises annually for church purposes some £73,000. Facts like these speak for themselves and the C.M.S. is proud of its partnership with its African brothers in the unfinished task in Africa. [Continue reading]

W. Wilson Cash

Persia Old and New by W. Wilson Cash Online

Persia Old and New by W. Wilson CashAs I am writing Iran (formerly Persia) ranks #6 on my online poll, but I have a further reason for putting this book online. The publisher, the Church Missionary Society, has granted me permission to digitise a number of their books from the 1930s. Most of these are about work in Muslim countries, so I have decided to work on this batch first so that I can send the CMS archivist a complete list of links to the books. My thanks to the CMS for their kind permission.

W. Wilson Cash, Persia Old and New. London: Church Missionary Society, 1930. Pbk. pp.72. [Click to download in PDF.]


1 – The Coming of a New Day
2 – Religious Movements in Persia
3 – Some of the Pioneers
4 – How the Church Grows
5 – The Coming of the King
6 – In Martyn’s Steps
7 – The Building of a Persian Church
8 – Towards the One Church

A Blue-tiled Mosque from Soh, near Isfaham


It was my happy experience to visit Persia in April and May, 1928. My tour carried me over 5000 miles by motor car, and I visited all the C.M.S. centres of work, as well as several stations of the American Presbyterian Mission. I was entertained by British, Americans, and Persians, and to my many kind hosts and hostesses I would express again my grateful thanks.

The work I saw in this C. M.S. field filled me with admiration for that splendid band of missionaries, old and young, who to-day are the worthy successors of those who laid the foundation upon which they build. I was much impressed by the thoroughness of the work; by the efficiency of schools and hospitals; by the initiative that is being shown in breaking new ground and adapting methods to changing conditions of life in Persia ; by the desire I found on all hands to make the Church the centre of all activity, and to accord to it that right of control that alone will enable it to grow strong and. free ; but most of all was I impressed by the spirit of prayer and devotion that lay behind every effort. “Pray one for another” is a command that finds a literal obedience m the Persia Mission. Every one prays for every one else, and all the converts of the Church from the time of their first inquiry are regularly remembered in prayer by the whole Church. [Continue reading]

“Dawdson” The Doctor – the Story of G.E. Dodson of Iran

"Dawdson" the Doctor - G.E. Dodson of IranIran currently ranks #8 on my online poll, so here is a biography of Dr. G.E. Dodson, who served in that country until his death in 1937.

A Friend of Iran, “Dawdson” The Doctor. G.E. Dodson of Iran. London: The Highway Press, 1940. Hbk. pp.73. Click to download in PDF.


Introductory – “I Shall Fetch Dawdson—”
1 – Why He Came
2 – Sizing Up the Task
3 – Digging Foundations
4 – Holiday Hikes
5 – Alarums and Excursions
6 – Building at Last
7 – The Builder Hands Over His Tools

“I Shall Fetch Dawdson—“

It was summer time in Iran. A sudden clatter of feet and the sound of shouting broke the stillness of the warm, early morning. Malekeh, who had been sitting in a shady corner of the veranda, sleepily cleaning rice for dinner that night, jumped up and listened. Then she pulled her gaily-printed cotton wrap or chaddur around her so that only her eyes were visible, and ran across the courtyard and down the passage that led to the village street. What she saw as she looked up the rough pathway made her turn and shout back to her mother and the servant, who were busy stirring pots in the little smoke-blackened kitchen.

“Mother, Rababeh, come quickly. There’s been an accident.” And then as the little group carrying a small figure came nearer, she shrieked: “It’s Mahmoud! He’s dead. Allah! What shall we do?”

They all ran out crying, their chaddurs flying behind them, and when they reached the party Fatomeh Khanum fell on her knees beside her son, tearing her hair and scratching her cheeks. Malekeh took one look at her brother, saw his eyelids flutter, and shaking her mother by the shoulder said: “Khanum, he’s not dead after all. Don’t make that noise.” At that Mahmoud opened his eyes, gave a feeble grin, said: “What a hubbub, I’m not dead yet,” and fainted off again. [Continue Reading]