Guido Verbeck, Missionary to Japan

William Elliott Griffis [1843-1928], Verbeck of Japan. A Citizen of No CountryGuido Herman Fridolin Verbeck [1830-1898] was a 19th Century Dutch Reformed Church missionary to Japan. Wikipedia provides a helpful summary of his life. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of this book to scan. This title is in the Public Domain.

William Elliott Griffis [1843-1928], Verbeck of Japan. A Citizen of No Country. A Life Story of Foundation Work. Inaugurarted by Guido Fridolin Verbeck. Edinburgh & London: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1901. Hbk. pp.376. [Download complete book in PDF]



  1. A Glance in Perspective
  2. The Koppel
  3. In The Land of Opportunity
  4. A Glance at Old Japan
  5. In Nagasaki: First Impressions
  6. Political Upheaval
  7. The Doors Opening
  8. The Revolution of 1868
  9. Trip to Osaka

Presbyterian Missions in India, China and Singapore (1934-36)

This short booklet is a report on the progress of British Presbyterian Missions in the Far East during from 1934-1936. It covers missions work in India, Singapore, Formosa (Taiwan) and mainland China. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy to scan. This book is now in the Public Domain.

Campbell L. Moody [1866-1940], A Sound of Abundance of Rain. London: The Foreign Missions Committee of the Presbyterian Church in England, 1936. Pbk. pp.40. [Click to Download complete book in PDF]


  1. Stir in Amoy
  2. Swatow and the Hakka Country
  3. Formosa
  4. Singapore
  5. India

Chapter 1: Sir in Amoy

When the visitor to the Far East enters the harbour of Amoy he gazes on this side and on that wondering on which side he will land, for the shores everywhere are crowded with buildings in Eastern and in Western style, and beyond the steamer’s prow is a wide expanse of sea, with vessels great and small sailing hither and thither, while brightly painted boats, like gondolas, each with an oarsman standing near its stern, approach the oncoming ship with offers of transport for the passengers.

It is somewhat odd, but the stranger does not reach the mainland of China. Business may take him to the little island on the one side, and the streets of Amoy; if he wishes to visit friends he will probably turn to the much smaller island on the other side; it is named Kulang

Romance of the Labrador by Sir Wilfred Grenfell

SIr Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
SIr Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
Sir Wilfred Grenfell’s history of the land and peoples of Labrador in Canada. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy to scan. This book is now in the Public Domain.

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], The Romance of Labrador. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1934. Hbk. pp.306. [Click to download complete book in PDF]



  1. The Pageant of the Rocks (The Stage Is Set)
  2. The Pageant of the Indians (The Curtain Rises)
  3. The Pageant of the Eskimo (The “Innuit” Arrive)
  4. The Pageant of the Vikings (“Winged Hats And Dragon Ships”)
  5. The Pageant of the Big Four (The Kaleidoscope Shifts) Columbus, Cabot, Cortereal, and Cartier)
  6. The Pageant of the French (“Le Coq Se Trouve Dans Le Nouveau Monde”)
  7. The Pageant of the English Occupation (The Lion’s Share)
  8. The Pageant of the Unitas Fratrum (Peaceful Penetration)
  9. The Undersea Pageant. (“Oh, Ye Whales and All That Move in the Waters”
  10. The Pageant of the Three Kings (Of Sub-Arctic Waters)
  11. The Pageant of the Soil (Phanerogams and Cryptogams)
  12. The Pageant of the Animals (“The ‘Little Brothers’ of the ‘Labourer’s Land’ “)
  13. The Pageant of the Air (Winged Victory)
  14. The Pageant of Forty Years and After


This book is an attempt to record the scientific and historic facts about Labrador, as far as they are known. It is the “audi alteram partem” of a medical man, who has spent much of the past forty years on those coasts, and who admires greatly Mussolini’s dictum,” We must not be proud of our country for its history, but for what we are making of it to-day.”

When the word ” Labrador ” is mentioned, men shrug their shoulders and shiver as automatically as, when the definition of a spiral staircase is asked, they twist their right forefinger up into ascending whirls. [Continue reading]

Down North on the Labrador by Wilfred Grenfell

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], Down North on the LabradorA collection of stories from Wildred Grenfell’s career as a missionary on the Labrador Coast. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to digitise. This title is in the Public Domain.

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], Down North on the Labrador. London: James Nisbet & Co. Ltd., 1912. Hbk. pp.229. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  1. The Silver Fox
  2. The Regeneration of Johnnie Elworth
  3. How Jimmy Hampton Made Good
  4. A Venture In Economics
  5. Given To Hospitality
  6. Remedy For Worry
  7. On His Beam Ends
  8. A Partial Conversion
  9. The Sources of Pleasure
  10. Suzanne
  11. “Brin”
  12. Rube Marvin’s Confession
  13. “The Spars of the Rose of Torridge

Chapter 1: The Silver Fox

The capture of a fox would not be considered a matter of extreme importance in most countries, but in Labrador it may be and has been more than once the event of a lifetime. If the fox is red, or white, or blue, or cross, or patch, even in Labrador it means little enough, but if it is a silver, and especially if it be black beyond the shoulders, then it looms very large on the horizon of a northern settler’s economy.

And Anthony Dyson had really caught one. Yes, there it was. He had just taken it out of his “nonny” bag, and it lay on the floor of his humble home, a mass of frozen hair and ice. A solid ball like a real Christmas cake, only with dark black hairs protruding through the frosting. For the ice must be thawed off carefully, not to injure the beautiful long hairs. The veriest tenderfoot would not try to knock it off with a tomahawk, as from a common skin. [Continue reading]

History of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel

Georgiana M. Forde [1849/50-1923/1934], Missionary Adventures. A Simple History of the S.P.G.The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (S.P.G) was founded in 1701 as an overseas missionary organisation of the church of England. Georgiana Forde provides us with a short history of the mission in which 15,000 men and women served. The Wikipedia article provides a useful summary here. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy to scan. This book is in the public domain.

Georgiana M. Forde [1849/50-1923/1934], Missionary Adventures. A Simple History of the S.P.G. London: Skeffington & Son, 1911. Hbk. pp.205. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  1. The Great Commission – Founding of the S.P.G. – The Discovery of America – The English Settlers in North America in 1607 – Princess Pocahontas – The Pilgrim Fathers – Slavery in the New World – The Rev. George Keith, the first S.P.G. Missionary – Perils of a Sea Voyage – Treatment of Negro Slaves
  2. The Rev. T. Barclay, Missionary to the Red Indians – Queen Anne visited by Red Indian Chiefs – Savage Warfare-War between the French and English in North America – The English victorious under Wolfe in 1759 – The Rev. J. Wesley an S.P.G. Missionary – The American Church asks in vain for Bishops – Revolution in the United States – Independence declared July 4th, 1776.
  3. 40,000 “United Empire Loyalists” settle in Canada and the S.P.G. Missionaries accompany them – Bishops consecrated for the United States – Rev. Charles Inglis in 1787 consecrated Bishop of Nova Scotia: our first Colonial Bishop – Travelling in Canada – The Story of the Shepherd Lad
  4. Newfoundland – The Bermuda Islands – West Indian Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes – Barbados and Codrington College – Jamaica – Diocese of Nassau – Confirmations in the West Indies-Diocese of Antigua – Trinidad – The Asphalte Lake – List of West Indian and South American Dioceses
  5. The. Panama Canal-Vasco Nuneo de Balboa – British Honduras – The Mosquito Indians – The Mahogany Cutters – British Guiana – The Rev. W. H. Brett – S.P.G. Missions to Redmen, East Indians, and Chinese
  6. The First Missionary to Africa, the Rev. Thomas Thompson – The First Black Clergyman, the Rev. Philip Quaque – The West India Church Mission to West Africa – The Rev. W. H. Leacock founds the Rio Pongo Mission – Mohammedanism – Chief Richard Wilkinson’s Story – Foundation Stone laid of Fallangia Church – Rev. W.L. Neville’s Ministry – Conversion of the Devil-man and the greatest Slave-dealer
  7. South Africa – Cape Town and the Rev. Henry Martyn – The first Bishop for South Africa consecrated in 1847 – Bishop Gray’s Visitations and Death – The Wreck of the “Birkenhead,” 1852 – The Bishoprics or Grahamstown and Natal founded – Mother Cecile-The Railway Mission – The Church Order of Ethiopia – Colenso, First Bishop of Natal, 1854 – Bloemfontein made a Bishopric, 1863. A diocese without a single church
  8. Chaka and the Zulu Nation – Bishop Colenso and King Panda – Persecution – The Zulu War: Defeat at Isandhlwana – St. Augustine’s, Rorke’s Drift – Archdeacon Waters, founder of the Church in Kaffraria – Bishop Key of Kaffraria – A Missionary’s Letter – Diocese of Pretoria – The Rand, and the Community of the Resurrection – The Diocese of Mashonaland-Diocese of Lebombo – The Cape de Verde Islands – St. Helena-Ascension – Tristan d’Acunha – Madagascar and Mauritius
  9. The East India Company – St. Thomas and the Syrian Church – The Five Chaplains-Parliament grants W. Wilberforce’s Request for Bishops – Calcutta and her first Bishops – Caste – Bishopric of Madras and Alfred Basil Wood – Bishopric of Bombay-Father Goreh – Lahore and Bishop French – Delhi and its first Christian Church – Burmah and Dr. Marks – The Andaman and Nicobar Islands – Chota Nagpur and the Kols – Tinnevelly and Nazareth – Ceylon
  10. Siam – The Malay Peninsula and Singapore – Borneo, Mr. James Brooke, and Dr. McDougall – The Story of Igoh – China – The Boxer Rising and the S.P.G. Martyrs – Corea: How Christianity first reached Corea – Japan – The Day of Intercession for Foreign Missions, 1872 – The Six Japanese Dioceses – The “Nippon Sei Ko Kwai,” or the Holy Catholic Church of Japan
  11. The first European Peopling of Australia – Bishop Broughton – 1851, the Golden Year – Towns, Bush, Back Country, “Never, Never, Land” – Tasmania – New Guinea – New Zealand and its first Bishop
  12. John Coleridge Patteson, first Bishop of Melanesia – Norfolk Island – Pitcairn Island – Bishop Patteson martyred – Commander Goodenough murdered – Memorial Cross to Bishop Patteson – Bishop John Selwyn and the little Savage – Fiji and the Bishop of Polynesia – The Hawaiian Islands and American Missionaries – Henry Obookiah – Queen Kapiolane and the Goddess of Fire – S.P.G. Mission to the Chinese – Bishop Selwyn’s Diocese sub-divided into Nine

What Christ Means to Me by Sir Wilfred Grenfell

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], What Christ Means to MeSir Wilfred Grenfell recounts the story of his conversion and how this led to him becoming a missionary in Canada. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to scan. This title is in the Public Domain.

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], What Christ Means to Me. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1926. Hbk. pp.125. [Download the complete book in PDF]


When various friends invited me to put on record what Christ means to me, I realised that to make a mere bald statement would be meaningless. In any other line of activity, such would be rightly rated as valueless. Man knows us, and God judges us, by our record, and we can only know ourselves or what anything has meant to us, by that same gauge. Facts are still the most trustworthy and verifiable things we know of, especially recent historical facts. Such a record calls for more time and more length than a mere category of what ‘I believe’; but to my mind it is the only way possible that would carry any conviction.

Certainly, in surgery such a course alone would satisfy the governing body of the College and be acceptable as a credential on which to base action.

This is my only apology for the following booklet. Some of it may have been written previously. The conditions of incessant travel under which tills record has been made, have prevented my consulting previous books. The best I can hope is that the details of long past events will do justice to my memory by tallying, and that in any event, friends will understand and deal generously. [Continue reading]

James Johnston’s Biography of Grenfell of Labrador

SIr Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
Sir Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
I am pleased be able to upload James Johnston’s 1908 biography of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, the noted missionary to Labrador. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to scan. This volume is in the Public Domain.

James Johnston [1819-1905], Grenfell of Labrador. London: S.W. Partridge & Co. Ltd., n.d. Hbk. pp.192. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


Introductory Note

  1. Dr. Grenfell’s Ancestry and Early History
  2. The Labrador Peninsula
  3. Eskimo Race and Customs
  4. Pioneering Enterprise
  5. The Fisher Folk of Labrador
  6. Romantic Sea Voyages
  7. Simple Life·Stories and Tragedies
  8. Dr. Grenfell and Little Children
  9. Salvation By Reindeer
  10. Achievement and Expansion
  11. Grenfell and Moody
  12. Literary Activities and Deputation Visits
  13. Honours and the Man


I have much pleasure in acceding to the Author’s request that I should write a few lines by way of to his Life of Dr. Grenfell.

It is twenty years since Dr. Grenfell was appointed Superintendent of the work being carried on by the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen in the North Sea and elsewhere round the shores of the British Isles, and from the day he gave himself to the cause of the fishermen his life may be said to have been one long, ceaseless effort to uplift and help the men whose lot he has made his own, and whose perils and hardships he has ever since been sharing.

The Labrador Branch of the Society’s work now claims Dr. Grenfell’s undivided attention, and from June to November he is engaged in cruising about in the little hospital steamer “Strathcona” between the Straits of Belle Isle and Cape Chidley for the purpose of carrying healing and comfort to the dwellers upon those inhospitable, ice-bound shores. In winter he prosecutes the same kind of work with komatik and dog teams. It is the great love he bears these brave men of the North, and his large-hearted sympathy with the stress and hardship of their lives, which leads him to endure for their sake what to most men, reared under similar circumstances, would prove an altogether insupportable existence. [Continue reading]

Thomas J. Comber – Missionary Pioneer to the Congo

John Brown Myers [1844/45-1915], Thomas J. Comber. Missionary Pioneer to the CongoThomas J. Comber [1844/45-1915] was a missionary pioneer and leader of the Baptist Missionary Society work in the Congo. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy of the book to scan. This title is in the Public Domain.

John Brown Myers [1844/45-1915], Thomas J. Comber. Missionary Pioneer to the Congo. London: S.W. Partridge & Co., [1889?]. Hbk. pp.160. [Click to download complete book in PDF]


  1. His Boyhood
  2. His College Life
  3. The Children’s Services at Camden Road
  4. Accepted by the Baptist Missionary Society and Sent Forth to Western Africa
  5. Victoria and Cameroons
  6. Pioneering Expedition to San Salvador, Congo Land
  7. His First Return to England
  8. Events and Proceedings Previous to Reaching Stanley Pool
  9. Events and Proceedings, Continued, Previous t to Reaching Stanley Pool
  10. Life and Labours, Mainly on the Upper Congo
  11. Home Once More, and Return to Africa
  12. Conclusion


The name of Thomas Comber is widely known amongst the friends of Christian Missions to the heathen. Many of those who knew him personally have intimated their desire for a memorial record of his life and labours. There are, however, more general considerations which make such a record appropriate. Mr. Comber was one of two-Mr. Grenfell being the other-who were the first missionary pioneers to enter Congo country. From that entrance until his death, he was the acknowledged leader of the Mission he thus helped to originate. And when the “Dark Continent” shall be no longer dark, but shall have become “light in the Lord,” it may be that African Christians will gratefully recount his-services on behalf of their land, and “glorify God in him.”

It will be remembered that the character of this volume necessarily excludes any general reference to the various societies having missionary operations in Africa ; and, indeed, does not even admit of more than a passing allusion, it may be, to some of those associated with Mr. Comber, and who, with a like-minded consecration, served the Divine Master.

Amongst his many gifts Mr. Camber had special skill in epistolary composition. He wrote many letters, and knew well how to write them. Nearly all of those inserted have hitherto been unpublished. [Continue reading]

Fishermen’s Saint – an Address on St. Andrew by Wilfred Grenfell

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], The Fishermen's Saint. Rectorial Address Delivered at St. Andrews University November 1929This little book is an address by Wilfred Grenfell – missionary to deep sea fishermen – on St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of fishermen. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy to scan. This book is in the Public Domain.

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], The . Rectorial Address Delivered at St. Andrews University November 1929. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1930. Hbk. pp.44. [Click to download complete book in PDF]

The Fishermen’s Saint

I have no illusion that my role m life qualifies me for the Rectorship of a University. As a surgeon, my life has been spent among people so close to the bread-line that I have had to consider first of all in every case, what is the actual value of any course of action? Will it repay the outlay? Even when I accepted the great honour which you conferred upon me, this had to be uppermost in my mind – could I make this next half-hour worth your venture, and also my own in crossing the Atlantic for this occasion? I could have nothing to offer this famous seat of learning except the experience of having tried to put in action the teachings you have so often listened to here “I” being an average man who happens to be preparing to get off the stage just at the moment you are coming on it. The only cloud on my horizon while I was cruising the Labrador Coast this autumn was whether this venture might not prove to be but the baiting of a polar bear north of the Ancient Roman Wall. [Continue reading]

Wilfred Grenfell’s A Labrador Doctor

Sir Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
Sir Wilfred Grenfell [Public Domain image from Wikipedia]
This is probably the book Sir Wilfred Grenfell is best remembered for, telling of his life as a missionary on the Labrador coast. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing me with a copy to scan. This book is the Public Domain.

Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell [1865-1940], A Labrador Doctor, 11th ed., 1938. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1920. Hbk. pp.351. [Download complete volume in PDF]


  1. Early Days
  2. School Life
  3. Early Work In London
  4. At The London Hospital
  5. North Sea Work
  6. The Lure of the Labrador
  7. The People of Labrador
  8. Lecturing and Cruising
  9. The Seal Fishery
  10. Three Years’ Work in the British Isles
  11. First Winter at St. Anthony
  12. The Co-Operative Movement
  13. The Mill and the Fox Farm
  14. The Children’s Home
  15. Problems of Education
  16. “Who Hath Desired the Sea?”
  17. The Reindeer Experiment
  18. The Ice-Pan Adventure
  19. They That Do Business in Great Waters
  20. Marriage
  21. New Ventures
  22. Problems On Land and Sea
  23. A Month’s Holiday in Asia Minor
  24. The War
  25. Forward Steps
  26. The Future of the Mission
  27. My Religious Life
  28. Ten Years After



I have long been resisting the strong pressure from friends that would force me to risk having to live alongside my own autobiography. It seems still an open question whether it is advisable, or even whether it is right-seeing that it calls for confessions. In the eyes of God the only alternative is a book of lies. Moreover, sitting down to write one’s own life story has always loomed up before my imagination as an admission that one was passing the post which marks the last lap; and though it was a justly celebrated physician who told us that we might profitably crawl upon the shelf at half a century, that added no attraction for me to the effort, when I passed that goal.

Thirty-two years spent in work for deep-sea fishermen, twenty-seven of which years have been passed in Labrador and northern Newfoundland, have necessarily given me some experiences which may be helpful to others. I feel that this alone justifies the writing of this story.

To the many helpers who have co-operated with me at one time or another throughout these years, I owe a debt of gratitude which will never be forgotten, though it has been impossible to mention each one by name. Without them this work could never have been. [Continue reading]