Zenana Missions in India

What were Zenana Missions? Zenana refers “…to the part of a house belonging to a Hindu or Muslim family in South Asia which is reserved for the women of the household.” These women were almost completely isolated from wider society and had no access to any kind of medical care. Male missionaries could not preach the Gospel to them, but female missionary doctors could – hence the growth in the late 19th Century of Zenana medical missions. This little book provides some stories from the life of one of these pioneering ladies. It appears by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society.

Charlotte S. Vines, A Woman Doctor On the Frontier. London: Church of England Zenana Mission, 1925. Pnk. pp.78. [Click to download in PDF format]

Contents

The Avalache

  1. A Jigsaw Puzzle
  2. Our Hospital
  3. Our Road
  4. Fatama
  5. Martha and Mary
  6. The Cripple
  7. Zargulla
  8. A Frontier Village
  9. Little Jewel
  10. A Sunday Case
  11. The Village of Eggs
  12. Witchcraft
  13. The Donkey Woman

The Cross

The Avalanche

In a lovely upland valley, one of the hillsides was covered with a forest of great trees. The view was very beautiful; on this side of the valley snow-on that, a wooded slope. We wandered into that wood; it was damp and dark, the sun could scarcely penetrate it, and many dank weeds flourished.

We went up another year and, looking towards our forest, saw but a great bare hillside; all down the valley huge trunks of trees lay scattered and the hill was cropped and brown as if some giant had reaped it with a mighty scythe. Our view was spoilt; our hill all scarred and ugly. What had happened?

Said the hillmen: “In the winter, when no man may live here, there was a mighty avalanche; it swept down the valley and everything in its course was torn up-even the earth was ploughed bare.” Our servants, who cared nothing for the view, said: “Great good fortune has come to us! See. the wood for lighting our fires and for burning has come down right to our very tents! We have but to step out and there is our wood.”

Next year again we went up and looked toward our mountains. Oh, the change! New life had come; the whole hillside was a tender, lovely green. We climbed, and lo! the hillside was covered with wonderful flowers-green grass and flowers. An old shepherd pointed upwards and said: “That snow did us a great benefit; now our animals can feed well and we can watch them easily.”

Yet we, with our short sight, had said: ” Oh, how cruel-why do such things happen?” [Continue reading]

Story of the London Missionary Society by C.S. Horne

C. Silvester Horne, The Story of the L.M.S. with an Appendix Bringing the Story up to the Year 1904, new ednI cannot think of the London Missionary Society without their work in the Pacific Ocean coming to mind. The transformation of the people of the Pacific Islands by the power of the Gospel was truly dramatic and accounts found their way into popular culture through such books as The Coral Island. Much of the information in R.M. Ballantyne’s book was drawn from accounts of missionary’s working there, as Ballantyne had never travelled in the Pacific.

The L.M.S.’s innovative use of missionary ships is noteworthy and their legacy can be found today in such ministries as Mercy Ships and Operation Mobilisation. The work of the L.M.S. however was truly global, reaching Africa, Asia and South America. This book provides a comprehensive account of its work up to 1904. It contains a great many pictures which I wanted to include in greyscale to preserve their quality, so the file size of this book is much higher than usual (22MB).

C. Silvester Horne, The Story of the L.M.S. with an Appendix Bringing the Story up to the Year 1904, new edn. London: London Missionary Society, 1908. Hbk. pp.460. [Click to download in PDF]

Contents

  1. Laying the Foundation
  2. The South Seas
  3. South Africa
  4. India
  5. China
  6. British Guiana
  7. Madagascar
  8. Expansion in Polynesia
  9. Southern and Centra; Africa
  10. Progress in India
  11. Further Work in China
  12. Developments in Madagascar
  13. North China and Mongolia
  14. New Guinea
  15. Summary

Appendix
Index

The London Missionary Society Steamship "John Williams"

 

George Smith’s Short History of Christian Missions

George Smith [1856-1942], Short History of Christian Missions From Abraham and Paul to CareyGeorge Smith’s Short History of Christian Missions provides an overview of Missions from Abraham up to 1901. The treatments are necessarily brief, but should prove of interest to students. The fact that it went though eight editions indicates at the very least that it was considered useful in its day. This book is now in the Public Domain.

George Smith [1856-1942], Short History of Christian Missions From Abraham and Paul to Carey, 8th edn, Livingstone, and Duff. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, n.d. Hbk. pp.252.  [Click to download complete book in PDF]

Contents

Introduction

Part 1: Jadaic Preparation, B.C. 2000 to A.D. 70

1. The Missionary Covenant – Foundation of the City of God in History

2. Judaism the First Missionary Religion

3. Christ the King of the Missionary Host – the Missionary Charge

4. The Holy Spirit the Leader of the Missionary Host

Part 2 – Latin Preparation, A.D. 70 to 1792

5. The Roman Empire Subdued by the City of God

6. The Conversion of the Scots and English

7. The Conversion of the Goths and Franks

8. The Conversion of the Teutons and Northmen

9. Mission to Slavs, Mohammedans, and Jews

10. The Reformation Only Indirectly Missionary

11. The Dawn of Modern Missions – The Danish-Halle and Moravian Missions

12. The Dawn of Modern Missions – The English in North America and in India

13. The Missionary Compromise of the Latin Church with Heathenism

Part 3 – English-Speaking Universal Evangelization, 1792-1913

14. Foundation of English Missions – William Carey the First English Missionary to India, 1791-1834

15. The Great Missionary and Bible Societies, 1792

17. The Churches Become Missionary, 1830

18. Evangelical Missions and Mankind

Index

 

Mary Slessor The Dundee Factory Girl by J.J. Ellis

J.J. Ellis [1853-?], Mary Slessor. The Dundee Factory Girl who became a Devoted African MissionaryThe story of Mary Mitchell Slessor’s [1848-1915] work in Calabar, Nigeria was truly remarkable, as Andrew C. Ross notes in the Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions. [p.624.]:

Her life is an example of Christian inculturation, but regrettably it was trivialized by a romantic “white queen of Okoyong” attitude toward her in Britain.

J.J. Ellis [1853-?], Mary Slessor. The Dundee Factory Girl who became a Devoted African Missionary. Kilmarnock: John Ritchie, n.d. Hbk. pp.80. [Click to download in PDF]

Contents

Foreword

  1. A Young Christian who was old enough to win souls
  2. A Loyal Missionary with Ideas and Visions of her own
  3. A Bold Pioneer who greatly dared for Christ; A Call for Courage in our Work for God
  4. A Good “Ma” who was also a Great Queen. A Proof that Love always conquers
  5. A Poor Woman who was enriched by what she gave above; A Sure method of securing True Wealth

Chapter 1

“One of the deepest instincts of our ·nature teaches the preciousness of severity,” said John Addington Symonds, but it is hard to believe him while the soul stings with injustice, hardship, or pain. Mary Slessor born at Gilcomston by Aberdeen, 2nd December, 1848, was educated under the harshest conditions, but she was kept sweet by the love of God in her frail mother. She had few advantages, and many crushing difficulties, but she shows what can be done by those who have few chances, but who are Christ’s, and are willing to be nothing, that He may be glorified. First the lassie was brought out of nature’s darkness and at once set to work to carry the light to others, and all her days she went forward carrying the lamp to show everyone the way to happiness and peace.

Her father was a shoemaker, and at times sober, kindly and tender. But he lacked a saving interest in Christ, and before long became a victim of the drink sin. Gradually the octopus arms tightened their grip, and the more they grasped the less the deluded man desired to be free. Mary’s mother was one of those sweet, frail women for whom a bad man has a fascination. The mothering instinct is useful but it can be perverted as it was in this case, for that husband grew the worse the more he was loved.  [Continue reading]

Reflections of a Pioneer Missionary by William R.S. Miller

Reflections of a Pioneer Missionary by W.R.S. MillerWilliam Miller [1872-1952] was a Church Missionary Society Missionary to the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria. He spent 50 years working in that country and assisted in the translation of the Bible into the Hausa language. My thanks to the Church Missionary Society for their kind permission to place this book on-line.

W.R.S. Miller [1872-1952], Reflections of a Pioneer. London: Church Missionary Society, 1936. Hbk. pp.227. [Click to download complete book in PDF]

A bibliography of other works by and about William Miller is now also available.

Contents

  1. Introductory
  2. The Team and Their Preparation
  3. The Situation in 1900
  4. Slavery in Northern Nigeria
  5. Seeking a Foothold
  6. Hausa, Fulani, and Pagan
  7. The System of Indirect Rule
  8. The Beginnings of the Misison at Zaria
  9. Mission and Government at Zaria
  10. The Story of an Experiment
  11. Aliyu: Prince, Emir, and Exile
  12. Building for the Future
  13. Marriage Customs and Problems
  14. Moral Standards
  15. Racial Relationships
  16. Language and Literature
  17. Conclusion

Epilogue
Index

Foreword

Dr. Miller has asked me to write a foreword to this book, and I do so with very real pleasure.

To those who have lived and worked for any length of time in Northern Nigeria, as missionary or government official, no introduction of its author is necessary. Indeed, his name will long be remembered by Africans and Europeans alike.

By some he may be remembered chiefly as a great linguist. He says that he conceived it to be his duty to learn to speak Rausa so that some day he should not be detected, when speaking in the dark, by a native of the country. He was commonly reputed to have achieved that standard of proficiency in Hausa-speaking, and he is probably the only European of whom it could ever truly have been said. Others may have had as great or even greater knowledge of the language from a philological standpoint, but he, to an extent achieved by no other European, had the power to express his thoughts in the Rausa manner, to clothe them with the appropriate words and phrases, using just the right tone and faultless pronunciation. [Continue reading]

The Story of Clifford Harris of Persia [1904-1930]

Ronald West Howard [1887-1960], A Merry Mountainer. The Story of Clifford Harris of PersiaThis little book tells the story of the work of Clifford Harris [1904-1930] in Persia, modern day Iran. It is reproduced by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society.

Ronald West Howard [1887-1960], A Merry Mountainer. The Story of Clifford Harris of Persia. London: Church Missionary Society, 1931. Pbk. pp.93. [Click to download in PDF]

Early Days

On a beautiful stretch of Sussex upland, two miles from the town of Horsham, stand the stately buildings of Christ’s Hospital -the ancient school for boys in the new setting to which it was moved from London early in the twentieth century.

Here, on October 24, 1904, Clifford Harris was born; and some account must be given of his early days and of the family life that was to mean so much to him.

He was the youngest of the three children of the Rev. George Harris, a master at the school. Himself of Irish ancestry, the father always made friends by his quick sense of humour and ready fund of enthusiasm. These gifts his youngest son inherited to the full. His mother was a cousin of that famous medical missionary, Dr. Theodore Pennell, who spent his adventurous life of service among the frontier folk of the North-West Frontier Province of India. Something of his mantle was destined
to fall upon his young kinsman.

From his earliest days Clifford, with his brother and sister, knew the happiness of an undivided family life. His sister Ruth, a year older than himself, was his constant companion throughout all his childhood and his best friend in youth. When apart, they wrote regularly to each other every week. Jordan, the elder brother, always exercised a strong inspiration and influence for good over the younger brother. All through Clifford’s career this happy, undivided family life strengthened and moulded his character and service. Those who had most to do with him as a small boy found him delightfully unselfish ; this, and his natural gaiety of spirit endeared him to all who knew him. But he was wholesomely mischievous, too. A governess who had the early management of him-and found the task none too easy-tells how, on the death of her own father, Clifford showed his practical sympathy by saying : ” I am so very sorry your father has died ; and I really will try to behave better now.” Some days afterwards, however, the strain proving heavy, he warned her: “I don’t think I can keep it up much longer “! [Continue reading]

Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati – Educating the Child-widow of India

Clementina Butler [1820-1913], Pandita Ramaabai Sarasvati. Pioneer in the Movement for the Education of the Child-widow of IndiaThis is brief account of the life and work of Pandita Ramaabai Sarasvati [1858-1922], an “Indian social reformer, a champion for the emancipation of women, and a pioneer in education”.

Clementina Butler [1820-1913], Pandita Ramaabai Sarasvati. Pioneer in the Movement for the Education of the Child-widow of India. New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1922. Hbk. pp.96. [Download complete book in PDF]

Contents

Introduction

  1. Ramabai’s Vision
  2. Thus Saith the Law!
  3. Home Touches
  4. Life Stories
  5. Scholar, Saint and Servant

List of Officers of American Ramabai Association

Introduction

A widow without resources, a Hindu widow burdened with the handicap of religious fanaticism and superstition which weighed down any aspirations for betterment, and hedged about in all avenues of effort, and yet a valiant spirit which, recognizing a vision and a command, went forth for its fulfillment. This was Pandita Ramabai, the courageous soul who first saw the crying need of the child-widow, who realized the economic loss to the nation of setting apart a great class by ostracism to enforced inaction; the one who realized the right of the child to live, to work, and to have development of her powers in spite of the supposed curse of the gods upon her life.

It was in 1886 that this little woman, coming unknown and unsupported save by her own strength of conviction, landed on these shores and made her appeal for the child-widow of India. Modern, bustling America hardly knew that such a class existed, and the missionary folk who did know were not fully aware of the weight upon the girl-child heart of feeling condemnation because of the belief that the curse of the gods was the cause of the death of the boy or man to whom she was betrothed.  [Continue reading]

Letters of Archbishop William Ridley, Missionary to Canada

Archbishop William Ridley (22 July 1836 – 25 May 1911)Archbishop William Ridley [22 July 1836 – 25 May 1911] was a missionary to British Columbia in Canada. This collection of his letters appears by kind permission of the Church Missionary Society. Wikipedia gives a brief summary of his life and work. The file size of this PDF is larger than usual because the book contains numerous images which I wanted to include in greyscale.

Alice J. Janvrin, ed., Snapshots From The North Pacific. Letters Written by the Right Rev. Bishop Ridley (late of Caledonia). London: Church Missionary Society, 1904. Hbk. pp.192. [Click to download in PDF]

Contents

  1. Introductory
  2. A Summer’s Journey and a Winter’s Campaign
  3. Storms Fulfilling His Word
  4. A Cry and a Response
  5. In Journeyings Often
  6. A Triumph Song
  7. New Work and Old
  8. Peril by Water
  9. Visitation Work
  10. Regions Beyond
  11. An Abundant Entrance
  12. A Memorial Mission
  13. Enlarged Opportunities
  14. First·Fruits From The Stikine River
  15. More Perils in the Sea

Chapter 1: Introductory

The following letters are not in any sense a continuous history of the British Columbia (formerly known as the North Pacific) Mission. Rather, they are snapshots taken at varying intervals, and developed by a skilful hand, so bringing out details of scenery and work with a vividness that is sometimes almost startling. The prevailing thought in the mind of the reader will probably be, that beautiful as are the rushing streams, the gloomy forests, the snow-clad mountains of British Columbia, far more beautiful to the Indians are the feet of those who have taken good tidings and published peace to them. The wilderness and the solitary place have indeed been glad for them, and the desert has rejoiced and blossomed as the rose.

Fifty years ago no attempt had yet been made to reach the Zimshian Indians and other tribes on the north-west coast of the great continent of North America-now Christianity is the rule and Paganism the exception. Neat villages, with their churches, schools, and well-ordered homes, testify to the power of the grace of God to civilize as well as to Christianize. Medicine men have laid down their charms and submitted to the Cross of Christ, and hymns of praise resound where once were heard the fearful sounds of the heathen potlach[Continue reading].

Samuel Callis [1870-1897], Missionary to Uganda

Richard Deare Pierpont [1838-1929], In Uganda For Christ.Uganda still ranks #4 in the Theology on the Web Group Poll, so here is a biography of another missionary to that country – Samuel Callis. My thanks to the Church Missionary Society for their permission to reproduce it here.

Richard Deare Pierpont [1838-1929], In Uganda For Christ. The Life Story of the Rev. John Samuel Callis B.A., of the Church Missionary Society. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1898. Hbk. pp.196. [Click to download in PDF]

Contents

  1. Childhood and Early Years
  2. College Life and Preparation for the Ministry
  3. Three Years’ Ministry at All Saints’, Plumstead
  4. The Missionary Call and Dismissal to the Field
  5. The Voyage to Africa and Stay in Frere Town
  6. The Journey to the Front
  7. Arrival in Uganda and Departure for Toro
  8. Journey to Toro
  9. At Work in Toro
  10. The Early Home Call

Preface

I have been honoured by the invitation to prefix a few words to the brief story of a young Missionary. I do so with thankfulness and hope, believing that the simple narrative both illustrates a gracious fact and sets forth a wholesome example. In my acquaintance with those who have received the Missionary call, I have been struck by the number who come of a godly seed. The old taunt that the children of pious parents turn out ill, is only based on exceptions which secure prominence by their rarity. On the other hand, as it should be, the instincts created by the Spirit through the influences of a holy home are the commonest causes for Missionary ambition. While there is no such thing as hereditary grace, there is a power in parental prayers, and a holy family history which, without the smallest human suggestion, nay, sometimes in most unlikely ways, prepares the soul for God’s leadings into the Missionary life. [Continue reading]

Robert Moffat One of God’s Gardeners

Edwin W. Smith [1876-1957], Robert Moffat: One of God's GardenersRobert Moffat [1795-1883] was a Scottish Pioneer missionary in South Africa. Edwin Smith’s biography on one the standard biographies, which I am able to upload thanks to the kind permission of the Church Missionary Society.

Edwin W. Smith [1876-1957], Robert Moffat: One of God’s Gardeners. London: Church Missionary Society, 1925. Hbk. pp.251. [Click to download in PDF]

Contents

Author’s Preface

  1. Early Life
  2. South Africa a Century Ago
  3. The Bushmen and the Hottentots
  4. A Severe Test
  5. Builders of Hope
  6. The Bechuana
  7. Wars and Rumours of Wars
  8. Kuruman
  9. Journeyings Oft
  10. The Translator
  11. Kuruman Again
  12. A Troublous Time
  13. The Crowning Act
  14. Pioneering at Sixty-Five
  15. The Final Years

Map – South Africa in Robert Moffat’s Day
Index

Author’s Preface

MY object throughout this volume has been to place Moffat in the historical and ethnological setting of South Africa-a country that has changed so much during the last hundred years that it is difficult for the present generation to realize the conditions under which he worked. For the facts of Moffat’s life I have relied chiefly upon his own book, Missionary Labours and Scenes in South Africa (published in 1842), and the biography by his son, the late Rev. J. S. Moffat. Much information has been gathered from the works of the early travellers, some of which are named in footnotes, I would express my gratitude to the London Missionary Society, which gracefully placed its records at my disposal ; and to the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society who allow me to use letters which have never before (so far as I am aware) been printed. My best thanks are also due to the Rev. J. Tom Brown, late of Kuruman, who most generously allowed me to read, and make use of, his manuscript on the history and customs of the Bechuana, which I hope will before long be published. My own experiences as a pioneer missionary in South Central Africa, and a visit I made to Kuruman in 1912, have helped me considerably in appreciating Moffat’s work. [Click to continue reading]