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have abandoned evil heathen practices. They
have been ostracised by their former comrades,
their very cattle put under the ban of the clan

138 The Challenge to Missions

or guild, and have borne the petty vexations
that gall the heart. They have endured per-
secutions, suffering the loss of their possessions,
and in the last extremity meeting death with
firm fidelity. What took place during the
tragic siege of Pekin and in many Provinces
of China sufficiently attests the statement.
The letter of thanks written by Mr Conger,
the United States Minister at the Chinese
capital, certifies their faithfulness and their
disregard of their own lives. Comparatively
few lapse in such "killing times." Living-
stone and Mackay of Uganda -found the same
loyal devotion in Africa. In India many have
sacrificed family ties and become out-caste
{cf. p. 184).

They learn to give liberally of their means
for the spread of the Christian cause, in some
cases organising missions of their own and
maintaining them at their own cost. Numbers
of them are proportionately more generous
than the average Christian at home.

Lord Curzon, Mr. Freeman Mitford, and the
picturesque journalist remind us of those who
"find salvation for the sake of material ad-
vantages," for occupation and the foreigner's
wages. Lively young soldiers and civilians,
or blase " citizens of the world," who themselves
perhaps have no surplus of encumbering morals

"The Mission-made Man" 139

and no religion to speak of, are ready with
witty sallies at self-seeking " rice Christians."
That some should enter the fold from low
motives is only what might be expected. How
can the most careful missionary absolutely
prevent some such from creeping into the
Church? Protestant missionaries do their best
to sift the motives of enquirers, subject doubt-
ful cases to a long probation, and impose
various other tests of sincerity. Are there not
some at home who associate themselves with
churches from low motives, for the sake of
trade-custom, or for social standing ? As a
matter of fact the " rice Christians " — profess-
ing to be Christians for the sake of their rice —
are comparatively few. And they do not dis-
credit the genuine majority.

" Nothing," writes Mr H. C. Thomson as an
independent lay observer, in his recent China
and the Powers (p. 271), " nothing has been so
remarkable during the recent revolt as the
extraordinary number of converts who have
suffered the most cruel martyrdom rather than
recant. Never again will it be possible to make
use of the old sneer that they are all 'rice
Christians,' converts only for the subsistence
which they can obtain from the missions. The
heroic way in which they have gone to a horrible
death for conscience sake is the most convinc-

I40 The Challenge to Missions

ing testimony to the sincerity of their conversion
and to the noble work which those who have
been their teachers have, as a whole, done in

Some, indeed, are weak and limp, " mixed "
in their faith, with rags of their old superstitions
still clinging to them. Yet they are palpably
honest up to their light, and are blundering
towards a worthy life.

The misdoings and defections of the weak
and half-converted are no worse than the lapses
of certain people in the early Christian Church
whom the New Testament describes as " spots "
and backsliders. St Peter had to write, "Let
none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief,
or as an evildoer." If some in modern mission
churches lapse temporarily into their old lying
or vicious habits, it is not so very amazing,
considering their previous lives, their present
surroundings, and the blood in their veins. At
Corinth, according to St Paul, equally great
offenders were found. Yet the early Christian
Church was none the less the most potent
agency for regenerating and uplifting men in
the pagan world of the time.

Miss Isabella Bird (Mrs Bishop), who saw
pagan lands and mission work from a detached
point of view, says, "It is a remarkable thing
how anxious they (the native Christians of

"The Mission-made Man" 141

China) are for purity, and how strong they are
against anything which is inconsistent." Even
those who err have their moral sensibilities
gradually quickened. The reclaimed acquire
a keener perception of sin.

In spite of imperfections, these mission-made
natives are stumblingly on the upward incline
towards full manhood and the Christian life.
They are in the birth-throes of entrance into
the divine Kingdom.

We plant Christ in their consciousness, sure
that He will carry forward His own work in
their experience, His Spirit steadying and train-
ing them in goodness. The Power which has
ruled our moral and spiritual development may
be relied on to achieve as great an outcome in
their experience after its own type.

That Christ-consciousness, too, will move in
their hearts, as it has in ours, to make the
Christian cause self-propagating among them.
Already numbers of them are fired with the
missionary spirit, and " pass it on." Our only
business is to light the sacred fire in their
hearts, guide them as apostles or bishops for
a time, and train some of themselves to make
the Christian campaign their own.






The target of the critic's shafts, when it is not
the " mission-made " native, is usually the
missionary himself, or his ways of working.
And some of those who have the best interests
of the cause at heart have pertinent questions
to put regarding the men and women sent out
and the lines of policy on which they conduct
their work. It is in respect of men and methods
that free expression of opinion, alike from
friends within and from critics without the
Church, must be held legitimate and proper.
The sacred cause in itself is inviolable, the
spread of Christ's kingdom imperative, and the
ultimate moral development of rude races must
be vindicated. But the missionaries are not
sacrosanct, and, when any one takes exception
to the policy which determines their modes of
working, he is not to be summarily dealt with
as though he were touching the ark of God.

In the eyes of many, the most urgent mis-
sionary question is the problem of men and
methods. It is not within the plan of this little
volume to enter into that discussion. It is

146 The Challenge to Missions

enough to touch lightly upon certain practical
points raised by the average lay observer.

I. Dr Morrison has a passing tilt at the
comfortable residences of men who are supposed
to be making every sacrifice for the heathen.
That the missionary has "a good time" and
lives in comfort is the assurance one gets from
typical "birds of passage." They point to his
spacious house and his servants, and to the
bungalow on the hill to which he goes in the
hot season.

But (i) the cases differ in different places.
In the open ports and other centres where
foreign civilisation is established, there is no
occasion for the missionary living in uncomfort-
able quarters. The surprise of voyagers at
sight of his establishment comes from the
common romantic impression conveyed by
missionary literature of the old, crude sort,
the impression that everywhere indiscrimin-
ately the sacrifices and hardships are alike
severe. But in the interior and at many mission
outposts the hardships and sacrifices are heavy
enough, not measured by the cubic space of
the house — the house itself inevitably mean,
and other conditions of life, not understood at
home or by the passer-by, sufficiently taxing to
patience, offensive to white folks' sensibilities,
and perilous to family life.

Further, (2) often the mission building com-

The Men and their Methods 147

bines boarding-school premises with the mis-
sionary's house. The writer has stayed in such
a mission house in the East, where half the
spacious building was devoted to boarding-
school purposes.

(3) The health of all white men, missionaries
as well as civilians, in hot climates demands,
where obtainable, airy room-space and verandah
protection against the sun. It is this that
largely accounts for the spacious appearance
of some mission houses.

(4) The mission house in open ports and
central points has to accommodate passing mis-
sionaries on their way to the interior or remote
regions — and one could tell of lay travellers for
whom the missionary has brought out his best
and provided entertainment on a scale beyond
what he can ordinarily afford, and who have
gone their way and written about the luxury of
the missionary's life !

(5) There is no virtue in the ascetic life when
lived for its own sake. Poverty in the foreigner
does not impress the native — quite the contrary.
It is quite true that some men make themselves
more comfortable than the conditions justify;
a few may be found who feather their own
nests ; and mission property is sometimes con-
structed on an unduly grand scale. But these
cases are very far from being typical of the life
and homes of the vast majority of missionaries.

148 The Challenge to Missions

The Vicarage and the Manse at home are not
usually the meanest in the parish. And the
home Church may properly wish to establish
the missionary in the moderate comfort that is
available. In any case he has usually plenty of
disabilities and hardships — loneliness, loss of
kindred society for his family, discouragements
which he must consume alone, and the incessant
tax put upon his patience by the irresponsible,
slow, " wait-a-bit " ways of the natives with
whom he has to deal.

2. The thousands of male and female mission-
aries, as a matter of course, vary in calibre,
education, wisdom, aptitudes and tact — vary as
much as Christian ministers and workers at
home. If the incompetent, the over-zealous,
and the misguided are there, it is largely
because raw novices and new-caught zealots
have precipitated themselves upon the mission-
field, and because it has too often been thought
that distinct mental endowments are not so
requisite abroad as at home.

Lord Curzon has cause to animadvert on
"irresponsible itinerants" who are a law unto
themselves, and to say that "impulsive virtue
and raw enthusiasm are not necessarily the
best credentials for a missionary career."
Certain societies and movements in par-
ticular have something to answer for in this

The Men and their Methods 149

"On the ship bound for China," wrote Mr
Julian Ralph as hot-haste journalist, " I was
struck by the mediocre mental character of too
many of the men. They are often villagers
and men of the narrowest horizon." But even
mere "villagers" and "mediocre men" may do
laborious and useful service. Yet it is certain
that the permanent success and good repute of
the missionary cause can be greatly assisted by
the elimination of volunteers who have little to
recommend them beyond their earnest spirit.
The raw and callow, untrained in the guidance
of life, ignorant of human nature, with narrow
view of God and His treatment of the pagan
peoples, and with no room beside their "one
idea" for the march of civilisation, do indeed
win genuine converts and often show a heroic
evangelising spirit, but they are the civilian's
stumbling-block, and they are not the men to
grapple with the larger problems of paganism,
nor to deal wisely with the shrewd questions
of the heathen critic. Are they adequately
equipped if they have made no real acquaint-
ance with the mental attitude of the people
whose religions they seek to displace with
Christianity? Wise selection from the volun-
teers is imperative, and will contribute much to
the highest success of the mission cause. And
means should be taken, as Henry Drummond
so strongly urged after his visit to many

150 The Challenge to Missions

mission fields, that each be sent to the country
for which he is naturally fitted.

The very best that the Church can find
are wanted — broad-minded, big-hearted, level-
headed men, able to grasp the larger issues of
the work as well as deal with the individual
soul, fired with a Christian earnestness which
burns on steadily without being consumed with
its own vehemence. There is need of states-
manship, generalship, scholarship, as well as of
evangelising activity. The career of a mis-
sionary in an ancient land offers the amplest
scope for the highest gifts. It is a career which
may well captivate any young man of spirit,
which will give him the fullest outlet for all
his powers, and which will satisfy his best

There are many such men on the field, men
who would have taken front rank in the home-
service of the Christian Church. One cannot
know the missionaries in any country without
receiving from the majority of them a strong
impression of their patient fidelity, level-headed
caution, and brave unacknowledged devotion.
Men who are as capable as the rest of their
brethren at home — one feels it an impertinence
to give them a character.

They have their own special temptations,
frankly described by Dr Wenyon. They are
their own masters as a rule, far from those to

The Men and their Methods 151

whom they are humanly responsible, and may
grow languorous in hot countries, or masterful
as do many white men living among dusky
races. They, like soldiers long in the field,
are liable to become "stale," weary-hearted
under the unrelieved pressure of hostile, im-
movable paganism — and the way in which this
immovable, contented paganism oppresses the
hearts of sensitive missionaries can scarcely be
conceived by the home-Christian in a religious
environment. Against such perils they have
to brace themselves — none the less although
they have Divine supports and a religious
mission — and the risks attending their depres-
sion should commend them to general sympathy
and be remembered by the intercessors at home.
But, despite all temptations, as a class their
lives are beyond cavil.

Captain Younghusband, the experienced
traveller in the Far East, wrote : " Missionaries
no more than other human beings are free from
mistakes of judgment. But I have before now
publicly testified to the noble and self-sacrificing
work of missionaries which I have seen with
my own eyes in the far interior of China. . . .
The most important and the most far-reaching
work in China is not done by our official repre-
sentatives, nor by our enterprising merchants,
but by that great body of Christian men — and
women too — who are giving their lives to impart

152 The Challenge to Missions

to the Chinese the accumulated knowledge of
the West." 1

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote : " I suppose
I am in the position of many other persons.
I had conceived a great prejudice against
missions in the South Seas, and I had no
sooner come there than that prejudice was at
first reduced, and then at last annihilated.
Those who deblatterate against missions have
only one thing to do, to come and see them
on the spot." They will, he says, see harm
done — " infallibly in all sublunary affairs." But
" they will see a great deal of good done ; they
will see a race being forwarded in many direc-
tions, and I believe, if they be honest persons,
they will cease to complain of mission work
and its effects." The earlier missionaries " broke
the tabus," and generally were too radical and
iconoclastic. The new class "think that it is
best to proceed by little and little, to spare so
far as it is possible native opinions and set
native habits of morality, to seek rather the
point of agreement than the points of differ-
ence." "The true art of the missionary, as
it seems to me — an outsider, the most lay of
laymen, and for that reason, on the old principle
that the bystander sees most of the game,
perhaps more than usually well able to judge
— is to profit by the vast amount of moral

1 Times, 19th Nov. 1901.

The Men and their Methods 153

force reservoired in every race, and to expand
and fit that power to new ideas and to new
possibilities of advancement."

The missionary errs, he thinks — his individual
opinion on this point is at least worth recording
— in looking askance on the white traders, who
are indeed of mixed character, but who, by
more considerate treatment, might be them-
selves made better and might also be raised
up " a brigade of half and half supporters " of
the work. But " those who have a taste for
hearing missions, Protestant or Catholic, decried,
must seek their pleasure elsewhere than in my
pages." ^

Dr Morrison, Miss Kingsley, and other typical
critics speak in like terms.

The bulk of missionaries, however, are above
the need of either testimonial or defence. Their
life and work speak for them. We only quote
these verdicts from outside as a means of satis-
fying readers who discount what the Church
says about the work.

3. On the graver questions of policy and
methods we have " many men many minds."
It would be vain to discuss the educational
policy V. evangelistic policy in India without
intimately knowing the conditions and going
thoroughly into the very serious and difficult
problem — and that is not for these pages. But

1 Life of R. L. Stevenson, ii. 193, and In the South Seas.

154 The Challenge to Missions

apparently native education has been too
scholastic and been carried too far.^

A "century of experiments" has passed,
and some points have become clear.

(i) It is Christianity in its primitive simplicity,
not the theological creeds of the West, that
the missionary has to deliver to the pagan
world. It is but a small "body of divinity"
that he has to carry with him — the body of
Christian essentials. Other races will secrete
their own interpretation of Christ's revelation.
Perhaps the Asiatic will penetrate more deeply
into its mystic meanings than has been possible
for the matter-of-fact European.

(2) The Bible must be set in its proper per-
spective, the Gospels and the Apostolic Epistles
in the forefront as alone indispensable. Ought
those portions of the older Scriptures over
which we ourselves still stumble to be trans-
lated at once, or to be imposed as on the same
level of authority as the Christian documents ?
Some parts of their Old Testament might be
drawn from the higher prophetic and pre-
paratory elements in their own old systems
of religion. Questions of Bible criticism, of
course, are not for them ; but we must so

* On the question in South Africa see Dr Stewart's Experi-
ment of Native Education— hxzs& warnings addressed to Kaffir
students at Lovedale. On the question in India the late Sir
William Wilson Hunter has something to say in The Old

The Men and their Methods 155

represent the Hebrew revelation to the native
Christians that they shall not have to pass
through the crisis of re-adjustment which has
been imposed on us by mistaken teaching in
the past.

(3) Decaying races are not to be neglected
because they may not survive the centuries or
dominate future history. The mission in the
New Hebrides, said Henry Drummond, has
no place in the evolutionary career of man-
kind. " It belongs to the Order of the Good
Samaritan. It is a mission of pure benevo-
lence." Our Lord had compassion, and has
taught us to have compassion, on the waste
and useless lives. And the races that are
likely to vanish need the gospel as much as
single individuals. Yet it must be the supreme
aim of missionary strategy to win those races
that bid fair to shape the history of future

(4) Industrial training, it is felt, must play
a larger part in the scheme of missions than
formerly. To educate raw races in their heads
and not in equal measure in their hands and
eyes — in husbandry and handicrafts — is to dis-
qualify them for the career which most of
them must follow. Habits of industry are
indispensable to their progress, and it is for
lack of such habits that numbers of them come
to grief Lavish Nature has hitherto provided

156 The Challenge to Missions

easily for their needs ; competition and pressure
from white races will enter their arena and
compel them to work. In the direction of
industrial equipment, happily, numbers of mis-
sionary institutions are developing their educa-
tional scheme.

(5) Do not missionaries among half-barbaric
races place too much stress on getting the
people clothed? The "reds" in Africa are
healthier than the " School " natives (who carry
on their back their whole ill-matched outfit,
which when soaked with wet causes illness).
Yet it is in some measure true of Adamic
races, as it was of Adam and Eve, that, when
their eyes are opened to themselves in moral
consciousness, they know themselves naked and
are ashamed. That desire for covering means
a discovery of shame and therefore a new
instinct or finer sense of virtue. At the same
time, numbers of missionaries seem to think
that the natives are not properly Christianised
unless taught the foreigner's habits. This is
not included in the missionary aim.

(6) Policy and methods of work are deter-
mined in many cases when we determine what
is the missionary aim and final object.

Henry Drummond reported : " It is the
deliberate opinion of many who know China
intimately, who are missionaries themselves,
that half the preaching, especially the itiner-

The Men and their Methods 157

ating preaching, carried on throughout the
empire is absolutely useless." A certain
amount of itinerant preaching is imperative,
indeed, and indispensable for pioneering pur-
poses. But it will count for less or more
according to the ruling object which the
missionary has in view.

What is the ruling idea and aim that will
inspire the wisest missionary policy and dictate
the best methods? This question the next
chapter will seek to answer.


The Coming Kingdom



The Coming Kingdom

Was Livingstone right in the ruling object he
had in view, in his missionary ideal? Those
who believe that the end of the present dispen-
sation, with the Second Coming of Christ, is at
hand do not believe in Livingstone's aim, which
may be called " national Christianisation." As
they believe the present world-order is soon to
pass away, their plan of campaign is to " gather
out " from the nations those who are Christ's
" own." We are to preach the Gospel " for a
witness," and, when all have heard it and had
their chance, then cometh the end.

" For a witness " : it would seem as though
the Gospel were to be proclaimed to all " for a
witness " against them, to the end that they
may be without excuse and God may be
technically in the right in condemning them.
Does not this give rather a sinister bearing to
mission work?

This aim determines the whole of their mis-
sionary policy. It is the evangelist's business

1 62 The Challenge to Missions

to rapidly evangelise everywhere, and his modus
operandi is to itinerate. He lays no large
foundations, because his scheme has no great
human future. He addresses himself to the
individual alone, and does not seek to establish
a Christian community-life. Mere " outgather-
ing" is his aim.

Many who labour with this as their sole
object are among the most devoted missionaries,
and they have their own harvest and reward.
They are contributing towards the great issue;
but that issue is larger than they know. And
their aim and methods of working have some
unfortunate effects.

No; the Christian aim is to establish the
entire kingdom of God among all the nations
of the earth. It is to do the whole work of
Christianity in individual hearts and in the
national life. It is to do for Asia, Africa, the
West Indies, and the Pacific Islands everything
and all that Christ has been the means of doing
for our personal and social life — to achieve a
corporate as well as an individual salvation.
Among races now pagan there is to be the
same " outgathering " as there has been among
the Western races. Christ cannot get His own
out of Asia and Africa unless His full kingdom
is broad-based there in the Christian common-
weal. How many of ourselves would have
been "gathered out" from the world if the

The Aim 163

social life and national conditions of our land
had not been Christianised ?

The first work of the missionary is to win
individual converts to the faith and service of
Christ as Saviour and Lord ; and this effort
continues to the end. But, with equal step,
he must endeavour to lay broad foundations for
the social, educational, national, and economic
redemption and elevation of the people to

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