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BAPTISTS IN BURMA 



RANDOLPH L. HOWARD, Associate Foreign Secretary of the 
American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, is a graduate of Shurtleff 
in the Class of 1905. After a term of three years as Greek and Latin 
Master in Broaddus Institute, he entered the Philosophy Department 
of Harvard University, and in 1910 received his A. M. degree. Imme- 
diately thereafter he sailed for Rangoon, Burma, to become Professor 
of Psychology in Judson College. It was the first year of full college 
work in that institution ; the student body was small, and the college 
was struggling for recognition. During the fourteen years of Doctor 
Howard's service at Judson, he saw it grow to become one of the 
outstanding Mission Colleges of India. 

A prominent athlete in his college days, he carried a fine spirit of 
sportsmanship to the playing fields of India, being the director of a 
large and varied athletic program not only in Judson College, but also 
in the three high schools allied with it during almost all of his service 
in Burma. 

In 1920 political unrest in India brought on a disastrous student 
strike in Rangoon. Under the strain of those tense days, President 
Gilmore's health broke, as also did that of his successor, Doctor Kelly, 
after only three months' service. In the spring of 1921, Doctor 
Howard was elected President. The student body was sorely depleted, 
the future was uncertain, yet under his leadership Judson College was 
back to normal attendance within a few months, and showed steady 
growth during the years of his administration. 

An outstanding achievement of that period was the successful carry- 
ing through of negotiations with the Burma Government whereby the 
continuance of Judson as a full college was secured. Doctor Howard 
also brought to definite fruition plans maturing for more than a 
decade whereby a magnificent new site of almost sixty acres was 
secured for Judson, together with a half million dollars pledged from 
Burma sources for buildings. 

During these years, Doctor Howard was Chairman of the Execu- 
tive Committee of the Burma Mission, and a member of the Senate 
of the University of Rangoon. He also served on many important 
committees of the provincial education department. 

In 1924 a break in Mrs. Howard's health compelled a return to 
America, and the slowness of her recovery compelled Doctor Howard 
to present his resignation. He then accepted appointment to the 
Administrative Staff of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society. 
There was at that time still to be secured the half million dollars 
from America needed to meet the pledges obtained in Burma for the 
Judson College buildings. Doctor Howard has been able to do his 
part in bringing that campaign to a successful conclusion. Judson will 
shortly have an exceptionally fine plant easily worth three millions if 
built in America. 

Doctor Howard's present position gives him important responsibili- 
ties in the administration of mission work in India, Burma, China, 
Japan, and the Philippines. 




A MORTON LANE GIRL 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 



By RANDOLPH L. HOWARD 

j\ 



Edited by 

The Department of Missionary Education 

Board of Education of the Northern Baptist Convention 

152 Madison Avenue, New York City 




PHILADELPHIA 

THE JUDSON PRESS 

BOSTON CHICAGO LOS ANGELES 

KANSAS CITY SEATTLE TORONTO 





Copyright, 1 93 1, by 
THE JUDSON PRESS 

Published May, 1931 
Second Printing October, 1931 




PRINTED IN U. S. A. 



1026144 



FOREWORD 

The power of the Christian message to transform a 
pagan country into a Christian commonwealth is nowhere 
more convincingly demonstrated than in the land of 
Burma. From the first day of Judson's arrival until now, 
Burma has been a land of promise. Judson's first little 
flock of nineteen converts has become a Christian com- 
munity of more than one-quarter million. Superstition 
has yielded to education. Churches, schools, hospitals, 
asylums, and philanthropies have conspired to show the 
native enterprise of this land to which we sent our first 
missionaries. 

Burma holds the promise of a new day in her national 
life, and her desire for independent political status is soon 
to be satisfied. The Christian movement in Burma con- 
tinues to be one of significant promise. Mr. Howard, 
with his broad knowledge gained through years of experi- 
ence, makes some interesting predictions on Burma's 
future. 

This book is full of vivid word pictures and panoramic 
descriptions, showing the changing life of this people 
under Christianity's influence. As a reading book, Bap- 
tists in Burma has the charm of a continued story ; as a 
book of inspiration, it looks toward a larger land of 
promise the Christian conquest of the Orient; as a 



FOREWORD 

source-book, it has the value of a compendium of informa- 
tion; as a study-book, it has the teaching quality of a 
trustworthy record. 

In connection with the study of " Christianity and Rural 
Life Around the World," Baptists in Burma demonstrates 
the far-reaching influence of Christianity in a great rural 
State. 

We heartily commend this timely book to the attention 
of adults and young people for missionary reading and 

study. 

WILLIAM A. HILL. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. ADONIRAM JUDSON 1 

The First American Foreign Missionaries The Land 
the Judsons Entered Their Purpose There 
Efforts in Evangelism Some Results Today 
Judson 1931. 

II. VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 14 

How Far Is Burma Vinton Voyages The Barque 
" Cashmere " Frontiers Today Missionary 
Motives: (1) A Vital Experience; (2) The 
Needy World; (3) The Great Commission 
Mission Stations Today. 

III. FOUR ESSENTIALS 27 

Francis Mason's Hobby Essentials of Success : 
I. Mastery of the Language, (1) Its By-Prod- 
ucts; (2) Its Difficulties II. Bible Translation: 
(1) The Burmese Bible in Prison; (2) Reduc- 
ing Languages to Writing III. The Printed 
Page: (1) Burma's Many Translators; (2) 
The Mission Press IV. Trained Colleagues : 
(1) Contrasts in Students and Curriculum; (2) 
Burmese and Karen Seminaries. 

IV. CERTAIN BARRIERS 45 

George Dana Boardman Buddhism a Barrier: (1) 
Its Objects of Worship; (2) A Glimpse of the 
Buddha's Life; (3) The Roads to Nirvana 
(Neibban) ; (4) A Modern Monk The Chris- 
tian Message for Buddhists Love of Mother- 
land a Barrier The "Loyal Karens" Karen 
Traditions and Ko Tha Byu Barriers Breaking 
Today. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PACK 

V. COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 61 

An Early Missionary on Tour Missionary Mortality 
in Arakan The Chronicle of Cocoanut Creek 
The Karen Martyrs Bassein Beginnings A 
Meeting in a Buddhist Monastery "Partner- 
ship not Paternalism" in 1852 Difficulties of 
Self-support Karen Centennial Subscriptions. 

VI. BEYOND MANDALAY 75 

/ ' 

The Kachin Jubilee^-Eugenio Kincaid and Burmese 

Banditti Bibles : Shan and Kachin Thra 
S'Peh: Karen Missionary Animism: A Re- 
ligion of Fear Chins, Shans, Lahus, Was 
Takings, Indians, and Chinese New Needs Con- 
tinually Arise Both Sides of Burma's Border. 

VII. WOMEN'S WORK 91 

Goal and Methods Schools for Girls Coeducation 
The Burmese Woman Medical Work for 
Women The Leper Asylum A Haven in the 
Hills Bible Schools The Missionary's Wife. 

VIII. MEN AND METHODS 108 

A Karen Executive Secretary The Burma Baptist 
Convention The Need for New Missionaries 
Qualifications Required in a Missionary Mis- 
sionary Methods: (1) Teachers, (2) Pastors 
Two Types of Tracts A Veteran's Vision. 

IX. A PROPHECY FULFILLED 126 

The Judson Centennial The Seventeen Years 
Since Among the Burmese Churches Physi- 
cians for the Frontiers Some Local Remedies 
Unmet Medical Needs Waste-basket Surgery 
The Agricultural School Student Gospel Teams. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER *AGE 

X. READJUSTING RELATIONS 140 

Burma's Immigration Problem Burma Is Not India 
Militarism a Major Issue Strategically 
Placed in Asia Transfer of Mission Admin- 
istration Devolution's Difficulties C a p a b 1 e 
Church Leadership Maymyo Bible Assembly 
Burma Soon a New Dominion. 

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 159 

BOOKS ON BURMA 167 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

A Morton Lane Girl Frontispiece 

Map of Burma 3 

Map of Voyages 15 

A Buddhist Monk Opposite 52 

Ko Tha Byu Memorial Hall, Bassein Opposite. 68 

Up the Irrawaddy in 1834 77 

Judson's Own Tract 123 

A Student Gospel-Team Starts Revival in India 

Opposite 136 

Burma's Lion, Guardian of the Pagodas 158 



ADONIRAM JUDSON 

Judson, 1813 

"Just at night" on Tuesday the thirteenth of July, 
1813, Adoniram Judson stood in the "Water Gate" of 
Rangoon. His was a solitary figure. For loneliness it can 
hardly be equalled in the history of any great cause. He 
and Ann Hasseltine, his wife, must that day decide a ques- 
tion, most vital not merely to themselves but to American 
Baptists as well. Behind him some sixty feet of slimy 
mud bank fell away to a broad bend of the Rangoon River. 
In this spacious harbor there rode at anchor the sailing 
ship which had just brought them to Burma. Before him 
stood a stockade, and through the gate he glimpsed a city, 
a sprawling mass of thatch-roofed huts. Each was set 
high on stilts out of harm's way when the tides belched 
forth filthy water from the intersecting creeks. Formerly 
a much fairer city, fire and misgovernment had reduced it 
from thirty to perhaps eight thousand people. As the sun, 
up river, dropped below the horizon Judson must have 
heard the squealing " meager swine " as they, the day shift 
of scavengers, turned over their duties to the howling 
packs of pariah dogs soon to make the night hideous. The 
first sight of the city was not pleasant for a prospective 
resident. William Carey back in Calcutta had warned him. 
His son Felix and his associates had undergone sore trials 
there. This warning had caused Judson to regard Ran- 

[1] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

goon with a feeling of " horror." Evidently half the 
horrors had not been told. Could they, even as his wife 
hoped, be " instrumental in removing some of the rubbish 
and preparing the way for others " ? Could they succeed 
where the English brethren had failed? Felix Carey, he 
found, had been summoned to the king's court at distant 
Ava. There was little likelihood of his return to mission 
work. No visible evidence of the five English Baptists 
remained save the mission residence and the grave of 
Mr. Brian. 

Too, the Judsons had no assured financial support. 
Study of the Scripture during the seventeen weeks from 
Boston to Calcutta had convinced them that theirs was not 
" believers' baptism." After baptism by immersion in the 
Lai Bazar Chapel in Calcutta, there had gone that letter 
to the American Board. Their connections with the Con- 
gregationalists with " everything to allure," had been 
severed. Could and would American Baptists assume 
their support? Lake Champlain had hitherto been the 
utmost limits of the missionary endeavor of Boston Bap- 
tists. The " ladies in Harvard " must increase their con- 
tribution of $4.87 if even his salary of $666.66 was to 
be met. 

As the deep curtain of tropical night closed suddenly 
about him Judson turned back to board the Georgiana, 
there to face the severest test of all. Under a simple 
canvas shelter on the deck of that miserable craft lay Ann 
Hasseltine. She had faced death during the twenty-two 
tempestuous days from Madras. Rangoon offered neither 
medical attention nor congenial companionship. Mrs. Felix 
Carey might read both Burmese and Portuguese, but she 
could speak no English. Mrs. Newell, companion of the 

[2] 



BAY OF 
BENGAL 




BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

voyage to Calcutta, lay buried on the Isle of France. Had 
he any right to risk Ann's health further? Modern wis- 
dom would have warned him not to set foot on shore. Yet 
the next day " Mrs. Judson, still too weak to walk, was 
carried into town/' The die was cast. American Baptist 
foreign missions had that day their beginning in Burma. 

Burma 

Burma is a sort of blind alley. It is easy of approach 
only by sea. The most easterly of India's provinces, it is 
also much the largest. Lying beyond the Bay of Bengal, 
that wide sea is two-fifths of its boundary. The other, 
three-fifths are formed by a series of mountain ranges. It 
is 1,200 miles in length. Victoria Point, the most southerly 
extremity, touches Malaysia. It reaches far north to the 
apex of the Triangle where Tibet and China meet. The 
total area of Burma is about that of the eleven States 
north of the Ohio and east of the Wabash Rivers. The 
long coast-line has great stretches of mud-flats and sand- 
banks. These make it unapproachable for ships of any 
size except where the main streams keep a channel open. 
In many places are belts of mangroves in the soft mud. 
They are so often inundated at high tide that oysters live 
on the trees. At the far south are clusters of islands as 
picturesque as any in the Inland Sea of Japan. 

Burma may be divided from a physical point of view 
into three parts. The western includes Arakan along the 
Bay of Bengal and the Chin and Kachin Hills. The 
eastern is the Shan States, Karenni and the Province of 
Tenasserim. The central includes the Irrawaddy basin, 
a dry zone about and below Mandalay covered largely with 
scrub jungle, and the Irrawaddy delta extending back 

[4] 



ADONIRAM JUDSON 

up as far as Prome. This last is one of the rich garden 
spots of the world. 

Mountains and Rivers 

The mountains which wall in Burma on three sides begin 
back up in Tibet on the roof of the world. They extend 
in the form of a pitchfork with the basin of the Irrawaddy 
between the two prongs. One prong forms the eastern 
frontier. The other is the Yomas, separating Arakan 
from the rest of Burma. Some of these mountains are 
eleven thousand feet above sea-level. Many of them are 
covered with almost impenetrable forests. The chief river 
is the Irrawaddy. It is one of the most noble rivers in 
Asia. Its upper defiles are magnificent. Below Mandalay 
there is much flat and uninteresting country, but from 
Prome on, it intersects the delta with its many mouths. 
Here the beauty of its tree-covered banks is indescribable. 
It is the Irrawaddy which first greets the traveler to Burma 
by its yellow silt far out at sea. 

The Salween is the second of the rivers in point of size. 
It, too, rises in the far north and, hemmed in by mountains, 
rushes to the sea through deep gorges. These are but two 
of Burma's large rivers. The Irrawaddy is preeminent 
because it is navigable for nine hundred miles. 

Climate 

The valleys of Burma have three seasons, the cool and 
dry weather, the hot weather, and the rains. These run 
into each other so that it is often hard to separate them. 
There is no question about the hot season, nor can one 
doubt the existence of the rains. Sandoway in a half 
year has 250 inches. It is sometimes a source of argument 

B [5] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

as to whether any cool season exists. Some years seemed 
divided into two seasons, the dry and the wet, both hot. 
From late May to the middle of October there is seldom 
a day without a downpour. It rarely rains during the 
remainder of the year. Humidity is almost always high. 
One seldom wishes to wear any but the lightest clothing. 
There is never a killing frost. Microbes multiply without 
let or hindrance. 

Birds and Beasts 

Space does not permit the mention of many of the birds 
and beasts. There are the white-browed gibbon of the 
north and the white-handed gibbon of the south. There 
are the little mouse-deer and the mighty elephant. Then 
there are the reptiles. On the very first night in Rangoon 
we were disturbed by a large snake chasing rats in the 
attic of the old bungalow. We were entertained by little 
lizards, the size of your finger, catching the insects on the 
ceiling. Almost all that one may imagine of tropical wild 
life is found in Burma. 

Minerals 

Burma has hardly the wondrous wealth early voyagers 
imagined. Still it is fairly rich in minerals. Gold and 
silver are found in the hills in the northeast. Mandalay 
has marble quarries. Mogok supplies the world with 
rubies. Jade and amber come from beyond Bhamo. Oil- 
derricks thickly dot the banks of the Irrawaddy half-way 
between Rangoon and Mandalay. It is not on minerals, 
however, but on the rice crop that most people depend. 
The soil with little care gives a fair yield. Just burn off 
last year's stubble, and it fertilizes sufficiently to assure a 

[6] 



ADONIRAM JUDSON 

crop. This was enough for a comfortable living, as long 
as Burma's rice was in world-wide demand. 

Burma's Chief Gateway 

Eighty miles of muddy water greet the traveler to 
Burma before he passes Elephant Point and enters the 
mouth of the Rangoon River. It is twenty-one miles 
up this stream that the capital of the province is situated. 
To Rangoon's great wharves come many ocean steamers. 
To these wharves also come a large fleet of Irrawaddy 
Flotilla steamers. These ply the delta's many streams and 
also go up country as far as Bhamo. For miles above 
Monkey Point the Rangoon River is over a mile wide. 
It offers an ample harbor for shipping even at the height 
of the rice season. But before we survey Baptist mission 
work in Burma's chief city, let us have a further glimpse 
at the pioneers. 

The Missionary Purpose 

/ 
More than three years were to pass, it was 1816, before 

any recruits arrived from America to help the Judsons. 
There were even then but two, George and Phoebe Hough. 
Mr. Hough was a printer. Certain articles of agreement 
were drawn up by Judson, the eminent translator of the 
Burmese Bible, and Hough, the first to print its pages 
on Burmese soil. These reveal the propelling purpose of 
their hazardous enterprise. Their " sole object on earth," 
they declare, " is to introduce the religion of Jesus Christ 
into the empire of Burmah." The story of their accom- 
plishments as translator and printer is to be told later. 
Adoniram Judson must be seen first in the role in which 
he is preeminent, that of a winner of men to his Master, 

[7] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

To him the printed word was essential. The spoken 
word was, however, the major means of attaining their 
objective. In both these ways few if any have displayed 
a patient persistence equal to Judson's. He pressed on 
in the face of seemingly insuperable obstacles. Settled 
among a people utterly untouched of Christ, he won them 
by the simple fragrance of his life and message. 

First Converts 

No more inspiring chapter is found in all the annals of 
American efforts to carry Christ across the seas than 
that of Judson's winning that first handful of converts 
in Rangoon. Run through the record of the first nineteen 
converts. Ann Hasseltine was carried through curious 
throngs on July 14, 1813. The nineteenth member was 
welcomed into the Rangoon Church on July 21, 1822. 
Nine soul-trying years! Almost four years passed be- 
fore there was even the mention of an inquirer. No con- 
gregation gathered in the zayat, the little open preaching- 
shed beside Pagoda Road, till a Sunday morning in April 
of 1819. Thousands had passed along that wide festival 
thoroughfare to the great golden Shwe Dagon pagoda, but 
never before had more than three or four lingered to 
listen. It was that same April that the first convert, 
Maung Nau, came to the zayat. A vivid picture is painted 
of the baptism of this humble disciple three months later. 

The more one studies the winning of that first nineteen 
the more one's admiration mounts. Piece together a para- 
graph here, a sentence there, and one finds what might 
well be called a case history of each. Judson, the physician 
of souls, emerges. As he threads the maze of an Oriental 
tongue his technique develops. First one possible ap- 

[8] 



ADONIRAM JUDSON 

proach is tested, then another. The effect of each phrase, 
each act, is watched with intense anxiety. Like a physician 
fascinated by a new and as yet unconquered tropical dis- 
ease, every symptom is observed with anxious attention. 
Now he fears that his remedies are too drastic and that he 
has driven the inquirer away. Then again hope mounts 
high, for some word seems to have gripped the heart. His 
quiet persistence and infinite care never falter till the fight 
is won, a soul is saved. Outstanding among those first 
few is Maung Shwa Gnong. Entries culled from the 
pages of the Judson manuscripts give the case history of 
"the teacher," as Judson continually calls him. With 
each succeeding entry, admiration increases for America's 
first foreign missionary. It required eleven months of 
effort before the teacher was finally won. 

The name of Maung Shwa Gnong should be placed with 
that of Judson on that " monument," the Burmese Bible, 
for it is impossible to see how that tremendous translation 
task could ever have been accomplished without his able 
assistance. 

Converts Today 

Judson's first nineteen converts called for nine years of 
heroic labor. For a striking contrast take the same nine 
years a century later : the years of 1913-1922 saw 33,350 
brought into the membership of Baptist churches in Burma, 
while the census of this latter date gives a Christian con* 
munity of nearly 260,000. 

The one little Baptist church in 1822 has become in 
1931 some 1,320 churches scattered far and wide, "in- 
troducing the religion of Jesus Christ " among the races 
of Burma hitherto " destitute of pure gospel light." Burma 

[9] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

is a land of many tongues. The Burmese, by far the 
largest group, dominate the valleys. In the hills, spilling 
down into the valleys, are many other races. The call of 
such sturdy mountain men as the Karens, the Chins, and 
the Kachins are chapters in themselves. These lines of 
lesser resistance have been followed until the Karen Chris- 
tians alone form a community of 179,000, and Christ is 
winning the hearts of Chins and Kachins in a way that 
gives real promise of those groups being brought almost 
bodily into the Kingdom. Among the Burmans, however, 
the race for which Judson and a great group of the world's 
finest missionaries have given themselves, is found a 
Christian community of only sixteen thousand. Yet the 
Burmese are well over nine of the thirteen million people 
of the province. These people, immersed in Buddhism, 
still need more " physicians of the soul " with the devo- 
tion of the Judsons to win them one by one to Christ. 
They do not come by villages or families. There are no 
mass movements as in India. There is a challenge to 
American Baptists today in the consecration of the mem- 
bers of her first expeditionary force overseas. 

Judson, 1931 

To Burma have come men of all races. On Rangoon's 
crowded thoroughfares may be found Chinese, Japanese, 
Malays, Siamese, natives of India of all the three score 
and ten varieties, together with Armenians, Jews, English, 
French, Germans, Italians, Greeks, and all the European 
nationalities. Mingled with these throngs of foreigners 
are the native races Burmese, Talaings, Shans, and 
Karens. For any one who would study facial types, let 
him stand near the Sule Pagoda. It forms an island in 

[10] 



ADONIRAM JUDSON 

Rangoon's finest street. Around its base there swirls 
within the hour the world's most varied mixture of man- 
kind. The different tongues have compelled a certain 
diversification of mission work. This is true to a degree 
in many parts of Burma. It is peculiarly so in Rangoon. 
Take then a hasty survey of Burma's capital and chief 
city. It is the main center of Baptist activity in Burma. 
It is also the largest center of Northern Baptist foreign 
missions found anywhere in the world. 

On Merchant Street is the Mission Press ; a block away 
facing Fytche Square is Immanuel Baptist Church; a 
couple of blocks east on Dalhousie Street stands the Union 
Hall School for immigrant Indians. Leaving the center 
of the city, out beyond Soratee Bazar is Lanmadaw. This 
" royal highway " church and school are direct descendants 
of Judson's first little flock. Some of Rangoon's finest folk 
are found in the church and on the staff of the school. 
But one cannot fail to feel a bit of shame at the buildings. 
Let us hurry on out Commissioner Road to where it be- 
comes Lower Kemmendine Road. There is the old Judson 
College campus. The removal of Judson College leaves 
adequate room for the three allied schools which remain. 
Gushing High School is the mother of them all, including 
Judson College. The Normal School has trained many 
teachers from all over Burma. The English High School 
is for the Euro-Burmans, as the Anglo-Indians of Burma 
now call themselves. Swinging free of the city, we go 
out Mission Road into a residential suburb. Here is a 
great beehive of Baptist activity. It has seven mission 
bungalows, a missionary " rest-house," and many other 
buildings. The Burmese work there has two bungalows, 
one for the women missionary evangelists, and one for the 

[11] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

evangelistic family for the Rangoon field. Together with 
these are the Lanmadaw parsonage and the Fredrickson 
Memorial for Burmese Bible Women. For the Karens 
there are likewise two bungalows, together with the Bray- 
ton Memorial, the building of the Bible School for Karen 
Women, and Pegu Karen High School a fine group of 
buildings centering in the Vinton Memorial. Still our 
survey is not ended. A couple of miles west, beyond the 
idol-carvers' quarter, is Kemmendine Girls School, minis- 
tering to all races. Then, last" but not least, a mile or 
more farther west on .the Victoria Lakes is Judson College. 
To all these institutions we must return before we leave 
Burma. Let us pause just a moment more at the college. 
The new fifty-four-acre site is beginning to give promise 
of rare charm and beauty. The new buildings are almost 
completed. The foundations are laid for the $100,000 
chapel. One-half the cost of the twenty-five buildings has 
come from Burma, the other half from America. Though 
the> money for these has come in the last few years, they 
may be looked upon as the fruit of Adoniram Judson's 
own labors. The Judson Fund, through which most of 
the American money came, caught its chief inspiration 
from a desire to perpetuate this College, a memorial to 
the great missionary. In like manner the gift of the 
churches of Burma, covering one-half the cost of the 
chapel, was a thank-offering for the one who might well 
be considered their founder. Yet there is another, a pecu- 
liar sense, in which Judson's own hands might be said to 
have laid brick^on brick as these buildings took form and 
comeliness. Sixty per cent, of America's share in faculty 
houses, classrooms, and dormitories, and all its share in 
the chapel came from a single benefactor. The usual 

[12] 



ADONIRAM JUDSON 

channels to Baptists' largest giver had closed. Then the 
hand of the Master himself seemed to touch the strings 
of memory. Many years ago when Adoniram Judson 
was on furlough, a mother had taken her son to meet the 
great missionary. The memory of that sainted mother and 
of the touch of Judson's hand worn with suffering for 
Christ in Burma, brought an eager offer to meet the entire 
balance of the cost. And more, there was added a chal- 
lenge to Burma Baptists. Dollar for dollar would be 
given toward the proposed chapel. So Judson's own hand 
touched a heart, and the continuance of Judson College 
was assured. 

In 1813 Adoniram Judson found in Rangoon only one 
rude mission house and a missionary's grave. Today in the 
same city he would find a tremendous center of activity 
and a college which worthily bears his honored name. 

[NOTE. " Questions for Discussion," p. 159.] 



[13] 



II 

VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 

Kitna dur haif " How far is it? " was the first phrase 
learned by the writer when on a hike in Hindustan. 
That question mastered, a search began for "yards," 
"rods," "miles," that the answer to it might be under- 
stood. Disgust ensued, for there were no words for 
linear measurement in the Handy Manual for Beginners 
in Hindustani. Just for practise sake, however, he tried 
Bhimpore kitna dur haif " How far is it to Bhimpore ? " 
on the next person met. The reply was a profound 
salaam, a pointing to the third quarter of the heavens, 
and an Uster may, Sahib that is, the arrival at Bhimpore 
will be when the sun reaches " Over there, sir." 

After all, the reply to Burma kitna dur haif is more 
accurate in terms of time than in the miles which place 
it just half-way round the world from America. The 
schedule for 1931 for most missionaries is six weeks 
from New York to Rangoon via London or Liverpool, 
though it is possible to make it. a week less by crossing 
France by rail. If a traveler does not mind the high cost 
he can cover the distance in twenty days provided he takes 
the British Air Mail in its seven days series of " hops " 
from Croydon, England, to Karachi in Northwest India. 

Vinton Voyages 

Leslie Mae Seagrave, great-great-granddaughter of the 
first Vinton, may find it possible (see map) by 1944 to 

[14] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

return to Burma by airplane in fifteen days. Her grand- 
mother, Alice Vinton Seagrave, has made various voy- 
ages by steamer via the Suez Canal in six weeks. Justus 
Hatch Vinton himself, the head of the distinguished 
Burma branch of that well-known family, made his first 
voyage by sailing ship. Of this trip a very different tale 
is told both as to time and also as to the trials of travel. 
May we then take a few bits from the log of the Cash- 
mere and get a picture all too typical of travel conditions 
a century ago. The Cashmere made the first direct mis- 
sionary journey Boston to Burma, by the Cape of Good 
Hope. She was an old-fashioned barque hewn from the 
Maine forests by farmers, of " ship rig, with a square 
stern, a billet head, two decks, and three masts." The 
passenger list consisted of sixteen missionaries, among 
them Jonathan Wade, chief chronicler of the voyage, and 
Justus Hatch Vinton, preeminent in the unbroken service 
record of his family through almost a century; 1931 finds 
the Vintons represented not only in Rangoon but also in 
Moulmein and Namkham. Delve then into the old records 
(those yellow pages of the days when all s's were f 's, and 
where a writer describing the missionary convention as 
a " beautiful sight," has by his typography made it, for 
modern eyes, a " beautiful fight "), find there the account 
of their historic trip to Burma as sent home for publica- 
tion and signed by the seven missionary men of that 
party. It is full of descriptions of study, of "religious 
exercises," of monthly " concerts of prayer," of members 
of the crew " forgiven and accepted by the Saviour," and 
it closes with the statement that those days on shipboard 
had been the " happiest portion of our lives thus far." To 
all appearances, sea travel was simple in 1834. 

[16] 



VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 

The searcher was not satisfied that this report told the 
whole story. Calista Vinton says her father was seasick 
for six weeks. That certainly is not the time for the ad- 
jective " happiest." A further investigation into the files 
found -certain old letters of a century ago. Among them 
was a journal a report not intended for publication. It 
begins in November, 1834, and is signed " J. Wade." In 
this document there is " confided to the disposal " of the 
Foreign Secretary some interesting items regarding those 
one hundred and fifty-seven days on the high seas. 

The Cashmere Voyage in 1834 

When the first entry is made, after four months and a 
half at sea, fresh provisions have become a matter of 
major importance and Jonathan Wade records : 

You know I made an effort to get the live stock increased, and 
the result was the addition of six pigs. It was thought by you that 
the supply would give us fresh meat two days in the week all the 
passage. I did not expect this, nor have we realized it. We 
have had but ond meal of fowls during the voyage (the rest of the 
fowls were cooked occasionally for the sick). When a sheep 
was killed, it afforded us a single meal in a week, that is a fresh 
dinner on Sunday. When we had a pig, it would furnish a meal 
also for Monday. But ten of the pigs died, and why? Because 
they were put in a pen far too small for the number. Eighteen 
pigs were put in a pen five feet six inches in length and four feet 
six inches in breadth, and nearly half of that room was taken 
up by the bow of the long boat. They absolutely had not room 
to stand, much less to lie down, and the consequence was they 
died off until they were reduced in number proportionately to the 
size of the place in which they were confined. 

Lack of fresh meat was somewhat made up by plenty of 
fresh bread made of flour or meal. 

[17] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

We have had no cheese for many weeks and no ham. Out of the 
five hundred pounds of ham put up we have only had a little 
for breakfast, not more than thirty times, I should say, during 
the voyage. There has been great waste on it on account of 
its being so fat, also that the mice got in and devoured much of it 
November 24: All of our stock is now gone except one old 
chick. Sugar and molasses are running very low. The last barrel 
of flour has been broached. We were forbidden fresh water 
for washing our teeth, but the next day the Lord opened the 
windows of heaven and poured out such a supply that we have 
not been reduced to that extremity since. 

A great source of distress for those deeply devout folk 
was the rude, irreligious attitude of certain members of 
the crew, particularly the supercargo and the clerk. These 
two, becoming " inflamed with wine," took to ridiculing 

sacred things, getting up the dog or cat and talking to them 
about religion in a way that would show how much contempt they 
felt for the suggestions which had been offered to them to induce 
them to think of their souls. One evening they got into a high 
strain of ridicule on the words, " While Shepherds Watched Their 
Flocks by Night," turning the words into lasciviousness, drinking 
toasts to the missionaries either collectively or individually, de- 
nominating them by the term of brother or sister with the addition 
of some remark to give a point to the toast, or following it with 
an attempt to sing some song, though I feel thankful neither of 
them are singers. 

Such incidents might seem humorous but for the 
thought of the more than twenty-two weeks in those ex- 
ceedingly cramped quarters. The vessel was a small one. 
The Port of Boston Certificate of Registry, No. 194, 
describes it as having "length 115 feet 3 inches, breadth 
27 feet 8 inches, depth 13 feet 3 inches, and tonnage 
397-46/95 tons." To the sixteen missionaries confined 

[18] 



VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 

in space so limited, these daily annoyances must have at 
times been irritating almost beyond endurance. 

By December 3 the lack of vegetables and fruit was be- 
ginning to have most serious consequences; the record 
reads : 

Still at sea and our circumstances are becoming truly alarming. 
Four of the men are laid by with the scurvy, and the disease is 
making sweeping work. Some others of the men are scarcely able 
to keep up. Our cook is among the number of those laid by. 
The steward is complaining of the symptoms of the incipient stage 
of the disease, so are three of the officers (though they are 
ashamed to own the fact) and the greater part or at least half of 
the passengers are in the same state, some of whom have been 
complaining for the last two or three weeks. 

December 4: Had what I should call a mutiny on board this 
morning. The captain laid violent hands on one of the men. He 
resisted, and the captain called the officers, and the men called the 
crew. The passengers now left the deck. It was a scene of great 
anxiety, but there was no further violence. We are entirely 
out of sugar and have broached the last cask of water. 

Already forty days late, no one knew whether the breeze 
would hold ; if it did they should reach Burma soon, if not 
the crew would soon be helpless. All faced death. Then 
December 6 brings the joyful entry, in a hand already 
grown stronger : " Today arrived at Amherst." The jour- 
ney ended, its hardships forgotten, it soon became "the 
happiest portion of their lives so far." 

Frontier Stations Today 

"How far is Burma?" For Vinton and Wade the 
answer is 157 days full of the things that try men's souls. 
Justus Vinton and Jonathan Wade accepted Christ's word 
" uttermost " as an absolute imperative. Few have gone 

[19] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

farther, in days and weeks, for anything than they did 
for Christ. Yet even today long, time-consuming journeys 
are by no means eliminated. Howard Malcolm in his 
Travels in 1836 took three weeks from Rangoon to Ava, 
near Mandalay. That journey can now be made in great 
comfort between noon of one day and six in the morning 
of the next. Yet there are still stations which may be 
truly said to be on the frontier Haka and Namkham 
each about a week from Rangoon and still involving slow 
and tiresome transport. Kengtung, till 1914, was as far 
from Rangoon by travel time as New York. It now 
takes almost half that time. Sandoway and Tavoy are 
still isolated towns inaccessible by rail. Contact of mis- 
sionary with missionary is difficult. Some have even to- 
day a real taste of that loneliness that would have driven 
mad less courageous souls than those of a century ago. 

Missionary Motives: 1. A Vital Experience 

What could possibly have induced men to go so far and 
endure so much as did those pioneers ? Why do able men 
and women today follow in their train? Motives are dif- 
ficult to know of a certainty. Common judgment would 
certainly discover radical differences in dynamic between 
1813 and 1931. Without question the main theme of 
today's message is more that all mankind may have the 
" fruits of belief " than that they may secure the means of 
escape from the " fruits of unbelief." Yet the perusal 
of old letters and a reading of present-day missionary 
candidate papers will carry the conviction that the com- 
pelling motives back of the missionary movement have 
not radically changed through a dozen decades. Modern 
youth is much more likely to find himself tangled in a 

[20] 



VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 

maze of new phrases. He finds it difficult to state in 
" rational " terms why he wishes to answer the call of the 
East. The youth of a century ago, on the other hand, 
slipped on, as it were, a garment which his professors had 
already cut for him. Finding satisfying phrasing was 
much simpler, therefore, then than today. The marvel 
of the humble South Indian outcastes being manifestly 
gripped by Christ is often the subject of comment. It 
would seem the much more marvelous thing that Christ 
can find his way through the mass of knowledge with 
which modern youth is overwhelmed and secure a like 
manifest control of his life. In most colleges during the 
greater part of the first century of the American For- 
eign Mission enterprise, the ministerial student followed 
a very limited curriculum to attain a quite adequate grasp 
of the main outlines of human knowledge. The prospec- 
tive theolog today dips into a dozen fields of knowledge 
any one of which might well take a lifetime to master. 
He proceeds just far enough to be crammed with queries. 
The wonder is, that the Light does penetrate through this 
mass of ideas much undigested, that Christ does grip 
college men and women with a compelling experience and 
send them out to the uttermost parts of the world. With- 
out question the first great motive impelling both nine- 
teenth and twentieth century missionaries is such a vital 
experience of the power of Jesus Christ. 

Missionary Motives: 2. The Needy World 

Second of the main motives is the call of a needy world. 
It is, one may fairly believe, a misapprehension as to this 
need that makes modern youth hesitate before the definite 
answer, " I will go, send me." We, today, know vastly 

c [21] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

more of foreign lands than was true in the time of Judson. 
Yet the very mass of the knowledge tends to prevent a 
real grasp of the whole truth. The modern college youth 
sees in his University " Cosmopolitan Club " a group of 
young people from foreign lands of exceptional ability 
and promise. There is not so often the realization that 
these are only a selected few. They are tremendous in 
potential power for molding the future of their father- 
lands. But they are such a small minority as to face 
grave danger that their flaming idealism may be smoth- 
ered under the great mass of age-old lethargy. They 
all too often find themselves upon return separated by 
a great gulf from the vast bulk of their countrymen. In 
the task of bridging this gulf, they warmly welcome assis- 
tance from America. U San Ba, Burma's voice in A Call 
for Colleagues (1929), cries, "Come over here to wear 
out your life and to lose yourself among the people, and 
you will be rewarded in seeing yourself built up in the 
nations that are being born." East and West are now 
working shoulder to shoulder to solve some of the great 
and appalling problems. In this joint task there is no 
place for self-superiority. There is not, and must not be, 
however, any lessening in the sense of the superiority 
of the Message. Only that can empower one to "lose 
himself." 

Missionary Motives: 3. The Great Commission 

Third among the main motives should be placed the 
command of Christ. Here it may be said is the greatest 
contrast between " the chosen few " of old and the larger 
group of today. " Commands today are not the mode and 
will simply cause rebellion." One must, it is urged, reason 

[22] 



VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 

with modern youth. Yet any student of psychology knows 
that a word whispered at the right moment can win as 
immediate action as the command, more or less stentorian, 
of our grandfathers. Christ's " Go ye " may then have 
thundered from heaven ; today it more often is a " still 
small voice." It still wins quick and whole-souled action. 
" Loyalty to God and Christ, love to man, the tremen- 
dous want constrain us " today. They have constrained 
men from the days of the apostle Paul down. They make 
foreign missions " the most Christian aspect of the Chris- 
tian program." It in a peculiar sense above all other parts 
of that program demands unselfishness. One would not 
for a moment deny this statement so far as Judson was 
concerned. One could not have much of self-interest left 
in his system after a thirty-two year " first term of ser- 
vice " in the Burma of his day. To see those who " follow 
in his train " today sail on a trans-Atlantic liner may make 
it seem an attractive adventure. And yet sometimes one 
wonders whether these days which distinctly demand that 
the missionary shall " decrease " while the Nationals " in- 
crease " are not more than ever exacting in unselfishness. 
It is much easier to head an enterprise able to act and to 
command action than to be a partner giving oneself mainly 
to making oneself dispensable. The great granddaughter 
of Justus H. Vinton, Rachel Seagrave, who heads the 
splendid Karen High School in Rangoon, has in many 
ways a much more difficult task than did the distinguished 
pioneer. Motives must be of the highest, the mandate of 
the Master must be supreme if the modern foreign mis- 
sionary is to continue long his task. Yet how superb the 
task, how marvelous the opportunity, if one but knows 
Christ and can bring men to him. 

[23] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 



Burma 9 s Mission Stations 

These motives have sent Baptist missionaries into many 
parts of Burma. The wide variety of races, languages, 
and dialects has made their work exceedingly complex. 
Let us make an aerial survey, seeing the stations and some 
of this complexity. Taking off from Calcutta we swing 
due east across the many mouths of the Ganges River. 
Just across the border of Burma, high up in the Chin 
Hills are Haka and Tiddin. As we turn to the south 
down the Arakan Yomas, every valley of this western 
backbone of Burma adds Chins with a different dialect. 
It is three hundred miles, however, before we see off at 
the left on the west bank of the Irrawaddy our next Chin 
station, Thayetmyo. Some eighty miles southwest of 
Thayetmyo is Sandoway. That sounds near, but these 
two towns are separated by one of the wildest stretches of 
almost impenetrable jungle one may find anywhere. The 
Sandoway churches are mostly Chin, but there are multi- 
tudes of unreached Burmans. We drop down from our 
heights into the valley on the east and wing our way 
across the tip of the Irrawaddy Delta. Here are Bassein, 
Maubin, and Pyapon. All three minister to both Burmans 
and Karens. The delta is dotted with their villages. 
Striking out across the Gulf of Martaban and pointing our 
craft southeast by east we soon sight the beautiful beach 
at Maungmagon and a bit beyond it on the river, Tavoy. 
Here is some of our oldest work, both Burmese and Karen. 
As we come back north along the coast-line we see Moul- 
mein. This city has churches for Burmese, Karens, 
Talaings, Indians, and Anglo-Indians. Separate schools 
for each of these races except the Takings have been 

[24] 



VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 

necessary. Before the British captured Rangoon this 
was the great center for Baptist work. Great things are 
still being done there. But haste is necessary. To the 
northwest is Pegu in the midst of rice-fields, dotted with 
hundreds of Burmese villages. Up the Sittang River 
valley are Nyaunglebin and Shwegyin; these together 
with Toungoo reach back up into the hills to the east to 
help the Karens. The Burmese folk of this area are 
divided between Pegu and Toungoo for their shepherding. 
One only needs to note the number of villages with Bud- 
dhist monasteries to realize how overwhelming is their 
task. One more station is on the Sittang, Pyinmana. It 
has an agricultural school which is also an evangelizing 
agency. Turn now sharply east up into some of Burma's 
most beautiful hills. Here and there you see the steeples 
of Karen Baptist churches. Sixty miles brings us to 
Loikaw, the only station in Karenni, the red Karen coun- 
try. In these steep hills live also the long-necked Pa- 
daungs. Thirty pounds of brass make their striking neck 
adornment .which is ten inches high. The Shan States are 
just north of us now. There are stations at Mongnai and 
Taunggyi, with Kengtung far to the east and Namkham 
far to the north. The swift-flowing Salween River is our 
guiding line between the two. On these hills and high 
plateaus are found four races, the Shans, Taungthus, 
Lakus, and Was, From these last have been the greater 
ingatherings. Work for them extends to Bana and Meng 
Meng beyond Burma's border. At Namkham we come 
into the Kachin country. Bhamo to the northwest and 
Myitkyina north of it are also stations for Kachins. Our 
later visit to this country will be one of our most inter- 
esting. 

[25] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

From Myitkyina we drop rapidly down the defiles of the 
Irrawaddy. Bhamo is again sighted, then far to the south 
we see Mandalay and its sister city, Sagaing. Nor must 
we forget high in the hills to the east, the summer capital, 
Maymyo. It is the center of activity for a group of mis- 
sionaries and a place of escape from the heat of the plains 
for many more. Swinging on a detour through the dry 
belt we pass Meiktila, back to the river again and we are 
over Myingyan. Far below it Prome is passed. All 
these six are Burmese stations. Myingyan High School 
and evangelistic work are entirely in charge of Burmese 
Baptists. Below Prome in the rich and densely populated 
delta, before we descend onto the Maidan at Rangoon, we 
have four stations. These are Henzada with outstanding 
work for both Burmans and Karens. Thonze and near-by 
Tharrawaddy are closely linked, the same praise must be 
meted out to them. Last of all we pass over Insein. 
The Burmese Women's Bible School and the two semi- 
naries, Burmese and Karen, mark it as a center of first 
importance. 

Many of these places will see us again. Each and every 
one has a story worth telling. One impression, at least 
must not be forgotten. Within Burma's boundaries, due 
to racial differences, are at least nine different missions. 
In literature, in training of leaders, and in adequate care 
for the work, this has increased the complexity of the task 
far more than ninefold. 



[26] 



HI 

FOUR ESSENTIALS 

Francis Mason's Hobby 

By-products of Bible translation sometimes startle. At 
the same time they indicate the magnitude of the task. 
For example : 

Burmah: Its People and Natural Productions, with 
Systematic Catalogues of the Known Mammals, 
Birds, Fish, Reptiles, Insects, Mollusks, Crustaceans, 
Annelids, Radiates, Plants, and Minerals with Ver- 
nacular Names. By Rev. F. Mason 

This octavo volume of 913 pages " owes its origin to the 
wants experienced" by the translator of the Bible into 
Sgaw Karen. There are " between seven and eight hun- 
dred names of natural productions " in the Old and New 
Testaments. The author thought, " How much more lucid 
and interesting will appear the Book of God if these terms 
be rightly translated." So the collection of notes became 
a hobby. Often, "to forget weariness when traveling, 
when it had been necessary to bivouac in the jungles, 
while the Karens have been seeking fuel for their night 
fires or angling for their suppers in the streams," the 
author " occupied himself with analyzing the flowers or 
examining the fish or an occasional reptile, insect, or bird 
that attracted attention." These notes he codified into a 
book, still an authority. 

All this was just an incident in the labors of that rare 

[27] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

linguistic genius, Francis Mason, one of many missionaries 
who have striven to untangle the varied tongues found in 
Burma. 

Essentials of Success: 1. A Mastery of the Mother 
Tongue 

Adoniram and Ann Hasseltine Judson are, of course, 
America's trail-blazers in the learning of an Asiatic tongue 
for the purpose of preaching Christ. The Judson journals 
draw a vivid picture of this " first formidable " undertak- 
ing of the missionary. The acquiring, as adults, of an 
Oriental tongue is a terrific task for most foreigners. 
They have passed the age for easily twisting their tongues 
about new tones unknown in English. Too, the work for 
which the missionary has come cries for action. Many a 
missionary today goes to a field with a large Christian com- 
munity still looking to him for advice in all decisions of 
major importance. Then, too, in a large number of places 
the leading Nationals understand English. Compelled at 
first to depend on this English, the pressure is strong for 
this dependence to become a habit. The missionary's 
effectiveness is certain to be crippled thereby. It is rarely 
possible for one of the West to win one of the East to 
the Master except by the channel of that man's mother 
tongue. This is not simply because one's own language 
holds guard over one's own heart, but because language 
study has many by-products. It adds much knowledge of 
the "habits, prejudices, customs, courtesies, proprieties, 
religious tenets, superstitions, and natural tastes of the 
people." One cannot convert without an understanding 
of these basic elements so vitally affecting the religious 
attitudes. 

[28] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

An Oriental Attitude 

A question in the Judson College registration blank called 
for the name of the mother as well as that of the father, 
for there are no family names. Daw Zun is the capable 
mother of Saya Tun Pe's fine family. That mother's 
name was often given with reluctance. Yet it was in no 
sense due to any feminine inferiority in the household. 
The Burmese mother occupies a large place in the hearts 
of her sons, yet mention of her name is not made with 
the ease of the West. Such reticence must be understood 
if one's approach is to be well received. The path one 
must travel to acquire the language and the power for 
effective phrasing of one's message is a long and tortuous 
one. 

The Judsons' Sixteen-Hour Day 

The modern missionary in many fields has an excellent 
language school. This is a tremendous help in surmount- 
ing this first great barrier to effectiveness. Burma has 
never had such a< school. The twentieth-century student 
of Burmese has books and English-speaking teachers. 
Still he often must laboriously extract such knowledge as 
he can from one who knows nothing about teaching meth- 
ods. The task today is simple, however, compared with 
that undertaken against almost overwhelming odds by the 
first missionaries. The Judson letters of their first four 
years, 1813-1817, in particular, are crowded with com- 
ments on efforts put forth to master Burmese. " Nancy," 
as she signs herself in a letter to a friend, pictures a 
typical day. This is the routine faithfully followed, not 
for a few days only, but for many weary weeks and 
months during the early years : 

[29] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

We rise at six in the morning, commence study at seven, break- 
fast at eight and after breakfast have family worship. We then go 
to our study and attend to the language closely, till half-past one, 
when we dine. We generally exercise for half an hour after 
dinner, then attend to our study again till near sunset, when we 
take a walk, either out among the natives or in our verandah; 
take tea at dark, after which we have family worship, then study 
till ten, at which hour we retire. I go to bed feeling as much 
fatigued as any farmer can after a hard day's work. I find it no 
easy thing to acquire a foreign language; and though our teacher 
says we gain rapidly, yet we can hardly perceive that we make 
any advance. It is a most beautiful, easy language to write, but 
very difficult to read or pronounce. 

With the help of palm-leaf manuscripts Felix Carey of 
the English Baptist Mission had made some progress. 
He gave them the beginnings of a grammar and dictionary. 
The Portuguese Catholics had made a start on transla- 
tion work but it was " too Romish." Judson on a blister- 
ing April day declares : 

I have been here a year and a half and so extremely difficult is 
the language perhaps the most difficult to a foreigner of any on 
the face of the earth, next to the Chinese that I find myself 
very inadequate to communicate divine truth intelligently. I 
have, in some instances, been so happy as to secure the attention, 
and in some degree to interest the feelings, of those who heard me ; 
but I am not acquainted with a single instance in which any per- 
manent impression has been produced. 

An artist has painted a picture of the great translator 
with slender hands fingering the leaves of the Burmese 
Bible while the face is uplifted, glorified. " Nancy " gives 
a more intimate portrait. " Could you look into a large 
open room which we call a verandah, you would see Mr. 
Judson bent over his table covered with Burman books, 

[30] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

with his teacher at his side; a venerable-looking man in 
his sixtieth year, with a cloth wrapped around his middle 
and a handkerchief round his head." It is the month of 
September, so add a humidity through which only grim 
determination can carry on. Catch as well the reference 
to his teacher's garb or lack of it, not forgetting that 
with Buddhist benevolence, the learned " saya " must shoo 
away, not kill, the mosquitoes which continually alight on 
trousers rather open to attack since they consist simply 
of tatoo. 

Difficulties Any Student Meets 

After two years and a half at this task Judson had 
begun to form certain convictions. They are worth quot- 
ing, for they ably express modern experience : 

I just now begin to see my way forward in this language, and 
hope that two or three years more will make it somewhat familiar ; 
but I have met with difficulties that I had no idea of before I 
entered on the work. For an American to acquire a living Oriental 
language, root and branch, and make it his own, is quite a different 
thing from his acquiring a cognate language of the West or any 
of the dead languages, as they are studied in the schools. One 
circumstance may serve to illustrate this. I once had occasion to 
devote a few months to the study of French. I have now been 
above two years engaged in the Burman. If I were to choose 
between a Burman and a French book, to be examined in, without 
previous study, I should without the least hesitation choose the 
French. When we take up a Western language, the similarity 
in the character, in very many terms, in many modes of expres- 
sion, and in the general structure of the sentences, its being in 
fair print (a circumstance we hardly think of), and the assistance 
of grammars, dictionaries, and instructors, render the work com- 
paratively easy. But when we take up a language spoken by a 
people on the other side of the earth, whose very thoughts run in 
channels diverse from ours, and whose modes of expression are 

[31] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

consequently all new; when we find the letters and words all 
totally destitute of the least resemblance to any language we have 
ever met with, and these words not fairly divided, and distin- 
guished, as in Western writing, by breaks, and points, and capitals, 
but run together in one continuous line, a sentence or paragraph 
seeming to the eye but one long word; when, instead of clear 
characters on paper, we find only obscure scratches on dried palm 
leaves strung together, and called a book; when we have no 
dictionary and no interpreter to explain a single word, and must 
get something of the language, before we can avail ourselves of 
the assistance of a native teacher Hie opus labor est. . . It 
unavoidably takes several years to acquire such a language, in 
order to converse and write intelligently on the great truths of 
the gospel. . . A young missionary, who expects to pick up the 
language in a year or two will probably find that he had not 
counted the cost. If he should be so fortunate as to obtain a 
good interpreter, he may be useful by that means. But he will 
learn, especially if he is in a new place, where the way is not 
prepared, and no previous ideas communicated, that to qualify him- 
self to communicate divine truth intelligibly, by his voice or pen, 
is not the work of a year. However, notwithstanding my great 
incompetency, I am beginning to translate the New Testament, 
being extremely anxious to get some parts of Scriptures, at least, 
into an intelligible shape, if for no other purpose than to read, as 
occasion offers, to the Burmans with whom I meet. 

Essentials of Success: 2. Bible Translation 

If one should make a road-map of that translation task, 
it would be unbelievably long and tortuous. There are 
two long trips up the Irrawaddy to the royal " Golden 
Presence " at Ava. There is an intended three-months' 
trip to Arakan for health which a storm at sea changes 
into a journey, via the Coromandel Coast and Madras, of 
eight months while Mrs. Judson in Rangoon has no word 
from her husband. One would find, too, twenty-one 
months in horrible Burmese jails. That part of the trans- 

[32] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

lation road-map has a thrill all its own. After many days 
of imprisonment filled with intense anxiety Mr. and Mrs. 
Judson are finally allowed to meet. 

One of the first things Mr. Judson inquired after was the manu- 
script translation of the New Testament. Part of it had been 
printed, but there was a large portion, together with important 
emendations of the printed part, still in manuscript. Mrs. Judson 
had secreted it, with her silver and a few other articles of value, 
in the earth under the house. It was now the rainy season, and 
if the paper remained in this place any considerable length of 
time, it would be ruined by the mold. It was thought unsafe to 
allow a manuscript of this kind to remain in the house, from 
which every article was subject at any moment to be carried away, 
as, once examined it would certainly be destroyed. The final con- 
clusion was to sew the manuscript up in a pillow, so mean in its 
appearance, and so hard and uncomfortable withal, that even the 
avarice of a Burman would not covet it, while Mr. Judson him- 
self should undertake the guardianship of the treasure. As he said, 
"When people are loaded with chains, and sleep half the time on 
a bare board, their senses become so obtuse that they do not know 
the difference between a hard pillow and a soft one." 

< 
The Burmese Bible in Prison 

Such an arrangement safely guarded the precious manu- 
script for several months. Then one day a band of men 
rushed into the prison yard. Some seized the white pris- 
oners, and added two more pair of fetters to the three they 
already wore. Others snatched up pillows and mattresses, 
and whatever other articles came within their reach. 
Stripped of their few comforts the prisoners were uncere- 
moniously thrust into the inner prison. " Night came, but 
brought with it no rest . . . Judson recollected . . . some 
passages in his translation capable of a better rendering." 

While Judson lay wondering as to the fate of the old 

[33] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

pillow, the jailer was trying to use it as a rest for his own 
head. Finally he tossed it aside with disgust, wondering 
at the odd taste of the white man. So it lay neglected till 
the day the prisoners were driven through the hot sands 
from Ava to Aung Binlay. Then one of the ruffians ripped 
open the mat covering the precious pillow and threw away 
the apparently worthless roll of hard cotton. The next 
day, that devoted disciple, Moung Ing, stumbled upon this 
relic of the vanished prisoners and carried it home as a 
memento. Not till several months later was the manu- 
script found within uninjured. It is now a part of the 
Burmese Bible which Judson was twenty-one years com- 
pleting. 

Unwritten Languages 

With all its difficulties Burmese did have its written 
tongue and its large manuscript literature. Sgaw Karen, 
on the other hand, had neither. To Jonathan Wade fell 
the elusive task of catching " the fleeting breath of Karen 
speech " and reducing it to writing. He used the rounded 
characters of a modified Burmese alphabet. This work re- 
quired great zeal and scholarly ability. More than one 
Baptist missionary in Burma has had a like difficult task. 

Essentials of Success : 3. The Printed Page 

The urge behind all this work of translation is easily 
understood. Through the printed page one could " speak " 
in hundreds of places to which he could not possibly go. 
This was, and is, particularly true among the Burmans. 
The Buddhist monastery is always the best building in 
any Burman village. Located in an attractive grove, the 
monk was always, and still is in many places, the school- 

[34] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

master. No village can be found without those able to 
read. Such reading is almost invariably aloud, and any 
one who wishes may come and listen. It is in this way that 
in recent years the Nationalist Movement has stirred even 
the remotest Burmese villages with a desire for indepen- 
dence. Every Burmese village boy is taught in the monas- 
tery schools long passages of Pali, the language of the 
Buddhist writings. Burmans from the beginning continu- 
ally asked if there were such " sacred books " written 
about the " Jesus religion." No country between Europe 
and Japan offers anything like as large a percentage of 
readers. That means of preparing the way for Christ to 
enter into Buddhist hearts is by no means being employed 
as much as it should be. Much has been done. Much 
remains to be done. 

Biirma's Many Translators 

The many languages found in Burma and the need of at 
least "the New Testament, the charter of the Christian 
church," in each has irjevitably divided effort. One might 
almost surmise that Burma was the original site of the 
Tower of Babel. Scripture translation has been done by 
Burma missionaries in more than eight languages. Each 
has required effort almost equal to that of the Judsons. 
The Bible has been completed by Francis Mason in Sgaw 
Karen ; by D. L. Brayton in Pwo Karen ; by J. N. Cush- 
ing in Shan; and by Ola Hanson in Kachin. The New 
Testament was translated by J. M. Haswell into Talaing 
and by Herbert Cope into Chin. Many others have made a 
contribution to the Christian literature of Burma. Some 
real progress has been made toward histories, harmonies, 
and commentaries. Three veteran missionaries, H. H. 

[35] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Tilbe, J. McGuire, and E. N. Harris, are now devoting 
their time to literature. There are four papers printed at 
the Mission Press: The Morning Star and The Tavoy 
Shepherd in Karen, The Messenger and The Harvest 
Field in Burmese. The last is published by the Christian 
Literature Society for Burma. It has also published re- 
cently, among others, The Life of Booker Washington 
and Little Black Sambo in Burmese. Yet a great field 
remains, and one must agree with a modern translator 
" that the man who can produce Christian literature that 
grips the reading public of Burma may do more than any 
other to bring them to Christ." 

The New Testament's Premier Place 

In this literature the New Testament, of course, takes 
first place. An axiom of foreign missions is that the mis- 
sionary cannot evangelize the world. He plants the first 
seed and wins the first converts. He helps form these into 
churches. He depends on the churches to become the main 
means of spreading the gospel. To such churches the 
message of the Master in their own tongue is an indis- 
pensable guide. 

That method, too, is least likely to confuse Christianity 
with Western civilization. Such confusion must be care- 
fully avoided today. Experience of what has actually 
come from the West to the East, calling itself civilization, 
enables one to enter somewhat into Mahatma Gandhi's 
feeling. He calls it " black art " and would banish it bag 
and baggage. 

By that method may the East find more harmony than 
the West has as yet succeeded in securing! Many mis- 
sion fields have representatives of only one American 

[36] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

church. Burma is in large part a Baptist land. It should 
all have been, but little can be said where others have come 
to take what Baptists failed to occupy. This has, how- 
ever, now and then led to clashes, than which there are 
few greater hindrances to the acceptance of Christ. 

A Question the Bible Does Not Decide 

The New Testament in the mother tongue as seen 
through Eastern eyes does not, however, solve all prob- 
lems. There is, for example, no direct authoritative decree 
as to the price to be paid for wives. But let Herbert 
Cope of Tiddim, Chin Hills, tell his own story : 

Because of the division of the Chins into almost innumerable 
tribes and dialects it is impossible to pass resolutions at the Asso- 
ciations which deal with customs and relations of Christians thereto. 
We have thus developed regional gatherings where the particular 
tribal customs are discussed and regulations adopted. There reso- 
lutions are not the kind one hears of at the Associational or Con- 
vention gatherings, but they are real attempts to coordinate Chris- 
tianity and the social customs. Social and religious customs are 
like scrambled eggs it is almost impossible to separate them. 

I have just been to one such meeting. It is the first tribe in 
which there were Christians and yet after all these years we have 
not settled on how certain customs will be treated by the Chris- 
tians. We sat through two long days talking and conferring and 
in the end had to postpone three of the most important matters 
until next year. The opinion was so divided it was useless trying 
to pass a resolution. For instance, what should be the dowry paid 
for a wife? The system is as old as the Chins, and the price has 
been steadily going up until a man asks enough for one daughter 
to almost keep him the remainder of his life and the young groom 
goes deeply into debt. The original idea probably was that the 
father lost the labor of his daughter, and the one who secured it 
should pay. And that is the reason a number of the Chins marry 
young; they do not want a wife, their parents want some one to 

D [37] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

work for them. We have been steadily trying to reduce this dowry. 
I have not wanted to do away with it altogether. Divorce would 
then become very prevalent. If the husband is in the wrong he 
loses the dowry, while the father of the wife, if she is at fault, 
must repay the full amount. Some of the people were for sixty 
rupees and some for one hundred, and there they stuck and neither 
would give way. A few said the custom should be abandoned. 
Then a preacher was called on to give the Scriptural teachings 
on the matter, and to my surprise he found some passages. The 
only trouble was he misinterpreted them in a way which would 
make a professor scream. I did not know what to do, so, as in 
all such cases, did nothing but awaited events. Finally a small 
committee was appointed from the various groups. Then I had 
to do something, and suggested that since there were so many ideas 
and opinions it would perhaps be better to let the matter rest over 
until next year, and all joyfully assented. In the meantime I can 
set the preacher straight. 

The first essential for effective service is, therefore, a 
mastery of the language of the land. The second is the 
translation, at least, of the Bible. The third is printing. 
Fortunately the American Baptist Mission Press is pre- 
pared to print, and is capable of printing, any worthy work. 
Its output includes many different languages. 

An Oriental Alphabet 

On October 15, 1816, George and Phrebe Hough, a print- 
ing-press just a hand affair and a font of Burmese 
type secured at Serampore, arrived in Rangoon. A full 
font of Burmese type is something fearfully and wonder- 
fully made. The Burmese alphabet has thirty-two conso- 
nants, ten vowels, and two diphthongs simple enough so 
far. It is when you get to the combination of these that 
trouble begins. Four of these consonants may be com- 
bined with many other consonants, singly or doubly, and 

[38] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

with different combinations among themselves. In addi- 
tion all the vowels may be combined with each of these 
consonant combinations. And each of these combinations 
means a new character in the modern Burmese font. 
K-y-o, to illustrate, is not printed as three letters but 
that combination becomes a new character. The Bur- 
mese compositor has two cases with six hundred and 
seventy-five different sorts of type. How to devise a lino- 
type which could handle these was a problem which taxed 
the master mind of Frank Denison Phinney. A linotype 
for English work was easily adapted to the Chin and 
Kachin which use Roman type but slightly accented. As 
for Burmese the arrangement finally used was to put three 
hundred and sixty, the most common characters, at the 
command of the operator of the keyboard. All the rest 
must be picked up from side cases and placed in position 
by hand. The Lord's Prayer is printed with only two 
turnings to these side cases which indicates how success- 
fully the difficult problem has been solved. 

A Fine Mission Press 

Since 1904 the American Baptist Mission Press has been 
housed in a fine building of its own on Merchant Street, 
Rangoon. It is " the handmaid of the whole mission on 
the business side of its endeavors." Its educational and 
commercial printing is large and now carries the entire 
overhead. It is possible, therefore, to print religious litera- 
ture economically. It can as well assure for the Scriptures 
that high degree of accuracy which is essential. Its work 
has won it a high place among the mission presses of Asia. 
Of recent years, through colporters, it has made a major 
contribution to the evangelistic work of the mission. 

[39] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Essentials of Success: 4. Trained Colleagues 

So have progressed Bible translation and printing. But 
what of the spoken word? In the early eighteen-forties, 
about a decade before the second Burmese war, the 
Eleventh Triennial Convention met in Philadelphia. It 
appointed a committee to consider " the expediency of the 
establishment of the Karen Theological Seminary at Moul- 
mein." This resulted in a call to a prominent pastor in 
Savannah, Georgia, Joseph G. Binney, to go to Moulmein, 
to take charge of pastor training for the Karens. 

The pageant, " The Redemption of a Nation," written 
by Dr. and Mrs. H. I. Marshall, captivated the Burma 
Baptist Convention in Moulmein in 1928. It paints a 
vivid picture of the century of Christian Missions among 
the Karens. In it, the Recorder cries : 

Leaders were needed. Men trained in the sacred lore, who 
should teach them all things that He had commanded. For four- 
score years the Seminary has been their teacher, sending out her 
sons both far and near both to teach and -to preach, to pastor and 
to evangelize. Not yet have they finished the fight. Though 
thousands have been won to the new-found Book and its Saviour, 
yet multitudes are still with old customs content and ancient tabus 
still abound. Up, my men, the task is yours, and the victory awaits 
your attack 

Students and Curriculum 1847 and Today 

Picture the four who responded to that call, " Up, my 
men," to form the first graduating class of Newton, not 
in Massachusetts, but in Obo, just north of Moulmein, 
Burma. This class of 1847 were : Phrahai, whose " pecu- 
liarity is that he preaches with great point and power to 
the heart and to the conscience " ; Kyahpah, a man who 

[40] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

has manifested a deep interest "in all that affects the 
welfare of the churches " ; Aupaw, " Tried in the fire of 
persecution and pronounced to be pure gold " ; and Tahoo, 
a man who has " too much attachment to the plain, simple 
gospel as he first learned it ever to go astray." Such were 
the type that Binney found when he came to Burma. Who 
could wish for better men ! Yet they were but diamonds 
decidedly in the rough ; magnificent material, but with al- 
most no previous schooling. In that regard after four- 
score years one finds a striking contrast. Take a recent 
entering class as they gather at the Karen Seminary, now 
at Insein, twelves miles north of Rangoon. One can only 
sense the tremendous difference when he realizes that the 
great Karen church has followed along, step by step, with 
the advance in the training of its ministry. This entering 
class numbers thirty-three; a goodly number of them are 
high-school students; all have had seven or more years 
of schooling sufficient to place them in a position of 
leadership, while not weaning them away from the village 
churches. 

Another contrast is in curriculum. That used with 
a little group in Tavoy may perhaps be taken as typical 
of what Binney found. It included : " Reading and writ- 
ing for of all' things the Bible must be made intelligible. 
Arithmetic with some Plane Geometry and Geology, 
Land Surveying with practical lessons measuring the Mis- 
sion Compound. The Karens must learn to protect their 
land. Materia Medica in its bare rudiments. A monthly 
original composition in their mother tongue and a monthly 
sermon to be preached and criticized." And besides all 
these " Their principal study was theology, with the Bible 
as their text-book." The whole of the New Testament 

[41] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

was studied verse by verse. Effort was made to render 
historical and other allusions intelligible a large task. 
All practical passages were brought home to the conscience 
of the students and the attempt was made to make " the 
lecture-room a Bethel and every lesson a sermon." 

Place over against this the courses offered today. The 
Bible is still the center, but built about it there is a strong, 
well-balanced three years' course of study comparable 
to America's best Bible schools. This includes a finely 
planned and ably directed course in field evangelism. 
Week-end campaigns and subsequent conference have 
marked an advance in meeting modern conditions. There 
is also offered, to qualified high-school or college gradu- 
ates, a full course of four years in English, with its 
B. Th. or B. D. degrees. This last department is con- 
ducted in cooperation with the fine Burmese Seminary 
located on the same compound. The Burmese Seminary 
has not only trained many men for work among the 
Burmans. It has served all races except the Sgaw Karen. 
Its last graduating class spoke seven mother tongues. It 
has trained leaders for the far frontier hills as well as 
for the Irrawaddy valley. These two seminaries, sup- 
ported in large part locally, are playing a great part in 
winning the ruby Burma for the King's crown. 

Seminary Equipment 

Today there is on Seminary Hill at Insein a spacious 
compound. Both Burmese and Karens have good buildings 
here. Both are ably staffed. Winding up on the Karen 
side is a laterite road bordered by beautiful rows of trees. 
At the top on the right stands the main building, a large, 
attractive teak structure, combining chapel and classrooms. 

[42] 



FOUR ESSENTIALS 

Across from it are the two Mission residences. One 
finds, too, the Haskell Gymnasium and a dining-hall, and 
best of all two new brick buildings units of the Daniel 
Appleton White Smith Memorial recently erected with 
half the cost met from Karen gifts. In these fine, two- 
story buildings are housed over a hundred students. Alto- 
gether this will make, when the houses for the Karen 
faculty are completed, a fine plant. 

Visit any one of the 977 Karen churches, 957 self-sup- 
porting, and one is almost certain to find the pastor a 
graduate of this Seminary. The leaders who have made 
possible the magnificent equipment at Bassein, the fine and 
rapidly growing group of buildings at Henzada, the Mor- 
row Memorial rising in Tavoy, as well as the great advance 
steps in the Rangoon, Moulmein, and other fields, have 
many of them been men who passed through those Semi- 
nary halls. Many, too, have gone to the frontiers, some 
even across the border into Siam and China. 

Two Recent Graduates 

Just two among many of recent graduates may be men- 
tioned : Thra Sein Nyo with his young wife are up in the 
Triangle, two weeks' journey beyond Myitkyina. This, 
until recently, was a wild piece of unadministered terri- 
tory. Then Government released four thousand Kachin 
slaves. Among these the two Karen missionaries are at 
work. Another, B. Tha Ya, is the son and grandson of 
Nyaunglebin pastors. In 1929 he returned to that promis- 
ing field as a seller of books, a starter of libraries, and a 
personal worker of unusual ability. He has opened doors 
in many villages. Meeting a man on a path to a rice-field 
he begins the story of salvation. He strives to answer 

[43] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

the query of how Christ's way is better than Buddha's. 
The story is not completed when the rice-field is reached. 
He tucks up his longgye and descends into the mud and 
water. As they reset rice plants the message is continued. 
A friend is made and a future visit will be welcomed. 

Foremost in all that the Karen Seminary has accom- 
plished, memory brings four faces: Dr. and Mrs. D. A. 
W. Smith and Dr. and Mrs. W. F. Thomas. The mes- 
sage of these two Christian homes on the Hill was one of 
the finest contributions to the Karens. 

Such is the tale of four great essentials of Kingdom 
advance anywhere missionaries who are masters of the 
language of the land, the message translated into the 
mother tongue of the people, that message so multiplied in 
print as to be easily placed in the hands of any interested, 
and fourth, pastors, intimately acquainted with the think- 
ing of their own people, trained to interpret that message. 



[44] 



IV 

CERTAIN BARRIERS 

A Bit from Boardmaris Experience 

One day, late in July, 1827, George Dana Boardman, 
his wife and little Sarah Ann, were walking on the road 
that led from the first Mission compound in Moulmein 
to the Thayagong Bazaar on the Salween River, three 
blocks below. There soon followed them more than sixty 
little folk from the near-by Burman houses. To our 
eyes, Boardman is the fine type of American found fre- 
quently among the volunteers for service overseas. His 
features are clear cut, with something of sternness in his 
countenance ; tall, spare, a bit Lincolnesque of figure ; gait 
firm and moderate, bending a little forward, sometimes his 
chin rests on his chest; forehead high, "but inclining in 
direction backward"; large blue eyes deeply set under a 
projecting brow a man twice looked at anywhere. First 
scholar of the first class of Colby College America has 
produced no finer specimen of manhood. 

Yet to the bright black eyes of these sixty Burmese 
youngsters he appeared, simply an odd, somewhat dis- 
torted, pale copy of their elders. And in the minds of 
those elders, watching him with curious eyes as they sat 
cross-legged on the tiny front verandas of their high- 
perched bamboo houses, he was evidently connected with 
the Red Coats of His Majesty's Forty-fifth Regiment, 
stationed in the cantonment, a mile away; for, as one of 
them said, they " look alike, talk alike, are alike." 

[45] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Eighteen months before there had been concluded the 
Treaty of Yandabo. Its terms included the cession to 
Great Britain of the rich Brahmaputra Valley of Assam, 
the east coast-line of the Bay of Bengal, including Arracan 
and Tenasserim, together with Martaban east of the Sal- 
ween River. In addition, an indemnity of one crore (ten 
million rupees) had been demanded; of which twenty-five 
lakhs (two and a half millions) had been paid. Awaiting 
the second instalment, the British army still occupied Ran- 
goon. That the Burmans should joyfully accept one who 
was inevitably associated in their minds with such im- 
perialism, is just too much to expect of human nature. 
Boardman records that they " at first . . . endeavored to 
silence me by sneering, laughing, and jesting, but being 
filled with compassion for their souls, I spoke freely of 
Christ's suffering and death and a future judgment. At 
length they became silent and attentive. Was never so 
badly used while exhibiting truth and never felt so much 
pleasure in suffering reproach for Jesus' sake." 

From the Karens, on the other hand, in their villages 
hidden in the jungle, away from the main lines of travel, 
Boardman could not possibly have received a warmer 
welcome. " They showed us all the kindness in their 
power, bringing us presents of fowls, ducks' eggs, yams, 
fish, plantains, various sorts of rice, and everything which 
the village could furnish." 

Buddhism Is a Chief Barrier 

Why this striking contrast in attitude on the part of the 
two peoples of the same country? The reasons were 
many: Among them must be reckoned the difference in 
religion. Yet that other reason the effect of the British 

[46] 



CERTAIN BARRIERS 

invasion can by no means be overlooked. Certainly Bur- 
mese Buddhism stands out in startling contrast to the 
animism of the Karens. No enterprise is more easily criti- 
cized than one ten thousand miles away. The most com- 
mon objects to which the correctors of the mission cause 
direct their attention are the missionary and his methods. 
Neither is perfect. When all has been said, however, the 
outstanding factor is all too often forgotten. The chief 
reason Christianity has not swept the world is : Mankind 
everywhere has firmly fixed religious attitudes. They are 
already set in paths other than those pointed out by Christ. 
Another faith already fills the mind, grips the emotions, 
and directs the life in certain very definite forms of con- 
duct. No matter how much a missionary may vow " the 
smoking flax he will not quench," it remains that most of 
these attitudes must be changed. 

These attitudes, the chief hindrance to the advance of 
the missionary enterprise, are peculiarly present among 
Burmese Buddhists. They have a religion that advances 
considerable claims to being of all religions the most 
logical. It is a strong social force. Through festivals and 
the ever-present yellow-robed priest it penetrates every 
corner of the daily life. From its hold it is well-nigh 
impossible to free oneself. 

The Three Objects of Worship 

At the center of this religion for the Burman is the story 
of Buddha, the Law, and the Sangha. No Westerner 
can help but be stirred as he sees " The Light of Asia " 
through the eyes of Sir Edwin Arnold. The Prince Sid- 
dartha, the Buddha-to-be, is seeking soul-peace ; Sir Edwin 
paints him as with 

[47] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

His tearful eyes raised to the stars, and lips 

Close-set with purpose of prodigious love. 

He cries : " Farewell, friends ! 

While life is good to give, I give, and go 

To seek deliverance and that unknown Light ! " 

Yet Arnold paints a picture unquestionably colored by 
his own Christian training. Turn then to what Bishop 
Bigandet calls " The Legend of the Burmese Buddha," 
believed by his followers in the land where Buddhism is 
found in its purest form, to be a true account of his life. 
In his invocation the Burmese narrator chants : 

I ADORE Buddha who has gloriously emerged from the bottom- 
less whirlpool of endless existence, who has extinguished the 
burning fire of anger and other passions, who has opened and 
illumined the fathomless abyss of dark ignorance, and who 
is the greatest and most excellent of all beings. 

I ADORE the Law which the most excellent Buddha has pub- 
lished, which is infinitely high and incomparably profound, 
exceedingly acceptable, and most earnestly wished-for by 
Nats and men, capable to wipe off the stains of concupiscence 
and is immutable. 

I ADORE the Assembly of the Perfect, of the pure and illus- 
trious Ariahs in their eight sublime states, who have over- 
come all the passions that torment other mortals, by eradicat- 
ing the very root of concupiscence, and who are famous above 
all other beings. 

A Bit from the Buddhist New Testament 

There follows Gautama's life-story. Believe this legend, 
and the " I adore " is understandable. The " Payalaung," 
the god-to-be, was born in northern India in the sixth 
century before Christ. A Crown Prince of the Kapilawot 
country on the very day of his birth, he " freed himself 
from the hands of those attending upon him, and stood 

[48] 



CERTAIN BARRIERS 

in a firm and erect position on the ground . . . ; conscious 
of his superiority he jumped off the distance of seven 
lengths of a foot." Attended with like wonders was every 
event of this, his last mortal existence. In spite of all the 
luxury of the royal life, of three palaces each nine stories 
high, and of the forty thousand maidens devoted to his 
amusement, the future Buddha was dissatisfied. On a 
certain day he rode forth in his beautiful carriage, richly 
caparisoned, drawn by four horses. By the side of the 
road was the form of an old man " the body bending for- 
ward, with gray hairs, a shriveled skin, and leaning lan- 
guidly on a heavy staff"; his first glimpse of old age. 
Another day, on his way to his garden, " a sick man 
appeared quite sinking under the weight of the most loath- 
some disease " ; his first sight of sickness. On a third 
occasion, there came the knowledge of death when the 
shocking sight of a corpse first met his eyes. When to 
these three experiences was added his first glimpse of the 
meek form of a monk, the " prince felt instantaneously an 
almost irresistible inclination to embrace that attractive 
mode of life." ' 

A short time later the climax came: It appeared to 
him that his magnificent apartments were filled not with 
beautiful maidens but "with most loathsome and putrid 
carcasses." His determination crystallized. He called for 
his horse, Kantika, which " felt an inexpressible joy at 
being selected for such a good journey and testified his joy 
by loud neighs, but by the power of the Nats, the sound 
of his voice was silenced," so that the king, who might 
have prevented the departure, was not disturbed. With 
one last glance at his new-born son, Raoula, he departed, 
determined to become a Buddha. 

[49] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

" His progress through the country resembled a splen- 
did, triumphant ovation. Sixty thousand Nats marched 
in front of him, an equal number followed him, and as 
many surrounded him on his right and on his left." 
Finally, on the banks of the Anauma River, the prince 
divested himself of his royal garb, donning in its place 
the simple yellow robe of the monk. Then, with one hand 
he unsheathed his sword ; " with the other, seizing his 
comely hairs, he cut them with a single stroke." Throw- 
ing them up into the air, " they remained suspended in 
the air until a Nat came with a rich basket, put them 
therein, and carried them to the seat of Tawadeintha." 
Suspending from his neck the bag containing the earthen 
begging-bowl, he departed in search of enlightenment. 

Six years were spent in meditation, at the end of which 
the Payalaung undertook a great fast, allowing himself 
only the use of a grain of rice or sesame a day; finally 
denying himself even that " feeble pittance," he eventually 
fainted, fell on the ground, and was thought by many to 
be dead. Upon recovery from the swoon, there swept over 
him the uselessness of fasting and mortification. He, 
therefore, refreshed himself and withdrew into the forest 
for further meditation. Finally, " a little before break of 
day in the hundred and third year of the Eatzana Era, on 
the day of the full moon of Katson, the perfect science 
broke at once over him. He became the Buddha," the 
adored one. 

The Four High Roads of Buddhism 

First the prince, then the ascetic, then the enlightened 
one, he is a figure fine enough to grip the imagination of 
any people. As a fitting climax add the preacher of the 

[50] 



CERTAIN BARRIERS 

four great truths of the Law " that can dispel ignorance " 
so " the coming out from the whirlpool of existences can 
be perfectly effected." These four truths are : "Afflictions 
and miseries attend the existence of all beings. Passions 
and, in particular, concupiscence, anger, and ignorance, 
are the causes of all miseries. Neibban, the exemption 
of all passions, is the deliverance from all miseries. There 
are four high roads which lead to Neibban." To pass 
through these one must leave the world, renounce all 
pleasures, practise patience, study the law, and meditate. 
If these things are done, " The four roads to perfection 
are opened before him. These he must follow with per- 
severance; they will conduct him to Neibban. They are 
a perfect belief, a perfect reflection, a perfect use of 
speech, and a perfect conduct." This Law, very logical, 
fascinates the intellectually inclined among the Burmese 
people. 

A Modern Buddhist Monk 

As to the Assembly: Take a modern picture, that of 
the monk of a monastery in a bit of a grove beside the 
Irrawaddy on the road to Mandalay. The old Pongyee 
with his robe of yellow the color of dirty rags and his 
shaven head his hair, the great source of vanity, gone 
sat on the unwalled first floor, away from the heat of the 
March noonday. I was waiting for the Flotilla steamer 
down to Prome. He greeted me with a kindly smile, a 
freshly spread mat, and all the gracious hospitality typical 
of the Burmese. An order sent a bit of an upazin scurry- 
ing up a near-by palm-tree, and soon there were refresh- 
ments of fresh cocoanut milk and cakes. Christianity and 
Buddhism were discussed for an hour and more. To my 

[51] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

query he replied : " No, I will not attain to Neibban this 
Pawa. It will be many existences yet before perfection." 
So every question is answered with a gentle tolerance. 
What more natural than that the villagers should venerate 
this lovable old gentleman, striving to live in the spirit 
of the Buddha as a toiler on the Fourfold Path. 

So much for the Buddha, the Law, and the Assembly 
the objects of adoration of every Buddhist. All are 
tinged with pessimism. The East Indian living in poverty 
and hunger finds in them a future filled with gloom and 
foreboding. The true Buddhist should be " a world-weary 
philosopher." Yet it is not so with the Burman. In a 
land with ever-abundant rains and so comparative pros- 
perity, his " Kan," or fate, becomes just luck. He, a 
born gambler, wagers his last rupee that it will be good. 
Buddhism, pessimistic in theory, in actual practise has be- 
come bound up with all the national festivals. The Burman 
makes it a thing of gaiety, a happy-go-lucky philosophy 
of life, " with funerals no less festive than marriages." 
Till old age compels it, he refuses to face his sin and its 
punishment. Therein lies a great difficulty in converting 
him to Christianity. 

The Christian Message to Burmese Buddhists 

What then is the Christian message to Burmese Bud- 
dhists? The qualifying adjective Burmese should be 
carefully noted ; for " four hundred and seventy millions 
of our race live and die in the tenets of Gautama, and the 
spiritual dominions of this ancient teacher extend, at the 
present time, from Nepaul and Ceylon over the whole of 
the Eastern Peninsula to China, Japan, Tibet, Central 
Asia, Siberia, and even Swedish Lapland." The varying 

[52] 



CERTAIN BARRIERS 

climates and cultures have inevitably created a wide range 
of Buddhist faiths. Then, too, Christian-trained critical 
scholars of its sacred books have brought forth still 
further interpretations, Christian and otherwise. So into 
these various branches of Buddhism has crept a wide 
variety of teaching. It is to be feared that Gautama 
Buddha himself would not recognize many of his com- 
mandments either as now chanted in Eastern monasteries 
or as preached in Western pulpits. This infinite variety 
must inevitably affect the Christian approach. 

One may say the missionary " simply carries Christ " to 
Burma. Yet, as I sit in my study on Lower Kemmen- 
dine Road, Rangoon, a thousand, perhaps many more, pass 
daily, each almost without exception bent on securing 
simply his own selfish, sordid ends. Against that back- 
ground, peak points in the Christian message must appear. 
While Christ and Gautama are both historical characters, 
the Buddha is hidden by " the mist of legend that envelops 
him," while the account of Christ has the ring of fact. 
Gautama " was a pure, noble, true man." The missionary 
who bears a merely human Jesus has no message for 
Burma. The Buddha set standards of conduct much 
higher than those of his day. Any added heights are 
futile unless with them comes the Living Son of God to 
help. This Living One is to lead to the Father. They 
two will break the Buddhist wheel of weighing merit, that 
balancing of one's good deeds against the bad which 
haunts many a devout Buddhist elder. The Burmese 
proverb says, ku-tho t'be, a-ku-tho fbait-tha merit a 
trifle, demerit a ton. In other words, it is hopelessly im- 
possible to pile up sufficient merit to outweigh one's 
demerit. The Buddhist monk alone leads an " ideal " life. 

E [53] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Yet even he cannot break the bonds of his evil deeds.. To 
the Buddhist it seems unbelievable that there is One who 
gives life more abundant both in this world and the next 
One who releases from the treadmill of seeking one's own 
salvation. Can it be that unselfish service for others is 
this world's greatest good? Can one by forgetting self 
best prepare for the life to come? 

Buddha' s Self-sacrifice 

The " birth stories " tell of the Buddha's various exis- 
tences One gives a glimpse of the sort of self-sacrifice 
found in Buddhism. Read it as written in The Light of 
Asia. Gautama meets a starving tigress and her two cubs : 

"And how can love lose doing of its kind 
Even to the uttermost?" So saying Buddha 
Silently laid aside sandals and staff, 
His sacred thread, turban and cloth, and came 
Forth from behind the milk-bush on the sand, 
Saying, " Ho ! mother, here is meat for thee ! " 
Whereat the perishing beast yelped hoarse and shrill, 
Sprang from her cubs, and hurling to the earth 
That willing victim, had her feast of him 
With all the crooked daggers of her claws 
Rending his flesh, and all her yellow fangs 
Bathed in his blood: the great cat's burning breath 
Mixed with the last sigh of such fearless love. 

Such tales to the modern mind seem too fantastic to be 
true. In power to stir one's heart they are separated by 
aeons from the story of the Cross. The Bearer of that 
supreme symbol of self-sacrifice is every day lifting the 
load of sin. By him men are daily empowered to enter 
on paths of service. This is the message. Yet if one is 
to understand at all the missionary task, he must see 

[54] 



CERTAIN BARRIERS 

through this account how Gautama captures the imagina- 
tion and fascinates the intellect of many millions. 

Buddhism a Greater Barrier than Animism 

As over against this Burmese belief in Buddhism, the 
Karens were a primitive people, never sufficiently devel- 
oped to embody their ideas in literature. To them the 
essential part of religion was not belief, but practise. 
Their primary aim was to avert the anger and secure the 
aid of the supernatural beings that lurk not only in the 
animals, but also in the trees, rocks, springs, plants, 
weapons, and heavenly bodies spirits of all sorts ; weak, 
powerful, kind, unkind, helpful, and hurtful. 

In theory the two Burmese Buddhism and Karen Ani- 
mism or spirit worship, a view of life better seen when 
we travel " Beyond Mandalay " among the Kachins 
stand at the opposite poles among non-Christian beliefs. 
In actual practise Buddhism is itself mixed with animism, 
yet the Burmese Buddhist, with his literature and lofty 
ethics, naturally finds more mental hazards on his path to 
Christ than does the animistic Karen largely dominated by 
blind fear. 

Mother Burma 

Then, too, the Karens, driven hither and yon, had no 
country they could call their own. Hunted as if they were 
wild beasts, they could easily accept alien help. On the 
other hand, no man has a more beautiful fatherland than 
the Burman. Stand beside the old Moulmein pagoda look- 
ing eastward upon one of the world's most beautiful bits 
of scenery a valley of striking charm : In the foreground 
are trees of every hue, the dark olive of the mango, the 

[55] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

light green of the pagoda-tree, the graceful plumes of the 
bamboo. Over the trees, a mile away, the Salween spreads 
out into a magnificent sheet of water, studded with green 
islands, with glistening pagodas and monasteries; to the 
east, beyond the Attaran, rise isolated, fantastically shaped 
ridges of limestone, in part bare, elsewhere with jagged 
peaks partially concealed by straggling clumps of vegeta- 
tion; off to the south, the dark Taungwaing Hills, their 
somber color relieved only by more glistening white 
pagodas. India's farthermost province is often entranc- 
ingly lovely. National feeling, religious emotion, and love 
of beautiful " Mother Burma " are inextricably inter- 
woven in the mind of the Burman. That which disturbs 
one, threatens all, and is deeply resented. 

Red Coats and Religion 

The Karens not only accepted Christ in great numbers ; 
they, driven beyond endurance by Burmese persecution, 
also bore arms for the British. Trained to stalk the 
beasts of the jungle, they turned that talent to the aid of 
the alien invaders. They live today in separate villages, 
with comparatively few contacts with the Burmese. So the 
years of British rule have seldom seen occasion for strife 
between the Burmese and their fairer skinned neighbors, 
the Karens. Yet a wireless message from Rangoon early 
in 1931 tells of a petty revolt led by one Shwe Kyi Lone, 
" the only Golden Crow." This " King of Dragons," by 
an offer to tattoo " bullet-proof " charms, won some one 
thousand two hundred followers and set himself to estab- 
lish a " Burmese Buddhist Kingdom." Though the royal 
edict names Englishmen only as enemies, he is reported to 
have burned two Karen villages, " because the Karens are 

[56] 



CERTAIN BARRIERS 

loyal to Government." So even today in some places the 
fires of hatred are smoldering. This is true though 
decades have passed since the Karens rendered their out- 
standing service and won the sobriquet, " Loyal Karens." 
No one would question but that they took a natural course. 
By this conduct, however, they undoubtedly built barriers 
for Christianity's advance among the Burmans. 

So it was not alone the difference in religion that made 
the Karen more responsive to the appeal of Christianity. 
The fact is that in the minds of Burma's peoples the 
white face, whether British or American, whether magis- 
trate or missionary, was inevitably associated with British 
military men. Their Red Coats meant to the Karen 
relief from oppression. Those same Red Coats meant to 
the Burman the passing of his fatherland into the hands of 
the British Bureaucracy. At best, a conqueror rarely wins 
the hearts of the conquered, and the religion of the con- 
queror rarely wins ready acceptance from those among his 
subjects who at one time belonged to the ruling class. 

To the missionary writers of the early days, the con- 
quest by the English was a source of intense gratification. 
The intolerance of the Burman powers to all except the 
national religion was now broken. The East India Com- 
pany would no longer feel bound by its agreement to pro- 
tect heathenism. There would be toleration for the new 
religion. So the missionaries rejoiced in the success of 
the British arms as " an answer to prayer." If the prayer 
was with the hope that this success of the British arms 
might lead to success in winning Buddhist Burmans, then 
that hope is even to this day to a large degree unrealized. 
The major mission problem still is, how to lead to Christ 
the many millions of Buddha's disciples. 

[57] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Karen Traditions and Ko Tha Byu 

One must never forget another a positive and power- 
ful factor in bringing the Karens to Christ, namely, the 
religious traditions of the people which included the story 
of "The Book of Silver and Gold" and the "Y'wa" 
legend which also played a tremendous part. This last 
tells of the placing of the first parents in the garden by 
" Y'wa," the Creator ; " their temptation by a dragon to 
eat of the forbidden fruit," and continues with a creation 
story closely resembling that of the ancient Hebrews. 

This legend has exercised a strong influence upon the Karen peo- 
ple. To be sure, it did not supplant the ancient animism of the 
tribes any more than Buddhism has displaced spirit-worship among 
the Burmese. Nevertheless, it was accompanied by the prophecy 
of the return of the white brother with the Lost Book, which 
inspired the Karen with the hope of a better future and furnished 
an admirable foundation on which Christian teachers could build in 
promoting the development of the Karen nation. 

Such was the setting for Christian conquest among the 
Karens which awaited the coming of the missionary who 
should call an apostle from among their own people. 

On May 16, 1828, in Tavoy, Boardman " repaired early 
in the morning to a neighboring tank and administered 
Christian baptism to Ko Tha Byu, the Karen Christian 
who accompanied us from Moulmein." Such is Board- 
man's simple record of what must be looked upon as the 
great event of his short missionary career the baptism of 
the first Karen convert; for Ko Tha Byu was destined 
to become a member of that group of whom Christ said, 
" Greater things than these shall ye do." Uncouth and 
unlettered, but literally aflame with the glorious gospel, 

[58] 



CERTAIN BARRIERS 

Ko Tha Byu went through the hills and valleys from 
Mergui to Sandoway, unmindful of personal hardship, in- 
different to exposure, summoning the Karens. This people 
prepared by traditions listened eagerly to the apostle's 
message. He promised the fulfilment of their long- 
deferred hope. He gave a glimpse, not for a moment to 
be forgotten, of a future perhaps here, certain hereafter 
free from oppression. From the seed he sowed there 
sprang during his own brief life a church of more than 
a thousand members. They have become the great Karen 
Baptist community reckoned today as almost 180,000. 

Some Favorable Factors Today 

No like progress has been made among the Burmans. 
Yet a most hopeful factor for the future of the King- 
dom is the changing attitude of the Burmans toward the 
Karens. The " national schools " of recent years founded, 
supported, and managed by the Burmans, have brought to 
a large group of ardent patriots a practical lesson in the 
difficulties and expense involved in education. With this 
has come, too, a real respect for the notable achievements 
of the Karens. A Minister of Education, a Burmese Bud- 
dhist, declared that the Bassein Karen schools would be 
the theme of his addresses everywhere. Parliamentary 
experience has more than once proved the sound wisdom 
of the Karen representatives in the Legislative Council. 
Even more promising, Karen College and Seminary men 
have gone with gospel teams to Burmese Mission Schools 
and found an effective message though given in their 
" second language." All these are elements of a new 
day in Burma. 

Another factor not so often mentioned, but by no means 

[59] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

to be ignored, is the able Karens in government service. 
They are rendering outstanding service. Among these 
is Saw Bee an Oriental name any American can pro- 
nounce. Trained in interracial contacts at Judson Col- 
lege, he was appointed a " D. I. S." -a Deputy Inspector 
of Karen Schools. His first assignment was the fertile 
delta district of the Irrawaddy. Well built and of gentle- 
manly bearing, he shows as good taste in dress as any 
Burmese. He, therefore, moved most acceptably whether 
in conference with the District School Board or among 
the villages. The majority of the villages were Burmese. 
All the members of the District Board were Burmese Bud- 
dhists. They naturally felt that all schools should close 
on the Buddhist sabbaths. There are four of these " Oo- 
boat-nays " in the lunar month. They vary in date with 
the waxing and the waning of the moon. Failure to follow 
this rule should mean no payment of school grants. The 
Karen villages of that district are many of them Christian. 
Karen Christians observe a " blue law " Sunday. Elders 
have been known to protest against the picking of a flower. 
To them there was no choice of sabbaths and the loss of 
grants would be a very severe hardship. Saw Bee went 
to the Board and suggested a very simple solution. The 
Board was quite right in insisting that all schools have a 
six-day week. But might not each local group of elders 
decide which day should be the "holy day"? That 
simple solution required the highest diplomacy in its pre- 
sentation. Racial feeling might easily have arisen. In- 
stead, friendly relations were built up between the two 
races. Another step was taken toward the removal of a 
barrier which has stood between many a Burman Bud- 
dhist and the acceptance of Christ. 

[60] 



COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

A Missionary Meeting in 1841 

The rendezvous was Megezzin; eighty miles south of 
Sandoway for Elisha Abbott, forty miles northwest of 
Bassein for Shway Weing, the young chief apparently 
within easy distance, but 

Abbott left at ten in the evening on December 23, 1841, 
in a small, sharp built, fifteen-ton schooner, a two-master 
with fore-and-aft rig, loaned by T. Morton, Esq., Senior 
Assistant Commissioner of Arakan. From the deck of the 
little boat tossed by the Bay of Bengal, that coast province 
presented " one continuous succession of broken, irregu- 
lar hills, covered with jungle ; apparently one vast howling 
wilderness." The Yomas, rising from eight to twelve thou- 
sand feet far away on the sky-line, reared their majestic 
heads over dark masses of clouds. The villages, if any, 
were hidden in the forests along the banks of the moun- 
tain streams. Often the foot-hills extended right to the 
shore, sending out rocky points a mile or more into the 
bay no simple coast to navigate. Any level land was for 
the most part covered with mangroves. At high tide the 
salt water flooded in, making marshes from which arose 
" a miasma impregnated with fever, cholera, and death." 

Into this region Abbott planned to penetrate. For such 
a place Shway Weing left the beautiful, gravelly hillocks 
of the eastern the Bassein-side of those same Yomas 
hillocks with thrifty gardens of pineapples, shaded by jack 

[61] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

and mango trees in great numbers ; hillocks between which 
rice grew luxuriantly, and " if the rice crops should fail, 
the fruit gardens still remain, a land richly blessed of 
heaven." 

Abbott anchored at the mouth of Megezzin Creek at 
dusk on Christmas Day. At sunrise, in a small dugout 
canoe of the country, he went for three hours up the 
stream, past the Burmese village, between banks covered 
with trees in full blossom, with foliage of all the shades 
imaginable. It was typical, tropical jungle, the home of 
" peacocks, tigers, elephants, and gigantic serpents." Not 
often for Abbott, never for " The Young Chief," was 
travel so easy. All too frequently, the missionary journey 
led " over mountains and rocks, through swamps and mud, 
past the tracks of wild elephant; creeping under trees 
which had fallen and grown across the path ; such a road 
as it is impossible to give any conception of." Often if 
it had not been for the hard sandy beach or the mountain 
creeks, Abbott did not see how he could have made his 
way from village to village. 

But there was no sandy beach nor mountain stream for 
Shway Weing and his companions as they made their way 
to the rendezvous. Cowering in their homes under the 
oppression of the Burmese officials, fearing death at the 
hands of these same officials, if it were known that they 
were leaving Burmese territory, these Karens could not go 
by any beaten path. They must force their way through 
wherever the thorn-covered mass offered an opening, 
shivering in the penetrating cold of the jungle night, pant- 
ing in the intense steamy heat of tropical noonday. After 
eleven days of wandering, often at the point of exhaustion, 
they finally covered the sixty miles to their destination. 

[62] 



COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

And the reason for this rendezvous? It is found in 
the pages of an old journal. On the 30th, the record 
reads, " baptized ten in the morning " ; the 31st, " baptized 
thirteen, all lived in this village " ; January 2, 1842, " bap- 
tized eleven in the morning. After morning service on 
Sunday the 3rd baptized nineteen." It was not until 
Monday the 4th that Shway Weing arrived, bringing with 
him others who were baptized at noon in " our Jordan, a 
small stream running down from the mountains, over- 
looked by scenery wild and beautiful, the distant forests 
resounding with sounds of praise from a hundred happy 
converts." 

The Cost to the Missionaries 

Try to reckon the cost, the cost of carrying the gospel 
and the cost of accepting Christ in Arakan in the eighteen- 
forties. This missionary accounting may be found in an 
old Annual. 

It may almost be said, that Arracan's shores are lined with the 
graves of the fallen, whose memory can never die. Here labored 
and died the faithful Comstock and his companion, and his 
remains quietly repose beneath an humble tomb at Akyab hers 
with two children at Ramree. Sandoway is marked by the graves 
of Mrs. Abbott and children. At Kyouk Phyoo rests the sleeping 
dust of br. and sr. Hall, and of br. Campbell. In the Mission 
grave-yard at Akyab also have been buried the mortal remains of 
the last Mrs. Moore and of Mrs. Knapp. 

The missionary mortality of that day in Burma seems to 
stand second only to the record of Africa's west coast. 

The Price Paid by the Karens 

For the cost to the Karens take five scenes from an 
imaginary drama of Cocoanut Creek. 

[63] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

PROLOGUE: Desiring freedom to worship God, and finding no 
rest from the Burman oppressor in the Bassein District, Karens 
cross the mountains to the sandy soil and sickly climate of 
Arracan. There under the British Raj they need not fear death 
for reading the Bible. 

SCENE I. JANUARY 15, 1842 

Abbott anchors his boat in the small bay at the mouth of Ong 
Kyoung Cocoanut Creek. After an hour's walk, he finds upon 
a little hill, a short distance from the village, a neat chapel with a 
pulpit " quite in advance of the age." 

SCENE II. APRIL 16, 1843 

One hundred and twenty new Christian families, with two hun- 
dred and fifty water buffaloes, have made the long, long trek over 
the mountains from the Bassein side. The chapel that April 
Sabbath day cannot contain more than one-fourth of the Assembly. 
Fruitful fields and rivers abounding in fish have been exchanged for 
mangrove marshes. Yet that matters little. For in Cocoanut 
Creek " they may worship God in the open face of day, and not 
a dog may move his tongue." 

SCENE III. SEPTEMBER IS, 1843 

Early morning. A large and beautiful chapel (Early Bamboo- 
thatch Period), eighty dwelling-houses, looms clicking, everywhere 
happy activity. 

Noonday. Cholera, that dread scourge, broke out in their midst, 
raged, spread with a fatal rapidity. Panic seized the poor people. 
Parents caught up their little ones in their arms and fled to the 
jungle ; some crossed back over the mountains ; many died in the 
jungle. The fine village becomes a place of desolation, their chapel 
a habitation of ants. 

SCENE IV. DECEMBER 18, 1843 

Abbott, again in Ong Kyoung ; his chronicle records : " I struck 
the gong, the people came together, arid I preached a funeral 
sermon for one hundred and twenty souls." 

[64] 



COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

SCENE V. JANUARY, 1848 

The annual preachers' training class gathers in the Cocoanut 
Greek Chapel. Abbott stands among a group of twelve, the repre- 
sentatives of thirty-six pastors of churches, " the greater number 
of which are in Burma." All are tried men " who have remained 
steadfast, immovable." Each face is marked with "intense joy at 
seeing " Abbott among them again. They " rejoice together and 
offer to the Lord " as only Karens can " a song of grateful praise." 

The Karen Martyrs 

Few have endured more than those Karens, pastors and 
people. Some had been " pierced with swords and spears, 
severely beaten, suspended by their necks from trees and 
let down before life is extinct to recover strength for a 
repetition of the cruel torture." Others had incisions 
made all over their bodies, then rubbed with salt and 
tortured to death. Men were dreadfully beaten and bound 
with iron fetters. Women were placed in a boat, anchored 
in the middle of the river, with their young children left 
crying on the shore., Christian chiefs were arraigned, 
imprisoned, fined for embracing the Christian religion and 
learning to read. Whole villages stripped of everything, 
including food, driven to beg their rice, were compelled to 
work as loathed pagoda slaves. So runs a record with few 
equals for devotion to Christ and the gospel. 

Beginnings in Bassein 

On the morning of January 8, 1853, there is read in 
Bassein the annexation proclamation of the British Gov- 
ernment. That proclamation has been given in the three 
languages of the attentive multitude. As twenty-one guns 
from the stockade, and as many from the steamer anchored 
in the near-by stream, 

[65] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

thundered forth the decree of a mighty nation, what various emo- 
tions are awakened in the awestruck crowd ! The soldier is elated 
with thoughts of glory. The haughty Burman hears in those peals 
the doom of his kingdom and his religion, and trembles. But the 
long-oppressed Karen hears a voice proclaiming liberty to the 
captive, freedom to worship God. 

Thus began a second period of Bassein mission history. 
During the first dozen years the missionaries were com- 
pelled to live in distant Sandoway. To that side of the 
mountains pastors came for training, and from that side 
they returned to win converts and care for churches. 
With the annexation Bassein itself became the permanent 
mission center for that district. More intensive training 
to lift the level of these churches is begun. 

A Monastery Becomes a Meeting-Place 

Even before the public proclamation of annexation, 
Elisha Abbott and Henry Van Meter had proceeded to 
Bassein and taken up " temporary settlement." Outside 
the high, massive brick wall which extended for nearly 
a mile along the river was what at first glance seemed " a 
beautiful grove," but further experience proved it to be 
full of jungle fevers. In it stood an almost new Buddhist 
monastery. The yellow-robed monks had fled from this 
pangyee kyaung at the approach of the British forces. 
Major Roberts, the officer in command, had given it to the 
missionaries. The building was a timber one, and by 
demolishing a large monastery in good condition near-by, 
sufficient material had been secured to divide it into three 
rooms. These became a chapel thirty by fifty feet, and a 
room each for Abbott and Van Meter. In this building 
takes place a significant meeting. 

[66] 



COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

Abbott, in failing health, had been carried ashore on the 
twenty-first. On the next day the Sabbath, July 22, 1852, 
he preached twice, to the delight of the Karens, and did 
not seem the worse for it. After the evening service, 
" there was a meeting of native preachers, twelve were 
present. The four ordained preachers Tway Poh, Mau 
Yeh, Myat Keh, and Poh Kway had been appointed a 
committee to inquire of all the assistants as to their losses 
during the recent troubles and to present their present 
needs." 

Men Who Are Multiplied Many Times Today 

The Karens throughout the years have produced many 
notable men, not least among these were those gathered 
that July evening in the Bassein monastery. What a short 
time before had been a depository for cases of Buddhist 
books, became the scene of a great forward step in the 
administration of mission funds. Tway Poh, one of the 
Committee, had for a number of years been pastor of the 
Cocoanut Creek Church. A " mild and lovely John " 
without " an enemy in the world. He has ever been a 
fair high character and acquired a commanding influence, 
which, in meekness and love, he consecrates unreservedly 
to the cause of truth." Mau Yeh, another Committee 
member, was the oldest of the ordained Karen pastors. 
He perhaps presents the report from the Committee. One 
finds him pictured as : unusually large and rather uncouth 
in his personal appearance, with firm mouth and prominent 
nose, a man of the jungle, with little education and less of 
eloquence, yet with a power in his speech, for "there is 
soul and common sense in all that he says." His turban 
is but ill arranged; he wears two or three long Karen 

[67] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

coats, one over the other, and around his neck is a soiled 
silk handkerchief knotted at the one end to hold some 
small change while from the other end dangle his keys. 
As he stands there, with his face alight, his very presence 
bears unforgetable witness to the transforming power of 
the gospel. 

Partnership Not Paternalism 

The case of each pastor was taken up separately by this 
Committee and recorded in due form. The result was that 
that some sixty-five dollars was asked for. " This sum, it 
must be remembered, is all that they have received for 
almost two years." 

So those pastors gathered that night to hear a report 
which distributed the pitiful sum of two hundred rupees 
from America among fifteen of them; men, many of 
whom had lost all of their possessions through Burmese 
persecutions. The striking thing, however, is not the 
amount distributed nor the fact that so little could be of 
any assistance to them, but that even in 1852 there was 
developing real leadership among the Karens. Even then 
the watchword of the Bassein Mission was " partners, not 
employees." The Jerusalem Conference of 1928 coined a 
finer phrase for the relation between missionaries and 
Nationals : " partnership, not paternalism." But Beecher 
and Abbott, Tway Poh, and Mau Yeh practised the prin- 
ciple three-quarters of a century before. 

The Cost of Self-support 

The report of that Committee in the Buddhist kyoung 
also furnishes a glimpse of the beginnings of self-help as 
attained by the Karens. They have today become the out- 

[68] 





H 

ffl 

i> 

CO 



O 
Sd 



W 
&> 
tr 1 
r* 

a 

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(X) 




COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

standing group in this regard among Baptist "younger 
churches " everywhere. Common comment is, " but con- 
ditions among the Karens are different." Conditions to- 
day are undoubtedly different among the Karens from 
those found among most Christian groups in Asia. They 
are now, but were they in the eighteen-fif ties ? Few folk 
have ever had a greater ground for appeal to America 
for funds. Few missionaries have faced more difficult 
soil in which to sow the seeds of self-support. Yet it was 
stressed from the first, even though the substitution of the 
Karen churches for the mission treasury cost Beecher and 
Abbott " more anguish of spirit and more hours of con- 
troversy and pleading than all the other troubles arising 
from the forty pastors and five thousand converts put 
together." Shway Weing, Ko Tha Byu, and their asso- 
ciates were not " secured and held to their work by rupees ; 
they went forth living as the fowls of the heaven in the 
goodness of God, and through their labors multitudes be- 
came obedient to the faith." This meant, for more than 
one pastor, weeks of weary labor in his own rice-fields to 
secure for himself " self-support." " In the year of Christ, 
1849, the Elders of the Church at Great Rock to teacher 
Abbott " wrote : 

We gave our teacher, Shway Bo, during the year, twelve rupees, 
eight annas [$4.50] ; sixty baskets of paddy ; one hundred viss of 
dried fish [365 pounds] ; fifty viss of salt ; a bundle of tobacco, 
etc. We are very poor, O teacher 1 [too true] and can do but 
little. Pray for us, that we may be blessed. 

It was no great amount for Thra Shway Bo. It was, 
however, seed planted, later to bear abundant harvest in 
sturdy independent truly indigenous churches. The sacri- 
fice of the pioneers has today its rich reward. 

F [69] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Present-day mission policy states that " the paramount 
aim of the Christian missionary is to lead men everywhere 
to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Master through 
whom they may find the Father." After that acceptance 
there arises the urgent need for these believers to band 
themselves into churches; for upon those churches is 
largely placed dependence for the further extension of the 
Kingdom. Church life " inevitably seems to express itself 
in complete self-government, self-support, and self -propa- 
gation." At all stages of mission history it has been 
natural, therefore, to look upon progress in self-support 
as convincing evidence of vitality, and the securing of 
such self-support as one of the main problems of mission 
administration. The Karen churches must be given high 
rank in this regard. Without a glimpse of the early days 
one cannot realize the price paid by the missionaries. Nor 
must one forget the self-sacrifice of Karen pastors and 
people. 

Some Fruits of Century-Old Seedlings 

One might catch the contrast between early years and 
today by walking through the Ko Tha Byu Memorial 
in Bassein. Dr. C. A. Nichols, for more than fifty years 
in this field, has made that building perfect in every detail 
from its copper-nailed slate shingles to its beautiful pipe- 
organ made of ten tons of Burma's best teak. Remember 
all its cost has come from Burma. Other Karen stations 
are also showing marvelous progress along these same 
lines. Drop down to Burma's farthest south, Tavoy. On 
the slab which covers George Dana Boardman's grave read 
the words : " His epitaph is written in the adjoining forests 
and in the Christian villages of yonder mountains. Who 

[70] 



COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

taught you to abandon the worship of demons? Who 
raised you from vice to morality? Who brought you the 
Bible, your Sabbaths, and your words of prayer? Let 
the reply be his eulogy." 

With the questions of that epitaph in mind, attend a 
meeting of Karens from " the adjoining forests." Let 
Walter Sutton, their missionary, give their reply : 

A big question at our Tavoy-Mergui Karen Association was 
whether the Karen Christians of the District should entertain 
the All Burma Baptist Convention and celebrate the centennial 
of the baptism of Ko Tha Byu, the first Karen convert. Bright 
and early the morning of February 8, 1928, the Karens filled the 
mandat to vote upon this question. It was feared it was too big a 
job for Tavoy to undertake. It has never been held in so small a 
town. The Karens have debts and are erecting a new church and 
school building which will cost a lakh and a half of rupees (about 
$50,000). The entertaining of the Convention would cost money. 
These stern figures caused doubt in the minds of many as to the 
wisdom of entertaining the Convention. But this was the one 
hundredth anniversary of Ko Tha Byu's baptism. It happened in 
Tavoy. It can only be fittingly celebrated in Tavoy. Christians 
all over Burma are anxious to come here for the celebration. 
A delegation from the U. S. A. is expected. Because we have 
never done it before, is not a good and sufficient reason why it 
should not be done now. It was evident that no one was against 
it on principle, simply upon debts. After hearing different ones 
give expression to their opinions the Karens were anxious for a 
vote. They voted. Unanimously they determined to use what they 
hope will be their golden opportunity to greet their fellow Chris- 
tians from all over Burma and some from beyond the seas, and 
start upon a grander century of work for Jesus to whom they 
owe everything. 

Centennial Celebration Subscriptions 

When the vote had settled the question, a motion was made 
and carried to appoint a committee, to apportion the getting of 

[71] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA. 

sufficient food for all the delegates. When the report was read 
Thra Ah Du asked that there be no grumbling over the requests 
made by the committee. They had tried to divide everything fairly. 
Then he began and received intensive hearing as he said, " Tavoy 
20 baskets rice, Mytta 10 baskets rice, Et Et 15 baskets rice." So 
to village after village until the number of baskets of rice 
reached 337. Likewise the number of pigs asked for totaled 56. 
Nine individuals promised ten cows. Each Christian was asked 
to donate one chicken. Certain villages can secure certain foods 
better than others because of their location. The villages on the 
sea are to supply all the dried fish. Where vegetables grow well, 
vegetables will come from the villages. A few villages right in 
the heart of the bamboo country will supply the thousands of 
bamboo needed for the mandat and the temporary dining-shed 
and cook-house. In addition every Christian is asked to give 
eight annas (16 cents) at least. Those' Christians having a 
monthly salary or a good yearly income are expected to give half 
a month's salary. 

Yet that is not all the story. Our new church and school build- 
ing, the Morrow Memorial, being constructed at the expense of the 
Government of Burma and the Karens, each to pay half of the 
cost, is progressing as fast as the Karens can collect their share 
of the money. Our money was practically depleted when I went 
to the Association. I had to know how much the Karens would 
give and when. The afternoon meeting opened with Scripture 
and a prayer. Then the President of the Association announced 
that the session would be devoted to the interest of Morrow 
Memorial. Thra Tudee was called upon for a short speech. He 
explained the critical financial condition which the building fund 
faced. With only Rs. 750 in hand and Rs. 20,300 needed as 
quickly as possible to carry on the building and prevent what has 
already been built from being damaged by the next rains, which 
start in May, it was clear to all that they must hustle with their 
cash contributions for the building fund. There was not much 
cash to be had, but every one wanted to know how much cash 
could be counted upon. They proceeded to find out. The people 
saw three strange-looking blackboards and some snowy white 
chalk. 

[72] 



COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

An Elephant Helps Build a School 

When the invitation was given to come up and write down the 
amount of the pledges, all eyes centered upon some of the Karen 
elders. We wanted to see what they would do. Then some 
shouted for U Shwe Po to start off, but he did not jump, instead 
he was looking for a hymn to express his thoughts. He selected, 
"What Hast Thou Done for Me?" He read it through to the 
people, and concluded by saying he was going to do something for 
Him. Turning, he walked up to the blackboard and wrote down 
Rs. 5,580 (about $1,860). That was grand. The people ap- 
plauded vigorously. Next they were anxious to see Thra Gwaw 
Po. He took the chalk and said that he did not have cash but 
some things he could convert into cash readily and wrote that he 
would give: 

1 elephant (cheap at price) Rs. 3,000 

1 piece of paddy land 2,500 

1 water buffalo 40 

1 cow 10 

1 horse 25 

1 goat 5 



Rs. 5,580 

Again there was an outburst of applause. A procession of 
faithful pastors filed up the aisles to do their part, and not one 
person failed to give something. Their gifts ranged from Rs. 20/ 
to Rs. 300/. One was a pastor who works among non-Christians 
who give him no aid, and who must grow his own paddy in order 
to live. He has so little that the Christian Endeavor Societies 
give him Rs. 60/ (about $20) per year to assist him. That man 
with face beaming wrote opposite his name Rs. 60/ and said, " I 
get this much from the Christian Endeavor, and I'll give it to 
the Morrow Memorial Building Fund." The Karens raised in 
pledges at this meeting the magnificent sum of Rs. 16,527. It 
was an amount beyond my dreams. Even if it takes nearly every- 
thing they have the Karens propose to erect that new school 
building in honor of Thra Morrow (Rev. Horatio Morrow) who 
served them so acceptably for 29 years. 

[73] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Today there are 611 Karen Baptist schools ; 593 of these 
do not receive a rupee of mission aid. Almost all of them 
are in villages. In Bassein in addition to the buildings of 
the Sgaw Karens centering about the new twin-towered 
Ko Tha Byu Hall one also sees a fine group of Pwo 
Karen buildings a few blocks away. In Rangoon there 
are the fine brick buildings, replacing long used teak struc- 
tures, rising about the impressive Vinton Memorial. To 
the stories of these Karen stations interesting chapters 
might be added of Henzada, Maubin, and Tharrawaddy, 
lying between Rangoon and Bassein; of Moulmein to the 
south; and of Toungoo, Nyaunglebin, and Shwegyin to 
the north as well as Loikaw back up in the Hills, the 
youngest of the Karen fields. No finer record is written 
anywhere in any mission field than that of the Karens. 



[74] 



VI 
BEYOND MANDALAY 

The Kachin Jubilee 

Only seven days after his arrival in Bhamo, Albert 
Lyon was stricken. On March 15, 1878, the Burmese 
Governor, the British resident, Jacob Freiday, the new 
missionary to the Shans, and Josiah Gushing, the veteran 
missionary to that same race, followed Lyon's crude casket 
to a grave outside the stockade. Hopes long deferred for 
founding a mission beyond Mandalay among the Kachins 
seemed crushed. For all that was left was a single Karen 
hidden in the hills. 

Yet a half century later, just after the Ides of March, 
1927, some seven thousand Kachins, a majority Chris- 
tians, gathered in Bhamo to celebrate the jubilee of the 
arrival of Thra S'?eh, the Bassein Karen. That gathering 
gave due honor to two outstanding figures in the Mission's 
beginnings William Henry Roberts and Ola Hanson. 
With these, if one includes the prospector period, may 
well be placed three well-known names : Kincaid, Mason, 
and Gushing. 

The First Missionary Journey Beyond Bhamo 

Eugenio Kincaid in 1833 went up the Irrawaddy from 
Rangoon to make a " reentry into the Golden City," Ava. 
There had been no missionary there since Judson left some 
seven years before. Four years after this reentry a crazed 
king and a crumbling government compelled his hasty 

[75] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

withdrawal to British territory. Before his flight he 
made the first missionary journey into the regions beyond 
Mandalay. 

A small native boat bound for Bhamo and beyond bore 
Kincaid up the Irrawaddy from Ava. His ultimate desti- 
nation was Mogaung, " the most northern city of Burma," 
in the " Great Sacred Lake region, skirted by a territory 
crowded with people and abounding in amber and serpen- 
tine stone." The up-stream trip took twenty-two days, 
past mines famed even then for the world's finest pigeon- 
blood rubies and blue sapphires, mines which in 1929 
yielded a $35,000 ruby and a sapphire worth half again 
that amount. Still on he went through the majestic defiles, 
and within sight of Ta-roke-yo-bong, the " three heaps of 
Chinese bones." There forty thousand Chinese soldiers, it 
is alleged, perished in a single day in a battle with the Bur- 
mese. One dusk found him at " Great Rock," residence of 
the Governor of Monheim Province. That official gave 
much information about a people called Kachins, ordered a 
sumptuous dinner, royally entertained Kincaid and his 
companions, and dispatched them the next day, with gifts 
of rice, dried fish, and vegetables. Many friendly villages 
were visited. Calls were made at hundreds of homes. 
Scores of tracts were distributed. The trip was a typical 
missionary journey. With it came a vision of advance 
over the Himalayan foothills to join Burma with Assam, 
the two to become one great Baptist mission field. 

Burmese Banditti Capture Kincaid 

A very different tale must be told of the trip back down 
the Irrawaddy. Civil war had broken out. Numerous 
bands of armed banditti overran the country. The cry of 

[76] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

" Robbers, robbers," had been so frequently heard that 
at last at Sa-ban-ago it went unheeded. Then suddenly 
there was the roar of thirty muskets. " I heard some of 
the balls whiz past my ears, others struck the boat, and 
some fell into the water. My boat was surrounded by 
villainous robbers more than seventy spears encircled my 
body, I was completely encased by steel points touching 
me. But God was with me and sustained my courage." 
Dragged ashore and placed in the center of a council of 
banditti, they " decided to behead me at sundown, the time 
of day when all Burman executions took place." 

The sentence of the council was providentially post- 
poned. Kincaid was, however, robbed of the last rag of 
his clothing, a " strip about a cubit wide " being given him 
to fasten around his loins. " They then tied me with 
ropes and led me off under a guard of one hundred and 
fifty men. After six days and nights full of danger, I 
found means to escape to the mountains, though for thir- 
teen days, nearly destitute of clothing, exposed almost con- 
stantly to a burning sun, sleeping in the open air, and on 
the ground, and obliged to beg here and there a handful 
of boiled rice, I was enabled to endure it." In this way 
the nearly one hundred miles to Ava were covered and 
Kincaid reached home. So ended the first missionary 
journey beyond Mandalay, and so suffered another mis- 
sionary, staking new frontiers for the Kingdom. 

Bibles: Shan and Kachin 

An attempt to go up the Irrawaddy beyond Mandalay 
was made in 1867. Josiah N. Gushing and A. Taylor 
Rose embarked at Rangoon, Bhamo-bound in search of 
northern Shans. Their flotilla steamer, Arthur Phayre, 

[78] 



BEYOND MANDALAY 

named for the great civil servant, reached Mandalay just 
after Christmas. They had a happy audience with King 
Mindon Min and hired a boat for the venture. Then 
opposition arose to a trip north. Abandoning the boat, 
with six pack ponies instead, they set out into the hills to 
the east toward China. That was a pioneer journey among 
the southern Shans who call themselves " Tai," and it 
played its part in paving the way for Cushing's masterly 
translation of the Bible into that many-toned tongue. The 
Shans had a written language ; the Kachins did not. 

Francis Mason, master linguist and translator of the 
Bible into Sgaw Karen, penetrated the country to the 
north in 1873. He sought Kachins, kinfolk, he was con- 
fident, of his beloved Karens. Thanksgiving Day finds 
that grand old man in his seventy-fifth year sitting in a 
Burmese zayat in Bhamo digging out a bit of Kachin 
grammar and a considerable vocabulary of words. This 
was his last work. To Mason's manuscript Cushing later 
made some additions. From these meager beginnings 
Dr. Ola Hanson completed the reduction of the language 
to writing. Then through three crowded decades he per- 
sisted until the entire Bible was translated into Kachin. 

Kachins and Karens 

A report of Mason's survey was sent to Bassein. He 
felt sure that " Bhamo is the earliest bit of solid ground 
we have on which to found Karen history." He found 
some striking similarities : " The Kachins carry baskets 
on their backs, like Karens. The Karen, like the Kachin 
women, use a very peculiar kind of loom in weaving; 
and the look of the Kachin women is precisely the same. 
Like the Karens, the Kachins chew the betel-leaf, and 

[79] 



BAPTISTS IN BUEMA 

call it pu-lap very near the Karen name Lipu-la." Catch 
that similarity if you can ! 

The experiences of that trip deeply stirred Mason. His 
" ready pen " further records : 

When I looked up to the range of mountains not ten miles dis- 
tant, but stretching off to the east far as the eye can reach some 
six thousand feet high, and marked like a mosaic pavement with 
the brown patches of Kachin cultivation contrasting with the deep 
green forest, my heart yearned after these children of the moun- 
tains, with none to point out to them the way of salvation. 

The Bassein Karens caught Mason's vision. Pastor 
Bogalay was sent to accompany Gushing, who was making 
another determined effort to get beyond Mandalay. These 
two reached Bhamo in 1876. Bogalay, cowed by the 
" fierce sons of the jungle," left in a week, but Thra S'Peh 
soon came in his stead. His name should be linked with 
Lyon, Roberts, and Hanson. 

The First Missionary to the Kachins 

A letter from Thra S'Peh, this first foreign missionary 
from America's first foreign mission field, shows that the 
high courage and devotion of the pioneers had caught 
among the Karens. 

POOMAH, JANUARY 11, 1878. 
DEAR TEACHER AND MAMA: 

I pity this people very much. They want very much to learn; 
but at present I am all alone on the mountains among them. 
Owing to fighting among the Kachins and Burmans, I cannot 
travel about as freely as I wish. The Burmans have given out 
that they would massacre all the Kachins from fifteen years old 
and upwards, and I was a little afraid. Teacher Gushing told me 
not to fear; if the Burmans attacked one mountain, to flee to 

[80] 



BEYOND MANDALAY 

the next; and, if they should take all the mountains, to flee into 
China. I did as he said, and stayed on the mountains. I am 
all ready to cast in my lot with these poor Kachins, to suffer 
with them, and to lead them with my whole heart to Christ, as 
Moses cast in his lot with the children of Israel. Nevertheless, 
I was attacked with fever three times, but not violently. I am not 
very strong. Pray for me that I may have strength for my 
work. I will write you monthly of this work. Do you also 
write me sometimes, and thus strengthen my heart. Salute all the 
Bassein pastors for me. Finally may you all experience God's 
favor. S'PEH. 

Four years later W. H. Roberts baptized the first seven 
Kachin converts. These were the results of the labors 
of Thra S'Peh. Many such Karens have gone as mission- 
aries to Burma's far-flung frontier. Their contribution is 
incalculable. 

Animism: A Religion of Fear 

Missionaries, American and Karen, found above Bhamo 
a religion very different from Buddhism. Religion among 
the Kachins is in a large measure like that of any other 
primitive people. With no literature, its essential part is 
not belief, but practise. The primary aim of its rites is 
to avert the anger of supernatural beings and to secure 
their aid in the struggle for existence. These spirits are 
some weak, some powerful; a few kind, many unkind; 
some helpful, most hurtful; in their midst man is com- 
pelled to live. His most important task is the adjustment 
of his relations with them. 

Something of this sort of belief still lingers among the 
conduct-guiding forces even of civilized nations. Much 
of it is found in the background of Burmese Buddhism. 
It is our own superstition many times manifold. Thirteen 

[81] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

reclined at the " Last Supper " table. This fact makes 
unrentable and so eliminates the " thirteenth " floor from 
152 Madison Avenue, New York City. Such supersti- 
tions greatly intensified operate as the motive power be- 
hind every act of these primitive hill-men. 

Ola Hanson gives as his matured judgment that " the 
savage is far more religious than his civilized brother. 
Everything he does can be traced to some religious cus- 
tom and superstition. In his work or amusement he is 
always under the shadow of his invisible guardians or 
tormentors. They follow him as his own shadow from the 
cradle to the grave." 

The Kachins' nats or spirits are innumerable, occupy- 
ing every imaginable place above and below. " They rule 
the sun, the moon and the sky, dwell on every mountain- 
top, in every spring and stream. Every waterfall, cave, 
and precipitous rock has its guardian, as well as every 
wood, field, and large tree. And to this host is added the 
particular divinities to whom each village, tribe, or family 
must pay particular attention." 

Trees, rocks, or animals are, however, never worshiped. 
No images of any kind are ever made. It is the varied 
and sundry ceremonies conducted by the village priest 
which go to make up their religious exercises. " This 
priest is, as a rule, the most intelligent and best-informed 
man in his community. His duties are clearly defined, 
and he alone is familiar with the religious language chanted 
at the sacrificial service." 

Visible Evidence of Animism 

One cannot travel far in the Kachin country without 
having their demonology brought forcibly to his attention, 

[82] 



BEYOND MAM)ALAY 

The typical Kachin village is entered by a long, shaded, 
often picturesque path. On either side of this path are 
several short, squared posts covered with rude models of 
weapons, household articles, and ornaments. These are 
" the things most desired by the community." The pro- 
viding spirits have their place of abode just beyond, so 
these pictures constantly remind them of the wishes of 
their worshipers. These spirit abodes are usually placed 
under some tall and venerable trees. They are shelf-like 
structures, and are worshiped by the chief as the repre- 
sentative of the village. 

Enter the village and before every house is a similar 
curious collection of shrines for the supernatural guardians 
of the family. With these no one may interfere. All are 
receptacles of various kinds of offerings. These are kept 
intact as constant reminders to the spirits that they are 
not forgotten. Within the house, whether that of chief or 
commoner, above the main fireplace is the sacred corner. 
In it is yet another altar dedicated to the household gods. 
Any trespass in this place is keenly resented. It is the 
tearing down of these various altars which marks the day 
when the family becomes Christian. This ceremony serves 
as a severe test of sincerity. 

So the Kachin goes with danger dogging every step 
of life. To quote again from Doctor Hanson's authorita- 
tive book : 

If soot falls from the roof into food that is being prepared, it is 
a bad sign. If rats build nests in a grave, the relatives of the 
interred will be poor. If lightning strikes, the not of thunder 
must have an offering. If a house burns, if a man is killed by a 
tiger, the nat causing such misfortunes must be placated. By far 
the greatest number of sacrifices are, however, to secure help in 

[83] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

time of illness. Disease, in spite of a healthy climate and a great 
deal of outdoor life, is very common. The belief that the nats 
alone can help has developed a fatalism in regard to health. They 
often seem entirely indifferent to pain, but in reality they stand 
a great deal less than their civilized brothers. 

Kachins and Cotton Mather 

One of the difficult tasks of the British Raj in India 
has been to dispense justice without clashing with " re- 
ligious " customs and belief. The Kachins would have 
made congenial fellow townsmen of Cotton Mather in 
Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. Their " religion " makes 
it impossible for them to understand why the British law 
prohibits summary disposal of witches. They are thor- 
oughly convinced that witches are demon-possessed, a real 
danger demanding drastic measures. 

The Origin of Burma's Many Races 

Such are some of the characteristics of the Kachins, 
just one of Burma's many races. That country's multi- 
plicity of peoples might well require a Tower of Babel, 
a flood, and a tidal wave, if one is to try to explain their 
origin. The Tower, mayhap, was located in mid-Man- 
churia, the flood spilled its " Joseph's coat " collection of 
mankind far and wide in China. It ran over into Burma 
and swirling down the valleys above and below Bhamo, 
pushed its vanguard back into the high hills, there to 
form the Karens, Kachins, Chins, and Padaungs, leaving 
the Burmese and Talaings to occupy the valleys. As 
though this diversity were not enough, each high mountain 
ridge found the intervening valley a sufficient barrier to 
build up a different dialect an authority claims forty such 
for the Chin group alone. To add to all this confusion 

[84] 



BEYOND MANDALAY 

worse confounded the tidal wave of " Tai " swept up 
from the stormy South China Sea, a wave that did not 
spend itself till it had reached the high plateaus of North- 
east Burma where the Tai as " Shans " pushed Taungthu, 
Wa, and Lahu likewise up the hills. They are now domi- 
nant there through sawbwas, petty princelings, loosely tied 
together in the Shan States Federation. That same wave 
swept down the rich Menam River valley where the Tai 
now rule as Siamese. When these inundations had ex- 
pended themselves a dozen distinct language groups and 
almost ten dozen dialects were within what are now 
Burma's borders. All have become native to the soil like 
the tropical jungle's prodigal profusion of flora and fauna. 
This has made the mission task most complex. 

Of Chins and Shans, Lahus and Was, Taungthus and 
Talaings interesting stories might be told. For each race 
important mission work has been and is being done. The 
Chins' story has been ably told by Mrs. Arthur Carson's 
Pioneer Trails, Trials, and Triumphs. That their forty 
dialects mean real differences any one of the six or seven 
Baptist missionaries to those two hundred and ninety 
thousand hill people will bear witness. 

As for the Shans, they are mostly Buddhists like the 
Burmans. They seem to excel even that race in slow- 
ness of acceptance of Christianity. Here again, as with 
the Burmans, it must be admitted, workers have not been 
and are not now sufficient to face the task adequately. 
There are twelve missionaries, American Baptists and 
English Wesleyans, for more than a million people. 
Though hidden in the hills, Chins and Kachins, Lahus and 
Was have proved more accessible, and so have drawn 
much of the Mission's strength. 

G [85] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Recent Immigrants 

The human flood and tidal wave referred to above pre- 
ceded British rule. Since the arrival of the British Raj, 
two major peaceful invasions, one of " natives " and the 
other of Chinese, must be mentioned. The name " native " 
is a thing of pride when it is " Native of Washington, 
D. C.," or some other desirable domicile. It has a very 
different meaning when it is " native of India." Burma 
has some nine hundred thousand " natives of India," about 
half of whom are Moslems. Many are wealthy merchants, 
bankers, brokers, petty traders, and policemen, but most 
are just coolies. These are clad like Kipling's Gunga Din, 
with " nothin' much before an' rather less than 'arf of that 
be'ind." Naturally the name "native" is anathema in 
Burma. Most of them work on the docks, cook, clean, 
and do a thousand other useful things. A chief task is to 
care for the rice crop. That garnered, they more often 
than not return across the Bay of Bengal mostly to the 
Madras side till the next harvest. Many, though, have 
sent for their families and settled on the soil. So all to- 
gether, the Indian community can muster ten seats in the 
Legislative Council. Among these Indian immigrants a 
work worthy of extended mention is being carried on. 
In Rangoon, Union Hall High School, highly commended 
by Government inspectors, serves as a center. There are 
churches, too, such as Bethel Baptist back beyond the 
Shwe Dagon pagoda among the lowliest of the city's ser- 
vants. Also the Telugu Church which is under the leader- 
ship of their own T. B. Joseph, an outstanding evangelistic 
preacher. Moulmein has its Mizpah Hall School. Mis- 
sionaries there, as well as others in Bassein, Prome, and 

[86] 



BEYOND MANDALAY 

Mandalay, have done much to further the work so capably 
carried on for many years by William Fredrick and 
Hannah Norris Armstrong. 

The other peaceful penetration of recent years has 
come from the East. The coastal provinces of South- 
eastern China have sent shoemakers, shopkeepers, cabinet- 
makers, carpenters, contractors, and keepers of pawn- 
shops. Chinese now total one hundred and fifty thousand 
if one includes with these the thinbau of the ships and the 
anya of the north who come overland by caravan from 
Yunnan. No village can call itself a town until the 
ubiquitous Chinese comes as the dispenser of short-term 
loans. 

With these penetrations, peaceful and otherwise, have 
come certain amalgamations to add still other distinct 
groups. Anglo-Indian and Chino-Burman have played 
most important roles in the country's development. This 
close alliance of China and Burma has been a peculiarly 
happy combination of kindred races remarkably produc- 
tive of leaders. As for the Anglo-Indians, they vary as 
widely as the heredity of the "Anglo " half and as the 
environment in which they are brought up. Many of them 
have won high places in every aspect of the life of the 
country. Mission schools and churches, in particular 
Immanuel Baptist, Rangoon, and the two English Baptist 
churches at Moulmein and Maymyo, with their American 
pastors, have played no small part in making the Anglo- 
Indians the vital element of the nation which they are. 
As for the Chino-Burman, he has largely had to look to 
the Burmese church for Christian instruction. From this 
group have come such able men as Saya Ah Syoo, pastor 
of the Moulmein Burmese Baptist Church. 

[87] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

New Needs Continually Arise 

Such statements give just a fleeting glimpse of the 
varied folk who now make up that cosmopolitan coun- 
try Burma. It is a land which is continually opening 
new doors for missionary endeavor. North of Myitkyina 
in " The Triangle " the Burma Government recently ran- 
somed four thousand Kachin slaves. Among them the 
Kachin Baptist Mission Society would send workers. It 
is that, in part, which leads them to plan to start a small 
Bible school, headed by the veteran George Geis, in the 
hills east of Bhamo. There they would train more workers 
in addition to those who have completed the course at the 
Burmese Seminary at Insein. Chester Strait at Haka 
already has such a school with eyes turned toward the 
urgent needs in the Chin Hills. It is in the far eastern 
part of the Shan States and on that same plateau as it 
becomes a part of Yunnan, China, that the greatest ingath- 
erings have come recently. With them, too, has come the 
difficult problem of how to give adequate training. This 
mass movement has not been among the Shans of the 
valleys but from the Lahus and Was hidden in mountain 
villages east of Kengtung. 

Both Sides of the China Border 

About a dozen years ago the veteran William Young 
turned the work in Kengtung state over to younger hands 
and pressed into the " regions beyond." What he has 
met there may be best described in his own words : 

From Hsi Ken we went a day's journey on our return trip to a 
large village called Pang Nai. Three small villages under it were 
awaiting baptism. An official at Ai Hsoi three hours' march 

[88] 



BEYOND MANDALAY 

from there had attempted to break down the work. Both last 
year and this he had sent men to oppose and threaten, but the 
people stood firm. On February 6, 1925, we baptized the four 
villages, 331 baptisms. In the afternoon we moved on to Ai 
Hsoi, where a mob collected as we passed through the village. 
It had no doubt been instigated by the official over a small post 
there. He was a raving maniac from rage when we reached his 
place. He ordered it barred and began beating and kicking our 
workers. He refused to look at our passports or the Governor's 
edict insuring protection and religious liberty. He ordered the 
entrance to his place barred and then ordered the soldiers to get 
their guns. They were ordered to fire on us. A mob of about 
300 to 400 was pressing upon us, brandishing spears and long Wa 
knives. They kept shooting from the crowd. The soldiers were 
ordered to fire. They were only about fifteen yards from us. We 
could hear the click of the hammers as the guns were lowered 
on us, but not a gun of the soldiers went off. We managed to get 
out of the enclosure in front of the Post, to a place about fifty 
yards away where we had expected to camp for the night. After 
being surrounded for about a half hour by the soldiers and mob, 
and hundreds of shots fired, some of the mob became ashamed 
of their actions. Harold and my Chinese interpreter had pleaded 
with the official to < quiet down and restore order. The Wa 
preachers pleaded with the Wa, and some began to plead for 
order. Others cried, "Kill them all." We were permitted to 
move on later. No one was seriously hurt. Our pack animals 
that had been taken were restored. Some of the mob ran ahead 
and kept firing from ambush as we went along the road. 

An Association in the Bana Field 

Then there is an account of an association in 1930. It 
was held in a small independent District, under neither 
Chinese nor British rule. The District borders on the 
territory of the wild head-hunting Was. 

We arrived March 1, and were to hold our Association March 
5-7. On Sunday, March 2, I sent the ordained native workers 

[89] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

out to the Christian villages of that District. There had been no 
baptisms in most of the villages for five years, and many children 
had grown to baptismal age. I was working in three villages of 
about three hundred houses; as I entered the largest village for 
10 a. m. service, I heard shouting and the report of guns in a 
wooded section not far from the village. I saw villagers running 
with their guns to that spot. A band of about forty head-hunting 
Was had attacked six boys who were driving cattle and buffalo 
out to pasture. Four of the boys were killed, the other two 
narrowly escaped. One received a spear wound in the back. The 
other they attempted to behead but struck too high, and as he was 
wearing a heavy turban, the knife struck the turban and glanced 
off his head. Nearly seven hundred were baptized in that section 
in villages that had been largely Christian before. The attendance 
at the Association was reported as three thousand four hundred. 
The day after the Association closed, several groups of head- 
hunting Was came and we preached to them in the chapel. About 
twenty new villages were baptized on this tour. Some were asked 
to wait as we were short of workers to locate with them as pastors. 
The work has been greatly strengthened all along the line. 

So Burma furnishes varied problems for missionary 
effort. In the valleys of the Irrawaddy and of the Shan 
plateau the Burmese and Shans are both Buddhists and 
both very slow in accepting Christ. While from the hills 
which surround these valleys have come the great groups 
who are trying to live the life to which the Master has 
called them. 



[90] 



vn 

WOMEN'S WORK 

The Sightseer 

The hurried tourist is " doing " Rangoon. He has seen 
the Shwe Dagon Pagoda across the Royal Lakes at sunset. 
He has visited the fascinating night bazaar. In the early 
morning mists he has gone to a timber-yard with its 
"eliphints a'pilin' teak." It has been perfect so far. 
What else remains for the last two of his eighteen hours ? 
For a fitting climax go out Umbrella Lane to the Kem- 
mendine Girls' School. Along the lane you will find a 
bit of Burmese village life. At its end is an example of 
Burma's best in the fruits of foreign missions. Nothing 
finer is found anywhere than the cooperative effort of the 
women of Burma and of America in the education of girls. 

Goal and Methods in Women's Work 

The goal of women's foreign missions is " the elevation 
and Christianization of women and children in foreign 
lands." The methods employed for the accomplishment 
of this are " evangelistic, educational, and medical." A 
very able group of women have gone from America to 
Burma. An equally remarkable group have responded 
to their leadership. These two are demonstrating beyond 
a doubt that all three methods may lead to the same great 
end. The "A. B. M." girls' schools in Burma hold high 
rank as educational institutions. Their very atmosphere 
breathes of a winsome Jesus. They train those already 

[91] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Christian. They bring non-Christians to Christ. They 
demonstrate that education may be a method second to 
none for extending the Kingdom. 

Susan Haswell: Founder of the First School for Girls 

" Mama Susie," as the friends of her childhood in 
Burma called her, must take first rank as a founder of 
institutions in Moulmein. The English Girls' High 
School, the Leper Asylum, and the All Burma Orphanage 
are clearly of her conceiving. It was her urgent appeal 
which brought to Burma the first woman physician, Ellen 
Mitchell. So came the inspiration for the Ellen Mitchell 
Memorial Hospital for women and children. The first 
institution of her founding was, however, Morton Lane 
School. Hosea Howard came with Jonathan Wade on 
the Cashmere in 1834. He conducted for some ten years 
a boarding-school with a department for girls. About 
fifteen years later Miss Haswell came back to Burma to 
join her father, James M., and her brother, James R. She 
found the intelligent, active Christian women of Moul- 
mein had been pupils in Hosea Howard's school. As for 
the younger women, they could scarcely read, knew little 
of God's Word, and had their hearts set on money-making. 
The convictions she formed bore fruit in her day in 
Morton Lane. She built the " White House." It was a 
most attractive building. The upper floor was of teak, 
the lower plastered with cement. Handsome white pillars 
ran across the front. There is now a group of five fine 
buildings equipped to care for some six hundred girls. 
The staff is exceptional. Its work extends from kinder- 
garten to high and normal school. Morton Lane School 
for Girls has few equals, East or West. 

[92] 



WOMEN'S WORK 



The First Four Girls' Schools 

Morton Lane and English High in Moulmein together 
with Kemmendine in Rangoon have celebrated their 
jubilees. Mandalay Girls' High and Normal School lacks 
only a few years of its fiftieth birthday. All of them are 
well equipped. A number of fine buildings have been 
erected during the last decade or so. They have sent some 
of their finest graduates to Judson College. Few college 
women anywhere can surpass that group in charm and 
capability. Drawn from all over Burma, they receive 
training not only in the classroom but also in the life of 
Benton Hall. Just to mention one or two from the Morton 
Lane group. Ma Nyein Tha is now the smiling, efficient 
headmistress of her old school. Ruth Ah Syoo, a daughter 
of the Moulmein parsonage, is a teacher in the near-by 
Judson Boys' High School. Ma Mya Yin is a Deputy 
Inspectress of Schools in the Tennaserim Circle. Ma E 
Tin is back in the High Department of Morton Lane. She 
made an unforgetable picture when she presented a 
bouquet to the Prince of Wales. She also stood highest 
of all the students in the University of Rangoon in the 
B. A. examination of her year. 

Personal contacts in Sunday-school work bring another 
pleasing picture that of the staff of Kemmendine. There 
was just one little group gathered in the house of an evan- 
gelist when the writer first began to take the tram to that 
crowded suburb. The work did not go too well. House- 
to-house visiting down the crowded street helped but 
little. Then Ma Hla May and Ma Nyein May came from 
Kemmendine. Another house opened its doors, and then 
a third. Many little folk each week hear of Jesus. 

[93] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 



Education Plus 

Kemmendine has a strong church which meets in the 
school. After careful preparation there came a gospel- 
team chiefly of Judson College students. The campaign 
continued for two days. At the end an invitation was 
given. More than seventy, most of them from Buddhist 
homes, accepted Christ. The school has for years been 
leading many of its students along the Way. There has 
been no marked opposition. Times have changed, how- 
ever. Word of these decisions spread rapidly through that 
quarter of the city. About eighty girls were taken out 
of school. Many of the decisions were from the older 
girls. These girls had been for years in the school. The 
testing-time only deepened their faith. That was a couple 
of years ago. Last year a similar effort at Morton Lane 
led seventy girls to make a public profession of Christ. 
There resulted a somewhat similar demonstration of oppo- 
sition in that city. Undaunted, the year 1931 brings a 
report of plans for a campaign at Mandalay Girls' School. 

Such is the spirit which pervades the schools for girls. 
There are sixteen such schools, most of them of grammar 
grade, in the Baptist Mission. Such Christian women as 
Kittie Po Thein, Sgaw Karen, and Eleanor San Tay, Pwo 
Karen, both head mistresses, make this number possible. 
These schools are open to all races. Chiefly, however, 
they meet the demand of Burmese and Shan parents for 
separate schools for their daughters. To the Karens, on 
the other hand, coeducation has come to be the accepted 
system. Of the more than 23,000 pupils in Karen Baptist 
schools, well over a third are girls, while about half the 
teachers are women. 

[94} 



WOMEN'S WORK 

Sarah Higby: Eminent in Coeducation 

As "Mama Susie" Haswell has typified the contribution 
of American womanhood to the separate schools for girls, 
so may " Sally Higby," as she signs herself, represent the 
part played by American women in coeducation. Both of 
these missionaries were familiar figures to any one who 
knew the Burma Mission a decade or so ago. Miss Higby 
was a perfect example of that devotion which has made 
Karen coeducation remarkable in results. One had but 
to know her Tharrawaddy boys and girls to see clearly 
placed upon them the imprint of her life. 

After thirty years of active service, though fifty-six 
years old and sorely crippled, she came to Tharrawaddy 
and carried on for almost twenty-two years more. Her 
greatest work was accomplished there. She may well 
stand with Dr. Ellen Mitchell at the head of the list of 
Burma Baptist missionaries, twelve of whom have been 
awarded the " Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for Public Service." 

The Place of Burmese Women 

Work among the women of Burma has always been 
peculiarly attractive. For women play a very important 
part in the life of that land. Let us look a little more 
closely at the Burmese " better half," the women of the 
dominant race. The Rangoon Times of January 6, 1931, 
carries a headline, " Ward Headwoman Preserves the 
Peace." There had been serious clashing between Burmese 
and Chinese in Lanmadaw Quarter of Rangoon. It threat- 
ened to spread to the Bahan Quarter, but Ma Pwa Hmyin, 
the ward headwoman, made it clear that she would not 
permit it. The "bad hats" took her at her word. In 

[95] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

few countries do women occupy a position of greater free- 
dom than in Burma. The maiden may keep a stall in 
bazaar without it being considered anything derogatory. 
The young man seeing her there is attracted. Nine o'clock 
at night is, in Burmese phrase, " courting time." At that 
hour the duly chaperoned calls are made. Once married, 
she takes custody of her husband's cash. In bazaar and 
shop the chief part of buying and selling falls to her lot. 
All this gives a tolerance and understanding which cannot 
but impress any one who knows her. In Buddhism, as in 
other religions, the women throw the weight of their 
influence against change. Yet they are accessible far 
above most women of India, and are as well more open- 
minded and alert. 

The place attained by Burmese women might in many 
respects be considered ideal were it not for the mark left 
on her by Buddhism a mark difficult to define yet evident 
in her countenance. The writer was traveling one day 
on the road from Pyinmana to Kantha. The party stopped 
at a little wayside bazaar to buy a bit of warm " jaggery," 
that district's special brand of peanut candy. That master 
of the vernacular, Lee Mosier, asked the husband sitting 
by smoking his cheroot about a certain proverb. " Yes," 
that husband replied, "woman is better than the female 
but not than the male dog " ; for the philosophy of it is 
that only the male may attain Nirvana. To be sure, our 
Burmese friend repeated the proverb with a grin and a 
chuckle. Yet a close observer cannot escape the convic- 
tion that this belief, eating at the feminine heart, has 
written itself on her countenance. Certainly release from 
that same soul-cramping factor, as found in Christ, com- 
pletes a personality hard to excel anywhere. 

[96] 



WOMEN'S WORK 

Though Buddhist monastery schools have done much 
for boys, they have done nothing for girls. Hence the 
opportunity of the mission school. A like opportunity for 
the united effort of Christian women has been found in 
alleviating suffering. 

Two Rangoon Physicians 

It was late one hot and sultry afternoon in 1923. My 
thoughts were turning to afternoon tea and tennis when 
the little barroom-type doors of the Judson College office 
swung quickly open. Dr. Merlin Kingsley entered. A 
woman in the early forties, she was dressed in white, spot- 
less, severely practical. She sat down as one who could 
stop but a moment. There was a need and a definite plan 
for meeting that need. Both were quickly stated, and she 
rose to go, leaving me to think it over. Her Ford touring 
car pounded away bearing her on an ever-hurrying round 
of healing and helpfulness. 

Doctor Kingsley was a member of an old Anglo-Indian 
family dating back to 'the time when East India Company 
subalterns married into the best Indian families. Her old 
car was not due to any lack of income. The many needs 
she could meet demanded all her resources, physical and 
financial. Her mother was a widow. The family was 
large. The younger brothers and sisters were above the 
average in ability ; they must have their opportunity. She 
had set herself to give it to them. A brother was at 
Oxford preparing to be a barrister. He was a Tennis 
" Blue " and later became a member of the British Davis 
Cup Team. A sister was in University College, Rangoon. 
She was preparing for study abroad. She later returned 
as a teacher in her alma mater. Other members of the 

[97] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

family would need her assistance. That was only one 
responsibility. In the ten years I had known her she had 
been continually adding to her responsibilities. 

Doctor Kingsley had been trained and inspired by Dr. 
Marie Cote. This former missionary had blazed a path 
for women practitioners in Rangoon. After study abroad 
Doctor Kingsley returned to take up this practise when 
Doctor Cote laid it down. She had carried it on to even 
wider reaches of service. She was an alderman, the 
first woman to hold that office in Rangoon. Much time 
and strength went into the fight for public health and 
against white-slavers. In Immanuel Baptist Church she 
was the leading member, giving of her strength and re- 
sources without stint and winning a remarkable place with 
the young people. Sunday almost always found her at 
the organ leading the choir. Her preeminent service was, 
however, to the women and children of Rangoon. She 
was the city's leading obstetrician, entering a field occupied 
largely by ignorant, unsanitary midwives. The poor could 
always count upon her help. Utterly forgetful of self, 
thinking only of service to others, at her death in 1927 she 
was readily recognized as the first citizen of Rangoon. 

A Rangoon funeral furnishes an unusually accurate 
index of the place occupied by the deceased. The coolie 
in his simple winding-sheet is borne on a humble bed. 
A wealthy Hindu funeral has its brass band, an elaborate 
hearse, and thousands of coppers thrown to the crowds. 
At the interment of the Burmese man of wealth his 
friends stand at the cemetery gates distributing presents. 
Doctor Kingsley's cortege had a significance all its own. 
His Excellency the Governor placed a wreath on her casket. 
The Lord Mayor of Rangoon, scores of those in high 

[98] 



WOMEN'S WORK 

places, and hundreds from humble homes followed the 
body to the grave. Never had been seen such an outpour- 
ing of all classes, creeds, and nationalities expressing the 
sorrow of a city. Doctor Kingsley walked in the foot- 
steps of her Master. 

Another Christian physician is Dr. Ma Saw Sa. She 
is now Rangoon's leading woman physician. Many in 
America saw her at the Jubilee services. To really appre- 
ciate any Oriental woman, however, one must place her 
in her own setting. Dr. Ma Saw Sa is exquisite of dress 
and has a dignity and charm of manner all her own. To 
see her walk across the lawns at a government house-party 
is to see one manifestly distinguished among the citizens 
of a great city. She is a third generation Christian, the 
daughter of a high government official. She attended 
Judson College in its junior college days. After gradua- 
tion from Calcutta University Medical School she went 
abroad as a state scholar. She returned from the Uni- 
versity of Dublin with two degrees, F. R. C. S. I. and 
D. P. H., which mean in "American " a well-qualified 
M. D. Being the first among Burmese girls to gain this 
distinction, she in a peculiar sense has become their ideal. 
Many girls are today planning to become doctors due to 
her making the medical profession attractive. Dr. Ma 
Saw Sa's " The Clinic " on Tank Road, Rangoon, is full 
of promise for all Burma. 

The Moulmein Hospital 

The Burman Mission's efforts to meet the health needs 
of women and children have found their chief expression 
in the Ellen Mitchell Memorial Hospital in Moulmein. 
Arthur Darrow came to Moulmein the year after Doctor 

[99] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Mitchell's death. She had for twenty-two years carried 
on a little hospital in a house on the hillside. That house 
became the Darrow home. There were continual re- 
minders of the ever-present needs which Doctor Mitchell 
had met. Mr. Barrow's work was among the Takings, 
rulers of Burma in the early days. Four years after his 
arrival there was a large ingathering into the Talaing 
church. As a thank-offering two decades later, this group 
raised Rs. 10,000. They purchased a fine site and at the 
Judson Centennial in 1913 presented it to the Foreign 
Mission Societies. It was to be used for medical work 
for women of all races. There near Mt. Hope now stands 
a fine hospital -and a nurses' home. 

When the hospital was opened in 1918 many people 
were suspicious of foreign doctors and their remedies. It 
was difficult to get them to remain at the hospital for treat- 
ment. Today that hospital is crowded with patients. The 
nurses' home is filled with a fine group of girls in training. 
These nurses go to all parts of Burma to meet one of that 
country's greatest needs. Two of them may be taken as 
examples of the rest. Miriam is in the Mongnai field 
helping Doctor Gibbens in his hospital. Daisy Gaung E 
has gone back to Nyaunglebin. She cares for the ills of 
the boys and girls in the large mission boarding-school. 
She advises mothers and ministers to many community 
needs. There are five Americans, three doctors and two 
nurses, at Moulmein. Their combined impact is of tremen- 
dous importance. It is by no means limited to the four 
walls of the hospital. They go to a number of villages 
to give health talks and to hold religious services. Dr. 
Grace Seagrave, daughter of Albert E. Seagrave, for 
many years an able adviser to the Rangoon Karens, re- 

[100] 



WOMEN'S WORK 

cently helped welcome the twin sons of a teacher in a 
village school. Though the couple were Buddhists, that 
help from a Christian physician opened the doors of their 
home. Sixty children now gather there each week for 
Sunday school. 

The Leper Asylum 

It is from this hospital that the doctors come to help 
the lepers. Doctor Mitchell went to the cemeteries where 
Burmese custom banishes them. For many years now, 
however, there has been a growing asylum. It is carried 
on through the cooperative efforts of the American Mis- 
sion to Lepers and the local people of Moulmein. One 
of the missionary men is always superintendent. The 
treatment which sometimes heals this most loathsome of 
diseases is given by one of our hospital physicians. No 
more self-sacrificing ministry can be found than this. 

The Rest Haven at Taunggyi 

There is yet another ministry, the plans for which began 
in Moulmein. The first Judson College boy I met was 
Jimmy Sandys. He was a freshman, an Anglo-Indian, 
one of " Saya " Kelly's boys from Mandalay. Later I 
found him in my logic class. An impediment of speech 
hindered his recitations. His paper work was by all odds 
the best of the class. Gradually there came the vision of 
his taking my place at furlough and my going to meet 
other urgent needs. That stammering stood in the way. 
But many hours of labor brought improvement till the 
time came when he successfully taught freshman logic. 
Then the white plague laid hold of him. Almost before 
we knew it he was gone. 

H [ 101 ] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Many such heart-breaking experiences at Morton Lane 
School, Moulmein, brought a conviction. Miss Lizbeth 
Hughes and Miss Agnes Whitehead, two seniors in mis- 
sionary service, dreamed of a rest haven. In 1927 it 
became a reality. Taunggyi is high above sea-level with 
a climate of the finest. Many girls with tubercular ten- 
dencies have gone up from the plains to find health in 
this home. Since it was opened, only four years ago, 
more than fifty girls have been cared for, and all but two 
are going on with their work now. Such a haven has a 
value incalculable. 

Women's Bible Schools 

Burma's side of the Bay of Bengal has never known 
India's curses: suttee, infanticide, child marriage, and 
enforced widowhood. Burma knows nothing of obscene, 
idolatrous rites, nor of the worship of 

The organs of birth and circlet of bones, 

And the light loves carved on the temple stones. 

Women as freely as men listen to the itinerant evangelist. 
The urgent call for zenana workers has never come from 
Burma. Yet there are missionary women, like Rangoon's 
" Mama-gyee," Anne Frederickson, who have made a 
marked contribution in full-time evangelism. Today a 
tiny chapel stands in the shadow of Mandalay Hill. 
Through services and Sunday school, Bible-women and 
nurses, there is brought home to Buddhist women an idea 
" of Christ's all-forsaking love." In this both Burmese 
and American women have a part. 

The two Bible schools, the Karen in Rangoon and the 
Burmese in Insein, are training a capable group of women 

[102] 



WOMEN'S WORK 

for just such an outreach. With ninety in one school and 
twenty-five in the other, a three-years' course sends out 
well-trained evangelists. It is no easy task these women 
face. Ma Mya May from her tiny house on the Burmese 
Mission Compound in Toungoo tells of her efforts in the 
school. A boy asked to be baptized against his parents' 
wishes. He was taken out of school. Life was made 
miserable for him. He wanted the Bible-women to get 
him work. "All we can do is pray that he may stay 
true and that we may be able to help him in this terrible 
time of need." Another, Ma Chaw from the village of 
" Forty Houses," declares in her quaint English : " I 
always praying, I must be clean, I must be pure, looks 
just like dove." So she presses on, spending a large por- 
tion of her very meager salary in order that the work may 
prosper. 

A new source of support for the Bible schools has 
been found in the two Women's Mission Societies, the 
All-Burma and the Karen. Both of these organizations 
are comparatively young. Both contribute toward the 
expenses of the schools. What is more important, both 
pay salaries of graduates who go to all parts of Burma. 
Their presidents, Ma Mya and Ma Mi Lon, are most 
capable. Their fine faces give unmistakable evidence of 
consecrated lives. 

The Missionary's Wife 

In any sketch of the work of American women in 
Burma the missionary's wife must be given a major place. 
Ann Hasseltine Judson worthily heads the list. Possess- 
ing courage and devotion of the highest order, she stands 
as a- peer of her distinguished husband. Her little group 

[103] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

of women meeting " on Wednesday at seven " in those 
early Rangoon days brought to Christ Mah Men La " the 
tenth Burman convert, and the first woman. She was 
indeed among women what Moung Shwa-gnong was 
among men, of most extensive acquaintance through the 
place, of much strength of mind, decision of character, and 
consequent influence over others." Indeed to that little 
meeting may be traced six of the first seventeen hard-won 
members of the Rangoon Church. Christian women are 
often a minority among the Burmese. Among the Karens 
they are usually in the majority, so making the more 
" normal " church. Over a thousand of them are teachers 
in Baptist mission schools. Over two hundred are full- 
time evangelists. The coming to Christ of many of these 
women is directly traceable to the missionary home. From 
Tavoy to Namkham, from Sandoway to Kengtung, in 
hospital, school, and home the women of Burma are con- 
tributing as full a share to the Christian cause as their 
sisters anywhere. 

"Ann of Ava " by no means stands alone among mis- 
sionary wives in sacrifice and accomplishment. A glance 
at the service record of the first Thomases gives another 
picture of deepest devotion. 

Missionary reports are usually made by the men. 
Neither missionary magazines nor letter-files show many 
communications from the missionary wife. One does occa- 
sionally find such a letter as that written by Charlotte 
Bacheller Thomas picturing their first jungle journey out 
from Tavoy in January, 1852. It was by elephant " with 
a motion too much like a ship to be pleasant." There was 
camping by pure streams of water, in dense forests, at the 
base of lofty mountains. There were devotions in English 

[104] 



WOMEN'S WORK 

and Karen, and experiences which brought deep happiness 
to their little tent, for " Christ is even here." So goes the 
charmingly written account of just one of many such trips 
through the years in Tavoy and Henzada. 

There is, however, another journey typical of the actual 
in the life of more than one missionary, and of the pos- 
sible for all missionaries in the first seven or eight decades 
of the Burma Mission. This trip must be pieced together 
from bits found in her husband's last letters. 

Benjamin Galley Thomas went to Bassein from Hen- 
zada to heal a rift between the Karens and the mission. 
That last year found him in January, 1868, regretfully 
recording his inability to complete the eighteenth year of 
his first term of service. Mrs. Thomas " has not recovered 
from an attack of cholera." He himself is " reduced to 
almost a skeleton." These two, with Willis, their son of 
twelve, leave Bassein on January 30 to return to America 
by the " Overland Route " steamer to Penang, thence 
by way of Point de palle, Ceylon, to Egypt, and by rail 
through the construction camps across the Isthmus of 
Suez, it being two years before the opening of the Canal. 
Nine weeks from Bassein finds them on the steamer Tan- 
gore near Marseilles with this comment on his health : " I 
have been far from well all the way." Ten days later in 
Paris, " my sickness has rather increased than diminished. 
My family are better or at least no worse." Three weeks 
later he is " a very little better " and can cross to England. 
From London on May 9 he declines an invitation to speak 
at the " May Meetings " in America because " I really be- 
lieve it would kill me." Finally on June 8, after eighteen 
weeks of intense anxiety, Mrs. Thomas arrives with him in 
New York City, only to have him succumb two days later. 

[105] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Yet the combined ancestry of Miles Standish and John 
Alden sent that devoted lady back to Burma to continue 
for more than twenty years her self-forgetful service. 
Her son, Willis, joined her in 1880 to carry on in his 
father's stead for forty-five years. 

The way in which many such a missionary wife and 
mother has made the home a veritable beacon set on high, 
makes no more than just the " full missionary appoint- 
ment " accorded her by the Board. One such " only a 
missionary's wife" is referred to by Sir Walter Roper 
Lawrence in his The India We Served (1929) : 

The women in Burma all hope to be men in the next trans- 
migration, and I heard of a missionary lady near Prome who was 
much liked by the Burmans, but the reason they took her medi- 
cine so readily was not that they believed in her skill as a doctor, 
but because they were certain that by virtue of the laws of Karma 
she would become a man in the next world. 

The one mentioned by Sir Walter is Harriet Calista 
Stevens, daughter of Francis Mason. She, for forty-five 
years, ably aided her husband, Edward Oliver Stevens, in 
presenting Christ to Burma. That dear lady notes this bit 
of unsought praise with " I was amused to see this refer- 
ence to me. The part I liked best was the fact that I was 
much liked by the Burmese. Love begets love. They 
knew that I loved them." 

As one in the twentieth century reads " Ye are the light 
of the world " there comes to mind neither candle, nor 
kerosene lamp, rather an incandescent bulb, an almost in- 
visible something within a fragile covering which, when 
touched with power, sends its rays far and wide. So the 
" Light of the World " clearly manifests himself when he 
touches within its fragile covering that invisible something, 

[106] 



WOMEN'S WORK 

the soul of a woman, for then his rays are thrown afar by 
the very light of her countenance. Nothing demonstrates 
more clearly the power of the gospel than where that 
crystallized hardness, instilled by Buddhism, is broken and 
there shines forth the full beauty of Christ from the 
countenance of the Burmese woman. 



[107] 



vm 

MEN AND METHODS 

USanBaw: District Secretary 

At a distance on the path in the Pegu Yomas he appears 
to be an official. He is seated on a swaying elephant. He 
wears a khaki colored sun-helmet of the pig-sticker type. 
The background of tree ferns and giant feathery bamboos 
gives a striking setting. But he lacks the official's retinue. 
Then, too, he rides his Indian " ship of state " as one to 
the manner born. There is an easy yielding to the mighty 
beast's motions. He is not tossed on the choppy sea which 
the elephant usually makes for the man from the West. 
As he comes closer one sees he wears a blue jacket and 
bright-colored langyee. The elephant kneels, and a stal- 
wart figure steps easily down. The smiling face and 
kindly brown eyes are those of that outstanding Karen, 
U San Baw, executive secretary of the Tharrawaddy 
Karen Association. He is returning from a missionary 
" voyage " to the churches high in the eastern hills. 

U San Baw is one of " "Mama " Higby's boys. After 
twenty-two years as the head master of the Tharrawaddy 
school he ran for the Legislature. The other candidate 
was a Buddhist lawyer, whose slogan was : " Fellow Bud- 
dhists, vote for one of your own race and religion. Don't 
vote for a Christian Karen." But the Christian Karen 
won. The Tharrawaddy school, though under Karen man- 
agement, welcomes Burmese students. In the Legislature 
U San Baw cared for the interests of both races. In 

[108] 



MEN AND METHODS 

recognition of his services Government awarded him the 
" Kaisar-i-Hind " medal. 

Since 1923 he has been in charge of the evangelistic 
work among the Tharrawaddy Karens, a task which 
formerly fell to a missionary. There are forty-three 
churches to be visited and encouraged. Two new churches 
were organized and a new meeting-house built in 1929. 
While in 1930 there were one hundred and twenty-one 
baptisms, forty-nine of these from Karen Buddhist fam- 
ilies. That year also saw a wide variety of efforts for 
furthering church growth. Eight vacation workers 
preached in eight villages. A ten-days' Summer Assem- 
bly was conducted entirely by the Karens. The Tharra- 
waddy Home Mission Society employs fourteen workers. 
There are in addition six Bible-women, four Christian 
Endeavor secretaries, and two traveling evangelists. All 
but one are supported by the Karens. Tharrawaddy is 
just one of many vigorous associations in Burma. 

The United Effort of All Races 

The Burma Baptist Missionary Convention the co- 
operative effort of all races also renders outstanding mis- 
sionary service. The " missionary " in its name is simply 
to indicate its effort to bring the knowledge of Christ to 
every unreached corner. American missionaries form only 
one-sixth of its committee of management. Among its 
officers are found a Karen, a Burman, and an Indian. Its 
mission workers are scattered from Tavoy on the south to 
the far northeastern border. There U Ba Thaw cares for 
churches among the Myitgyina Lisus. Over in Siam under 
the leadership of U Ennie Dewar they are pressing the 
evangelization of the Karens. Near Thayetmyo among 

[109] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

the Chins the Convention supports a teacher-preacher, 
U Po Sein. He works in Hnitkyatkwe one of those 
easily remembered names. On a similar task they send 
U Ba Tun far north, two days beyond Namkham, among 
the Shans. Nor are the Chinese forgotten; in Mandalay 
U Pak Hang teaches during the school year and spends 
his holidays preaching in many places in Upper Burma. 
The record of Burma Christians in catching the missionary 
vision of their American associates gives them high rank 
among the "younger churches." Yet their vision of the 
place the church should occupy, their knowledge of what 
it has done for them, makes them plead for more Amer- 
ican missionaries. 

The Need for New Missionaries 

The " Opportunities for Christian Service " list of the 
Student Volunteers shows that the Foreign Mission 
Boards of North America are planning to send overseas 
a total of 778 missionaries during 1931. That number by 
no means covers the urgent requests. Other really " desper- 
ate needs " must be placed on a " Secondary List." North- 
ern Baptists through their Boards present a striking list of 
needs they have set themselves to fill. There is not one 
of their fields but what has sent urgent requests. These 
include evangelistic advisers to local pastors, evangelistic 
leaders of advance into scarcely touched areas, teachers 
to train future leaders, and physicians to do the above in 
addition to their ministry of healing. 

Burma has many races. There have been remarkable 
ingatherings among the hill-folk. The multitudes in the 
valleys have been much less moved. All three factors 
enter into the pleas from Burma for 1931. Away up in 

[1103 



MEN AND METHODS 

the Chin Hills is a real stirring of interest among that 
frontier race. It may mean that many Chins now animists 
will become Buddhists. It is more likely that they will 
become Christians. That is if the gospel is given them. 
During the rainy season a little Bible school of twelve is 
being conducted in Haka. There is literary work to be 
done. There are many weary miles to travel. It is little 
wonder there comes a repeated plea for "Another family 
for the Chin Hills." Mandalay, the center of Burmese 
Buddism, needs an evangelist. Assistance must be sent 
to care for the mass movement among the Lahus and Was 
across the Burma border. The President of the Burmese 
Theological Seminary cannot continue indefinitely to divide 
himself between two fulltime positions. He should have 
help among the immigrant Indians. Then, too, Judson 
College urgently needs replacements for the losses from its 
staff. A like plea comes from the Pwo Karens. There 
are 625,000 of them. They have such outstanding leaders 
as U Toe Khut of Maubin and U Shwe Ba of Bassein, 
both members of the Legislature. They urge that a second 
family be sent. They want this missionary to inspire and 
to counsel them, and also to help them win their non- 
Christian neighbors who otherwise will become Buddhists. 
Such are just some of the needs. The Baptist churches 
of Burma are every year assuming larger responsibilities, 
yet the Baptist churches of America must continue their 
help, if the rich promise of the future is to be fulfilled. 

The Type of Candidate Required 

In meeting these needs depleted treasuries are a dif- 

'ficulty, but an even greater difficulty is the finding of 

enough men and women really ready to go. A new vision 

[111] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

is needed. Candidates there are, but not enough who are 
able to meet the requirements spiritual, mental, and phys- 
ical. The last sometimes seems the most difficult. More 
than one couple has come ideally qualified spiritually and 
mentally. Then comes the medical examiner's report. 
They have been found unfit for the severe test of a tropical 
climate. The other requirements of foreign service are 
far from being easily met. Try, for example, to find 
among your acquaintances any who could satisfy the set 
of specifications as given in' the replies of twenty-seven 
Mission Board executives. A check list was sent out by 
the Editor of Far Horizons, It "assumes that a Chris- 
tian experience and conviction is the magnet core about 
which all these qualities will be coiled." The summing up 
of the replies given in the October, 1930, issue finds five 
qualities with the highest rating. They are: cooperative 
ability, unbiased appreciation of other races, genuineness, 
capacity for growth, and sense of mission. This order 
of rating, as well as the qualities specified, has thought- 
provoking power for any one interested in the church's 
task overseas. 

If today's group of American Baptist missionaries do 
not measure up there are unbiased critics who declare 
they do it is not because of lack of care in their choice. 
Today's candidate reference blanks are sent to people who 
know the candidate well. They give confidential informa- 
tion by checking characteristics through the list covering 
some sixty-five groups bearing on all aspects of character 
and qualifications. No one knows better than the modern 
missionary administrator that " the missionary enterprise 
finds its largest power and its largest peril in its per- 
sonnel." This is even more true today than it was in the 

[112] 



MEN AND METHODS 

earlier years of the endeavor. Missionaries today are 
" the most severely selected group of workers now in the 
Christian movement, and they show it." Become a world 
traveler, seek out the missionary in his adopted land, and 
you will agree with this comment. If he does not always 
seem so when found on furlough, remember the degree to 
which his native country has become for him a foreign 
land. Then, too, don't forget how quickly we Americans 
condemn any one who is " different." 

Elias William Kelly: The Right Type 

The second decade of the twentieth century saw still in 
Burma missionaries whose service dated well back into 
the nineteenth century. The writer has always counted it 
one of his great privileges to have known that truly re- 
markable group of men and women. If one must be 
picked as the type a missionary should be, let Elias Wil- 
liam Kelly be taken as that representative. His name must 
be placed high on any world list of Christian workers. 
Josiah Nelson Gushing transformed " Rangoon Karen 
College" into a cosmopolitan institution. Doctor Kelly 
conducted the negotiations with Government and consum- 
mated the preliminary plans which made it possible for 
that institution to become " Judson College " and to have 
the fine group of buildings which it has today. 

Missionary Methods 

Gushing and Kelly should also be bracketed together as 
leading protagonists of schools as a missionary method. 
Probably no two men did more to make for schools the 
large place they now hold in the Burma Mission. Though 
these schools involved large grants-in-aid from Govern- 

[113] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

ment, they still defended such a relation between Church 
and State. They maintained that Christian schools are an 
essential and effective method of accomplishing the mis- 
sionary purpose. The only way open for conducting such 
schools was in cooperation with Government. Were they 
right in giving education such high rating as a missionary 
method ? On this point Burma should give a clear answer. 

The Burma Educational Code 

Government regulations have practically compelled the 
opening of mission schools. Any such schools have been 
required to come under the provincial educational depart- 
ment. Government does maintain some schools directly 
from public funds. In addition, most municipalities have 
established schools. Yet many more must be maintained 
particularly in the villages if the Christian children are 
to have any education. State control is exercised through 
inspection and grants-in-aid. What America would con- 
sider a first responsibility of the State is in Burma left 
largely to the initiative of the people in any community. 
Many schools, Buddhist, Hindu, Moslem, and Christian, 
have been established " under private management." There 
have been, until recently, no restrictions on religious teach- 
ing. These schools have made possible the intimate union 
of secular and religious education within the walls of one 
building. 

The Vital Place of the School 

Mission schools have made a large contribution to Chris- 
tian progress. They not merely train children from Chris- 
tian homes. They actually win many boys and girls to 
Christ. As to the cooperation of Church and State in 

[114] 



MEN AND METHODS 

their conduct, Baptists have insisted that no church school 
in America receive public funds. This position is soundly 
based, but it is based on experience. When experience in 
Burma shows that the system is working injustice, it must 
be changed. At present it is the only means possible of 
securing justice. Otherwise the vast majority of Chris- 
tians would have no schools. 

Of Burma's 888 Baptist Mission schools 611 are for 
the Karens. These Karen schools are located in almost 
every case in villages wholly or largely Christian. Often 
the same set of men are the village elders, the church 
deacons, and the school trustees. Not more than one- 
half the cost of the school is returned to them out of their 
own taxes. The balance is met by school fees and sub- 
scriptions. Entire freedom to teach of Christ is unques- 
tioned. From these schools has come the Karen leader- 
ship. The results have been remarkable. 

A Kachin Christian Village 

Among the Kachins 'the forces for uplift have also 
centered about the Christian chapel-school. Each is a 
tremendous purifying influence. That the Kachin in his 
natural state needs some outer cleansing, there is no 
shadow of doubt. Rumor has it that a hospital nurse had 
to bathe a Kachin three times before she reached the epi- 
dermis. That cleansing to be permanent must start from 
within. The end of the road on which William Henry 
Roberts, veteran missionary, took me gave undisputable 
evidence of the vital place of the village school. We set 
out one April day to visit Christian villages back over the 
high mountain passes in the Lungshan Valley on China's 
border. Our destination was four days' journey by pony 

[115] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

from Bhamo. Along that mountain path were many 
demon-ridden villages with their filthy streets and filthier 
houses. Everywhere the two horsemen with their four 
pack-mules were met by groups of curious children. Each 
seemed dirtier than the last. They were sturdy, likable 
lads, many of them. More than one had a furrow down 
his chest where some water somehow by accident had 
trickled. He had just that much more water than was his 
due. Anything approaching adequate ablutions should 
only come at birth, at marriage, and at death. There were 
Christian villages which were vastly different, particularly 
the one at /the end of the trail. It was N'Bapa, the out- 
standing Christian village of that district. Started some 
years before, it had grown as Christian families from 
other villages had moved into it. Set on a hill in the bend 
of a stream, it was surrounded by orchid-festooned forests. 
Its streets and houses were of the quintessence of neat- 
ness. The picture it made that morning is unf orgetable. 
Running down to meet the missionary party came a bit of 
a boy. He was dressed in typical baggy trousers and 
jacket, both of cotton, both dark blue and both clean. 
Another outward evidence of inner change was a face 
rubbed bright with Sunlight soap. As he came he sang : 

Yesu ngai hpe tsaw ai ra. 
Jesus loves me. This I know. 

So hundreds of lives are being remade. N'Bapa is but 
one of some sixty such villages. Children formerly 
trained to be cutthroats are now becoming true Christians. 
The return to the cause of Christ from these village 
schools is beyond reckoning. The future of the Baptist 
church in the Kachin Hills is bright. 

[116] 



MEN AND METHODS 

Government and Schools in the Chin Hills 

Statistics sometimes deceive. For the hills and valleys 
around Haka the 1924 mission report gives nine schools 
with three hundred pupils. In 1930 there are reported 
only three schools and seventy-five pupils. That mission 
work there has gone backward seems evident. The fact 
is, however, that a Baptist missionary, Herbert Cope, is 
Honorary (which means unpaid) Inspector of Government 
Schools. The newly appointed subinspector was the head 
master of the Haka mission school, a Karen Baptist. 
Some thirty schools with fifteen hundred pupils form the 
circuit. The teachers are all Christian. Their spare time 
is spent winning pupils and their parents to Christ. The 
Honorary Inspector spent 280 days on tour last year. 
Almost every night he preached in one or the other of the 
several dialects. While on this long trek text-books have 
been written. A hymn-book and the completion of the 
translation of the New Testament into Chin might also 
be mentioned, just to 'show that the schools are by no 
means his main interest. These schools are entirely sup- 
ported by Government. By this cooperation schools are 
kept open which otherwise must have been closed. They 
are better housed and equipped. They are better staffed 
than Government alone could possibly have staffed them. 
For they have appealed to down-country Karens as a real 
missionary task. Their Christian impact is immeasurable. 

The Leavening Influence 

Much might be said of other schools among other races 
of Burma. The teachers in all the schools of the mission 
are almost without exception Christians. This offers the 

i [117] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Christian parent what he so much desires. He is reluctant 
to send his children to schools staffed largely by Hindus, 
Buddhists, and Mohammedans. In some of the mission 
schools Christian students are in the minority. This makes 
it difficult to maintain a strong Christian atmosphere. The 
rise of national feeling has not decreased this difficulty. 
If the nationalist slogan should change from " Burma for 
the Burmans " to " Burma for the Buddhists " the ques- 
tion of the continuance of certain of these schools may 
become acute. 

Another very important aspect must not be overlooked. 
Through the schools there has been a great leavening of 
Buddhists with Christian ideals. One may find evidence 
of this in many places. Arthur Mayhew, able member 
of the Indian Educational Service, insists that this leaven- 
ing in India has eliminated all reason for fear of " any 
antagonism to Christian missions as the outcome " of the 
change in government and the placing of more power in 
the hands of the people. Burma's experience so far would 
support this opinion. Opposition to Christian schools led 
by Buddhist priests has at times arisen. The results might 
have been disastrous but for kindly disposed Buddhist 
leaders. Mission schools have been a large factor in 
creating this friendly attitude. 

Some Odd Missionary Methods 

There have been various other missionary methods. 
Raymond Lull some six centuries ago crossed the Medi- 
terranean to convert the Moslems of North Africa. He 
carried with him three concentric circles of pasteboard. 
These were each divided into nine sections lettered B, C, 
D, etc. By the manipulation of these letters the truth of 

[118] 



MEN AND METHODS 

Christianity was to be proved to the doubting disciples 
of Mahomed. He tried his new method in Tunis. At the 
age of eighty he became a martyr. When his symbolic 
logic failed, he launched a " tumultuous " attack which 
speedily brought his end. 

In a somewhat similar manner but fortunately without 
such disastrous results Jonathan Wade purchased in Cal- 
cutta an orrery. This apparatus is designed to illustrate 
the movements of the earth about the sun. Wade believed 
" that if they were convinced that their ideas of astronomy 
were false, their whole system would stand a confessed 
system of falsehood." 

Nathan Brown, 'eminent missionary linguist, not only in 
Burma but also in Assam and Japan, fell into like error. 
He declares, " Let a Burman only believe that there is 
such a country as America, at a distance and of a size 
corresponding to our description of it, and his faith in 
Buddhism is annihilated at once." 

The Chief Method Is the Living Voice 

Fortunately only a few men either in those early years 
or today are tricked by too much learning. Not many have 
lost sight of the main missionary method. And they have 
done so only for the moment. Eugenio Kincaid, a cen- 
tury ago, ably expressed what has been recognized by all, 
Wade and Brown included, from the earliest days down 
to the present. Kincaid testifies : " The longer I continue 
among the Burmans the more I am convinced that the 
gospel conveyed by the living voice is the means appointed 
for the conversion of men. Reading of books enlightens, 
and induces a spirit of inquiry ; but the full and overflow- 
ing heart reaches the conscience, and awakens the finer 

[119] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

feelings of the soul. Hence the necessity of preaching 
the word, of being instant in season and out of season. 
It is not enough that we pray for them; it is not enough 
that we give them books; we must preach Jesus Christ, 
and not be discouraged amidst reproaches and insults." 

Evangelistic Work Involves Hardships 

E. W. Kelly, the champion of schools, gave many of his 
richest years to evangelistic work. There is hardly a letter 
from him to the Mission Rooms in Boston but this, his 
one purpose, no matter where he is stationed, is manifest. 
Both the college and the evangelistic work are good, " but 
surely the evangelistic return is the better," he declares. 
Always he is pressing for a " forward and aggressive 
movement " in evangelism and ever urging increasing 
appropriations for reaching more villages. He continues : 
" I can work every month in the year in the district if I 
only have funds. It means work, toil, it means exposure, 
great exposure in the rains ; it means all my capacity for 
anxiety and care and patience, but I believe it means 
success under God. Make me as your servant and brother 
to add to the great number who have been led to Christ 
through your prayers and efforts." 

One might write much of Kelly's connection with Ran- 
goon, Moulmein, and Mandalay, with Cushing, Judson, 
and Kelly High Schools, the last now named for him, and 
especially with Judson College. There were sermons 
preached to English congregations that would easily have 
won high position in American pastorates. There were 
hands extraordinarily adept in unraveling snarls in church, 
school, or mission affairs. With his ability in council 
he might easily have mounted high in diplomatic circles. 

[120] 



MEN AND METHODS 

Rather than following the usual biographical lines, how- 
ever, let us get instead an intimate glimpse of the spirit 
of the missionary. Pen pictures have been drawn of mis- 
sionaries courageously facing the danger of violent death. 
Tropical disease can be equally dangerous. Between the 
lines of this note to a Board Secretary read real courage. 
Many a man would have fled before the danger this mis- 
sionary unflinchingly faced. 

DEAB DUNCAN: RANGOON, DECEMBER 12, 1896. 

I am compelled to write you that my health has become seri- 
ously impaired. Early in August I took cold, from getting wet 
while traveling. As a result I had to call a physician, a civil 
surgeon, during the last of September. He took me through two 
attacks. In the last of October I had a still more severe attack. 
Doctor Kirkpatrick cared for me for ten days, night and day, and 
pulled me through. He did most excellent and brotherly service. 
I was able to go to the district one trip in November. On Decem- 
ber 3, I started again, but after six days had to return with a 
fresh attack of dysentery that threatened to be very bad. . . Doctor 
Kirkpatrick says the trouble is catarrhal inflammation of the liver 
and dysentery both climatic and a bad complication. From the 
beginning the troubles have shown a persistence that has never 
once yielded fully. I get better, but not well. 

Yours faithfully, 

E. W. KELLY. 

Such were the hardships cheerfully faced, for were not 
the returns " more than one hundred and thirty baptized 
in town and district " so far that year ? 

Two Different Gospel Tracts 

Even in evangelistic effort there has been a diversity of 
methods. This can not be better shown than in the little 

[121] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

tracts, very important tools in breaking ground for cultiva- 
tion on the mission field. One well-known tract of the 
earlier years is the " Investigator." This through ques- 
tions and answers makes cutting comparison of Chris- 
tianity and Buddhism. Answer One insists that it is not 
proper to ask how God began, a question any keen-witted 
Buddhist monk would immediately propound. Answer 
Eight denies omniscience to Gautama because he, forsooth, 
declares that no man could know the beginnings of things. 
"Of God it is not proper to ask the question where and 
how he came to be." Of Gautama, " if he is not able to 
see anything of the beginnings of things, how is it going 
to be said that he knows all things wholly?" So it pro- 
ceeds to state that the Pitakas, the Buddhist scriptures, are 
hearsay set up by the priests to promote offerings what 
modern terminology would call religious graft. The " In- 
vestigator " closes with a reference to the prophecy that 
" before long every false religion will be destroyed, and in 
every place in the world the ' mill-lay-nee/ which estab- 
lishes the Kingdom of Heaven, will come." Few Bud- 
dhists reached this, to them, cryptic reference to the mil- 
lennium, for of this tract one missionary writes : " Some 
hatred was manifested this morning. One was torn to 
pieces and thrown into the river as soon as my back was 
turned." The " Investigator " is long out of print. With 
it should be compared " The Golden Balance." This tract 
is Adoniram Judson's own. It is still on sale and is asked 
for by Buddhists who have heard it praised by their core- 
ligionists. It contains comparisons of Buddha and Christ, 
but they are exceedingly kindly comparisons, waiving for 
the moment the truth or falsity of the glories ascribed to 
Gautama. It just takes him as they believe him to be, 

[122] 



BURMESE, PRICE ONE PICE. 



GOLDEN 



BALANCE 



RANGOON:' 

AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSION PRESS. 
H. W. SMITH, SUPT. 
' 1928. 



Stereotyped 40th EditioQ-10,OOQ-327,OQOO, 




JUDSON'S OWN TRACT 
Still in Demand 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

and places him beside the One whom the missionary calls 
Master. Let the life of Christ speak for itself is its theme. 
So Judson more than a century ago employed a method 
which modern students of missions declare is the proper 
" Christian approach to non-Christian religions." 

A Missionary Veteran 9 s Vision 

This latter, the finer and better way, was the one in 
which Doctor Kelly instructed me, a new member of the 
faculty at Judson. I had been out only a year when 
he first came as president in 1911. The simple, direct 
presentation of Christ and the gospel with only occasional, 
always kindly, comparisons with Buddhism was his 
method. By this method he had made notable advances 
in evangelism. 

In the last eighteen months of his life Doctor Kelly,, due 
to declining health, handed over the administration of 
Judson College to that new faculty member of ten years 
before. The frequent visits of his successor, continually 
seeking his sound advice, found the " Sayagyi's " fervor 
never faltering. In fact, it burned even brighter as his 
physical powers waned. On the veranda of the Burman 
mission bungalow in Rangoon, a house secured through 
his oft-repeated pleas over a long number of years, he sat 
through those final months, a lonely figure. Much of the 
time was spent reading his Burmese New Testament. He 
was too feeble to return to America to join his wife who 
was held there by ill health. Though his end seemed 
clearly written in his enfeebled frame, he never for a 
moment lost his fine faith and courage. In conversation 
his face would light up as he told of a bit of a village on 
the banks of the Sittang River where he hoped he and 

[124] 



MEN AND METHODS 

Mrs. Kelly could live, of the house, just a little village 
home like the rest about it, where, when he was well 
enough, he would go to spend his remaining days just 
telling Burmese Buddhists about Christ. Such was Elias 
William Kelly, for many years the Mission's leading 
advocate of schools. 



[125] 



DC 
A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

The Judson Centennial 

Five " little girls " were the peak point of the Judson 
Centennial celebration in Rangoon. Four of them had 
fathers with records of more than forty years each in 
Burma. These same four daughters had themselves each 
an active service average of more than fifty years. All 
five could remember the years following 1840. That De- 
cember day in 1913 Sarah Stevens Smith, Mary Brayton 
Rose, Julia Haswell Vinton, Susan Haswell, and Sarah 
Stilson became again little folk seeing the face and hear- 
ing the voice of Adoniram Judson. The last of the five, 
Sarah Stilson, speaking with a youthful enthusiasm not 
one whit dimmed by her seventy-four years, declared : 

Though the pioneer has passed, his work is going on. New 
churches, new industries, new schools are springing up till Burma 
promises to be honeycombed with the influence of Christian mis- 
sions. Village after village shall sing: 

Chay zoo daw go thi gyin sow. 
Hymns of praise to Grace Divine. 

A survey of the almost completed first fifth of the 
second century more than justifies this optimism. In addi- 
tion some new forces have assumed a real share in the 
accomplishment of the task, the fulfilling of the prophecy. 

Since the Centennial 

The seventeen years since the centennial have seen 
502 new churches ; 368 churches become self-supporting ; 

[126] 



A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

251 new schools. Of these schools almost all are new vil- 
lage Christian centers. Contributions from the churches 
in 1913 were $92,000. In 1930 these contributions had 
mounted to $258,000. School fees in 1913 were $44,000 
while 1930 saw that item reach $252,000. 

Of new buildings many of the larger ones have been 
already mentioned. Scores of smaller structures involving 
great self-sacrifice on the part of the churches might be 
enumerated. Among the Burmese in the Thonze field 
Letpedan, Tooywa, and other outstations have built ac- 
ceptable chapels entirely from their own funds. The 
Shwegyin Karen field has recently undertaken a heavy 
program. With a membership that only totals about two 
thousand five hundred, they are launching a building pro- 
gram amounting to Rs. 74,000/. 

Taking Burma as a whole the new church buildings 
reach a high total. Bamboo structures have been torn 
down to be replaced by very sturdy and substantial, if not 
particularly handsome, teak buildings. In other places old, 
dingy brown meeting-houses of teak have been replaced 
by modern brick chapel-schools. Insistence on self-sup- 
port has made development along certain lines slower. 
But after all the sturdy oak cannot be grown in a hot- 
house. 

Among the Burmese Churches 

Pause a moment, and see the progress in and about 
Pegu. Merrick Parish by unceasing evangelistic effort 
has since the centennial increased the number of churches 
from one to seven. Their membership has grown from 
eighty-one to three hundred and fifty. Numbers do not 
mount rapidly among the Buddhists. It requires an ever- 

[127] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

persistent pressing of the message to individuals ; that same 
method which Judson employed in garnering his first 
nineteen. Pegu also has a well-organized Home Mission 
Committee. Its secretary is U Tha Aung, the pastor 
of the Pegu Church. His church ably, and entirely inde- 
pendent of missionary leadership, entertained the Burmese 
Association recently. In Burma entertainment still means 
just that. They have not adopted the " pay as you enter " 
system prevalent in America. 

Just a glance at two other Burmese fields. Swing up 
over the heavily forested Pegu Yomas. Drop down on 
their westward side into the heart of the Irrawaddy Delta. 
Here is an area also crowded with high-metaled, proud 
people. Since the turn of the mission century the schools 
in Thonze field have increased from six to sixteen. That 
means ten more centers of Christian influence in important 
villages. The same may be said of Henzada's fifteen 
schools. Each is a chapel on Sunday, a schoolhouse the 
rest of the week. Through this seven-day training plan 
the Christians are being brought to a position of leadership 
in their communities. 

Hospitals for Burma' s Valleys 

Let us turn then to the new forces which are assuming 
a share in the accomplishment of the missionary objective. 
One of these has been mentioned, the Ellen Mitchell 
Memorial Hospital at Moulmein. Doctor Mitchell's own 
little hospital has also been referred to. With those 
two exceptions there has been no sustained medical work 
in Burma proper during the history of the mission. Here 
as in education the mission has been influenced by Govern- 
ment policies. Government hospitals have endeavored to 

[128] 



A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

care for this need, because of this mission medical work 
has not been so urgently necessary. 

Admittedly an Indian Medical Service man is stationed 
at each district headquarters. These men are either British 
or Nationals trained abroad in the best British schools. 
They conduct civil hospitals and some additional dispen- 
sary work. Very recently the Burma Government has also 
cooperated with the Rockefeller Foundation in a demon- 
stration of modern health organization. This experimental 
unit is located in a village twenty miles north of Rangoon. 
The further extension of this work would mean untold 
benefit to countless villages. 

Some estimate of the adequacy of the Government med- 
ical service may be gained by a look at the Chin Hills. In 
that hill tract of twelve thousand square miles with a 
population of 120,000 there are three Government hos- 
pitals. These are staffed by a Civil Surgeon and eleven 
subassistant surgeons. Three of the latter travel about in 
the villages some twenty days in the month. In other 
words, one medical worker to ten thousand people scat- 
tered over one hundred square miles. An adequate mis- 
sion program should include a doctor for these hills. 

The Government of Burma must be commended for 
its efforts to provide medical relief for the people. Still 
there remain many places beside the Chin Hills where the 
services rendered can hardly be considered adequate. Even 
granting that they are all that any government might be 
expected to attempt, still one must regret that there are 
not more mission hospitals. Burma should have more of 
that powerful appeal of the Master given only as through 
his physicians " the blind receive their sight and the lame 
walk." 

[129] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Physicians for the Frontiers 

To place physicians everywhere is hardly possible. To 
give some concrete expression to Christ's compassion for 
human suffering is almost indispensable. This has been 
done on Burma's frontiers. American Baptists have sent 
in all fifteen physicians outside the province proper to the 
frontiers. They have been stationed high up in the 
Himalayan foot-hills which form the rim of Burma. 
Truman Johnson served long and ably at Loikaw in the 
Red Karen country on the east. After his death Mrs. 
Jennie Bixby Johnson bravely carried on for a decade. 
Then that medical work ceased. Erick East and John 
Woodin, both fine physicians, were between them for 
eleven years at the hospital at Haka in the Chin Hills. 
Then it closed its doors. The heavy demand on mission 
resources has not made it seem wise to try to continue it. 

In the Shan States there are now missionary doctors at 
Taunggyi, Mongnai, Kengtung, and Namkham. Twelve 
mission physicians have through the years ministered to 
the Shans. Five of these have been at Namkham. One 
finds there today the new Harper Memorial Hospital with 
Gordon Seagrave, a great-grandson of Justus Hatch Vin- 
ton, in charge. This hospital is a memorial to his prede- 
cessor, Robert Harper, the man with the burly body 
and the big heart. The old hospital had "a Christian 
influence which cannot be measured with a hundred-mile 
yardstick." How much more effective the new hospital 
must be ! The old was " a dark gloomy building on stilts. 
The floors were covered with stains of blood and pus and 
medicines which had soaked into them during the twenty 
or thirty years. They were made of soft spongy jungle 

[130] 



A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

wood, and no amount of scrubbing would make the floor 
clean." The new building is of native stone. It is light, 
airy and above all, it can be kept clean. This hospital is 
one of the new factors of the new century. It, like Moul- 
mein, trains a corps of nurses. They have gone here and 
there through the hills and valleys carrying an ever-widen- 
ing ministry. 

The future of the church in no small part rests on the 
question whether there may be found other Christian phy- 
sicians, both men and women, to give themselves for the 
upbuilding of Burma. Dr. L. T. Ah Pon has served the 
mission long and well in the Shan States. Hope for others 
lies largely in those whom Judson College is sending from 
its premedic course to become Bachelors of Medicine of 
the University of Rangoon. 

Zewaka: The Celebrated Burmese Physician 

The ignorance of the average man of the East in matters 
of Western medicine is, as might be expected, appalling. 
True, the eclectic say saya has discovered a number of 
valuable remedies. Chaulmoogra oil, long known in India 
and China as a remedy for skin diseases, was sold in the 
bazaars of Burma many years before Western science 
employed it for leprosy. Government has undertaken the 
codifying of these discoveries. The celebrated physician 
Zewaka, who " once cured a colic which afflicted the Lord 
Buddha Gautama, by simply giving him three flowers to 
smell," is the father of Burmese medicine. No examina- 
tions are required of his followers. 

The charlatan has a wide open door for his frauds. Examine 
one sample from his medicine case, a common remedy for bad 
sores. 

[131] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

(1) The "hand" of a taukete, the big trout-spotted lizard that 
haunts the thatch of houses. (2) Sulphur. (3) The bulb of a 
white lily. (4) A chili roasted. (5) Cock's dung. Mix in equal 
parts, and stir while heating it, and finally add some earth oil. 

Hanson finds in Kachin pharmacy, "Among other drugs, 
the blood of wild buffalo, the gall of a python, the fat and 
gall of the slow-loris, crushed tiger's bones, musk, and the 
gall of the bear are especially valued." 

Waste-Basket Surgery 

A striking instance of " Practising Medicine and 
Surgery and How ! " in the Kachin-Shan country is 
found in that fascinating book of Gordon Seagrave's 
Waste-Basket Surgery: 

A man came for an abdominal operation, localized peritonitis. 
We had none of the drainage materials used in America. All I 
could find was a rubber tube, hard and brittle. And I stuck that 
in for a drain. Threes days later it was nowhere to be found. I 
was terrified. I was certain we should have to cut him open again. 
He said it had been bothering him a little, and he had pulled it 
out and thrown it away. We were convinced that he was lying, 
but we decided to look around first before doing anything so 
drastic as to cut him up again. We walked from ward to ward, 
looking for it under the beds and in the corners without success, 
so you can imagine how perfectly delighted we were when we 
got out on the front porch and found a baby using that tube for a 
pacifier ! He had almost pacified himself permanently. 

Brought up on " the more bitter the better," any physi- 
cian, civil or missionary, with sugar-coated pills finds his 
path difficult; yet experience proves that the Christian 
physician can open doors closed to others. 

[132] 



A PROPHECY FULFILLED 



Unmet Medical Needs 

Not only in the Chin Hills in the far northeastern corner 
of the country is Government unable to meet the need, 
but few of the tens of thousands of villages have anything 
approaching adequate medical treatment. Even Rangoon, 
the best equipped of any city of the Province has only a 
civil hospital of five hundred and fifteen beds and a Sri 
Rama Krishna hospital of one hundred beds for a city of 
almost four hundred thousand people. The followers of 
the Hindu mystic are to be commended on their open- 
minded acceptance and active exemplification of Christ's 
message of service to all. Yet, too, they are a challenge 
to the Christian Church to help provide the " at least five 
hundred additional beds very urgently needed " for Ran- 
goon. In this Dr. Ma Saw Sa is ably doing her part. 
Through her efforts the religion of Jesus Christ is living 
today as it did in the ministrations of Doctor Mitchell in 
Moulmein, and Doctor Kingsley in Rangoon. 

Burma 9 s Effort to Aid the Rural Billions 

A second venture of the second century was the Pyin- 
mana Agricultural School. It is Burma's bit of evidence 
of a new approach to an old problem. The World Mis- 
sionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910 did not in any 
way consider the special needs of rural areas. The Jeru- 
salem Conference of 1928 devotes a volume of its findings 
to " Missions and Rural Problems." It is not that there 
has been an Oriental " Back to the Farm " movement. It 
is but a new realization of the old economic problem, a 
problem that in Burma, as in all Asia, is largely written 
in rural terms. Of Burma's thirteen million, nine million 

K [ 133 ] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

are engaged in agriculture. There are only some seventy 
towns as compared with thirty-five thousand villages. In 
these the farmers live. The isolated homestead is entirely 
unknown. India has an average of 225 people to every 
square mile. Burma has only about a quarter of that 
number. Yet even in Burma the problem of making ends 
meet is acute. Two pairs of bullocks and their quota of 
land twenty-eight acres should in that " garden spot " 
give a family a fair support, but they do not know how to 
reap the full benefit of the rich soil. Months of abundance 
are succeeded by months with a shortage of proper food. 
There results a lack of stamina to fight disease. For the 
most part the cultivator knows only a single crop rice. 
The many months between the annual harvests tend to 
debt with interest at SO per cent, or more per annum. 
This soon devours the twenty-eight acres. Large numbers 
of land-owners, Christian and non-Christian, are becoming 
tenants of the Chetties, " natives of India " Shylocks 
who foreclose at the first opportunity. 

Granted that the development of the church is sorely 
hampered by poverty, what business is that of a foreign 
mission society ? " None," would have been the answer 
of most of us two decades ago. The economic side of life 
lay outside our conception of the missionary task. Yet, 
somehow, a vicious circle must be broken. Consider the 
question in a most limited sense. The path to permanence 
is churches. Self-support is essential, if they are to be 
truly indigenous. Poverty prevents self-support and 
presses for mission doles. Such doles develop flabby 
muscles unprepared for that heavy upgrade climb to devo- 
lution of mission responsibility. Yet you may say 
" Look at the marvelous accomplishment of the Karens." 

[134] 



A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

Comparatively speaking, they have given themselves better 
equipment than is to be found almost anywhere East or 
West. Yet the Karens, increasingly, wish that phrase, 
"comparatively speaking," removed. Why should not 
Ein-chain-lay-zee have what any " 40-house " village con- 
siders essential in America in church, in school, and in 
adequate medical care ? And they will get these things for 
themselves, provided they can be 'pointed to paths of 
higher physical and economic as well as higher spiritual 
levels. In fact, it is difficult to see how they can attain 
the highest spiritual levels without a radical reconstruction 
of living conditions. 

A Burmese Village Transformed 

Pyinmana's first task is making better farmers of those 
who have already found Christ. In no sense does it set 
itself to furnish material inducements for entrance into 
the church. Yet that agricultural school inevitably piles 
up weighty evidence in favor of the Christian religion. Its 
portly pigs point the way of escape from poverty which 
" stunts the soul." Buddhism concerns itself largely with 
nauk pawa, the next existence. Christianity serves " the 
whole man in every aspect of his life and relationships." 
Some say " that the Kingdom of God cometh by preaching, 
and others by education, and others by making two blades 
of grass grow where only one grew before." Seventy-five 
boys at Pyinmana through a four years' course are getting 
training in all these, so that they may return to their 
villages, there to give the combined impact of all three 
bringers of the Kingdom. Pin Thaung is a sample village. 
It was " the worst of the district, full of opium-smugglers 
and opium-eaters, rice-whiskey distillers and drinkers, 

[135] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

gamblers and cattle-thieves." Yet it is rapidly becoming 
completely changed. It now has a Christian headman, a 
good school, and a church of one hundred members. All 
this because the people were prepared to heed the message 
of men whose advice had transformed their rice-fields. 

A large part of Pyinmana's expenses are met by Gov- 
ernment grants-in-aid. Thomas Jesse Jones' expert judg- 
ment is that " in these days of national self-determination 
and racial consciousness cooperation with governments 
and nationals is almost the sine qua non of permanent and 
genuine service, rural or otherwise." Pyinmana has that 
cooperation. 

Student Gospel Teams 

So much for pigs and pills. Now for play and its 
striking part in Kingdom advance. Any one from the 
tropics knows that a set or so of tennis is a tonic much 
needed to stir sluggish blood. Soccer football leagues such 
as those in Rangoon's " allied schools " the Normal, 
English High, and Gushing High Schools are stirring 
the sluggish blood of a nation. These leagues include 
Midgets, Junior-juniors, Juniors, and Seniors. They 
bring to any one closely connected with them a firm con- 
viction of the value of games. Besides physical vigor, 
they produce those invaluable incommensurables a sense 
of fair play and a spirit of cooperation. To these the 
second century has seen other high values added. The 
student gospel-teams since 1923 have found a place for 
play as a key to prejudice-bound Buddhist hearts. They 
have brought to Burma her first recognition that the sharp 
smack of a boxer's glove may clear the way for Christ's 
entrance into a hitherto indifferent heart. 

[136] 



A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

Thousands of Buddhist pupils enrolled in mission 
schools have attended daily Bible classes during their 
formative years. Their minds have been filled with Chris- 
tian truth, but their hearts have too often still been held 
fast bound by Buddhism. These groups have heard the 
plea of the missionary, of visiting teachers in school cam- 
paigns, and of such ardent general evangelists as William 
Hosmer Hascall and Willis Frye Thomas. For the most 
part, though they have been deeply moved, it has not been 
quite to the point of acceptance. From such faithful sow- 
ing the gospel-teams are reaping rich harvests. 

New Evangelistic Methods 

In this new movement play performs a double func- 
tion. First of all it has brought about a marked change 
of attitude on the part of the Christian student. He had 
done evangelistic work before chiefly from a sense of duty 
and with no striking success. Now, impelled by " a heav- 
enly joy " found in a method better adapted to his tem- 
perament he leads many into a knowledge of Christ. 
Then, too, " the vivacious, volatile, pleasure-loving, happy- 
go-lucky Burmans " have almost inevitably thought of 
Christianity as a barrier to that festivity which is such 
a large part of their Buddhism. Gospel-team campaigns 
have shown Christianity to be " The Way " along which 
they can take that joy and laughter they so much love. 
The campaign begins with a football or basket-ball game 
when the visitors from the metropolis meet the local team. 
The as yet unpicked partner in a Burma tennis tourna- 
ment is often entered as "A. N. Other." The student 
athletes on the gospel-team always strive to play as if 
Another sat on the side-lines, for victory is gained only 

[137] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

if friends are won for Him. There follow on successive 
nights a concert with perhaps a bit of boxing, a pageant, 
and a drama. This play appeal forms a happy approach 
to the deeper things Bible classes, searching talks, and 
stirring personal testimonies. Each student evangelist tells 
of Christ's place in his personal experience. Before the 
close comes the drawing in of the nets. The method is 
that of personal appeal in a place apart, that of the well 
of Samaria, not that of the saw-dust trail. All these 
efforts are fused into one mighty impact by the warmth 
of " expert friendship." For the gospel-team credo is 
" Friends with God. Friends with each other. Friends 
with all others." 

More than two hundred students the very finest 
from Judson College, the Burmese, Karen, and English 
Theological Seminaries, and the Karen and Burmese 
Women's Bible Schools during the first seven years of this 
movement have gone out as members of gospel-teams. 
Chief among the values is the indelible impression left on 
the lives of each of these students. In the campaign 
comes a deep emotional experience such as seems taboo 
among many of the " older churches " in America, yet the 
youth of the " younger churches " are proving that it may 
have an important place in this present day. 

The worth-whileness of it all can perhaps best be seen 
in the light of the testimony of Johnson Kangyi, outstand- 
ing Karen, athlete, scholar, and glee club leader, now 
Assistant Professor of English in Judson College. His 
testing-time came while studying in America : 

There was a very rude awakening when I was thrown against 
some Christian divinity students at the University in America, 
who said that my faith was irrational, childish, and blind. But 

[138] 



A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

when doubts and temptations assailed me, the vital religious experi- 
ences I had gone through with the student gospel-teams stood me 
in good stead. One of these students, not an American but an 
Indian Christian, insisted upon that ultra-rationalistic view of the 
Bible and life, so that there was no room for the living Christ; 
but I know, because others and I have proved it in our gospel- 
team work, that God is my Maker and Father, my Saviour and 
Friend. 



[139] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

Burma's Immigration Problem 

Monday, May 26, 1930, must be marked, in black on 
Burma's calendar. It saw the beginning of racial riots. 
For five years India had been shaken by many sanguinary 
encounters between Hindus and Moslems, the chief ap- 
parent cause being the " cow-music " question. Burma's 
national bird, the peacock, had preened itself in " its pride 
proper," as it were, entirely superior to such communal 
clashes. Then there broke a terrible storm of arson and 
murder. Coringhee coolies from the Coconada coast of 
the Madras Presidency were the stevedores loading ships 
in Rangoon's crowded harbor. Their pay for that strenu- 
ous labor was fifty-four cents a day; they struck for 
sixty-two. The Burman had always scorned such menial 
labor. But the continued piling up of an unsalable sur- 
plus of rice made him eager for any employment. Here 
was a means of support which he thought was permanent. 
Skill and strength to handle large bags of rice do not come 
in a day. Coolie maistries wearied of the Burman novices 
and conceded the Coringhee demands. That Monday the 
just-discharged Burmese met the taunts and missiles of the 
triumphant Madrassi. The detested " native of India " 
had cut them off from sorely needed income. Conse- 
quences common to such industrial situations everywhere 
ensued. That is common except for their intense ferocity. 
Burmans from town and district ran amuck. Any Co- 

[140] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

ringhee man, woman, or child risked death by ventur- 
ing on the streets. Jinrikishas were wrested from their 
Indian pullers, smashed, and their axles employed as 
weapons. Soon, no kola, white or black, was safe from 
the brown man's wrath. Valiant efforts of British of- 
ficials and Burmese elders together with the calming 
presence of His Majesty's Highlanders finally secured a 
cessation of hostilities ; but not until more than one hun- 
dred had been killed and many times that number seri- 
ously injured. 

Burma's welcome to unlimited numbers of cheap labor- 
ers from across the Bay has been definitely withdrawn. 
For years coolies by the hundred thousand (408,000 in 
1926) have entered her ports for seasonal labor. More 
than ninety per cent, of them have returned to India each 
year. The rest, together with Indians of other classes, 
now number almost a million permanent settlers, about 
one-tenth of the population of Burma proper. Appre- 
hension has been growing that Burma would soon lose her 
own individuality. Then came the pinch of financial de- 
pression, precipitating the inevitable clash. Such com- 
munal strife will continue to be a menace so long as 
Burma must submit to unrestricted immigration. The 
racial riots brought sharply to the fore the need for a read- 
justment of relations with India. 

Separation from India Is Recommended 

As he walks across an English racing paddock leading 
his winning horse, Rustom Pasha, one would not for a 
moment suspect him to be Aga Sultan Mohomed Shah, 
G. C. I. E., G. C. S. I., K. C. I. K, LL. D., spiritual head 
of Ismail Mohammedans. The wealthy and powerful 

[141] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

"Aga Khan " is also an authority on things Indian. His 
query, "Is Burma to be India's Ireland?" is worthy of 
most serious consideration; at least it was until June 24, 
1930, the date of the publication of the second volume of 
the Simon Report. Sir John Simon's Royal Commission 
was appointed to inquire " into the working of the system 
of government in British India." Its Report recom- 
mended the immediate separation of Burma from India. 
Provided that recommendation met with the approval, first 
of the Round Table Conference and then of Parliament, 
prospects were bright for Burma. But would it secure 
such approval ? 

Envious eyes are turned toward Burma both from the 
west across the Bay of Bengal and from the east over the 
high Himalayan foot-hills. Edward Thompson in his 
exceedingly able Reconstructing India writes : 

Practically all schools of Indian thought are opposed to the sepa- 
ration of Burma. The reason is economic. Burma is lightly 
populated; its struggle for existence, a thing of recent years, is 
due to the rapid silting of emigrants from India. India is over- 
populated, is debarred from East Africa and Australia, is eagerly 
looking for a land into which to dump her surplus folk. Inde- 
pendent India, presuming that its population continued to grow far 
beyond its power to support, would not resist the temptation to do 
with Burma what Japan has done with Korea. 

The Round Table Conference in London proved this 
prophecy only partly correct. Thompson had not reckoned 
with the Indian Princes. That momentous conference met 
in the winter of 1930-31. It included Hindu and Bud- 
dhist, Moslem and Christian, caste and outcaste, ruling 
prince and common citizen. They came together with 
members of the British Parliament to consider India's 

[142] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

future constitution. It had been thought that British India 
alone would wish dominion status. It seemed certain 
that the powerful Native States of Indian India would 
wish to retain their present direct relation with the Vice- 
roy. It became clear early in the conference, however, 
that the maharajahs wished to join a federated India. 
These princes also favored the separation of Burma. The 
weight of their influence brought an early recommendation 
that Burma's plea be granted. 

Burma Is Not India 

The Burman easily finds a wealth of reasons why he 
should not be swallowed up in any future federated India. 
Burma is geographically distinct. Wide seas and high 
mountains covered with almost impenetrable jungle sepa- 
rate it from India, its neighbor on the north and west. 
None of the former conquerors of India ruled Burma. 
It was the British raj " purely as a matter of administra- 
tive convenience" who first did this. It is an unnatural 
alliance and should not be continued. 

Burma faces east, not west. It looks toward China, not 
India. Its major races came from far Cathay. It is not 
like India, either Aryan or Dravidian. It has the marks of 
a Mongolian ancestry and civilization. Burma has no 
caste, no use of the veil for women, no early marriage 
nor an enforced widowhood. There are none of the major 
evils of Hindu society. In Burma the Buddhist monastery 
has made literacy almost ten times as great as in any other 
province of India. With the entire freedom from caste 
have come a gracious hospitality and a kindly tolerance. 
Add to these a natural light-heartedness and generosity, 
and you have " an individuality very delightful and valu- 

[ H3 ] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

able to the outside world." This individuality is threat- 
ened with extinction in any union with India. 

Indian Actions Irritate Burma 

India's favored treatment of its own cotton and steel 
industries together with its tax on the rice trade has been 
exceedingly irritating to Burma. Heavy import duties 
on cotton and steel have helped Indian mills but have 
added to Burma's burdens. For Burma has no steel nor 
cotton mills. Burma has rich oil-fields and valuable forests 
but its real wealth lies in the rice from its paddy plains. 
Anything that affects the price of rice is felt in every 
corner of the province. Some years ago an export duty 
was placed on rice by the Indian Legislative Assembly. 
This goes to India's central treasury for all India expenses. 
Of these expenses Burma's part is small. The Assembly 
in order to meet an acute slump in the rice trade in 1930 
grudgingly reduced this duty about one-fiftieth of a cent 
a pound. A half million additional tons left Burma's 
paddy bins within two weeks. Popular belief is that that 
trifling reduction did it. Being the only Indian province 
to export any rice, Burma demands complete control of 
any duties that may hinder the sale of what is to it, in 
more senses than one, the staff of life. 

Military Strength Made a Major Issue 

In Burma sentiment is practically unanimous for sepa- 
ration. British parliamentary approval may be safely 
predicted. So far as opposition other than Indian is con- 
cerned, it centers itself on those envious eyes on the East 
in Siam and China. Siam once felt the heel of Burmese 
conquerors. The alarmists fear it would seek revenge 

[144] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

on an ill-defended Burma. China like India is over-popu- 
lated. It might well covet Burma, that most blest by 
nature of any land of the East. Any Rangoon fruit 
market will give a glimpse of nature's bounty in Burma. 
Bananas of a dozen varieties, as different in taste and 
texture as the apples of the West; pomelos, a glorified 
grape-fruit; sweet limes, an orange the size of a musk- 
melon; apples filled with a fine fruit custard; mangoes 
and mangosteens with nothing in the West worthy of 
comparison; and last, but first of them all, the dorian, 
with its delightful creamy fruit cheese and its odor " audi- 
ble " at a hundred yards. Without question any nation, 
East or West, would find Burma a profitable possession. 
Its peace it is asserted could not be maintained without 
the assistance of the Indian army. That army is almost 
entirely British officered, so the problem of defense, it is 
argued, is for British hands. The northwest frontier up 
toward Turkestan has been the chief cause for serious 
concern in India. It can hardly be called a Burma menace 
except on the assumption of a complete collapse across 
the Bay. Any arguments against Burma's ability to de- 
fend herself may be applied with even greater force to 
other provinces. The Punjab's bewhiskered battalions 
are sixty-two per cent, of the army recruited in India. 
Bengal furnishes not a single soldier. Burma the " prin- 
cess of the provinces " contributes three thousand men. 
True, Burma looks largely to the martial races of India for 
its civil and military police. Burmans have fitted none too 
well into the Indian military establishment, largely, it is 
alleged, because it is too meagerly paid. Burmese recruit- 
ment was cut in 1929, in part at least, because Indian 
sepoys are cheaper. Burma's recruits are mostly Kachins, 

[145] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Chins, Lisus, Marus, and other men of the Hills. These 
" Burma Rifles " have an excellent record as garrison 
troops, and, too, they have won distinction, for Subadar 
Major Lasang Gam, ranking officer of the Kachins, a 
Christian, has been called to London to act as a King's 
Orderly. " Theophilus " of the Rangoon Times argues 
with considerable cogency that the Burmese should be 
trained as the " second line " to be called in emergencies 
when real action is required. They could confidently be 
expected to take their full part where any actual fighting 
is imminent. They could and would ward off any covetous 
hordes from China or Siam. 

The Legislative Council Has a Good Record 

So much for needed adjustment of external relations; 
what then of adjustments from within? It has been as- 
serted on good authority that Burma's legislative body, has 
been "the most level-headed and utilitarian of the pro- 
vincial Councils set up under the dyarchic regime." To 
be sure, there are keen critics who assert that any advance 
in self-government is impossible. Sir Reginald Craddock, 
former head of the Burma Government, in his Dilemma in 
India declares : " The spoiled children of the East, so 
radiant in gaiety, so feckless in purpose, taking no thought 
for the future, must be born again before Burma can even 
enter the Dominion of Home Rule. The explanation lies 
in the moral fiber, and Acts of Parliament are powerless 
to supply it. It must be a plant of local growth." On the 
other hand, equally able men urge that as " The history 
of nearly every country which has thrown off the shackles 
of foreign control shows some kind of rejuvenation," so 
it will be in Burma. 

[146] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

As to the matter of moral fiber, every session of the 
Legislature has seen some Burman rise to propose a Pro- 
hibition measure only to have his motion defeated by the 
official bloc, the Government-appointed members of that 
body. To be sure, time alone can tell whether this plea 
for prohibition is a matter of morals or just a means of 
harassing government. 

In this connection it is well worthy of note that Sir 
Joseph Maung Gyi was officiating Governor in the fall of 
1930. He is the second native son to hold such an office 
in any province of India. His appointment as the first 
Burman Governor is a clear indication of the confidence 
which the King-Emperor places in the Burmese people. 
The most serious difficulty is the shortage of leaders. The 
increase in the number of Nationals allowed to enter Gov- 
ernment service was at one time looked upon as an advance. 
It is now proving a hindrance to self-government. For 
many years the cream of the colleges has been drawn off 
into Government employment, most of the positions of a 
subordinate nature. These positions pay salaries much 
larger than any available for their less fortunate college 
classmates. A large group of Burma's best have thus be- 
come " British Brahmins " barred by their official con- 
nections from political activity. Important cogs in the 
machine " made in Great Britain " for giving good gov- 
ernment and giving it, their powers have been devoted to 
strengthening the position of the paternalistic British raj. 
If some means could be found for making their assistance 
available, Burma could much more quickly build a self- 
governing dominion. 

The importance of these readjustments of relations 
from a missionary standpoint can hardly be overstated. 

[147] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Some firmly believe that they portend grave difficulties. It 
is the confident belief of others that these changes will 
make for freedom and opportunity of the Christian com- 
munity. Experience so far shows an increase in the pres- 
tige and influence of the Christian church. 

Burma's Strategic Place in Asia 

A separated Burma bears real promise of becoming the 
hub of a very considerable Oriental universe. A mission- 
ary at home on furlough from Rangoon painted a very tell- 
ing picture. Under his facile tongue Burma became the 
land where all the human currents of the Orient meet, 
meet to divide again and make their influence felt to Asia's 
farthest corners. Of Burma Rangoon stands as the great 
port city, as the undisputed metropolis, the point at which 
this world-influencing function makes itself most felt. 
The aforesaid missionary's position placed him at the 
center of Rangoon. From which it was inferred, though 
not spoken, that his influence ran throughout the length 
and breadth of Asia. Whatever may be said of the final 
conclusion of this thesis, the premises cannot be seriously 
questioned. Many have come to Burma from the most 
widely scattered parts of Asia, they have found there suf- 
ficient of this world's goods to be able to return home in 
comparative wealth. So the fame of Burma has pene- 
trated from the Punjab to South China, from Darjeeling 
to Singapore. The position she will come to occupy in the 
political life of Asia is a matter on which opinions may 
differ. Her unique economic position, due to her mineral 
resources, her forest reserves, and her paddy plains, is a 
matter of fact. And as for political predictions, Burma 
may in a few years easily loom largest in Oriental eyes of 

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READJUSTING RELATIONS 

all countries east of Europe and west of Japan. Given 
separation, Burma " with its tolerance, its literacy, and its 
unity," unencumbered by the social conditions which 
hinder progress in India, seems certain to become a leader. 
It promises to blaze the way for the millions of subject 
peoples in Southern Asia. Success in self-government in 
Burma will furnish an unanswerable argument against any 
one race dominating another. 

The Transfer of Administration in Baptist Work 

To what degree have twelve decades of mission work 
prepared the church to play its part in this new Burma, 
soon to be? That eminent administrator, William Isaac 
Chamberlm, Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions 
of the Reformed Church, has said that there are four 
stages in the history of foreign missions : First, the Mis- 
sion; second, the Mission and the Church; third, the 
Church and the Mission ; and finally, the Church. Burma 
is in large part in the " Church and Mission " stage. 
Administrative responsibility is being delegated to Joint 
Committees. They distribute funds for schools and evan- 
gelistic work. Missionaries to the Karens have long been, 
to a large degree, acting in an advisory rather than an 
administrative capacity. Some, for years, have had no 
more power than a State Convention Secretary. Karen 
elders have assumed responsibility not only for local affairs, 
but through their Associations for their home and for- 
eign missions. In most fields they have advanced far to- 
ward self-direction and self-support. Joint committees 
are no novelty to them. The call of Thra San Ba, B. A., 
B. D., from the Seminary by the Bassein Sgaw Karens 
points clearly in the direction of complete church control 

L [ 149 ] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

in that great field. Burmese Christians, on the other hand, 
are fewer in number. They are gathered only in small 
groups. There are no Burmese villages entirely Christian. 
So they have not found it possible to assume as much re- 
sponsibility. The Burmese Committee, therefore, finds 
many more schools, and churches, which formerly looked 
to the Mission, still looking to it for support, than does 
the Karen Committee. 

Each Joint Committee has a membership of nine Na- 
tionals and three missionaries. The high caliber of the 
Nationals may be seen by a glance at the personnel. On 
the Burman Committee are U Ba Hlaing, B. A., LL. B. 
(London), Moulmein Barrister, and U Hla Bu, M. A., 
Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Judson. On the 
Karen Committee are such men as Thra Mating Po, Hen- 
zada pastor, and Joseph Po M' Law, general evangelist 
for the Moulmein Karens. No National on either com- 
mittee receives support from American funds. As for the 
missionaries, they are cooperating to place their present 
responsibility on the shoulders of Nationals, so that they 
themselves may press on to the large, as yet untouched, 
areas. 

A Difficulty in Devolution 

Devolution, the handing over of responsibility to na- 
tionals, is not easy of accomplishment for the missionary. 
Points where the answering of Burma's call most often 
causes missionary casualties are health and separation 
from children. This last has been greatly relieved by the 
excellent "American School " at Taunggyi. As to health, 
conditions have vastly improved through the years. Yet 
danger of disease is still much increased when one leaves 

[150] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

America for the tropics. Burma has not as yet become a 
bit of peaceful countryside. The year 1929 saw in the 
" bag " of its sportsmen 1,200 leopards and a like number 
of bears, 500 tigers were killed, and 400 elephants cap- 
tured. There still remains more than a bit of jungle and 
much of the menace to health which jungle implies. Yet, 
after all, the chief drain on missionary strength comes in 
striving to combine efficiency and devolution. The 
Burman's favorite phrase is " at leisure " the American's 
" busy." Ways of saying things often indicate ideals, and 
the ideals of the two peoples have differed just that much. 
Yet who can blame the tropical-born for craving leisure? 
How many Americans have cut short their careers trying 
to transplant " pep " ? Perhaps, after all, the longer years 
and the slower pace will accomplish more. Still, for the 
missionary recruited because he was " a leader and organ- 
izer with energy, initiative, and self-reliance," few strains 
are more severe than to see that prized commodity, ef- 
ficiency, endangered as he takes a second place. Is it a 
second place? David Chandler Gilmore, with long ex- 
perience in Burma, feels " Devolution is going to mean 
that the missionary is to be promoted from the compara- 
tively humble post of administrator, to the higher post of 
apostle, prophet, teacher. That is to say, he will be pro- 
moted, if he has it in him, through Christ, to fill these 
higher posts." Doctor Gilmore is among those already so 
promoted. 

A Strong Church with Capable Leadership 

But let us look at the church to which responsibility is 
being transferred. Adoniram Judson's goal was " to in- 
troduce the religion of Jesus Christ in the Empire of 

[151] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Burma." On July 13, 1930, the one hundred and seven- 
teenth anniversary of his arrival, there was held in Vinton 
Memorial Hall, the Annual Mass Meeting of the Rangoon 
Baptist City Mission Society. Twenty churches, totaling 
almost five thousand members, were represented. Six 
different tongues joined in "All Hail the Power of Jesus' 
Name." Surely this is evident that Judson's goal is 
gained. 

Or, pass in review a few of Burma's fine group of 
Baptist leaders. In Rangoon, there are such men as Thra 
Pan, director of young people's work among two hundred 
churches in the Karen Association, and U Ba Han, pastor 
of the Burmese Church founded by Judson. He also 
teaches on Seminary Hill, Insein, with Saya Tha Din as 
an able colleague. Bassein brings memories of Thra 
Lugyi, fluent in three languages, fearless preacher to Bud- 
dhist Karens, and with him U Ba U, former Buddhist 
priest and now evangelist to the Burmans. Among the 
laymen are U Ba Tsoe, Burmese timber merchant, deeply 
devoted to the Pyinmana Church, and Thra Thin who be- 
queathed to the Bassein Association Rs. 30,000 for carrying 
the gospel to the Karens in " the regions beyond." Thra 
Kra Su is shouldering major responsibilities. " Old and 
rugged but a regular saint of God, he is carrying on in 
Loikaw where missionaries have found it hard to work." 

Judson College points with pride to its graduates. 
Among its men are such mission school heads as U Po 
Win of the Moulmein Karen High School and U Po Min 
of the Myingyan Burman High School. There are, too, 
among its women Ma Hannah, fulltime secretary of the 
Daily Vacation School movement, and Ma Nu, a teacher 
<n the Burmese Women's Bible School. There is also an 

[152] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

impressive list in Government employ. U Than Tin and 
U Shwe Sein each hold that important post, somewhat 
misnamed, " Under-secretary to Government," Silas San 
Wah is a Judge in Mergui, and U Mating Cho is Pro- 
vincial Inspector of National Schools. There are also 
U Ba Htin, Assistant Deputy Commissioner at Pegu, 
U Po Chit, headmaster of the Government High School 
at Insein, Daniel Aung Bwint of the Rangoon Police, and 
L. Htin Po, Civil Surgeon at Shwebo. 

Maymyo Bible Assembly 

No group better portrays the prospects for the future 
than those gathered at the Maymyo Bible Assembly. High 
in the hills east of Mandalay is Maymyo, Burma's sum- 
mer capital. Here is the hot season residence of the 
Governor. Here, too, the Baptist Mission has an all- 
nations' church and a fine school for girls. Chief of the 
mission's buildings is the Milton Shirk Memorial Rest 
House. It gives rest and respite from the heat of the 
plains to many missionaries. Just across the road from 
the Rest House is the spacious assembly building. Ten 
days in late March and early April each year are given 
to this gathering. More than two decades of experience 
have proved its importance to the whole mission. The year 
1930 saw twenty-three out of thirty-one mission stations 
represented. There were among the delegates sixty-four 
Burmans, sixty Karens, fifteen Anglo-Indians, five Chins, 
four Chinese, three Kachins, three Takings, three Indian 
Christians, two Shans, two Hindus, one Armenian, two 
Taungthus and one Mohammedan. This racial roll-call 
indicates that every important group is being touched. 
The general subject was in 1929 " The Life without 

[153] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Limit " and in 1930 " The Overcoming Life." There is 
a definite attempt to avoid that which has occupied the 
group, most of whom are students or teachers during the 
preceding nine months. The urgent need is not a wide 
and varied curriculum, rather spiritual renewal which will 
carry through the coming year. Bible classes in English, 
Burmese, and Karen, courses in C. E., and D. V. B. School 
methods and training in personal work occupy the morn- 
ings. The afternoons are given to recreation. In the eve- 
ning is heard an inspirational address. On the closing 
Sunday afternoon in 1929 a consecration service was held 
out under the trees. Many lives were rededicated to 
Christ. Several for the first time made a public profession. 
All left the meeting with a deeper certainty of the place 
the Master must have in their lives. Foreign Secretary 
J. C. Robbins, deeply moved by what he saw and heard, 
declared, " When you can have such a meeting led in such 
a beautiful way by a Burmese pastor like U Ba Han, there 
is no need to fear for the future of the Kingdom of God 
in Burma." 

Large Areas Are Still Unoccupied 

A glimpse of these different groups almost leaves one 
persuaded that the task is done persuaded till one turns 
to a few comparisons. The best record is among the 
Karens with, if Catholics are omitted, one in nine Chris- 
tian. Among the hill-folk twelve thousand five hundred 
Christians are quite a company, yet the task which awaits 
is sixty times that number. Immigrant Indians are, many 
of them, Christians, yet only twenty-five out of every 
thousand have accepted Christ. As for the Burmese Bud- 
dhist the Christian bears a ratio of just one in one thou- 

[154] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

sand. This ratio is substantially the same among the 
Shans. These figures point to many unoccupied areas. 
The districts of Ruby Mines, Katha, Upper Chindwin, 
Magwe, and Minbu have been but little touched. The 
Arakan division with nearly one million people finds the 
Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society taking up work in 
the north, an area neglected since the early days of the 
Baptist Mission. 

Much is yet to be accomplished. Societies, other than 
the American Baptists, striving to help are the American 
Methodists in Lower Burma at Pegu and Rangoon to- 
gether with Thongwa and Syriam close to the capital. The 
English Wesleyan Methodists with seven stations are scat- 
tered throughout Upper Burma from Kalaw in the South- 
ern Shan States to Mawlaik far up the Chindwin River. 
The Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society, in addition 
to their new venture in Northern Arakan, have six points 
north and west of Bhamo where, since 1924, work is being 
attempted in the territory first penetrated by Eugenio Kin- 
caid prospecting for a 'link between Burma and Assam 
Baptists. In none of these stations, save perhaps Pegu, 
may the work be said to overlap. The Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel the Church of England organ- 
ization has seven stations ; and the Seventh Day Adven- 
tists from America have three. This last Society is now 
penetrating up the Salween River above Moulmein. There 
are also in Rangoon the Y. M. and Y. W. C. A., the 
British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Salvation 
Army. Although these other Christian organizations are 
doing their part, Baptists must assume major responsi- 
bility for untouched territory. Prior occupancy of Burma 
places responsibility on them. 

[155] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

Baptists have twice as many foreign workers and six 
times as many Nationals giving full time to mission work 
as all other religious bodies put together. The 1,320 Bap- 
tist churches occupy a position of first importance. Yet 
it is manifest that the door of opportunity has only been 
partially entered. Burma has unique political possibilities. 
If these possibilities are realized, the Christian church 
in Burma is bound to wield a wide influence. Edward 
Thompson, before the Round Table Conference in London 
in the winter of 1930-31, declared that if that Conference 
should prove successful, it would furnish the best propa- 
ganda in all history for the peaceful solution of disputes 
between nations. And more, 

They will strike the hardest blow that racial and color prejudice 
have received since the time of Christ For the first time, an 
Empire dominated mainly by people of one blood will have found 
a way to incorporate on equal terms a vast people of blood and 
thought and religious belief poles apart from its own. It will 
open up new hope for depressed and discouraged peoples every- 
where, and there can be no limit set to the regions into which its 
influence will go. It will have repercussions on the policy of 
every nation that owns a yard of territory outside its own borders; 
or has any dissatisfied minority within them. 

The progress made by the Round Table Conference far 
exceeded expectations. 

An Opportunity Unexcelled Anywhere 

Separated Burma bears promise of becoming a leader 
along this path of peace and of cooperation regardless of 
color. Burma is already far more democratic than any 
other province of India. Burma's racial and religious 
groups are much more kindly disposed to one another. 

[156] 



READJUSTING RELATIONS 

The dominant religious group, the Buddhists, are believers 
in a faith by far the most susceptible of all in India to 
the permeation of Christian teaching. Buddhist ethical 
principles have acquired new meaning due to the constant 
contact with Christianity. The common reply to Chris- 
tian teaching is a tu du be they are the same. This 
attitude has opened doors for a leavening uplift. Would 
that it had carried farther! Be deeply grateful that we 
find Burma facing her future with her two most important 
groups, Christian and Buddhist, not "poles apart" but 
prepared to work together for the welfare of " Mother 
Burma." Through this cooperation Burma will not only 
play an exceedingly important part in the political drama 
of Southern Asia, but it will speak for Christ as well. 

Dean Charles Reynolds Brown, on a visit to Japan, one 
of the far points to which the teachings of Gautama 
Buddha have penetrated, joined a band of pilgrims to the 
shrine at Kamakura built to memorialize that son of a king 
who gave his all to gain enlightenment. Standing before 
the heroic figure in bronze he exclaimed : 

The dignity of the majestic figure, the look of peace and ineffable 
calm upon the face, the air of repose meets the hurried, thought- 
less tourist as if to hush him into reverence and meditation. But 
the figure is seated; the arms are folded; the eyes are closed. It 
is the calm of death. 

" The calm of death " cannot sit at a round table con- 
ference drawing up plans for democracy. Gautama Bud- 
dha accomplished much. His creed condemns caste. It 
aids in the emancipation of women. He has kept the path 
to self-government cleared of great barriers which still 
stand in India. But the foundation principles for the new 
structure must be furnished by Another: the One who 

[157] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

stands erect, his arms outstretched, his eyes alight. The 
need is not the calm of death but the light of a living love. 
Burma, coveted of men for their selfish purposes, is 
coveted by the Master for quite other ends. Will he 
possess it? The answer rests on the continued cooperation 
of the Churches in America and the Churches in Burma. 




BURMA'S LION 
Guardian of the Pagodas 



QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 

CHAPTER I. ADONIRAM JUDSON 

1. Sketch the life of Adoniram Judson prior to his de- 

parture from America, catching contrasts with 
today. 

2. Discuss the difficulties of Ann and Adoniram Judson 

in going to the foreign field. Compare them with 
those today. 

3. What effect did the Judsons becoming Baptists have in 

the awakening and developing of that denomina- 
tion in America? 

4. Why should the question of immersion require long 

consideration by the Judsons and Luther Rice? 

5. How is tropical Burma different from Northern 

U.S.A.? 

6. Read Kipling's " Road to Mandalay." Is its geog- 

raphy correct? 

7. What reasons, do you suppose, caused " the teacher " 

to delay accepting Christ? 

8. How is Rangoon in 1931 different from Rangoon 

in 1813? 

9. Name the Mission institutions in Rangoon. Are they 

all included within Adoniram Judson's purpose ? 

CHAPTER II. VOYAGES AND MOTIVES 

1. Name four differences between travel to the field in 

1834 and today. 

2. Why is life in Burma's frontier stations difficult? 

How is it different from the homeland? 

[159] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

3. Are all three missionary motives necessary? Are they 

enough? 

4. Is Burma more " needy " than America? If so, how? 

If not, why not? 

5. Name nine different races and the mission stations for 

each. 

6. In what ways do racial differences increase the difficul- 

ties of mission work? 

CHAPTER III. FOUR ESSENTIALS 

1. What are the modern missionary's main difficulties in 

learning the language? How is his task different 
from Judson's? 

2. Why is Burmese more difficult to learn than French? 

3. What are some by-products of language study? What 

is the value of each by-product? 

4. How would you proceed in reducing a language to 

writing? What are some words difficult to catch? 

5. What book would you most like to share with the 

people of Burma? Why? 

6. Why was the Mission Board wise in sending Hough 

as Judson's first associate? 

7. What Christian literature is necessary for America? 

For Burma? 

8. How can Christianity avoid being called a foreign 

religion ? 

9. Why is the missionary task impossible of achievement 

by foreigners alone? 



[160] 



QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 

CHAPTER IV. CERTAIN BARRIERS 

1. Why were the Burmans hostile to Boardman? 

2. Why were the Karens friendly to the British ? To the 

missionaries ? 

3. Was Boardman right in turning his attention to the 

Karens ? 

4. Do you find anything to commend, anything to criti- 

cize in the three Buddhist objects of worship? 

5. In what ways should Christianity be especially attrac- 

tive to Buddhists? 

6. Compare Gautama's journey to the Anauma River 

with Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. 

7. What do the " Four Roads to Perfection " lack? 

8. In what ways is Buddha's self-sacrifice different from 

Christ's? 

9. Must a one hundred per cent. Burman be a Buddhist ? 

10. In what ways were the Karens a barrier to Burmese 

Buddhists becoming Christians? 

11. What are some other reasons why Buddhists are dif- 

ficult to win to Christ? 

CHAPTER V. COCOANUT CREEK KARENS 

1. How did travel through tropical jungle for Abbott, 

how does it even today, differ from a hike through 
our forests? 

2. The many missionary deaths in Arakan would not be 

considered justifiable today. Were they or are we 
right? 

3. Should a church ask its " missionary pastor " to make 

greater sacrifice than its own minister ? 

.[161] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

4. Was the price paid for the gospel by the Karens too 

high? Do conditions among the Karens today 
give any answer to this question? 

5. Why did the missionaries to the Karens move from 

Sandoway to Bassein? 

6. Why did not the coming of the British doom the 

religion of the Burman? 

7. What were the points of strength and of weakness in 

the early Karen leaders? 

8. Of the three characteristics of vigorous church life 

self-propagation, self-government, and self-sup- 
port which should come first in emphasis? 
Which second ? 

9. If the average wage of a day-laborer in Burma is 

Rs. I/ per day, what would be the equivalent in 
dollars of Rs. 20,300? 

10. Name the Karen Mission stations. How widely are 
they scattered? 

CHAPTER VI. BEYOND MANDALAY 

1. Name the mission stations for Kachins, for Chins, for 

Shans, for Lahus and Was. 

2. What sections of Burma does each race occupy? 

3. How is the savage more religious than the civilized 

man? 

4. Which is easier for you to understand, Animism or 

Buddhism? Why is this true? 

5. Why do Animists accept Christ more quickly than 

Buddhists? 

6. Is it fair to compare Kachin demons with Salem 

witches ? 

[162] 



QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 

7. How is our superstitious "knocking on wood" dif- 

ferent from a Kachin sacrificing a chicken? 

8. How are the many dialects developed? 

9. Would you think that recent immigration has been 

good or bad for Burma? 

10. Should the Foreign Mission Society attempt to meet 
new needs, even if it goes in debt? 

CHAPTER VII. WOMEN'S WORK 

1. Compare the purpose of Judson with the goal of the 

Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission So- 
ciety. Does the former include the latter? 

2. What is meant by the " elevation of women " ? How 

does Christian education contribute to this? 

3. The girls of Burma are eager for education. What 

danger and what hope does this movement hold? 

4. Compare the proverb, " Better a male dog than a 

woman," with Christ's teaching. How might such 
a proverb influence the attitude toward education 
for girls ? 

5. Remembering that much of Animism clings to Bud- 

dhism Why should women be suspicious of for- 
eign medicines? 

6. What conditions make the training of women nurses 

an urgent need? 

7. Why is leprosy the most dreaded of diseases ? 

8. Describe four Hindu customs never practised by Bud- 

dhists. How do these affect the position of women ? 

9. Describe the witnessing ministry of the Christian 

home. 

[163] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

CHAPTER VIII. MEN AND METHODS 

1. Name some natural difficulties which arise in com- 

bining several language groups in one convention. 

2. In your judgment, what are the necessary qualifica- 

tions of a missionary? 

3. How would you proceed in order to procure candi- 

dates possessing these qualifications ? 

4. Just what is the task of mission schools? Should 

these schools continue if Government forbids re- 
quired Bible classes and chapel services? 

5. Is secular education a help or a hindrance to becom- 

ing a Christian? 

6. Should mission schools in Burma receive financial aid 

from Government? 

7. Should missionaries be divided into educational and 

evangelistic ? 

8. Have Christians in America any responsibility for giv- 

ing a secular education to the children of Burma? 

9. Is the leavening influence of foreign missions to be 

counted among its good results even though it does 
not lead to conversion? 

10. Why is the living voice in preaching and personal 

work preeminent among methods ? 

11. What should be the attitude of the missionary toward 

the religions of Burma? Give reasons for Jud- 
son's " Golden Balance " being better than " The 
Investigator." 

12. Would E. W. Kelly's abilities have been wasted in a 

village? 



[164] 



QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 

CHAPTER IX. A PROPHECY FULFILLED 

1. Name the mission stations among the Burmese. (See 

Chapter II.) What areas appear to be uncared 
for? 

2. Why is evangelistic work among the Burmans more 

difficult than among the Karens? 

3. Is the ministry of healing one of the essential func- 

tions of our missionary endeavor? What part did 
it have in Christ's life work? 

4. What is the purpose of medical missions? (1) To 

heal? (2) To win converts? (3) To "reveal 
the attitude of God toward men " ? 

5. In what ways would the practise of the medical mis- 

sionary differ from that of your family physician ? 

6. Imagining yourself to be an Animist, why are tigers' 

bones good medicine? 

7. " Foreign missions should train leaders for all depart- 

ments of life: evangelistic, educational, medical, 
social, industrial, , and political." Do you think 
all six of these departments of life should be 
included? 

8. Discuss pro and con the advisability of sending agri- 

cultural experts as foreign missionaries. 

9. Do you approve of the methods employed by the 

gospel-teams? 

10. Should Christians from Burma be brought to America 
for further training? Do you think such visits 
will deepen their Christian life? 



M [ 165 ] 



BAPTISTS IN BURMA 

CHAPTER X. READJUSTING RELATIONS 

1. What are four major differences between Burma and 

India? 

2. Should ability to raise armies be essential to nation- 

hood? 

3. What should be the American missionary's attitude 

toward the political reforms now under way in 
Burma? 

4. What factors make Rangoon the hub of a considerable 

universe ? 

5. Should missionaries insist on control of work as long 

as it receives support from America? 

6. Should missionaries be sent out to work under the 

direction of nationals? Has U San Ba a right 
to ask of American missionaries what is implied 
in his " Call for Colleagues " in Chapter II ? 

7. What parts of Burma are still unoccupied by mission- 

aries? What parts are inadequately taken care 
of ? In the light of these facts discuss the state- 
ment : " Missionary work is less needed today 
than formerly." 

8. What did Judson start out to do in Burma? Give 

some outstanding examples of evidence of accom- 
plishment of this purpose. 

9. How do Burma's political prospects increase the need 

for Christ? 



[166] 



BOOKS ON BURMA 

General: 

Alexander McLeish. Christian Progress in Burma (1929). 
Paper, $1.00; cloth, $1.50. World Dominion Press. 

S. W. Cooks. A Short History of Burma. $1.60. Macmillan. 

Encyclopedia Britannica: Burma, Rangoon, Buddhism, Ani- 
mism. 

Bur mans: 

Shway Yoe (Sir George Scott). The Burman: His Life and 
Notions. $5.00. Macmillan. 

K. J. Saunders. Buddhism and Buddhists in Southern Asia. 

$1.00. Macmillan. 
Adoniram Judson Apostle to Burma. 75 cents. The Judson 

Press. 

Chins: 

Mrs. L. H. Carson. Pioneer Trails, Trials, and Triumphs. 
Paper, 60 cents. J. H. Merriam, Pasadena, Calif. 

Shans: 

Gordon Seagrave. Waste-Basket Surgery. $1.50. The Amer- 
ican Baptist Publication Society. 

Karens: 

Dr. San C. Po. Burma and the Karens. $2.50. Leland, 129 
Park Row, N. Y. C. 

Rev. E. N. Harris. A Star in the East. $1.50. Lit Dept 
B. M. C, N. Y. C. 

Rev. H. I. Marshall. The Karen People of Burma. Paper, 
$3.00; cloth, $4.00. Ohio State University Press. 

Alonzo Bunker. Sketches from the Karen Hills. 75 cents. 
Revell. 

[167] 



BOOKS ON BURMA 

Novels: 

Honore Willsie Morrow. Splendor of God. $2.50. Win. 

Morrow & Co., N. Y. C. 
F. Tennyson Jesse. The Lacquer Lady. $2.50. Macmillan. 

Alonzo Bunker. Soo Tha a Tale of the Karens. 75 cents. 
Revell. 



[168] 




J,-; 1 



THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 
LIBRARY 



I ! 357 247 



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,/ <- -"'" '*'- / *-/ " 



HAUL UBIURY 



UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 



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