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Full text of "Following the pioneers; a story of American Baptist mission work in India and Burma"

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JOSePH C.RDBBiNS 




BV 3265 .R58 1922 
Robbins, Joseph Chandler 

1874- 
Following the pioneers 



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Mission StatiorvJ: 
Other Plates 



FOLLOWING THE 
PIONEERS 



FOLLOWING THE 
PIONEERS 



A STORY OF 

AMERICAN BAPTIST MISSION WORK 
IN INDIA AND BURMA 



Byy 
JOSEPH C. ROBBINS 

Foreign Secretary of the American Baptist 
Foreign Mission Society 



PHILADELPHIA 

THE JUDSON PRESS 

BOSTON CHICAGO ST. LOUIS LOS ANGELFS 

KANSAS CITY SEATTLE TORONTO 



Copyright, 1922, by 
GILBERT N. BRINK, Secretary 



Published October, 1922 



Printed in U. S. A. 



TO THE 

MISSIONARIES OF THE INDIAN EMPIRE 

IN FAITH, COURAGE, AND DEVOTION 
WORTHY SUCCESSORS OF CAREY AND JUDSON 
PIONEER MISSIONARIES OF BURMA AND INDIA 



FOREWORD 



'• There's a legion that never was listed, 
That carries no colors nor crest, 
But, split in a thousand detachments. 
Is breaking the road for the rest." 

The unlisted legion of Christian missionaries and their 
followers in India have left a trail of light along which 
the mighty highways of a Christian civilization are being 
built. Their imperishable records are written in the 
transformed lives of India's people. 

India, the cradle of the human family, is a land of 
origins, of great race movements, of pagan faiths, and 
of missionary triumphs. It is a veritable wonderland of 
human interest. In the recital of history's record, noth- 
ing stands out more luminously than the long disclosure 
of God himself in the lives of his missionary messengers. 
India records the victories of Christian faith as does no 
other land. " Following the Pioneers " gives us a great 
amoimt of interesting and necessary information about 
India today. The book is written in terms of that same 
faith and optimism which actuated the pioneers. 

" Following the Pioneers '' satisfies our hunger for 
facts about the enheartening achievements of recent Chris- 
tian movements in India. The book will be found of 
great value to Baptist teachers and leaders of mission 



Foreword 



study groups for the reading and study courses on India, 
and it is so recommended by the Department of Mission- 
ary Education, at whose urgent request Doctor Robbins 
has prepared the manuscript. We are greatly indebted 
to the author for this latest accession to our important 
literature on India. 

William A. Hill, 

Secretary of Missionary Education. 



AUTHOR'S PREFACE 

A FEW days before we sailed from Burma for America 
in April, 1922, I received the following message from our 
Department of Missionary Education : 

Prepare quickly manuscript education book Society's mission 
work in India for publication on arrival. Telegraph definite reply 
at once as announcement in regard to book must be made imme- 
diately. 

This book was, therefore, written on shipboard, and was 
made possible through the generous and efficient coopera- 
tion and assistance of my missionary fellow passenger, 
Rev. C. E. Chaney, of Burma. Mr. Chaney typed the entire 
manuscript and supplied much of the material for chap- 
ters two and three on our Burmese and Karen missions. I 
have drawn freely in the following pages from letters 
and reports of our missionaries who have always been 
such a continual help and inspiration to me in every way 
in my two visits to India and Burma. 

In this book, I have written of the work of the Amer- 
ican Baptist Foreign Mission Society in British India. 
I am not unmindful, however, of the large and important 
work being done by the missionaries and missionary so- 
cieties of the Protestant churches of Great Britain, the 
United States, and Canada in India, Burma, and Assam. 



Author's Preface 



In Burma American Methodists, British Episcopalians, 
and Wesleyans and in India practically all the great Prot- 
estant communions are cooperating in the extension of 
the kingdom of God. 

The richest experiences of my two trips to Burma and 
India have been the close and intimate relationship and 
helpful fellowship that Mrs. Robbins and myself have en- 
joyed with our missionaries in these lands. The mission- 
ary body rep.resents all that is most worthy and most 
noble and most Christian in our civilization. I doubt if 
there is another group of people in the whole world 
more devoted, more unselfish, more earnest under great 
overburdening tasks than the missionaries of the church 
of the living God. 

My one hope in writing this book is that the Indian 
Empire and mission work in India and Burma may 
have its full and rightful share of our intelligent in- 
terest, practical help, and daily prayer so that India, once 
described by Lord Beaconsfield as " the brightest jewel 
in the British crown," may, in the coming years, unite 
with all the world in acclaiming Jesus Christ as the King 
of kings and in crowning him Lord of all. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. Interesting India 1 

II. Burma : Pioneering in Faith 23 

III. The Karens of Burma : Triumphant Chris- 

tianity 47 

IV. Burma : To All Peoples 69 

V. South India : The Gospel and Social Up 

lift 91 

VI. Bengal-Orissa : The Verdun of Hinduism 119 

VII. Assam : The Future Bright with Hope . . 137 

Bibliography 161 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 



Temple of Juggernaut, at Puri, India. . .Frontispiece 

Basket-ball Game, Judson College, Rangoon, Burma 4 

Taj Mahal, at Agra, India 4 

Hindus Bathing in the Ganges, India 10 

William Carey, Baptist Pioneer in India 20 

Adoniram Judson, Baptist Pioneer in Burma 26 

Kemendine Girls' School, Rangoon, Burma. 42 

Dr. Ma Sazv Sa, Superintendent of Dufferin Hospital, 

Rangoon, Burma 48 

Morton Lane Girls' School, Moulmein, Burma 54 

Ko TJia Byu Memorial Building, Bassein, Burma ... 54 

Choir of Sgaw Karen High School, Bassein, Burma. .64 

Karen Preachers at Sgazv Karen Association, Bas- 
sein, Burma 64 

Crossing the River Sahueen on the Way to the Lahu 

Association at Mong Lem, China 72 

Breaking Camp on the Way to the Lahu Association, 

Mong Lem, China 84 

Prayer-meeting Hill, Ongolc, India (two views) .... 96 

Engine-shed and Freight-houses, Kharagpur, Bengal- 

Orissa 100 



List of Illustrations 



Crowd on Bank at Baptism, Kavali, India 100 

The Gospel and the Plozv, Coles Vocational School, 

Kurnool^ India 100 

Doctor Kirhy's Assistant Treating a Leper, Jorhat, 

Assam 108 

Ward in the Nellore Hospital, Nellore, India 108 

Staif of Union Medical College, Vellore, India 112 

Girls' Training-school Graduates^ Nozvgong, Assam 112 

Girl Scouts, Nellore High ScJiool 116 

Mealtime at Sinclair Orphanage^ Balasore, Bengal- 

Orissa 120 

Blacksmith Shop, Balasore Industrial School 128 

Hindu Goddess Kali, Midnapore, Bengal-Orissa. . . . 128 

Tata Iron Works from a Distance, lamshedpur, Ben- 
gal-Orissa 132 

Rev. O. L. Swanson Preaching from a Motor-car, 

Golaghat, Assam 132 

Dr. Y. Nandamah, South India 140 

Native Sazvmill, India 148 

Doctor and Mrs. Witter and Students, Ga^ihati, 

Assam 148 

Khanto Beta Rai, Midnapore, Bengal-Orissa 156 



INTERESTING INDIA 



He is crude with the strength of the seeker of toil ; 
From the hot, barren wastes he is gathering spoil 
For a nation that lives from the bounty he gives — 
He's the Builder, the Winner of Ways. 

Where the silent wastes bake in the summer's hot glow. 
Where the forests are choked in the shroud of the snow, 
By his brain and his brawn a new nation is born — 
He goes forth to conquer new realms. 

And the world has its heroes of lace and gold braid, 
That are honored and wined for the waste they have made ; 
But the world little knows of the debt that it owes 
To the Hewer, the Blazer of Trails. 

— Rudyard Kipling. 



INTERESTING INDIA 



India is the most interesting country in the world. The 
subcontinent Empire of India, including Burma, with its 
population of 319,000,000, one-fifth of the inhabitants of 
the world, is undergoing stupendous changes. It is a new 
India. Everywhere there is evidence of an intense na- 
tionalism, which in some places approaches revolution. 
The future of this mighty Empire is of compelling in- 
terest and is one of the major problems of world politics. 
It is a question which will demand the highest wis- 
dom and largest statesmanship. The very magnitude 
of the country and the central position which it will of 
necessity hold in the future, make the question of India 
one of supreme international importance in the develop- 
ment of the brotherhood of nations, world peace, and the 
advancement of the kingdom of God. One of India's 
Nationalistic leaders has stated the case of India's future 
as follows: 

To an Indian the problem of India is national ; with a Britisher 
it is imperial; but to humanity it is international. India is such 
a huge slicfe of the earth, and contains such an immense popula- 
tion, than no person interested in world affairs can ignore its 
importance. Historically, it is the pivot of the Orient. Religiously, 
it occupies a wholly unique place in Asia because it is the home of 
Hinduism, the birthplace of Buddhism, the most important field 
of Islamic activity. It is the center of Asiatic culture ; China and 
Japan bow to it in reverence, while central Asia and western 
Mohammedan countries look to it for support and sympathy. Its 
human potentialities of all kinds are very great. Commercially 
too, it is strategic for nearly half the globe. It is the key to the 

3 



Following the Pioneers 



Indian Ocean and the clearing-house of the larger part of the 
trade of the Orient. Its natural resources are so enormous as to 
defy the imagination. This is the reason why militarism and 
imperialism have always looked upon it with eyes of greed and 
glory. This is why India has inspired Alexanders, Tamerlanes, 
Wellesleys, czars, and kaisers with visions of world empire. 

The vastness of India, the varied extent of her lands, 
the striking differences of her people, make the problem of 
India most complex and baffling. Practically every stage 
of racial development and civilization, from the rude, 
naked savage and head-hunting, wild hill-tribes to the 
most advanced civilization and culture, is here repre- 
sented. According to Lord Curzon, " Powerful empires 
existed and flourished in India while Englishmen were 
still wandering in the woods of Europe." From the sun- 
baked plains of South India to the snow-capped Hima- 
layas India has every variety of climate and fauna. One 
hundred forty-seven languages are spoken in India, 
twenty-three of which are used by a million or more 
people. Forty-five million speak Bengali, and sixty mil- 
lion Hindustani. These provinces, mighty nations in 
themselves, are as different from one another as Japan 
and China. In addition to the Provinces in this vast 
Empire directly under the British Rajah, there are 700 
feudatory states ruled over by native Princes. Two hun- 
dred of these states are of major importance with millions 
of people. The State of Hyderabad, with a population of 
13,000,000, is as large as Italy. This state is ruled over 
by His Royal Highness, the Nizam, a Mohammedan 
Prince. India is a land of striking contrasts, from the 
poor mud huts of the millions of outcastes in South India 
to the Taj Mahal, acclaimed the most beautiful building in 
the world : The Taj was erected by the Mogul Emperor, 
Shah Jehan, as a tomb and memorial to his wife, and 



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Interesting India 



fully justifies the praise of the Moguls as builders, " They 
designed like Titans and finished like jewelers." This 
building has been more abundantly described than any 
other building in the world. One readily agrees with 
the writer who said : *' It can only be described as a dream 
in marble," and we repeat with approval the words of the 
old soldier chief, Lord Roberts, " Neither words nor 
pencil could give to the most imaginative reader the 
slightest idea of the all-satisfying beauty and purity of 
this glorious conception." To see the Taj Alahal is well 
worth a journey to India. 

The wonder and interest of India led Mark Twain to 
write in '* Following the Equator " : 

This is India, the land of dreams and of romance, of fabulous 
wealth, of fabulous poverty, of splendor and of rags, of palaces 
and hovels, of tigers and elephants. Cradle of the human race, 
birthplace of human speech ; mother of religion ; grandmother of 
history; great-grandmother of tradition. The land of a hundred 
nations and of a hundred tongues ; of a thousand religions and of 
three million gods, and she worships them all. All other countries 
in religion are paupers ; India is the only millionaire. The one 
sole land under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable in- 
terest for all men ; rich and poor, bond and free ; alien prince 
and alien peasant; all men want to see India, and having seen it 
once even by a glimpse, would not give up that glimpse for all 
the rest of the shows of the earth combined. 

Modern industry is entering India, and there are great 
factories in Madras, Calcutta, and Bombay. There is a 
new industrial movement, and in the adjustment from 
the small village life and handworkers to the great cities 
and factories there is that incessant beat of life upon life 
with its accompaniment of new desires, ambitions, and 
deep dissatisfaction at the inequality, injustice, and misery 
of existing conditions. The artisans and laboring class 
are coming to realize that they are a power in the land. 



Following the Pioneers 



and there have been as many as two hundred labor strikes 
in India in a single year. At one time in Bombay the 
postal and telegraph men, the gas workers, and street-car 
employees were all on strike. 

One of the features of the New India is the part played 
by the women of the land. Hitherto the interest of the 
Indian woman was confined to her home, her husband, 
and her children. Now a great number have begun to 
discard the purdah and take an active interest in the 
larger affairs of the land. Organizations of women are 
springing up all over the country. There are the Indian 
Woman's Suffrage Association and the All-India MusHm 
Woman's Association, and a Woman's Conference meets 
annually now in connection with the India National So- 
cial Congress. Delegates from India were sent in 1920 
to the International Woman's Suffrage Alliance in 
Geneva. Woman's suffrage is being most seriously dis- 
cussed, and the Assemblies of Bombay and Madras have 
recently voted to extend the franchise to women. As the 
franchise is based on property qualifications, and as 
women in South India rarely hold property under the 
joint family system, the number of women actually en- 
franchised will be relatively small. This vote, however, 
was a real victory for the womanhood of India. The 
Madras decision was preceded by a vigorous agitation 
carried on by the Indian Women's Association in organ- 
izing meetings and deputations. 

The history of women's war work in India cannot be 
told in a few words. Suflice it to say that it was the 
women of India who were ready and able to supply 
the vast supplementary needs of the army sent to Meso- 
potamia in 1914. From that moment the women of 
India came into their own, and there has been no look- 
ing back. The chairman of the big body of women work- 



Interesting India 



ers in Bombay — the Women's Council — is a Moham- 
medan woman; the children's welfare work has as its 
chairman a Par see woman, with Indian women and men 
as a majority on the committee. 

Lord Peel, Secretary of State for India, in speaking 
of the new constitution proposed for Burma, at a dinner 
in London said : 

The new constitution is extraordinarily interesting, especially as 
regards the position of women. It is remarkable, when one re- 
members the tactics that were adopted by the women suffragists 
here, that the women in Burma should have the vote, but in Burma, 
both by their status and their command over the other sex, 
it seems perfectly natural that at the outset women should have 
the franchise, whereas in the neighboring peninsula of India, the 
decision was left to the Council. Another remarkable thing is 
that practically household suffrage is being established in Burma, 
and it is noteworthy that at a bound, as it were, Burma should be 
ready for so advanced a legislative system. 

There will be no sex disqualification in the new constitu- 
tion which Burma will receive at the beginning of 1923. 
There is also intellectual unrest. Here, it is the old 
story of the old skins unable to hold the new wine. 
Education, easy transportation, rapid communication, 
periodicals, newspapers, books — all this mental yeast must 
result in intellectual ferment. There are more than one 
thousand newspapers in India, and seven hundred books 
are published annually in the native languages. Ever 
since the days of Dufif and Macaulay, when English be- 
came the language of the schools and colleges of India, 
it came about that India began to read Milton and Burke, 
Mill and Spencer, and thus to become, in Lord Morley's 
glowing words, " intoxicated with the ideas of freedom, 
nationality, self-government, that breathe the breath of 
life in these inspiring and illuminating pages." 



8 Following the Pioneers 

India has felt the heart-throb of the great nationaHstic 
movements of the earth. The growth of Asiatic con- 
sciousness, the victory of Japan over Russia, democracy 
in the PhiHppine Islands, have not escaped unnoticed. 
Their effect has been profoundly intensified by the reac- 
tion of the war, to which India contributed over one mil- 
lion of her sons, so that the spirit of nationality and 
democracy has seeped through the consciousness of India 
and found expression in practically every gathering of 
her people. 

British administration of India is one of the marvels 
of modern government. The British Empire has given 
India unbroken peace, efficient administration, good roads, 
railroads, the telegraph, telephone, post-office, hospitals 
and dispensaries, a school system leading through the 
lower schools up to the university, and justice with courts 
of law based on our Western legal system. 

In 1858, the statesmanship of the new order in India 
was revealed in Queen Victoria's proclamation, under 
which India was taken away forever from the control of 
the old East India Company, which had first entered India 
two hundred and fifty years before, and India at that 
time became a part of the British Empire. One writer has 
thus described this event : 

Rajas, whose breasts blazed with diamonds, riding on elephants 
festooned with pearls came through the streets of the ancient city 
of Allahabad to hear the words of the Great White Queen-Mother 
from across " the black water." The Indians came from many- 
cities to where the Jumna flows past Allahabad to join Mother 
Ganges. There, in the great plain, half-way between Delhi and 
Calcutta, the old and the new capitals of India, Lord Channing 
read out these words from Queen Victoria, which are part of the 
Magna Carta of India : 

" We shall respect the rights, dignity, and honor of native 
princes as our own; and we desire that they, as well as our 



Interesting India 



own subjects, should enjoy that prosperity and that social advance- 
ment which can only be secured by internal peace and good govern- 
ment. 

" We hold ourselves bound to the natives of our Indian terri- 
tories by the same obligations and duty which bind us to all our 
other subjects, and those obligations, by the blessing of Almighty 
God, we shall faithfully and conscientiously fulfil. 

" Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity, and 
acknowledging with gratitude the solace of religion, we disclaim 
alike the right and the desire to impose our convictions on any 
of our subjects. . . 

" And it is our further will that, so far as may be, our sub- 
jects, of whatever race or creed, be freely and impartially admitted 
to offices in our service, the duties of which they may be quali- 
fied by their education, ability, and integrity duly to discharge." 

The proclamation then makes the following tremendous prom- 
ises, and lays down once and for all the great principle that forms 
the basis of the British raj in India : 

" When, by the blessing of Providence, internal tranquillity shall 
be restored, it is our earnest desire to stimulate the peaceful in- 
dustry of India, to promote works of public utility and improve- 
ment, and to administer the government for the benefit of all 
our subjects resident therein. In their prosperity will be our 
strength, in their contentment our security, and in their gratitude 
our best reward. And may the God of all power grant to us, 
and to those in authority under us, strength to carry out these 
wishes for the good of our people." 

On August 20, 1917, the Secretary of State for India 
made the following announcement in the House of 
Commons : 

The policy of His Majesty's Government, with which the Gov- 
ernment of India is in complete accord, is that of the increasing 
association of Indians in every branch of the administration, and 
the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view 
to the progressive realization of responsible government in India 
as an integral part of the British Empire. 

In harmony with this proposal Mr. Montagu, then Sec- 
retary of State for India, visited India in the winter of 



10 Following the Pioneers 

1917-18, and after a most careful and exhaustive study of 
the situation in conjunction with Lord Chelmsford, then 
Viceroy of India, presented the Report on Indian Con- 
stitutional Reforms. 

A bill embodying the main recommendations of the 
Montagu-Chelmsford report passed both houses of Par- 
liament without opposition. This bill, affecting as it does 
nearly one-fifth of the human race, is perhaps one of the 
most fateful enactments that Parliament has passed. It 
gives to the Indian people at the outset an active part in 
the administration of the government, especially in pro- 
vincial government. It divides the government in each 
Province into two sections; on the one hand, the gov- 
ernor with his official colleagues in executive council, and 
on the other, the governor with ministers drawn from 
the provincial legislative assemblies. To the former will 
be reserved the administration of the more fundamental 
duties of the state, such as the maintenance of law and 
order, the administration of the universities, industries, 
land revenue, forests, and irrigation. To the other sec- 
tion will be transferred the remaining duties, such as con- 
trol of local bodies, primary education, sanitation, agri- 
culture, excise, roads, and bridges. 

After ten years' trial a parliamentary commission will 
visit India to study and report on the success of these 
steps in self-government. If the report is favorable, 
further subjects will be transferred to the Indian minis- 
ters. And so the process will go on until responsible 
government is fully established and the transitional sys- 
tem of dualism is superseded by unified popular adminis- 
tration. The act further provides for a two-chamber sys- 
tem of legislature at Delhi and provides for a larger 
number of Indian members on the Viceroy's executive 
council. 



Interesting India 11 



The new representative government that is to lead 
India onward toward complete self-government as an 
equal partner in the British Commonwealth of Nations 
was inaugurated on February 9, 1921, at Delhi, the 
capital of the Empire. To bring home to every Indian 
the full significance of the occasion, the King Emperor 
in his royal message said : 

For years — it may be for generations — patriotic and loyal In- 
dians have dreamed of swaraj for their motherland. Today you 
have the beginnings of swaraj within my Empire, and the widest 
scope and ample opportunity for progress to the liberty which my 
other dominions enjoy. 

It is generally agreed that both the Provincial Coun- 
cils and the Imperial Legislative Assembly at Delhi have 
shown a sense of responsibility and a statesmanlike grasp 
of public questions, ofttimes in the face of grave dif- 
ficulties, which have been a surprise and gratification 
to their friends. Their earnest and conscientious work 
has received commendation from the Viceroy and the 
Secretary of State for India. 

Indian ministers have charge of important portfolios, 
and an Indian, Lord Sinha of Raipar, has served as 
governor of one of the great Provinces of India, and an 
Indian, Lord Sastri, was one of the representatives of the 
British Empire at the Conference on Limitation of Arma- 
ments at Washington. 

India is today in poHtical ferment. Of the main polit- 
ical groups there is, first, the great illiterate and inarticu- 
late mass who know very little about India's political 
problems and care less. This group is gradually being 
permeated with the spirit of restlessness, and is easily 
aroused by the political agitator. Secondly, there are 
the Moderates, now in the minority, who favor accepting 



12 Following the Pioneers 

the Reform Scheme as passed by the British ParHament, 
and are cooperating with the Government in the National 
and Provincial Constitutional Assemblies. As the ex- 
tremists refuse to stand for election, the Moderates are 
now in office. They recognize both the difficulty and the 
danger in moving faster toward complete independence 
than internal conditions warrant. They aim to achieve 
ultimate self-government for India as an integral part of 
the British Empire. Before this can be accomplished 
they realize that India must have a larger measure of 
education and improvement in social and economic con- 
ditions. They acknowledge that Great Britain's pres- 
ence and help are still needed. The third group is the 
Radicals, which includes most of the present-day Hindu 
and Mohammedan leaders. They are not satisfied with 
the new reform plan and demand immediate and com- 
plete political independence. They refused to run for 
election for the Assemblies or to vote in the elections, 
or to accept any office under the Government. They 
refuse to cooperate in any way with the Government. 
The Radicals have been led the past few years by a very 
remarkable man, Mr. IMohandas K. Gandhi. Mr. Valen- 
tine Chirol, in his recent book, " India New and Old," 
writes as follows of Mr. Gandhi : 

Saint and prophet in the eyes of the multitude of his followers, 
saint in the eyes of many who have not accepted him as a prophet, 
Mr. Gandhi preaches today under the name of " Non-cooperation " 
a gospel of revolt. Mr. Gandhi challenges not only the material 
but the moral foundations of British rule. He has passed judg- 
ment both on British rule and Western civilization, and condemn- 
ing both as " Satanic," his cry is away with the one and with 
the other, and " Back to the Vedas," the fountain-source of ancient 
Hinduism. That he is a power in the land none can deny, least 
of all since the new Viceroy, Lord Reading, almost immediately 
on his arrival in India spent long hours in close conference with 



Interesting India 13 



him. Born in. 1869, in Gugarat District in the north of Bombay 
Presidency, Gandhi comes of very respectable Hindu parentage, but 
does not belong to one of the higher castes. He himself was brought 
up for the bar, and after receiving the usual education in India, 
completed his studies in England. His mother, whose religious 
example and influence made a lasting impression upon his char- 
acter, held the most orthodox Hindu views and only agreed to 
his crossing " the Black water " to England after exacting from 
him a threefold vow, which he faithfully kept, of abstinence from 
flesh and alcohol and women. He returned to India as soon as 
he had been called to the bar, and began practise as an Advocate 
before the Bombay High Court. In 1893 he was called to South 
Africa with an Indian legal case, and gave himself for many years 
for the rights of his countrymen in South Africa. Mr. Gandhi 
returned to India just after the outbreak of the Great War, and 
the Government of India marked its appreciation of the great ser- 
vices he had rendered to his countrymen in South Africa by 
recommending him for the Kaisar-i-Hind gold medal, which was 
conferred upon him among the New Year's honors of 1915. The 
doctrine which he holds of all others to be the corner-stone 
of his religion is that of the Ahimsa^ which, as he has described it, 
" requires deliberate self-suffering, not the deliberate injuring of 
the wrong-doer in the resistance of evil." 

To the great mass of the people of India, Mr. Gandhi 
is a prophet and a hero, and while some parts of his 
pohtical and economic program seemed most impractical, 
his moral and physical courage, his purity of life, his 
honesty of purpose, and his devotion to India are univer- 
sally recognized by all who have met him pe-rsonally 
or who have made a careful and unbiased study of his 
writings and speeches. 

Non-cooperation under Mr. Gandhi's leadership had a 
most remarkable hold on all classes of people. I was in 
India, November 17, 1921, when the Prince of Wales 
landed in Bombay. Mr. Gandhi had proclaimed a hartal, 
a day of public mourning, in which all business should 

^ The Hindu doctrine of the sinfulness of taking life. 



14 Following the Pioneers 

cease, making it practically a nation-wide strike. There 
was rioting and bloodshed at Bombay, and a remarkable 
strike was proclaimed in the great city of Calcutta and 
many of the larger towns. In Calcutta the success of the 
non-cooperation movement was most extraordinary. No 
street-cars were in operation during the day, no taxis or 
public conveyances of any kind were available, no cart- 
men or coolies for transporting baggage. The markets 
and shops were all closed, and even the servants in private 
houses were affected by the strike and refused to work 
on that day. Calcutta is a city of 1,700,000. When I 
was there just a week before, the traffic was so con- 
gested with automobiles, carriages, and bullock-carts that 
our taxi was held up fifteen minutes in a traffic jam. 
On the seventeenth there was not a cart, street-car, or 
automobile on the street. Two days after the Bombay 
riots Mr. Gandhi, who preaches passive resistance and 
non-violence, issued the following appeal : 

It is not possible to describe the agony I have suffered during 
the past two days. I am writing this now at 3.30 a. m. at perfect 
peace. After two hours' prayer and meditation I have found it. I 
must refuse to eat or drink anything but water till the Hindus 
and Mohammedans of Bombay have made peace with the Parsees, 
Christians, and Jews, and till non-cooperators have made peace 
with the cooperators. The szvaraj^ which I have witnessed in 
the last two days has stunk in my nostrils. The non-violence of 
the non-cooperators has been more than the violence of the coop- 
erators, for with non-violence on our lips we have terrorized those 
who have differed from us, and in so doing we have denied our 
God. There is only one God for us all, whether we find him 
through the Koran, the Bible, the Zendavesta, the Talmud, or 
the Geeta, and he is the God of Truth and Love. I cannot hate 
an Englishman or any one else, I have spoken and written much 
against his institutions, especially the one he has set up in India. 
I shall continue to do so if I live. But we must not mistake my 

2 Self-government. 



Interesting India 15 



condemnation of the system for the man. My rehgion requires 
me to love him as I love myself. I would deny God if I did 
not attempt to prove it at this critical moment. 

Mr. Gandhi was arrested on March 9, 1922, and pleaded 
guilty to the charge of sedition. The following quota- 
tions from his speech when sentenced by the judge to six 
years' imprisonment and the remarks of the judge at 
that time will give the reader a glimpse into the character 
of this remarkable man who has made such a tremendous 
impression upon the Ufe of India. He had written out 
what he wished to say, but first made this oral statement : 

Before I read what I have written, I would like to say that I 
entirely endorse the learned Advocate General's remarks in con- 
nection with my humble self. I think he was entirely fair to me 
in the statements he has made, because it is very true, and I have 
no desire to conceal from this court the fact that to preach dis- 
affection toward the existing system of government has become 
almost a passion with me. And the learned Advocate General is 
entirely in the right when he says that my preaching of dis- 
affection did not commence with my connection with Young India, 
but that it commenced much earlier, and in the statement that I 
am about to read it will be my painful duty to admit before 
this court that it commenced much earlier than the period stated 
by the Advocate General. It is a most painful duty with me, but 
I have to discharge that duty, knowing the responsibility that 
rested upon my shoulders. 

And I wish to endorse all the blame that the Advocate General 
has thrown on my shoulders in connection with the Bombay 
occurrence, the Madras occurrences, and Chauri Chaura occur- 
rences. Thinking over things deeply, and sleeping over them night 
after night, and examining my heart, I have come to the con- 
clusion that it is impossible for me to dissociate myself from the 
diabolical crimes of Chauri Chaura, or the mad outrages of 
Bombay. 

He is quite right when he says that as a man of responsibility, 
a man having received a fair share of education, having had a 
fair share of experience of this world, I should know the con- 
sequences of every one of my acts. I knew them. I knew that 



16 Following the Pioneers 

I was playing with fire. I ran the risk, and if I were set free 
would still do the same. I would be failing in my duty if I did 
not do so. 

I have felt this morning that I would be failing in my duty 
if I did not say all what I said here just now. I wanted to 
avoid violence. Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It 
is the last article of my faith. But I had to make my choice. 
I had either to submit to a system which I consider has done an 
irreparable harm to my country, or incur the risk of the mad 
fury of my people bursting forth when they understood the truth 
from my lips. I know that my people have sometimes gone mad. 
I am deeply sorry for it. And I am here to submit, not to a 
light penalty, but to the highest penalty. I do not ask for mercy. 
I do not plead any extenuating act. I am here, therefore, to 
invite and submit to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon 
me for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me 
to be the highest duty of a citizen. 

The only course open to you, Mr. Judge, is, as I am just going 
to say in my statement, either to resign your post or to inflict on 
me the severest penalty. If you believe that the system and law 
you are assisting to administer are good for the people, I do not 
expect that kind of conversion. But by the time I have finished 
with my statement, you will perhaps have a glimpse of what is 
raging within my breast to run this maddest risk which a sane 
man can run. 

He concludes his written statement as follows : 

In fact, I believe that I have rendered a service to India and 
England by showing in non-cooperation the way out of the un- 
natural state in which both are living. In my humble opinion 
non- cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation 
with good. But in the past non-cooperation has been deliberately 
expressed in violence to the evil-doer. I am endeavoring to show 
to my countrymen that violent non-cooperation only multiplies 
evil, and that as evil can only be sustained by violence, withdrawal 
of support of evil requires complete abstention from violence. 
Non-violence implies voluntary submission to the penalty for non- 
cooperation with evil. 

I am here, therefore, to invite and submit cheerfully to the 
highest penalty than can be inflicted upon me for what in law is 



Interesting India 17 

a deliberate crime and what appears to me to be the highest duty 
of a citizen. The only course open to you, the judge and the 
assessors, is either to resign your posts and thus dissociate your- 
selves from evil, if you feel that the law you are called upon to 
administer is an evil, and that in reality I am innocent, or to in- 
flict on me the severest penalty if you believe that the system and 
the law you are assisting to administer are good for the people 
of this country and that my activity therefore is injurious to the 
public weal. 

The presiding judge then pronounced the following 
judgment and sentence : 

Mr. Gandhi, y^u have made my task easy in one way by pleading 
guilty to the charge. Nevertheless, what remains, namely, the 
determination of a just sentence, is perhaps as difficult a proposi- 
tion as a judge in this country could have to face. The law is no 
respecter of persons. Nevertheless, it will be impossible to ignore 
the fact that you are in a different category from any person 
I have ever tried cr am likely to have to try. It would be im- 
possible to ignore the fact that in the eyes of millions of your 
countrymen you are a great patriot and a great leader. Ever. 
those who differ from you in politics look upon you as a man 
of high ideals and of noble and even saintly life. 

I have to deal with you in one character only. It is not my 
duty, and I do not presume, to judge or criticise you in any other 
character. It is my duty to judge you as a man subject to the 
law who has on his own admission broken the law and committed 
what to an ordinary man must appear to be grave offenses against 
the state. I do not forget that you have consistently preached 
against violence and that you have on many occasions, as I am 
willing to believe, done much to prevent violence. But having 
regard to the nature of political teaching and the nature of many 
of those to whom it was addressed, how you could have continued 
to believe that violence would not be the inevitable consequence, 
it passes my capacity to understand. 

There are probably few people in India who do not sincerely 
regret that you should l:ave made it impossible for any Govern- 
ment to leave you at liberty. But it is so. I am trying to balance 
what is due to you against what appears to me to be necessary 
in the interest of the public, and I propose in passing the sentence 



18 Following the Pioneers 

to follow the precedent of a case in many respects similar to this 
case, that was decided some twelve years ago. I mean the case 
against Mr. Balgangadhar Tilak under the same section. The 
sentence that was passed upon him as it finally stood was a sentence 
of simple imprisonment for six years. You will not consider it 
unreasonable, I think, that you should be classed with Mr. Tilak. 
That is a sentence of two years' simple imprisonment on each 
count of the charge, six years in all, which I feel it my duty to 
pass on you ; and I should like to say in doing so that if the course 
of events in India should make it possible for the Government to 
reduce the period and release you no one will be better pleased 
than I. 

Mr. Gandhi expressed himself as satisfied that the 
sentence was " as light as any judge would inflict on me, 
and so far as the whole proceedings are concerned, I must 
say that I could not have expected greater courtesy." 

There is a great temperance and prohibition movement 
in India. Many of India's thoughtful leaders are opposed 
to the liquor traffic. The creeds of the three great non- 
Christian religions of India, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, 
and Buddhism, are solidly against the liquor traffic. The 
Buddhists have a young people's temperance league with a 
monthly publication, and there is a very strong temper- 
ance sentiment among the peoples of Burma, both Bud- 
dhist and Christian. The prohibition movement in Amer- 
ica has deeply interested the people of India, and great 
companies of people gathered to hear Rev. William E. 
(Pussyfoot) Johnson when he was in the country on his 
tour in 1921. The motive power for an aggressive fight- 
ing of the liquor and drug traffic to a successful finish 
must come from the missionaries and the constituency 
of the Indian Christian church. 

India, it has been said, is not only a land of romance, 
art, and beauty, '' it is in religion earth's central shrine." 
Wherever one travels in India and Burma, he is impressed 



Interesting India 19 

with the fact that he is in a country where religion 
holds a preeminent and central place. There are shrines, 
temples, mosques, pagodas, and Buddhist monasteries in 
all parts of this wonderful land. It is the home of the 
three great militant religions of the world, Buddhism, 
Mohammedanism, and Hinduism. Both Indian and Bur- 
man society are based on religious principles and dom- 
inated by religious ideals, ritual, and motive. Many of 
the social problems of India can be traced to religious 
causes and conditions. The strength of Hinduism is its 
social system. It is doubtful if any more durable and 
powerful social fabric was ever constructed by man than 
the social system of Hindu India. The history of India 
records invasion after invasion, but the resisting power 
of Hinduism has left the people practically unchanged. 
The immense hold of Hinduism today lies not in its 
philosophy, but in its social system rooted in certain re- 
ligious principles and maintained in full vigor even where 
these principles are little understood or perhaps denied. 
This is most clearly brought out in the system of caste 
which holds every one in its iron grip and is wrought into 
the very warp and woof of the Indian social fabric. As 
the mist rolled up from the Ganges we saw an Indian 
walk down to the river bank where the Brahmans were 
bathing in the saving waters of Mother Ganges. As 
the bathers come up from the river he paints on their 
foreheads the trident or some other emblem of their de- 
votion to Vishnu, Siva, or other god. Each man wears 
the symbol of that immemorial caste which was adopted 
to preserve the purity of Aryan blood. In this caste 
system are four main castes and 2,378 subcastes. All 
have their lines so rigidly drawn that it is impossible 
for a man to pass from one social grade to another. 

Census figures are just available showing the distribu- 



20 Following the Pioneers 

tion of the people of India by religions. The outstanding- 
fact is that the proportion of the vast Hindu population 
to the total (319,000,000) continues to decline as it has 
done for forty years past. 

According to the census of 1891 the proportion of 
Christians per 10,000 of population was 79, ten years later 
it was 99, and in 1911 it was 124. The number of Chris- 
tians has since grown from 3,876,000 to 4,754,000. This 
gratifying advance has been most marked in Southern 
India. 

The religious problem of India is one of the outstand- 
ing problems of Christendom. To Baptists this is a 
problem of peculiar interest, for two Baptist missionaries, 
William Carey, the consecrated cobbler, and Adoniram 
Judson, the first American missionary to the non-Chris- 
tian world, inaugurated the modern missionary move- 
ment, and it was to India and Burma, the very heart of 
the non-Christian religions of the world, that they were 
divinely guided to inaugurate the movement that has 
led countless millions to behold the " light of the knowl- 
edge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 

William Carey arrived in Calcutta on November 11, 
1793. After many difficulties he settled as an indigo 
planter at Malda, North Bengal. He studied Bengali 
and Sanskrit, and began the translation of the Bible into 
Bengali. In 1800, he settled at Arapon, six miles from 
Calcutta, and in the same year began to teach Sanskrit 
and Bengali in the Government college. These three 
pioneer Baptist missionaries, Carey the cobbler. Marsh- 
man the " ragged school-teacher," and Ward the printer, 
were men of large outlook and broad sympathies. The 
basis of all their work was preaching and the translation 
of the Bible. They laid great stress on education, and 
Carey recognized the medical needs of the work by 







^'fl^^^^^^M 


^S '- = ^^^j|H 










■■■■■K^^ 



WILLIAM CAREY 
Baptist Pioneer in India 



Interesting India 21 

bringing with him to India John Thomas, a physician, 
and beginning medical work and work for lepers. 

The printing-press was to Carey a missionary agency 
of the first importance, and he founded the first Bengali 
newspaper and the first magazine in India. In the work 
of Scripture translation his fame remains unequaled to 
this day, for from the mission press at Serampore Carey 
and his colleagues sent out the complete Bible in six 
languages, the New Testament in twenty-two more, and 
Scripture portions in other languages, so that from this 
center the Scriptures in forty languages went out to dif- 
ferent parts of the Orient. The first university college in 
India was founded by him at Serampore. Before 1818, 
this early group of missionaries had established more 
than one hundred schools with several thousand pupils. 
Carey was interested in agriculture and formed the 
" Agricultural and Horticultural Society of India " long 
before any similar society had been organized in Great 
Britain. 

Carey had no small place in the social reform move- 
ment in India. His pen was the lance of a Christian knight 
as he strove day and night to bring the Government to 
his view and do away by Government action with suttee, 
or the burning of widows, in India. For long the Gov- 
ernment feared that such action would rouse the Hindus 
to fury in defense of their religion and its customs. Then 
one day the Government order abolishing suttee was 
signed by the Governor-general, Lord William Bentinck, 
and was put into Carey's hands. He had been appointed 
Government translator, for he knew the language far 
better than any of the civil servants. It was Sunday 
morning, December 4, 1829. Every day fresh victims 
were being burned. There could be no delay. Before the 
sun had set Carey had finished translating the great 



22 Following the Pioneers 

decree, and on Monday the compositors were busy set- 
ting the type that the order might be known through- 
out all India. Few men have been greater factors in 
the social progress of the world than this pioneer foreign 
missionary. 



II 

BURMA: PIONEERING IN FAITH 



I have no doubt that God is preparing the way for the con- 
version of Burma to his Son. Nor have I any doubt that we who 
are now here are, in some little degree, contributing to this 
glorious event. This thought fills me with joy. I know not that 
I shall live to see a single convert; but, notwithstanding, I feel 
that I would not leave my present situation to be made a king. — 
In a letter to Doctor Baldzvin, from Adoniram Judson, dated 
August 26, 1817. 



BURMA : PIONEERING IN FAITH 



The Burma Mission, the field of Judson, Boardman, 
and Gushing, is the oldest and largest mission field of the 
American Baptist Foreign Mission Society in the non- 
Christian world. The history, extent, triumphs, and solid 
worth of our Burma Baptist Mission is one of the out- 
standing achievements of the Baptists of the world. 

In Burma we have more than one thousand Baptist 
churches, 77,000 Baptist church-members, and nearly 800 
schools with 30,000 pupils. 

We have in the Burma Mission in reality ten distinct 
Baptist missions. There is the Burmese Mission, the 
Sgaw Karen Mission, the Pwo Karen Mission, the Shan 
Mission, the Kachin Mission, the Chin Mission, the 
Talaing Mission, the Anglo-Indian Mission, the Indian 
Mission, and the Lahu Mission, each with its own lan- 
guage, customs, and distinct problems. 

Adoniram Judson, the first American missionary to the 
non-Christian world, with Mrs. Judson, landed at Ran- 
goon June 13, 1813, nearly a year and a half after sail- 
ing from Salem, Massachusetts, on the brig Caravan 
bound for Calcutta, India. While taking the long voyage 
from America to India Mr. and Mrs. Judson changed 
their denomination. They were Congregationalists. Mr. 
Judson was a Congregational minister. His father was 
a Congregational minister. He was being sent to India 
as a missionary by the Congregational Foreign Mission 
Board. All his sympathies and affections were bound 
up with that denomination. On his way to India, how- 

25 



26 Following the Pioneers 

ever, he became a Baptist. Mr. Judson expected to meet 
in India the eminent EngHsh Baptist missionaries, Carey, 
Marshman, and Ward. He thought it. best while on the 
ocean to arm himself beforehand for the encounter with 
these formidable champions of the Baptist position. In 
the enforced seclusion of the long sea voyage of four 
months, he had plenty of time for thorough study of the 
New Testament and the doctrinal position of the Baptists. 
The result of his searching study and constant prayer 
was the conclusion reluctantly formed that he was wrong 
and the Baptists were right. It was only after a great 
struggle that Judson yielded and became a Baptist. Upon 
landing in Calcutta, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were baptized 
by Rev, William Ward ; and on the first of November, two 
months later, Rev. Luther Rice, another of the group of 
pioneer missionaries, who, though sailing on a different 
vessel, had. experienced a similar change of conviction 
and had become a Baptist, was likewise baptized in Cal- 
cutta upon his arrival. 

The call of Judson and Rice to the Baptists of America, 
at that time disorganized, scattered, despised, came as an 
inspiring challenge to a great divine task, and from that 
hour the movement began which made of the Baptists 
one of the great Christian forces of the world. 

India was ruled at that time by the East India Com- 
pany which was opposed to missionaries. Mr. and Mrs. 
Judson were peremptorily told by the ofificials at Cal- 
cutta that thev must return at once to America. But 
America held no charm for these enthusiastic young 
missionaries. Under cover of night they embarked on a 
ship sailing for the Isle of France, and from there sailed 
for Madras. Their arrival was at once reported to the 
company, and they feared they would be transported to 
England. There was a vessel in the harbor bound for 




ADONIRAM JUDSON 
Baptist Pioneer in Burma 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 27 

Rangoon, Burma. Burma was at that time an indepen- 
dent nation under a cruel Burman king. God's providence 
had hemmed them into this one opening. Subsequent 
history has proved that the Hand which led them so 
strangely and sternly, yet lovingly, was the Hand which 
never leads astray. American Baptists, in their assault 
on non-Christian Asia, could not have chosen a more 
strategic position than Rangoon. Here for four years, 
without apparent results, in the midst of almost inde- 
scribable hardships, persecution, discouragement, and suf- 
fering, the missionaries continued to work, preaching to 
such as could be gathered in secret, writing tracts, and 
translating the New Testament. At last, on May 7, 1817, 
they had their first serious inquirer, and two years later, 
on June 27, 1819, six years after their arrival in Burma, 
Judson baptized his first convert. 

Burma, although at present politically a province of the 
Indian Empire, is as different from India proper as it is 
from China. The Burman is Mongolian ; the Indian, 
Aryan. Burma is Buddhist, India is Hindu and Moham- 
medan. In India, everything is dominated and held in 
the iron grip of caste. In Burma there is no caste. 
In India the Hindu and Mohammedan women are secluded 
in the zenanas and purdah. In Burma the women are free 
and happy. India is overpopulated and poor. In Burma 
there are vast empty spaces and undeveloped resources. 
Burma has by far the highest standard of literacy in the 
Indian Empire, and until very recently has been wholly 
untouched by the seditious movements that have been 
so prominent in India since 1910. 

Burma has an area of more than 230,000 square miles ; 
the province is girt about and isolated, separated from 
China, Siam, and India by broad barriers of almost path- 
less mountains on her northern, eastern, and western 



28 Following the Pioneers 

frontiers, and on the south and southwest her shores 
are washed by the Bay of Bengal. Her mountain ranges 
running north and south are the outstretched fingers of 
the Himalayas. Three mighty rivers, the Irrawaddy, 
the Chidwin, and the Salween, flow through the valleys 
enriching the land and providing natural arteries for 
transportation and trade. Burma is the richest Province 
of the Indian Empire with abundant natural resources. 
Her plains produced in 1921 seven million tons of rice 
and great quantities of cotton, peanuts, maize, and beans. 
Burma has wonderful forests. There are thirty thousand 
acres of forest in government reserve. The world's supply 
of teak comes from Burma. Teak, on account of its dura- 
bility, strength, and slight expansion and contraction, is 
very useful in ship-building. There are sixty thousand 
acres under rubber cultivation in the province, and hidden 
away in her mountains are tin, lead, silver, and zinc. 
From Burma comes the wolfram supply of the world. 
The most famous ruby mines in the world are here. 
Jade and amber are also found in abundance. Two hun- 
dred and seventy-five million gallons of petroleum were 
produced in Burma in 1921. The Burman rivers are 
teeming with fish, and in her forests and hills are tigers, 
bears, deer, wild boar, and other animals, with peacocks 
and beautiful birds of all descriptions in her valleys and 
mountains. Nature has been open-handed and bountiful 
to Burma. One of Burma's own sons has thus written 
of this wonderfully beautiful country : 

With the Burmese, the sentiment of nationality has always been 
a living thing. This feeling permeates and dominates their his- 
tory as the Irrawaddy dominates the land in which they dwell. 
From the conquest of the Takings by the Burmans (A. D. 1755) 
until the advent of the British, the country was ruled by the 
Burmese kings sufficiently long to establish a strong national 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 29 

tradition. This tradition, combined with the common Buddhist 
reHgion, common customs, and a common social framework, has 
developed a strong feeling of nationality. Man has completed 
what Nature began. Here in this giant horseshoe of mountains 
Nature said : " Behold my cradle for a nation ! The Burmese 
are that predestined nation." 

Rangoon, with more than 300,000 people, is the capital 
of the Province. The Prince of Wales in his visit to 
Burma in 1922 thus responded to the wonderful welcome 
given to him by the people of Burma's principal city: 

I thank you very warmly for the address of welcome which 
you have presented to me. The name which your city bears, " the 
city of peace," or more literally, " the end of war," is an appro- 
priate testimony of what Pax Britannica has done for Burma and 
Rangoon. No more romantic page in the annals of the develop- 
ment of the Empire can be found than the history of the growth 
of a small town of thatched huts, which passed under British 
occupation in 1852, into this vast metropolis and prosperous port 
of today. Where yesterday wilderness, mud, labyrinths, and hovels 
met the eye, the fair capital of the richest province of the Empire 
today lifts up her proud head. Here railways and crafts of the 
two great river valleys of Burma deliver up the spoils of your 
mines, your oil-fields, your rice plantations, and your forests to 
factories and docks of this city. The shipping of all lands seeks 
your port to carry your product to the four corners of the world. 

There is romance too in the many nationalities which throng 
your streets and docks at the first sight. Amidst the multiplicity 
of creeds and tongues of your citizens the only common tie would 
seem to be the bond of adherence to the British Empire, under 
whose protection they live and prosper. In spite of such diver- 
sity of elements, your city is essentially a part and parcel of 
Burma, and in a true sense the capital of Burma, for in your 
midst stands the great pagoda, the oldest of all holy places of 
religion, claiming a larger proportion of followers among the 
human race than any other, and this building is the supreme 
expression of the genius of the Burmese people. The fortunes 
of your city are entirely bound up with those of the province, 
for, as the main outlet for the riches of Burma, on her growing 
prosperity and welfare rests your increasing strength. 



30 Following the Pioneers 

The Burmans number nine millions of the thirteen 
million people of the province. There are many lan- 
guages and dialects spoken among the various peoples 
of Burma, and no one language would be understood 
by all the people, but the Burmese language is the lingua 
franca of the country. This language, while difficult to 
most, especially in its literary and religious forms, is rich 
in variety and expression and has a large and important 
literature, mostly Buddhist. 

The Burmese, from a missionary standpoint, is the 
most important race group in Burma, although the least 
responsive thus far to the efforts to win them to Chris- 
tianity. We must win the Burmese if we are to win 
Burma for Christ. 

Buddhism is the religion of the Burman. Buddhism 
has a large and rich literature ; numbers its " priests of 
the yellow robe " by thousands ; has built pagodas and 
monasteries in all parts of the Province, and is a re- 
ligion of noble, ethical precepts that, mixed as it is with 
animism and nat-worship, has a tremendous hold upon 
the Burmese and Shan people. 

Dr. J. N. Cushing, who was for forty years a mission- 
ary in Burma and was most sympathetic toward Bud- 
dhism, in his book, " Christ and Buddha," says : 

Buddhism stands before us with Gotama, a pure, noble, true 
man, as its founder, and the teacher of the highest system of 
morality outside the Christian Scriptures. Yet, when we touch 
the soul's deep needs, its craving for deliverance from the power 
and the results of sin, its longing for an omnipotent Deliverer 
by whose assistance it may reach a sinless, happy state, we find in 
Gotama no answering divine voice that speaks relief. The voice 
is the voice of a man, thoughtful indeed and versed in the knowl- 
edge of the human hfeart, but still the voice of only a man, offering 
a cold and dreary philosophy of life, which in its course and 
result cuts athwart all the intuitions and aspirations of a human 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 31 

soul. He honestly sought to solve the problem of human suffer- 
ing and escape from it. But a fountain cannot rise above its 
source, and the system of Gotama is only human and inadequate 
to its object. Turning to Christianity, we hear a divine voice that 
responds to every human need, telling of deliverance from sin 
through a loving, omnipotent Saviour and of the eternal life of 
heaven. Here is a salvation complete in itself, according with 
every want of man. Therefore, turning from the " Light of 
Asia" to the "Light of the World," wt accept as truth his 
declaration, " I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." 

There are 257,107 Christians of all denominations in 
Burma, but only 15,381 of these Christians are Burmans. 
The Burmese work, while most difficult, is more hopeful 
today than it has been since the time of Judson, for the 
Burmese, especially those in the country districts, are more 
open and responsive to the gospel now than they have ever 
been before. We have mission stations for Burmese work 
at Tavoy, IMoulmein, Rangoon, Bassein, Prome, Man- 
dalay, Myingyan, Maymyo, Pegu, Pyapon, Sagaing, 
Toungoo, Thonze, Pyinmana, Henzada, Meiktila, and 
Bhamo. In addition to the missionaries, the churches, 
schools, and other institutions in these towns, working 
directly for the Burmese, there are many Burmese 
churches in other towns and villages under the super- 
vision of Burmese teachers and preachers. The 1921 
census report places the number of Burmese Baptists at 
7,265. Concerning the progress of Christianity in Burma 
Rev. C. E. Chaney says : 

One thing is certain, the numerical strength is a forceful testi- 
mony, after a hundred years of effort, to the difficulty of the task 
to evangelize Burma, for Burma is chiefly Burmese. He would be 
faint-hearted and short-sighted, however, who was not optimistic 
in spite of comparatively small numbers, for these numbers do not 
tell the whole story or gage correctly the real situation. What 
of the larger constituency back of this membership? What of 



32 Following the Pioneers 

the solid foundation that has been so well laid and the organized 
work for undertaking the larger task? What of the large num- 
ber of boys and girls that have been in our Baptist Christian 
schools and are distinctly sympathetic to Christians, although 
they have not been able as yet to make the break from Buddhism 
to Christianity? In the new day that is dawning in Burma, 
Christian leadership will have a large part, and Buddhists will 
feel less and less the restraint of social ostracism, because if they 
leave one social group, it will be to be received in another 
which stands high in intelligence and respect. The day of the 
great break in our Burmese work is drawing near. The educated 
and Burmese leaders will yet welcome their emancipation from 
the impossible position of knowing that Buddhist cosmography is 
a figment of the imagination and yet having to bow to and con- 
firm it under the cloak of religion. The same is true in the realm 
of ethics and morals. Our day has been long delayed, but it is 
at hand, even at the door. 

The following items from the Burma Baptist Conven- 
tion report of 1921 give an idea of the bigness and impor- 
tance of the Burmese work : 

Number of Mission Stations 16 

" " Associations 5 

" " Churches 50 

" " Ordained preachers 30 

" " Unordained preachers 57 

" " Bible-women 20 

" " Baptisms during the year 790 

" Church -members 5044 

" " Sunday schools 100 

" Enrolled in Sunday schools 4881 

" of Christian Endeavor Societies 11 

" Enrolled in Christian Endeavor Societies 539 

" of Normal Schools 3 

" " Anglo-vernacular Schools for Boys 15 

" " Anglo-vernacular Schools for Girls 11 

" " High Schools for Boys ^ 

" " High Schools for Girls 3 

" Colleges 1 

" " Bible Schools for Women 1 

" " Theological Seminaries 1 

Total Contributions of the Churches for the Year Rs. 38,713 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 33 

These five Burmese Baptist Associations are organized 
into the Burmese Baptist Conference. This Burmese 
Baptist Conference has an independent work of its own 
and supports evangehstic and school work in Magee 
and is entirely responsible for all the work in half of the 
great Myingyan field. The Burmese churches are further 
organized together with the Karen churches and the 
churches of the other races in Burma in the Burma Bap- 
tist Convention. The annual meeting of this Convention 
is one of the outstanding Baptist gatherings of the world. 
At the session at which I was present in October, 1921, 
there were 2,300 registered delegates. In 1920, the 
president of the Convention was Saya Ah Syoo, the pastor 
of the Moulmein Burman Baptist Church. The president 
in 1921 was Saya Ba Te, one of the eminent Christian 
leaders of Burma. The president for the current year is 
Saya Toe Khut, the head master of the Alaubin Pwo 
Karen School. The Convention is entirely independent 
and self-supporting. It has invested funds of Rs. 84,500, 
and the income last year was Rs. 16,937. With this 
money the Convention supports, in whole or in part, evan- 
gelists in fifteen fields, and in addition the churches sup- 
port the All-Burma Baptist Orphanage at Lloulmein. 
There are eighty children in the orphanage, and the 
budget is Rs. 6,515. 

Everywhere there is manifested in Burma a spirit of 
aggressive evangelism on the part of the Burmese mis- 
sionaries and the Burmese pastors and teachers. These 
leaders all recognize that now is the time of times to 
stress evangelism. In the heart of Rangoon stands the 
Laumadaw church building with its strong self-support- 
ing church, a lineal descendant of the church established 
by Judson more than a century ago. The pastor of this 
church is Saya Yaw Ba, a man of marked ability who 



34 Following the Pioneers 

was formerly in Government service, later head master 
of the Burmese High School at Henzada. He left a 
position paying Rs. 130 a month to become pastor of 
this church at Rs. 80 a month. At Sagaing just across 
the river from Ava, the scene of Judson's first imprison- 
ment, Dr. S. R. McCurdy is carrying on an intensive 
evangelistic campaign in the river district with its hun- 
dreds of Burmese villages. Doctor McCurdy reports : 

We have reached villages eighty miles up the river and have 
covered five distinct areas in the immediate Sagaing district. So 
far we have reached about 300 different villages. By day we use 
large, colored pictures of the life of Christ. At night we use 
the stereopticon with great success. We have sold between 
four and five thousand Scripture portions, telling the people that 
they will find in the book a more complete account of what the 
preachers have said. 

From far Tavoy in the South to Bhamo in the North, the 
gospel is being preached to the proud Burmese, and men, 
women, and children of this dominant race are being won 
to the Christian faith. 

Burma is one of the most literate provinces in the 
Indian empire. There is a Buddhist literature, both in 
Burmese and Pali. The Buddhist monks in their monas- 
teries conduct schools for boys and carry them through 
the lower standards. In addition, the Young Men's Bud- 
dhist Association has several Buddhist schools of the 
higher standards and several high schools for boys, but 
none for girls. A comprehensive study of what Baptists 
are doing in Burma today could not fail to reveal the 
scope and Christian influence of our educational system as 
one of the chief glories of our work in the Province. We 
have a total of 732 schools of all grades and an enrolment 
of thirty thousand pupils. We have high schools for the 
Karens at Bassein, Tharrawaddy, and Rangoon, and nine 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 35 

high schools for Burmans, one for girls and one for 
boys at Aloulmein, one for girls and one for boys at 
Rangoon, one for girls and one for boys at ]\Iandalay, 
and one high school each at Pyinmana, Myingyan, and 
Henzada. The Burmese high schools for girls of the 
Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission Society at 
Morton Lane, Kemendine, and ]Mandalay are schools that 
are an honor to the Society and to the denomination. As 
I visited Alorton Lane School at ]\Ioulmein and the girls' 
high school at Mandalay and was present at the gradua- 
tion exercises at Kemendine, I was impressed that in 
these girls' schools we have one of the greatest forces 
for leavening and elevating the home and individual life 
of Burma. These schools were established to give the 
girls of Burma high- and normal-school advantages equal 
to those of any country; and to teach them the highest 
ethical standards and prepare them for lives of usefulness 
as home-makers, or in the professions, and above all to 
acquaint them during these happy days at school in the 
most personal way with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. 
Morton Lane was founded in 1867, and is the oldest 
Burmese school for girls in Burma. Its history is one 
of unbroken success for more than half a century. With 
its well-planned buildings, its staff of twenty-six devoted 
teachers, and its 400 bright Burmese girls, Morton Lane is 
one of the outstanding institutions of Asia. Kemendine, 
in Rangoon, was founded in 1871, and it was my privi- 
lege to have a part in the jubilee celebration of this 
school in 1921, at which time the corner-stone of the beau- 
tiful new building, Bennett Hall, was laid. There are 
three hundred girls in attendance at this school. A 
strong Christian spirit pervades the school, and there 
are baptisms every year, and many more would be bap- 
tized if permission could be secured from their Buddhist 



36 Following the Pioneers 

parents. The teachers and girls carry on five outside 
Sunday schools with an attendance of 240 children. The 
Mandalay girls' school with 250 girls has a powerful and 
continually widening influence in Northern Burma. At 
the laying of the corner-stone for the new kindergarten 
building in April, 1921, I met one of the graduates, Ma 
Mhi, who also received a degree from Judson College and 
has taught twelve years in the Government normal school. 
Ma Mhi received a silver medal from the Government 
in recognition of her devoted services, and has now been 
sent by the Department of Education to Maymyo for a 
year of special study in kindergarten work, to qualify 
her to bring out the books for kindergarten work in 
Burmese for the entire Province. 

In the foreground of our educational work in Burma 
is Judson College, the one Christian college of Burma. It 
was established in 1872 as Rangoon Baptist College, by 
Rev. J. G. Binney, D. D., and in June, 1909, was affiliated 
with Calcutta University as a full first-grade college, 
qualified to present candidates for the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts. Today it occupies a large and influential place in 
the educational life of Burma. Its success has been made 
possible through the realization that true education is 
Christian education and can be imparted only by Chris- 
tians of the highest ideals. For the last few years the 
College has been greatly handicapped because of limited 
accommodations. In December, 1920, a New Burma Uni- 
versity was established by the Government. This uni- 
versity is. to be composed of the two constituent colleges 
which were formerly affiliated with Calcutta Univer- 
sity: that is, Rangoon College and Judson College. The 
former is a Government institution and is compelled by 
law to be neutral in religious matters. The other is the 
only Christian college in the Province. The Government 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 37 

proposes to admit both institutions as constituent col- 
leges of the new Burma University and to give them 
equal rights and privileges. The Baptist college is to 
have proportional representation on the governing body 
of the university and the control of its own property and 
policies. Its aims and methods as a distinctively Chris- 
tian institution are to be fully safeguarded, and are guar- 
anteed by its new constitution. 

The new plan contemplates the establishment of the 
university on the site outside the limits of the city of 
Rangoon, where sufficient land can be obtained to pro- 
vide tor the buildings and grounds. The Government 
will acquire the land and will give to Judson College as 
much as is needed for college purposes and for the 
residences of the professors. One-half the cost of the 
buildings which the college must erect, including the 
residences of the professors, will be provided, as well as 
substantial aid toward equipment and maintenance. If 
Baptists are to profit by this generosity they must be 
ready to do their share in building and equipping the 
new college. Judson College has a faculty of twenty- 
two men and women. This faculty is young, enthusiastic, 
well trained, thoroughly Christian, and devoted to their 
work. Four have their degrees from Harvard, three 
from Chicago, one from Yale, one from Colgate, one 
from Denison, one from McMaster, one from Rochester, 
one from Ohio State, seven from Calcutta, one from 
Madras, and one from Rangoon. There are 138 students 
in the college, thirty-two of whom are women. Thirty- 
seven students are working their way through college. 
The college assembles twice a week for chapel services, 
and on other days the classes meet separately for Bible 
study as a part of the curriculum, and Sunday morning 
there is a service in English which all the boarders at- 



38 Following the Pioneers 

tend. The college church, composed of students and 
teachers of Judson College, Gushing High School, and 
the Normal School, maintains a strong organization with 
a Bible school and separate Burmese and Karen church 
services in the evening and the midweek college prayer- 
meeting. There is a brotherhood with its regular Bible 
study courses and services of friendship in different parts 
of the city. The college church contributed Rs. 900 last 
year for the support of one of their own graduates who 
is working as a missionary in the Inlay Lake District. 
Rev. H. E. Safford, who was pastor of the college church, 
reports the following as a result of the Christian influence 
and missionary service of this college church : 

In February, 1921, a young carpenter, employed in making 
furniture for Mr. Hattersley's new hostel, was accepted for bap- 
tism after giving evidence of unusual grasp of Bible truth. He 
had been a lay preacher of the Karen Klee-bo-pah heresy, but 
on becoming a boarder in Thra Po Gyaw's family, while at work 
in our midst, he joined in the family prayer circle, and thus came 
to a true conception of Christ's deity. After returning to his 
village, Leain-zut, he wrote occasionally of converts being won 
among relatives and neighbors. Exactly a year after his own 
baptism he returned with four desiring to make like confession. 
The Sunday following I was fortunately able to secure Mr. and 
Mrs. Seagrave to accompany our Karen deacons and others in 
visiting this village, where I baptized twelve, including several 
in middle life, and again a fortnight later we all went, and I 
baptized sixteen, among these a man of eighty, his wife only ten 
years younger, and ten of their descendants. The villagers con- 
ceived a preference for receiving the rite at the hands of the 
college pastor who had baptized their carpenter leader. 

A church has now been organized with thirty-three members, 
and others are expected to join shortly by baptism and letter. 
The first deacon chosen is a young woman of unusual ability 
though never enjoying extensive school privileges. 

The success of a mission is measured in part at least 
by the extent to which self-supporting churches have been 



Burma ; Pioneering in Faith 39 

established and the control of the work given into the 
hands of the indigenous people. Substantial progress 
has been made in all our missions in self-support and in- 
dependence. The future of the Burmese work depends 
in a large measure upon the leadership of the churches. 
To prepare these leaders we have a strong theological 
seminary for the training of a Burmese minister. On 
a hill at Insein, on the same compound with the Karen 
Theological Seminary, is located the Burmese Theological 
Seminary with an enrolment of forty-four men. The 
graduating class this year numbered nineteen. Six of 
these men served as soldiers in the great war, and this 
experience, together with the careful, thorough training 
they have received in the Seminary, will make them, we 
believe, most efficient leaders of the church of Jesus 
Christ in Burma. The Seminary is supported liberally 
by the members of the Burmese churches. A new dormi- 
tory, to cost $5,000, is urgently needed. The Burmese 
Christians have already subscribed nearly $2,000, and it 
is hoped that our Society will soon be able to make an 
appropriation for this building, thus equipping this Semi- 
nary for a place of large importance in our Baptist work 
in Burma. 

There are fifty thousand villages and hamlets in Burma. 
Most of the people live in the country; eighty per cent, 
are engaged in agriculture. Most of our Baptist churches 
are rural churches. The land is fertile and the rainfall 
abundant, but the average income of the farming people 
is only a few cents a day. A missionary Society that 
holds as important a place in the life and progress of 
Burma as we do, must not be blind to the rural prob- 
lem. Our answer to this problem is the Pyinmana 
Agricultural School, whose objective is thus described 
by Rev. Brayton C. Case, a missionary and the son of 



40 Following the Pioneers 

a missionary who is the founder and first principal of 
the school : 

The Pyinmana School of Agriculture, being of a type similar 
to Hampton and Tuskegee, will take the boys who have passed 
only the village primary school and are fourteen years of age, 
and give them four-years' training in scientific agriculture. Half 
the time will be given to practical work in the field and shop, to 
train the boys in habits of industry, and to teach them how to go 
back to their villages and, by using the help available from the 
great wide world, transform their village life. We will teach 
them how to use the plows, harrows, cultivators, seed-drills, mow- 
ing-machines, grain binders, threshing-machines, tractors, and irri- 
gation-pumps with which we have learned to unlock the store- 
houses under our feet, and they will likewise unlock the storehouses 
under their feet. We will teach them to grow pure seed giving 
twice the yield for the same effort, to get all the available 
iugar out of the cane instead of half of it, to raise a cow 
giving more than two quarts of milk a day and a pig that weighs 
more than one hundred and fifty pounds in three years. But in 
addition to this, we will produce Christian men to whom the 
people of Burma will look and say : " I wish I could be a man 
like that. I wish my son could do what he can. I wish I had a 
God that blessed his people like that." 

The American Baptist Mission Press at Rangoon not 
only serves the entire Burma Mission and all the races 
of Burma, but with its fine building and three hundred 
employees, it is recognized as one of the solid and most 
progressive business institutions in the city of Rangoon. 
The Mission report for the year 1922 thus sums up the 
work of the Press : 

The Mission Press through more than a century has maintained 
its place of leadership by the production of new faces of ver- 
nacular type, many of them " made on the premises," and others 
made by the latest methods known to American type-founders, 
but to designs and plans sent from the Press. The latest addition 
to our printing capacities, placing us a second long step ahead of 
all competitors, is the installation of two fine linotypes to set 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 41 

Sgaw Karen. We now have two linotypes setting Burmese in 
the Burmese character, and these two others setting Sgaw Karen 
in the character given by our missionaries three generations ago 
to that people. Plans have already gone home looking to the 
conversion at will of these two Sgaw Karen machines into Pwo 
Karen machines. In this respect we lead all other printers in 
India, for none of them has ever adapted any of the modern com- 
posing machines to the vernacular type used in any of the languages 
of India. 

Note the polyglot list of publications entered during the year 
in the various languages in which we regularly work. The number 
of titles, by language, is as follows : Burmese, 24; Sgaw Karen, 11 ; 
Pwo Karen, 4; Shan, 4; Kachin, 3; Talain (Old Testament por- 
tions), 20; Chin, 2; English, 7; Anglo-vernacular, 4; Polyglot 
(three languages), 1 ; Lisu (for use in China), 1. A total of 81 
titles. 

But let some of the items be gathered together in another way. 
We find 80,000 New Testament portions in Burmese ; 2,725 whole 
Bibles in Sgaw Karen, in three editions, one being with references 
and one of those without references for the British and Foreign 
Bible Society ; 2,000 Pwo Karen New Testaments ; 10,000 Gospels 
in Shan for the Bible Society; 20,000 Old Testament portions in 
Talain ; and a beginning made in setting and stereotyping a pocket 
edition of the New Testament in Kachin. 

Next to the Bible our people appreciate their hymn-books, and 
the latest demand is for hymn-and-tune books. We have had a 
Sgaw Karen hymn-and-tune book for several years past, and now 
we are working on a similar book for the Burmans, another for 
the Pwo Karens, and still another — a C. E. hymn-book — for the 
Sgaw Karens, and with two other such books in prospect for 
the near future. These represent many months of painstaking 
labor for each missionary editor. 

The rest of the publications noted in our table above are either 
educational or of a general religious character in the main. But 
mention should be made of nearly a score of periodicals printed 
at the Press in five languages, and not included in the above table, 
a mass of enlightenment in itself almost sufficient to justify the 
existence of the Press. Particular mention should be made of 
our three International Sunday School Lesson Helps in three 
languages, with three missionary editors, of which we issue about 
22.000 monthly. 



42 Following the Pioneers 

The missionary movement in the final analysis must be 
judged by the type of manhood and womanhood it pro- 
duces. There is a qualitative as well as a. quantitative test : 
we weigh as well as count. Burmese leaders are coming 
to the front who will, in the future, assume large respon- 
sibility in their own land. American Baptists should be 
introduced to a few of these men and women. U We Lin, 
a layman, a college graduate, a government inspector of 
schools for the Irrawaddy Division, honored by the gov- 
ernment for his service, a recipient of the Kaisar-i-Hind 
Medal, is a stalwart Christian and a loyal member of the 
Bassein Burmese Baptist church. Saya Ba Hlaing, a grad- 
uate of Judson Boys' High School, Moulmein, and of 
Judson College, is now holding a missionary's place as 
Superintendent of Judson Boys' High School in Moul- 
mein, is a man of sterling qualities, and is held in high 
esteem by all communities and races. Saya Ba Hlaing 
has recently been appointed by the Government to the 
high school advisory board which controls the entrance 
examinations to the new Rangoon University. Dr. Ah 
Pon, for a long while associate physician with Doctor 
Henderson at Taunggyi, now has charge of our medical 
work and hospital at Kengtung. Dr. Ah Pon has a deep 
understanding of the different races of Burma. He is 
an exceedingly strong personality and most earnestly 
evangelistic. Saya Ba Te, President of the Burma Bap- 
tist Convention in 1920, was a lawyer. He left the law 
with its honors and remuneration to become an evangelist. 
He has exceptional platform gifts and is a wonderful 
linguist, speaking fluently English, Burmese, Karen, 
Lahu, and several other languages. He has written and 
translated many hymns for the Lahu people, and has been 
wonderfully used of God in taking the gospel in their 
own language to many of the frontier tribes. Mg Ba 



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Burma : Pioneering in Faith 43 

Tin, a Judson College graduate, a Christian layman of 
outstanding qualities of leadership, was the first Burman 
to be made a commissioned officer in the army. Mg Ba 
Tin not only helped to fight the battles of the British 
Empire in the World War, but in the camp and on the 
firing-line took his stand boldly for Jesus Christ. Saya 
Tun Pe, a man of deep, quiet, intense spiritual life, a most 
delightful friend and helpful counselor, is a graduate of 
Judson College, with an M. A. degree from Calcutta Uni- 
versity. He is now professor in Judson College, and is a 
recognized scholar in university circles. Saya Tun Pe is 
prominent in all activities of the church, is a most accept- 
able preacher, and is an earnest personal worker. U Tho 
Din, of Insein, is a retired Government official, a man of 
most striking personal appearance, who is now devoting 
most of his time and efifort to Christian work. He is a most 
generous supporter of the Aloulmein Baptist Orphanage, 
the Burman Theological Seminary, and all the activities 
of the church and the Burma Baptist Conference. Saya 
Ah Syoo, pastor of the Moulmein Burma Baptist church, 
first Burmese President of the Burma Baptist Convention, 
a trustee of Judson College, a man loved and respected 
by all who know him, prominent in all missionary, educa- 
tional, and philanthropic activities of the church in Burma, 
is a good representative of the Burmese Baptist pastors, 
among whom there are many noble men of high devotion 
and self-sacrifice. 

Wherever Christianity goes, there womanhood and 
childhood are loved, honored, and blessed. The Burmese 
women have always held a place of primary importance 
in no way inferior to the men. Buddhism does not give 
her this place, for in Buddhism her hope for the future and 
her constant prayer is that in her next existence she may 
be born a man, for then she will be eligible to become a 



44 Following the Pioneers 

poonjye or priest, and from that vantage-ground she 
may more rapidly find her way to naikban and extinction 
from the endless succession of lives. The most conserva- 
tive and loyal disciple of any religion is woman. To win 
Burma we must win the women of the land, the mothers 
to mold and guide the life of the future. Our Burmese 
Mission is rich in its women. 

Dr. Ma Saw Sa received her early training in the mis- 
sion school at Danubyu, Bassein, and Zigon, and her 
high-school work at the college school. She entered the 
college in 1904, and as a student was an active Christian 
worker. She made it a practise to visit the hospitals of 
Rangoon and try to lead the women patients to Christ. 
In this way she became convinced that there was great 
need for Christian women doctors, and proceeded to 
Calcutta, where she won the degree of licentiate in mid- 
wifery and surgery in 1911. Then she went to Dublin to 
specialize further. She obtained by examination a fellow- 
ship in the Royal College of Surgeons and the diploma 
of public health. The nobility of her choice and the 
ideals that actuated it, for she is the first and only Burman 
woman physician, made a deep impression, not only on 
the Christian, but also on the Buddhist Burmans. To the 
ideals of her college days she remained true. She is 
today one of the leading members of the Burmese Chris- 
tian Community, and is now Superintendent of Dufferin 
Hospital, Rangoon. Dr. Ma Saw Sa was the Jubilee 
guest of the Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission 
Society from Burma in 1921. There are many such 
women in our Burmese Mission. There is Ma Tin of 
Rangoon, who has given herself to direct Bible teaching 
and evangelistic work among Burmese women and 
children. She is a woman with a deep spiritual ex- 
perience who is known all through the mission for her 



Burma : Pioneering in Faith 45 

Christian character and her ChristUke work. Ma Alary, 
of Henzada, is a Hving saint, known far and near for 
long years of service at Henzada, a tower of strength to 
the Burmese church. i\Ia Shwe Me, of Morton Lane 
Girls' School, a teacher of many years in this school, 
was recently recognized by the government, who, in 
appreciation of her service to the cause of the education of 
girls in Burma, rewarded her publicly by the gift of a 
watch. Her quiet but strong personality has been one 
of the big factors in the unparalleled influence of the 
Morton Lane Girls' School. These women are but repre- 
sentatives of a class whom Christ is bringing to the front 
for the new day in Burma. 

The story of the suffering of Judson in the death 
prison at Ava and Oung-Pen-La and of the heroism and 
devotion of Mrs. Judson is one of the priceless heritages 
of Christian faith. Of this experience Edward Judson 
wrote : 

But the spectacle of our missionary lying in an Oriental prison, 
freighted with five pairs of irons, his heroic wife ministering 
to him like an angel during the long months of agony, has burned 
itself into the consciousness of Christendom, and has made retreat 
impossible from the ramparts of heathenism. 

The lone believer of 1819 has become a multitude who 
have washed their robes and made them white in the 
blood of the Lamb. The Bible had been translated into 
Burmese, the Karens as a nation had accepted the gospel, 
when stricken with disease Mr. Judson was put on a 
vessel for a sea voyage, and in a few days, on April 12, 
1850, the old soldier reported to the great Commander, 
and his body was buried at sea. Alone among strangers 
he was lowered to his ocean grave. Nor could he have 
had a more fitting monument than the blue waves which 



46 Following the Pioneers 

visit every coast, for his warm sympathies went forth to 
the ends of the earth and included all the families of men. 
In the Baptist meeting-house at Maiden there is a marble 
tablet with this inscription : 

Maiden his birthplace, the ocean his sepulchre, converted Bur- 
mans and the Burman Bible his monument. His record is on high. 



Ill 



THE KARENS OF BURMA : 
TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIANITY 



Uplifted are the gates of brass, the bars of iron yield; 
Behold the King of Glory pass, the Cross hath won the field. 




Dr. MA SAW SA 
Superintendent of Dufferin Hospital, Rangoon, Burma 



THE KARENS OF BURMA: 
TRIUMPHANT CHRISTIANITY 



The Karen Baptist Mission in Burma is one of the great 
triumphs of the foreign missionary movement and one 
of the preeminent miracles of modern missions. It is 
generally recognized that the Karen race owes its marked 
development and the leading place it holds today among 
the races of Burma to the American Baptist Mission. 
There are 918 Karen Baptist churches in Burma with a 
membership of 56,714. According to the 1921 census 
134,924 out of the total of 178,225 Karen Christians call 
themselves Baptists. 

The Karens are Mongoloids, related to the Chinese, 
having migrated south from Western China. There are 
between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 Karens in Burma and 
about the same number in Siam. The three main divisions 
of the Karens are Sgaw Karens. Pwo Karens, and Red 
Karens. There are a number of other minor tribes, such 
as the Bwe, Paku, Taungthu, and Padongs. While there 
are no hard and fast geographical lines by which we 
can designate their location, we can in general say that 
the Pwo Karens are in the lower Delta extending south- 
east to the Moulmein and Tavoy side and over into Siam. 
The Sgaw Karens occupy in general the territory from 
the Arracan shore eastward to Toungoo, and extend to 
the south into the Delta. The Red Karens are found in 
the Karrennee Hills south of the Shan States. Over 
three-fifths of our converts are from the Sgaw Karens 
two-fifth«i from the Pwo Karens and other tribes. 

49 



50 Following the Pioneers 

There are many traditions in regard to the origin of 
the Karens and their migration from China. One of the 
traditions is as follows : There were ninety-nine families 
traveling south. They stopped at noon to make their 
dinner of snails, which they cooked with an herb that 
turned the brew red, and they mistook the color for un- 
cooked blood. Therefore, thirty-three families started on 
without waiting for the brew to cook until done. These 
included the Karens. The sixty-six families remained 
behind to finish the brew and are there to this day. They 
are the Muhsoes, Lahus, Kaws, Was, and other closely 
allied races. Another tradition which is found among 
all the Karens is that their forefathers crossed a river 
of sand. This is generally believed to be the Desert of 
Gobi. 

Under their Burmese conquerors, the Karens had a 
hard time, and were driven into the mountain recesses 
where they were able to protect themselves from the 
Burmans. From these mountain villages they made fre- 
quent raids upon the rich valleys of the Burmans and 
Shans, and in return the Burmans and Shans often hunted 
the Karens in their mountain fastnesses as they would 
hunt wild beasts. Under British protection the Pwos and 
Sgaw Karens have spread out more and more through 
the Delta section where great stretches of the best land 
in Burma are now being cultivated by the Karens. They 
have been educated by our Baptist Mission, and are now 
in every way the equal of their Burmese brothers. The 
events of the past few years have fanned the spirit of 
race and nationalism among the Karens. They have a 
national society, the Dawkalat, in which both Christians 
and non-Christians cooperate. 

The national characteristics and temperament of the 
Karens largely reflect the oppression, poverty, and re- 



The Karens of Burma 51 

ligious influences to which they have been subjected. 
Hasty judgment is apt to be very unfair. When one has 
Hved and worked with the Karens long enough to know 
and understand them, he will love them for their many 
virtues. The Karens are clannish, timid, and retiring — a 
natural condition for a people who for centuries have 
been tormented and torn by oppressors. In their lives 
and conduct they are simple, unassuming, open-hearted, 
and straightforward. By nature they are a moral and 
religious people, hard-working and industrious. The 
Karens are also great lovers of music and have developed 
a real appreciation of Western musical art ; in fact, some 
of them have voices which with training might fit them 
to join an opera company in America. The Karen choir 
which attended the great Christian Endeavor World Con- 
vention at Agra a few years ago quite captured the Con- 
vention with its splendid music. 

Before the Karens came into contact with Buddhism 
and Christianity, they were devil-worshipers pure and 
simple. The following is one of their traditions : A 
father living in the jungle left his children to watch the 
house while he went far afield to work his garden. 
While he was gone a great tiger came to the house in 
search of food. The children in terror hid themselves 
under some blankets in the house while the tiger made his 
meal of pork, killing and eating the mother of a litter of 
pigs under the house. At night when the father returned 
he could not find the children nor get an answer to his 
calls. At last he found them shaking with fright, and 
got from them the story of the day's happenings. Next 
morning he said, " Now what shall I do, for according to 
the customs of tigers, it will be sure to return today in 
search of more food, and will eat my children? " At last 
he decided to build a little hut high up in a clump of 



52 Following the Pioneers 

big bamboos. This he did, and placed his children and 
the litter of pigs in it, and went off to his work. Soon 
the tiger came again and searched under the house and 
in the house, finding nothing. Finally he scented his 
food in the bamboos and tried to spring up at them, but 
failed. Neither could he climb the bamboos. Thereupon 
he sat under the bamboos and shook the earth with a 
terrifying roar. The children, shaking with fear, said, 
'' What shall we do ? " The elder brother proposed that 
they feed the little pigs to him, which they did one at a 
time to satisfy the tiger and save themselves. All the 
time they were anxiously hoping for the return of their 
father and listening for the twang of his bow-string. 
Thus the Karen justifies himself for the sacrifices he 
offers to demons from the motive of fear and not out 
of love. 

There are other traditions that have prepared the 
Karens in a marvelous way for the reception of the gospel. 
These traditions have been learned and passed on orally 
from father to son for generations. One tradition says 
that the Karens years ago had the book of God. It got 
wet in the rains and was placed on a post to dry. One of 
the innumerable crows of the country alighted on it, caus- 
ing it to fall to the ground, and immediately one of the 
hungry pariah dogs, with which the country abounds, ate 
it. Thus the book of God was lost. But their younger white 
brother would come in a boat with great white wings 
to bring back the book of God. The Burman could not 
give it to them (that is, Buddhism). The Chinaman 
could not give it to them (that is, Confucianism). The 
Indian could not give it to them (that is, Hinduism). 
Thus the three great nations by which they were sur- 
rounded could not out of their three great religious sys- 
tems give back the book of God. When their younger 



The Karens of Burma 53 

white brother came from over the sea in a great ship 
with white wings, he would give them back the book. At 
that time the boats would paddle themselves (mechanically 
propelled boats), the rice-grinder would run itself (steam 
rice-mills), the weaving-machine would run itself ( ma- 
chine-made cloth in place of material made in the hand- 
loom). It is easy at once to see how, with the advent of 
the Christian missionary, these prophecies all seemed to 
be most literally fulfilled. When Doctor Wade first went 
out on a preaching tour with an interpreter among the 
Karens, he entered a village, and the people at once fled. 
After he sent for them and assured them that he was 
not an official of the Government but a religious teacher, 
they were persuaded to return and listen. Very soon 
an elder in the number spoke up and asked, " Where is 
the book?" He was asked, "What book?" and the 
answer came back, " The Karen book." But Doctor 
Wade said, " The Karen never had a book, he has no 
writing." Then the elder assured him that they did 
have a book, and told how it was lost, and how they 
have been waiting for the white brother to return it to 
them. This decided Doctor Wade to reduce the language 
to writing so as to translate the Bible into Karen. 

These traditions were in verse, and have been learned 
and orally passed on from father to son for generations. 
Below is a translation of one of the traditions about the 
Creation : 

The earth at first a speck of froth; 
Who created? Who remade it? 
The earth at first a speck of foam ; 
Who created? Who remade it? 
The earth at first a speck of froth ; 
God created. God remade it. 
The earth at first a speck of foam ; 
God himself formed, he reformed it. 



54 Following the Pioneers 

Heaven above the Eternal placed, 
Earth beneath the Eternal placed; 
Heaven and earth he cleft apart, 
Placed whom when he would depart? 
The Eternal ordered heaven vast, 
Fixed the earth's foundation fast; 
Heaven and earth asunder cleft, 
Man and woman there were left. 

Like a top the round world spinning, 
How lived folks in the beginning? 
Like thread on reel it circles round, 
What have the first folks on it found? 
Round the earth spins like a top. 
Turned as reel without a stop ; 
Here the first folks lived at leisure. 
Here the first folks lived for pleasure. 

The whole round earth God came to form. 
He can make broad, he can make narrow ; 
The whole round earth God came to mend. 
With ease he can make broad or narrow. 

Rev. E, N. Harris, a Karen missionary, in his in- 
forming book on the Karen people, " A Star in the East," 
from which the traditions quoted in this chapter have been 
taken, thus describes the work of the early missionaries 
in reducing the Karen language to writing and producing 
a literature for these people : 

This insistent demand on the part of the Karen people in accor- 
dance with their traditions seemed to make it necessary that the 
missionaries should give them the Bible in their own vernacular. 
This it was which decided them to reduce the Karen language 
to writing. Mr. Wade is said to have accomplished this feat be- 
fore he himself had learned to speak it. It stands today as a 
monument to his genius. He adapted the Burmese alphabet to 
the expression of Karen sounds, and produced a system of writing 
which is purely phonetic. Some Karen sounds defy expression 
with Roman letters, and a Karen who had already learned to read 





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The Karens of Burma 55 

Burmese could readily pass from that to Karen, while on the 
other hand, if he learned first to read his own language, he could 
easily pick up the Burmese ; and to the average Karen, Bur- 
mese must, for many generations, be of much more value than 
English. 

The language vehicle having been determined upon, the next 
thing in order was to produce a literature. Among the first books 
to be translated was, of course, the Bible. This great task was 
undertaken by Doctor Mason, and an excellent version from the 
original tongues was produced. An anthology worthy to grace 
any language was prepared, over two hundred hymns, remarkably 
true to the idiom of the language and to the genius of the Karen 
people, issuing from the pen of the first Mrs. Vinton alone. A 
Karen who seems to have had an extraordinarily comprehensive 
knowledge of his own language, people, and customs, was found 
and, although the Karen is thought of as having a rather meager 
vocabulary, yet with his assistance and at his dictation, a compen- 
dium of Karen terms and ideas was compiled in five thick volumes, 
called The Karen Thesaurus, which has not been surpassed to this 
day and deserves to rank almost as an encyclopedia. Spelling-books 
were prepared, and arithmetics, geographies, astronomies, and other 
books in great number. Schools were almost from the beginning 
a necessity, demanded by the people themselves, for as soon as a 
Karen adopts the Christian religion he wants two things, first 
to acquire knowledge, secondly, to improve his physical surround- 
ings. To this day, they seem almost to think that to be able to 
read is part of being a Christian, for seldom does a Karen turn 
to the Christian, religion but in some way he manages to acquire 
at least a knowledge of the alphabet. 

Adoniram Judson was in Burma a number of years 
before he knew, there was such a people as the Karens. 
Soon after the first Burmese war, 1822-1824, in which 
the Tenasserim Province was ceded to the British, a dull 
and uninteresting Karen, Ko Tha Byu, visited Rangoon, 
where he contracted a debt which he was unable to pay, 
and was seized by his creditor, a Burman, and according 
to Burmese law became his slave. Maung Shive Bay, 
a Christian, freed him by paying the debt, and took him 



56 Following the Pioneers 

to Doctor Judson, where he was received as a servant and 
instructed in the Christian rehgion. This child of the 
jungle, with a diabolical temper, could already count 
about thirty lives which he had taken as principal or as 
accessory. By the power of the gospel he was converted 
and desired to join the Burmese church in Moulmein. 
For a long time he was held on probation, during which 
period he accompanied Dr. Dana Boardman to Tavoy 
and was there baptized in 1828. He developed great 
power as an evangelist, and traveled far and wide through 
the jungle preaching Jesus and winning thousands to 
Christianity. As a result of this work, when the country 
was opened after the second Burmese war in 1852, many 
disciples were found ready and waiting for baptism. 
Thus the foundations were laid for what was afterward 
the mass movement toward Christianity in the Bassein, 
Rangoon, and Pegu districts. The growth of the work 
was most remarkable. In 1828, Ko Tha Byu was con- 
verted. In 1831, Doctor Wade did his first touring 
among the Karens and became acquainted with their won- 
derful traditions. In 1845, Doctor Binney opened at 
Moulmein the Karen Theological Seminary which later 
removed to Rangoon and Insein. The Karen Theological 
Seminary is the oldest theological seminary in the Orient. 
In 1852 came the second war between the British and 
the Burmese, and the lower Delta region from the sea to 
above Toungoo, including practically all the country in- 
habited by the Karens, became British territory. Ran- 
goon was taken by the British, and Rev. J. H. Vinton, 
the illustrious head of a family numbering a long line of 
missionaries, hastened to the city that he might minister 
to the thousands of Karen refugees there in camp. The 
following table will give an idea of the greatness of our 
Karen work in 1922: 



The Karens of Burma 57 

13 Mission stations for Karen work. 
918 Organized churches. 

217 Ordained preachers. 
517 Unordained preachers, 

14 Bible-women. 

3,289 Baptisms during the year. 
56,714 Total baptized membership. 
411,175 Total contribution in rupees for the year. 
517 Sunday schools. 
895 Sunday school teachers. 
14,264 Enrolled in Sunday schools. 
712 Day-schools. 
1,055 Teachers in day-schools. 

12 Anglo-vernacular primary and middle schools. 
3 High schools. 
1 College. 

1 Theological seminary. 
1 Woman's Bible school. 
210 Christian Endeavor Societies. 
7,283 Enrolment of the C. E. Society. 

This great body of Karen Christians is organized into 
independent and self-directing churches, and these 
churches are organized into fifteen Karen Baptist Asso- 
ciations. These Associations are linked together into two 
Conferences, Pwo Karen and Sgaw Karen, and these two 
Conferences are united with the Baptists of other races 
and the Burma Baptist Convention. There were 2,300 
registered delegates in attendance at the session of the 
Burma Baptist Convention in Rangoon in October, 1921. 
The Burma Baptist Convention is, of course, entirely in- 
dependent and self-supporting in all its work, and carries 
on a most important missionary work in every field within 
the borders of Burma and beyond these borders into 
China on the North and Siam on the East. 

Each Karen mission station maintains a large Anglo- 



58 Following the Pioneers 

vernacular school, and nearly every Christian village 
maintains its own day-school. The Karen Home Mis- 
sion Societies of the two Conferences are continually 
opening new general schools in non-Christian villages. 
The normal school in Rangoon for boys and the normal 
schools for girls at Moulmein and at Kemendine serve 
the Karens as well as the other races of Burma. The 
Karen Theological Seminary at Insein, with its up-to-date 
equipment, a faculty of the highest standard, and one 
hundred and fifty students, with a graduating class of 
forty-two this year, is most enthusiastically supported 
by the Karen Christians and churches. It is the oldest 
school with a continuous history connected with the Bap- 
tist Mission in Burma. It was founded in Moulmein 
in 1845, less than twenty years after the conversion of 
Ko Tha Byu, the first Karen Christian convert. From 
the very beginning, the spirit of evangelism became the 
dominant characteristic of Karen Christianity, and this 
has continued to the present day. The seminary sends 
out annually a score or more young men in various forms 
of Christian work. When the seminary was opened the 
only text-book available in the Karen language was the 
New Testament. It was not imtil eight years later that 
the complete Bible had been translated into the Karen 
language. Since then text-books have been prepared, and 
in addition to the complete Bible there is a commentary 
in three volumes which covers every book in the Bible, a 
church history, text-books on science, logic, theology, 
homiletics, and a Karen Bible handbook, together with 
numerous other publications. The pastor in a Karen 
village occupies the position once held by the minister 
in the colonial New England town. He is the leader 
of the village in the fullest sense of the term. In the 
early days of the mission the man who could learn to read 



The Karens of Burma 59 

and to sing a few hymns went out as a teacher. Many 
a Hfelong pastorate has been conducted with Httle more 
than such a preparation. But the times are changing. 
One of the best and most beloved of the teachers of this 
seminary who has just retired after thirty-one years' 
service here, had almost no schooling except the four 
years he had in the seminary. But the day of such men 
is past. The changing times have brought education to 
the villages, and boys from station high schools are found 
all over the country. Our pastors must be as highly 
educated as the better men of their communities. To 
replace this retiring teacher, San Ba, a man who has his 
B. A. from Judson College and a full course at Newton 
Theological Seminary, has been secured. Other college 
graduates are in line for the strengthening of our staff 
in order that we may be ready to meet the new standard 
that we are setting for students. Well-trained teachers 
for well-trained students is our watchword. The Karens 
love their Theological Seminary and have raised an en- 
dowment of over Rs. 35,000. The annual contribution 
of the Karen churches to the Seminary amounts to Rs. 
5,000, while the appropriation from the Foreign Mission 
Society is Rs. 2,000. On December 12, 1921, Dr. D. A. 
W. Smith, who for forty years, 1876-1916, was the Presi- 
dent of the Seminary, died. The people all over the 
country mourn his loss. The Karens proposed to build 
a new quadrangle of dormitories and to name the build- 
ings The Smith Memorial Buildings. On February 1, 
the largest class in the history of the seminary was 
graduated. Forty-two men took their diplomas. Of 
these, four men have gone to China to assist Mr. Young 
in his work among the hill-tribes there. Two others have 
gone to a new tribe, the Palaungs, in the Shan country, 
and two others have gone to Siam. These men (with 



60 Following the Pioneers 

the exception of the last two, who are working among 
Karens in Siam) are learning new languages, and work- 
ing among peoples almost as foreign to them as the 
Karens are to us. 

The Sgaw Karen Mission in Bassein is probably the 
best organized and most successful mission of any de- 
nomination anywhere in the world. The Sgaw Karen 
Christians of this mission are organized into the Bassein 
Sgaw Karen Baptist Association, with one hundred and 
fifty self-supporting churches, with an average member- 
ship of one hundred. From the beginning of the Bassein 
Sgaw Karen Mission under Doctor Abbot, later under 
Doctor Carpenter, and now under Doctor Nichols, these 
Karens have had as missionaries men of vision and ability 
who have led them through great undertakings, both for 
themselves and for others, and from the beginning these 
Karens have been developed under lines of self-support. 
The churches of this Association maintain one hundred 
and seventy village schools. They also have a boarding- 
school at Bassein, with an enrolment of 760 boys and girls 
from the lower standards through the high school. The 
school has an endowment of one hundred thousand rupees 
invested in America, and as an additional endowment 
owns a mill property that was purchased in 1888 for 
thirty thousand rupees. This property has been added 
to since by a branch mill and a rice-mill, and the plant 
is valued today at two hundred thousand rupees. There 
are twenty-two teachers in the school, including two 
missionaries of the Woman's American Baptist Foreign 
Mission Society. Music, both instrumental and vocal, has 
a large place in the school, and there is a well-trained 
band of fifteen pieces. The large majority of the pupils 
are boarders, and all boarders are required to do one 
and three-quarter hours of work each day. Because of 



The Karens of Burma 61 

their endowment and voluntary contributions the Karens 
of this field are able to offer a full high-school course 
to Karen boys and girls, no matter how poor, at a nominal 
cost of twenty-two rupees per year. The value of the 
school buildings is seven hundred thousand rupees. There 
are twenty-six buildings, dormitories for boys and girls, 
a steam laundry, steam cooking-plant, gymnasium, and 
other buildings. All the main buildings are of brick 
and cement and built on the most modern plan. There 
is not one cent of American money in any of these 
buildings with the exception of the two houses in which 
the missionaries live. The finest school and chapel build- 
ing in the province is the new Ko Tha Byu Memorial 
Hall just completed at a cost of 432,000 rupees. There is 
no American money in this building. The building in- 
cludes, in addition to twenty-two large classrooms, offices, 
and library, an auditorium seating fifteen hundred. In 
the clock-tower is a set of American chimes. The entire 
building is lighted with reflecting electric light from the 
school's own power plant, which supplies electricity for 
all the buildings on the compound. Two thousand people 
were crowded into the building when I preached the dedi- 
catory sermon Sunday evening, February 5, 1922. Sun- 
day afternoon many of the pastors and laymen told in 
their simple way how the money for the building was 
secured. I have never heard more interesting stories of 
faith, consecration, and stewardship. Doctor Nichols, 
the veteran missionary of this field, writes as follows in 
regard to this building: 

What has been our dominant objective in all our work? I 
think that I can truly say that it has been none other than this: 
To secure a building which would suitably express our gratitude 
to God for his incomparable mercies to our people from the 
earliest times when the first Karen Christian, Ko Tha Byu, a man 



62 Following the Pioneers 

from our own district, who according to his own confession had" 
killed not less than twenty-nine people, was so thoroughly con- 
verted that he became the instrument in leading literally thousands 
from death into a new life in Christ. Our former building was 
such a memorial, but, being a wooden structure, could not last 
much longer than a single generation, while this one should last 
for several. 

Such a building to be suitable should be built with the same 
regard for beauty as God has himself shown in his creation. 
It would then be a source of joy to all beholders and thus be- 
speak his glory. It would show to those who do not know him 
that professing Christians love God enough to be willing to 
spend freely their resources of money and efifort, in building a 
structure for his service, both in worship and in the Christian 
education of the children he has given them. It would likewise 
evince Christian harmony, and arouse a desire for such harmony, 
among those who do not yet enjoy its privileges. 

One small church of one hundred and fifty members, mostly 
poor, has, up to the present time, given over ten thousand rupees, 
yet when recently asked if they felt in the least impoverished, they 
unanimously claimed that not only was such not the case, but that 
many were now palpably better ofif financially than before. 

The Bassein Sgaw Karen Association have their own 
Home and Foreign Mission Societies and a Woman's 
Society. These societies support sixteen evangehsts and 
missionaries in remote parts of Burma. The Kachin and 
Lahu work was developed and is carried on up to the 
present almost entirely by the Karens. The budget of 
these societies is between five thousand and six thousand 
rupees. In addition to the support of their own Karen 
missionaries, this Association makes liberal contributions 
to the Burma Baptist Convention, the Karen Theological 
Seminary, and the Karen Woman's Bible School. The 
average yearly income of the Karens of this field is less 
than two hundred rupees. The annual Association meet- 
ing is held in March with an average attendance of 2,500. 
The Association is always entertained without cost by 



The Karens of Burma 63 

the church and village in which the Association is held. 
In connection with their big financial undertaking for the 
building of the Ko Tha Byu Memorial Hall and the new 
girls' dormitory, it should be said that there has been 
a deepening of the spiritual life and evangelistic effort for 
their people, and this Association reports 814 baptisms 
this year. The Pwo Karen Conference, although far 
weaker in numbers, ability, and means than the Sgaw 
Karen, has opened more missionary work in Siam and is 
carrying on an aggressive evangelistic and educational 
work in that foreign country. Four years ago it was 
found necessary to transfer the missionary from the im- 
portant Shwegyin field to Toungoo. It was suggested 
that Shwegyin be amalgamated with an adjoining field. 
The Karen Christian leaders at Shwegyin did not deem 
it wise to give up their school and decided to carry on 
this mission with its educational and evangelistic work 
on their own initiative, asking that a missionary be sent 
them as soon as possible. Learning in 1922 that it was 
impossible for the Society to furnish them with a mis- 
sionary, they have organized the Association with one 
of their own number in charge and will continue an 
aggressive policy of evangelistic and educational work. 
This field reported in 1921 eighty-six churches with a 
total membership of 3,369 and 208 baptisms within the 
year. 

The Karens made a heroic record in the great war. A 
British official at the close of the war wrote : 

The Karens, under the influence of Doctor Nichols of the Amer- 
ican Baptist Mission in Bassein, have come to regard it as their 
duty and privilege to take part in the present struggle, and their 
headmen and the elders of their churches have been their leaders. 

In a personal letter this official writes: 



64 Following the Pioneers 

Dear Doctor Nichols : I ought to have written earlier to con- 
gratulate the Irrawaddy Division and yourself on the excellent 
effort they have made in the war. They have shown what high 
moral and religious ideals can do for a race, and to the teachers 
and leaders all praise is due. Karens have made a name for 
steadmess and disregard for wartime difficulties, and they have 
won the regard of officers in all units. I have called the especial 
attention of Government to the part taken by the Karens. To 
yourself personally, I offer my best thanks. 

The Karens are especially blessed in the large num- 
ber of Christian leaders, pastors, teachers, laymen, and 
women. Probably the most famous is Dr. San C. Po, 
who grew up in a little village of Ko Su Ka five miles 
from Bassein. Both his father and grandfather were 
Christians. His grandfather, because he was a Christian, 
was dragged around the streets of Bassein with a rope 
around his waist. San C. Po went to America when he 
was twelve years old. After graduating from Colgate 
University, he went to the Albany Medical School. In 
Albany he lived in the home of a praying Christian Amer- 
ican woman who had a great influence on his life. Upon 
his return to Burma he first entered Government service, 
but later took up private practise. He has always been 
loyal to the Sgaw Karen Baptist church at Bassein, 
and is respected by all without distinction of race or creed. 
In 1916, he became a member of the Governor's Coun- 
cil, and was later selected by the Christians of all Burma 
to represent them before Mr. Montagu, Secretary of 
State for India, when Mr. Montagu visited India in 
1917 to study conditions that resulted in the present con- 
stitutional reforms in Burma and India. When Mr. 
Montagu planned the Whyte Committee to investigate 
the situation in Burma before the final settlement of all 
the issues in regard to the Burma Reform Scheme, Dr. 
San C. Po's name was especially mentioned by Mr. Mon- 



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CHOIR OF SGAW KAREN HIGH SCHOOL 
Bassein, Burma 




KAREN PREACHERS 
At Sgaw Karen Association, Bassein, Burma 



The Karens of Burma 65 

tagu in a communication to the Governor of Burma as 
a man who he especially desired should serve on the in- 
vestigating committee. There is Sidney Luni, of Ran- 
goon, Barrister at Law, educated in Burma and England, 
a layman held in high esteem by the Karen race. Thra 
Po Gyaw, the wise and tactful boarding-master of Gush- 
ing High School, is an able teacher and a man of deep 
and active Christian spirit. A year ago he did much 
to win a Karen carpenter to Christ. That carpenter went 
back to his village and did much in persuading the village 
to come into the Christian church with him. With several 
others, Thra Po Gyaw made a number of trips to the 
village. Up to the present, forty people have been bap- 
tized, and a church has been organized. Thra Po Gyaw 
and a friend gave a large part of their vacation time in 
this center. A number of the teachers in Gushing High 
School devoted large parts of their time during vacation 
to evangelistic touring with splendid results. Mention 
should also be made of Thra Toe Khut, the efficient head 
master of the Maubin School, member of the municipal 
committee and of the educational board of the Irrawaddy 
circle, and the President-elect of the Burma Baptist Con- 
vention ; of Miss Nellie Yaba, educated in Burma and 
America, and for several years in charge of the mission 
station at Pyapon; of Ma Sein Shin, a young woman 
of unusual ability, daughter of the pastor of the Pwo 
Karen Baptist church of Bassein, who, having completed 
her studies in Judson College, is now studying in the 
Woman's Christian College in Madras ; and of Mg Myat 
Pon, the treasurer of Judson College, a layman of most 
pleasing personal presence and of outstanding ability. 
Space will not permit telling of all these men and women 
who are thoroughly interested in and devoted to the exten- 
sion of the kingdom of God among the Karens. 



66 Following the Pioneers 

Under God the Karens are today the dominant factor 
in the triumphant progress of our Baptist work in Burma. 
Granting all the good that there is in religions of the East, 
centuries have demonstrated their inability to build char- 
acter that can meet the needs of the new day. The whole 
present trend of events is preparing the way for another 
great mass movement among the Karens toward Chris- 
tianity. The Karen is an evangelist and a missionary. 
He will cooperate and sacrifice for great ideals. The 
Karen has been, is still, and will continue to be the 
largest factor in the evangelization of the hill-tribes, 
many of which are related to him. They have already 
undertaken this great task, and will never put it down 
until they lay the shining crown of victory at the Master's 
feet. Chin, Kachin, Lahu, Wa, and a multitude of 
others will follow the Christian Karen into the fellowship 
of God, united and welded into one great Christian 
brotherhood, uplifted, educated, trusted. Truth and 
character are bound to make themselves felt as deter- 
mining forces in the new Burma. In conclusion, we must 
not lose sight of the fact that there is a rapidly growing 
and virile Burman church, tremendously reenforced and 
encouraged by the example and comradeship of their 
Christian Karen brothers. Christianity is stronger than 
race prejudice. It breaks down every wall and partition. 
The Christian Burman casts off his former air of supe- 
riority and gladly accepts the accomplishment of his 
Karen brother. They have been classmates together in 
school. The Karen has in this mingling made many 
close friends among the Burmans, and one of the marvels 
of Christianity is the leveling and fraternizing so neces- 
sary to this cooperation and brotherhood. Centuries of 
Buddhism never have been able to accomplish this, and 
in contrast see what Christianity has in a few years 



The Karens of Burma 67 

made possible as exemplified in the annual meeting of the 
Burma Baptist Convention where all races, Karens, Bur- 
mans, Kachins, Chins, Shans, meet in beautiful coopera- 
tion and fellowship, undertaking together great things 
for the advancement of the kingdom of God in Burma 
and in all the world. 



IV 
BURMA: TO ALL PEOPLES 



" The string of camels come in single file, 
Bearing their burdens o'er the desert sand; 

Swiftly the boats go plying on the Nile, 
The needs of men are met on every hand. 

But still I wait 

For the messenger of God who cometh late, 

" I see the cloud of dust rise in the plain. 

The measured tread of troops falls on the ear; 

The soldier comes the Empire to maintain, 
Bringing the pomp of war, the reign of fear. 

But still I wait; 

The messenger of Peace, he cometh late. 

" They set me looking o'er the desert drear, 

Where broodeth darkness as the deepest night. 

From many a mosque there comes the call to prayer ; 
I hear no voice that calls on Christ for light. 

But still I wait 

For the messenger of Christ who cometh late." 

-Anon., in Egyptian Mission News, January-February, 1910. 



BURMA : TO ALL PEOPLES 



The vision, faith, and evangeHstic passion of the 
pioneers, together with the zeal of the Christians of 
Burma, especially the Karens, have pushed our Baptist 
work to the far frontiers of Burma, and hundreds and 
thousands of Shans, Kachins, Chins, Lisus, and Lahus 
have heard the story of the Cross and have been won 
to Christ and brought into the church. 

The Shans 

The Shans, because of their numbers and long racial 
history, are one of the most important groups in Burma. 
There are a million Shans located chiefly in the Northern 
and Southern Shan States of Burma and in Southern 
Yunnan China. The Shan States are ruled by their local 
chiefs or Sawbwas, subject to the supervision of the 
Superintendent, a British official. The early history of 
the Shan Mission is a story of heroism, courage, and 
faith. Bixby, Brown, Cushing — giants lived in those 
days. Scholars, translators, pioneers, they blazed the 
path into the heart of Shan land that we of a later genera- 
tion have found it difficult to follow. 

In November, 1877, Doctor Rose and Rev. J. N. Cush- 
ing started from Toungoo, the early headquarters of the 
Shan Mission, on a journey of exploration into the far 
Shan countrv' . They first went to Mandalay and secured 
a royal pass from Mindon Min, the Burman king, and 
then on a four months' trip penetrated far into the Shan 
States and visited the important city of Mongnai, where 

71 



72 Following the Pioneers 

we have today one of our principal Shan stations. Doctor 
Rose thus describes the results of this trip : 

The Royal Pass. The pass was written on a narrow strip of 
palm-leaf, about four feet long, and carried in a bamboo covered 
with red cloth. The very sight of the red-cloth-covered bamboo 
was enough to secure the respect of the people. The " royal pass " 
was even more important than we had anticipated. Without a 
pass we could not have traveled through the country. Without 
such a peculiar pass as we had, we would not have been allowed 
to preach and give tracts. We carried no large books, but had 
one pony loaded entirely with a good assortment of our best 
tracts. 

We journeyed through not less than ten Shan States or Tsaub- 
waships ; six or seven of these were large, the others small ; 
altogether, about as large as New England. This is only a 
part, and I may say a small part, of the Shan country. 

Not only did they suffer us to preach, but in their public courts, 
palaces, and dwellings, asked us to preach. It was our privilege 
in large towns to preach to large companies, the Tsaubwa or 
governor in front, with the nobles and court officials among the 
listeners. The people listened with attention, and treated us with 
respect and often with kindness. 

Thousands of these peoples for the first time have heard of 
the Eternal God.^ 

In 1869, Doctor and Mrs. Gushing made another long 
journey to Kengtung. I made this trip in February, 1922. 
How much more difficult it must have been for Doctor 
and Mrs. Gushing in 1869 ! It required four months. 

The Shan work is most difficult. The Shans are Bud- 
dhists, but their Buddhism is more largely colored with 
animism and nat-worship than that of the Buddhists in 
lower Burma. We have today five Shan fields : Mongnai, 
with an area of 15,000 square miles and a population 
of 200,000; Kengtung, area, 12,000 square miles, popula- 
tion, 190,000; Taunggyi, area, 7,000 square miles, popula- 

^ " Life of Josiah Nelson Gushing," by Wallace St. John. 



Burma : To All Peoples 73 

tion, 180,000; Hsipaw, area, 9,700 square miles, popula- 
tion 170,000; and Namkham, area, 6,330 square miles, 
population, 120,000. Both Kengtung and Namkham have 
large Shan populations across the borders in China which 
greatly increase and enlarge the area and population of 
these fields. We have practically abandoned Hsipaw and 
have no Shan missionaries at Kengtung. From the cen- 
tral station in Mongnai and a substation, Loilem, Doctor 
Gibbons is working alone as evangelist, educationalist, 
and physician. His medical work has been a blessing to 
a large district, the schools are evangelistic, and the 
church already accepts a larger measure of responsibility. 
Doctor Harper at Namkham, in addition to his medical 
and evangelistic work, has an important industrial work 
for the Shans, including carpentry and weaving. A mul- 
berry-garden of about eight acres has been planted, and 
in time we hope to see the cultivation of silk on a large 
scale among the Christian Shans. An official report of 
the Northern Shan States reads : 

The local government's thanks are to R. Harper, M. D., of the 
American Baptist Mission, for his medical work among the Shans 
and Kachins in the country around Namkham as also for his seri- 
cultural experiments. 

Medical work Is proving an effective Christian agency 
among the Shans. Here we find, roughly speaking, peo- 
ple with but the most meager provision for the relief 
of bodily needs. Doctor Henderson writes as follows: 

Things which are usfed in medicine and which I have per- 
sonally known to be sought for this purpose are elephant's, blood, 
rhinoceros' horn, bears' gall, the soft hoof of an unborn colt, 
the foot of a wildcat, the liver of a man who had committed 
suicide, besides various roots and stones. . . Superstition too wraps 
its chilly bonds of terror about these people's lives. Trees, ponds, 



74 Following the Pioneers 

hills, and rocks are peopled by evil spirits who are constantly on 
the watch to injure and destroy men and women. A woman went 
out to the jungle to get wood. She slipped and broke her ankle. 
When she managed to get home it was vigorously massaged to 
drive out the evil spirit. Many a single person or whole family 
have been hounded out of a village or killed because they have 
been held responsible for some illness which, as witches, they 
had caused. How great the opportunity to do the blessed work 
of Christ. Here we find people filled with malaria. We find 
tuberculosis, bronchitis, both acute and chronic, leprosy, specific 
diseases, skin disease, all sorts of parasites — one big welter of 
people needing help and with no prospects of hope except as 
Christians hear the voice of God and, forgetting themselves, go to 
the help of those who are suffering. 

The Shan Mission needs reenforcements most urgently. 
We need a physician for Namkham to take the place of 
Dr. Robert Harper, who will have to retire in a year or 
two. We need a doctor and evangelist for the Shan 
Mission in Kengtung, where we have a good hospital 
building, two residences, and school buildings in this im- 
portant Shan city in the center of a large Shan population. 
We should reopen Hsipaw or another station in the Shan 
country. 

This important people must be evangelized if we are 
to measure up to our full responsibility in Burma. Dr. 
Ola Hanson, our great Kachin missionary, says: 

The Shans have contributed much to the Kachins both in 
vocabulary and in general ways of thinking, and their influence 
is an important factor in the development of the Lahus and the 
other hill-tribes. 

Doctor Henderson and other devoted Shan missionaries 
who know the people and the field, assure me that they 
are positive that if we could adequately man the field, the 
next decade would show most hopeful results. 

A general summary of conditions among the Shans 



Burma : To All Peoples 75 

may be gathered from the following quotation from Doc- 
tor Henderson's report : 

The report of the year shows steady growth in all directions, 
but we look forward to the day when there shall be an earnest 
and concerted effort to win the Shans to Christ. Political changes 
are many and swift. The Shan States are to be formed into a 
federation and ruled from Taunggyi rather than from Lower 
Burma. The railway is being pushed up nearer and nearer 
Taunggyi, while the stream of trade is constantly growing. Every- 
thing, therefore, should be done to push the work in this center, 
and in the Shan States generally Christianity must not lag behind 
the trader and the government ; rather it should be in the van, 
purifying and uplifting the whole surroundings, lest material 
progress spell a curse instead of a blessing. 

The Kachins 

The Kachins are a hardy, warlike, independent people. 
Their present home is in the wild mountains of Northern 
Burma, through which flow numerous mountain streams, 
tributaries to the great Burman. rivers, Irrawaddy and 
Salween. Doctor Hanson, in his book *' The Kachins," 
says: 

The birthplace of the race must be sought among the highlands 
of Mongolia and on the border-land of eastern Tibet and western 
Szchuan. Here stood the cradle, not only of the Kachins, but 
also of the Burmans and other Mongolian tribes. At a remote 
period the Burmans began to move southward and lay the founda- 
tions of mighty kingdoms. Later, smaller tribes like the Chins, 
Nagas, Lahus, and possibly the Karens, followed in their wake, 
the Kachins holding a central position. 

The Kachins are an independent and sturdy people. 
There is nothing cringing or servile about them. They 
have never been slaves or tributary to any one. The 
Kachin regards himself as lord of all he surveys, and 
holds both Burman and Shan in contempt. He has a 



76 Following the Pioneers 

keen sense of his personal rights and resents anything 
that interferes with his Uberty. Such interference or any- 
thing Hke an insult may easily lead to a long quarrel and 
bloodshed. In December, 1876, a young Sgaw Karen 
Christian from Bassein, Bogalay by name, sent out and 
supported by the Sgaw Karen Christians of Bassein, with 
Doctor and Mrs. Cushing, opened the Kachin mission at 
Bhamo. Today we have 1,440 Kachin Christians organ- 
ized into thirty-seven churches and twenty-eight day- 
schools with 797 pupils. The work of this Mission is 
most hopeful, and there is every reason to believe that 
it soon will be entirely self-supporting. Doctor Hanson, 
the veteran missionary of the Kachins, has done a notable 
service in reducing the Kachin language to writing and 
in translating the Scriptures, school-books, and other 
literature for these people. His literary work, together 
with his notable service to the Kachins, has been recog- 
nized by the British Government, and in 1917 he was 
awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind gold medal. Doctor Hanson 
thus concludes his notable book on the Kachins : 

The Kachin language having been reduced to writing, therfe is 
the beginning of a literature, and the number learning to read 
and write is constantly on the increase. Nearly all the books 
printed are of a religious nature and for the advance of the 
Christian religion and Christian education. Most likely the Kachin 
literature will never be large. Most of those who learn to 
read will also acquire Burmese, and thus come in contact with a 
richer store of knowledge. 

Several hundred young men from all parts of Kachin land have 
served in the Kachin Military Police, and thus come in contact 
with a side of life unknown to them before. This too has been, 
and is, a civilizing agency. The military discipline, the necessity 
of doing things according to rules and orders, are things new 
to the lawless hill-men, and must have a wholesome effect. Many 
of them have also in the barracks learned to read the written 
Kachin and acquired other useful knowledge. Thus when re- 



Burma : To All Peoples 77 

turning to their mountain homes they carry with them new 
ideas of the world and its ways. 

These influences are doing their work quietly but surely. A 
Kachin people is growing up in ways unknown to their forefathers. 
They will identify themselves with the larger life of upper Burma. 
As they accept more of a Christian education, and leave their old 
superstitions behind them, the natural advance will be toward a 
Christian civilization. 

The Chins 

The Chins are a hill-people in the Northwest of Burma. 
Our principal Chin stations are Haka and Thayetmyo, 
and an important work for Chins is also being carried on 
in Pyinmana and Pegu. 

The work at Haka was opened by Rev. and Mrs. A. E. 
Carson in 1899. In 1920, after long years of continuous 
service marked by privation, danger, sacrifice, dauntless 
courage, and faith, Mrs. Carson, this heroine of modern 
missions, left alone, returned to America. Mr. Cope, 
the missionary at Haka, gives a graphic picture of these 
years and their fruitage : 

Mrs. Carson came to Haka twenty-one years ago. She has 
passed through two rebellions and has suffered no end of dis- 
tressing and trying experiences, the hardest of all being the loss 
of Mr. Carson, who was the first missionary to the Chins. Twenty- 
one years ago, there were not only no Christians, but the very 
name was practically unknown ; now there are over seven hundred 
baptized believers. There are six mission schools. Two com- 
pounds with comfortable residences, a fine school, and a well- 
equipped hospital, are the work of Mr. Carson and his successors. 
Over twenty workers, Chin and Karen, are carrying on among 
several tribes the work of preaching and teaching. There are 
hymn-books in four dialects, parts of Scripture in four, and 
a monthly paper in one. The two final tasks which have occupied 
Mrs. Carson's time for years now have just been completed, the 
dictionary and a translation of the historical books of the New 
Testament. These works are invaluable. Probably the most 



78 Following the Pioneers 

precious farewell remembrances were the twenty-three baptisms 
the last Sunday in Haka. A majority of these were the result of 
the preaching of the first convert in Haka, baptized by Mr. Carson 
in 1906. 

The Talaings 

The Talaings, with their capital at Pegu, were once 
the dominant people in southern Burma. They were sub- 
jugated, however, by the Burmans in 1753. Our work 
for the Talaings centers in Moulmein where, in addition 
to schools and churches, we have the Ellen Mitchell 
Memorial Hospital, which in the name of the Great 
Physician ministers to the women and children of all 
races. There is here a leper asylum with fifty-eight lepers, 
and the Master's injunction to " heal the sick, cleanse the 
lepers " is literally fulfilled. There are five churches with 
a membership of 450. 

Indians 

There are more than 1,000,000 Indians in Burma. 
More than one-half the three hundred thousand in Ran- 
goon, the capital and principal city of Burma, are In- 
dians. When the projected railroad connecting Burma 
and India is built, increasing numbers will pour into this 
rich province from the overcrowded, sun-burned, famine- 
stricken districts of India. Not only are Indians laborers, 
and railroad employees, but many of them are leading 
men in Rangoon and Burma. Our Burma mission is thor- 
oughly alive to this situation, and we have important 
centers for Indian work with resident missionaries, school 
and church buildings in Rangoon and Moulmein. In Ran- 
goon and Moulmein we have erected brick school build- 
ings. In Rangoon there are eight hundred Indian boys 
and girls in attendance, and three hundred and fifty in 
Moulmein. There is also work for Indians in many of 



Burma : To All Peoples 79 

our other stations, extending from Tavoy on the far south 
to Myitkyina on the Chinese border in the north. There 
is great need for more missionaries for the Indians in 
Burma. The pathetic feature of the situation is that 
many cooHes coming to this land have been humble Baptist 
Christians in their own villages, but like sheep without a 
shepherd, know not where to turn for spiritual help over 
here and often fall away. Moreover, among the non- 
Christian caste people a much more open-minded spirit is 
found than among the same people in their own land. 
The hand of caste and custom does not grip them as 
strongly, and they are more ready, not only to listen to 
the gospel and assent to its precepts, but to come out 
openly for Christ 

Chinese 

There are 350,000 Chinese in Burma. They are open- 
minded, energetic, generous. Away from their home and 
entangling customs, they are peculiarly susceptible to the 
Christian message. These men are carpenters, merchants, 
and skilled mechanics. They are a thrifty, industrious 
people and are an increasingly important factor in the 
life of the province. Work among them will be largely 
self-supporting. In Mandalay the Chinese Baptists have 
raised Rs. 4,000 which, with a like amount contributed by 
the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, is en- 
abling them to erect a building In this important city for 
the Chinese work. We now have four Chinese evangel- 
ists, but the work, which is rapidly extending through- 
out the province, needs a missionary familiar with the 
Chinese language who can give his entire time to shep- 
herding the people and supervising the Chinese work. 
When I was in Burma in October, 1921, a group of 
Chinese Baptists presented me with the following petition : 



80 Following the Pioneers 



To the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, 

Dear Sirs : For four years we have been promised a missionary, 
and we have lived in hopes, waiting patiently all this time. Now 
that Mr. Grigg has been moved to Mandalay when we were 
promised his services, and no new and young man has been as- 
sured us in his stead, we the Chinese Christians of Rangoon 
are greatly disappointed. 

We have about 50,000 Chinese in Rangoon and 350,000 Chinese 
in all Burma. There is a big and needy field for the ablest 
missionary. The Methodists have only a small work, and there is 
plenty of room for both. We greatly need the help and counsel 
of a missionary if we would have our Baptist work grow as it 
ought to grow. Our people are ready and opfen for hearing the 
gospel. We, therefore, pray that you will not delay any longer 
and cause discouragement to our people. We earnestly seek 
and pray for a missionary this year. 

(Signed) Chinese Baptist Pastor 

and sixty of the members. 

Anglo-Indians 

The Anglo-Indian holds a peculiarly important and 
delicate position. Rev. F. King Singiser, formerly pastor 
of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Rangoon, a man who 
knows the Anglo-Indians most intimately, thus speaks of 
this important community: 

In civic life the Anglo-Indians of Burma are a powerful people, 
holding positions of high trust and executive responsibility. In 
the Government service they have become commissioners, district 
superintendents, and members of the Legislative Council. During 
my pastorate in Rangoon the Accountant General of Burma, in 
charge of all the finances of this the richest province in the 
Indian Empire, was an Anglo-Indian, Mr. Dukoff Gordon, a gen- 
tleman of rare charm and culture. The permanent administrator 
of the great city of Rangoon is Mr. C. C. Cameron, an Anglo- 
Indian of such unusual administrative ability as to receive the 
official recognition of the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford. Both of 
these men are loyal members of our Baptist church. 



Burma : To All Peoples 81 

In education the Anglo-Indians have long since been recog- 
nized as a determinative factor. Constituted as they are by an- 
cestry, interpreting the Oriental and the Occidental mind with 
equal facility, and having the gift of languages, they are naturally 
qualified leaders of the thought life. They hold many of the 
most responsible positions in the mission schools of Burma. In 
the Government's Department of Instruction they have risen to 
the highest position, that of Director of Public Instruction. The 
first inspectress of schools in Burma is an Anglo-Indian woman, 
who was a member of our own Judson College faculty. 

In Rangoon we have an Anglo-Indian church with a 
membership of two hundred and seventy-five and a Sun- 
day school of one hundred and fifty. The pastor of this 
church is Rev. V. E. Dyer, a graduate of Colby College 
and Newton Theological Institution. This church is 
practically self-supporting. We have also in Rangoon 
a Boys' Anglo-Indian High School with an enrolment 
of one hundred and fifty. In Moulmein there is the 
English Girls' High School and the Anglo-Indian church. 
Rev. William G. Evans, formerly of the Trinity Bap- 
tist Church of Cleveland, is pastor. At Maymyo, the 
summer capital of the province, where there is a large 
Anglo-Indian population, we have our third church, with 
Rev. H. P. Cochrane, former missionary at Pyapon, 
pastor. 

Lahu Work 

When Doctor and Mrs. Gushing were in Kengtung in 
1869 he wrote : 

At the house we were visited by Lahus, a savage tribe who 
live three or four days to the north. The more southern part of 
this people have been subjected to the rule of the Sawbwa at 
Kengtung, but the more northern portions are still unsubdued. 
They worship nats and offer human heads to them. When they 
wish to make such offerings they watch behind trees and spear 
the stray traveler, and take the heads home for this purpose. 



82 Following the Pioneers 

Our work among the Lahus was begun by Rev. W. M. 
Young in 1901, and since then thousands of the Lahus 
have accepted Christianity. In February and March, 
1922, it was my good fortune to visit this field and inspect 
this work. For forty-one days we were away from the 
railway, newspapers, letters, telegrams, and all communi- 
cations with the outside world. We traveled nearly six 
hundred miles on horseback and had the opportunity 
of seeing personally a mass movement toward Chris- 
tianity of surpassing interest. We left Rangoon Wednes- 
day, February 8, for Kengtung and Yunnan, China. 
Our party consisted of Dr. C. A. Nichols, of the Sgaw 
Karen Bassein mission, Rev. W. E. Wiatt, the Field 
Secretary for Burma, Mr. Ralph Henderson, and the 
Foreign Secretary. From the rail-head at Taunggyi, 
we traveled two days in Ford cars, riding 144 miles, 
nearly all of it over mountain roads. Late Saturday 
afternoon we met the saddle-ponies and ten pack-ponies 
for the 150-mile trip from the Nampang River to Keng- 
tung. For eight days we spent from four to nine hours 
in the saddle, and arrived at Kengtung on the eighteenth. 

The Lahus 

Kengtung State, with a population of 600,000, is the 
largest of the Southern Shan States. The capital, where 
our mission is located, is a city of 15,000. The native 
ruling Prince, the Sawbwa, lives here. Kengtung State 
occupies the great salient where Burma reaches out to 
Siam and China, and streams of influence from China, 
Siam, Tibet, and Burma give it a cosmopolitan charac- 
ter. Shans, Burmans, Chinese, Indians, Kaws, Was, and 
other hill-people live in little hilltop villages throughout 
the wooded mountains of the State. The Lahu Associa- 
tion was in session when we arrived. Eight hundred 



Burma : To All Peoples 83 

Lahu and Wa Christians were present. I was impressed 
with the practical nature of the topics discussed during 
the three days of the Association : " Our schools, how 
can w^e improve them?" "The Lahu Christian village 
as an example of unity and industry " ; " Education and 
the ministry " ; " The need and the call to evangelize " ; 
" The support of evangelistic work." The chairman of 
the Association is Saya Po Tun, a missionary of the 
Karens among the Lahus. He is a graduate of the 
Bassein Sgaw-Karen High School, and has spent fifteen 
years in the Kengtung field. He speaks fluently Karen, 
Burmese, Shan, Lahu, Kaw, and English, and under- 
stands Chinese and Wa. He is a musician of marked 
ability, and has translated or composed more than one 
hundred hymns. He has translated the entire New Tes- 
tament into Lahu. 

The Lahus are a hill-people and dislike to send their 
children to school in the plains. The mission has secured 
three hundred acres at Loimwe, a beautiful mountain 
village and headquarters for the British Government, 
located fifteen miles from Kengtung on a good automobile 
road. The land we have secured is three miles from 
the village and on a slightly lower elevation. The soil is 
very rich, and an industrial school here in their beloved 
hills would be popular w^ith the Lahus. would improve 
their economic condition, and make possible a further step 
toward self-support. Last year a Lahu teacher w'ith a 
number of boys spent several weeks clearing the land and 
planting crops. A splendid harvest resulted. 

These people are making a real advance in the matter 
of self-support. They built their own chapel and school- 
houses. Twelve villages provide their teachers with rice, 
and ten villages have adopted the tithing system. In 
1921, in addition to the support of their own churches 



84 Following the Pioneers 

and schools, the Association gave Rs. 900 for the Keng- 
tung central schools and for the support of evangelists. 
Here is the report of one of the village churches : Yekko 
Village — population, 180; church-members, 103; literate, 
33 (9 girls, 24 boys) ; cash contributions, Rs. 103 — gave 
to the teacher 139 baskets of paddy, 87 pounds of salt, 
87 pounds of cotton. 

We left Kengtung, February 27, for Yunnan, China. 
Doctor Nichols having returned to Bassein, Rev. J. H. 
Telford, the missionary at Kengtung, accompanied us. 
From Kengtung to Mong Lem there is a hard mountain 
trail. As the nights and mornings in the mountains were 
very cold, we had to carry not only provisions but heavy 
clothing and a supply of bedding. We were up every 
morning at four or four-thirty and in the saddle before 
seven o'clock. We would ride until eleven and then rest 
during the heat of the day. Starting again in the early 
afternoon, we would ride until dusk or until we reached 
a good camping-place with water, shelter, and pasturage 
for the horses. We visited four Christian villages on 
the way, all located on high hills. We arrived at Bana 
Village, twenty-five miles across the border in China, on 
March 3. Bana Village is a Christian community of about 
one hundred people. It is located on a hill having an 
elevation of 4,000 feet and heavily wooded with pines. 
It is in the center of the Lahu country, and we propose 
to establish a mission station here for the Lahu work in 
China. 

The Lahu and Wa Association was in session here, 
and we had four wonderful days. The meetings were 
held in a big temporary building very much like a Billy 
Sunday Tabernacle. The Christian villages in the neigh- 
borhood had contributed for the entertainment of the 
Association fifteen steers, fourteen hogs, 8,126 pounds 



Burma : To All Peoples 85 

of rice, 195 pounds of salt, and 90 pounds of peppers 
for the curry. The Was and Lahus of this district are 
accepting Christianity by the hundreds and thousands. 
Mr. Young and his two ordained preachers, Thra Mg 
Bu and Ainan, baptized 2,507 between January 1 and 
March 1, 1922, making a total of 3,351 baptisms for the 
two years that Mr. Young has been on this field. IMr. 
Young's assistants have each a remarkable story. Thra 
Mg Bu, on his graduation from the theological seminary 
ten years ago, worked among the Lahus on the Keng- 
tung field for several years and learned to speak two of 
the languages, Wa and Lahu, fluently. Then he returned 
to lower Burma as pastor of the Karen Church in the 
Henzada field. In response to a call for him to assist 
Mr. Young, this church of less than one hundred mem- 
bers voted to give him a year's leave of absence, at the 
same time continuing his salary and paying all his travel- 
ing expenses to and from this distant mission field, and 
to carry on the work of the church during his absence. 
Ainan, formerly a Buddhist priest and opium addict, 
and later member of a robber band, in 1904 came to Keng- 
tung with some Lahu inquirers seeking knowledge of the 
new religion. For weeks he and ]\tr. Young by the help 
of God fought the opium habit and won. Later, when 
Mr. Young sent some Lahus into China on a preaching 
tour, Ainan wished to accompany them. 'Mr. Young re- 
fused to baptize him because he feared that he would again 
take up the smoking of opium. However, he was allow'ed 
to accompany the workers, Mr. Young agreeing that if he 
held out against the opium habit on the tour and in his 
own village which he would visit, he would baptize him 
on his return. He was gone three months, living a con- 
sistent Christian life all the time, and on his return was 
baptized. Since 1905 he has won more than 500 con- 



86 Following the Pioneers 

verts to Christ. He speaks Tai Loi, Shan, Wa, Lahu, 
and Chinese. He is most apt in the use of homely 
illustrations, a powerful preacher and a soul-winner. 

There are now employed seven Karens, twelve Was, 
two Lahus, and four Mynchas as preachers and teachers. 
Salary for the Karens is ten dollars a month, and for 
the Was, Lahus, and Mynchas four to six dollars. 

This is a mass movement with all the usual problems. 
The principal motives that lead the Lahus to accept 
Christianity seem to be : The fulfilment of Lahu tradi- 
tions which are very similar to the Karen traditions; 
bettering their physical conditions ; relief from oppression 
by the Shans ; belief that the Christian God is the only 
true God; the appeal of the Christian doctrine of im- 
mortality. According to their traditions, God in past ages 
gave them his word which they transcribed on a rice- 
cake. But the one in whose care they committed this cake, 
one day when hungry devoured it, and so the word was 
lost. Their prophets told them, however, that some day 
the people of Esu (Esu and Peti were two servants of 
God, the former standing on his right, the latter on his 
left, the one being creator of the heavens, the other, of 
the earth), would come from the south and bring back 
the word. The prayer was handed down by mouth from 
generation to generation as follows : 

The seed of eternal life is with thee, O God. We, therefore, 
pray that thou mayest give us that seed. Have mercy on thy 
servants, and save us from all different diseases, and give us 
long life, as long as the rocks and hills. Send the children of 
Esu to come and help us. 

With a sufficient number of missionaries and trained 
teachers and preachers to occupy this field, 10,000 people 
could be baptized and organized into churches in the next 
two years. The New Testament has been translated into 



Burma : To All Peoples 87 

Lahu and is ready for publication. The Lahu hymn-book 
has just been printed. A strong central school is already 
established at Bana Village, and throughout the field an 
eagerness to hear the gospel gives evidence of a ripening 
harvest. As an illustration of this eagerness, Pu San 
Lone, a great Wa leader, familiar with Lahu traditions 
and worship, seventeen years ago sent five ponies to Mr. 
Young, then at Kengtung, and asked him to come and 
visit him and preach in the village. Mr. Young was 
unable to visit this village, but sent a Shan Bible and 
later some tracts. This leader, a short time before he 
was killed, gave the Bible to a Wa chieftain. This 
chieftain, who controls a number of villages with a total 
of 2,000 houses, recently sent ^Ir. Young a pair of 
Chinese shoes, a piece of beeswax, some cloth, and six 
rupees in money, urging him to come to the villages 
and preach to his people the True Way. The beeswax 
was to lighten the way on his journey, the shoes were for 
him to wear, the cloth to wipe the perspiration from his 
brow, and the money to buy the necessary food for the 
journey. Mr. Young regrets that he cannot go to this man 
at once, as his policy now is to confine his efforts largely 
to those villages which have already become Christian, 
and to the follow-up work that has already been started 
in these and the neighboring villages. 

As I traveled through these villages and everywhere 
found these people so eager to hear the gospel, I prayed 
that American Baptists might have the adequate faith and 
courage to take advantage of this unprecedented oppor- 
tunity. 

Rev. C. E. Chaney thus describes the annual meeting 
of the Burma Baptist Convention of 1920 : 

In 1920, the Burma Baptist Convention met in the city of 
Mandalay, the last capital erected and occupied by Burmese kings, 



88 Following the Pioneers 

the stronghold of Buddhism, The old royal city is surrounded 
by a moat and a high wall. Entrance is gained by four gates, 
one in the center of each side of this city one mile square, I 
entered it and found my way to the old teak palaces, and there 
stood before the Peacock Throne, one of three thrones in the 
palace. My mind traveled back to a former capital and Pea- 
cock Throne in the City of Ava. Its walls and gates were gar- 
risoned with soldiers armed to the teeth. The streets were filled 
with gaily dressed ministers and officials. An embassy from the 
great Empire of the West, wishing an audience with the King, 
were humiliated by being kept waiting and by having to take 
ofif their shoes when given entrance to his Majesty. An Ambas- 
sador from the King of kings and Lord of lords met with the 
same humiliating experience. His gift of six volumes beautifully 
bound in gold, the Bible, was spurned, and his request to preach 
the unsearchable riches of the gospel was refused. The splendor 
and power of an Oriental court is on every side. 

Suddenly the scene changes. All the pomp and glory of the 
place fades away, and I am left standing alone before a dilapidated 
throne in a crumbling old palace of teak. Kings and potentates 
have passed off the stage with their gay retinue of ministers and 
soldiers. The segis of a great Christian Empire spreads its wings 
over this province, with protection and liberty. In the distance I 
hear the tramping of many feet and the songs of many groups 
in as many tongues. From the north come the Kachins singing 
to the tune, " The Morning Light is Breaking," from the west 
the Chins, singing to the tune, " Jesus Shall Reign," from the east 
comes the Lahu choir which has walked over three hundred miles 
to attend this meeting and singing, " All Hail the Power of Jesus' 
Name," and from the south a great host of Karens, Bur mans, 
and others, singing to the tune, " Onward, Christian Soldiers." 
Into Mandalay sweeps this great representative multitude, from 
Haka in the north to Tavoy in the south, from Sandoway in the 
west to Kengtung in the east, Chin, Kachin, Lahu, Lisu, Shan, 
Talaing, Burman, Karen, Chinese, Indian, Anglo-Indian, English- 
men, and Americans. The Burma Baptist Convention is assem- 
bling, and from the old watch-tower on the wall, I look out over 
a city with numberless chaungs and pagodas, the insignia of the 
old order, and also dotted with mission schools, churches, and in- 
stitutions which are the insignia of the new order. God Almighty 
has ordained that the old order should give place to the new, and 



Burma : To All Peoples 89 

this great host, 3,000 strong, is a stirring prophecy that he will 
bring it to pass. Behold, what a change has taken place since 
that day when Doctor Judson, the Ambassador of the Cross, stood 
almost alone pleading for a place in the inn for the Christ Child ! 
Today the mighty throng is clamoring to crown him King of 
kings. 



V 



SOUTH INDIA: THE GOSPEL 
AND SOCIAL UPLIFT 



Shine on, " Lone Star ! " Thy radiance bright 
Shall spread o'er all the eastern sky; 

Morn breaks apace from gloom and night; 
Shine on, and bless the pilgrim's eye 

Shine on, " Lone Star ! " I would not dim 
The light that gleams with dubious ray ; 

The lonely star of Bethlehem 
Led on a bright and glorious day. 

Shine on, " Lone Star ! " in grief and tears, 

And sad reverses oft baptized ; 
Shine on amid thy sister spheres ; 

Lone stars in heaven are not despised. 

Shine on, " Lone Star ! " Who lifts his hand 
To dash to earth so bright a gem, 

A new " lost pleiad " from the band 
That sparkles in night's diadem? 

Shine on, " Lone Star ! " The day draws near 
When none shall shine more fair than thou; 

Thou, born and nursed in doubt and fear, 
Wilt glitter on Immanuel's brow. 

Shine on, " Lone Star ! '' till earth redeemed, 

In dust shall bid its idols fall ; 
And thousands, where thy radiance beamed, 

Shall " crown the Saviour, Lord of all." 



-Dr. S. F. Smith. 



SOUTH INDIA: THE GOSPEL 
AND SOCIAL UPLIFT 



The South India ^Mission has a long record of mission- 
ary achievement that places this mission in the fore- 
front of the foreign mission fields of the world. The 
heroism, faith, and Spartan determination of the first 
Telugu missionaries is a story that to this day is a 
source of inspiration to missionary leaders of all denom- 
inations. 

The South India Mission comprises the Aladras Presi- 
dency and Hyderabad, an independent Native State as 
large as Italy, with a population of thirteen million, which 
is ruled over by the Nizam, a Mohammedan prince. 
From the first, the work has been almost entirely among 
the outcaste Aladigas, the lowest of the low. Considering 
the character and the deplorable needs of these depressed 
and degraded people and the almost insurmountable dif- 
ficulties of the field, the numbers brought into the church 
and their spiritual, moral, intellectual, and social develop- 
ment under the influence of Christianity are a most strik- 
ing evidence of the divine origin and character of the 
foreign missionary enterprise. In the Madras Presidency 
there are six and a half million people classed as the un- 
touchables. Out of every ten Hindus, three are treated 
as being beyond the pale of decent humanity. The 
restrictions that encompass these unfortunates in their 
dealings with the higher castes are almost incredible. In 
nearly everv village the public water-supply is absolutely 
forbidden to the outcaste population, which numbers one- 

93 



94 Following the Pioneers 

sixth of the people of the Presidency. The government 
report of 1920 says : 

The work of the various Christian Mission Societies in giving 
education to the Panchamas or outcastes is beyond praise. The 
pioneer work of the missions has not been confined to the educa- 
tion of the depressed classes in their own schools. By resolutely 
insisting that members of the depressed classes should be admitted 
to higher educational institutions under mission control, they have 
gradually created a body of public opinion in favor of treating 
these classes as fellow human beings. 

Broadly speaking, Hindu society may be said to be divided 
into three classes : the Brahmin or high-caste Hindu at 
the top, the Panchama or outcaste at the bottom, and the 
Sudra in the middle. The Sudras are divided into many 
subcastes, some of them very low in social status and 
others occupying a very high position. By occupation 
they are farmers and artisans for the most part. A 
strong, sturdy, self-reliant people, they constitute the 
great middle class in India and are the backbone of Hindu 
society. Christianity beginning, as ever in its history, 
at the bottom of Hindu society, is gradually working up- 
ward. Having laid hold of the outcaste, despised and 
downtrodden for centuries, and having lifted him up 
into a new manhood in Christ Jesus, giving him a new 
social and religious status in the land, it is now rapidly 
and powerfully permeating the great middle classes, the 
Sudras. It is the conviction of the most experienced 
missionary workers that the day is not far distant when 
we will see an even greater mass movement to Chris- 
tianity among the Sudras than we have witnessed among 
the outcastes. When that day comes, it will be like the 
inrushing of the ocean tides; and the kingdom of God 
will come with power. 

Dr. W. L. Ferguson says: 



South India : The Gospel and Social Uplift 95 

There have been large movements among the outcaste population 
and the poor, and the despised and the oppressed by thousands 
and tens of thousands have been gathered into the church. There 
is no brighter page in all mission history than that which sets 
forth the triumphs of Christ in the American Baptist Telugu 
Mission. God has given us victory, not by strategy of any 
human kind, but by the gracious movings of his own Holy Spirit 
in the hearts of men. It was indicated to the missionaries that 
it was his pleasure for them to reap, and this they have done 
abundantly. The harvest is still plenteous, but the laborers are 
few. In addition to the classes which have already been reached 
in such large numbers by the gospel in our Baptist fields, there 
are millions of caste people to be won. Many among those are 
giving unwonted attention to the word of Christ, and there are 
indications in some quarters that a mass movement among the 
Sudras may not be very far distant. 

Samuel Day, our first Telugu missionary, reached India 
in 1836. At Nellore, five years later, he baptized his first 
convert. The first ten years were so fruitless that the 
Society at home considered the advisability of giving- up 
the mission and transferring the missionary to Burma. 
Adoniram Judson, who was in America on furlough, 
tried to rally the faith of the denomination. He said, 
" I would cheerfully at my age cross the Bay of Bengal 
and learn a new language rather than by the lift of my 
hand vote for the abandonment of this work." Doctor 
Day, who had returned to America a sick man, protested 
so vigorously against the abandonment of the mission 
that it was decided to hold the matter of the future of 
the mission in abeyance. INIeanwhile Lyman Jewett and 
his wife volunteered for Nellore and with Doctor Day 
set sail for India, October, 1848. arriving at Nellore the 
following April. There was another long period of 
seed-sowing and waiting, and after a visit to the mission 
in 1853 by the deputation from America, it was again 
recommended at the annual meeting of the Society that a 



96 Following the Pioneers 

letter be written to Doctor Jewett to close up the mission 
and go to Burma. In the evening during the discussion 
of the subject, one of the speakers pointed to a map of 
the world on which the Baptist mission stations were 
marked by stars and called Nellore the Lone Star Mis- 
sion. The phrase caught the imagination of Dr. Samuel 
Smith, the author of America, and before he slept that 
night he wrote the poem beginning : 

Shine on, " Lone Star ! " Thy radiance bright 
Shall spread o'er all the eastern sky; 

Morn breaks apace from gloom and night; 
Shine on, and bless the pilgrim's eye. 

When the poem was read next morning it turned 
the tide, and the vote was unanimous to continue the mis- 
sion and send out reenforcements. Meanwhile Doctor 
Jewett and a little group of Lidian Christians had made 
a long tour to the north and returning, camped at Ongole. 
Mrs. Montgomery, in her book " Following the Sunrise," 
thus describes that morning prayer-meetnig at Ongole : 

Very early in the morning, as it began to dawn toward the 
first day of the year, the little group of Christians climbed the 
hill to be alone with God. There was nothing dramatic in their 
action, no consciousness on their part of taking part in a historic 
scene. They were a little obscure band, quite naturally and 
simply obeying the desire of their own hearts for an hour of 
communion and dedication. But generations yet unborn will visit 
that sacred hill, where in faith God's children, in the name of 
Christ, took possession of the land of the Telugus. The story 
of what happened at that sunrise prayer-meeting is best told by 
the Bible-woman, Julia of Nellore: First we sang a hymn, and 
Father Jewett prayed. Then Christian Nursu prayed. Then 
Father read a portion of Isaiah, fifty-second chapter: "How 
beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth 
good tidings, that publisheth peace." Then Mother Jewett prayed, 
then I prayed, and then Ruth prayed. After we had all prayed. 




PRAYER-MEETING HILL 
Ongole, India 




PRAYER-MEETING HILL 
Ongole, India 



South India: The Gospel and Social Uplift 97 

Father Jewett stood up, and stretching out his hand, said : ' Do 
you see that rising piece of ground yonder, all covered over with 
prickly-pear? Would you not like that spot for our mission 
bungalow and all this land to become Christian? Well, that day 
will come." Then we all spoke our minds, and just as the meeting 
closed, the sun rose. It seemed as if the Holy Spirit had lifted us 
above the world, and our hearts were filled with thanksgiving to 
the Lord. 

After a quarter of a century without evident results 
another effort was made at the annual meeting in 1862 in 
Providence to abandon the mission. Doctor Warren, the 
Secretary of the Board, plead that final action might be 
deferred until the arrival of Doctor Jewett who was re- 
turning to America broken in health. Doctor Jewett's 
undaunted faith saved the mission. He said that if the 
Society were determined to close the mission he should 
return alone to. Nellore, there to work and die. 

Doctor Jewett's return to India in 1864, accompanied 
by John E. Clough, marked the beginning of a new day 
for this mission. In 1867, converts began to come by 
hundreds. The number of church-members grew to more 
than three thousand when the famine of 1877 caused a 
halt in the reception of new members into the church. 
Evangelistic effort, however, w^as carried on unabated in 
the midst of the work of famine relief. With the coming 
of the rains of 1878 and the end of the famine, the mis- 
sionaries began again to baptize and receive people into 
the church, and in one day at Ongole, Doctor Clough 
with six Telugu preachers baptized 2,222, and ten thou- 
sand were received into the church in one year. This 
was truly a mass movement and a movement of God. For 
more than forty years the Telugus have continued to 
come into the church by hundreds and thousands, and in 
the last twenty years the reported baptisms have numbered 
more than sixty thousand. 



98 Following the Pioneers 

India is an illiterate country. Less than ten per cent, 
of the men and less than one per cent, of the women 
can read and write. The most obvious method for the 
uplifting of the untouchables, as indeed of the other de- 
pressed classes of India, lies in education. In the last 
quarter of a century the number of Panchama pupils in 
public institutions of Madras has risen from thirty thou- 
sand to well over one hundred and fifty thousand; an 
increase of four hundred per cent. It is moreover en- 
couraging to notice that whereas in 1892 there were 
only eleven primary schools for girls of the depressed 
classes in the Madras Presidency, there are now one 
hundred. 

In our Telugu Baptist Mission, with its work largely 
among these outcaste and depressed classes, the matter of 
education is one of the most urgent importance. An 
illiterate church could never be a strong church. To edu- 
cate the children of our Madiga converts and secure a 
sufficient number of educated men as pastors and leaders 
of the Telugu churches was a problem to which the early 
missionaries gave immediate attention. The contribution 
of American Baptists to the educational uplift of India 
has been notable and has won the gratitude of the people 
and appreciative recognition of the Government. In the 
South India Mission we have today 912 elementary 
schools, fourteen secondary schools other than high 
schools, four high schools, five training-schools, and one 
theological seminary. In theological training we coop- 
erate with the Canadian Baptists, who are also working 
for the Telugu people in a territory adjacent to our field. 
In these 936 institutions there are 25,625 boys and girls 
and young men and young women receiving an education 
in which the Bible holds an important place. 

There are three high schools for boys, one at Nellore, 



South India : The Gospel and Social Uplift 99 

one at Ongole, and one at Kurnool. As the primary ob- 
ject of these schools is the training of Christian boys, 
it is the poHcy to keep the enrolment Christian in fact 
and spirit. Recognizing that the less favored of the 
population are in greater need of the benefits of education 
than the more favored classes, it is the policy of these 
schools to enroll the students in limited numbers in the 
following order: Christians, Panchamas (outcastes), j\Io- 
hammedans, Sudras, higher castes, and Brahmins. The 
Coles Memorial High School at Kurnool and the Coles 
Akerman Memorial at Nellore owe their beautiful build- 
ings to the generosity of Dr. J. Akerman Coles, of 
Scotch Plains, New Jersey. At Nellore, in order to make 
the Christian impact of the school more personal, the 
enrolment has been reduced from 732 to 400. In Kur- 
nool, 102 of the 392 boys are Christians. I spent one 
morning in the Ongole High School visiting the Bible 
classes. I found one class in the midst of an oral exam- 
ination and was much pleased at the intelligence with 
which the boys answered the questions. Boy Scout craft 
has been introduced into all the high schools. With its 
emphasis on the dignity of labor, unselfish service, and 
higher type of manhood, the Boy Scout Movement is 
playing a vital part in character building which is the 
aim of all missionary education. Athletics have their 
place in the life of these three high schools, and they 
have each held a place of leadership in their respective 
districts. 

The Girls' High School in Nellore has an enrolment 
of eighty-five. A company of girl guides has been or- 
ganized, and the girls are full of enthusiasm at being a 
part of a world movement. The course of study, with 
the Bible holding a prominent place, is building well for 
the future Telugu womanhood. One of last year's gradu- 



100 Following the Pioneers 

ates entered the Christian College for Women in Madras, 
and two others have entered the Woman's Medical Col- 
lege at Vellore. Dr. Y. Nandamah, one of the Jubilee 
guests of the Woman's Society in 1921, is a graduate of 
this school and the Ludhiana Medical School. 

The Mission has training-schools for women teachers 
in Ongole and Nellore and a normal school for men with 
157 students at Bapatla. The Bible holds a central place 
in the curriculum of these schools, and each class studies 
the Bible every day. The 912 mission schools, in addition 
to their educational work, serve as centers where children 
and parents can be gathered together for Christian pur- 
poses. 

Working among a people so economically destitute in 
a country where an age-long social system has instilled 
a false idea of the degradation of labor, it has been 
necessary to emphasize the value of vocational and indus- 
trial training, and considerable industrial work is being 
done in the various schools in most of the mission stations. 
Vocational schools for boys have be^n opened at Nel- 
lore and Kurnool. At Nellore the government has re- 
served for students of our ^agricultural courses land 
which up to this time has lain waste, but is capable of 
being brought under cultivation. Each student will be 
assigned five acres upon completion of his course provided 
he wishes to become a farmer. This land will be his for- 
ever on condition that he cannot mortgage it, lease it, 
or sell it. If he attempts any of these it will revert to 
the Government. This course helps the boys in meeting 
their school expenses (for they are paid for work done) 
and helps them physically and in development of real 
manhood. Considering the fact that this is India, and 
that a few years ago to insist on any physical labor in 
our boarding-schools was to invite a rebellion, we are 




ENGINE SHED AND FREIGHT HOUSES 
Kharagpur, Bengal-Orissa 




CROWD ON BANK AT BAPTISM 
Kavali, India 




THE GOSPEL AND THE PLOW 
Coles Vocational School, Kurnool, India 



South India: The Gospel and Social Uplift 101 

much gratified at the way the boys are now entering into 
this work. 

At the Kurnool school students are taught weaving, 
carpentry, farming, and alHed industries. Here they are 
given training that will make it possible for them to 
enter into some village trade with little difficulty. They 
are most interested in carpentry, and at the opening of 
the new school year it is expected that sixteen car- 
pentry benches will be in use. All our Christian boys 
come from the farming class. The school has sixty 
acres under cultivation, besides three acres of garden. 
These boys are learning by doing. There is also another 
class of young men. the unfortunates who have had no 
chance to go to school at all, and who on arriving at 
manhood find that they are virtually slaves, bound by 
custom, debt, and ignorance to a life of a village coolie. 
For such as these it is hoped to organize special classes, 
that will give them a degree of education and help them 
to improve their condition. 

In addition to these schools, we are cooperating with 
other evangelical denominations in Madras Christian Col- 
lege, a missionary institution w^hich has been of large in- 
fluence in the educational life of the Madras Presidency. 

Doctor Woodbury, of the Madras Christian College, 
in the report of 1921 says : 

Throughout my experience as a missionary in the Telugu 
country, I have frequently been aware of the splendid influence 
of the colleg'e through the friendly attitude on the part of the 
graduates whom I have met in official life. A marked evidence 
of that attitude was seen in the recent debate and vote in the 
Madras Legislative Council on the proposed Conscience Clause 
to be introduced into the Grants-in-Aid Code. The motion was 
practically defeated by the alumni of this institution. Man after 
man arose in the Council and related his experience of religious 
instruction in the College and gave it as his testimony that it 



102 Following the Pioneers 

had been a formative influence in the strengthening of his own 
character. After six months of service in the College, I am more 
than ever convinced that the Madras Christian College is one 
of the first agencies in the land in bringing about the con- 
summation of missionary endeavor in this land — the Christian- 
izing of India — and I rejoice that American Baptists have a share 
in the glorious enterprise. 

The Woman's Society is also cooperating with seven 
American and six British Societies in the Woman's Chris- 
tian College of Madras. This is the first Christian col- 
lege for women in Madras Presidency. The enrohiient 
numbers 128 students from the Tamil, Telugu, Syrian 
Christian, Malayalam, Kanarese, one from each of the 
following : Bengal, Deccan, Maratha, Ceylon, and Burma. 
Among the last nine young women to receive degrees, 
three were awarded gold medals. This year there are 
seven Baptist students in the college, and three graduates 
are studying in England. All the students are regular 
attendants at the services of the Day Memorial Church, 
Madras. The spirit of Christian service is strong. One 
enterprise of the past year has been the school for the 
servants' children, carried on by the students. They 
also go out in groups for Sunday school work among 
children who otherwise would receive no Christian teach- 
ing. There is urgent need for a Christian training insti- 
tution for graduates, and the Council of the Woman's 
Christian College is asking the cooperating missions to 
undertake this work. The Woman's Society also coop- 
erates in the Vellore Medical School, one of the two 
medical schools for women in the Indian Empire. 

The most important institution in the Telugu Mission 
is the Theological Seminary at Ramapatnam. There are 
fifty-six students here, and in addition to the regular 
theological work for the men, there is a course in physiol- 



South India : The Gospel and Social Uplift 103 

ogy, first aid, hygiene, sanitation, Bible study, education 
of children, sewing, kindergarten, and Sunday school 
work for the wives of the students. These young In- 
dian " theologs," in addition to their courses in theology, 
homiletics, and exegesis, are lined up every afternoon 
for football, baseball, tennis, and various Indian sports, 
so that they will enter upon their work with physical 
vigor and moral stamina that will stand them in good 
stead as preachers and leaders of the churches through- 
out South India. In order to bring the seminary students 
nearer to the center of population and in closer touch 
with the Hfe of the people, it is proposed to move 
the Seminary to Bezwada. Bezwada is the center of 
the densest Christian population in India. It is centrally 
located for our own field and for the field of the Canadian 
Baptist Mission and is the place of all places to build a 
theological seminary. The site selected for the build- 
ings is one mile out of the city on the banks of the 
Kistna, with towering hills in the distance. There is a 
very strong racial sentiment in India at the present time, 
in which the different races of India are most pronounced 
in their racial pride and race solidarity. The Telugus 
are agitating for a separate Telugu Province. The 
Madras Provincial Government has authorized the es- 
tablishment of a Telugu University which will probably 
be located at Bezwada. The Telugu Missions Conference, 
a representative of the missions working in the Telugu 
field, has voted to establish a Union Christian Telugu 
College, and it is likely that this institution will also be 
established here. The Mission has repeatedly urged upon 
the Board the necessity of establishing a station in this 
important Telugu center, and this will undoubtedly be 
done as soon as the necessary men and money are avail- 
able. We have a strong independent Baptist church 



104 Following the Pioneers 

here now with a good stone church building which they 
are outgrowing. The work in Bezwada has been carried 
on under the supervision of Rev. and Mrs. Frank Kurtz, 
of Madira, South India. We visited Bezwada in 1921 and 
at a service in this church we were presented with the 
following address of welcome: 

Rev. and Dear Sir and Madam : 

We, the Baptist Christians attached to the American Bap- 
tist Church, Bezwada, do hereby offer you our hearty welcome, 
and submit our heartful thanks to God for sending you to our 
midst. 

We do understand and appreciate the great sacrifices you have 
made in leaving your native land and friends to come to this 
distant land which is over 11,000 miles off. 

We are utterly strangers to you and so we are very thankful 
to you for your kind visit to this station, though it is not a 
Baptist mission station. 

It will not be out of place for us to mention a little about 
this station. This Bezwada was only a village some forty 
years back with a population of about six or seven thousands, 
though it has its historical and religious importance in the estima- 
tion of our Hindu brethren. Now the railway junction made the 
town grown to forty-five thousands in the last census, and it can 
be fairly called the first internal trade center for Andhra Country. 
The town is daily growing in its importance by drawing people 
from the surrounding districts. We hear that several joint- 
stock concerns are being floated for establishing industries such ■ 
as cement factory, oil factories, and spinning- and weaving-mills, 
etc., the capital cost of these being Rs. 30,000,000, about ten mil- 
lions American dollars; as such it is sure to see the place grown 
very soon. The grant of a separate Government for the Telugu- 
speaking districts is only a matter of time, and Bezwada is talked 
of in all the important places to be the seat of the future 
Government. Under these circumstances Bezwada has a bright 
future to count on. 

Coming to the point of the growth of the Baptist Church 
under the shelter of American Baptist Mission here, we beg to 
say that some eighteen years back the church was only thirty 



South India ; The Gospel and Social Uplift 105 

or forty strong, and after your Board has sanctioned the present 
shelter, which is a substantial building costing about six thou- 
sand rupees in the good old days, has begun to grow and has now 
two hundred and fifty communicants, and the church building is 
insufficient even for ordinary Sunday meetings. The church is 
a self-supporting church under your shelter and under the good 
and priestly guidance of our missionaries, Rev. and Mrs. Kurtz, 
for whose services we are very much indebted. 

We must have to mention here an important point about the 
Baptist Christians scattered in all corners of the town number- 
ing about one thousand or more adults ; these are people who came 
from various Baptist mission fields in the Telugu area, mostly 
from central districts for which your country is pouring in funds 
daily. These require to be taken care of immediately as they 
are unattached to any church, though they made Bezwada as 
their permanent abode owing to the increased labor facilities 
growing daily. .There is no person to guide them to a shelter and 
give them spiritual food. 

As we are too poor we could not take up any such responsibility 
on our shoulders to do anything for them nor for their children. 
We are praying God, that he may do something for us who are 
under your shelter and who are scattered around your shelter 
uncared for, and now we believe that our prayers are heard by 
our Lord who sent you to our midst to see things personally and 
to place them before your Board to make this a mission station 
immediately, to meet the requirements of these helpless and 
destitute Christians scattered in a very important town. 

We do further believe that your visit will surely grant us the 
boons which we are expecting for this place in the shape of a 
Union Christian College and seminary at an early date. 

We humbly and respectfully beg to request you to carry with 
you our humble gratitude to your land of Christian devotees 
and tell them that we. the depressed classes here under, the 
rigid caste system, are very much indebted to the noble-minded 
Christians who are pouring in funds from the remote corners 
of the West for our elevation. 

With regard to the political situation, we want to submit to 
you that God gave us strength to declare ourselves loyal to the 
British Crown, and we hope the present situation will soon 
turn out into a calm atmosphere giving better room for God's 
work. 



106 Following the Pioneers 

In conclusion, we thank you and Mrs. Robbins very much 
for your kindness in hearing our address. 

We pray for your long life and prosperity and happy voyage 
home. We beg to remain, 

Rev. and Dear Sir and Madam, 

Yours most obediently, 

Members of the Baptist Church, Bezwada. 

Bezwada, 27-12-21. 

The difficulties involved in bringing about the uplift of 
the depressed classes of India can hardly be realized with- 
out first-hand knowledge of the conditions of the country. 
There is urgent need of implanting the seeds of elemen- 
tary sanitary knowledge. It has been well remarked that 
the primitive condition of sanitation in rural India 
amounts to virtually no sanitation at all. The value of 
fresh air, pure water, and wholesome food, as well as 
the elements of domestic and personal hygiene, have to 
be brought into the every-day life of the population. 
Some idea of the scope which exists for improvement 
in this direction is afforded by a study of the Indian 
death-rate. It has been calculated that every year no 
fewer than two million Indian babies die, while many 
others survive only to grow up weak and feeble, from 
unhygienic surroundings during infancy. Fifty per cent, 
of all children in Bombay die before reaching the age of 
eighteen months, while in Delhi one infant in every four 
born in 1919 was doomed to die within the first year. 
Very little can be done to remedy this state of afiFairs 
until the support of Indian womanhood can be enlisted. 
Upon the Indian woman depends the success or failure 
of every attempt to introduce hygienic principles into In- 
dian homes and to improve the conditions of childbirth, 
so that there can be no doubt as to the advisability of 



South India : The Gospel and Social Uplift 107 

educating the female population. There is so much igno- 
rance, indifference, and poverty on the part of the In- 
dian women at large, and so much opposition on the part 
of the indigenous midwives who consider their livelihood 
at stake, that the progress which is being made is very 
slow. In the United Provinces, a committee has been 
constituted to discuss the best methods of sustaining 
the Lady Chelmsford League for maternity and child 
welfare, while in Madras a private hospital for children, 
managed entirely by Indian doctors, constitutes a tangible 
sign of growing interest in one of India's greatest health 
problems. In almost every province a Board of Health 
is either constituted or contemplated and there is a marked 
tendency on the part of District Boards to appoint full- 
time health offcers for their localities. The employment 
of Sanitary Inspectors in growing numbers is another 
propaganda, under the control of the Sanitary Commis- 
sioners, in Bombay, Bihar, and other Provinces to bring 
about an increased knowledge of hygiene among the 
leaders of the community. It is hoped that the extension 
of sanitary education of India will proceed at a more rapid 
rate with the transfer of this important branch of nation- 
building to the control of elected ministers of the people. 
Notwithstanding all that the British Government is do- 
ing through its hospitals and dispensaries, it is estimated 
that there are nearly one hundred million people in India 
without adequate medical aid. The Telugu Mission has 
established, in the name of the Great Physician, seven 
hospitals and eleven dispensaries in which one hundred 
and forty thousand patients were treated last year. At 
Nellore, Dr. Lena A. Benjamin writes in regard to the 
Woman's Hospital there : 

We have been cheered by the return to us of Miss Nandamah 
and Miss Thanthamma. who have finished their medical courses 



108 Following the Pioneers 

at Ludhiana. These two Indian Christian young women have 
been of great assistance in the work. They are professionally 
well qualified and have been able to win and hold the confidence 
of the people. The wards have been crowded the whole year, 
and there were several months when, if there had been twice 
the number of beds, they would all have been occupied. 

At Hanumakonda there is the Victory Memorial Hos- 
pital. Here Dr. J. S. Timpany has been reenforced by 
another one of the young people of our mission, Miss 
Minnie Rungiah, who has completed the subassistant's 
course at Ludhiana and has largely taken over the out- 
patients and dispensary work among women. Doctor 
Timpany relates the following incident which illustrates 
the type of experience of the medical missionary practise : 

Our wards have received chiefly patients in serious condition, 
many being victims A village quackery and maltreatment. Sev- 
eral serious acciden' cases have found refuge here. A Brahmin 
boy about fourteen years of age recently fell into an empty 
well about forty-fiv : feet deep, and lay on the rock at the 
bottom piteously ca' .ing for help. The caste people gathered 
about the well, but no one would venture down. Finally, a 
poor Madiga came along and went to the rescue. The boy was 
lifted in the arms of the despised outcaste and put into a basket, 
and pulled up. On reaching the surface he said : " Now I'm going 
to live. Take me to the mission hospital." For a time we were 
not sure that he was going to live, for with his arm and leg 
both broken — compound fractures — loss of blood from a lacerated 
vein, and suffering from shock, his condition was most serious. 
He is now making a good recovery in our ward. The temple well 
has probably been made ceremonially pure again from contact 
with a man who would risk his life in service to a suffering boy. 

At the Etta Watcrbury Hospital, Udayagiri, the work 
has been in charo^e of Mrs. Francis Bai, a little Indian 
woman who har done a remarkable work in the absence 
of Dr. F. W. Stait. Thirty-seven operations were per- 
formed and 8,094 treatments given during the past year. 




WARD IN THE NELLORE HOSPITAL 
Nellore, India 




DOCTOR KIRBY'S ASSISTANT TREATING 

A LEPER 

Jorhat, Assam 



South India : The Gospel and Social Uplift 109 

The acting district medical and sanitary officer, upon com- 
pleting an inspection of the hospital, reported as follows : 

I visited the hospital this morning and found everything very- 
clean and tidy. Mrs. Frances Bai, who is in charge, very kindly 
took me around and showed me everything. I am very pleaded 
with all I have seen. Every success to the institution. 

The hospital at Udayagiri is filling a very great need 
in the backward section of our mission and is held in 
high esteem by the people throughout the community. 
Work on the new Woman's Hospital at Mahbubnagar is 
well under way, and it is hoped that this institution, which 
will mean so much to the women of this Mohammedan 
State, will be completed early in 1923. A changed atti- 
tude on the part of many caste people toward Christianity 
through the medium of the medical work is being noted. 

In the second category of the depressed classes in 
the Madras Presidency come the criminal tribes. India 
has a population of 319 millions, four millions of whom 
are thieves. Due to the caste system, which offers no 
alternative to a young man but to follow the footsteps of 
his father, the son of a thief invariably becomes a thief. 
There are twenty-five of these criminal tribes in the 
Madras Presidency. Twenty thousand criminals are 
registered under the Criminal Tribes Act of 1911. The 
Government's work among the criminal tribes in Madras, 
as elsewhere, has been mainly directed to granting them 
land and establishing settlements which secure their eco- 
nomic freedom by making them independent of the neces- 
sity of earning their living by crime. Their children are 
educated and shown advantages of a civilized life. The 
more reliable of the settlers are given work as wardens; 
and it is the policy of the Government to exclude as far 
as possible the activities of the regular police from the 



110 Following the Pioneers 

settlement, as they are a continual reminder of the old 
criminal life of the tribe. Five thousand of these criminals 
have been restricted by the Government to these settle- 
ments, the largest of which is Kavali and is in charge of 
Rev. S. D. Bawden, a missionary of the American Baptist 
Foreign Mission Society. The Kavali settlement, with 
twenty-five criminals, was started in 1912 by Rev. Edwin 
BuUard, and when Mr. Bawden took charge in 1914, 
the settlement numbered 550. 

The settlements represent varying degrees of criminals 
from the Donga Erukalas, just ordinary sneak-thieves, 
to Donga Dasaries, the more vigorous type of criminal, 
who are the " hold-up " men of India. Upon arriving 
at the settlement every family is given a house in which 
to live. For those who make good at the Kavali settle- 
ment and show a desire to live an honest life, the Govern- 
ment has reserved three thousand acres of irrigable land 
at Allur, eighteen miles away. Each adult transferred 
to Allur is given an acre of land which ultimately becomes 
his own property. He is also loaned money by the 
Government without interest for the purchase of stock 
and necessary equipment with which to work the land. 
The members of the Allur Settlement live on practically 
the same terms as Christian people in the neighboring 
villages, and about one-third of the members have been 
baptized and belong to the Allur Baptist church. 

At Bitragunta, eleven miles from Kavali, there is an- 
other group of criminals who have been sent from Kavali 
but are not quite so trustworthy as the Allur settlers, 
and are therefore kept closer at hand. Here, as at Allur, 
they work in their own fields. They are also employed 
on the roads, repairing and building the highways. The 
Settlement at Bitragunta, to which 425 former members 
of the Kavali Settlement have been sent, is in charge of 



South India: The Gospel and Social Uplift 111 

a Telugu Christian, Mr. David Nathaniel, a trained agri- 
culturist and a graduate of the Ongole High School and 
of Ramapatnam Theological Seminary. Each morning 
a roll-call is held, at which the Bible is read and a brief 
exposition is given by one of the staff; then prayer is 
offered, and all join in repeating the Lord's Prayer. 
Sunday is a holiday from work, but the hours are broken 
up and trouble averted by the requirements that all attend 
Sunday school and the preaching service in the after- 
noon. Many of the criminals who when they first come, 
make objection to listening to Christian truths, later show 
their approval by earnest attention at these services. 

Every boy and girl between six and twelve years of 
age is required to be in school. At each of the three 
settlements a night-school is provided for the young men 
who work during the day, and at Kavali and at Bitra- 
gunta there is a similar school for the young women. 
Firmness, justice, kindness, work, education, and vital 
Christianity are the key-words in the management of the 
criminal settlements. It is the firm conviction of the 
superintendent that reform of these criminal classes is 
impossible aside from the teaching of moral and religious 
truths. He frankly believes that the Christian religion 
offers the only true solution of the problems. 

One of the ways in which the Christians of South 
India are being helped to a realization of a community 
consciousness is in connection with the cooperative credit 
movements. The Government is doing much to encour- 
age the people to establish cooperative stores, cooperative 
societies, and cooperative banks. The Y. M. C. A. is 
also helping to train the people along these lines, and 
thus the Christians are being taught lessons of thrift 
and economy and at the same time are getting a training 
in business methods. Rev. W. J. Longley speaks of the 



112 Following the Pioneers 

newly organized society at Mahbubnagar as a means 
for the Christians to get away from '' the ruinous 
rates of interest charged by the bazaar money-lenders." 
The work is being advanced very greatly by the assis- 
tance of the Christian Central Bank in Madras. As 
schools of integrity and thrift, these societies, if care- 
fully supervised, promise much for the future. The Lon- 
don Mission at Anantipur District has set a man apart 
to look after this economic work for the Christians in 
that district. 

While all our institutional work is permeated with evan- 
gelistic fervor and our schools, hospitals, and philan- 
thropic institutions are evangelistic agencies of major 
importance, in all of the eighteen stations there are men 
and women who devote their entire time to direct and 
continuous teaching and preaching in their endeavor to 
win men and women to Jesus Christ. 

The Telugu missionaries enjoy above everything else 
the privilege of touring their districts and preaching the 
gospel directly to the people, in the homes in Christian 
and non-Christian villages. Rev. A. M. Boggs, from the 
difficult field of Mahbubnagar, says the opposition to the 
gospel in his field is seemingly almost insurmountable, 
and " I am relieving myself of all administrative duties 
as much as possible so as to give undivided attention to 
actual touring among the villages and preaching." Most 
of the missionaries report that in this period of political, 
intellectual, and social unrest, the people are giving the 
gospel a more attentive hearing than ever before. The 
automobile is enabling the missionary to cover his field 
more rapidly than in former days. Dr. J. A. Curtis, Rev. 
W. S. Davis, Dr. W. A. Stanton, and Rev. L. C Smith 
all testify to the multiplying power of the automobile in 
doing evangelistic work. Under date of March 30, 1922, 







Winpk. 



STAFF OF UNION MEDICAL COLLEGE 
Vellore, India 




GIRLS' TRAINING-SCHOOL GRADUATES 
Nowgong, Assam 



South India: The Gospel and Social Uplift 113 

Mr. Smith, who is principal of the Coles Akerman Memo- 
rial High School at Nellore, writes : 

We have organized two new churches on the Nellore field since 
you were here December 23. We were out to a village last night 
twelve miles from Nellore. A week ago five men from that 
village came to our bungalow and begged us to come, as there 
were nine men there who were anxious to become Christians. 
We went and held a great meeting, and thirteen openly con- 
fessed Christ. A few more visits will doubtless result in estab- 
lishing another church, as it seemed that the whole village was 
on the verge of coming. This is but an example of what we are 
expecting all over this field. 

The responsibility connected with such a movement is 
enough for one man, but in addition to this Mr. Smith 
has charge of the high-school work, preaches every Sun- 
day night in English to a congregation including judges, 
lawyers, and students, is supervising the construction of 
a new building for the Bible Training School and an 
addition to the hospital, serves on numerous committees, 
the Municipal Council of Nellore, the District Educational 
Council, and is honorary visitor to the Government Agri- 
cultural College. 

Rev. Wheeler Boggess, who returned to South India 
at the special invitation of the Telugu Convention to give 
his entire time to evangelism, reports his first complete 
year as general evangelist. He has been holding evangel- 
istic meetings among non-Christians, speaking at conven- 
tions, summer schools, and harvest festivals, touring with 
missionaries on their fields, and carrying the gospel to 
all classes of the people. Enthusiastic reports come from 
all over the mission as to the great value of the work done. 
Through his zeal and untiring efiforts a great impetus 
has been given to evangelistic work throughout the Mis- 
sion, and we may expect to see larger results year by 



114 Following the Pioneers 

year. Fourteen stations were visited twice and four 
stations three times. Eleven associations and one con- 
vention were attended. Summer schools were conducted 
in eleven different stations and ten different mission fields 
toured from four to fifteen days each. Four hundred 
and sixty sermons or addresses were given in Telugu. 
For six months of the year Rev. D. Arogiam, a Telugu 
preacher, was associated with Mr. Boggess as fellow 
evangelist and proved himself a most efficient worker. 

The evangelistic forward movement of the mission 
which was inaugurated four years ago, has issued in a 
number of campaigns which have had a tremendous in- 
fluence on the Christian and the non-Christian com- 
munity. The Christian community has come to a grow- 
ing sense of its responsibility for the evangelization of 
the Telugu people. In the past two years 6,851 have 
been baptized on confession of their faith in Jesus. In 
some cases it has been reported that hundreds more might 
be baptized and admitted into church fellowship if there 
were pastors to shepherd them. 

Rev. E. E. Silliman spent 121 days in 1921 on tour, 
visiting and holding services in every one of the 160 
villages in the Narsaravupet field where there are Chris- 
tians. Rev. John Dussman in his annual report says : 

One hundred and thirty days were given to touring. Then 
there were also visits to near-by villages in the station. It was 
our privilege to receive many converts by baptism into the church 
during the year. One church added sixty-one to its number, 
another eighteen, another forty-six, and so on until a total of 
240 were received for baptism. This is the largest number bap- 
tized in one year for over forty years. Two new churches wfere 
organized. 

On our visit to our South India stations we reached 
Ongole from Calcutta at three o'clock in the morning of 



South India: The Gospel and Social Uplift 115 

December 19 and were met at the station by ten mis- 
sionaries and a company of Telugu Christians with a 
band. After a few hours' sleep we began the inspection 
of the work in this wonderful mission station where they 
have so signally been blessed of God in the past forty 
years. In the first place we went through the Clough 
Memorial Hospital, just reaching completion. This is 
the largest hospital in the South India Mission, and will 
minister to a population of 330,000. We listened to the 
Bible classes in the boys' school and then visited the 
girls' school, and the Sudra boarding-school. Of this 
school Miss Ursula Dresser says : 

If you knew of the prayers and years of faithful work on 
the part of our touring missionaries that this Sudra Boarding 
School represents, you would understand, I know, why we are so 
eager for its future growth. There are now eight little Sudra 
girls in this department, but this school has such possibilities of 
strengthening the work among the caste people that we look upon 
it with faith that at last these caste people are to accept Chris- 
tianity in larger numbers than ever before. 

From this school we went to the Industrial School for 
girls under Miss Kate W. Failing's management, and 
then to the Industrial School for boys, conducted by Miss 
Amelia Dessa. There is a night-school for boys that has 
an enrolment of eighty young men, all of whom are try- 
ing hard to secure an education under the most discour- 
aging circumstances. 

The Ongole field has 193 village schools, 102 Sunday 
schools, and a church-membership of 12,225. At the time 
when the first election in India took place, 1921, a former 
member of the Ongole church, Mr. A .T. Palmer, now 
Head Master of the Cokanada High School of the Cana- 
dian Baptists, was elected to the Madras Legislative 
Council. Mr. G. Vanderman, the Head Master of the 



116 Following the Pioneers 

Ongole High School, is also a member of the legislative 
assembly, so that these two Baptist Telugu laymen are 
now in positions of responsibility in the Madras Presi- 
dency with its 43,000,000 people. One afternoon the 
Christians of Ongole gave a garden-party in honor of 
these two men, and prominent officials of the city and dis- 
trict, together with many leaders from the Hindu and 
Mohammedan communities, were present. Rev. J. M. 
Baker, our missionary at Ongole, was chairman of the 
meeting, and many look upon this occasion as giving 
birth to a new day of promise for the people among 
whom our missionaries have worked with such enthusiasm 
for nearly half a century. 

We spent Christmas Day with our missionaries at 
Madras, being the guests of Dr. and Mrs. W. L. Fer- 
guson. I preached Sunday morning at eight o'clock to 
our English-speaking Baptists and again at ten o'clock 
to the Telugu church, four hundred people crowding the 
building. At the conclusion of the service, twenty-seven 
Telugu young men and women were baptized and re- 
ceived into the church. The Telugu pastor of this church 
is a graduate of Madras Christian College, a man of out- 
standing ability and marked qualities of leadership. The 
Christmas offering of this congregation was Rs, 104, 
representing 208 days' wages. In the evening I preached 
in the Day Memorial Church. This church is composed 
of English-speaking Indians, nearly all of them college 
graduates or college students. There arc more than 
4,000 college students in the city of Madras, and Doctor 
and Mrs. Ferguson have opened their home most gener- 
ously to these young men. A devoted Baptist layman 
and his wife have recently given $15,000 for the erection 
of a student hostel. This will enable us to minister in a 
larger way to the student life of the city. 



South India: The Gospel and Social Uplift 117 

There is no subject of more consequence to Christianity 
in India than that of the independence of the Indian 
church. In these days of intense nationaHsm there is a 
growing desire on the part of the Indian Christians to 
manage their own affairs independent of the missionary. 
The question of the transfer of responsibihty from the 
Mission to the church is one of the major problems of 
foreign missionary administration. In this matter the 
South India Mission have taken commendable action. At 
the Mission Conference in 1918, when the Foreign Secre- 
tary was in India, the Telugu Mission voted to transfer 
all the work of the Kandukur field to the Home Mission 
Society of the Telugu Baptist churches. The Telugu 
churches have accepted this responsibility with deep seri- 
ousness, and are carrying on the work in this field in a 
most acceptable way. This movement toward self-gov- 
ernment has justified itself, and undoubtedly another field 
will, in the near future, be transferred to the Conven- 
tion. The Secretary of the Telugu Home Mission So- 
ciety, an Indian, reports as follows in regard to Kan- 
dukur : 

It is a joy to know how the churches have taken up this work. 
There is a universal feeling of ownership on the heart of every 
Telugu Baptist Christian — a new responsibihty, a new love. They 
have become unselfish and their vision is broadened since they 
have got to be beyond their own church interests. Some churches 
have regular days for praying and talking about this work. They 
have invented several methods of raising funds for this work. 
Some, for example, have pledged a certain percentage of their 
monthly income, and others a certain amount for every member 
of the church. Women's Societies and Christian Endeavor So- 
cieties have done the same. A letter has come from Mrs. John 
Rangiah, Natal, Africa, saying that their Women's Society wants 
to support a preacher or two in Kandukur field. The Bapatla 
Senior Christian Endeavor Society for training-school students is 
regularly contributing not less than Rs. 8 per month except dur- 



118 Following the Pioneers 

ing vacation months. The bachelor students of the Ramapatnam 
Seminary have set up what they call a " Kandukur box " into 
which every student puts a little rice before he cooks his food. 
The Nalgonda church has appointed, for the whole or a part of 
the year, a man to go about that mission field to speak on behalf 
of the Kandukur work. 

The Christians of Kandukur field itself are feeling the respon- 
sibility of the work more than others. There are many who are 
doing voluntary service. They go about witnessing for Christ, 
teach Sunday schools, and help in various other ways. There are 
not less than twenty such voluntary workers. Many of them 
come to the monthly meetings at their own expense. 

The non-Christian people of Kandukur have cooperated much 
in the work. If it is not due to faith in the religion of Jesus 
Christ, at least it is due to patriotism. They feel glad that their 
Christian friends are having self-government, although it is of 
the religious form. It is impossible to describe what the Hindus 
have been doing for Kandukur Christians. When the monthly 
meetings are held in the villages, the Hindus of the village gladly 
offer their help. In several villages where the meetings were held, 
the headman of the village took special interest in the Christians 
and helped them. 

The comprehensive scope of the work of the Telugu 
Mission, its solid character, and the influence of the in- 
stitutions organized in the mission, together with the 
growing independence and initiative of the South India 
churches and the Telugu Baptist Convention, make us 
most hopeful of the future of this work. The kingdom 
of God is advancing in the Lone Star Mission. 



VI 



BENGAL- ORISSA: THE VERDUN 
OF HINDUISM 



The prudent policy for an army hard pressed is to shorten its 
lines. It may be assumed that the Church is hard pressed both in 
men and in material ; its wisdom, therefore, would appear to lie 
in a bold shortening of the lines. . . But the Church with one 
voice has rejected this logic. . . The unpardonable sin for a modern 
man is to despair of the human family, or to demand a safety for 
himself or his people which is not offered to all. We are not 
saved, it has been well said, except in a saved race. The Church, 
believing, as it must do, that in its gospel there is a sure spiritual 
foundation for mankind, cannot limit its vision or its service. — 
The London Times. 




MEALTIME AT SINCLAIR ORPHANAGE 
Balasore, Bengal-Orissa 



BENGAL- ORISSA: THE VERDUN 
OF HINDUISM 



India is the most difficult mission field in the world, and 
Bengal is the most difficult field in India. It has been 
well called the Verdun of Hinduism. Baptists in Bengal- 
Orissa hold one of the most difficult and at the same 
time one of the most important sectors in the great 
foreign-mission battle-line of the church of the living God 
in the non-Christian world. As Bengal thinks today, 
India thinks tomorrow. Bengal is the first province in 
intellectual attainment in India. The poet Tagore and 
many of the Indian nationalistic leaders are natives of 
Bengal. Here has been the home of the Szvaraj move- 
ment which is now sweeping India. The people of Bengal 
have had until the present, at least, more national pride 
than any other province, and hence they have clung most 
stubbornly to Hinduism, their national religion. The 
Bengali is probably the most conceited Indian. His edu- 
cation, social position, and Aryan blood all combine to 
make him feel superior and make him most difficult to 
reach with the gospel message. When the day comes 
that Bengal shall have been won for Christ, the conquest 
of India will then be at hand. 

American missionaries have been working in Bengal 
and the southern part of Bihar-Orissa since 1836 when 
Rev. and Mrs. Jeremiah Phillips and Rev. and Mrs. Eli 
Noyes, who sailed from Boston on September 22. 1835, 
went out as the first missionaries of the Free Will Bap- 
tist Foreign Mission Society which had been organized 

121 



122 Following the Pioneers 

two years previous. Arriving upon the field they co- 
operated with the Enghsh Baptists, already located at 
Cuttack, in establishing the work. At the time Orissa, 
now a division of the Bihar-Orissa Province, was sepa- 
rate, and as work overlapped the two Provinces, the Mis- 
sion was called Bengal-Orissa. With the union of the 
Baptists and Free Will Baptists the Mission was trans- 
ferred to the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society 
in 1911. 

The Bengal-Orissa Mission occupies the Balasore Dis- 
trict of the Bihar-Orissa Province and the Midnapore Dis- 
trict of the Bengal Province. We work among three 
races, namely, Bengalis, Oriyas, and Santals. The San- 
tals, a hardy, aboriginal tribe, are animists and are espe- 
cially open-minded toward Christianity. In Balasore dis- 
trict, we are responsible for an area of 1,000 square miles, 
nearly as large as the State of Rhode Island, with a 
population of 1,500,000, which is greater than that of 
Connecticut. The literacy in this district is very low, 
only 68,468 males and 2,913 females out of a million 
people being able to read and write. 

In this field, for which the American Baptist Foreign 
Mission Society is almost wholly responsible, we have 
four missionary families, five single women, and one 
single man. In the Midnapore District of the Bengal 
Province, we are responsible for a total population of 
2,638,633, equal to the State of Wisconsin. We have 
for this field five missionary families and three single 
women. If either Rev. J. A. Howard at Contai or Rev. 
H. E. Long at Midnapore were to visit three villages a 
day in their fields continuously for three hundred and 
sixty-five days out of each year, one generation would 
have passed away before they could get around to visit 
all the villages in their respective fields. 



Bengal-Orissa: The Verdun of Hinduism 123 

The pioneer in this mission was Dr. Jeremiah PhilHps. 
The family of Doctor PhiUips has given eighteen mem- 
bers to mission work in India, making a united service 
of two hundred and twenty years. The first permanent 
station was in the old city of Balasore, a city of 21,000 
population, where we have today a large and most suc- 
cessful work. We have here a boys' high school with 
one hundred and forty-one boys. The head master of 
the school is a product of our educational system in this 
field. On graduating from this high school, he received 
his college education and a graduate course in teaching at 
the Government College through money loaned to him 
by the Mission. He has paid this all back in full with in- 
terest, and is today one of the most enthusiastic workers 
in the school and in the church. Another graduate of 
this school has been for many years a prominent lawyer 
at Balasore, who in February gave up a good practise 
and a large income to accept appointment as the first In- 
dian Christian to be placed in full charge of a mission 
station. He is now in charge of the work at Santipore 
and has already been greatly blessed in winning a number 
of Hindus to Christianity. 

At Balasore the Woman's Society has a Widows' Home, 
organized into an industrial school which carries on an 
extensive work in lace-making. The Sinclair Orphanage 
at Balasore, maintained by the missionaries of the Wo- 
man's American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, pro- 
vides a home for orphan children and takes in children 
of poor stumbling Christian parents for whom there 
would otherwise be no future. Some eighty girls, rang- 
ing in age from babyhood to fifteen years are provided 
with a good home and taught sewing, cooking, and house- 
keeping as well as given the usual classroom instruction. 
There is also a girls' school with an enrolment of ninety- 



124 Following the Pioneers 

five, the only school in this city of twenty thousand 
where a girl can receive an education above the fourth 
standard. About two hundred married women in zenanas 
were visited last year by missionaries of the Woman's 
Society. 

One of the primary aims of the missionary enterprise, 
along with the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ 
and the evangelization of the inhabitants, is the develop- 
ment of a higher and nobler individual and community 
life. This can best be brought about by showing the 
people how better to provide for their economic and 
spiritual needs. One of the purposes of our mission 
work is to enable these untrained, uneducated people with 
whom we come in contact to take their proper place as 
citizens of the world, and to enable them to develop 
higher ideals and a better conception of home and com- 
munity life. For this reason the work of such schools as 
the Boys' Industrial School at Balasore is coming today 
to play an important part in the development of the mis- 
sionary program throughout the world. This school at 
Balasore is one of the largest and best-equipped indus- 
trial institutions anywhere in Bihar and Orissa. The 
school operates a factory where every boy receives pay 
for his work according to its merits. The products of 
the school are sold, and by this arrangement the boys 
are partly able to finance their education, and funds for 
the maintenance and development of the school are pro- 
vided. One year the sale of products amounted to nearly 
$10,000. Boys from our high schools who have never 
handled a tool in their lives, and boys who have failed to 
make good in their studies, come to this school. Here 
men, who in their home environments could not possibly 
earn more than from two to three dollars a month, be- 
come carpenters, cabinet-makers, blacksmiths, iron-fitters, 



Bengal-Orissa: The Verdun of Hinduism 125 

motor mechanics and drivers and electrical fitters, at many- 
times that salary, and in addition are taught to become 
useful and productive members of society. The school 
recently sent one of its students to the Rakha Copper 
Mines where he qualified as an electrical fitter, and after 
a month's work the superintendent of the mines wrote 
asking for eleven more such students. There is a decided 
Christian spirit in the school, and a number are con- 
tinually breaking from Hinduism and accepting Christ. 
The superintendent writes that the most urgent need 
in the school now is a trained Indian Christian worker 
to serve as chaplain, Bible teacher, and personal worker 
among the boys of the school. The Baptist church at 
Balasore has a membership of two hundred and fifty and, 
in addition to supporting its own pastor, supports an 
Indian preacher as an evangelist in the district. The 
Christian Endeavor Society supports another evangelist. 
There are ten organized churches in the district with 
a total membership of two thousand. 

In the Bengal part of the field we have five stations: 
IMidnapore, Kharagpur, Bhimpore, Contai, and Jam- 
shedpur. Midnapore is a city of 43,000. It is the third 
largest city in Bengal-Orissa. It is the headquarters of 
the Midnapore District, and an important commercial 
center with a Government college of eight hundred stu- 
dents. The Indian National Y. M. C. A. has a fine build- 
ing and has located a secretary at this important center. 
Here is our Bible school, where practically every evan- 
gelist and pastor in the mission has been trained. We 
have a self-supporting church, and in addition are doing 
work for the men of the Government college. Midnapore 
is one of the Nationalistic centers of India. The Swa- 
dashji movement began here. Midnapore is a center of 
Hinduism. There are more than two hundred Hindu 



126 Following the Pioneers 

temples and shrines in the city. There is a large temple 
here to the Goddess Kali. Kali, formerly the patron god- 
dess, represented by a figure of horrible aspect, is every- 
where worshiped in Bengal. Kali-ma, Mother Kali, as 
she is often affectionately called, is one aspect of the 
Goddess Durga, the wife of Siva. She is represented 
as a four-armed being in one of whose hands is a sword 
and in another a human head. Around her head is a 
necklace of human skulls. Her bloody tongue is thrust 
well out, and she stands with one foot on her prostrate 
husband. This remarkable appearance came about in the 
following way. One time the earth was infested with 
demons, and Kali set out to destroy them. She slaugh- 
tered them in multitudes, but the continual shedding of 
blood finally unbalanced her mind, and she set about 
slaying people as well. Siva feared that she would soon 
destroy the whole human race, but she was so entirely 
mad that no command or threats even from him would 
stop her wild career. Finally Siva threw himself down 
in her path, but she did not see him until she had stepped 
on him. When she saw that she had stepped on her 
husband she thrust out her tongue in shocked surprise and 
stopped at once. Thus the human race was saved from 
annihilation. 

In this center of Hinduism our missionaries have won 
many to Christianity. Among these is Chundra Lela, 
who shares with Pandita Ramabai the distinction of be- 
ing the best-known Christian woman of India. Chundra 
Lela was the daughter of a wealthy Brahmin *n the moun- 
tainous country of Nepal. At the age of seven she 
was married in great pomp to the only son of a Brahmin 
family. Three years later her husband died and Chundra 
Lela was that most despised of all creatures, a Hindu 
child widow. She remained in her own father's house 



Bengal-Orissa : The Verdun of Hinduism 127 

until she was thirteen. Her father, a learned man, taught 
her to read her own language and also to read Sanskrit, 
the mother of all Indian languages. At this time she 
went with her father on a pilgrimage to Jagannath, a 
sacred shrine in Orissa. There her father died, and she 
returned with fellow pilgrims to Nepal. In her Hindu 
sacred books, she learned of the promise of the pardon by 
visiting and worshiping at the four great shrines situated 
at the four cardinal points of India, for the sin, which 
according to Hinduism had caused her widowhood. With 
two maid servants, she stole away one night in search of 
God. She visited first the temple of Jagannath, near 
Balasore, erected in honor of Jagannath, the lord of the 
earth. This is one of the ugliest gods in the Hindu 
pantheon. A second of the great shrines of India that 
she visited is Ramanath on a small island not far from 
Madras. Here the God Ram with the help of an army 
of monkeys bridged the strait between India and Ceylon 
to rescue the beautiful wife Sita. The third famous 
shrine to which she made pilgrimage is the temple Dwa- 
raknath in the extreme west of India, the scene of the 
actions of Krishna, the vilest god of Hinduism. Millions 
of pilgrims visit this place, for it is written in the Holy 
Rook of Hinduism, " Whoever visits that holy shrine, 
the place where Krishna pursued his sports, is liberated 
from all sins." The last of the four great shrines, Bad- 
rinath, is in the extreme north of India, erected high up 
amid the snows of the Himalayas, in honor of Vishnu. 
With bare feet cut and bleeding, Chundra Lela with her 
companions climbed this mountain of snow and ice in 
search of forgiveness and peace. Seven years had passed 
in this pilgrimage in search of God, and not yet had 
she found him. Continuing her pilgrimages she later 
became a priestess of one of the Indian rajas or native 



128 Following the Pioneers 

princes, who had a residence near Midnapore. She re- 
mained here seven years, held in holy reverence by all, 
but yet she had not found the rest and peace for which 
her soul craved. She decided on a last resort, and deter- 
mined to spend three years in bodily torture, subject- 
ing herself to every cruelty enjoined in the sacred books 
of Hinduism. The story of her sufferings and tortures 
during these three years is most pitiable. At the end she 
said, " I have done and suffered all that could be required 
of mortals by God or man, and yet without avail." Re- 
turning to Midnapore, she was found one day by our 
missionary, who told her of the gospel of divine love 
and forgiveness. With her great intelligence and her 
suffering, searching heart, she accepted the gospel at once, 
and a few weeks later was baptized by Doctor Phillips. 
From that day she became a wonderful Christian worker 
and traveled far and wide, not only in Bengal-Orissa, 
but in distant provinces, telling everywhere the story of 
Jesus and God's love. At the great mela, or Hindu 
feast, at Allahabad, where thousands come every year, she 
spent a month preaching. And so all over India and 
Assam, where she formerly traveled as a Hindu priestess, 
she now traveled preaching Jesus. In far-away Nepal 
where no missionary had ever gone, where twenty-seven 
years before she had started on her wearisome search, 
she preached to her own family and won her own brother 
to Christ. 

One day in Midnapore, after the Mission Conference, 
our missionaries told her they were going to build her 
a house where she could live her last days in peace and 
comfort. " If you will build me a house," she said, " build 
it on the roadside so that when I am too old to walk, I 
may crawl up to the door and preach to the people as they 
go by on their pilgrimages to Jagannath." Here in a 




HINDU GODDESS KALI 
Midnapore, Bengal-Orissa 



Bengal-Orissa: The Verdun of Hinduism 129 

house by the side of the road she spent her last days, 
loved and honored by all who knew her, a blessing to all 
who passed her door. 

Khanto Bela Rai, one of the Jubilee guests of the 
Woman's Board in America in 1921, comes from Midna- 
pore. Her father, one of the most devoted spiritual 
men who ever lived, because of his exceptional ability 
received many tempting offers to go elsewhere, but his 
fine sense of loyalty kept him to the last as a preacher 
among his own people. His father was a Government 
official, a Brahmin. While a student in the high school 
he secured a Gospel from one of our preachers and 
was converted to Christianity. He was a man of deep 
spiritual power, a preacher of surpassing ability, and was 
loved and honored by men of all creeds and castes in 
Midnapore. 

An interesting story is told of a young Scotchman who 
came to India to enter the Government service. He was 
the product of a devout, Christian home and before 
him was a promising future. His first location was 
Midnapore, Bengal. Regularly he attended the Bengali 
church services, and he was very friendly with the mis- 
sionaries. While he was calling at the mission bunga- 
low one evening, he said to the missionary : " Well, I 
have gone and done it. They say that a man cannot 
live in India and keep his health without taking a peg 
of whisky each day, so I've taken my first one today." 
Miss L. C. Coombs, a missionary of thirty years' ex- 
perience, to whom he was talking, knew how this news 
would cut the hearts of his Christian parents, and what 
a blow it was to their hopes. She also knew what it 
meant to him — it was the first step in the wrong direction. 
Her feeling in the matter was so intense that her plea 
ended with tears. 



130 Following the Pioneers 

He went to his bungalow. Time passed by. His worth 
was recognized, and he was made private secretary to 
the Governor of Bengal. With his advance in position 
came an enlarging influence. His name was linked with 
all kinds of good enterprises in the uplift of India whether 
Christian or non-Christian. 

In 1919, Miss Coombs was to speak at a public meet- 
ing in Darjeeling. It happened that this same Scotchman 
was presiding at this occasion. In introducing Miss 
Coombs, he went back to the time he was magistrate 
at Midnapore and told this incident. He said, '' I went 
home that night and said to myself, ' If a peg of whiskey 
will cause any woman tears, even if I die in India, I 
shall never touch another drop of it, and I have not 
from that day to this.' " Just at a wavering moment in 
his career, the steadying influence of a Christian mission- 
ary helped him and saved him to a life of enlarging in- 
fluence and service. 

Kharagpur, where twenty-five years ago our mission- 
aries hunted the bears and tigers in the jungle, is today 
a great railroad center, housing the largest railway shops 
in India. We have here a church for English-speaking 
people, which although small, exerts a powerful moral 
and spiritual influence on the city, and ministers to an 
important part of the population. An Indian church has 
grown up here which is entirely self-supporting, and 
through the gift of Dr. J. T. Ward, formerly a teacher 
at Hillsdale College, Michigan, we have recently erected 
the Ward Memorial Church building. The Indian pastor 
of this church reports having baptized Hindu converts 
every month during the past year. 

Contai is the subdivisional headquarters of one of the 
most populous centers of all India, having nearly nine 
hundred per square mile. Contai is an important student 



Bengal-Orissa: The Verdun of Hinduism 131 

center and is said to have more college graduates than 
any place of its size in India. 

Bhimpore, the center of our work for 200,000 Santals, 
is one of the most important Bengal-Orissa stations. 
Work was begun here in 1873 by Dr. and Mrs. J. L. 
Phillips and Miss Julia Phillips, who made their first 
home with the natives in a rude mud-and-thatched house. 
The Government has turned over to the Baptists the 
entire management of the Santals' education, so that the 
opportunities here are unique. We have in the village 
schools of this field an enrolment of nearly two thousand 
boys and girls. 

The illiteracy of the people greatly retards the progress 
of the Christianity in Bengal. The influence of Christian- 
ity on education is strikingly illustrated in Bihar and 
Orissa where the proportion of Indian Christians who 
are literate is sixty-seven per thousand as compared with 
five per thousand among their animistic neighbors. For 
the first time in many years we have two families here, 
and we hope to develop the Bhimpore school into a 
high school for boys and girls and to press the evan- 
gelistic work among the responsive Santals. We have 
faith to believe that great victories are to be won in the 
Bhimpore field. 

The last station to be organized in the Bengal-Orissa 
Mission is Jamshedpur, one of the most interesting cities 
in all India. In 1908, Jamshedpur was a barren desert 
with a few mud huts. Today it has a population of one 
hundred thousand and is one of the most rriodern and 
up-to-date cities in the Indian Empire. It is a story of 
romance, courage, and vigor. In 1902, Mr. Jamsheedji 
Tata, a leading member of the Parsee community of Bom- 
bay, having conceived the idea of starting the steel indus- 
try, visited the United States. Mr. Tata met a mining 



132 Following the Pioneers 

engineer in New York, who was impressed with the won- 
derful personaHty of Mr. Tata and with his scheme, 
though it seemed most visionary. This engineer, Mr. 
Perin, finally agreed to send a party of American prospec- 
tors to India. Long was the search and many the hard- 
ships undergone when, in an area hitherto almost unknown 
and unexplored, deposits of coal and iron were discovered. 
Mr. Jamsheedji Tata died before he could see the fulfil- 
ment of his dreams, but his son, Sir Dorab Tata, proved 
worthy of his father, and when he failed to find finan- 
cial support in London for this enterprise of such im- 
portance to the Indian Empire, he appealed to his In- 
dian fellow countryment for the capital needed. The 
response was immediate, and the Tata Iron and Steel 
Company was launched, the greatest industrial concern in 
India. Today, just fourteen years after the first stake 
was driven in the ground, Jamshedpur with its one 
hundred thousand inhabitants, its beautiful roads, parks, 
school buildings, hospitals, and other institutions for the 
welfare of its people, is the Pittsburgh of India. There 
are forty-four thousand people on the pay-roll of the 
company, and its subsidiary branches, also located here, 
employ large numbers of men. Several hundred Amer- 
icans are employed at the plant, the chief engineer and 
manager being Americans. The company is turning 
out daily nine hundred tons of pig iron and four hun- 
dred tons of rails. During the war it was rails produced 
at Jamshedpur that made possible the victorious cam- 
paigns in Syria and Mesopotamia. When the war was 
over. Lord Chelmsford, the \^iceroy, visited Jamshedpur 
to express the gratitude of the government. " I can 
hardly imagine," he said, " what we would have done if 
the Tata Company had not been able to give us steel rails 
which provided not only Mesopotamia but Egypt, Pales- 




TATA IRON WORKS FROM A DISTANCE 
Jamshedpur, Bengal-rOrissa 




Rev. O. L. SWANSON PREACHING FROM 
A MOTOR-CAR 

Golaghat, Assam 



Bengal-Orissa : The Verdun of Hinduism 133 

tine, and East Africa.'' With all its wealth and modern 
improvements Jamshedpur is a place of the rankest mate- 
rialism. Many young men from our Christian communi- 
ties have been attracted here by big wages. Our mis- 
sionaries, following these young men, felt the appeal also 
of their fellow Americans in this far-away city, and in 
1919 we opened a mission station. We have built a com- 
modious bungalow for the missionaries. Rev. and Mrs. 
Zo Browne, with a large room on the first floor where 
will be held Sunday evening services for these Americans. 
There is an Episcopal Church and a Roman Catholic 
Church in the city, but as the Episcopal Bishop said, the 
Baptist Foreign Mission Society is especially needed in 
Jamshedpur for the Indian work. 

We already have here a strong Indian church. The 
pastor, Rev. Amrit Babu, has had a most difficult ex- 
perience and one that has fully tested his faith during 
his first three years at Jamshedpur. In this crowded 
city it was impossible to find a house. Quite often he 
spent the night in the bazaar. One by one he searched 
out the Christians and won their affection. For about 
two years they worshiped in each other's homes and then 
for some months in a tent. 

The following interesting story of one of these converts 
was written in Bengali by the Indian pastor and translated 
into English by his son : 

In 1918 when I first came to Jamshedpur, then the condition 
of the Christian community was too bad. In plain terms, their 
condition was so bad that when I used to pray with them, they 
knelt with me in order to pray, but finishing my prayer, I found 
them gone. Now it is very happy thing that the church has 
been organized, and I have found some hundred members con- 
sisting of men, women, and children for Christ the Saviour. But 
sorry to say we have no church building in which to worship our 
God. Now we gather together in the house of a Christian man 



134 Following the Pioneers 

who was a half-caste over just two and half years ago. But 
now he has turned his mind to God and accepted Christ as his 
Saviour miraculously. One day his wife was very sick, she had 
very little chance of living. At that time her husband, that man, 
sent for me. I went there and found him intoxicated and mourn- 
ful about his wife. I sat up two nights near her bedside, and 
began to pray ceaselessly. She recovered in a few days. I began 
to work for God to gain that man. I gave him several books 
and advised him to read Scripture, and thus within a few days 
he turned from sin, and now he is a good Christian. Now I 
am very glad, and also there is joy in heaven because God has 
said, " There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one 
sinner that repenteth." 

The church now numbers seventy-five men and twenty- 
five women. Only a few of the men have as yet brought 
their families to Jamshedpur. It is interesting to find 
BengaH, Telugu, and Oriyan Christians all worshiping 
together. Money has been appropriated for the church 
building and a pastor's house, and Baptists are now in a 
position to do a helpful work in this wonderful city. 

Mission work in Bengal-Orissa is greatly handicapped 
by the institution of caste which is intimately bound up 
with the very structure of Hindu society. In no other 
section of the Indian Empire is the system more pro- 
nounced than in Bengal, where it holds everything in its 
iron grip and presents an obstacle almost insuperable to 
modern ideas and the acceptance of Christianity on the 
part of the people. " The regeneration of the Indian 
people, to my mind," says the great poet-philosopher 
Rabindranath Tagore, 

directly and perhaps solely depends upon the removal of this 
condition of caste. When I realize the hypnotic hold this gigantic 
system of cold-blooded repression has taken on the minds of our 
people, whose social body it has so completely entwined in its 
endless evils that the free expression of manhood, even under 
the direct necessity, has become almost an impossibility, the only 



Bengal-Orissa: The Verdun of Hinduism 135 

remedy that suggests itself to me is to educate them out of their 
trance. . . Must we not have that great vision of humanity which 
will impel us to shake ofif the fetters that shackle our individual 
life, before we begin to dream of national freedom? 

The Christians of the Bengal-Orissa field have a Home 
Mission Society, and the churches are organized into a 
" Yearly ]^Ieeting " of the Bengal-Orissa Baptist Con- 
vention. The conduct of the evangelistic work of the 
mission has been transferred to the evangelistic Board 
of this Convention. This Board is composed of nine 
members, six of whom are Indians. There is an in- 
creasing interest in self-support and independence which 
is prophetic of larger results in this most interesting and 
most difficult field in which Northern Baptists are work- 
ing. At the last meeting of the Convention which was 
held at Bhimpore, Rev. William Carey, the great-grand- 
son of the foimder of modern missions, was present. 

Dr. H. R. Murphy, our veteran missionary of the 
Bengal-Orissa Mission, concluded his paper to the Annual 
Conference with these words : 

For a century we have been trying to arouse India, a somnolent 
giant. We had almost despaired of even quieting his snore but 
behold, today that giant is sitting up. Caste, the unquestioned 
social order of India for a thousand years, while still in the 
field, is denounced or condoned by the masses. The priests are 
frantic in the realization of their waning power. We of only 
twfenty years of service have witnessed miracles. The impos- 
sible has come to pass. As a result of their contact with the 
missionary and his life in India, unnumbered thousands enumerated 
as Hindus possess a new outlook on life. They have turned away 
from degrading customs and are seeking for more light from 
Christianity. The little leaven is in very fact leavening the whole 
lump. Bengal is the Verdun of Hinduism. Leave it in our rear 
untaken and the work of all India is in jeopardy. We must take 
Bengal at all costs. 



VII 

ASSAM: THE FUTURE BRIGHT 
WITH HOPE 



When the present interest in missionary work has been replaced 
by a deep sense of imperial responsibility, and a passionate en- 
thusiasm to take up the Christ-Man's burden, the mere question 
of finance will sink into insignificance before the larger and far 
more serious question of vital resources. It is not so much in- 
creased liberality at home and increased funds abroad which are 
demanded, as richer thought and feeling at home and a newer 
and more varied organization abroad. — Bernard Lucas. 



ASSAM: THE FUTURE BRIGHT 
WITH HOPE 



Assam has been called a " pocket full of gold " — a 
pocket hidden in the folds and wrinkles of the mighty 
Himalayas, rich in natural resources as yet scarcely 
touched by man. This beautiful fertile valley has never 
known a famine. To the business man Assam offers an 
opportunity of developing rich resources. To the traveler 
it is a land full of charm, beauty, and danger, and to the 
church it is a challenge to bring to waiting millions the 
knowledge of Jesus Christ. The plains of the Brahma- 
putra River constitute the heart of its wealth. The valley 
is four hundred miles long and about sixty miles wide. 
It is so fertile that its grasses grow twenty feet high. 
Large trees produce beautiful flaming scarlet flowers, and 
both plains and hills are covered with profuse vegetation 
that in places even an elephant cannot penetrate. The 
luxurious grass feeds all kinds of wild animals. Over 
four hundred elephants were captured in one section 
alone during one winter season. Tigers wander at will 
through the jungle paths. \^iewed from a distance the 
scene is like the land and its people : fascinating and 
romantic. Gradually with the years cultivation is re- 
placing the jungle. The rich soil tickled by the crooked 
stick called by courtesy a plow and scratched by a bamboo 
harrow not merely smiles but laughs aloud and produces 
crops of rice, tea, cotton, and jute that are helping to feed 
and clothe the world. Four hundred thousand acres are 
devoted to the cultivation of tea, and two hundred and 

139 



140 Following the Pioneers 

forty-three million pounds of this product were pro- 
duced in the province last year. The three-quarters of a 
million immigrants who do the labor in these enormous 
gardens offer the most fruitful field for evangelism in 
the plains. 

Here we have a most interesting and successful work 
among a people numbering many races. Assam lies in 
the extreme northeastern part of India, bordering on 
Burma and Tibet and reaching up toward China. The 
Province has an area of 61,682 square miles, as large as 
New England, and its population of 7,100,000 is larger 
than that of the combined States of Maine, Massachusetts, 
New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. 

The Christian work in this rich, undeveloped province 
with its many tribes and races is largely in the hands of 
the American Baptists. We occupy the field from one 
end of the province to the other and have mission stations 
in both the valley and the hills. There are many gaps 
in our line, however, that must be closed within the next 
few years if Northern Baptists are to measure up to their 
high and sacred responsibility. 

Cross-currents and cross-purposes in life's river of 
service opened Assam to the gospel. A British officer, 
located at Sadiya on the northeast frontier in 1834, wrote 
to our mission in Burma, requesting that a missionary be 
sent there to '* convert the heathen." The " heathen " 
round about were in rebellion and giving so much trouble 
that this good man felt that if they could be converted, it 
would help the Government and incidentally save him 
hard work. Dr. and Mrs. Nathan Brown responded to 
this invitation and undertook the long and wearisome 
journey requiring four months from Burma to Sadiya, 
which became our first mission station in Assam. This 
station has ever since been the center for reaching the 




Dr. Y. NANDAMAH 
South India 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 141 

Daphlas, Miris, Abors, Mishmis, and Champis, who oc- 
cupy the mountain homes under the shadow of the snow- 
capped Himalayas. Nathan Brown, Hke so many Bap- 
tist pioneer missionaries, had a genius for languages. 
Within three years after arriving at Sadiya he had con- 
quered the Assamese language and translated eleven 
schoolbooks and thirteen chapters of the Gospel of Mat- 
thew into Assamese. Later he translated the entire New 
Testament into Assamese. He also wrote a life of Christ 
in Assamese and translated Pilgrim's Progress. After 
twenty years of laborious toil and achievements, failing 
health made it imperative that he return to America. 
At the age of sixty-five he went out again as a mis- 
sionary, this time to Japan. Here the war-scarred veteran 
served for thirteen years and crowned a life of marvelous 
achievement by his translation of the New Testament into 
Japanese. This, the first translation of the entire New 
Testament in Japanese, was published in 1879. 

Our work in Assam is conducted mainly in eight lan- 
guages, but altogether we work in fifteen of its sixty-seven 
languages and dialects. IMiraculous providence, so often 
manifest in foreign missionary work, opened the gospel 
to the Garos, a tribe of blood-thirsty savages hidden away 
in small villages in the dense mountain jungles four hun- 
dred miles west of Sadiya at the other extremity of the 
Province. Two Garo boys, Ramkge and Omed, were 
attending school at Goalpara which the British Govern- 
ment had opened in the hope of gaining a degree of in- 
fluence over these wild people. Later, these boys became 
sepoys or soldiers in the British Army in India. One day 
Ramkge, who had been sent to guard an empty mission 
house in which an army officer was to live, picked up a 
torn page of a Christian tract. The message of the tract 
sent Ramkge to a native Christian through whom he 



142 Following the Pioneers 

heard the gospel story. Ramkge, hke Andrew of old, 
found Omed and told him of Jesus the Saviour. In 
February, 1863, both young men were baptized by Doctor 
Bronson; then, having secured their release from the 
Army, they returned to their own Garo people as heralds 
of the truth, and today there are eight thousand Garo 
Christians. 

The churches in the Garo Hills are well organized. 
Each church as a result of its missionary activity has a 
number of branch churches. A Garo pastor is in charge 
of each mother church and its branches. Some churches 
have as many as fifteen or twenty branches in their terri- 
tory. In all, there are nineteen such churches and a great 
many branch churches. Six hundred and thirty-four 
members were received into the churches by baptism in 
1920 and nine hundred and thirty-two in 1921. The 
churches are organized into an Association, and it was 
my privilege to attend one of these Associational meet- 
ings. There were more than one thousand people present, 
and I was greatly impressed with the careful, conscien- 
tious way in which the Association transacted its busi- 
ness, much of which was of vital interest to the churches 
and the Garo Christians. One matter considered at the 
Association was somewhat unusual in character, and it is 
doubtful if any other Baptist Association was ever called 
upon to consider a matter of such a nature. It was found 
necessary to take action in regard to the depredations 
of man-killing tigers in the Garo Hills. In one single 
section of the hills more than one hundred and forty 
people were killed by man-eating tigers during the two 
preceding years. The Association petitioned the Govern- 
ment to take more active measures to get rid of these 
tigers. The Government responded by contributing fifty 
more guns in this section, and the situation has been re- 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 143 

lieved. The tigers are especially annoying during the 
rains when the heavy floods drive all wild beasts from 
the plains up into the hill districts. 

Next to the religious welfare of the people, the churches 
stand for the social and moral betterment of the com- 
muijity. One church recently caught a gang of counter- 
feiters and turned them over to the Government. Kala- 
azar, a dread disease, has been raging in the Garo Hills 
the last two years, and the Government has a record of 
over seven hundred cases. The disease is very deadly, 
and the treatment, tartar emetic, given intravenously, lasts 
three months, so that hundreds of cases are being con- 
cealed through fear. The disease is spreading fast in 
spite of the desperate efforts of the Government to stay 
it. In one district a few years ago, it carried off ten per 
cent, of the population. The Baptist churches in the hills 
and the village preachers and evangelists are cooperating 
with the Government under the direction of the mis- 
sionary, Rev. F. W. Harding, and are encouraging the 
people to report all cases of the disease and bring the 
patients to Tura where a big temporary hospital has been 
built. 

The Garo churches are assuming more and more evan- 
gelistic responsibility for the Christianizing of their own 
tribe. They are not only supporting their own village 
schools, but two of the churches have undertaken to help 
support schools in weaker villages. The churches in 1920 
contributed 8,160 rupees. There are seventy-seven Sun- 
day schools with 120 teachers and 3,41*7 pupils. The 
seventy-seven village schools are attended by 2,589 boys 
and girls. More than one-third of the baptisms on this 
field came through the schools. The missionary encour- 
ages the school children to plant fruit and vegetable 
gardens, and this not only has been of educational value. 



144 Following the Pioneers 

but one school received enough from the sale of products 
to buy slates and books for the whole school and, after 
a big '' spread," had a balance left in the school treasury. 
Through these village schools our Mission in the Garo 
Hills is doing a work which the Government is unable 
to do. The missionaries are pioneers in education. The 
Government recognizes this and appreciates what we 
have done for the Garos. The Mission opens schools in 
sections where even the pay of the Government could 
not possibly have any attraction for a teacher. The Mis- 
sion makes a higher appeal than money; it says to the 
Garo Christians : " Go yonder up into that lonely hill vil- 
lage where the people are absolutely uncivilized, where the 
dirt and smells and customs are disgusting, where you 
will find little or no real fellowship; go to the village, 
not for pay, but for Christ's sake, and give the best you 
have, even your life if need be." It is because the Mission 
can make such an appeal to Christian people that it is 
able to break a path from the grossest indifference to a 
knowledge of the life that is in Christ Jesus. After a 
school has been well started and the idea of education has 
in a sense become naturalized, which is impossible with- 
out a Christian nucleus, the school is ready to be turned 
over to the Government for support. Two years ago 
twenty such schools were handed over to the Government. 
The missionaries and Garo preachers are allowed to give 
religious instruction in the schools. There is a hostel at 
the high school in which fifty-three boys lived la§t year. 
We expect to have a second hostel in 1922, for the Deputy 
Commissioner has ruled that all boys must live in the 
hostel except those who are living with guardians ap- 
proved by himself. Experience has demonstrated that 
boys living in the Mission hostel do better work in school 
than boys living outside. One morning the Deputy Com- 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 145 

missioner paid an early visit to the hostel. He surprised 
the boys by walking up through the jungle so that no one 
saw him approach. After an inspection of the hostel 
he wrote: " I am very pleased to see that the hostel is 
extremely neat and clean. Everything about it is most 
creditable." We also have at Tura a Bible school for the 
training of teachers and church workers. There is a small 
hospital with an American doctor and an American- 
trained nurse. The Woman's Society has a middle En- 
glish girls' school of two hundred members, which is a 
most important factor in the development of the home 
and church life among the Garos. 

In addition to the missionaries and the pastors, there 
are five evangelists working in this field all the time. In 
1921, these five evangelists visited 965 villages and 
preached to thirty-one thousand people. The teachers 
and the Inspector of Schools, Ramsing, are all men of 
the evangelistic spirit. In one of Mr. Ramsing's letters, 
written while traveling with a Garo Association evan- 
gelist, he says : 

We divided our time so as to preach in the churches, one after 
another. I stayed in one village for eight days. During that 
time a rapacious tiger killed two men. I thank our Almighty God 
that I have not met any wild beasts on our journey. 

From another village he writes : 

I preached in the Rongjeng church twice, once at noon and 
again in the evening. At the noon meeting there were one hun- 
dred and eighty people present and in the evening there were more 
than one hundred people gathered in the same church. They 
came from three churches to hear me. Before preaching I have 
prayed to God that I might preach to the people well. The 
people listened attentively. 

Work in the plains is carried on for the Assamese and 
thousands of Indians who have come to Assam from 



146 Following the Pioneers 

lower India to work in the tea-gardens. At Dhubri, 
Gauhati, Nowgong, Golaghat, Sibsagor, North Lakhim- 
pur, and Jorhat, the missionaries are carrying on a per- 
sistent, aggressive evangelism, and with their Assamese 
and Indian preachers and Bible-women, are winning hun- 
dreds to Christianity and organizing them into churches 
and Associations. All the churches come together once a 
year in the All-Assam Baptist Convention. The evan- 
gelistic work of the Mission is greatly invigorated by the 
yearly meeting of the Golaghat Bible Assembly. The 
Assembly is similar to our Northfield Christian Confer- 
ence and is attended by more than two hundred delegates. 
The Bible holds a central place in the Assembly, and 
daily for a week the delegates spend hours in the inten- 
sive devotional study of God's Word under the leader- 
ship of Rev. O. L. Swanson, the guiding genius and in- 
spiration of the Assembly. He is ably assisted by other 
missionaries, and the spiritual time at this annual assem- 
bly means much to the work of our churches and to 
Assam. This annual gathering at Golaghat is being 
greatly used of God in deepening and enriching the lives 
of the Christian people of the province. 

Dr. W. E. Witter, in describing the meeting of the 
Bible Conference at Golaghat in 1921, says* 

The instruction was all given in the Assamese language this 
year to twenty Assamese, eighty-one Mundas, eleven Garos, ten 
Kachins, nine Mikirs, six Urias, four Urangs, three Bhumjis, 
two each from the Santals, Nepalis, Khariyas, and Bengalis, and 
one Telugu, and one Angami Naga. These with the twenty- 
two women in attendance made a grand total of 176, which does 
not include the visitors, missionaries, and conference teachers who 
also represented several nationalities. It was wonderful to note 
the promptness in attendance from the eldest to the youngest of 
this great, class of men and boys, and it was a joy to watch their 
eager faces as new visions were revealed to them. Mr. Swanson, 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 147 

no matter how weary or fatigued, was always on the qui vive. 
It was a rare treat to see him manipulate his class, calling each 
by name and questioning with skill each man in his turn in 
that spirit of a true brother and father to them all. Throughout 
the conference these men, from fourteen different races and 
tribes, lived together in the hostels in most cordial fellowship, 
never giving a thought to any difference in language, rank, or 
educational attainments. They ate and slept in fellowship to- 
gether as brothers of one family. Humility and the true love of 
the Master seemed to rule all hearts. Two sessions were given 
to the men to tell what they had received from the conference, 
one session being insufficient for the delegates to express them- 
selves as fully as they desired as to what these days had meant 
in drawing them nearer to God and deepening their love for his 
Word and his kingdom and their high calling in Christ Jesus as 
his fellow workers and witnesses. Some of the men said they 
could hardly wait to get back to their villages to tell their friends 
and the heathen about them, of the new and great joy that was 
flooding their souls. Naturally the teachers could but give devout 
thanks to God that so much of the instruction given has already 
taken deep root in so many hearts prophetic of future harvests 
for the kingdom. 

The Woman's American Baptist Foreign Mission So- 
ciety is doing especially effective work among the women 
and children of Assam. At Gauhati, Nowgong, and Gola- 
ghat there are three well-equipped girls' schools which are 
influencing in an ever-increasing way the girlhood and 
the future mothers of Assam. At Gauhati is the Satri 
Bari boarding- and day-school with twenty-four boys, 
one hundred and six girls, and a teaching staff numbering 
three men and six women, and a day-school in the town 
with an enrolment of eighteen boys and thirty-six girls. 
The Gale Memorial School at Golaghat, numbering 
seventy-four pupils, has well been termed a " garden of 
feminine culture." Girls, little and big, old and young, 
and mothers with children are gathered here for a time 
and then sent out to share with friends old and new the 



148 Following the Pioneers 

new beauty that has come to them. They become teachers 
and Christian workers. Some marry and immediately 
estabUsh their homes on the new plan. The compound is a 
model Indian village with cottages, cook-houses, granary, 
weaving-shed, school, church, and bungalow. Those girls 
are trained to take a helpful part in all good work, and 
many of the older ones become Bible teachers. The 
Woman's Society is now building at Gauhati the first and 
only hospital for women and children in the province, and 
is establishing at Jorhat a Woman's Bible Training School. 
Dr. and Mrs. W. E. Witter began some years ago to 
open their home in Gauhati to the young men of Cotton 
College, one of the two Government colleges of the prov- 
ince. In three years no less than 736 young men have 
come into this home to talk with Doctor and Mrs. Witter 
in regard to their life problems. We have here one of 
the most wonderful examples of personal work in the 
history of the modern church. Doctor Witter's friend, 
Judge E. E. Lewis, of Sioux City, Iowa, a short time 
before his death contributed a sum of money for the 
erection of a hostel for college men in connection with 
this work. This memorial building has been erected on 
the mission compound at Gauhati, facing the broad Brah- 
maputra, with the towering Himalayas in the distance. 
The building is now full of young men from the college 
who are living in most healthful surroundings under the 
constant influence of the mission. Doctor and Mrs. Wit- 
ter have retired from the work, and Mr. and Mrs. Cecil 
G. Fielder, friends and companions of these young men, 
carry on the work in the names of Jesus of Nazareth. 
Mr. Fielder writes : 

Of all the work we have done this year, that which has meant 
the most to me and upon which I have spent by far the most 
time, has been the intensive Bible study and talks about the life 




NATIVE SAWMILL, INDIA 




DOCTOR AND MRS. WITTER AND STUDENTS 
Gauhati, Assam 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 149 

and teaching of Jesus with individuals and small groups. In these 
we have gone right to the bottom of the Christian faith, the 
nature of God, his relationship to Jesus and to us, the meaning 
of Jesus' life, teachings, and death to the character and happiness 
of men and their progress toward the ideal that God has set for 
them. Our conversations have been honest and intense, and never 
have we avoided an issue. Men have come to know Jesus much 
better, and to believe in his life and teachings as the hope of 
mankind. But no one has yet come to the place where he is 
willing to separate himself from family or community for his 
sake. I do not cease to do all in my power to this end. The 
seed is planted and nourished, and is bearing fruit of a kind. 
But it is not the full fruit that we yearn for. The warm, loving 
spirit of God and time both are needed to bring this to pass, 
coupled with the steady continuance of the instruction and en- 
couragement we have given in the past. When I consider my 
own slowness and dulness in rising to God's will for me, with my 
life-long Christian upbringing and unusual opportunities, I con- 
clude that I cannot reasonably do anything else than be willing 
to wait for years for these men to come to their full develop- 
ment, if necessary. But I have great faith in their honesty and 
courage and ability eventually to win for themselves the privilege 
of working together with God for the salvation of the world. 
Their courtesy, sympathy, and comradeliness are a constant chal- 
lenge, inspiration, and help to me. 

The Sunday I spent in Gauhati, it was my privilege to 
preach to a splendid congregation of these college boys 
gathered in the auditorium of Lewis ^Memorial. Eighty- 
one of these young men are regular attendants at the 
Bible classes where the claims of Jesus and the Christian 
religion are placed before them in a personal way. Above 
all there are the long walks with Mr. Fielder and the quiet 
hours face to face with each other in the Christlike at- 
mosphere of the latter's home. I will never forget the 
walk that I had with Mr. Fielder and two of these young 
university men, one a Hindu and one a Brahmin. After 
that afternoon of mountain climbing with these boys I did 



150 Following the Pioneers 

not wonder that Mr. and Mrs. Fielder and Doctor and 
Mrs. Witter have come to love them. These young men 
are from the best homes in the province and are the future 
leaders of Assam. 

The educational needs of this Mission are becoming 
more and more apparent as it faces the new day and 
the natural aspiration of the Christians of Assam for 
larger participation in the Christian work of the province. 
There is an increasing demand for an educated Christian 
leadership. The educational plans of the Mission call 
for one central high school at Jorhat with industrial, 
normal, Bible, business, and collegiate preparatory courses. 
In addition to this, it is planned to have a high school at 
Kohima for the Naga Hills and Manipur. As feeders 
for these schools, it is expected that there will be a 
good system of village schools among the Christian vil- 
lages. These schools are supposed to head up in a 
middle English school in each station. The Bible holds 
an important place in all these schools, with a special 
Bible Department at Jorhat and the Bible School at 
Tura in the Garo Hills. There is no provision for any 
institution in this Mission of higher grade than high 
school. It has been thought wise not to try to compete 
with the Government in higher education, but to make 
use of Cotton College at Gauhati or institutions of higher 
learning in other parts of India. The students of Cotton 
College will be under Christian influence through the 
Lewis Memorial Hostel. This Mission should have funds 
available to make it possible for Baptist students to con- 
tinue their college and medical school work. Our mis- 
sionaries are confident that a failure to appreciate the 
importance of the educational work in this Province has 
been a source of weakness in the past, and urge that 
forward steps be taken at once. 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 151 

At the head of our educational system in Assam stand 
the Jorhat Christian Schools. It is from these schools 
that our Assam Mission looks for its trained pastors, 
evangelists, and teachers. Three branches of school work 
are maintained, Biblical, secular, and industrial. The 
two hundred and fifty pupils now enrolled in the Jorhat 
Christian Schools are already giving back to their own 
people the benefits derived from their still limited educa- 
tion. Young men from fifteen races have sought ad- 
mission to these schools. Some of the students, carrying 
their provisions and luggage, walk two hundred miles, so 
anxious are they for an education. Thus the Jorhat 
Christian Schools are sending their influence into the most 
remote corners of the Province. The curriculum makes 
use of all the available natural resources, and these are 
presented as an interpretation of Christianity. For an 
hour each day the pupils study the Bible; but according 
to Christian standards of religion they must be doers 
and not hearers only, so after an hour a day of Bible 
study they have from two to four hours of work when 
they are taught to put Christianity into practise. Seventy 
per cent, of the boys enrolled are Christians. Near the 
Jorhat Schools, we have purchased one of the finest sites 
in Assam for the location of a hospital. ]\Ioney for the 
erection of the hospital building has been promised by a 
friend in America, and when the hospital is completed 
our work in this center of Assam will be greatly strength- 
ened and should have increasing influence through the 
length of the Brahmaputra valley. 

In 1876, the veteran Rev. E. W. Clark, who at Sibsagor, 
had felt the pull of the unreached mountain tribes, de- 
termined to give himself to the Nagas. At this time the 
Nagas were not in the British dominion, and to live 
beyond the British flag required a permit from the Viceroy 



152 Following the Pioneers 

in India. On making application, Mr. Clark was in- 
formed that should he enter the Naga wilds, he must do 
so at his own risk. This was enough for a missionary 
of the Cross, and he was soon located in a far mountain 
village surrounded by wild head-hunters. Here he began 
the work of reducing the language to writing — another 
ot that noble list of Baptist missionaries who gave not 
only God's Word but an entire language to the people 
among whom they labored. When the British took over 
the territory in 1889, Mr. Clark had so won the con- 
fidence of the people that he was of inestimable service 
to the Government and a great help to the Nagas in their 
new relationship. When I visited this field in 1918, fifteen 
mountain villages were pointed out to me where twenty- 
five years ago the name of Jesus had never been heard, 
but in each one of them now there is a strong self-sup- 
porting Baptist church, and the life of each village has 
been completely transformed by the permeating influence 
of Christianity. At Impur, the central station of the tribe, 
we have a strong church, a boys' school, a girls' school, 
and a hospital. We have work in forty-nine out of the 
fifty-five Ao Naga villages. There are forty-six organ- 
ized churches and thirty-eight village schools. There are 
now over four thousand baptized Christians. The 
churches are organized into Associations, and their mem- 
bers contribute more than a thousand dollars annually. 
There is every reason to believe that within a few years 
this work will be entirely self-supporting. 

The latest mission station to be opened in Assam is 
Kangpokpi in the native State of Manipur, located in 
the northeast part of the Province and about as large 
as the State of Massachusetts. Manipur State is ruled 
over by a native prince or Maharajah who is interested 
in our industrial and medical work. The State consti- 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 153 

tutes a fertile plain surrounded by mountains. The peo- 
ple in the plains are Manipuris or Hindus, while those 
of the hills are Tangkul Nagas and Kukis. The hill- 
people were wild head-hunters, but have recently accepted 
Christianity in large numbers. In 1894, Rev. William 
Pettigrew opened work here in a greatly restricted area. 
Two years later, he was given permission by the Maha- 
rajah to settle at Ukhrul, a mountain village, and to work 
among the head-hunters. For many years Mr. and ^Irs. 
Pettigrew, in one of the most isolated mission stations 
in all India, gave themselves most heroically to this dif- 
ficult and dangerous work. He was awarded the Kaisar- 
i-Hind medal in 1918 for distinguished service during 
the war. In recognition of this and also of the service 
of Dr. G. G. Crozier, a Baptist medical missionary who 
served for two years as medical officer for a military ex- 
pedition into iNIanipur, the Government granted us at 
Kangpokpi, at a nominal rental, one hundred acres of 
land on the main automobile road leading to Imphal, the 
capital of the State. Doctor Crozier has done a remark- 
able piece of work in clearing the mountainside, building 
roads, two bungalows, two school buildings, and a num- 
ber of temporary buildings. On this mountainside we 
have a beautiful mission station, ministering in many 
ways to the needs of the people. In the leper asylum 
there are twenty-eight patients under treatment. Doctor 
•Crozier uses the chaulmoogra oil treatment, and four 
lepers have been discharged as cured. Doctor Muir, one 
of the greatest authorities on leprosy in India, visited 
Kangpokpi a few weeks before we were there in 1921 
and was much pleased at the work being done in our leper 
asylum. Doctor Crozier writes : 

My visit to Doctor Muir's laboratory in Calcutta and to his 
leper clinic, and visit with him to a large leper asylum near Cal- 



154 Following the Pioneers 

cutta, strengthened me in the hope of ridding Manipur State of 
leprosy within a comparatively few years. 

The hospital is not yet built, but Doctor Crozier and his 
native assistant treated nearly 5,000 patients last year in 
a temporary dispensary. The station also maintains a 
boys' school and a girls' school and a large industrial 
work. The nineteen village schools have an enrolment of 
seven hundred boys and girls. Wonderful gardens are 
made possible by the continual supply of water which 
flows to all parts of the compound from never-failing 
springs on the mountainside. There is a flourishing 
church of one hundred and forty members with six other 
organized churches, together with seventeen branch 
churches in the State. In 1915, after twenty years of 
work in the field, there were sixty-three church-members. 
When I was in Assam in 1918, there were still less than 
three hundred. Today there are 1,435 church-members, 
569 having been baptized in 1921. Five hundred and 
fifty-five representatives from twenty-five different vil- 
lages of the State \yere in attendance at the Association 
meetings. One of the most inspiring incidents of our trip 
to India in 1921-1922 was a meeting of this Association 
which we attended at Kangpokpi. Following is an ad- 
dress on self-support delivered at the convention by one 
of the evangelists who is also treasurer of the Manipur 
Home Mission Society. This address was delivered in 
Kuki and Naga and then translated for me by the speaker.' 
I give the translation exactly as he wrote it: 

Reports on Self-support 

Dear brothren in Christ : In this meeting I, am obliged to speak 
before you all how we have been attempting to support the Evan- 
gelists and other workers for Christ, since the church established. 

Beginning in the year 1908, we who earn money have agreed to 
give l4 of our income and those who labour in their own fields give 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 155 

in kinds ; with which we could sent out four Evangelists to the 
neighboring villages for few years. 

And lately we resolved to build a permanent church, for we 
considered that the building use for school is not convenient for 
the meeting. But unfortunately when the roofing work is nearly 
finished, it were blown down which the damage costed nearly 
Rs. 2,000. 

In the Tangkhul conference last year, we were so blessed by 
our gracious Lord that some 8 or 9 villages came and asked 
schools from Rev. W. Pettigrew, saying that they were very 
anxious to hear the Gospel. Not only this, but also many people 
all around seemed to move their minds towards the true Creator. 
On the other hand, the Missionary said that they have no more 
money left in their hand for other schools. 

This made Christians think more deeply and all began to dis- 
cuss where to get the required money for capable Christians to 
preach the Gospel. After praying considerably God answered so 
mercifully that every Christian who attended the meeting will- 
ingly offered money from his own pocket. Besides monthly con- 
tribution is doing well. Thus the native fund amounted nearly 
Rs. 1,600. 

With this money we are supporting 3 evangelists and 6 teachers. 
We know very well that this fund only will not last very long. 
When it is finished, we do not know what to do. 

After doing we all possibly could, there is no hope to get 
money from the native Christians till 1923 and 1924 for the 
majority of the converts have not been understand the value of 
contributing yet. So, in case of the work stops due to short of 
money, it would sufifer great loss. 

Dear Brethren, I therefore earnestly appeal to you all to pray 
for blessings from above that the work of self-support of this 
year may be successfully done to the glory of our Lord and 
Master. And also pray for another attempt to raise money, so 
that self-support may be continued to save the life of many poor 
sinners like us. I enclosed my report with a notice which I 
think important for all zealous Christians. 

It is a foolish policy for one to have an opinion at the present 
day that an Evangelist should go on without family comfort and 
his own comforts. L^et us not consider the days of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, or the time before Christ. But in the time of great 
apostles, we read in one chapter of Acts that money is distributed 



156 Following the Pioneers 

according to the full needs of each apostle of the Gospel. Like- 
wise for a devoted Evangelist today must be considered rather 
seriously knowing all the difficulties. Then let us not hesitate 
but contribute liberally to the great need of evangelising of our 
tribes. 

Now my dear brothren, please pardon me if there is any mis- 
take in saying so. May the Holy Spirit approve of our humble 
service through the blood of Jesus Christ and our Saviour until 
Manipur is won for him. 

Reichumhao, Evangelist and Treasurer. 

The following is the statement from the Manipur 
Home Mission Society written by the treasurer: 

Two years ago at the Manipur Association held at Kangpokpi, 
we organized the " Manipur Home Mission Society," for we know 
that in some places of Manipur State the Foreign Missionary is 
not allowed to preach the gospel. So we the native Christian 
churches and branch churches have pledged above Rs. 300, and 
with this money we are supporting one teacher at Thorcham vil- 
lage southwest of Manipur valley, where the missionary is not 
allowed to enter. 

This important work has been going on successfully, and we 
hope to see greater success if we Christians faithfully push it 
lorward. Reichumhao, Treasurer. 

Christianity is firmly established and deeply rooted in 
Assam, Burma, Bengal-Orissa, and India. Throughout 
the entire Empire the churches of all evangelical de- 
nominations are growing in independence and self-sup- 
port and are becoming a steadily increasing influence in 
the life of the people. From a former state of indif- 
ference and lethargy there is everywhere in the Indian 
Empire an awakening and eagerness of life, and India 
makes a tremendous appeal to the Christian who is eager 
to bring light and truth and the redemptive message of 
Jesus Christ to the hearts of men and the life of the world. 

In Benares I was a guest of one of India's outstanding 




KHANTO BELA RAI 
Midnapore, Bengal-Orissa 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 157 

Christian laymen, Rai Bahadur A. C. Alukerjee, who has 
been repeatedly chosen by his non-Christian fellow citizens 
as Secretary of the municipality of Benares, the sacred 
city of the Hindus. Mr. Alukerjee is universally trusted 
and honored by Christians of all denominations and by 
all races of the people of India. In our conversation I 
asked him one day what he considered the present out- 
standing need of India. He replied, '' Education, indus- 
trial education, technical education, agricultural education, 
above all, Christian education." That the Government 
recognizes this need is shown from the following para- 
graph in a Government report of 1920: 

From all that has been said in the preceding chapters of this 
report it will be realized that the uplift of the Indian people, 
economic, physical, and moral, really resolves itself into a ques- 
tion of education. Without education the laborer, rural or urban, 
will continue as at present, poor and helpless, with little initiative 
to self-help. Without education hygienic progress among the 
masses is impossible, and social reform is a vain delusion. India's 
educational problems, framed as they are upon a Gargantuan 
scale, must find their solution proportionately large. For with- 
out education India will be confronted in no long time with that 
supreme peril of modern states, an uninformed democracy, omnipo- 
tent but irresponsible. 

The missionary forces of the church of Jesus Christ 
have made and are prepared to make a large contribu- 
tion to the educational progress of the empire. To help 
meet this need the American Baptist Foreign Mission So- 
ciety has in its four missions in India 2,699 schools 
ranging from the kindergarten to the college and uni- 
versity. We have a total of 90,315 boys and girls under 
instruction in these schools. These schools must be 
strengthened, reenforced, and made more effective as 
centers of Christian instruction and character-building. 
Our educational work in Burma and India must be thor- 



158 Following the Pioneers 

ough, that is, accurate and true. If it is not, it is not 
real education, and it is not Christian education. Our 
education must be adapted, that is, it must fit boys and 
girls for the work they have to do, for the life they have 
to live, and for the environment they have to live in. Our 
education must be Christian. Let it be scientific and peda- 
gogically sound, but the aim and spirit, the tone and re- 
sult, must be unqualifiedly Christian. 

The present national awakening is one of the most hope- 
ful and promising elements in the present situation. The 
appeal of the new India is an appeal to serve and to help 
steady and guide a wonderful people at a time of un- 
paralleled national crisis in the history of a mighty em- 
pire. In letters from two veteran missionaries in Burma 
the challenge of the new India is made clear : 

Has it occurred to you [says the first writer] what a big call 
for the vigorous prosecution of the mission work in India is 
afforded by the scheme of constitutional reform in India?' The 
attempt being made by the British here is unique. It is to lead 
the people of India gradually by very definite steps into real 
democratic government. Now democracy can rest securely on 
nothing but character, and Christianity can produce the character 
that India sorely needs to make democracy a success. 

And the second writes. 

At the time when national self-consciousness is being so strongly 
accentuated together with the sobering result of the acceptance 
of new and overwhelming responsibilities, it is becoming increas- 
ingly evident that Christianity alone affords the answer to the 
needs of India, social, political, and personal. 

The ordination of the first American foreign mission- 
aries is thus described by Dr. Thomas S. Barbour, form- 
erly Secretary of the American Baptist Foreign Mission 
Society : 



Assam: The Future Bright with Hope 159 

On February 6, 1812, five men sat together upon a plain bench 
in a plain meeting-house in Salem, Mass. They were there be- 
cause, as they had stated in a communication to the General 
Association of Massachusetts, their minds were impressed with 
the duty of personally attempting a mission to the non-Christian 
world! To this work they were now set apart. The day, we are 
informed, was " fiercely cold," yet the church was thronged with 
visitors from far and near. The young men were described 
by one who was present at the service as " unpretending, modest, 
of a tender, childlike spirit, but well understanding their aim." 

It would be difficult to imagine a greater contrast than is 
suggested in the thought of the outlook on the enterprise 
to which Adoniram Judson, Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott, 
Gordon Hall, and Luther Rice were set apart, then and 
now. To the congregation gathered for the ordination 
service India seemed remote almost as another planet. 
" Though they never expect to return," said the Pano- 
plast and Missionary Magazine, " they will never be for- 
gotten." The gates of India they feared might be closed 
against their coming, as indeed they found them. Other 
great lands of the East were fast barred against the 
people of the West and against the religion which these 
young men were going forth to proclaim. Today East 
and West are met together. The peoples of Eastern 
lands are our neighbors. Their doors are wide open. 
The Christian faith numbers its temples and its great 
companies of worshipers in all the lands of the Orient. 
All the great nations of the East are wide-open today, 
throbbing and vibrant with newly awakened life such as 
the world has never witnessed before. The most im- 
pressive fact as one views the present movement in Asia 
is that it is not an enterprise of individuals. Individuals 
are borne on the movement. What one feels is the heave 
of a mighty tide of life moving through the world, greater 
than men, sfreater than nations, bearing men and nations 



160 Following the Pioneers 

onward in the grip of greater forces that clearly have an 
order within them and purpose to fulfil. 

The experiences of these years not only illustrate the 
need of a new life for the world, but constitute an appeal 
to humanity to launch forth its resources and to attempt 
mighty tasks, '' to attempt great things for God, and 
expect great things from God," to rely boldly upon Jesus' 
own words, '' The works that I do shall ye do also, and 
greater works than these shall ye do." The greater spirit 
of sacrifice and noble daring in nations witnessed during 
the World War comes as a summons to the Christian 
church to return to the wonder-working days, days of 
moral and spiritual miracles, days when men achieved the 
impossible for God and the salvation of men. 

Our task is fundamentally a spiritual task. If we de- 
pend upon material forces alone, we are doomed to cer- 
tain and irretrievable failure. The gospel of Jesus Christ- 
is all-sufficient for the individual, the nation, and the race. 
It need not be changed, and it cannot be given up without 
darkening the hope of the world. Our hope is in the 
Lord God who is not far from any one of us, who but 
waits to fill the hearts of all people with his spirit, that the 
whole world may be filled with his glory. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



Vincent A. Smith, " Oxford History of India from the 
EarHest Times to the End of 1911." 1919. Maps. Ox- 
ford University Press, N. Y. 

Sir Verney Lovett, '* History of the Indian Nationalist 
Movement." 1921. F. A. Stokes Company, N. Y. 

F. B. Fisher and Gertrude M. WiUiams, " India's Silent 
Revolution." 1919. Macmillan Company, N. Y. 

Sir Thomas W. Holderness, " Peoples and Problems of 
India." 1912. Henry Holt and Company, N. Y. 

William Paton, " Social Ideals in India." 1919. 
United, Council for Missionary Education, London. 

A Commission of Inquiry, " Village Education in 
India." 1920. Oxford University Press, N. Y. 

J. N. Farquhar, "The Crown of Hinduism." 1917. 
Oxford University Press, N. Y. 

J. N. Farquhar, '' Modern Religious Movements in 
India." 1915. Macmillan Company, N. Y. 

W. E. S. Holland, " The Goal of India." 1918. United 
Council for Missionary Education, London. 

Alden H. Clark, " India on the March." 1922. Mis- 
sionary Education Movement, N. Y. 

G. E. Phillips, " The Outcastes' Hope : or Work Among 
the Depressed Classes in India." 1912. United Council 
for Missionary Education. London. 

John E. Clough, " Social Christianity in the Orient : 
The Story of a Man, a Mission, and a Movement." 1914. 
•Macmillan Company, N. Y. 

161 



162 Bibliography 



Ada Lee, " An Indian Priestess : the Life of Chundra 
Lela." 1902. Morgan and Scott, London. Out of print. 

B. H. Streeter and A. J. Appasamy, '' Message of 
Sadhu Sundar Singh." 192 L Macmillan Company, N. Y. 

D. J. Fleming, '' Building with India." Published 
jointly by Missionary Education Movement of the United 
States and Canada, New York, and The Central Com- 
mittee of the United Study of Foreign Missions, West 
Medford, Mass. 

F. Deaville Walker, " India and Her Peoples." 1922. 
United Council for Missionary Education, London. 

H. P. Cochrane, *' Among the Burmans." Fleming H. 
Revell Co., N. Y. 

E. N. Harris, " A Star in the East." Fleming H. Revell 
Co., N. Y. 

Ola Hanson, '' The Kachins." 1913. American Baptist 
Mission Press, Rangoon. 

Valentine Chirol, " India Old and New." 1921. Mac- 
millan Company, London. 

J. N. Cushing, '' Christ and Buddha." The American 
Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia. 

George Smith, " Life of William Carey." 1887. E. P. 
Button, N. Y. 

Margaret T. Applegarth, " The Career of a Cobbler." 
Fleming H. Revell Co. 

Wallace St. John, '' Josiah Nelson Cushing." 1912. 
American Baptist Mission Press, Rangoon. 

Edward Judson, " Life of Adoniram Judson." The 
American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia. 



MAPS 



British India. Showing Baptist Mission Stations. 
Paper. 30 inches by 40 inches. 35 cents. 

India and Ceylon. Including Burma and Assam, 
Paper. 38 inches by 47 inches. Showing Mission Sta- 
tions of all American Societies. 60 cents. 





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