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Title: Blazing New Trails

Date of first publication: 1928

Author: Archer Wallace (1884-1958)

Date first posted: November 20, 2022

Date last updated: November 20, 2022

Faded Page eBook #20221137

This eBook was produced by: Al Haines, Chuck Greif & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net


Author of


Associate Editor, Sunday School Publications
of the United Church of Canada






The Book. Did it ever occur to you that the effective missionary is one who is prepared to take off his coat, roll up his sleeves and get down to hard work? “Blazing New Trails” is a book that tells of fifteen missionaries at work in as many different places. All of them were ready to take a hand at anything that needed to be done, from translating the Scriptures to stopping fights. Dr. Paton, digging the first well in Aniwa; Mackay of Uganda, repairing a boat whose bow had been crushed by the jaws of a hippopotamus; Dr. Shelton, who opened the first hospital in Tibet and did as many as thirty-one amputations in one day; James Evans inventing the Cree Syllabic System for Indians in Northern Canada, making type from the lead of tea-chests and ink from chimney soot—such men were no dreamers building castles in the air, but practical men who did things, new things in new ways.

These life-stories take us in imagination{vi} fairly well around the world, to the Labrador Coast, Northern Manitoba and the Yukon in North America; to Tibet, China, India and Arabia in Asia; to Africa; and to islands in the Southern Pacific. The interest, however, is not in the travels of these heroes, but in the missionaries themselves, men who ran constant risks, some of them men whose lives were shortened in the service of unprivileged races. There is nothing more interesting than people, and in these true stories Christian men are seen at their best. Fifteen supremely successful lives! And not one of the fifteen men made money for himself.

The Author. I wish you could know Archer Wallace. He is a boy’s man. Of course, we speak of him as a man because he is an editor and the head of a family, but, really, the boy in him will never die. Boys gather around him at a football match or hockey game or Sunday School. Many boys write to him. Whenever he speaks to boys they are eager to hear him again. With rare insight he is able to understand them and tell them stories they like to hear. For many years he has been editing a boys’ paper. Wouldn’t you like to have a chat with him? The next best thing is to read these{vii} fifteen stories which Mr. Wallace has told and just imagine that he is talking to you. He is no amateur at doing short sketches of famous men. In his three earlier books, “Stories of Grit,” “Overcoming Handicaps” and “Canadian Heroes of Mission Fields Overseas,” he has mastered the art of writing brief biographies. He knows how to condense a long story into a few pages and make the spirit of his hero live again in many other lives.

The Readers. This book is important—it is a most readable book. The author is important—especially to me his fellow-worker and friend. But most important of all are the readers for whom the author has written his book. You, gentle reader, will be gentler still after you have read these stories, but, unless I am very much mistaken, you will be more resolute and determined, too. You cannot be the same after reading them as you were before. This book does more than entertain. Without saying so in words, it silently faces you with the insistent query: What are you going to do with your life? Few of these men who blazed new trails were men of genius, but they worked for all they were worth and with a fixed purpose. It may be that you have it in you to do even{viii} greater deeds than the achievements of these pioneer heroes. Why not? If you are afraid of squaring up to brave and unselfish living, better not read this book. But I know that you are going to read it and that, having read it, you will be keen to speak of it to your friends and your friend’s friends. If it helps you, help it to help others. In this way you may have a real share, along with the author, in the telling of these missionary stories.

Geo. A. Little


I.Among Savages in New Guinea1
II.An Inventor in the Wilderness12
III.A Good Samaritan in Arabia20
IV.The White Queen of Okoyong30
V.The Beloved Schoolmaster of Lovedale40
VI.A Brave Bishop of the Frozen North50
VII.The Doctor Who Stopped a Plague60
VIII.The Well-Digger of Aniwa70
IX.The Man Who Could Turn His Hand to Anything80
X.A Messenger of Mercy on the Afghan Frontier90
XI.With Christ on Lonely Labrador100
XII.Greatheart, Most Famous of African
XIII.A Trail-Blazer of the Prairies121
XIV.Going Over the Top in Tibet130
XV.A Bible Translator with Infinite Patience140
  For Further Reading148





Among Savages in New Guinea

ONE day a minister in Scotland read a letter to a class of boys from a missionary in Fiji. It told of the power of the Gospel over the savages. After reading the letter the minister, his eyes wet with tears, said: “I wonder if there is a boy here this afternoon who some day will become a missionary and take the Gospel to savages.” Among the scholars was a boy named James Chalmers and in his heart he said: “Some day I will be a missionary and take the Gospel to savages.”

James Chalmers lived to carry out the resolve made that afternoon. In January, 1866, when he was just twenty-five years of age, he and his young wife sailed for Rarotonga in the New Hebrides. When at last the journey was over the native who carried Chalmers ashore from the boat asked in broken English:{2} “What fellow name belong you?” “Chalmers,” answered the missionary. The native roared to his friends on shore: “His name—Tamate,” and that name stuck to James Chalmers throughout the remainder of his life.

The New Hebrides were inhabited by wild savages. War, either defensive or offensive was their continual employment and delight. They were uneasy when at peace, and so with the slightest excuse would go to war. If one tribe stepped across the boundary line of another there would be instant bloodshed. Sometimes it would be a theft of breadfruit or cocoanuts that would start all the trouble. The battles were attended with the most hideous forms of savage cruelty. The first victims were presented to the gods, and the head of each was taken in savage triumph to the chief of the tribe; the bodies were eaten in cannibal feasts.

On some of the islands missionaries had been at work for a few years and had done much good. At Rarotonga, where Chalmers first began his work, there had been great changes for the better and many of the most horrible customs had been abandoned. The missionary and his wife remained on Rarotonga for over ten years, and was an influence{3} for good on the island which the natives fully appreciated. Schools were established in many villages and a training school for native missionaries was carried on. Many natives of Rarotonga carried the Gospel to other islands where heathenism still reigned. James Chalmers and his brave wife decided to leave Rarotonga and take up work where no white missionary had ever yet been. New missionaries were appointed to Rarotonga and on May 21, 1877, “Tamate” left for the island of New Guinea.

No more dangerous and difficult place could have been selected for missionary work. The natives were so ferocious and notoriously cannibal that the most adventurous explorers had passed it by, not caring to court instant death. It is an island about 1,400 miles long and thickly studded with villages that were continually at war with one another. The natives were practically naked, but made up for the absence of clothing by a profusion of barbaric ornaments such as, nose-sticks, huge earrings, gaudy necklaces, feathers and paint, while their bodies were heavily tattooed.

They lived for the most part in lake dwellings, and many of the villages were completely surrounded by water. The houses were without{4} furniture of any description, and when Chalmers went there no tools of iron or metal had ever been used. The most hideous forms of cannibalism flourished on the island and the sacredness of human life was unknown. In fact that which the natives were most proud of was the tattooed marks on the body, which signified that the person thus decorated had shed human blood. Thus they gloried in their shame. It was indeed a land full of terrors and in complete heathen darkness.

Chalmers and his wife did not go there without knowing these things. From Rarotonga several native missionaries had been sent to New Guinea, and although they had suffered all manner of hardship they remained faithful to their posts, and in some places had gained a foothold. When Chalmers and some men from the boat which took him there, made a landing, the savages came and watched them, full of curiosity and suspicion. In their hideous war-paint and with strangely tattooed bodies they gathered around with menacing looks. Some of them had human jaw-bones dangling from their arms and many other bones hanging from different parts of their bodies.

For a few moments no one could tell what would happen. The missionary had a number{5} of presents such as cloth, tomahawks, knives and beads which he offered as a sign of friendship. These they accepted and they decided they would permit him to build a mission house and live among them. For many weeks no one knew what to expect. There seemed no such thing as honor among the natives. They often attacked their enemies during the night, and treachery and deceit were not regarded as vices but rather as something to be proud of. One afternoon an angry mob surrounded the mission house. They came armed and shouting furiously. They demanded presents and told the missionaries and their few helpers—the boat had not yet returned to Sydney—that if they did not get what they wanted they would murder them all. One big evil-looking fellow, wearing a human jaw-bone, and carrying a heavy stone club, rushed towards Chalmers as if to strike him. The missionary looked him straight in the face and asked him what he wanted. The savage demanded tomahawks, knives, and beads. “You may kill us but never a thing will you get from me by threats,” said Chalmers. Some of the helpers suggested that he should give them what they wanted. “No, I would rather die than do that,” he said, “we should never have peace from their demands.{6} Let us give them to understand, once and for all, that we are not afraid to die.” Turning to the chief he said: “I will not give presents to armed people.”

After a while the commotion stopped, and when the chief saw how brave and determined Chalmers was, he persuaded the savages to disperse for the time being at least. This they did, but with many menacing looks, and all that night the missionaries kept a watch for they knew how excited the cannibals were.

Soon after this the boat left the island, and the missionaries were then left among the savages without armed protection. Trouble arose over the death of a young native, and the fears and superstitions of the people were aroused. They came from long distances and, armed with all manner of weapons, surrounded the mission-house. They came to the door and Chalmers sprang forward and faced them. They said that if they did not get presents they would murder the missionaries and burn down the house. “You may kill us if you wish,” said Chalmers to the chief, “but we shall die fighting.” He took down his rifle, and showed it to the old man who had seen him shoot birds with it. The old chief became frightened and hurried out of the house. For{7} nearly two hours the savages held a discussion. “It is all right,” said the chief. Chalmers was grateful for the turn of events, but a very careful look-out had to be kept, and they dared not go far into the bush or even to certain sections of the village.

There is no doubt that at first the only reason the savages allowed the missionaries to remain was the fact that, in addition to receiving such gifts as beads, knives, tomahawks and cloth, they were proud of having a white man and woman living in their midst, while all around them were islanders, many of whom had never even seen white people. They were people of note and even their enemies acknowledged this. Then Chalmers’ good nature, courage, and willingness to help even his worst enemies began to wear down prejudice and suspicion. At first secretly, and then openly, natives attended religious services and asked Chalmers many questions. Hatred gave way to confidence. They began to bring presents such as vegetables and fish. Some of them, with the best intentions, invited the missionaries to their cannibal feasts. An old man named Kireken brought Mrs. Chalmers a present which he admitted was part of a man’s breast, already cooked. The old chief told Chalmers{8} he would be a great man if only he had a few more wives. He offered the missionary his daughter as a beginning.

Chalmers began to visit the neighboring islands, although over and over again he did so at the risk of his life. At one island he visited there was great excitement, for the men had decided either to kill or send away the women. In a village nearby a woman, whose husband had died, dug up his body and held a cannibal feast for her friends. Then men said: “If we pass over this then our bodies will be treated in the same way.” However better judgment prevailed and the slaughter did not take place.

News about “Tamate’s” doings spread among the savage islanders, and while there were those who from sheer untamed passion would have killed him at once, there were other islands were they were anxious to be honored by a visit from the white man who talked about God. Here is Chalmers’ own account of a visit to one island: “I returned to the chief’s house, and received a present of six earthen pots of cooked taro and a fine pig. Oh, how the people did scream with delight when I showed them my arms! The possessions which gain me most admiration are my nose and my boots. ‘That nose’ they cried, ‘and{9} those boots.’ The men shouted from ridge to ridge, ‘Tamate has come to our island,’ and the natives swarmed in from all directions. I bought taro to spare as we had still to return to the coast. I said I could buy no more, but if they liked to trust me, all right, and when the chief came to visit me I would pay him. They said ‘Certainly, take all, and some day our chief will visit you, when you will give him the iron.’ The house was crowded, but a small space was reserved for me, where I enjoyed a good night’s rest. By daylight we were off, passing through several villages where we had to halt and be admired.”

In a few years Chalmers had visited dozens of islands and on many of them had established missions. He visited 105 villages where in most cases no white man had ever been before. In less than four years he was in communication with nearly 200 villages. During these years a truly marvellous change came over New Guinea. Cannibal feasts, which had been a regular thing for ages, ceased, and under the influence of the Gospel rival tribes which had not met for years except to fight, now met as friends, and sat side by side in the same house, worshipping the true God.

During these years Mrs. Chalmers displayed{10} extraordinary courage. When the missionary went on his journeys to visit other islands and distant villages, at her own suggestion she was left at the mission station, thus showing her confidence in the natives. This greatly pleased the people who said to each other: “Tamate trusts us or he would not leave his wife behind. We must treat them kindly.” They brought her food and urged her to eat plenty so that when Tamate returned she would be looking strong and well.

After thirteen years absence, Dr. and Mrs. Chalmers visited Rarotonga where they received a wonderfully enthusiastic reception. From every house the natives came out to welcome them, many of the old people embracing them and throwing themselves at Tamate’s feet saying that, knowing all the dangers he had braved, they never expected to look into his face again.

In April, 1901, Chalmers decided to visit the island of Goaribari which had not been reached by any missionary. While there he was cruelly martyred by the savages of that place. He died, as he would have wished to die, in performance of his duty. If ever there was a trail-blazer he was one. He blazed paths of friendship where no white man had ever{11} been before, and lived to see islands which had been given over to the most hideous savagery and cannibalism, become centres of Christian living. To-day, the natives of New Guinea are noble Christians, and forever enshrined in their memories is the brave, unselfish life of their beloved “Tamate.{12}


An Inventor in the Wilderness

IN the Spring of 1840 James Evans was sent as a missionary to the Indians living in the Canadian North-West. His headquarters were to be at Norway House, situated four hundred miles north of Winnipeg, on the water highway between that city and Hudson Bay. In those days the great Northland was very little known. The vast territory was inhabited by thousands of Indians and half-breeds, together with some trappers and a few employees of the Hudson Bay Company. The Indians lived for the most part in practical heathenism, with bitter and bloody conflicts constantly breaking out between rival tribes. Many of their practices were cruel and degrading and if he had not been a man of stout courage and great faith in God, James Evans might have shrunk from the task that awaited him.

No one could have been better fitted to take{13} up work among these savage Indians than James Evans. Born in England in 1801, he emigrated to Canada in 1823, and after teaching school for some years he was put in charge of the Indian school at Rice Lake, about twelve miles north of Cobourg. This lake received its name from the large quantities of wild rice growing in its waters, furnishing food for wild fowl and for the Indians. In the woods around the lake there lived a band of Ojibway Indians known as Rice Lake Indians. Not far away, at Mud Lake and Scugog, there were other bands of Indians, and when they went to Port Hope and Peterboro to trade their furs, they generally became intoxicated and debauched.

James Evans had a perfect genius for the study of languages. As soon as he was settled at Rice Lake he began the study of the Ojibway language. He soon mastered it and before long he had succeeded in translating twenty chapters of Genesis and twenty Psalms, together with a number of hymns into the Ojibway language. His school increased in numbers until he had nearly seventy little Indians each day whose parents lived in wigwams on the government reserve. After teaching school for two years at Rice Lake he was received on probation for the ministry, and such was his{14} energy that he preached regularly at seventeen places, some of them being fifty miles from his home.

The missionary faced the hardest task of his life when he took up his work among the Cree Indians at Norway House. News of what he had done for the Ojibway Indians at Rice Lake had reached the North-West, and soon the Crees in large numbers moved their wigwams to Norway House that they might have the privilege of hearing his words. These Cree Indians were a very hard race, living in a cold and bracing climate where timber and water were to be had in abundance. They obtained their living by trapping beaver, fishing, hunting the moose, elk, fox and other animals in the northland. They traded their furs with the Hudson Bay Company, and as they had great skill in managing canoes and knew the country well, they were invaluable guides for the white man.

These Cree Indians were intensely superstitious. They believed that spirits had their abode in every fantastic tree and strangely shaped stone. Anything unusual about the movement of the stars, or in the behavior of animals, seemed to them full of dark and strange omens. Their religion was one of con{15}stant fear, and consequently the medicine men, who were the native priests and doctors, exercised a great influence over them.

It did not take Evans long to master the Cree language, and he could soon converse fluently with the Indians. This greatly pleased them and soon so many had moved to Norway House that a new village had to built. First the forest was cleared; then the stumps were removed. The Indians were not much inclined to hard work, but whenever anything had to be done James Evans led the way, and his example was such that he completely won them. “He taught the Indians how to square the timber with their axes, and how to put up the timber frame of the house and to fill in the sides and ends with the well-hewn logs.”

Soon there was a prosperous village, with many clean and wholesome houses, a school, a parsonage and a very neat church with white walls that gave it a most attractive appearance. In front of each Indian home there was a garden, and the missionary taught the Redskins how to plant and take care of many different kinds of vegetables. Soon the gambling feasts and heathen dances, with all the disgusting scenes that attended them, were discarded, and a great change for the better came{16} over the tribe and also spread to many other bands in the North.

News of what was taking place at Norway House reached the many tribes of Indians in the vast Northland. Around their camp-fires and in their lodges the redmen told one another tales of the pale face missionary who could do so many wonderful things and who could speak their language like one of themselves. These savage sons of the forest sent many requests to James Evans asking him to visit them. This he did as far as he was able. With his famous train of dogs, fierce and swift, he traveled thousands of miles on long journeys, speeding over the snow to visit distant bands of Indians, teaching them and their children and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He even traveled as far as York Factory, four hundred miles away.

Evans longed to give the Indians the Gospel message, as well as a number of hymns, in their own language. Many of the Indians were absent on long journeys hunting, fishing and trapping, and he realized what a great blessing it would be if they could take simple printed messages with them. He studied the problem until he became convinced that he could invent a system of signs, each represent{17}ing a syllable, based on the lines and curves of shorthand, which could be easily learned. Thus he invented what has been called the Evans Cree Syllabic System, which contains thirty-six characters and those who have taught it say that it can be mastered in an hour. What James Evans did for the Indians in that respect must be reckoned as one of the most marvellous achievements by a scholar of any time.

When the time came for printing, James Evans found himself without paper of any kind, with no type, ink, or printing-press. Nothing daunted, he began to collect birch-bark and in this work the Indians, eager and excited over the prospect of having a printed language, gladly helped him. So the first books were made with leaves of birch-bark, and it became known among the Indians as “birch-bark talk.”

James Evans overcame the difficulty of securing type by using the thin sheets of lead which came in the tea chests. According to his journal this is how the type was put into shape: “The letter or character I cut in finely polished oak. I filed out of one side of an inch-square iron bar the square body of the type; and after placing the bar with the notch over{18} the letter I applied another polished bar to the face of the mould and poured in the lead, after it had been repeatedly melted, in order to harden it.” He made ink out of the soot of chimneys, mixed with sturgeon oil. And so, in the face of difficulties which would have completely discouraged an ordinary man, he managed to give the Cree Indians not only a written language, but books of their very own. The Indians were more than astonished as they stood around waiting to receive their copies of the wonderful “birch-bark talk.”

The story of this wonderful invention spread everywhere, and scholars in distant lands expressed their astonishment at what Evans had done. A missionary society in England sent for the syllabic characters and had a quantity of first-class type made and sent to the missionary. A printing-press, ink and rollers and other necessary equipment were sent to him and soon he was able to meet the Indians’ demand for books. Missionaries of other churches adopted the syllabic system and soon there was a large number of Bible portions, hymns, and stories published in the Cree language. Other tribes had similar systems prepared for themselves and as the method{19} was very simple, the Indians had no difficulty in mastering it.

In 1846 James Evans visited England and while there he died, one evening after addressing a missionary meeting in Lincolnshire. He was much worn by hardship and toil; with long journeys by dog-train and canoe, and no doubt this hastened his end. He will ever be remembered because of his noble character and scholarship. He blazed a new trail, and made life worth living for thousands of Indians whom he loved as his own brothers.{20}


A Good Samaritan in Arabia

WHEN Ion Keith-Falconer was a student at Cambridge University in England he was not only the finest cyclist in the college, but for two or three years at least he led all cyclists in England. He entered the University in 1874 when he was just eighteen and in his first year he entered for the ten-mile race. The wheels at that time were not equal in diameter; one being very large and the other quite small, consequently such speed as was attained later was not possible at that time. Also the tires were solid, the pneumatic tubes not being invented until 1888.

Eighteen-year-old Ion Keith-Falconer created something of a sensation when in his first year at college he left all competitors behind in the ten-mile race. He covered the distance in 34 minutes which was the fastest time, either amateur or professional, then on record.{21} Three years later he beat this record by one minute and 35 seconds. At this time he had an 86-inch bicycle which was so high that he had to be helped onto it by the use of steps. If he had ever fallen from it he would most likely have broken an arm, or a leg, or his neck.

Ion was a big fellow, six feet three inches in height and broad-chested in proportion. He was a splendidly built fellow, with an open, frank face and a friendly manner. He went on winning prizes for cycling during all his college course. In 1875—when he was nineteen—he won a fifty-mile race for Cambridge against Oxford. The next year he won the world’s Amateur Championship Four-mile Race in the fastest time on record. When he was twenty-one he was elected President of the London Bicycle Club, a position he held for nine years.

In 1878 the world’s champion cyclist was a professional named John Keen. He was a man for whom Ion had a great admiration, and when the two were matched for a five-mile race, the young student did not think he had much of a chance. The event created great interest, but Ion Keith-Falconer did not begin serious training until nine days before the race. As the day of the race drew near he did{22} everything possible to improve his chances, feeling all the while that the best he could do would be to give the famous champion a good race.

The great race took place on October 23rd. It was keenly contested from the start. During the whole race the pair were never more than a few yards apart. First one, then the other led, and the spectators were frantic with excitement. Ion said afterwards that during the race he felt he was not going fast and that the best time would be bad. As the two entered on the last mile each put forth every ounce of strength he had. Amid deafening applause the student crossed the winning line just five yards ahead of the professional. He had done the five miles in 15 minutes and 11 and two-fifth seconds. Both cyclists actually made better time on the fifth mile than at any other stage of the race.

Next year Ion beat Keen in a two-mile race by the narrow margin of three inches; and in this race he established a record which was not beaten for several years. He had a wonderful knack of being able to make a final spurt in which he left his opponents behind. Often in important races he would still be side by side with the leaders until within a few hundred{23} yards of the winning-post, when he would make a final dash and leave his opponents behind.

In 1881 Ion Keith-Falconer cycled from Land’s End in the farthest south-west corner of England to John O’Groats in the extreme north of Scotland, and back again. He made the round trip in less than two weeks, which, considering the weather, the condition of the roads, and the fact that he injured his ankle, was a truly wonderful feat, and something which no one before him had ever attempted. Undoubtedly he was for many years the best bicyclist in England.

During these strenuous days Ion did not neglect his studies. His biographer, Mr. James Robson, says that he had such powers of concentration when at his studies that nothing ever seemed to distract him. He took an exceptionally high standing in all subjects, and especially in the study of languages he showed unusual ability.

After graduation he felt he was called to missionary work abroad and decided to go to Aden in Arabia. Aden was an important centre on the main roads to the East. It was an important coaling-station at which great steamships called. Besides this it was a great meeting-place{24} for people of many nationalities who were almost untouched by Christianity. In the open bazaars and streets of Aden one might see Jews, Parsis, Indians, Somalis, and many different classes of Arabs mingling together. Many of these people came in their caravans for hundreds of miles. When their business was over they left for their homes in distant parts. In 1885 there was practically no missionary work being done in that important centre, and Ion Keith-Falconer longed to plant the standard of the Christian Gospel in that non-Christian place.

He prepared himself very carefully for his work. He was not a doctor himself, but he managed to gain a good deal of medical knowledge and, besides, he decided to have a fully qualified physician with him, for he knew how sorely Arabia needed such service. Ion Keith-Falconer was in a different position to that of most missionaries who leave for distant parts. He belonged to a famous Scottish family. He was possessed of considerable wealth. After his graduation with such unusual distinction there were a score of things he might have done in his native land. With wealth, honor, and social position, he might well have chosen to remain at home, but he thought of Arabia{25} with its teeming population who knew so little of Jesus Christ, and to that land he turned his steps and for it he gave his life.

He had not been long in Aden before he recognized that a medical mission was absolutely necessary. He decided to establish at Sheikh Othman, situated some miles from Aden. It was on the edge of the desert, and was directly on the great trade routes and all the caravans which made their way to Aden must pass through it. It had many advantages over Aden for his work. He knew that there he could meet people from many lands, where he could not go himself. So he set out to build an industrial refuge, a day-school, and a surgery. The industrial refuge was to teach the Arabian boys useful trades. He found that there was not one good carpenter in Aden, and when it came to doing many other necessary things the natives seemed helpless. Then the need for a surgery was very urgent. Ion decided to erect all these buildings at his own expense, then hand them over as a gift to the Free Church of Scotland. He secured a splendid site, made all arrangements for the buildings, then left for Scotland, determined to return bringing with him a first class doctor.

After an absence of some months, every day{26} of which was devoted to planning his work in Arabia, Ion Keith-Falconer returned bringing with him Dr. Cowen who had been on the staff of Western Infirmary, Glasgow. They began the surgical work at once. The Arabs had their own systems of medicine, which consisted for the most part of magic, such as the reciting of verses from the Koran, or the writing out of these verses and wearing them in the form of charms around the neck or elsewhere. These superstitious ideas were exceedingly crude and in many cases they were cruel, but they were deeply rooted in the minds of the people of all classes.

Dr. Cowen and Keith-Falconer had to face a good deal of suspicion and not a little opposition. From the first the upright, manly character of Keith-Falconer appealed to the Arabs. Dr. Cowen also gained their confidence, and from the very beginning there was no dearth of patients. At the end of the first six weeks, six hundred patients had been treated, in addition to many visits the doctor paid to people in their own houses. Soon the reputation of the hospital spread. Even among the first patients there were men of several different nationalities, and some were men of{27} considerable social standing while others were slaves.

While Dr. Cowen attended to the medical side of the mission, Keith-Falconer explained to the people the reason for their coming. Fortunately his knowledge of languages made it possible for him to teach and preach fluently and to tell them, in their own tongue, the message of the Gospel. When the people saw the good that was being done, their attitude became more and more kindly and so the missionary and his message were well received.

For nearly two years Keith-Falconer and Dr. Cowen labored with never ceasing devotion to help the people and to lead them to God. The Arabs are not naturally energetic and the way in which Keith-Falconer toiled surprised them, but at the same time, they could not withhold their admiration. One day he saw a poor sufferer in much pain at the side of the street. He asked some of the bystanders to carry the poor fellow to the hospital but they all seemed unwilling. Thereupon he signed for Dr. Cowen to come and take one end of the man’s bed. The sight of the two Europeans carrying the sick Arab was more than the natives could{28} stand, and they relieved the missionaries of their burden.

In February, 1887, Keith-Falconer was stricken down with fever. He did not want his wife or his friends to become alarmed and so made light of the attack. He did make a partial recovery, and it seemed as though he were going to recover, but it was not to be. On the morning of May 11th, he was found dead in bed. Very peacefully he had passed away in his sleep. He was only thirty-one when his brave young life came to a close. He was buried in Arabia near the people whom he loved and for whom he had given his life.

The work begun by Keith-Falconer has been carried on since his death, and the plans that he did not live to carry out have been developed by others. To-day at Sheikh Othman there is a fine school building, a large bungalow for the nurses, several small out-buildings for servants and patients, besides a noble two-story hospital. From many miles patients come, sometimes more than a hundred a day, and the hospital is at their service. And the Gospel is preached to them, for religious teaching goes hand-in-hand with the other work of the mission. Work among the Arabs{29} is not easy, but every worker in the “Keith-Falconer Mission” has the memory of a brave, manly, unselfish young man as a constant inspiration.{30}


The White Queen of Okoyong

IN August, 1876, a young girl left her home in Scotland to take up missionary work among the black people of Calabar, on the west coast of Africa. The girl’s name was Mary Slessor. She was born in Aberdeen, the second of seven children in a home which was made unhappy by the intemperance of the father. When still a mere child herself Mary had often been left in charge of the house while her mother who was the mainstay of the family, went out to work. Mary herself began to work at the age of eleven, and toiled at the weaving machine from six o’clock in the morning until six at night, in a factory where the whirring of belts, the flashing of shuttles, and the roar of great machines, left her utterly tired out at the close of the day.

Mary wanted to be a missionary. She loved children, and her favorite game was to gather a group of youngsters and pretend that they{31} were black children of the forest and she was their teacher. Livingstone died in 1873, when Mary Slessor was twenty-five years of age, and from that time her desire to become a missionary grew stronger. When she was accepted as a missionary and sent to Calabar, where a mere handful of missionaries were living among black savages, there was no happier girl in all the world.

Calabar was considered one of the most difficult of all missionary fields. Take a map of Africa and notice its position in the inmost recesses of the Gulf of Guinea. In more ways than one “Dark Calabar” was a white man’s grave. For a long time no white man was allowed to settle on shore, indeed few had any desire to do so, chiefly owing to the unhealthy climate and the ferocious nature of the savages. Every town of any size had its own king who maintained his position only so long as he was strong enough to subdue rebellion.

When Mary Slessor went there in 1876, missionary work had been carried on for about thirty years, and much good had been done among the natives living at the mouth of the Cross River, which flowed into the Gulf of Guinea, but only a few miles inland all the most cruel and barbarous practices of heathen{32}ism were carried on. Nothing had been done to banish their superstitions. Everywhere they believed in evil spirits who were responsible for all the troubles and misfortunes which visited them. When an accident occurred they believed it was the result of some spell cast upon the victim by another person. Naturally such beliefs led to continual fighting, and so the natives, many of whom were cannibals, raided each other’s homes and fought as only savages can.

The dwellers in the towns along the river regularly offered human sacrifices to the spirit of the river to ensure success in fishing. Whenever a chief died or any man of importance, there was a cruel slaughter among the people. A huge grave was dug into which was placed the body of the chief with his wives, who were bound hand and foot, but living, and buried with him. Slaves were then brought to the grave-side, sometimes more than a score beheaded, and their bodies tumbled into the grave. Nearly every battle between tribes was followed by a cannibal feast in which human beings were cruelly butchered and eaten. Indeed any of the cruel chiefs could order a number of men to be beheaded whenever he wished to make provision for a cannibal feast; or if{33} he wished to secure some of the goods which the slave-owners peddled, he could send hundreds of poor blacks to suffer the unspeakable horrors of slavery. To make matters worse, unscrupulous white men, engaged in the slave trade, introduced whiskey and other intoxicants, and these vices made it harder than ever for the missionaries to do their work.

One of the most cruel of native customs was the way in which twin children were destroyed. Whenever twin children were born the event was regarded with horror. The children were immediately buried alive and the unhappy mother was either killed or driven away from the village as an accursed being. The infants of slave mothers were often left to perish, and the mission was continually on the look-out to rescue such little ones, and take care of them whenever possible.

For twelve years Mary Slessor worked among the black people of Calabar and then decided to push on to work among the most notorious of all savages, the terrible tribe of Okoyong. No one had ever been able to influence these ferocious people. The most appalling stories of their barbarism reached the coast. They were a tribe of cruel head-hunters who acknowledged no central authority but{34} were a law unto themselves. They defied British administration. They spent their time in feasting and fighting, and the bringing of the white man’s “fire-water,” as they called whiskey, had made them more degraded than ever.

On August 3, 1888, the devoted missionary set out for the village of Ekenge, where the chief, Edem, was willing she should commence her work. The natives who had grown to love her shook their heads sadly when she stepped into her canoe to take the long voyage up the river. “I will always pray for you,” one said, “but you are courting death.” She took five little black orphans, whom she had adopted, with her and pushed off on her daring venture of faith and love.

Whatever ultimate purposes they had in their hearts the Okoyong tribe decided to permit Mary Slessor to live with them for a time at least. In a truly marvellous manner she made herself quite at home in their midst. She took complete charge of the building of her mud-walled house, and even did some of the work with her own hands. She spoke the native language fluently and had a wonderful way of winning her way into the hearts of the natives. She became in many respects as one of{35} themselves, because in her heart she yearned with pity and love for these savage people whose cruelties were the result of ignorance. “She went about with bare feet and bare head, lived on native food, drank unfiltered water, slept on the ground, got drenched with rain, and in short did everything that would have killed any ordinary person.”

Mary Slessor soon exerted a marvellous influence for good over the whole tribe. She visited the people in their huts and, whenever possible, gathered a group together and taught them. What a strange sight it must have been! A lonely Scottish woman toiling day and night, in sickness and in health, to help those poor black savages of the African jungle. She was very brave, but there must have been days of loneliness and almost of despair. Once during a severe illness she moaned, “I want my home and my mother.” A brief visit to Scotland restored her health and gave her new courage for her work.

By sheer courage she gained extraordinary power even over the fiercest of natives. Often she would plunge into the midst of a drunken brawl and separate the combatants. She was called “Ma” by the natives, which was a title of respect. Whenever there was an ugly fight{36} taking place the women would run to Mary Slessor, tell her about it and say: “Run, Ma, run.” Sometimes these calls came to her in the middle of the night; but day or night, whenever she had a chance to do good, “Ma” was willing, no matter what the danger might be. At times she seized guns and took them out of the hands of angry men who were strong enough to kill her with one blow had they so wished. They did not know what to make of her. Some of them thought her mad because she was rescuing helpless babies that had been thrown into the bush and left to perish. Then she gathered the children into her schools and taught them a great many things which their savage parents had never known. But they did recognize that she knew how to treat disease, and very soon they began to forsake the witch-doctors, and came to her whenever they were sick.

One day word was brought to her that two tribes were getting ready for a fight which would mean terrible massacre. Quickly she decided to visit them and do her utmost to prevent the bloodshed. Her friends feared for her safety and tried to dissuade her. “You must not go,” they pleaded, “the warriors may kill you, or the wild beasts destroy you.” To the{37} amazement of the savages she went out into the darkness toward the villages where the fighting spirit was brewing. Wild beasts were everywhere in the jungle through which she had to pass. Truly, she is mad, thought the natives, when she pressed on through the darkness.

At last, weak and breathless, she arrived among the warring tribes. They were doing much fierce yelling and savage beating of drums. The warriors were working themselves up into a frenzy. Would they listen to a woman who tried to stop a war? She walked to where one side stood lined up in unbroken lines. To the leaders she spoke sternly: “Why do you yell and shout? Behave like men, not fools.” Then to the other side she also spoke and earnestly appealed to their better selves. At first the fighters were grim and sullen. They recognized the truth of what she said, but their minds were set on war; they were wildly excited; they wanted blood. Trembling with earnestness she continued to plead. Would they fight on in spite of her pleading? Some were willing to listen to her while others raged and worked themselves into a fury. It was a tremendous test and much depended upon it. At last she began to gain, and as anger cooled{38} down she persuaded them to appoint representatives from both sides to meet together and settle the dispute in a peaceful way. Very solemnly she made them promise to live in peace together: “I am going away across the great waters to my home,” she said, “I shall be gone many moons. Promise me that you will not fight when I am gone.” They made this promise and when she returned from her visit to Scotland, they were able to tell her that they had kept it.

Her influence over the Okoyong people steadily increased. She fought—and fought successfully—the horrible custom of slaying human beings whenever a chief died, and also the still more brutal one, of burying alive the widows of such a man. Such was her wisdom and her tenderness of heart, that soon the natives decided that she should become the arbiter in all sorts of disputes. To this she gladly consented, so sometimes for a whole day she would sit quietly and knit, and listen to the long speeches of opposing parties in a quarrel. Then she would give her decision, and in a truly remarkable manner, all parties accepted her verdicts.

In 1891 the British Government appointed her Vice-Consul for Okoyong. This must be{39} considered as a wonderful tribute to her influence over a tribe that the Government had previously failed to handle. She accepted the position and discharged her duties to the great satisfaction of the Government and the native population.

She received from the King the Order of St. John of Jerusalem which is only conferred upon “Persons professing the Christian faith who are eminently distinguished for philanthropy.” She expressed pleasure at receiving this new honor, but hurried back to her work for her mind was ever busy with new ideas. Although she had to live among people and under conditions which would have horrified most people, she herself said: “I am the happiest and most grateful woman in the world.”

Mary Slessor worked in Calabar for nearly forty years and then, worn out with her labors, she died on January 13, 1915. She was laid to rest in that land for which she had done so much, and where she had seen the darkness of heathenism break before the coming of light. Around her grave the wondering people gathered, and one old native said what was in the hearts of all:

“Ma was a great blessing.{40}


The Beloved Schoolmaster of Lovedale

ONE evening, about sixty years ago, the wife of a British army officer living in Central Africa brought her four year old boy to a doctor for treatment. The lad had been bitten by a venomous snake in several places, and the mother was frantic with grief. The doctor whom she sought was away but a medical missionary, Dr. James Stewart, was sent for and he came at once. Without a moment’s hesitation he began to suck the poison out of the wounds, although in so doing he was putting his own life in danger. He stayed with the child all night and had the satisfaction of seeing the boy recover.

Dr. James Stewart arrived in Africa in 1861 when he was just thirty years of age. He was a young Scotchman, and had graduated from Edinburgh University after taking courses both in divinity and medicine. He was a big, husky fellow, over six feet two inches in{41} height, and had a long swinging stride when he walked which caused the African natives to nickname him “Somgxada”—the Swift Strider.

When he was only a boy James told his father that some day he would be a missionary. David Livingstone visited Scotland in 1857 and James Stewart heard him speak. Soon afterwards he offered to go as a missionary to the new mission in Africa and was accepted. After a few years in Africa he returned to Scotland to arouse a greater interest in African missions, and also to take further medical studies in order to be better fitted for his work. In 1867 he was appointed to the Lovedale mission which is situated in the south-east corner of Cape Colony, where is the ancient home of the Kaffir race.

There was already a mission with a good school, where native boys were given not only the chance to gain a good education, but were taught agriculture and several trades. Dr. Stewart lost no time in putting that African school on a sound basis. He astonished everybody by charging the natives a small fee. No one believed that the natives would pay for the education of their children, but Dr. Stewart carried his point, and, to the astonishment{42} of all, the school enrolment increased. The Africans seemed to appreciate that for which they paid. In four years the number of pupils rose from 92 to nearly 500. What a change it must have seemed to the old black people living around Lovedale, whose childhood days had been spent in wild scamperings through the dense bush, to see the children of another generation sitting at their desks and developing their minds.

Dr. Stewart believed in manual labor. The natives were naturally indolent; no doubt the climate had something to do with this, but Dr. Stewart decided that all the boys must work as well as study. Every afternoon at three o’clock the boys went out in work parties. The doctor went along with them, and not one of them could do more work than he. One day a party of white people visited the mission and found a gang of native boys hard at work. They addressed the foreman of the gang, “Is Dr. Stewart at home?” “Yes, he is,” was the reply. “Can you tell us where we can find him?” they continued. “Oh yes, he is here. I am Dr. Stewart.”

In the various schools and colleges throughout the world medals are given for different things. Good standing in languages, mathe{43}matics, English, or other subjects often means such a reward, but at Lovedale school Dr. Stewart decided to award a gold medal for the best spadework. Is there any other school in the world where a medal is given for this work?

To the north of Lovedale there was a tribe known as the Fingoes. They were the descendants of some Zulu tribes who had been granted a settlement by the British government because of their loyalty. These people had suffered so much at the hands of more ferocious tribes that they had become degraded and their spirit seemed broken. They heard about Dr. Stewart’s work for the Kaffirs at Lovedale, and they sent a message to the doctor pleading with him to commence a school in their midst; one which they said would be “a child of Lovedale.” Dr. Stewart did not see how it could be financed. He wrote a letter and told them that such a school would cost ten thousand dollars, and said that if they could raise half this amount he would find the remainder. Dr. Stewart felt sure that this would settle the matter for no native tribe had ever been asked to do such a thing before. What was his astonishment then, when, a few days later he received the startling message: “Come{44} along, the money is ready.” This touched Dr. Stewart’s heart and without further delay he decided to visit these strange black people who could raise five thousand dollars for a Christian school in that manner. The place where he was to meet the Fingoes was named Ngqamakwe. It was on the open veldt; there was no building large enough to hold the crowd of people who wished to witness the handing over of the money.

Just picture that scene on the African veldt. On a small table which stood on the grass was a heap of silver coins contributed by the black people, which amounted to over seven thousand dollars. On one side stood a great crowd of black people, eager, excited, desperately in earnest. Opposite to them stood the missionary, Dr. James Stewart, a tall athletic-looking man, but worn so with work that a friend described him as “a bag of bones.” One of the Fingoes pointed to the money and said: “There are the stones, now build.” Then the doctor promised them that an equal amount would be raised to put alongside their own, and so the new school was assured.

As often happens, the building of the school cost more than was anticipated, and a second{45} time the Fingoes came forward with seven thousand dollars and when at last the building was opened in 1877 the offering on that occasion cleared off the last dollar of debt. Has the school among the Fingoes been a success? This is what a traveler said in 1890: “The Fingoes are half a century ahead of their countrymen in wealth, intelligence, and material progress, agricultural skill, sobriety, and civilized habits of life.”

At the Lovedale school were gathered hundreds of the brightest boys in that part of South Africa. And these lads were gathered from many different tribes; from tribes that had once fought each other with all the ferocity of wild animals. Yet in the Lovedale school these boys; Fingoes, Melabele, Zulus, Basutos, Gaikas, Barolongs, Bechuanas, all sat together, in the friendliest manner under Dr. Stewart who loved each pupil as though he were his own boy. Many white men in Africa have said that the only way to get work out of the natives is to treat them roughly, sometimes brutally. Dr. Stewart never believed that, and he treated the black boys just as he would have wished any schoolmaster to treat his own children.

How sympathetic to the blacks Dr. Stewart{46} was may be judged from this incident, which was just one of many similar ones. He was once on a long journey with a pupil named Mzimba when one evening they came to an inn. The doctor insisted that unless accommodation were found for Mzimba, he himself would sleep in the barn and let his friend occupy the bedroom.

There was plenty of hard work in that school but there was a lot of fun, for Dr. Stewart’s heart bubbled over with good nature and somehow no one ever seemed to get tired doing the work which he suggested. On weekdays the morning bell rang at six o’clock and in a few minutes the whole community was astir. Work soon began in the classrooms and also in the workshops. This continued until about three o’clock in the afternoon when the boys became busy with outdoor work until five o’clock. On Sundays many of the senior boys went out to preach in the neighboring Kraals, often starting out at six-thirty and walking many long miles. In this way groups of Christians were formed in scores of villages throughout the whole countryside.

Dr. Stewart had amazing energy. In “Missionary Heroes of Africa,” by Rev. J. H. Morrison, there is this account of his labors:{47} “He deemed fourteen, sixteen, or even eighteen hours of incessant toil a common daily task. He taught in the institution, he edited a paper, he had medical charge of the mission. In addition to week-day services he preached two sermons every Sabbath, saw to every detail of the work, guided every distinct department, examined the classes, superintended the field companies; he was here, there, and everywhere, tireless, commanding, inspiring. At a period when medical aid was difficult to obtain in the district, many were the calls made on his strength. Yet he gave both ungrudgingly, and no home was too far, no road too difficult, no night too stormy, to hinder the great missionary in his errands of mercy.”

The amazing success of the institution at Lovedale became the talk of South Africa. Some people, of course, did not like the things that Dr. Stewart did. They objected to his educating black boys because, they said, it would make them lazy and conceited. They did not think he should teach them trades. They said that all skilled labor should be done by white men. In the face of sneers, ridicule, and opposition, Dr. Stewart quietly went on his way and after some years experience he published a statement to show just what had been done{48} for black boys at Lovedale. Up to that time 2,000 had passed through the institution; 36 had become preachers, 409 teachers, 6 lawyers, 3 journalists, 26 telegraphists, while others were doing splendid work in various trades or in farming. Is it any wonder that Dr. Stewart was proud of this record and that his enemies were silenced. When in 1900 Dr. Stewart published the record of the 6640 Lovedale boys the achievement was seen to be even more wonderful. The doctor pointed out that if these boys had never seen Lovedale school they would not have been able to tell the top of a printed page from the bottom. They would never have been able to use a tool of any kind whatever; or even to intelligently plant a garden.

Dr. Stewart labored in other parts of Africa but he gave so much of himself, his time, and strength and talents to Lovedale, that his name is forever associated with that place. Everyone knows who is meant by “Stewart of Lovedale.”

He died just four days before Christmas in 1905 and was buried on the summit of a hill overlooking the institution he loved so dearly and to which he had given the best years of his life. To the black man by his side he said{49} as he lay dying: “I wish I could have done more for your people and for Africa.” Sorrowfully the natives laid him to rest and in an address to Mrs. Stewart they said: “The friend of the natives is gone. To-day we are orphans. The wings which were stretched over us are folded, the hands which were stretched out in aid of the natives are resting. The eye which watched all danger is sleeping to-day, the voice which was raised in our behalf is still, and we are left sorrowful, amazed, troubled. But in our sorrow we say ‘God is not dead.{50}


A Brave Bishop of the Frozen North

AT the meetings of the Church of England Missionary Society held in London in 1865, there was one member who traveled thousands of miles in order to be present. This was Bishop Anderson from the extreme North-West of Canada. He told of the vastness of Canada, which at that time was so little understood, and of the children of the wild so many of whom lived and died without any knowledge of Christ. He told of one aged missionary, at his lonely mission station on the mighty Yukon River, whose strength was failing but who remained at his post until someone should relieve him. Leaning over the pulpit of the church in which he preached he pleaded: “Will no one come forward to take up the standard of the Lord as it falls from this man’s hand?”

A young clergyman was deeply touched by this appeal and offered to go to the Yukon to{51} relieve the aged missionary. This young man was William Bompas, and within three weeks his offer had been accepted, and he set out to his distant field which was eight thousand miles away. He left his English home on June 8, 1865, and it was his hope to be at his station by Christmas Day of that year.

To-day the long journey from London to the Yukon could be covered in a few weeks and the traveling be done in comfort. But William Bompas made this journey before the railways were built and when hardship and danger met the traveler at every step. After several weeks of weary travel he reached the Red River Settlement. From these they pushed on into the lonely north aided by Indians and half-breeds. There were long portages between lakes when everything had to be carried; stiff battles with drifting ice, with the cold wind whistling around them and freezing the water upon their clothes. At last, after one hundred and seventy-seven days of travel, they were within a few miles of Fort Simpson and it was Christmas Eve. Once more the dogs were urged forward and on the morning of Christmas Day the party was given a welcome at the Fort where stood the mission-house.

Without delay Mr. Bompas began to min{52}ister to the settlers in the distant north, many of whom were Indians and Eskimos. They were strange people in those desolate regions, with uncouth manners and living in such remote settlements that to reach them meant facing almost indescribable hardships and dangers.

A tribe of Eskimos living at the mouth of the Mackenzie River asked him to visit them. It meant a long and dangerous journey to the Arctic Coast but he decided to go. As he pressed forward, guided by two Eskimos, he received a message from the Chief urging him to turn back as the natives were starving and quarreling among themselves; one had been stabbed and killed in a dispute about some tobacco. He decided to push forward, but the glare of the sun was so severe that he was stricken with snow-blindness, and for several days he lived in total darkness led by the hand of an Eskimo and making twenty-five miles a day until the Eskimo camp was reached.

His appearance among the Eskimos excited a great deal of curiosity for no white man had ever visited them in that way before. Although they were woefully ignorant there was much about these strange people that appealed to the big-hearted missionary. He admired their{53} skill in building snow-houses, which he could compare to nothing so much as that of the bee in making its honeycomb. Truly it was a land of “home-made” things, for all the implements they had were made from old iron and such tin as came their way. Yet they made their own knives, saws, gimlets and many other tools, and with these they constructed their boats and canoes, bows and arrows, and whatever simple furniture they needed.

Although they gave him a welcome, Mr. Bompas soon saw that they were much given to lying, stealing, and even stabbing. They practised heathen dances, songs, and conjuring, and placed much dependence upon spells and charms. As soon as he gained a sufficient knowledge of their language he began to conduct religious services, and to teach them whatever he could. He went with them on their fishing expeditions, and often stood with them for hours as they fished through holes in the ice. During the cold weather he slept with them in their crowded houses and this is how he describes his experiences:

“The Eskimos sleep in their tents between their deerskins; all together in a row extending the whole length of the tent. If there are more than enough for one row they commence{54} a second one at the foot of the bed with their heads turned the other way. I generally rested fairly comfortably except when a foot was suddenly thrust into my side. At the same time it must be confessed that the Eskimos are rather noisy, often talking and singing a great part of the night.” The missionary remained with these Eskimos for several months and although his life was continually threatened by the medicine-men of the tribe, who came near to murdering him on several occasions, he escaped without injury.

In 1874 Mr. Bompas was recalled to England, there to be made Bishop of the vast northern Diocese of Athabasca. During this visit he was married and within a few days of his marriage he, with his bride, set his face once again to the bleak and lonely northland and never again did he visit his home or revisit the scenes of his childhood. He willingly and gladly gave the remainder of his life to those who needed him in the desolate spaces of the far north. He reached Fort Simpson on September 24, 1874. He and his bride received a tremendous welcome from those who had learned to respect and love him for his manliness and tender sympathy.

For years the Bishop traveled over the{55} North on missions of mercy. Often chilled to the bone, he roved over the pitiless waste with no sound to break the silence but the crunch, crunch of the snow-shoes or the yelping of his faithful dogs. Often he and his companions had to travel in the face of a blinding snow-storm, occasionally running before the dogs and sometimes getting hopelessly lost. When at night they reached a clump of bushes, they would start a fire if possible, melt snow in kettles to get water for themselves, and then feed the hungry, faithful dogs.

Often gaunt famine stalked through the Northland and the Bishop did everything that lay in his power to lessen the sufferings of his people. In 1878 food was extremely scarce, and to make matters worse the mission supplies did not arrive. This is the graphic account the Bishop gives of that terrible winter: “Horses were killed for food and furs were eaten at several of the posts. The Indians had to eat a good many of their beaver skins.” Again in 1886 there was an even greater famine. Game was scarce, very few moose were to be obtained, the rabbits nearly all died and the fish left the rivers. Starving wolves were seen prowling around, ready to snatch up anything, even carrying off little children if they got a{56} chance. To add to the general misery there was the horror of darkness, for candles could not be obtained, owing to the lack of deer, from which the grease was obtained.

During those days the amazing courage and cheerfulness of the Bishop did much to sustain the discouraged people. His own wants were few and simple and he never once complained but spoke hopefully of better days to come. When at last the terrible famine passed, the men and women of the Northland remembered the brave words of the good Bishop.

Once when winter approached it became necessary for the Bishop to visit Fort Norman, two hundred miles from Fort Simpson, and with some Indians he set out. A severe storm overtook them, and often they were chilled to the bone, and battled for their lives. They missed the trail, and were forced to put themselves on very short rations. The Bishop became so weary that he felt as though he would like to lie down and sleep but he knew that would mean certain death, so with face drawn and haggard he stumbled on, trying to keep pace with his more sturdy companions.

At last he could walk no further. His feet refused to move and he sank helpless upon the snow; “Leave me here,” he said to the In{57}dians, “I can go no further. You push on, and if you can, send me back some food.” There was nothing else to do, so building a fire under one of the trees, and spreading some fir boughs on the ground, the Indians once more started forward. There, in the lonely wilderness, with hungry wolves all around, the Bishop lay down perhaps to die. Fortunately the Indians reached Fort Norman in safety and soon a rescue party set out to search for the Bishop. It was thirty degrees below zero, and hungry wolves were prowling around, but at last, after a search which at times seemed futile, the Bishop was rescued. His beard was fringed with icicles, and he was hardly able to stand, but after a few days rest he was well again.

The Bishop did all he could to help the people in every way. He opened schools wherever it was possible. He kept a store of medicine in his home and became quite expert in his knowledge of Indian troubles. To them he was doctor, as well as teacher and preacher, and to him they turned whenever they were in trouble. He was tireless even to the last in his attendance upon sick persons. In cases of absolute necessity he even performed surgical operations. With no other instrument but a pocket-knife he was known to sever a diseased{58} toe, or thumb, from some member of his flock. Once he cut off a man’s leg with a common hand-saw and the man recovered and lived for many years. When small-pox raged he vaccinated over five hundred Indians.

He himself had suffered so much from snow-blindness that when he visited England in 1874, he took a course of study at an eye hospital and was henceforth able to treat those who suffered from snow-blindness with splendid success. Perhaps in no way was his attention so much needed as in stopping fights among the Indians. He was perfectly fearless and would rush between men who were slashing at each other with knives. Such was his influence over the Indians that as a rule his appearance upon the scene, during a fight, was sufficient to restore peace.

Bishop Bompas died suddenly on June 9, 1906. It was a Saturday, and he was preparing to preach the following day, when the pen slipped from his fingers, and without a struggle, without one word of farewell, the good Bishop heard and answered the call of God.

“There is a humble grave in one of the loveliest and most secluded spots of the Yukon ter{59}ritory. Dark pine-forests guard that grave. During the winter months pure, untrodden snow covers it. It is enclosed by a rough fence made of firwood, which an Indian woodman cut down and trimmed. But none will disturb that spot; no foot of man or beast will dishonor it; the sweet notes of the Canadian robin and the merry chirp of the snow-bird are almost the only sounds which break the silence of that sacred place. The Indians love that grave. The mission children visit it at times with soft steps and hushed voices to lay some cross of wild flowers or evergreen upon it. There is a grey granite headstone with the words: ‘In the peace of Christ,’ and the name and age of him who rests beneath. It is the grave of Bishop Bompas.”



The Doctor Who Stopped a Plague

TOWARD the close of 1910 a fine young doctor, Arthur Jackson, left his home in England to take up missionary work in Moukden, the capital of Manchuria. It would have been hard to find a livelier or more likeable young fellow anywhere than this twenty-six year old doctor. At school he was a general favorite with teachers and pupils, and very nearly set a record for prize winning in his studies. In athletics he was always to the front. He was one of the fastest runners in the whole school, an expert swimmer, an enthusiastic football player, and with it all so friendly that every boy who knew him seemed to feel that Arthur was his chum.

Arthur Jackson was only twenty-six when he set out for Moukden on September 29, 1910. He had secured the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Surgery, and Doctor of Tropical Medicine. It so happened, however, that just{61} as he approached Manchuria a deadly enemy, was also drawing near. This was the pneumonic plague, a horribly infectious disease. Two Chinese carpenters, recent arrivals in Manchuria, had died of this plague on November 12th. But before their death at least seven others had become infected. When the authorities learned of it they sent a doctor to inspect the cases but he found only one sick man, who died the next day. The other six had scattered to various places, carrying the deadly plague with them.

This pneumonic plague has often made its appearance in the East and always has taken many victims. It is not easy to check because it steals on so quietly that before its presence is recognized, its victims have moved in all directions and become its messengers. At first the patient has a headache with a generally tired feeling, but there is little cause for alarm in that. Then comes a cough and spitting of blood; later a general sleepiness; then death. Those who are close to the victim, and breathe his breath, are almost certain to fall ill in a few days, and to fall ill means to die for no one has been known to recover.

Diseases spread rapidly in the big cities of the East. Cholera and many different kinds of{62} fever thrive amid the terribly unsanitary conditions of many Eastern cities. They come regularly and, as very little is ever done to combat them, they take a fearful toll of human life. Many of the people believe that these diseases are sent by the gods, so they ask, what is the use of fighting them. When the pneumonic plague broke out in 1910, the Chinese Mandarin, at the head of affairs, was scornfully sceptical as to what the foreign doctors with their new-fangled ideas could do to check this plague which he thought had been decreed by heaven, and it was only when the death roll became heavy that he stirred himself.

When Dr. Jackson arrived at Moukden in November the plague had not reached the city although it was raging all around. In the city of Harbin, not far away, the deaths numbered two hundred a day, and in many other nearby cities it was raging almost unchecked. In one city the death in three months totalled three thousand; in another, six thousand, and in Harbin, nine thousand.

Soon the plague broke out in Moukden, and the worst was feared. It is the capital of Manchuria, with a population of over three hundred thousand. From January 2nd to the 12th{63} fifteen deaths were reported in Moukden, and the strictest measures were at once taken. To Dr. Jackson was given the very important task of medical inspection. Every passenger on the trains had to be most carefully examined, and if found with the disease, he was immediately taken to the hospital. If the disease was to be checked, two things became absolutely necessary. First, every single case must be reported. Secondly, all who had been in close contact with those who had taken the disease must be kept from meeting other people. To enforce these regulations became Dr. Jackson’s task, and an exceedingly difficult one it proved to be. Personally the young doctor was a general favorite from the start. The natives are quick to read character, and although Dr. Jackson could not speak their language, his winning smile, his patience and good nature, completely won their hearts. No foreigner in Manchuria ever won the favor of the natives in such short time as did Arthur Jackson.

Still the people were opposed to drastic measures. It seemed to them a terrible thing that a man’s liberty should be interfered with. Surely a man could live as he pleased and die as he chose. Why should doctors send inspectors into their homes to take away the sick?{64} Still less had they any right to interfere with those members of the family who had not yet taken the plague. These were foreign ways of doing things, and so most of the natives opposed the rules, or at least disobeyed them, thus making the young doctor’s work exceedingly trying.

Dr. Jackson and his helpers had to take every possible precaution to protect themselves. All on plague duty had to wear complete masks over their faces. Their long white robes were disinfected daily and, furthermore, they wore long rubber gloves and high water-proof boots. A dispensary was opened at the station, and no detail was overlooked. Just when Dr. Jackson had begun to think that Moukden might be spared the fearful scourge of the plague a serious thing happened.

The last train-load of coolies had left Moukden and everyone heaved a great sigh of relief, for it was the going and coming of these passengers that carried the infection. But when the train had been on its journey eighteen hours two coolies were found dead of the plague, and the railway authorities promptly ordered it back to Moukden. The passengers became panic-stricken and several of them managed to escape but others, to the number{65} of nearly five hundred, were locked up in cars and sent back to Moukden.

What was to be done with this car-load of men, all of whom were possible plague cases? One thing was certain. They must not be allowed to go free and spread the infection. Some kind of isolation was absolutely necessary. Dr. Jackson decided to act swiftly. The railway buildings could not be used but there were a number of inns close to the station. Certainly they were not very clean nor comfortable, but the doctor decided to commandeer them, and fix them up in the best way possible. When the train-load of coolies arrived it was bitterly cold and the shivering wretches were glad to exchange the freezing trucks for fairly comfortable rooms and good meals. A company of soldiers saw that none escaped, and so commenced a hard fight to save the great city of Moukden from a terrible fate.

Dr. Jackson began a daily inspection of the entire isolation quarters. It was exceedingly trying work, enough to exhaust the energy of three ordinary men, but the doctor had, at least, the confidence of everybody. All who came in contact with Dr. Jackson during those awful days never forgot the example he gave of tireless patience, of brotherliness, and of{66} tender feeling for the sufferers. In his book “Thirty Years in Moukden,” Dr. Christie writes: “All who came nearest to Dr. Jackson have before their inward vision for all time a fadeless memory of whole-hearted unselfishness and devotion.”

It is certain that had it not been for the untiring energy and patient firmness of Dr. Jackson the situation would have got completely out of hand and the dreadful plague would have swept through the great city of Moukden taking a fearful death-toll, and from there spreading throughout the whole of Manchuria. As it was, seventy died from Sunday to Thursday in the isolation hospital, and only the cheery kindness of the doctor prevented a panic.

He would allow none of his assistants, either doctors or nurses, to take any risks. If it were necessary to touch a dead man he would attend to it but would not allow others to do so. “Stand back there,” he would say, “don’t come near, it’s risky, and there is no need for us all to run risks.” Then after a terrific struggle, hard work began to tell and slowly but surely the plague was beaten back. The death-rate began to fall. One of the inns was pronounced clear, no case having occurred there{67} for some time and when the inmates were set free they went frantic with joy. The Government allowed each man to have a bath, a shave, and gave him new clothes and one dollar. There were no happier men in all Manchuria than those poor wretches who for many weary weeks had lived with death.

Just when it was known that the plague had been conquered Dr. Jackson’s friends noticed that he looked tired although he would not admit it. This was on Monday, January 23rd. The next evening when his friend Dr. Young entered his room, Dr. Jackson said “Look out, the spit has come.” It was the fatal spit of bloody tint which Dr. Jackson knew so well. From that moment he would not allow anyone to come near him, doing his utmost up till the very last to protect others. Both Dr. Christie and Dr. Young did their best for him but there was no hope, and on Wednesday, January 25th, he died, little more than twenty-four hours after the disease had first shown itself.

His death made a profound impression upon all, and especially upon the Chinese, with whom he had become a great favorite. Here was a young man, on the threshold of a great career, who had died for them; they could never forget that.{68}

The Chinese Viceroy who had been much opposed to foreigners, was anxious to have a public funeral, but this had to be refused in the interests of public health. However, he attended the funeral service, which was something quite new. The Viceroy was asked to speak and, when he did so, all were astonished at his words. He was deeply moved, as were all who heard him. He closed his address with the words: “O spirit of Dr. Jackson, we pray you to intercede for the twenty million people of Manchuria, and ask the Lord of Heaven to take away this pestilence, so that we once more lay our heads in peace upon our pillows. In life you were brave, now you are an exalted spirit. Noble spirit, who sacrificed your life for us, help us still, and look down in kindness upon us all!”

The Viceroy gave ten thousand dollars for Dr. Jackson’s family, and five thousand more for the new medical college where the doctor had intended to teach as soon as it was built. When Mrs. Jackson learned of this she wrote back asking that all the money be used for the college. Dr. Christie conveyed this message to the Viceroy who exclaimed: “What a mother! And what a son!”

To-day there is a handsome medical college{69} in Moukden from which graduates have gone out into all parts of Manchuria to help the suffering; and every graduate carries in his heart the fadeless memory of Arthur Jackson. In the hall of this college, facing the entrance, there is a tablet with this inscription

B.A., M.B., B.C., D.T.M.,

Who came to Moukden to teach in this College,
Believing that by serving China he might best
serve God, and who laid down his life in that
On January 25th, 1911,
Aged 26,
While striving to stay the advance of the
Pneumonic Plague.
The Western half of this building is erected by
Viceroy of Manchuria.



The Well-Digger of Aniwa

IN April, 1857, a young missionary, John Gibson Paton, and his wife set sail from Greenock, Scotland, to take up work among the savages of the New Hebrides, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. These islands had a bad reputation. In 1839 two missionaries, John Williams and a companion named Harris, landed there and were instantly clubbed to death and eaten by the cannibals. Other missionaries suffered innumerable hardships and barely escaped with their lives.

It was decided that the Patons should begin their work on the island of Tanna, if the savages would permit them to land and build a mission house. Mr. Paton and another missionary, Rev. John Inglis, who was living on an island named Aneityum, where the natives were friendly, landed at Tanna. Their first impressions nearly drove them to dismay. The{71} natives were practically naked, and were so degraded and miserable that the missionaries were filled with horror and pity. Most of their time was spent in ferocious fights, usually followed by cannibal feasts, when the victors ate their captives.

Dr. Paton was permitted to build a mission on the island; so on November 5, 1858, work among the savages was begun in earnest. First, the language had to be learned, and this was a difficult task. Mr. Paton would pick up a piece of wood and take it to a native, get him to name it. In much the same way he learned the names of the savage men and women. He gave presents to the more intelligent boys and men who in return told him the names of things and people.

At first the novelty of having white people on the island made the savages appear friendly, but after the novelty had passed away they showed how cruel and vicious they could be. The dangers so increased that residence on the island became extremely difficult. The natives were very superstitious and their “sacred men” hated the missionaries and stirred up the people against them. Whenever any calamity occurred, or rain did not come, these “sacred men” blamed the missionaries,{72} and the enraged savages came near to murdering them several times. On one occasion some chiefs called the people together and decided that if rain did not come very soon they would kill and eat John G. Paton and his wife. On the Sabbath, just when the few Christians were assembling for worship, rain fell in great abundance, and so the threat was not fulfilled. For four years the Patons remained among the cannibals on Tanna island, and there never was a day when they were not in danger of being killed. They did gather around them a small group of Christians, but these were few in numbers compared to the number of savages.

At last it was decided by the missionary society that the Patons should leave Tanna for the time being, and move to Aniwa, an island just fifteen miles distant. In spite of the frightful dangers through which they had passed on Tanna the brave missionary and his wife felt it keenly when the time came to leave “Dark Tanna” and move to Aniwa.

The language of the Aniwans had to be learned first, for it was quite distinct from that of Tanna. The natives appeared friendly, but were superstitious and deceitful. They compelled the missionaries to build their house on{73} the top of a mound where the remains of many cannibal feasts had been thrown. None but the sacred men durst touch these bones and the cannibals felt sure that their gods would strike the missionaries dead. A fairly substantial home was built, much to the surprise of the natives.

Soon an orphanage became necessary. Often when a savage died the cruel practice of strangling his widow was followed and many children were thus left destitute. Dr. Paton built two homes for these unfortunate children, one for boys and another for girls, and cared for them as tenderly as though they were his own children.

Every day after dinner the missionary rang a bell which made known to the natives that he was willing to give advice or medicine to any who were sick. Sometimes when epidemics visited the island, which was quite often, the demands on his time and strength were very great, but he worked on with every ounce of strength he had and, very slowly but surely, he won the confidence and affection of some who believed his message about Jesus.

One day when he was building his house he needed some tools, so picking up a piece of planed wood, he penciled a few words on it and{74} asked an old chief to take it to Mrs. Paton and said that she would know what he wanted. The Aniwans had no written language so the old man did not understand how Mrs. Paton would know what her husband wanted. “How will she know?” he asked. “The wood will tell her,” said Dr. Paton. This was too much for the old chief who thought he was being fooled. “Whoever heard of wood speaking,” he retorted with some heat. After a good deal of pleading, he was persuaded to go and show the wood to Mrs. Paton. He was more than amazed when, after reading the message, she brought the needed articles. The story of the speaking wood quickly spread and the natives were eager to have a written language of their own. It is interesting to remember that missionaries to other peoples have had similar experiences.

Whenever any calamity occurred the superstitious savages were sure to blame Dr. Paton and threaten to murder him. Two men were carrying one of his boxes suspended from a pole carried from shoulder to shoulder. One of them was seized with vomiting of blood and this was attributed to some evil influence of the missionary, who came near being murdered. He did not want such a thing to happen{75} again, so he made a wheel-barrow to convey his boxes from where they had been landed to the mission house.

The spirit of war was constantly abroad, and when their anger was kindled the savages would stop at nothing. Many times Dr. Paton would rush into the arms of some savage whose club was raised to kill him, and hold his arms tight until his anger had cooled. At times it seemed as if nothing could prevent his being murdered, but he seemed to lead a charmed life, and the savages themselves began to think that there was some special unseen power watching over the missionary to protect him.

The first Christian convert was an old chief named Namakei. He had been friendly from the beginning although his brother, who was the sacred man of the tribe, had twice tried to murder Dr. Paton. From being a savage cannibal Namakei changed so that he became a beloved character, kind, tender, and gentle to his loved ones and forgiving to his enemies. At the end of three years twelve natives had become Christians and the first church at Aniwa was organized. Soon churches were started in other places and very slowly, yet steadily, the good seed began to bear fruit.

The island of Aniwa was very flat and often{76} for months at a time there was little or no fresh water. The natives had to rely upon the milk of cocoanuts, but these were not to be found everywhere and sometimes the absence of rain caused a great suffering. Dr. Paton resolved to sink a well near the mission premises. He prayed that God would guide him to a spot where there was a spring.

When he made known his intentions to the natives they gasped with astonishment. “Rain only comes from above,” they said “you cannot get showers from below!” When he persisted in digging the well his old friend Namakei said, “O, Missi, your head is going wrong! You are losing something or you would not talk like that. Don’t let our people hear you talk about going down into the earth for rain, or they will never listen to your word or believe you again.”

Dr. Paton began to dig in spite of protests. The old chief set his men to watch him lest he should try to take his life. He felt sure that the missionary he loved was demented. Dr. Paton worked until he was exhausted, but he did not want to admit how tired he was. He went into the mission house and filled his pockets with large fish-hooks. These were very tempting to the natives, so holding them up he said: “One{77} of these to every man who turns over three bucketfuls of earth out of this hole.”

There was such a rush to help him that the natives had to line up in a row and take turns until everyone had his chance, then a start was made all over again. Still none of them believed it possible that water could ever be got from below, but they did want fish-hooks so they worked hard helping to dig the well.

One morning the side of the well was found to have caved in and for the fiftieth time Namakei tried to persuade Dr. Paton to give up. “If you had been in that hole when it fell in,” he said, “you would have been killed and the Queen’s man-of-war would have come and we should all have been punished for killing you. No one would believe us if we told them that you were trying to get water from below.”

Dr. Paton went on with his well-digging harder than ever. He braced the sides of the well with two strong branches of trees. Over these he passed a beam and fastened a home-made pulley and block so that a bucket could be pulled up and down the well. Not a native would go down into the hole so he went himself and filled the bucket with earth. He rang a little bell when the bucket was full and this was the signal to pull it up.{78}

Day after day he toiled until he reached a depth of thirty feet. He was very much concerned, for this was the depth at which he thought he would get water, if at all. The earth was beginning to feel damp. Still he feared that the water might be salt. That evening he felt sure he was going to get water—fresh or salt—and he said to Namakei: “I think God will give us water to-morrow from that hole.” The chief sadly shook his head: “You will never see rain coming out of the earth,” he said.

When Dr. Paton went down into the well next day the perspiration broke out over him from sheer excitement. Would he get water, and if he did, would it be fresh or salt? Soon it came. Eagerly he tasted it, and almost fell upon his knees in the water and mud in gratitude, for it was fresh. The chiefs and their men had assembled in large numbers. When Dr. Paton came up bringing the water with him, they gazed at it in superstitious fear. Namakei shook it to see if it was real water, and then spilled some. Then there was consternation everywhere. The natives were “weak with wonder.” They asked a great many questions. Would it always be there? Could everyone use it? When these questions{79} were answered to their satisfaction, their joy and gratitude knew no bounds. From that day the backbone of heathenism in Aniwa was broken. Dr. Paton had helped them for many years, even when they tried to kill him. He taught them many things, but nothing seemed so wonderful as bringing the rain out of the earth.

Dr. Paton dwelt on Aniwa island for fifteen years and lived to see, not only that island, but also the island of Tanna thoroughly Christianized. The horrible cruelties of cannibalism were forsaken altogether. The abominable practices of former days gave place to a beautiful Christian worship, and this was true of all the islands of the New Hebrides. Two of Dr. Paton’s sons became missionaries on these islands, and when he was over eighty years of age he visited both Tanna and Aniwa, and the entire population turned out to show their deep affection for the dear, white-haired old missionary; their father in God.{80}


The Man Who Could Turn His Hand to Anything

IN April, 1875, a party of eight missionaries left England to take up work in Uganda. In less than two years, of this number two had died, two had been murdered, and two had to return home because of ill-health. One of the two who remained in Africa was Alexander MacKay. He was only twenty-seven when he went out and he gave fourteen years of his life for Uganda before he was laid to rest in his grave beside the great Nyanza.

It was decided first to go to Zanzibar then to go inland for 800 miles to that great inland sea, Lake Victoria Nyanza. There was some delay at Zanzibar but at last the party set out on the long and dangerous journey along almost impassable roads, narrow footpaths, evil-smelling swamps. They themselves did not realize through what terrible dangers they were passing. As they sailed up the Wami{81} River there was a heavy growth of bushes on either side which gave an air of mystery to the adventure. They knew that wild beasts were often lurking in the gloom. Probably they did not know that many of the tribes they passed were notorious cannibals.

After they had journeyed several hundred miles MacKay was stricken with fever. They passed through a desert, where there was neither food or water to be had, and he became weaker. He did not want to turn back. Even when his body was racked with pain he had the courage of a lion, but at last he became so weak that he allowed himself to be carried back to the coast on the shoulders of two strong men, while the other members of the party pressed forward.

When he recovered MacKay was eager to start again for Uganda, but he received word from the Missionary Committee not to do so until the rainy season was over. He began to make a wagon road from the coast to Mpapwa, a distance of 230 miles. With a large number of black men to help him he commenced first to clear the trees for a hundred miles. There were strange sounds in the dense jungle as with picks, axes, and shovels the work of road making went on under the direction of the{82} young engineer. It was hard work, for some of the baobab trees were so stubborn that they turned the axe edge and would scarcely yield. MacKay encouraged the men to sing at the work, and so to the chant of lively native songs the road was made through the jungle.

At last, in the spring of 1878, MacKay was able to set out again for Uganda, and after a very trying journey he reached the shores of Lake Victoria Nyanza at Kageyi. Here he found that his companions had left the Daisy behind and pressed on to Uganda. A black chief, Kaduma, received him kindly and showed him where the mission property had been stored. It had been plundered by freed and runaway slaves from Zanzibar and everywhere was jumbled together and piled in heaps. This is how MacKay describes the sight: “There were boiler shells and books, candle moulds, papers and piston-rods, printer’s types and tent poles, carbolic acid, cartridges and chloroform, saws and garden seeds, traveling trunks, tins of bacon and bags of clothes, pumps and ploughs, portable forges and boiler fittings—here a cylinder, there its sole plate, here a crankshaft, there an eccentric—altogether a terrible arrangement.{83}

To straighten all these things seemed to require the patience of Job, but MacKay was equal to it. He began at once to put things in order, and in ten days he himself was astonished at the progress he had made. But when he came to look over the Daisy he needed all his courage and mechanical skill. To get the little vessel into good shape seemed almost a hopeless task for there was hardly a sound plank. The planks were twisted and warped in the blazing sun. A hippopotamus had crunched the bow between its huge jaws, and much of the timber was almost ruined by white ants. Years before this MacKay had read a letter by the explorer Stanley which stated that the kind of missionary most needed in Africa was a man who could “Turn his hand to anything.” So without delay, MacKay set about fixing up the Daisy.

He nailed sheets of lead and zinc on the bow and stern. He caulked up the seams with wool picked from the bushes near the lake. The natives gathered around him as he worked and their wonder constantly grew. When he melted down the fat of an ox and turned out beautiful candles, their amazement knew no bounds. Again and again he heard them whisper to each other that white men must{84} come from heaven, and that was why they were so wise and could do so many things. They stood around eager to help, and it was counted a great honor to do anything for him. MacKay loved these black people, and as he watched the bright faces of the boys and girls he dreamed of a day when he could settle down and teach them every day; when he could tell them about the love of God and watch them grow up into fine men and women. Perhaps, he thought, he might be able to establish a training college, and then many would become teachers and preachers themselves.

At last the Daisy was ready and she was launched and MacKay sailed up the Nyanza to Uganda which he reached on November 1, 1878. Here he was received by King Mtesa.

MacKay had heard a great deal about King Mtesa. Stanley evidently had a good opinion of him, but others who knew him better did not think they could trust him very much. MacKay set off to have his first interview with this man, carrying with him valuable presents. As he approached the royal residence there was a tattoo of royal drums, accompanied by a blare of trumpets. The King lay reclining upon a low couch as MacKay entered. He was clothed from head to foot in a snowy white{85} robe, and a long black robe embroidered with gold braid. He bowed slightly, placing his hand upon his heart. He took a very deliberate survey of MacKay, gazing at him intently for fully ten minutes, without saying one word. MacKay was equally interested in the King. They looked at each other in dead silence. To the European the back of any black man’s mind is pretty much a mystery. MacKay, however, felt sure of one thing—Mtesa was unhappy. MacKay made up his mind that when he came to know Mtesa better he would have a straight talk about religion with him, and the New Testament would be his text-book.

At last Mtesa spoke. He solemnly told MacKay that he would never make war on England. Mtesa was very vain and imagined himself to be the greatest monarch on earth. He was intelligent and seemed in some ways to be a fine man, but in the end he proved to be cruel and deceitful.

For a time Mtesa and his chiefs were very cordial to MacKay. His mechanical skill amazed them. They had never seen anything like it. “MacKay is a great spirit,” they said as they watched him at work. Another thing which pleased them was MacKay’s willingness to teach them whatever he could. They had{86} known wise men of their own tribes who kept their secrets and tricks to themselves. Here was a man quite different. He was anxious to explain all he knew so that they might do these wonderful things for themselves.

Mtesa gave MacKay land on which to build a house, and when the missionary began to build the natives watched his every move with wonder and amazement. He also fixed up a workshop where he toiled with forge and anvil, vise and lathe and grindstone. Often around the door of this workshop there would be a crowd of Uganda chiefs with their slaves, all eager and excited as they heard the bellows roar. They gazed at the missionary as he swung the hammer in his strong bare arms. They watched him, as with pincers, he gripped the red-hot iron and hammered it into shape, and then plunged it hissing into the bath of water beside him.

One day, as he stood at the back of his workshop, MacKay saw the women carrying their water-pots full of stagnant water from the low-lying marsh. He knew that a great deal of the fever which carried away so many lives each year was due to their drinking the poisonous water from the swamp. There and then he{87} decided that he would endeavor to find pure water by digging wells.

He searched the hillsides until he found a bed of clay, and with the help of several black men he began digging. Even the natives who loved him and gladly gave their services thought he must be mad to be trying to find water by digging in the earth. They had never heard of such a thing. MacKay kept on encouraging them by saying that after they had dug to a certain depth, pure, fresh water would be found. They dug down until they could no longer throw the earth over the sides of the hole. MacKay then made a pulley and with rope and bucket the earth was pulled up. And then at last they came upon pure fresh water. They laughed and shouted for joy for none of them had really believed such a thing was possible. “MacKay is the great wizard,” they shouted. “The King must see this.” Mtesa heard of the well and summoning men, ordered them to carry him to where the well was situated. His astonishment knew no bounds. He was naturally of a jealous disposition, but he had to admit that MacKay could do many wonderful things. What astonished him more than anything else was MacKay’s tremendous{88} energy. Mtesa’s idea of greatness was to get rid of work. Only slaves worked hard. The greater a man was the less work he did. But no slave in Uganda worked harder than MacKay.

After a while Mtesa died and was followed by his son Mwanga, who was less favorable to the missionaries than his father. He threatened to kill all the native Christians. In June, 1886, a terrible persecution broke out and thirty-two Christians were burned to death by Mwanga’s orders. These martyrs died praying to God and manifesting such amazing courage that the head executioner told the King that he had never before killed such brave people. Mwanga only laughed and said “But God did not deliver them from the fire.” The seed planted by MacKay was taking deep root, and although it meant for many of them terrible persecution, and even a horrible death, steadily the band of Christians grew in numbers and in influence.

MacKay went steadily on with his work. He translated Matthew’s gospel into the Luganda tongue, an achievement that gave him great joy. However he decided to leave Uganda, at least for a while, if another missionary were permitted to replace him. To this King{89} Mwanga consented and MacKay left in July, 1887, and moved to another station named Usambiro. Here in February, 1890, he was stricken with fever, and after four days illness he passed away on February 8th, having given fourteen years of unselfish service to win the people of Uganda for Jesus Christ.

His death was a great blow to the African mission. For many months the natives could talk of little else. Such manliness, devotion to duty, and unselfish love are rare upon earth. The great Stanley said of him, “He was the best missionary since Livingstone.” He was buried by the shores of Lake Victoria Nyanza, but the influence of his life survives, and will never die. The black people of Uganda—that far-away land—hold his memory in their hearts forever.{90}


A Messenger of Mercy on the Afghan Frontier

IN October, 1892, a brilliant young man of twenty-five, named Theodore Leighton Pennell, left England to take up missionary work in Northwest India on the borders of wild Afghanistan, a country that missionaries were not permitted to enter. One year previously he had obtained his doctor’s diploma. He was accompanied by his widowed mother who, although she was glad to have her only son become a missionary, could not endure the thought of separation from him.

The Afghans are a strange race of people. For centuries they have had little to do with other nations. They are passionate, vicious, cruel to their enemies, often treacherous to their friends. They do not seem to know what the word forgiveness means. They have a perfect mania for revenge. If an Afghan is killed by another, his relatives will never rest until{91} his death has been avenged. Just across the borders from Bannu, where Dr. Pennell settled, no Afghan would think of going out of his home without a rifle thrown over his shoulder. The blood-feuds between families were so bitter that frequently whole families were wiped out. Every family seemed to feel that in order to uphold its honor, enemies must be destroyed, and if they could be murdered in some deceitful way, so much the better.

When Dr. Pennell did succeed in establishing a hospital, frequently patients would ask for beds far removed from a window that opened on a public road. They knew that their enemies would not hesitate to shoot them as they lay in a hospital bed. Once there came to the doctor a man whose eyes had been destroyed by his enemy. When told that he would never see again, he said piteously, “Oh, Sahib, if you can give me some sight just long enough so that I can shoot my enemy, then I shall be satisfied to be blind all the rest of my life.”

These Afghans are religious, but it is a strange kind of religion. They are nearly all Mohammedans and bitterly opposed to Christianity. They believe that to offer violent opposition to Christians pleases God, and to murder one is often a sure way to enter Paradise.{92} Had Dr. Pennell simply gone to teach and preach it is not likely that he would have made much headway, but when the natives discovered that he was a skilful physician, they gave him a warm welcome.

A residence at Bannu of only two weeks convinced him that a hospital was badly needed. The amount of disease was terrible and the attempts of “fakirs” to treat sufferers were so crude as to be worse than no help at all. One favorite method of treatment by the fakirs was to strip a patient naked, wrap him in the warm hide of a sheep or goat, with the raw surface next to him, then cover him with heavy quilts. Another method was to roll a bit of cloth into a hard disc about the size of a silver quarter, soak it in oil, and set it afire on the afflicted part. For neuralgia the temples were treated in this way; if the patient were suffering from headache, the head; if from rheumatism then the shoulders were scalded in this same manner. It is no wonder that the medical skill of Dr. Pennell won him many friends. Even those who were bitter and fanatical in their opposition to Christianity had to admit that he was a good doctor. Then he was kind and patient with all. He never spared himself. No matter how poor and repulsive a sufferer{93} might be, the doctor treated him with as much care and courtesy as if he had been a king.

His reputation soon spread along the whole frontier among men whose cruelty and viciousness made them act like savages. Soon he was treating as many as two hundred and twenty patients a day, and when after a while he was able to erect a small hospital, he often treated three hundred patients a day. Not content with treating the sufferers who came to him, he often took long journeys to help those who could not visit him. Generally he had to travel by night lest some fanatical Mohammedan might murder him, hoping in that way to obtain a sure entrance to Paradise.

The hardships Dr. Pennell braved when on these long journeys would certainly have discouraged a less courageous man. He crossed swollen rivers at places which astonished even the natives. He pushed on under the tropical sun when there was an epidemic of sunstroke and hundreds were dying from its effects. Often he had to stay in villages where the sanitary conditions were so bad as to be a menace to health, yet forward he went on his ministry of teaching and healing, showing towards all kindness, patience, and a desire to serve that almost seemed more than human.{94}

The mullahs, who were the Mohammedan priests, bitterly opposed him wherever he attempted to preach. They interrupted him in his addresses and did not hesitate to hurl stones. When the people came to him for medical treatment these mullahs tried to drive them away by telling all manner of ridiculous stories, even going so far as to say that his medicine had in it that which would turn them into Christians and thus destroy their souls. Still the poor sufferers came to him for treatment, and he often treated as many as two hundred patients a day and performed twenty operations.

While he loved all classes Dr. Pennell was especially anxious to help the poor whose lot around Bannu was hard almost beyond description. Class distinctions were rigid and the poor were despised. The doctor decided to live among the lowly and be a brother to them. He ate the same food as they did, which first surprised, then greatly pleased them. He was even known to relieve a coolie of his burden when on a long journey. It was such acts of kindness which revealed the loving heart of Dr. Pennell, and slowly, but surely, broke down opposition and won him many warm friends. Then he decided that in order to get still nearer to the people{95} he would lay aside his European clothing and wear Eastern dress. He grew a beard in order to conform to custom, so that, as he moved among them, teaching and healing, he no longer looked like a foreigner, but seemed one of themselves. This was so true that once, when he was in the city of Lahore, in India, he attended a service at the English cathedral, but was denied admission to the section reserved for Englishmen, the vergers being quite convinced that he was a native. On another occasion he was not allowed to enter a railway carriage labelled “For Europeans” because the official did not believe that he was an Englishman. Many another man would have shown anger and insisted upon his rights but that was not Dr. Pennell’s way of doing things. He cheerfully found a place among the native Indians and sat up all night. He tried with all his might to do as St. Paul did, that is, he became all things to all men that he might win them.

He saw that a school for boys was necessary, and established one at Bannu. Many of these boys were from the wild tribes along the Afghan border, where the blood-feud was strong. All their lives these lads had listened to stories of revenge and cruelty, yet Dr. Pennell succeeded in forming among them a society whose{96} members were pledged to render assistance to the needy, sick, and maimed. Soon the influence of the school had a wonderful effect upon the boys. Instead of being cruel and selfish they began to show kindness to cripples and to sick people. They took an interest in the destitute folk and carried them food; and so these boys from wild Afghan tribes, where revenge was considered a sacred duty, showed that they were just as capable of loving and serving as others, when they were taught in the right way.

Dr. Pennell taught the boys to play football and cricket, and took a team on a tour to a number of cities in India where they played games against rival teams. The tour did the boys a world of good. Later on many of these boys became leaders among their own people, but they never forgot Dr. Pennell and his deep and loving interest in them all.

The growth of the church at Bannu was painfully slow; so slow that in 1901 after Dr. Pennell had been there nine years there were only twenty-six converts. The chief reason for this was the bitter opposition to Christianity by the Mohammedans. A convert, whether Indian or Afghan, at once became an object of hate, and it was difficult to get native assistants{97} either for the medical work in the hospital or for the school. Still Dr. Pennell did not gauge the success of his work by numbers. He just kept steadily on, sowing the good seed, and feeling sure in his heart that God would bless the work.

When the cholera plague broke out and, owing chiefly to the unsanitary condition of the dwellings, hundreds died, he did all that he could do to check it and help the victims. So self-sacrificing and successful was he that in 1903 the Government of India decorated him with the Kaiser-i-Hind Silver Medal, which is only bestowed upon those who have rendered some great service to the country. In 1911 he was decorated with the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal; an even greater honor.

In 1908, after more than fifteen years of strenuous work in India, Dr. Pennell made a brief visit to England, while his mother remained in India. Then the sorrowful tidings reached him of his mother’s death. This news brought him great sorrow, but he went bravely about his work, addressing scores of meetings, and adding to his medical knowledge so that he might render greater service when he returned to Bannu.

A great reception awaited him on his return.{98} More than fifteen years of self-sacrifice and service had won the hearts of the people. Perhaps his absence of a few months taught them how much they needed him. At all events they did all they could to show their appreciation. When he visited the village of Karak, near Bannu, the entire population of five hundred people came out to meet him, yet several years before this no one in this village would even give him a drink of water and they had driven him away with stones.

Dr. Pennell lived to carry on his work another four years. Early in March, 1912, a building was begun which was to be a new hospital for women. Just a few days after this the doctor was taken ill, after operating on his colleague who had a violent case of septic poisoning. Dr. Pennell took the infection, and on the morning of March 23rd he passed quietly away.

The grief of the natives over his death was very touching. “He lay in his Pathan dress, while they filed silently by—Hindus, Mohammedans, rugged warriors from over the border, women and children, school-boys, beggars, patients, the lame, the halt, the blind, old and young, foe and friend; all united by the common sorrow that bowed all heads alike.{99}

The wild men of the Afghan border, men often bitter, cruel, and filled with revenge, gathered around the grave of Dr. Pennell, and pressed forward to touch his coffin. “He is not dead,” they said, “Our Doctor Sahib could not die. He lives.{100}


With Christ on Lonely Labrador

ONE June day in 1892 a little vessel named the Albert left the harbor of Great Yarmouth, England, and set her course straight westward. On board that little craft was a young doctor named Wilfred Thomason Grenfell, sent out by the Deep Sea Mission to work among the fishermen on the bleak and lonely coast of Labrador.

His father was schoolmaster in a little fishing village not far south of Liverpool, and as a boy Wilfred grew to love the sea. Soon he learned to row a boat and swim, until he was almost as much at home in the water as on land. Then occasionally he was allowed to go out to sea with the fishermen and spend all night, sometimes longer, with them as they toiled at their fishing. He loved adventure and he had plenty of chances to have fun among the marshes and on the river Dee, which flowed past his home.{101}

Wilfred was attracted to the village doctor. He had seen him setting out in all kinds of weather, often undertaking long and troublesome journeys in order to relieve pain and restore health. The more he saw of this man the more he respected and admired him, and so Wilfred Grenfell decided to be a doctor. After attending college and graduating, he worked for some time among the North Sea fishermen where he gained valuable experience, and when a doctor was needed for the work on Labrador he was eager to go. Everyone who knew him felt that he was the right man for the place.

Labrador is a peninsula stretching along the northeast Atlantic Coast from Cape Charles in the south to Cape Chidley in the extreme north, for a distance of nearly seven hundred miles. It is anything but an inviting coast—even in summer-time it looks bleak and barren. The author and traveler, Dillon Wallace, who has covered the peninsula more than once, says that there is not one beaten road in all the land. There is no single strip of sandy beach in all the seven hundred miles. There is no grassy bank, no green fields, and only the hardy vegetables can be made to grow there.

When Dr. Grenfell first went to Labrador,{102} in 1892, there were nearly twenty-five thousand Newfoundland fishermen who were there catching cod, for off the Labrador coast is the finest cod-fishing ground in the world. For years these men had left their homes to fish off Labrador, and yet there was not a single doctor to help them, nor was there one on the whole coast. Hundreds upon hundreds of men who were taken sick must have suffered and died just for lack of medical or surgical aid.

In addition to these Newfoundland fishermen, who visited the coast for about three months each summer, there were the people who lived on the Labrador coast all the year. These people are called “liveyeres,” meaning people who “live here.” These people, who are either whites or half-breeds, have their homes at the heads of bays in winter, where they do much trapping; in the summer they visit the coast and fish. Strictly speaking, none of these people live inland. The interior is a vast and almost unexplored and uninhabited wilderness, bleak, barren, and inhospitable. In addition to the “liveyeres,” there are wandering Indians known as Montagnais, and to the far north are Eskimos.

The arrival of the Albert among the vessels of the fishing fleet aroused much curiosity.{103} Vessels of traders were often seen, for these men competed with one another for the fishermen’s catch. But this little vessel with the blue flag was quite different and her anchor chains had scarcely dropped before little boats were pulling towards her from a score of vessels.

The news spread like wild-fire that this was a hospital ship with an English doctor on board who was willing, in fact anxious, to help everyone he could, and that he would not take any money for his services or for his medicine. He had been sent to them by the Deep Sea Mission. The news seemed almost too good to be true. Previous to this there had been a mail-boat which made a few trips during the summer-time with a doctor aboard, but about all the doctor could do was to make a very hurried visit, and leave a bottle of medicine. Dr. Grenfell meant to do something very different. He would live among the people, going from harbor to harbor and from home to home. The King himself could not have been more welcome, and he was sorely needed.

That first day in 1892 was a busy time for the doctor. All day long people came to see him. It seemed to him that there must be sick people on board every schooner in the harbor. The next day was much the same, only by this{104} time the “liveyeres” on shore had heard about this good messenger and some brought their sick to the Albert, while others pleaded with him to visit those at home who could not be moved. Some of these people were seriously ill with dangerous and painful diseases. The ailments of others were trivial. Sometimes a tooth had to be extracted or perhaps a limb had to be amputated. In every case the doctor did all that lay in his power, and did it without price, which to these poor people was a great boon.

Then the Albert sailed north. There are a great many natural harbors on the Newfoundland coast. Many of them are hidden away behind islands or some miles up deep bays, where the fury of the ocean is not felt.

The doctor determined to visit as many of these little coves and harbors as he possibly could, for he knew there must be many sufferers who never had any medical attention. So north he sailed on his mission of mercy and good cheer. Everywhere he went he found those who badly needed him, and in every place he was more than welcome. There were no idle days that summer for the doctor; there was no busier man on the Labrador coast, nor anywhere else, than he, and when the season{105} was over he found that he had treated no less than nine hundred patients. Sometimes he was so exhausted he could scarcely keep going, but in his heart he knew genuine happiness, that feeling which always comes to those who help others.

Sometimes Dr. Grenfell visited people who needed more than medicine or a surgical operation. They needed constant care, nourishing food and skilful nursing for several weeks or months. Never before had the doctor witnessed such distressing scenes, and his heart ached to help the people who so bravely faced terrible hardships and had so few of the comforts, or even the necessities of life.

One day in October, when the snow was on the ground, Dr. Grenfell visited a home where the husband had recently died, leaving a woman and several little children to face a Labrador winter with no provisions. He did what he could for them, and there and then made up his mind to go to England and raise funds to build two hospitals and an orphanage to take care of the sufferers on Labrador.

A Newfoundland merchant Mr. W. B. Grieve, heard of the doctor’s ambition and presented the Mission with a building at Battle Harbor, which was to be fitted up as a{106} hospital. This greatly encouraged Dr. Grenfell and he set out for England to get sufficient money to equip his hospitals properly, and to secure the services of doctors and nurses who would help him in his work. He was successful in stirring up interest in England and when the Job Brothers, of St. John’s, Newfoundland, offered to erect a second hospital building at Indian Harbor, two hundred miles north of Battle Harbor, it seemed as if his happiness was complete.

There was no prouder or happier man anywhere than Dr. Grenfell when the hospital at Battle Harbor was open to receive patients. It was the first hospital to be built on that bleak coast of seven hundred miles; a home of mercy, to relieve suffering and nurse back to health those who so badly needed care and attention. The doctor had brought back from England a little boat The Princess May which was specially adapted to meet the needs of his work on the coast. In this little craft he visited almost the whole coast, making himself better acquainted with its coves and harbors, its danger spots, and safety zones, and getting so well acquainted with the people that he understood their needs perfectly. Although not a clergyman, Dr. Grenfell believed in helping{107} people both in body and soul, so he held religious services regularly, both along the coast for the “liveyeres,” and among the fishermen who visited in the summer. Besides this, he clothed the poor as far as it lay within his power, and relieved their distress.

One day Dr. Grenfell was told of a family living on a lonely spot on the Labrador coast who were in great distress and needed the attention of a doctor. He went at once to the cove where the little building that served as a home stood. He was surprised that no one came to offer welcome as the boat approached. He and a shipmate went ashore. Still no one appeared, nor was any smoke issuing out of the chimney. He thought that there could be no one at home, but he lifted the latch and entered. A sight met his eyes which moved his heart. Upon a bed lay the mother, quite dead. The father, who was a trapper, lay upon the floor, so ill that he could not move; in fact, he died that night. In the corner were five frightened little children, huddled together. Dr. Grenfell and his crew buried the man and woman and then took the five little children on board the ship. An uncle, living on the coast, took one child, two others were sent to a farm in New England, the other two Dr. Grenfell took to one of his hospitals.{108}

It was this sad incident, and a number of others of a similar nature, that led Dr. Grenfell to try to raise money for an orphanage at St. Anthony where these helpless little folks could be taken care of. The doctor just had to do something, for he was constantly having to take into his hospitals children who had been left without anyone to provide for them. As Dillon Wallace says, the doctor was getting to be like the old lady who lived in a shoe and had so many children she didn’t know what to do.

Dr. Grenfell’s desire for a Childrens’ Home was realized through the generosity of friends who saw the great need and came to his assistance. He got the brilliant idea that children of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain would be glad to assist in the erection and maintenance of the building and he has not been disappointed. Now in addition to the fine hospitals, there is a splendidly equipped orphanage, where during the past few years hundreds of little folks have had loving care, who might have had to suffer untold misery had there been no such refuge for them.

Labrador remains a bleak and lonely coast. It is still lashed by the fury of Atlantic gales. But life for hundreds of folks in that land has{109} been made brighter than it was years ago. Sick folks do not have to languish in hopeless misery as they did, nor do helpless little children there suffer untold misery as was once the case. Tremendous changes for the better have taken place, and if there is one man to whom, more than to any other, credit for all this improvement should be given, that man is Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell.{110}


Greatheart, Most Famous of African Trail-Blazers.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE went to Africa in 1840, when he was twenty-seven years old. The way was partly paved for him by Robert Moffat who first went to Africa in 1817; in fact it was the stirring addresses of Dr. Moffat, who visited Scotland in 1838, that caused Livingstone to turn his attention to Africa. Previous to this he had thought of going to China.

It took him three months to reach Africa, and during that time he learned all he could about the art of navigation, for he knew that he would have to sail the great lakes and inland rivers of the Dark Continent. In those days very little was known about Africa and so from the very beginning Livingstone’s life was full of adventure. Often, after a long and weary journey in the jungle, he would roll himself up in his blanket and then warmed by{111} the camp-fire watched by his ever-faithful blacks, he would dream of Scotland and the dear ones he had left behind.

Sometimes he would be rudely awakened by the startled cry, “Lion, lion!” for there was always danger from wild beasts in that vast land. The fierce lions were constantly carrying off the black men’s sheep, and devouring the natives themselves whenever they got a chance. The natives kept their sheep in enclosures known as kraals. One day Livingstone saw the frightened sheep in a kraal madly rushing from one side to another then huddling together in terror, all the while bleating piteously. Then a huge savage lion appeared, seized its prey from among the sheep, and made off into the forest. Such visits terrified the blacks, and they wrung their hands in despair, crying out that they were bewitched. One day a native rushed to where Livingstone stood and cried: “The lion! he killed nine of my sheep, surely we are bewitched, we can do nothing.”

Livingstone was not so easily cowed. He said to the natives: “Why do you stand by and do nothing when these lions are stealing your sheep? Why do you not defend the sheep and kill the lions? There is no such thing as witch{112}craft. What do you think these lions will do when they devour all your sheep? Certainly they will kill you.”

The blacks were aroused by Livingstone’s words and so, armed with spears and muskets, they surrounded the lions, but each time the beasts dashed through the circle for the natives were very much afraid. Discouraged and defeated they turned their steps homeward, when a huge lion appeared before them, not more than thirty yards away. It stood upon a nearby rock with tail erect in savage anger, ready to spring upon its victims. Quick as a flash Livingstone took in the situation. There was not a second to be lost. He fired, and the lion fell. The natives rushed forward shouting: “He is shot, he is shot.” But just then the lion, bleeding and infuriated, sprang up and grabbed the missionary by the shoulder. The teeth of the monster sank into Livingstone’s flesh and it seemed as if nothing could save him. His shoulder bone was broken and the lion shook him as a dog does a rat. Livingstone sank into a kind of painless sleep and he felt sure his end had come. Then a rifle shot rang out. The faithful Mebalwe had fired and the maddened beast, although sorely wounded, left Livingstone and seized the black man by{113} the thigh and brought him to the ground. Just at that instant another native attacked the lion with his spear. Once more the beast turned and caught this man by the shoulder, but the wounds he had received were taking effect, and he rolled over and died. The wounded men were taken to their huts and nursed back to health, although Livingstone’s shoulder troubled him as long as he lived. For the remaining thirty years of his life he could never raise his arm higher than his shoulder without suffering great pain.

It seems strange that David Livingstone, born in far off Scotland, should go to Africa and teach the natives about their own land, yet that is exactly what happened. He explored its great rivers, about which so little was known. He traversed and studied the possibilities of its vast forests. He measured and made known its almost unbelievable distances. He did not do all these things alone, for everywhere there went with him faithful blacks who counted it the greatest honor of their lives to go with him and carry out his instructions.

Of all the journeys which the great missionary and explorer undertook, there are two which especially stand out. Both were made from Central Africa; one to the west coast and{114} the other to the east coast. On the morning of November 11, 1853, Livingstone and twenty-seven faithful black servants, whom he called his Zambesians, left Linyanti for the distant port of Loanda on the west coast. It has often been said that this was the greatest feat of African travel as yet accomplished. When everything is taken into consideration; the swollen rivers to be crossed; the dangers encountered from man and beast; the unfriendly attitude of many tribes; this journey must rank as one of the most daring and successful ever undertaken by any explorers in all human history.

Livingstone kept a diary during this journey so that it is possible to know of what he went through. He visited scores of places where no white man had ever been before and where the natives gazed at him in open-mouthed astonishment. Sometimes it seemed as if the missionary could proceed no further for rivers were swollen by heavy rains so that in some places they were twenty miles wide. Exposure to drenching rains and wading through marshes brought Livingstone low with fever on several occasions, but on and ever on, the brave man went. He lived on native food, slept in wet clothes, and not only bore up under{115} it all, but actually encouraged the natives to keep plodding on.

Most of the tribes were friendly when he explained to them that he was exploring the country, and that his discoveries would benefit all the natives. On the other hand, some were threatening and eager to fight and shed blood. “It has been claimed for Livingstone as the brightest star of his crown that he crossed Africa without firing an angry shot.” Sometimes the blacks refused to let him pass unless he gave them a man or an ox. He never hesitated in a situation like that. He refused to sell any of his men and so an ox had to be surrendered. At times ridiculous demands were made by native chiefs, and savage warriors danced around him in a threatening manner, but his unfailing tact and courtesy got him out of every tight corner. At last the long, perilous journey came to a close, and for the first time in their lives Livingstone’s men sighted the sea. Loanda was reached on May 31, 1854, the journey having occupied nearly six months. The missionary was little more than a walking skeleton when he entered Loanda but after a few days’ rest he was himself again.

He was offered a passage home in a British{116} warship but he declined the tempting offer. He knew his black companions could never make their way back without him and he resolutely refused to forsake them. In September the return trip was begun and this journey took fully one year. When the party returned to their own people in Zambesi valley early in September, 1855, they received a great welcome home. They had been gone nearly two years and it is to the undying credit of their leader David Livingstone that not one man was missing.

The unselfishness, the courage, and the tender care of the missionary the blacks never forgot, and so when, after a six weeks rest, he proposed another journey of exploration, this time traveling to the east coast, Skeletu the Chief gladly bore the expense, and there was no dearth of willing volunteers. This second expedition left Linyanti on November 3, 1855, and reached Quilimane on the east coast, May 21, 1856. As on the previous journey Livingstone made many discoveries and was able to add much valuable information to what was known of Central Africa. He had often heard the natives speak of the place “where smoke sounds” and which they regarded with much superstition. He visited these wonderful Falls{117} of the Zambesi and gave them the name Victoria Falls. On this journey, as on the previous one, Livingstone and his black men were often in grave danger, for many of the tribes were more hostile than those encountered on the former adventure. But he read the words of Jesus “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” These words calmed him when he was in grave danger and he pressed on until he reached the goal. Later, after having visited England, he returned to Quilimane and took as many of his faithful blacks as wished to return, back to their home at Lanyanti.

Livingstone was a trail-blazer in other ways than opening up to men that great dark continent. He taught the natives how to irrigate and thus make fertile their wonderful country. He gathered the children together and established schools wherever he could. Better than all else, he taught them about Jesus Christ and His message of love for all men. He bitterly opposed the slave traffic with its almost unbelievable cruelties, and it is to him, perhaps more than to any other human being, that the horrible traffic in human lives was abolished in Africa. He had to stand by and{118} see helpless blacks cruelly butchered by the slave-dealers. He could do nothing at the time, but the accounts he wrote home to England of these things aroused tremendous indignation and the nation demanded that the atrocities cease.

Livingstone’s last journey was begun in August, 1872. It was in some ways another journey of exploration for, he did wish to make sure about the sources of the river Nile. But all the while he was gathering information so that he might return to England and strike one mighty blow at the slave trade. He said: “If the good Lord permits me to put a stop to the enormous evils of the slave-trade, I shall not grudge my hunger and toils. The Nile sources are valuable to me only as a means of enabling me to open my mouth with power among men.”

He did not live to carry out all his plans for his strength was not equal to the task. With tremendous determination he pressed forward but at last he became so weak that he had to be carried on the shoulders of his faithful blacks. Gradually he became too weak even to be carried. “Susi,” he said to his devoted servant, “lay me down. I can journey no further.{119}” A hut was hastily prepared for him and he lay down to rest. As night came on he said: “Susi, light my candle, and then you can go to rest. Only, tell Majwara to stay within reach, in case I should need him.”

Majwara, a mere boy, lay at Livingstone’s door. During the night he summoned Susi and Chumah, “There is something wrong with master,” he said, “I am afraid.” The three hurried into the hut where the light was dimly burning. Livingstone was kneeling as in prayer by the side of the bed, his face buried in his hands. When they touched him he made no response. They called him but he did not answer. His soul had passed into the presence of his Master. He had made the last journey. He had crossed the river that men call death. Susi and Chumah, with three others embalmed his body, and carried it amid terrible dangers, many, many, weary miles to the coast, where it was taken to England and buried in Westminster Abbey, that last resting-place of so many illustrious dead.

Livingstone traveled over thirty thousand miles through the heart of Africa. Many of these journeys were through parts where no other white man had ever been. Wherever he{120} went he opposed slavery and whatever other evils he found. He had infinite patience and tenderness, and in his life and teaching he showed in an extraordinary degree the spirit of his Master, Jesus Christ.{121}


A Trail-Blazer of the Prairies

IN 1860 there was a school opened at Norway House, 400 miles north of Winnipeg, which was remarkable in many ways. The eighty pupils who attended were young Indians and most of them traveled many miles to school. In summer they came chiefly by canoe from scattered huts, but in the winter they made the journey by dog-train. Eighty pupils were a lot for one teacher to look after, but these dusky young Indians were eager to learn and obedient and fully in love with their teacher. The teacher was John McDougall. He was just eighteen years of age and his father, Rev. George McDougall, was a missionary to the Indians with headquarters at Norway House.

Those were busy days for young John McDougall. Before daybreak each morning he hurried off to his traps, then home for a hurried breakfast and off to get the school ready{122} for the young Indians when they arrived. And what a happy, frolicsome lot they were, as they jabbered excitedly in the Cree language!

Often after school hours the teacher organized a party to go into the forest and get wood for the church or the school. Then there was a lively scamper to see who could reach the forest first, chop and split the fuel, pile it on the sled, and get back to the school. During summer the teacher led the young Indians on fishing expeditions, or taught them how to play football and other games.

This young teacher was born at Owen Sound on the shores of Georgian Bay just two days after Christmas in 1842. In those days Ontario was only sparsely settled and so the little fellow knew the hardships of pioneer life. Many years later he wrote: “My earliest recollections are of stumps, log heaps, great forests, corduroy roads, Indians, birch-bark canoes, and mackinaw boats.” His father was missionary to the Indians there, and the little fellow mingled so freely with the Indians that he could speak the Ojibway tongue better than English. He often went with his father when he visited bands of Indians who lived on various islands. He tramped along through the dense{123} forest in summer, and trudged behind on snow-shoes in winter. It certainly was a great training for him, in view of the life he was to lead in the North-West later on. When he grew old enough he helped his father in every way he could. When a new church was built, and his father went with a number of Indians into the forest to cut down trees, John drove the team of oxen and hauled the timber to its destination. Then with his amazing knowledge of the Ojibway language he acted as interpreter for his father.

When Rev. George McDougall was sent to Norway House in 1860 he took John along with him. It is not easy now to even imagine what the prairies were like when the McDougalls moved out there. The grey plains stretched for miles and miles in every direction, and as yet the soil had scarcely been touched. “Deeply worn buffalo trails wound from one water-hole to another. Along these trails around the drinking-places were scattered the bleaching bones of the buffalo.... Here and there were grouped the tepees of the numerous Indian tribes. These lodges were made of many buffalo skins, gaily painted, while scalp-locks hung outside, a witness to the fighting prowess of the owner. Dogs, hun{124}dreds of them, fought and howled all day, and at night slept with the families. Into this great and lonely waste came John McDougall.”

Where the city of Winnipeg now stands there was only one house and the post was named Fort Garry. In order to reach this place itself there was a very long and difficult journey, and after a night’s rest there the McDougall family got into boats to make the 400-mile journey, down the Red River, then on up Lake Winnipeg and so to distant Norway House, which was at that time almost beyond the fringe of civilization.

Norway House was a depot post of the Hudson’s Bay Company. From every direction hundreds of Indians came in their canoes, some of them having traveled great distances, to get supplies. Their tents and boats lined the banks of the river, and the scene was indeed a gay one with the smoke from dozens of camp-fires mingling in the air. Strange stories they told of the great Northland, these Indians, many of whom covered hundreds of miles each winter on snow-shoes and even greater distances on lakes and rivers in the summer.

John McDougall owned four pups, and although the task of breaking them up was no easy one, once it was done it proved worth{125} while. They became famous runners, the pride of their owner, and the delight of his Indian friends. Behind them he traveled thousands of miles, on long journeys to preach the Gospel to distant tribes, or sometimes on errands of mercy to relieve suffering. What journeys these were!

“Over snow-fields waste and pathless.”

Sometimes these trips were made when the thermometer was fifty-six below zero. Swiftly the dogs sped along, crossing and re-crossing rivers, dodging brush and trees on the path; often carrying heavy loads.

There was much hostile feeling between the various bands of Indians. Certain tribes had been sworn enemies for generations, and, as there was no central authority, bloodshed was almost a daily occurrence, for, on the slightest provocation, the Indians seemed ready to fight. This was especially true of the young men, who never seemed content unless they were at war, and these battles were generally followed by drunken orgies, when the vanquished were punished in horrible ways, or put to death.

John McDougall was ordained a regular missionary in 1866, and went among the various bands of Indians, holding councils with the chiefs, and, whenever possible, speaking to{126} great crowds of Indians in the open air. These meetings were often held at the risk of his life, for many Indians did not want peace, while the “medicine men,” who were the priests of the Indians, hated as well as feared the influence of the missionaries. More than once McDougall was nearly murdered by savage Indians, who lay in wait for him, but a wonderful Providence kept him from harm.

One day, an old Indian chief, named Maskepetoon, came to visit him. As they talked together another Indian approached, shook hands with John McDougall, then held out his hand to Maskepetoon, who hesitated long before taking it. When at last he did shake hands, he said to the missionary, “John, that man killed my son, and I have often longed to kill him. Because I wanted to become a Christian, I have with great effort kept from avenging my son’s murder. I have never spoken, or shaken hands with that man until now. Meeting you, and hearing your words, has softened my heart, and now I have given him my hand. It was a hard thing to do, but I have done it, and he need fear me no longer.”

On one occasion, while on a hunt, John McDougall accidentally stumbled into a camp of Sarcee Indians, whose leader, Chief Bul{127}l’s Head, was a dangerous man. The whole tribe was practically untouched by Christianity and bitter enemies of the Cree Indians among whom McDougall lived. McDougall made the best of a difficult and dangerous situation. He preached to them and while some listened attentively, others scowled and menacing looks were cast in his direction. While he was still uncertain as to what might happen, a Sarcee Indian raced up and said that a large camp of Cree Indians was within three miles and that their situation was desperate.

Chief Bull’s Head and the Sarcee Indians were terror-stricken, for they were greatly outnumbered, and they besought McDougall’s aid. He felt sure he could prevent a battle and suggested that the whole Sarcee camp should follow him to where the Crees were and seek peace. The Sarcees accepted his advice, although it did seem a strange thing for them to march into the camp of their bitterest enemies. All the Sarcee lodges were taken down and soon nearly one thousand savage Indians were meekly traveling over the plains behind John McDougall, toward the Cree Camp. There were warriors on fierce horses, vehicles loaded with tents, cooking-utensils and provisions, little children, aged men and women, on foot, and{128} more than a thousand dogs of all description. And they were all marching behind one white man who was leading them straight toward the camp of another tribe with whom they had been at war for years.

John McDougall went ahead and explained the situation to the Crees many of whom were eager for a fight. His influence however quickly prevailed, and the Crees gave Chief Bull’s Head and his followers a great welcome, and assured them of lasting friendship. When all was settled a rousing service was held and the wandering Sarcees listened as the Cree Indians sang hymns in their own language. It was the beginning of a permanent friendship between the two tribes.

In addition to preaching the Gospel and establishing churches among the Indians, John McDougall opened up schools among them wherever this was possible. Sometimes the scholars would be young Indians whose parents had been savages who lived chiefly to fight and feast, and who practiced abominable cruelties. As quickly as he could the missionary trained the brightest young Indians to be teachers themselves, and soon there was a network of Indian schools across the prairies. With the help of another missionary he pre{129}pared a Primer and Language Lessons in Cree, and in 1888 he published a collection of hymns in the Cree language.

John McDougall lived to be nearly seventy-five years of age, and received honors in abundance. His church made him Superintendent of Indian Missions while the Alberta Government appointed him Special Commissioner for the Department of Indian Affairs. He certainly proved well worthy of whatever trust was placed in him. He died at Calgary, January 15, 1917. One of his sons was in the trenches and as two more were leaving, he insisted on going to bid them good-bye. He caught a severe chill and in a few days this Trail-Blazer of the West was dead. His dear friend and companion, Rev. John Maclean, closes his biography of John McDougall with these words:

“All is now quiet on the old North Trail. The venerable face will no longer be seen; the kindly greeting will no more be heard. But his memory will live in the hearts of the people. His heroic deeds and great achievements are the heritage of his country and a challenge to men of every class and creed to achieve, in honor, love, and sacrifice, a proud place among the nations for Canada.”



Going Over the Top in Tibet

TIBET is one of the least known countries in the world. It is difficult to approach because it is surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world, and even those travelers who are daring enough to venture near it do not care to face the high, bleak, and barren mountains which lead into the country. It is a great land, fourteen hundred miles from east to west, and nearly a thousand miles from north to south.

Foreigners have never been welcome in Tibet. The rulers prefer to keep education and Christianity away from the people; the missionaries who have dared this bitter opposition have done so at peril of their lives, and quite a number have been killed.

In March, 1904, Dr. Albert Leroy Shelton, a stalwart young American missionary, arrived at the city of Tachienlu on the borders of Tibet, and immediately began the study of the{131} Tibetan language. He also opened a dispensary for the treatment of sick people. From the very beginning Dr. Shelton had more patients than he could find time to look after. The absence of doctors, together with the unsanitary conditions which prevailed everywhere, were responsible for much sickness. There were loathsome skin diseases, blind persons were to be found by hundreds, while leprous beggars filled the highways. There were no proper streets and even in large towns the mud was deep in the main thoroughfares. The streets were mean, narrow, and covered with rough cobble stones plastered over with the filth of ages. Practically anything was allowed, and pigs, chickens, yak, and little children wandered everywhere at their own sweet will. It was no wonder that Dr. Shelton and his helpers almost threw up their hands in despair when they saw how bad conditions were. It was hard to know just where to begin.

After some time spent at Tachienlu it was decided to push on into Tibet and open mission work at Batang. This city was thoroughly Tibetan and full of the people whom Dr. Shelton was anxious to reach. Here conditions were, if anything, worse than at Tachienlu. “Dirt, heat, flies, mangy dogs, naked babies,{132} half-clothed men and women, no rain for months, with the chaff from the wheat-threshing flying everywhere. The houses were nearly all of two stories, and a third story or kind of shed over about half the roof.” Dr. and Mrs. Shelton, after some delay, secured a mud house for themselves which, when it was scraped of manure, whitewashed, cleaned, and scrubbed, made a fairly comfortable home.

At once the missionary began to treat sick people and to hold religious services, as well as conduct a day school and a Sunday school. Dr. Shelton found that one of the greatest obstacles to his work was the extremely savage and vindictive nature of the people, and in this respect the Tibetans and Chinese were much alike. Like the Afghans, these people did not seem to understand what it was to forgive. It was considered the manly thing to seek revenge. The hatred between the Tibetans and the Chinese was especially bitter. Tibet, being under Chinese rule, always had a very large number of Chinese soldiers within its borders, and the cruelties practiced by both sides were almost too horrible to mention.

Never a day passed that Dr. Shelton did not have to attend some patients whose sufferings{133} were the result of fighting. Sometimes men came to the dispensary soaked with blood, for one of the most commonest forms of punishment was to cut off both ears close to the head. Never a day passed in which the doctor did not have to amputate frozen limbs. In one day he performed no less than thirty-one amputations, the sufferers for the most part being soldiers who had been frozen by the terrible cold. “Often, if these soldiers could not keep up with the army, through legs and arms being frozen, or if they became ill, they were dismissed with no cash and no place to go.”

It was hard to say who showed more cruelty, the Tibetans or their Chinese enemies. “Cruelty was matched with cruelty. The Chinese would capture a prisoner, put him in cold water in an immense tea caldron, and boil him. Another they would pull into four quarters by hitching yak to his arms and legs. To others they would bring slow death by slicing off a small part of the body at a time until the heart was reached and life ended.” The Tibetans were not to be outdone in cruelty. They devised every form of fiendish torture they could think of. Riding along with Dr. Shelton they told with evident enjoyment,{134} some of the horrible things that they had done to the Chinese, until the missionary almost wondered if they were human.

Dr. Shelton never turned a deaf ear to anyone who sought his help. Often he left the work at Batang in charge of competent helpers who had been sent out to assist him, while he undertook long and dangerous journeys to visit the sick who could not come to him. Through the drenching rain, over frightful roads, and constantly exposed to danger from robbers, he journeyed that he might bring comfort to the sick and the dying. His beautiful life and teaching was something which neither Chinese or Tibetans seemed able to understand. Love, mercy, forgiveness, and sacrifice were new ideas to them, and the strong, yet tender, personality of Dr. Shelton moved them in a strange way.

After a brief furlough, spent in the United States, Dr. Shelton returned to Batang and immediately began the erection of brick houses and a hospital. It is not easy to build in Tibet, for there is no finished material and one must do practically everything oneself. Dr. Shelton determined to do the brick-laying although he had never done such a thing before, furthermore he was anxious to make the buildings so{135} attractive that they would set a standard for others. Taking with him the men he had hired, he went into the forest, cut down the trees, and slid them into the river to be carried along to Batang. There other men, standing barefooted in the ice-cold water, watched for the logs, fished them out on to the shore, and carried them to the carpenters. The task to which Dr. Shelton had set his hand was no easy one, for so many things had to be imported. “All the roofing, glass, paint, door-knobs, hinges, putty, screws, and whatever else goes to make a house which could not be found in China, had to be brought from America.”

At last the houses and the hospital were finished. The hospital was a never-ending source of admiration and wonder to the Chinese and Tibetans. The new up-to-date beds with springs, clean covers, and white pillows. This was the first hospital in all Tibet. Dr. Shelton felt sure that the patients would be delighted to lie on beds which had springs instead of hard boards, but this was not always the case. Sometimes the patient would get out of bed and lie on the floor. He had always slept on a board with a stone for a pillow, and he felt that because the bed wiggled it was not solid.

Everything that had to do with Christianity{136} was new to the natives. Each year at Christmas time the missionaries gave a substantial meal to the poor and beggars, of whom there seemed such a multitude. Generally there was a short service followed by the meal. Often quite a while before Christmas the beggars would visit the mission and ask, “Isn’t it about the birthday of your Jesus, when you feed the poor and hungry in His name?”

Soon the church became recognized as a place where love and sympathy were to be found. A man who was a leper came to the church each Sunday. He had heard that Jesus had healed such as he. He at last found helping hands and loving hearts, and when he could come no longer he was tenderly cared for until he died.

There was another Christian convert nicknamed “No-legged Joe” because both legs had been frozen and were amputated by Dr. Shelton. Joe walked on his knees and was a rug-maker. He was, in his own way, an active church-worker. Wherever he went he told people about the Gospel, and he could never understand why other people should not trust in Jesus as he did.

The Tibetans are keen judges of character in spite of their savage and brutal habits. They{137} are suspicious and very slow to show their affection, but once they become devoted to anyone they will be faithful unto death. There was something about the manliness and straightforwardness of Dr. Shelton, which, combined with his self-sacrifice, completely won the affection of the people. Many did not wish to accept his religion, others did not seem to understand it; but they did understand kindness and love and tenderness, and all these they found in Dr. Shelton.

The doctor’s skill, especially in amputation cases, excited their admiration and gained for him a reputation which sometimes embarrassed him. One day four men came to the dispensary bringing with them a man whose legs had been severely frozen up to the knees. The legs were covered with festering sores, so there was nothing to be done, if his life was to be saved, but amputation of both legs. These men, of course, had never seen chloroform, and to them it was almost unbelievable that a man should not feel what was being done to him. The doctor permitted the four men to witness the operation, and when it was all over he overheard one of the men telling other people about it. He said, “Yes, sir, I was right there. I saw the whole thing from{138} beginning to end. When he started in, he just poured a little medicine on a rag, then he let the fellow smell, and as soon as he was asleep, the doctor took a saw and sawed his leg right off. Then he just tickled him a little bit in the ribs, and that is all there is to it.”

Early in January, 1920, Dr. Shelton was captured by robbers who held him for some considerable time hoping to secure a large ransom. For weary months he was compelled to live with them, suffering almost untold hardship as he moved in their company from place to place among the mountain fastnesses. There can be no doubt that these terrible hardships, together with the separation from his family, undermined his health.

He was at last liberated and returned to his home in the United States. But he did not remain there long. He felt a call to return to Tibet and carry on his work, and so toward the close of 1920 he was back in Tibet once more.

Dr. Shelton was shot by bandits on February 17, 1922. It is believed that the robbers mistook him for a military officer who was seeking their capture. The news of the tragic occurrence spread rapidly through Batang, and that night a crowd of sad and excited people from the city walked with the stretcher hoping that{139} he would recover, but soon after midnight he died.

Dr. Shelton chose what is probably the hardest missionary field in the world. There he labored nearly eighteen years, and died at the early age of forty-six. But the influence of his strong, pure, unselfish life will never die. Not only in Tibet, but all over the world, men and women have learned of his courage and because of his noble example, have resolved that they too will be brave and strong.{140}


A Bible Translator with Infinite Patience

NEARLY a hundred and fifty years ago, in the English village of Kettering, a humble cobbler worked away at his bench while on the opposite wall hung a map of the world which he studied whenever he had a few minutes to spare. On this map he wrote some facts about the religious needs of each country as though he yearned to fulfill the command of Christ and preach the Gospel to every creature.

This young cobbler was William Carey and he longed with all his heart to be a missionary. Outside the humble cottage door, around which grew the roses, a little wooden sign swung telling passers-by of his occupation. In addition to mending shoes he taught such children as came to him for instruction, and on Sundays he preached. While engaged at his bench Carey learned six languages and thus pre{141}pared himself for the missionary work upon which he had set his heart.

When, after years of study, Carey was ordained to the Baptist ministry he was bitterly disappointed to find that his fellow-ministers were not much interested in the subject of foreign missions. They did not seem to think it was their duty to carry the Gospel to the dark places of the earth. They said that when God wanted to evangelize the world he would do so, evidently forgetting that God works through human beings. Many of these men grew impatient with Carey, and did not hesitate to tell him so. “You are just a miserable enthusiast,” said one old pastor.

William Carey was given a chance to preach before the annual gathering of ministers and laymen held in Nottingham in 1792. When he stood up to preach his listeners little knew that what he was about to say would stir the Christian world, but it was so. Basing his remarks on Isaiah 54, he delivered what has been called “A deathless sermon.” When that service was over a missionary society was formed, and soon after it was decided to send William Carey to India.

He was thirty-three years of age when in 1793 he left England for India. He was turned{142} away from the ship upon which he hoped to sail, but another way opened up, and with flaming zeal in his heart he set sail for that distant land where he was destined to spend the remainder of his life, without seeing his native England again. After five months’ sailing he and his wife and one child arrived in India. They were friendless in a strange land, and for several months they met with many discouragements, but Carey had extraordinary faith in God and was not easily turned aside.

Carey worked hard for seven years without seeing any result of his labors. Still undismayed he toiled away at his Bible translation, feeling sure that some day God would honor his work. He saw many things in India which sorely troubled him. First there was the caste system which divided the people of India into groups which had practically no dealings with each other. The higher castes despised those beneath them, while these people despised those who were lower still.

One day Carey saw a sight similar to that which must have taken place millions of times in India. A young girl, who husband had just died, ascended the funeral pyre and began to dance. With her arms extended she swayed from side to side, throwing sweetmeats to the{143} crowd who eagerly seized them. Then the young widow settled close to the dead body of her husband as the smoke of incense arose around her. Bamboo poles were lowered upon her, then fire was set to the wood underneath and soon clouds of smoke hid the young woman who was being burned alive, while the crowd chanted their weird songs. Indignation and pity surged in Carey’s heart. For many years he was powerless to do anything to prevent such cruelties, but deep in his heart he carried the hope that some day these hideous sacrifices would be made illegal, and he lived to see this hope realized.

India is a land of many languages, and Carey soon saw that if many people were to be reached the Scriptures must be translated into the native tongues. Fortunately he had a perfect genius for learning languages. We have already seen that when he was cobbling shoes he learned six languages. When he first saw the curious-looking Greek letters he walked six miles to ask a man in another village what language this might be. He walked to and fro to this village in order to learn this language. Now he began to master first one Indian language, then another, until the natives were amazed at his fluency.{144}

He began to translate parts of the Scriptures into the natives tongues. This meant an amazing amount of hard work. In some cases he spent years before he succeeded in making a translation that satisfied him. Often he joined little children as they played in the street, and as he listened to them he caught new words. Sometimes he went into the village schools and paid close attention as the little folks were being taught. He was a man of infinite patience and so difficulties did not discourage him. After many years he had actually translated parts of the Bible into the following languages of India: Bengali, Oriya, Hindi, Sanscrit, Assamese, Maghadi, Khasi, Brujbhasa, Kamouji, Kosali, Manipuri, Ooderjeypuri, Jerypuri, Bhugeti, Mariwari, Bikaneri, Bhatti, Haraoti, Palpa, Kimaoni, Gurwhali, Nepalese, Marathi, Kenarese, Baluchi, Telegu, Dorgri, Kashmuri, Mooltani, Sinah, Panjalu, Konkani, Goorjarati. Here are no less than thirty-four strange languages into which this painstaking man translated the Scriptures in whole or in part.

Often these Scriptures found their way into villages where no missionary had ever been, and yet the good seed was sown and the way prepared for the coming of the Gospel. Seven{145}teen years after the first copy of the Bible in Bengali had left the press some Christian missionaries arrived at a village far inland. They knew no missionary had ever been there before yet after the first service was over a native said: “This is not a new teaching for us. Not far from here there are villages where they have had the good news for a long time. They have given up their idols and they never lie, for they say it is against what their Book teaches. Come and see.” This man led the way and the missionaries followed to another village where the elders showed them a much-worn Bible kept in a wooden box. It was one of Carey’s first translations although how it got to that village no one remembered. Thus was the way prepared for the missionaries.

Carey made several dictionaries of different Indian languages. What infinite patience was needed in order to do this! Think of all the care required in order to give the exact shade of meaning for each word. And yet this was done by an English cobbler who never set foot in India until he was thirty-three years of age.

William Carey needed all his patience and courage, for a disaster soon occurred which would have crushed the hope out of an ordinary man. A printing-press had been brought{146} from England and in spite of great difficulties, type for the various languages had been made. One day the building in which was the printing-press and type foundery and where the type-setting and binding were done, caught fire. There were valuable stores of paper in the building and all manner of precious manuscripts in the type-setting office. Carey was not in the building at that time, but the manager ordered the doors and windows closed so that there should not be any current of air. He climbed unto the roof and with the help of others began to pour water on the flames below until they seemed to be dying down. Then someone carelessly opened a door at the other end of the building and the fire burst forth and completely destroyed the building and everything in it. From across the river at Calcutta, Carey saw the destructive fire and as the lurid flames lit up the dark sky his heart sank when he thought of how the work of so many months was apparently in vain. However, it was not his way to remain long discouraged and so he set to work again, and in a short time his printing-press was busier than ever. For more than twenty years after this Carey continued to send translations of the Scriptures all over India.{147}

By this time the British Government recognized Carey’s worth, and appointed him teacher of Bengali in the new college at Calcutta. And so for thirty years he rowed down the winding river from Serampore to Calcutta each week to teach. When the East India Company, which had once treated him shabbily by refusing to allow him a passage to India on one of their boats, paid him £1,800 ($9,000) a year to teach three languages, he kept only £40 ($200) for himself and gave the remainder to the work of the mission.

William Carey seemed to live for no other purpose than to make known the Gospel to the heathen. As his income grew larger he made more liberal donations to the work of the mission and when he died, in spite of all that had been paid to him for teaching, he left so little that his books had to be sold to pay his son a small sum promised him. He had no vanity. One day a man intending to humiliate him insolently asked if he had not been a shoemaker in England. “No, your lordship, not a shoemaker,” answered Carey, “only a humble cobbler.”

Carey remained active till the close of his life. He passed peacefully away on the 9th of June 1834. For more than forty years he had{148} lived for Christ in India. Never again, after his departure, did he see the shores of his native land. But in India he lived to see many of the cruel practices of former days abandoned, and in hundreds of Indian villages he saw groups of devout Christians reading in their own language the wonderful story of God’s love.

For Further Reading

“Livingstone, The Pathfinder,” by Basil Mathews

“Jackson of Moukden,” by Mrs. Dugald Christie

“Ion Keith-Falconer of Arabia,” by James Robson

“Shelton of Tibet,” by Mrs. A. L. Shelton

“The Story of Grenfell of the Labrador,” by Dillon Wallace

“Ministers of Mercy,” by James H. Franklin

“A Hero of the Afghan Frontier,” by A. M. Pennell

“Bishop Bompas of The Frozen North,” by Nigel Grahame

“McDougall of Alberta,” by John MacLean

“John McDougall,” by Lorne Pierce

“Men Who Made Good,” by John T. Faxis

“The Story of John G. Paton,” by Dr. James Paton and A. K. Langridge{149}

“James Chalmers of New Guinea,” by W. G. Benney

“James Chalmers,” by Richard Lovett

“The Career of Cobbler,” by Margaret Applegath

“William Carey,” by S. Pierce Carey

“Do You Know Them?” by Kitty Parsons

“Vanguards of Canada,” by John MacLean

“Great Missionaries for Young People,” by Jeanne M. Sewell

“The Book of Missionary Heroes,” by Basil Mathews

“Mackay of Uganda,” by Mary Yule

“The Missionary Heroes of Africa,” by J. G. Morrison

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

he thought, he might he=> he thought, he might be {pg 84}

I am with you alway, even unto=> I am with you always, even unto {pg 117}

Whenever he went=> Wherever he went {pg 119}

in every directin=> in every direction {pg 123}

worse than at Tashienlu=> worse than at Tachienlu {pg 131}

thing before, futhermore=> thing before, furthermore {pg 134}

the mission and when he did=> the mission and when he died {pg 147}

[The end of Blazing New Trails by Archer Wallace]