Pioneers and Founders or, Recent Workers in the Mission field
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The work provoked much opposition and for a time was much reduced, but a conference on Missions to Muslims called by CMS in London in gave a great impetus to their activity. Educational work was extended, medical work and work amongst women began. The statistics for the end of the century reflect this development for by there were 59 missionaries in Palestine of whom 28 were single women and three were doctors. The winning of the Crimean War of enabled the British and allied governments to force from the Sultan of Turkey a decree which appeared to secure religious liberty throughout the Ottoman Empire.
Two missionaries were sent to Constantinople and for a time carried on remarkable work with a number of converts. Continued strong opposition by the Turkish authorities to work amongst the Muslim population made evangelism practically impossible.
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By the s, when CMS was additionally handicapped by a financial crisis, it was decided to withdraw leaving the work to the American mission and the work officially closed in In work was also begun in Baghdad but this latter station was given up at the end of the First World War. The Anglican Church in Egypt grew as a partnership between the missionaries and the British expatriates who had built churches and formed small congregations in Cairo and elsewhere.
These groups came under the jurisdiction of the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem but in Llewellyn Gwynne, a CMS missionary, was appointed assistant bishop of Khartoum. In Egypt and the Sudan were made into a separate diocese with Gwynne as bishop until his retirement in The Egyptian membership of the Anglican Church was small because CMS preserved its original intention from not to proselytise the Coptic or Evangelical churches but to aim at the evangelisation of the non-Christian population.
Cairo was a strong centre with not only schools for boys and girls but with the renowned Old Cairo Hospital which opened in under Dr Frank Harpur.see url
Pioneers and Founders or, Recent Workers in the Mission field
In a book depot opened in Cairo. Its circulation spread far beyond Egypt and it was still being published in the s.
Thornton died in and Gairdner continued on his own until when Constance Padwick came as his assistant. All three considered Christian literature work an essential way to advance evangelism in a country of ancient culture and wide literacy. He settled at Julfa, the Armenian suburb of Isfahan and after a year persuaded CMS to let him stay longer, so that he could revise and complete Henry Martyn's translation work. After two years he had some enquirers seeking baptism and the Armenians had asked for a school.
A short time later there was a famine and he organised relief work helped by money sent to him from Germany.
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As a result it was not until that he finally returned to England on leave, when the obvious support for his work together with his own enthusiasm led the Society formally to adopt the mission. As in other countries medical work proved a firm base for evangelism. Miss Mary Bird pioneered work amongst women, opening a small dispensary in Isfahan in Dr Donald Carr carried on Hoernle's work in Julfa from and three years later the first woman doctor in Iran, Dr Emmeline Stuart, joined him to open and run the women's hospital.
In that year too work began in Kerman and within two years an offer of funding for a hospital was received.
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He died in after 34 years service. Iranian dispensers had worked in Yezd from onwards and the work was officially taken on in Work at Shiraz, the other main centre began in At the turn of the century there was a small but dedicated group of missionaries serving the nucleus of an Iranian church through translation and literary work, school and medical missions. The outbreak of the First World War led to the enforced evacuation of CMS missionaries in but they returned within eighteen months and after the end of the war there was growing contact with Christians in the north of the country.
An industrial school for women and girls was begun in Isfahan in , which assisted the revival of indigenous Iranian crafts.
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From the late s there was increasing government pressure on missionary institutions and in the Stuart Memorial College and nearly all the schools were closed. The Behesht-Ayin school at Isfahan and the Mehr-Ayin school at Shiraz which had Iranian principals survived as private schools for a time, though the Shiraz school was sold to the government in A hospital in a private house had been opened in and work spread to Mosul in , where another hospital was built.
Evangelism was directed towards the Shi'a Muslims but converts were few. At the outbreak of the First World War two of the doctors were interned for a short time prior to all the missionaries leaving for Egypt where they worked during the war years. In the needs of retrenchment forced the Society to withdraw from its small mission and the property was sold.
In the church there was some friction between the decisions of CMS locally and the Palestine Native Church Council which was rightly developing as an independent body. Some Arab pastors and their congregations appealed to London against the autocracy of the mission. Some of the women missionaries who were financially independent of the Society and who disagreed with mission policy resigned. This unhappy state of affairs was made worse by the outbreak of the First World War and the enforced departure of all the missionaries, who did not return until In Wilson Cash the mission secretary in Egypt was appointed secretary for Palestine as well.
Cash's appointment and visits of delegations from London in and gave the mission a fresh start. The delegation recommended closer co-operation with other societies and approved the setting up in Jerusalem of the Newman School of Missions, a school of languages and Islamic studies for missionaries, whose director was a CMS missionary, Eric Bishop.
In education the mission was advised to concentrate on the Bishop Gobat School for boys and the Jerusalem Girls' College. The latter had as its headmistress in the s Miss Winifred Coate, who, after the proclamation of the state of Israel in became well-known for her work in the Arab refugee camps in Zerka. By a community of baptised Indians had been gathered and the work prospered on a small scale. The first bishop of Rupert's Land was appointed in with oversight of a vast diocese with a thinly scattered population.
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The next year the first Indian clergyman Henry Budd, was ordained and made many converts among his countrymen on the Saskatchewan River. In a new centre at Moose Factory on Hudson Bay was opened and in Archdeacon Hunter undertook a great pioneer journey of miles beyond the Arctic Circle, opening up a vast new area of work.
By there were five Cree clergy as well as the missionaries and the newly formed dominion of Canada extended its rule over the entire area. This new impetus led to the founding of stations in Hudson Bay and Saskatchewan and rapid growth of the church among the Indians on the Yukon River. Meanwhile in another new field had been entered, miles north of Vancouver, when William Duncan was sent to work among the Tsimshean Indians in and around Fort Simpson. The discovery of gold in the Caribou in with the consequent influx of settlers, and the difficulties found by the young converts surrounded by non-Christians made Duncan decide to set up a Christian settlement elsewhere and in the mission transferred to Metlakatla.
By the late s this flourishing industrial settlement comprised about people, and in spite of a controversy which led to some of the original settlers moving to Alaska, the church on the Pacific coast spread along the rivers into the interior and among the islands off the coast. Thirty years later as the centenary of CMS work in Canada approached, the Society began to bring to an end its work in that country, by handing over its responsibilities to the Church of England in Canada.
There had been a Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society in Canada which worked among the Canadian Indians and also supported British societies' overseas missions, but had no overseas missions of its own. From there was also a separate and autonomous Church Missionary Association called the Canadian CMS, which directly recruited and supported missionaries to work in overseas fields under CMS.
It was therefore appropriate for it to take on the work amongst its own indigenous people. The official handover and CMS withdrawal took place at the centenary celebrations at Winnipeg in the autumn of From in Antigua, through William Dawes former governor of Sierra Leone , CMS had been involved in helping to provide schools for the slaves on the plantations. The Society's founders and supporters in England also took part in the long parliamentary struggle which led in to the passing of the Act to abolish slavery in British possessions. Despite the unpopularity of the Act amongst the white planters many missionary agencies seized the opportunity of government support to expand their work and CMS began an extensive mission.
In the Society had in the West Indies 13 ordained missionaries, 23 lay agents and seventy schools, while its congregations numbered about Shortage of funds forced a withdrawal about ten years later, but the work was handed over to the colonial church as an active and growing concern. Knowledge of this stimulated English interest in China and in the London Missionary Society sent out Robert Morrison; he died in having failed to penetrate beyond the permitted foreign trading areas.
He was renowned for his journeys in defiance of the Chinese authorities, sailing along the coast, distributing tracts wherever he could. His reports were discouraging, however, and the outbreak of the first Opium War between Britain and China forced his return to England. Ironically it was the Opium War that opened China to the Gospel. By the Treaty of Nanking in five Chinese ports were opened to Europeans including missionaries ; and Hong Kong was ceded to Britain. Many missionary societies immediately started work in mainland China. By work was established at Ningpo and Shanghai.
The development of missionary work was beset by many difficulties. The country was vast with a large population and a sophisticated indigenous culture which was highly resistant to Christianity, regarding it as an insidious form of Western influence.
Moreover, the language, with its innumerable dialects took many years to master. The educated Chinese the literati were violently opposed to the missionaries and encouraged the Chinese authorities to seek disputes with them, often as at Foochow over ownership of property. Property fights soured relationships with the British authorities too, exacerbated by the missionaries' denunciation of the opium trade. Then there were civil disturbances which could cause disruption for many years.
The Taiping rebellion against the Chinese government which lasted from to was one of the most confusing as the rebels incorporated some Christian elements into their dogma and were at first viewed sympathetically by some of the missionaries. Outbreaks of hostility to foreigners were common, one of the worst resulting in the massacre in of ten missionaries among them Robert Stewart and family by insurgents in Fukien.