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zeal to help the perishing multitudes in our own country, and also the Jews." - Id., p. 89.
The missionary spirit was making itself felt in other countries. From Basel, which had for some years been a center of evangelical earnestness on the Continent, came these words of enthusiastic appreciation from devout German brethren:
"It is like the dawn promising the beautiful day after the dark night. It is the beginning of a new epoch for the kingdom of God on earth. Your undertaking and its success fills our hearts with joy and our eyes with tears. The history of Great Britain is sanctified by this unparalleled mission. What harmony among different persuasions! You call on the wise and good of every nation to take interest in the work and bear a part. Such a call was never heard of before. It was reserved for the close of the eighteenth century to be distinguished by it."- Id., p. 91.
Missionary recruits were offering themselves in other lands. In Holland the noble Vanderkemp gave himself and his fortune. In due time he was at work teaching the gospel to the Hottentots in Cape Colony. Missionary funds were being raised not only in all parts of Great Britain, but on the Continent and in America, by various organizations formed for the purpose, and money was flowing in steadily.
It was nearly two years before any tidings came from the missionary ship "Duff." In May, 1798, the long-looked-for letters arrived, and in the following July the ship lay at anchor off the English coast. The report was most cheering. The good ship had traversed 51,000 miles without material loss or damage. The missionaries had been kindly received, and a fruitful work was under way in the islands.
But the members of the missionary board did not rest upon their arms. After a day of special thanksgiving for the prospering hand of God, they made arrangements for opening communication with the workers already sent out, and began to plan an evangelistic campaign including "Hindustan, the Sandwich Islands, and other parts of the Pacific; the Creek Indians, Canada, the Bermudas, and any West Indian islands, and any coasts. of America or Asia." To the churches they wrote:
"We must have an enlarged supply of money and men. We expect a body of German missionaries, and we plan to engage a great company and teach them both theological knowledge and also occupations adapted to the islands." Id., p. 92.
Plans were immediately on foot for a second voyage of the "Duff." About the middle of November forty-six new missionaries were set apart for the work, and a few days later the ship dropped down the Thames, although, on account of fogs and head winds, she did not finally sail till in December.
Hitherto uninterrupted success had attended the efforts of the London Missionary Society. Now there was to be a change, with disaster following disaster. Soon after the "Duff" started on its second trip, it was captured by a French privateer and sold as a prize. Then word came that the missionaries in Tahiti had been obliged to flee for their lives. It was also learned that trouble had arisen among the missionaries sent to the Foulah country, and the work there was sadly broken up. Yet no one was discouraged. The spirit of world evangelism had taken hold of the people, and no obstacles were too great to be overcome.
Gutenberg, the Inventor of Modern Printing, Examining His First Proofs The missionary societies resolutely set themselves to make good the losses. More funds were raised and more missionaries sent out, and in spite of many setbacks the good work, supported by well-organized home boards, went forward encouragingly.
Meanwhile, other powerful organizations were coming into being, and the work was growing apace. In the year 1799 the Church of England formed what is known as the Church Missionary Society. The American Board was organized in 1810, the Baptist Missionary Union in 1814, the Basel Society in 1815, the Wesleyan Society in 1816, the Paris Society in 1822, the Berlin Society in 1824, the Church of Scotland Society in 1829. And all these societies entered heartily upon work to which, until a few short years before, the generality of Christians had not
given a thought. The time had come for the work to be done, and the Spirit of God was impelling men to take up the longneglected task.
Not least important in the development of foreign missions was the organization of the British and Foreign Bible Society in the year 1804. Thomas Charles, of Bala, Wales, organized the Calvinistic Methodist Church in Wales, and distinguished himself not only as a preacher, but as an organizer of Sunday schools.
He sought the aid of the Religious Tract Society in forming an organization for the distribution of Bibles in Wales. The secretary of the society, Joseph Hughes, thought, "If for Wales, why not also for the empire, and the world!" And so the British and Foreign Bible Society was organized and began its work.
An eyewitness has given us a description of the reception of the New Testaments when the first cartload was brought into the town of Bala:
"The Welsh peasants went out in crowds to meet it, welcomed it as the Israelites did the ark of old, drew it into the town, and eagerly bore off every copy as rapidly as they could be dispersed. The young people were to be seen consuming the whole night in reading it. Laborers carried it with them to the fields, that they might enjoy it during the intervals of their labor,
and lose no opportunity of becoming acquainted with its sacred truths.""The Christian Observer," July, 1810. Quoted in "History of the British and Foreign Bible Society," by George Browne, Vol. I, p. 30.
As time went on, the desire for the Word of God and for religious teaching began to be manifested in many quarters, and became one of the evidences of the timeliness of the great world movement in behalf of Christian missions. In America, missions to the Indians received an impetus as a result of a visit to St. Louis in the winter of 1832, of a deputation from the Flathead Indians, pleading for a copy of the "White Man's Book of Heaven," and for Christian teachers to explain it. They had
traveled the entire summer and autumn. In response to this call, the Methodist Mission to the Flathead Indians was organized.
Similar calls came in increasing numbers from widely separated fields, and the hearts of the missionaries were deeply stirred by the multiplying evidences that a power from above had gone before them and was opening doors that had been closed for centuries. Before the nineteenth century, the greater part of the world was practically unknown. Of Africa nothing was known except a portion of the coast line. Its interior was in fact almost a blank until Livingstone, about the middle of the nineteenth century, began his remarkable series of travels and explorations. China, Japan, and Korea excluded foreigners upon pain of death, and did not allow their own inhabitants to leave their countries. Today in all these and many other coun
tries the doors are wide open, and urgent calls for help are coming from many quarters.
The providence of God was manifest also in supplying facilities for travel and communication between the nations, as it were, just in time to forward the great missions movement. For many long centuries men had traveled in the same old way; but the nineteenth century, by giving us steam power, revolutionized travel by land and also by sea.
The earliest missionaries were subject to many inconveniences that are unknown today. Thus the first missionary ship, "Duff," after trying in vain to round Cape Horn, turned back on its course, and passing around the coast of Africa, at length made haven on the island of Tahiti. On her second voyage, as previously mentioned, she was captured by a privateer. Vanderkemp, sailing for Africa, used five months in reaching Cape Colony. Morrison found it necessary to journey to China by way of New York. He was tossed about for three months on the Atlantic; after that he was four months in getting to China. Duff on his way to the mission field suffered shipwreck three times, and was eight months in making his haven.