The Quiver 3/1900
[Illustration: (_Drawn by Percy Tarrant._)
THE CENTENARY OF THE CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
By the Rev. A. R. Buckland, M.A., Morning Preacher at the Foundling Hospital.
At "The Castle and Falcon," in Aldersgate Street, on April 12th, 1799, there met, in all the solemnity of a public gathering, sixteen clergymen and nine laymen.
They founded there and then the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East. That Society keeps its Centenary this month; no longer an inconspicuous organisation expressing the hopes of a godly few, but a great Society which has girdled the earth with its missions. When, in November, 1898, its Estimates Committee surveyed its position, they found that its roll included the names of 802 European missionaries, of whom 295 were ladies, whilst, of the 802, no fewer than eighty-four were serving altogether or in part at their own expense. Some of them represented the missionary enthusiasm of Australia and Canada; a fair proportion were duly qualified medical workers, men and women.
[Illustration: MRS. J. A. BAILEY.
(_The first lady missionary of the Society._)]
With the exception of South America, there is no considerable quarter of the globe in which they are not represented. They may be found ministering to Esquimaux within the Arctic Circle, and to the Indians of the vast expanses of Canada; they are shepherding the Maoris of New Zealand; in India their stations may be discovered alike amongst the wild tribes of the northern frontier, the strange aboriginals found here and there in the continent, and the milder races of the south; in Africa the Society begins in Egypt, but goes no farther south than Uganda, though it is both on the east coast and the west; it is strongly represented along the coasts of China, as well as in the inland province of Sze-Chuen; it works both amidst the Japanese themselves and that strange people the hairy Ainu; it is domiciled in Ceylon and Mauritius; it has not forgotten Persia. From Madagascar it has retired, and it has shown a wise indisposition to enter upon new fields whilst the old are still insufficiently manned. It has ever been known for the strictness with which it observes the comity of missions; and it may fairly be said that the zeal with which its friends have worked in behalf of foreign missions has reacted on all the missionary agencies which have their origins in Great Britain, as well as upon some which express the zeal of America and the Colonies.
From Greenland's icy mountains, From India's coral strand Where Afric's sunny fountains Roll down their golden sand,
From many an ancient river From many a palmy plain They call us to deliver Their land from error's chain