BLTC Press Titles

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Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

The Bhagavad Gita


Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Medical missions

by Walter Russell Lambuth (bp.)


Or take the case of the Christian lady traveler who met a company of Persians on a long journey over the desert. Some were sick and in pain. When she had relieved them by simple remedies from her medicine chest, they gratefully acknowledged, "We have no hakim in the likeness of Jesus." And many doors of access were opened to Moslem hearts that day.

The missionaries who stand upon the fringes of great outlying empires, lion-hearted and unafraid, yet tender-souled and full of compassion — these are the men and women who are quietly but steadily winning their way to the very citadels of the non-Christian world. "As I have witnessed the relief of hitherto helpless suffering," writes Dr. W. J. Elmslie, "and seen their grateful attempts to kiss my feet, and my very shoes at the door, both of which they would literally bathe with tears — especially as I have seen the haughty Moolah stoop to kiss the boarder of the garment of the despised Christian, thanking God that I would not refuse medicine to a Moslem, and others saying that in every prayer they thanked God for my coming. ... I have wished that more of my professional brethren might share the luxury of doing such work for Christ." Elmslie was sent to Kashmir by the Church Missionary Society to open the door to Christian effort. Twice the evangelistic missionaries had been driven out by the fanatical natives. But he secured a foothold and an entrance for the gospel into one of the "greatest strongholds of heathenism in India."

"As a traveler," wrote Mrs. Isabella Bird Bishop some years ago, "I desire to bear the very strongest testimony that can be borne to the blessings of medical missions wherever they can be carried on as they ought to be. On the western frontier of China, I should say that a single medical missionary might do more than twenty evangelical missionaries at the present time, and that there is room, I was going to say, for fifty medical missionaries in the world where there is but one now; and not only room for them, but a claim for them."

Nowhere in the Oriental world has the medical missionary found a larger, more fruitful sphere of service than in China. He has been the dissipator of prejuduce, the roadbreaker, the foundation layer in many a city, and in many a human heart. The immeasurable need and opportunity of China has drawn to it some of the choicest spirits, men and women imbued with the spirit of the Great Physician, such as Dr. Noyes of Canton, David Grant of Chinchow, Arthur Jackson of Moukden, and Lucy Gaynor of Nanking. They had learned that the " candle of truth " is a " candlestick of mercy," and that of all forms of mercy, medical mercy is the one most needed and least likely to be abused in heathen lands.1

Henry M. Stanley cleared a way for a road from the Lower Congo to Stanley Pool through granite rock, matted jungle, and dense forest under an equatorial sun; and the natives of the Belgian Congo called him "Bulu Matadi," the Rockbreaker. So might the medical missionary be named.

Ignorance, selfishness, uncompromising prejudice, social customs hoary with age, religious fanaticism and racial antagonism running into hostility are barriers which in some countries have constituted adamantine walls. But they have been breached, smashed, leveled to the ground and, with the dispelling of ignorance and prejudice and the transformation of hostility into profound respect and permanent friendship, a new order of life in the midst of non-Christian surroundings has been built up.

//. His Standing What of the professional standing of these missionary men and women who represent the leading institutions of the West? I unhesitatingly reply that they are the peers of the members of the medical profession the world over. Dr. John G. Kerr, for years in charge of the Presbyterian Hospital in Canton, "stood second only to Sir William Thompson in the number of times he had operated for urinary calculus — one thousand three hundred times." The fee of many surgeons in the United States for one of these operations would have more than paid Dr. Kerr's salary for a year as a missionary, but most of this surgery was done gratuitously and if a gift was made it went toward the upkeep of the institution.

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