Project Canterbury

India and the Church
Being Impressions of Some Members of the Mission of Help

Edited by E. Priestley Swain

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1923.
New York and Toronto: Macmillan, 1923.

Essay IV. The Missionary Enterprise, by E. Priestley Swain, M.A. Vicar of Putney and Hon. Chaplain to the Bishop of Birmingham.


A man need not be a cynic, but only possess some little knowledge of his fellow-creatures, who should prophesy that this chapter will find fewer readers than several others in this book. The temptation to pass it over will be found irresistible by many. This may be no great matter for regret in the present instance, I readily agree, but the action is a symptom of a state of mind which not so easily escapes some measure of criticism. The subject of "Foreign Missions" fails to attract and interest, and men wax impatient at the mere mention of it. The cause is hardly at all believed in, and in any case it is usually considered dull.

The missionary enterprise is undertaken in obedience to the missionary command. It is quite beside the point to cast doubt upon the accuracy of this or that text, or to question the reliability on critical grounds of the ending of this or that Gospel; it is not a matter of texts. For there can be no doubt that the first members of the Christian Church knew themselves to be under the missionary command as clearly and immediately as under the command of personal purity, [60/61] and they acted accordingly without question and without delay. The thing had got to be done because they had been told to do it, and there was the end of it. But there was much more to be said than this, and what is less commonly perceived. The missionary enterprise is an absolutely necessary result of the Christian faith. It is not that men have said that Christianity is a very agreeable, useful, and helpful religion, and therefore we will try and persuade others to accept it, or that other religions are inferior to Christianity, and therefore we will try and supplant them by it. Rather it is that the Christian faith being what it is, there is nothing to be done but to try and spread it. It is of the essence of the Christian doctrine of God. If there is one idea, more than any other, which is fundamental to the Christian revelation, it is the Fatherhood of God, not limited, but universal. The universal Fatherhood of God means the universal sonship of men and the universal brotherhood of men. God is the Father of the Chinaman and the negro, or else He is not the Father of the Englishman, unless, indeed, we believe, as many people appear to do, that He only cares for certain races and nations, with a special preference for Englishmen. Only in that case we should not be Christians; we should believe in a God who resembled an Eastern potentate with violent prejudices and fancies. Christ came for all or for none, and if the former, then people have a right to be told about it. "Foreign Missions," as they are called, are inevitable as long as there are such people as Christians. I can perfectly understand and cordially sympathise with people who for one reason or another have rejected the Christian faith [61/62] disbelieving in Missions; the people I cannot understand are those who still make the Christian profession yet say that "Missions to the heathen are all nonsense and waste of time." Archbishop Temple it was, I think, who said once, "I very much doubt if a man who neither prays for Missions, nor gives to Missions, nor cares for Missions, can call himself a Christian at all." This, then, is the raison d'être of the missionary enterprise; it is the necessary outcome and accompaniment of the Christian doctrine of God and belief in the Incarnation, Cross, and Resurrection.

The Church was formed for this purpose, and still exists for precisely the same purpose. It is not a society of well-disposed and pious people who happen to like the Book of Common Prayer and Hymns Ancient and Modern (old edition). "The whole business of the whole Church is to preach the whole Gospel to the whole world." [Bishop of Lichfield.] All this, of course, is plain and platitudinous to numbers of people, but it is far from being so, even at this time of day, to much greater numbers. We have got desperately comfortable, and desperately dull of vision in the Church of England, whether we live in India or in England. Sometimes men speak as if the Churchman in India was very much inferior in enthusiasm and sense of religious duty to the Churchman in England. There is no ground for this whatever; he is much the same wherever he is located. The present Metropolitan, ever eager to hurry to the defence of his spiritual children, has written as follows: "Whereas in England the amount contributed per head of the nominally Anglican population is 8s. 1d., in India it is 9s. 9d. Any argument [62/63] based on the supposition that the European and Anglican community in India is doing less to support religious work than are their fellow-Anglicans in England rests upon an insecure foundation, for the very opposite is the case." [Calcutta Diocesan Record, May, 1923.] We give the Metropolitan his point, merely remarking that neither side in the competition appears to have anything particular to boast about. No, we are true to type, wherever we are found, whether it be in the duty of almsgiving, or the duty of public worship, or in the duty of vision. For the most part, in so far as we are interested in religion at all, it is in the smaller matters, and the big things move us not at all; we hardly see them. "The real subject which unites in vehement cohesion the body of 'great central sober Churchmanship' is the repelling of an attack on the Establishment." [C E. Osborne, "Religion and the World Crisis," p. 252.] We filled the town hall for this purpose in the old days, but the annual missionary meeting leaves us cold and perhaps sarcastic. Many of us think that God is to be found in, or pleased by, services rather than service; and so we pay week by week our tribute of respectable morning service, or bright and hearty evening service, and then wonder why it is we know so little about the Beauty of God. Dr. George Adam Smith says in his commentary on Isaiah, "God's causes are never destroyed by being blown up, but only by being sat upon." It is a lugubrious reflection that it is not the open enemy who has done or still does the damage to the missionary enterprise, which, as we have seen, is God's cause; it is the "familiar friend," the body of ordinary Christians who quietly, stolidly, [63/64] determinedly sit on the whole thing. "A tame Church is more non-Christian than a fanatical one." [C. E. Osborne, "Religion and the World Crisis," p. 132.]

The heart of the white Christian is shut towards his brown brother. Poor brown brother!


If there is any truth (and I do not see that they can be gainsaid) in the above contentions--namely, (I) that Missions are an inevitable result of the Christian premises, and (2) that they are, for the most part, ignored or opposed by English Christians, then plainly there must be some explanation. An old schoolfellow of mine, who died before a quarter of what we expected to be his life's work was done, once wrote, "The supreme reason why the Church is lacking in missionary enthusiasm is that she has never had a missionary ministry." ["The Life of Martyn Trafford" (S.C.M.), p. 92.] It is certainly true that the spiritual level of any congregation or parish hardly if ever rises above the level of its clergy, and we must take our full share of that responsibility. But quite candidly there is a great deal more to be said than that; the whole subject does, indeed, bristle with difficulties for the ordinary man, and though this is not the occasion for apologetics, some things, commonplaces to many readers, must here be said on these difficulties.

(1) The universality of Christianity, noted above, in its essential quality, its outlook, its claims, has always been found a stumbling-block. It is a very big idea, and big ideas are too big for many men. Rome was more than willing to offer Christ a place in [64/65] her well-stocked Pantheon, and India is almost eagerly ready to follow her example. There are not wanting those, within the Christian community, who urge that the invitation should be accepted, forgetting the rock from whence they are hewn. Of this more in a moment. We "good Church-of-England people" still in large numbers cling to the idea of the Church as the state organised for purposes of religion, or as a philanthropic organisation for spreading the knowledge and encouraging the practice of Christian ethics, or as a pious club composed of people who like to pray and sing together in the same way, or as an organisation for teaching decent and civilised people a little about God. But surely we who believe in the universality of Christianity, and therefore in Foreign Missions, may justifiably claim that the spirit of the age is on our side. "Even on economic and political grounds it is apparent that the old insular dream of creating a little Eden here in England, of treating this island as if it were a self-contained city-state or the motherland of a dominant race, has faded. Exclusiveness is no longer a feasible solution for our problems--it never was a Christian one. Men and nations have loved to shut themselves up in such little safe prison-houses away from the world with its perilous freedom." But it cannot be done. Our very money-making and comfort teach us better. There is political disturbance in Germany or Russia, or a failure of the monsoon in India, or of the cotton-crop here or the wheat-harvest there, and our prosperity and wealth are affected. "If one member suffer all the members suffer with it." Or, more wonderful still, there is a calamitous earthquake in Japan and the whole world immediately [65/66] rushes to the assistance of her afflicted people. Why? Simply, I suppose, because we cannot help ourselves. They are bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, members of the great human family. Is it in reason possible to think that in religion alone we must be divided? Is it in reason possible to doubt that the destiny here as everywhere else is unity?

(2) "But, after all, these people have a very good religion of their own. Why worry them with ours?" So men say. We cannot here embark upon a discussion on comparative religions. [A good introduction to the subject for those interested is "Some Alternatives to Jesus Christ," by J. L. Johnston (Longmans, Green and Co.), price 5s. There is a discussion on the strength and weakness of Mohammedanism (which is omitted from the scope of Mr. Johnston's book) in Bishop Montgomery's "George Alfred Lefroy," an intensely interesting book published by the same firm. Those who wished to pursue the subject more deeply would turn, I suppose, to the "Religious Quest of India" series, edited by Dr. J. N. Farquhar of Calcutta.] But once again protest must be entered, though it be for the thousandth time, and simply because one heard it again and again in India, against the idea that those of us who believe in the supremacy of Christianity deny that there is "good in all religions." The old idea that your religious faith was to be compared with something that you swallowed like a chocolate and that if you swallowed the wrong one it would poison you, has been given up by missionaries generations ago--it really has, however much it may surprise some readers. One would be ashamed to write it were it not that people still seem to think we believe it. The point is not whether there is good in all religions, but which is the best religion, or, as we should prefer to put it, which is the truest and [66/67] fullest revelation of God, and of the proper relations between God and man? Truth is the thing that matters. And to those, whether Indian or English, who are conscious of the attraction of and the values in the higher forms of Hinduism and Buddhism--and there undeniably is such attraction and value--the word must be said that there is also such a thing as the duty of decision in man's thought about God. It is a temptation to many minds in these days to wander about in vague ideals and vague ideas and shirk decision and venture. If we are seriously conscious of the attractions of the higher Pantheism, in competition with Christianity in its claim upon our allegiance, the only thing to do is to get down to it with books and wet towels, and see what can be done about it. It is better to make a wrong decision than no decision, seriously I write it.

But, on the other hand, let us sharply take up on the instant the glib talker who says "one religion is as good as another." We must quite emphatically insist that like is compared with like, and not, as is too often the case, the best that is to be found in Hinduism with the worst that can be found in Christianity, whether in the realm of thought or of action. For my own part, I have not the slightest shadow of a doubt where the advantage lies in any comparison; but that, after all, is only my opinion, and you will say that I am prejudiced and anyhow I have made my decision. Only I wish this. I wish that when people have read a no doubt excellent and true book on the excellences and truths of Hinduism, they could be taken at once to witness the slaughter of the goats outside the temple of Kali in Calcutta, and look at the pilgrims as [67/68] they are taken in by the priests to see the image of the goddess within. Or I wish (if they could stand it) that they should go straight away and spend a day or two in the sacred city of Benares, and go up and down the streets and in and out of the temples, and scrutinise closely the faces of the priests and temple attendants, and watch the hermits, ascetics, and holy men, and go down to the river in the early morning and observe the ceremonies of religion in the sacred river, and look carefully with eyes of a man at the poor pilgrims as, bewildered, they are scurried hither and thither by the priests, and hurried through the necessary formulas and acts. This is it for which they have tramped so many weary miles and spent all they possessed. Poor brown brother! Poor brown brother! How anyone can gaze on such a scene unmoved passes the powers of comprehension. Our friend the philosophic Hindoo will tell us that all this is no necessary part of Hinduism, but that the simple must have their simple things provided for them, and our reply shall be that we have heard of One, one of Whose credentials was that the poor were preached to, and of Whom it was reported that the common people heard Him gladly.

Our less philosophic Englishman will say, "It's good enough for them." That is a lie. Nothing is good enough for the children of men but the Truth, for they are the children of God.


If one compares Christianity with these other religions, by no means ignoring, but, on the contrary, giving full weight to their excellences, surely it is as the glad and freshening air of heaven after a day in a stuffy house, as the thrill and wonder of a wide human [66/69] fellowship contrasted with that narrow and niggardly love that sees no further than its own front door.

(3) A word, if only a word, must be added on the subject of ethics. No serious attempt has been made to set Mohammedanism as an ethical system in competition with Christianity, but the same cannot be said about Hinduism. There an attempt has been made, half-hearted, no doubt, to make a comparison, and we have heard here and there a good deal of loose talk about the virtues of the Hindu ethical system. We will readily allow that the passive virtues, such as long-suffering self-discipline, non-resistance to evil, are admired and practised in the East, but they are taught, admired, and practised in the Christian scheme also. It cannot be doubted that when India is converted she will give great impetus in this direction. The caste system, too, in spite of the terrible and crushing weight with which it falls upon the lower classes, is not without certain elements of ethical value. "Where the system of caste, considered as a social institution, has been chiefly wrong, has been in its fixing of men to a particular position of society from which there is no escape, whatever may be their individual capacity. . . . There has been, on the other hand, a strong sense of the sacredness of the ties that bind individual to individual within their more restricted communities." ["Hindu Ethics: a Historical and Critical Essay," by John McKenzie, in which the whole subject is thoroughly dealt with.]

But the brotherhood of the caste system is merely a poor and limited thing compared with the ideal of Christian brotherhood, however feebly the Christian [69/70] community may have succeeded in translating that ideal into fact and action. Of the active virtues in Hinduism there is small sign. The plain truth is that in claiming the absolute supremacy of Christianity as an ethical system we are on unassailable ground. Hardly any qualified student of ethics would gainsay us.

Now, why is this? It is because there is in Hindu philosophy and theology no adequate basis for ethical teaching and conduct. The gods are not moral themselves, and there is, consequently, no conceivable reason why man should be moral either. With Englishmen, in whom the ethical sense is strong, this argument ought to be of great weight. After all, if the tree is not known by its fruit, by what is it to be known? "It is a fact that when one comes to blunt questions of right and wrong, as we understand such things, it is difficult to find any common ground with the average Hindu." How is it possible to say, as people thoughtlessly do, that all religions are equally good? One often heard it said, "I get on very well with these fellows; I rather like them, in fact; but the worst of it is they are such awful liars." The next time you meet the same man he inveighs against Missions, and says he cannot see the good of them. The odd thing is that he does not see the mutual contradiction underlying the two sentiments. The only conceivable reason for telling the truth (except when it pays, which it frequently does not) is because you happen to believe in a God of Truth. If truth is a matter of indifference to God, why should it be otherwise to you? It would appear, therefore, that if you disapprove of untruthful-ness, the best thing to do is to inculcate the knowledge of the God of Truth.

[71] (4) This brings us to the common objection to Missions that they make such bad Christians. "The native Christian servant is no better, often worse, than the non-Christian." On this latter point I can only say what I found, in common fairness. I did not come across this Christian servant who is such a failure. I suppose, from the point of view of the argument, I was peculiarly unfortunate; but there it is. I did come across, on the other hand, hostesses who said that the only servant they really could trust was their Christian servant. Of course, there must be plenty of instances to the contrary, especially when we remember the class from which such servants are usually drawn, but all the same I cannot quite resist the opinion that the average Englishman's attitude to Christian servants is similar to his attitude towards parsons. He inveighs against the species, as a whole, but says he has quite a decent one of his own.

As to the general subject of "bad Christians," it ought to be enough to say that we are not entirely unfamiliar with them at home, despite a good many centuries of Christian tradition. The Christian character takes many generations before it can establish itself individually, and still more collectively, and until we, in the West, have been a good deal more successful than we have so far shown ourselves in producing anything approaching to a Christian nation, the argument of "such bad Christians" against the missionary enterprise is neither convincing nor even decently modest. It is clear that the Christian character is possible of accomplishment by all nations and kindreds and tongues and peoples, because it has been done.

(5) To many of us the supreme reason for proceeding [71/72] with the missionary enterprise is the clear conviction of the need of the world, collectively and individually, for the Gospel. Nothing less will do to enable a nation to achieve full self-realisation, to make the best of the treasures of its national character for the service of the world.

Above the plains she sits; her wrinkled face
Resting upon her hands; her grave sad eyes,
Where wait the hidden dreams of many a race,
Turned to the Western skies.

Behind her rise the pines and fields of snow,
The still lands, where the soul alone has trod;
Beneath, the tribes of men surge to and fro.
And there is naught but God.

She traces slowly broadening battle lines
Creep to the East; she hears from hill to hill
The roar of guns; beneath the trembling pines
She looks and listens still.

Her jewels and her gold, her harvests wait
The conqueror's pleasure. Who shall take for toll
The riddle in those eyes? Who force the gate
That opens to her soul?
["Asia," by Edward Shillito.]

There is no national grace or characteristic which will not be found in Christ, and strengthened by contact with Him, and brought to its fullest possibilities in Him. There is no nation that will not be the better for Him. India waits for Him, unconsciously, wistfully, and He alone can read the riddle of her soul.

On the other hand, Christ waits for the nations; the Church will be incomplete until they all come in. A book was published some fifteen years ago under the [72/73] editorship of Bishop Montgomery, in which an attempt was made to estimate the contribution which the great races of the world would make to the fullness of the Church of God. ["Mankind and the Church" (Longmans, Green and Co.).] It was a valuable and instructive effort, and it ought to be much better known than it is, for the thought is one of great importance.

And, after all, the word which dominates most of our ideas and aims to-day is the word "unity," and if the Gospel cannot reconcile nations and races, what can? Is there anything else?


How, then, fares the cause? How is the work done? What does the Church look like as she does her work in the forefront of her battle-lines and in her lonely outposts? So men and women who care a little have eagerly asked us. Let me set down some brief and scattered impressions, few out of many, of one who tried to get glimpses of it in the midst of almost incessant work. I will put them in three sections.

I. The first and the greatest without doubt was the splendid heroism and the dauntless courage of the men and women who are doing the work. Often with little to cheer, often with scant sympathy from their fellow-Christians around, always with great disappointments, seldom with encouragement of numbers, they go on with devotion, patience, love, at their task. Be it remembered, too, that the majority do not get the reliefs, amenities, holidays, that most English people in the East find necessary to enable them to battle with the climate and the conditions of life.

Said one to me, who was stationed by his Bishop for [73/74] a short time to minister to an English congregation, "You have no idea what a relief and pleasure it is to be able to express an intelligent idea to intelligent people in one's own tongue." Said another, drawing to the end of a long life of service, "I shall never go back to England again. I hope my bones will be laid here where I have worked. Tell them at home that you met one missionary at least who adored her work." A third, well-known in England, has said, "God gives us strength to go on; that is the seal of His approval." I do not think we comfortable Christians at home, nor some of those in India, quite realise that there is much beside romance in the life of a missionary. Among the many fine men and women I met in the East none, as a- class, quite touched the missionaries. The memory of them is an inspiration to the laggard will in the dull days.

"We are confronted with the most modern, most arresting, most unanswerable of all arguments for Christianity--the phenomenon of the missionaries of Jesus Christ. With them lies the most living evidence we have of the reality of our Lord and of His claim. They are a problem to be solved. To the sceptic they present a paradox which he must explain or perish; and the paradox lies in this--that the missionary's chosen career is in almost every particular clean contrary to the normal instincts and predilections of mankind. Alike in his objective, in the environment he chooses, and in the reward he looks for, he is an unaccountable variation from his species, a rebel against the convention of his race. His objective is neither wealth nor fame; and his environment consists of everything which we most of [74/75] us wish to avoid. For instance, we have come to regard a certain standard of comfort as of the first importance in life: the missionary puts several things before his personal comfort, and takes hardships when they come as part of the day's work. We like to settle down within reasonable reach of our relations and friends; he leaves home and friends, and is content to live thousands of miles away, with no connection whatever, except an occasional home mail. The missionaries mainly persevere for a lifetime in their difficult environment. What makes them do it? What magnetic attraction holds them to their post? Verily nothing which would content the average man. Heat and mosquitoes and flies, and bad food and no doctors and dentists, and no amenities of civilisation; with only coloured people around them, whose very touch repels some of their fellow-countrymen at home." [Bishop of Salisbury: Paper at the Church Congress, 1923.]

2. The second impression is a very vivid one, in all sorts of varying conditions and places, of "the difference that it makes." First, for what it is worth--and it seems to me personally to be worth a good deal--is the striking difference noticed by all of us again and again between the faces of Christians and their non-Christian fellows. I do not want to press it too far, but there it undoubtedly is. It may not be true to say that you can always tell by means of your eyes who is a Christian and who is not, but something like it is true; there is a new expression, there is a joy and a hope seldom to be seen outside the ranks of the Christians.

[76] Then there is the difference in "life" and atmosphere in the Christian churches, institutions, communities in contrast with others. I think of that great school at Trinity College, Kandy (C.M.S.), of St. Mary's School for Girls (S.P.G.) at Rangoon, and the fine school for girls at Katni (C.M.S.), of the queer and delightful school for Chinese boys at Moulmein, where I gave an address which was translated first into Burmese and then into Chinese, and reached the ears of my young hearers in I know not what condition. I remember that jolly bunch of Christian boys in the big Mohammadan school at Harda, stoutly maintaining that when they came out of the school they should "go back to help the Mission that had helped them." I remember that glorious colony of boys just outside Calcutta under the leadership of Father Douglas (Oxford Mission to Calcutta). I picture again and again that brave and gay little procession of Christians at Moulmein coming down from St. Augustine's Church (S.P.G.) to join us at the English Church for a united Eucharist on Christmas Eve, singing their hymns as they march with the cross at their head, and banners fluttering almost impudently in the breeze. Pitifully tiny and inadequate it must have looked from an aeroplane, too small to be noticed amid the hordes of Buddhists round about. But it was a great sight; it was the beginnings of the Church; it was the advance guard of the Prince of Peace.

Thirdly, there is the recollection of countless interviews everywhere with those to whom God has spoken and who have made their response of acceptance. Their attitude to God and man is something entirely [76/77] different from the rest, and their standard and perception of character is a new thing.

It is easier to understand the Bible contrast between light and darkness, having seen and knowing these things.

3. My third great impression is the desperate shortage of men and money. Every place is undermanned, and almost every place is starved by lack of funds. More than that, work is actually being reduced and closed down. "There are large areas where the help of the Society cannot at present be dispensed with without serious injury to the young Churches in them. And while it has become clear to us that the C.M.S. is attempting to-day far more work than it can compass efficiently on existing resources, we wish to emphasise also the entirely inadequate response of the Church of England as a whole to the spiritual claims which India has a right to make upon it. America, with far less direct responsibility for India, is shouldering more than her due proportion of the burden. On the other hand, the C.M.S., though by far the largest Anglican Missionary Society, is working effectively in a humiliat-ingly small proportion of the Indian continent, and it is with shame that the Delegation have to include in the scheme for possible reduction some Missions which the C.M.S. was led to undertake by the clearest providential indications in the past, and in which it cannot be said that it has carried to a successful issue the work entrusted to it." ["Report of the C.M.S. Delegation to India," p. 119.] It is really much more a matter of money than it is of workers, for hundreds of parish priests in England know that the young men and women could be found if there was money to train, [77/78] equip, and pay them. And it is our money that we will not give. Men and women may give their life's work, may give even life itself, for the cause, but we will not give our money; we love it too dearly. We will pray, sew, go to bazaars, but do not ask us to give our money. Look at the things it can buy, the pleasures it can bring! Think what we should have to give up! The work of Christ may be crippled here and closed down there, and workers may struggle on with totally insufficient equipment and help--but we would rather keep our money, thank you. We seem to expect God to rain down £1 notes at the next monsoon; but He won't do it, for it is not His way.

The plain truth of a very plain matter is that, until there is something in the lives of Christians which corresponds with the self-denial of those who go out as missionaries, the Kingdom will never come. If we do not do it, nobody will do it; if we do not give, nobody will give; if we do not care, nobody will care. There is nobody else to give or to care. Of course, it is a fool's game, I know. It is like throwing your money down a drain, or like casting your bread upon the waters. But Canon Scott Holland used to say that what was wanted was more fools for Christ's sake.


Lastly, what about results? Fortunately, results are not our business. Christianity is a religion of faith, and always has been.

Bishop Lightfoot, in his "Historical Essays," gives a glowing picture of the early Church in the Roman Empire, and the collapse of paganism. There is [78/79] nothing like that to be seen in the East. Progress there is, but it is slow, silent, secret, for the most part; the disappointments are crushing and the adversary is strong, haughty, conscious of numerical strength, a great historical past, and much that is of value in belief. We must neither overlook what is good, nor make light of the magnitude of the enterprise.

And God saith, If ye hear it
This weeping of the Spirit
For the world which ye inherit,
Do I not hear it too?

Arise, and to your stations
Ye lighted living nations.
These be My dark foundations,
To raise them is for you.
[Herbert Trench.]

Nevertheless, results there are, and we need not despise them. It is computed that the Christian body has increased in numbers to the extent of a million during the last ten years. Certain it is that strong native churches are growing up in many places, full of vitality and urgently demanding independence. This may provide us with great problems, but it is at least an evidence of progress, even startling. Men are dreaming of the Church of India, and not without hope of fulfilment. Whence also came those great and enthusiastic congregations in Ceylon if they were not the fruits of the missionary work of the Church in the past? The present time is one of extraordinary difficulty, for the Nationalist Movement sometimes, though quite unnecessarily, shows strong anti-Christian bias, and has brought sometimes a sad bitterness towards the white pastor from his flock. This can only [79/80] be temporary; there is need only for patience and understanding.

The indirect influence of Christianity--what has been so well described as "diffused Christianity"--seems to be almost irresistible in spite of all efforts made to counteract it. From small things like the appearance of alms-boxes at so many of the temples, an idea borrowed from Christianity, to big things like the gradual penetration of Christian ideas and ethics into non-Christian systems, the witness is all in the same direction. It is neither the eccentricity of genius nor the exception that proves the rule which accounts for Gandhi's admiration for the character of Christ; it is because intelligent India will not long desire to say anything less, and may very well be moved to say a great deal more. The tone of the press to Christ is nearly always respectful and reverent.

The Christian hostels at the universities may be able to show few converts to the Faith, but the young men who go to them do get a higher ideal of religion and life, and parents often prefer to send their sons to them because of the higher moral standard to be found there. Moreover, though they may not gain Christian conviction, nor the courage to confess it if they have got it, yet they pass out with a friendly attitude which counts for much.

For my own part if, on the one hand, I returned to England with an increased sense of the magnitude and difficulty of the missionary enterprise, yet, on the other, I returned greatly encouraged with results to be seen, and with the clear conviction that it is impossible to exaggerate the unseen and unconscious influence of Christianity.

[81] The greatest problem of the Mission Field to-day, it has been said, is the education of the Home Church. If we could accomplish that, we should move quickly; until we can accomplish that we may only move slowly. But even so, there is progress, for other agencies are at work than those which are merely human.

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