RIGHT REV. C. H. STILEMAN, D.D.
LATE BISHOP IN PERSIA
CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY
Chapter I. Mary Bird--Her Ancestry, Early Life, and Personality
Chapter II. Ancient Persia
Chapter III. Modern Persia
Chapter IV. Persian Conditions and Customs
Chapter V. Mary Bird as a Pioneer
Chapter VI. "Khánum Maryam," the Friend of the Persians
Chapter VII. The Attitude of the Persians to "Khánum Maryam"
Chapter VIII. Mary Bird as a "Doctor"
Chapter IX. Mary Bird as a "Teacher"
Chapter X. Mary Bird as a Friend and an Inspiration
Chapter XI. "A Faithful Soldier and Servant" at Work and at Rest
Chapter XII. The Present Opportunity in Persia
"We would know the world--not to censure, not to boast ourselves, but that sympathy may be wider and wider." PREFACE
ALL who had the privilege of knowing Mary Bird intimately, and of being her fellow workers in the great cause of foreign Missions, will rejoice that this memoir is being given to the public.
The story of her life and labours can hardly fail to be an inspiration to those who read it. One could not see much of her without realizing the Presence of the Master to Whose service all her time and her talents were consecrated.
And now that she has gone to be with Him in a higher sphere of service, it is well that this book should go forth on its mission as a call to others to follow the King with the same whole-hearted devotion with which she followed Him. It would have been a loss to the Church of Christ if no such record had been written. Not indeed that it would be possible or desirable for many workers, either at home or abroad, to attempt to mould their lives upon hers in detail. Few, if any, could with advantage follow her example in ignoring the claims of the body to a reasonable measure of recreation, food, and sleep. It was a marvel to those who watched her self-denying labours that she lived so long. But, by God's grace, all may seek to be equally wholehearted in His service, always on duty, instant in season, out of season, having no object in life but to be well-pleasing in His sight, and to fulfil His will.
Mrs. Rice--who has herself laboured for many years in Persia--has drawn for us a very helpful picture of Mary Bird as a pioneer, as a medical worker, as a teacher, as a friend and an inspiration to her fellow-workers, and as a faithful soldier and servant of Christ. She has done well to complete the picture by showing that in each capacity Miss Bird was above all the loving and sympathizing "Friend of the Persians," with a great understanding of the avenues of approach to both rich and poor, loving them all, and winning their confidence and love, with the one aim and object of drawing them to the Saviour of the world.
This book shows us what one noble-hearted woman was enabled to accomplish for God's glory by her life of prayer, service, and sacrifice. It is not too much to expect that those who read it will, by His grace, seek to do their utmost in the great cause for which she gladly gave her life.
Charles H. Stileman (Bishop).
THE author wishes to acknowledge her great indebtedness to those friends, both in England and in Persia, who have given invaluable help and advice without which this memoir could not have been written.
She feels that some apology is needed for the references to Persian history, religion, and customs, but such seemed necessary in a book which has so many extracts from letters, and so few notes of time or place.
St. Andrew's-tide, 1915.