"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
Then with a rusk the intolerable craving
Shivers throughout me like a trumpet-call--
Oh to save these I to perish for their saving,
Die for their life, be offered for them all!
F. W. H. Myers, St. Paul
NOW began a period which was to have a very creative effect on Clifford Harris's personality and work in the next--and last--eighteen months of his life.
For there came into being a new movement of fellowship with other Christian workers in Isfahan. Pat Gaussen was the leader in this movement. He and Clifford found that others, like themselves, were hungry for the chance to meet and pray and talk together about their life in God and their work for Him in Persia.
So small groups were formed for the purpose, which met regularly but informally in a friendly way in the evenings. Men and women missionaries, Persian and English Christians, could join these groups, where they shared together their experiences, difficulties, and hopes, and prayed for Christ's guidance upon them in the light of common Bible study.
It is quite evident, from his constant reference to them, how much these groups meant to Clifford Harris. One particularly cheerful letter home just now, describing them, is signed: "from Clifford--living in the land of many delightfully keen friends."
It was indeed a crucial turning-point in Clifford's own life and Christian experience. Hitherto he had been the eager but rather vague young adventurer, keen to win new experiences in a landscape full of mystery and fascination; though it is easy to see how the call of spiritual and physical need behind the lives of Persian villagers had already been appealing to his instinctively unselfish spirit, while his Christian life was deep and real, as his sermons show.
But j now, while retaining all his joie de vivre to the full, he was to enter into a new and still deeper experience of God, into a yet fuller life of living, personal fellowship with Christ and surrender to His influence. And this inward experience was to drive him forth again in a new and purposeful outgoing of his whole personality in utmost self-giving to the deepest needs of his fellow-men, above all to their hunger for the living God. Henceforth men were to feel a new power in his influence. "It was not," writes a friend who knew him well, "his stumbling Persian or his arguments that won people, but the overflowing kindness and love in him, and the unmistakable evidence that Someone was upholding him every moment." He experienced, in fact, what was almost a spiritual "breaking-through," with Pat Gaussen as the friend to help him into this new and vital spiritual experience, just as F. R. Barry had formerly been the main instrument in the full liberation of Clifford's fine mental powers at King's College.
To such a personality as Clifford now became, who could fail to respond? As a friend wrote of him, summing up his character and his influence over the Persians to whom he devoted himself so whole-heartedly: "Clifford did great work by simply ministering with loving sympathy to the humblest needs that came in his way. He visited the sick, cared for the boys, encouraged the men, spoke kindly to any who seemed sorrowful or lonely. He never allowed any journey, however long or perilous, through heat or cold, by night or by day, however weary or sick he might be himself, to deter him from carrying all the resources of his ministrations to any human need that had been brought to his notice. His kindness, his courage, his self-denial, his justice touched to life something in those Persians that lay deeper than all the tangle of binding custom with which they were so closely overgrown. And what is more, he willingly and gladly received many gifts from these villagers. They lent him coats or other clothing. They fed him generously on his 'tramps.' They taught him many lessons of endurance and faith, courage and comradeship."
For it was the call of the villages and the villagers that was henceforth to him overwhelming. And the "fellowship" groups, with Clifford as their executive leader, now began to launch out on a new campaign of service and witness among the villages in an ever-widening circle, with Isfahan as its centre.
The Village Campaign begins
On September 9, 1928, Clifford, writing home, describes one of these village expeditions, which was planned round the weekly Friday holiday.
"Last Thursday I went off with two Christian Persian masters to a little village called Vashnun about nine or ten miles away, down the river. We took a lantern and slides. We sent a donkey off early in the afternoon with some bedding and the lantern; we ourselves dashed off on bikes after school. We found a place where we could show the lantern; as it was very windy, we used an old, tumbled-down mud tunnel or stable with three sides to it and a bit of roof. We had a delightful little group of listeners and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We did not expect many, as it was the first time the village had been visited.
"The next morning, Friday, we cycled back five miles to our bathing pool at Shahristan, met the boys and spent the day bathing with them. About 4 p.m. we returned to Vashnun and arranged everything for the lantern show. While we drank tea we had a group of men round and R------(a Persian) talked to them and taught them about the life of Christ and read passages from the Bible; the men seemed very interested and keen. The village barber went round and gave them a shave and hair-cut in turn while our talk went on. Sayyed Nasrullah (a Christian Persian boy) arrived just as we were finishing tea and were ready for our lantern talk. We must have had a good fifty people, and they listened very well and were very keen to get our little books afterwards--such as the 'Sermon on the Mount,' and the teaching on love from St. John, and the 'Good Shepherd.'
"We were up the next morning, Saturday, by 4.20 a.m. and packed up our things, setting off on our bikes about 5.10 a.m. We stopped at a quiet place outside the village, where we had stopped before when entering or leaving, and had a prayer at dawn. The ride back was delightful, all along by the river, just at sunrise; we felt very happy and hearty."
He asks now, in a letter to his mother, for Bible pictures: "good, artistic prints (coloured). They will come in useful when I go to the villages: sets like the Good Shepherd are very good."
Meanwhile, inquirers in the village are finding that here is a man who will make time somehow to teach them about Christ.
One day he writes home; "A sayyed (Moslem religious teacher) and his servant have arrived here. They are two very keen inquirers from Seh-deh. Sayyed Nasrullah spent about two hours reading and talking to them and then they stayed to supper. They are going to live near the college for about ten days and are anxious to get as much teaching as possible. We hope to go round whenever we are free." And he refers to this sayyed again in his diary later:--
"Dec. 4. The sayyed was delightful; he has been having a rough time, other sayyeds and mullahs preaching against him. He said: "If God is with us, what does it matter what men do to us?"
A Baptism--and a Parting
November brought another great joy: he begins a letter on the 25th:--
To-day is a great day--Sayyed Nasrullah was baptized this morning! I am cheered. You know all about him. He is the boy who has been teaching me Persian and who has been out to the villages with me. It is a wonderful answer to prayer. It will be very hard for him; I don't suppose he will be able to go home for a long time. It seems almost too good to be true after wondering and waiting so long. I am sure it will be a great help to other boys."
But December saw the end of a great partnership. On the 18th he writes:--
Here we are, just nearing Christmas. Skip leaves this evening; in an hour's time I shall set off with him and go out twelve miles to Pul-i-Vargun. He is going to walk down the Bakhtiari road, only a caravan track which will be blocked with snow in another month. He is taking all his baggage on a mule. We will walk out together and sleep the night and I shall return in the morning."
So Skipworth made his way into India; and, after teaching for a time at the Aitchison Chiefs' College in Lahore (for sons of chiefs) went up to the newly-formed St. Peter's Hall at Oxford to read for his degree and for work in the Civil Service in Malay, to which he sailed in August, 1931.
"It's quite lonely without Skip," Clifford wrote, a week later. And again, on December 30: "We begin school to-morrow again--we shall miss Skip." But Hawker came to share his room for a time.
A new year, 1929, now came in, and life at the school was as busy as ever. Meanwhile, the fellowship groups went on strongly; a January 16 entry describes a "fellowship group, very helpful and full of power, great answers to prayers."
So did the lantern shows. At Dastgird, on Jan. 18: "Hearty crowd in evening but got quiet and listened remarkably well at end: after the lecture, the people started pushing and many people were rolled down a bank into the garden!"
Ali the Baker
An inquirer of whom we shall later hear much comes now into the picture, "Ali the baker," a Moslem from Jubareh, the Jewish quarter of Isfahan. The diary says: "Jan. 19. The baker, a Moslem working in Jubareh, who is a keen inquirer, got turned out of his work a month ago because he let us give a lantern show in his house; he was looked upon as a Christian. He kept very cheery, with no work and a family to keep. Letter to say he has found work. A man at the lantern show, who also bakes, after a month offered him work. Ali said: 'Think first, because I am now a Christian.' Work still offered. He (Ali) came to Pa T. to read (the Gospel) and brought this other baker along as an inquirer!"
It was a wearing life. After a busy day in school, with inquirers to see afterwards, his diary for February 11 reads:--
"Very tired when I got up and had a full day ahead. Prayed that I might not be tired during day; wonderful answer: hearty all day. . . . Find my midday prayers very refreshing."
Plans and prospects for the future now begin to take bold and definite shape. On that same day (Feb. 11) he wrote home:--
"What I feel at present is that after coming home for a holiday I shall want to come out to Persia again to work in the villages as a travelling missionary, living among the Persians like a Persian and staying in the villages to gather groups together and to teach them. I should like to work under a doctor in a dispensary when I am in England and get more medical knowledge, so that I could take a medicine chest round with me through the villages, getting food in return for medicine and Persian gospels. I should love to be free to try this, as I am sure there is a great need for people to go out and live among the villagers. I think I would soon get a Persian to join me, living the same sort of life of faith. Just going out to the villages from college is infectious; many people want to go out now!"
Talks by the Way
Village work, as we have seen, was full of increasing fascination for Clifford. But perhaps he liked even better the friendly evangelism of the open highway. Any Persian peasant on the road, young or old, soon found in this cheerful young Englishman a ready friend and fellow traveller. We are almost reminded of Philip's conversation in the desert with the Ethiopian eunuch when we read of the two days' walking which he describes in a letter of March 10: "I am flourishing and feeling in good form after a walk of twenty miles on Thursday afternoon to Najafabad. We got up a party, but I decided to walk, which was a great idea. I soon found friends on the road. One young boy, and a bright old man named Abbas. We had great fun talking. I told them some parables and short stories. The old man was very tired as he had walked twenty-seven miles the day before, getting little sleep. We arrived before the car, at sunset. I went to a caravanserai with my old man and then I bought some bread, butter, and mast (curded milk). We both ate together: he was very pleased, I don't think he had any money left. Then I went round and found the others, who were now ready to give the lantern talk. [One of the party writes: "When Clifford entered the room it was difficult to recognize him, as he was wearing old Abbas's heavy felt coat. This goes to show how drawn the Persians were to him as a real friend. Clifford was wearing the coat of a man he had only known for a few hours, and Abbas was doing without it to give warmth to his new-found foreign friend."] I then read a little--from prepared passages--to a group of men, after which I collected people from the bazaar. We had a wonderfully quiet audience. A group stayed at the end and Ma T. (Mrs. Thompson) read and talked to them. Then Abbas arrived, so he came and had supper with us. He was very quiet and pleased. Then more reading.
"The next morning, Friday, I set off at 6.45 a.m. to walk back, as I wanted to be in time for a Persian lunch given by Dr. Schaffter for Persian Christians. I soon caught up a man riding a donkey and talked: he had seen the pictures the night before and was keen. After half an hour he turned off and I went on at full speed. I stopped half way back and sat in the sun with a young 'road guard' and drank tea, and we shared the dates I had in my pocket. We had a good talk and I read to him a bit from the Sermon on the Mount. I hope when he comes to Isfahan he will pay me a visit. I got back in time for the lunch with the Persian Christians: it's good fun meeting these men, all sorts and ages."
A Bitter Blow
March, 1929, brought a bitter blow to the college, and, in particular, to Clifford and his future plans. He writes, on April 1:--
"Tragic news--the A.P.O.C., who have been giving £500 a year to the college and have enabled the college to grow, have now quite suddenly sent a short letter saying that they are going to stop this payment after next November! [Anglo Persian Oil Company.] This is a terrible blow. It will probably mean that Pa and Ma T. will be leaving us in a week or so for England. It is essential that the money should be found somewhere. They don't want to go home now, but it seems that it is inevitable."
On March 24 Sayyed Mohammad and Musa, two Christian boys, were baptized at the college, and Clifford's diary records on that day how he and a party of three others, who were out on a preaching tour, had prayer in the desert for these two boys at the time of their baptism in Isfahan, many miles away.
Ali the Dreamer
In a letter written on April 15, yet another "Ali" inquirer comes into the foreground, "Ali the dreamer," as he is afterwards called sometimes in the diary and letters, to distinguish him from "Ali the baker," of Jubareh. The psychoanalysts might find it interesting to reconstruct the dream here mentioned from recent experiences in which Ali had been sharing! Clifford writes:--
"Latest news: I have had a great week. Went out last Monday evening to a village named Sodun. They had never heard about Christ before; they were much interested in all the reading and in the lantern talk. The sporting fellow who drove us out was greatly interested in the lantern talk. He said: 'You have the truth--why haven't you told us before?'
"Last Sunday week I met a man called 'Ali' and talked with, him for a few minutes as he walked with us--about parable of lost sheep. . . . Then on Tuesday he saw me bathing in the river--flooded, good, fast stream. Yesterday (Sunday) he came to the service in college chapel and stayed for lunch with some of the inquirers. Then we had reading together.
"In the afternoon, on the way to church I had a swim and along came this Ali again. He said: 'Oh, I hoped to find you here. I have had a dream and had no chance of seeing you alone this morning (he had had the dream the night before). I was drowning in the sea and a man caught me firmly by the arm and dragged me out. Then when I was recovering, I saw he was going, and I ran after him and caught him and found that he was Jesus Christ.'
"Ali knew practically nothing at all about Christ. I went and met him that night again by the river and then walked to the house where he is staying, talking on the way. I stayed there a long time and talked to a group about Christ."
It is worth while to introduce this Ali from another angle, in the words of a missionary who was walking with Clifford on that same Sunday night: "One evening when out for a short walk with Clifford we overtook a man carrying large planks of wood. Immediately Clifford offered to help the man with his load. The man was very glad to share his burden with the 'kind English friend' (as he afterwards called him); such help did not come Ali's way often--one could see that! After the usual salutations Clifford turned to Ali and said: 'Have you ever heard of Christ?' Ali replied that he had not heard of Him, and then Clifford told him of Jesus Christ Who came to seek and save those who were lost. Our ways divided soon; altogether we had walked for seven minutes with this Persian man, and in that short time Clifford had told him of Jesus Christ. Those of us who had the delight of being fellow-workers with Clifford know what a typical picture this is of him. He was always ready to tell others about Christ, and there were many opportunities in this Moslem land. Clifford always had a string of names to pray for at our prayer meetings and each inquirer had his own title to distinguish him. The foregoing Ali is now 'Ali the dreamer.'"
It is easy to learn from this story how naturally and unaffectedly Clifford could speak of religion to any man. "These things," writes another, "were to him the gladdest and happiest part of life, and he never dreamed of looking solemn when talking of them."
Clifford visited Ali the baker on April 17, found him ill and looking very weak, gave him four krans and told him to get a carriage and go to hospital. He arrived on April 20. Clifford saw him settled into a private ward in hospital. He visited him often after that, for talk and reading; and soon Ali expressed a wish to be baptized.
On April 24 came a big break in the college's life--the departure for England of the Thompson family (father and mother and the small twin daughters, Rachel and Eleanor) with the object of raising £15,000 as an endowment fund, to replace the money which was no longer to be regularly available from such sources as the A.P.O.C. But it meant that Clifford could not take his furlough to England as had been planned.
To contribute their own help to the situation, the college masters, including Clifford, decided at this time to accept a reduction on their already very slender salaries.
"At Home" to all and sundry
Another important step was taken just now. On May 16 he wrote home, evidently in great satisfaction: "I have got a room cleared at the hostel now for receiving Persian villagers and odd people in. It is furnished Persian fashion, i.e. people sit on the floor; there is no furniture."
It was decorated with Bible pictures sent out from home. Ali the baker and others became regular visitors to this room. Here many a man who had walked into the city to sell his stock of wares found a ready welcome at any hour, a hearty meal, bedding for the night, and a cheery send-off to his work in the city next day. Unfortunately, at this point Clifford was taken ill with a minor ailment and had to go to hospital for treatment. His diary adds: "Wanted to go into hospital with Persians; this was not allowed."
But he was not cut off from his Persian friends. As he writes, on May 18, from hospital: "I have had many visitors here, including my Persian friends. Among others Ali the dreamer came. He has been turned out of the house where he has been living: the father of his fiancee is very angry because he is learning about Christianity. Some one hit him and then he hit back. There were complaints and he got put into prison! In prison he prayed: 'Oh God, help me out of this.' In the evening some one came in and told him to go!"
Clifford was soon back again at the college.
Contact with an interesting personality from the outer world is mentioned on June 3: "King's Birthday. Consulate dinner. . . . Quite fun. . . . Met Times' correspondent, very interesting man; spent most of evening talking to him. Persuaded him to come round to college and give a lecture."
"He that hath two Coats"
Here is a vivid example of the way in which Clifford tried to give literal fulfilment to the challenge of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, "experimenting" as he called it. It was on that summary of our Lord's ideal that he tried more and more to base his own discipleship. To his sister Ruth he wrote on June 9: "I have a little room downstairs where I can receive all inquirers. The sayyed has been up from Seh-deh; he wants to be baptized. He was here the other evening: he had on a very old pair of gihvehs, Persian shoes, and I happened to have on a new pair which I was wearing in for long tramps in the holidays. He mentioned the facts of the case, comparing our shoes, and then said that verse about 'he that hath two coats. . . .' I felt it was a definite challenge to see if we tried to live up to what we preached, so I quietly took off my shoes and told him to 'carry on.' Also he asked for a pair of socks, so I gave him a choice of my shoes and two pairs of socks! It's all great fun with these fellows and of course they can't understand why we have more than one pair of shoes!"
"I don't think," writes a friend of this incident, "that Clifford gave him the shoes because he wanted to win him for Christ or because he thought it was the right thing to do; but because he was really fond of him, liked him, loved him, though the rest of us could see nothing lovable about the man."
A Prisoner of War
Summer holiday plans had been partly affected by the unsettled political outlook. He writes home on July 17:" The country is in a troubled state at present. There is a little war going on in the south between here and Shiraz and the road is not open."
School ended with a heavy rush of work on June 24, and on June 25 the advance party set off for camp at Chadagun. But camp came to an abrupt end, for the Governor of the district (Feredan) suddenly gave orders to strike tents and leave at midnight, because a raid on that area by the tribespeople was expected to take place at any moment. In spite of this, the camp went off very well. It included a short but memorable trip by Clifford, John Sleath, and Imani to the wild source of the Karun River, which comes roaring out of a deep snow cavern at the foot of steep snow mountains; here it divides, and the water thunders into two long snow tunnels. "Our walk," Clifford wrote after, "was one of the grandest I have had in Persia."
On July 10 the boys returned to Isfahan in lorries and Clifford set off with a donkey and chavadar for a holiday in some distant villages. He had not succeeded in finding any one bold enough to accompany him, for the times were troubled.
"I did not get very far," he writes, "on the first day, for I found that my chavadar had gone lame! He had fallen down from a ladder or some such thing and his left foot had struck a peg in the ground." In the company of a peasant whom he met, called Sadir, he walked to the foot of the Parreh Pass, where they had lunch in one of the two little mud huts. He goes on:--
"Here we made some great friends. I showed Bible pictures and read some parables. Two men stay on here in the winter alone and get cut off completely from the world by deep snow: they can't go outside the house for months. They can both read so I gave them each a gospel. They invited me to spend the winter with them! It might be well worth while?
"The next morning Ghasim Ali greeted me at sunrise by telling me his foot was worse! I decided to go on alone: so I packed up my traps for him to take back to Isfahan. I loaded a haversack with a few necessary things and said farewell to my merry little shrivelled-up bit of a man. I may add that I was rash enough to pay him his full wage for a week in advance to enable him to reach Isfahan.
"On reaching a village called Hogbatieh I received an invitation, or rather summons, to go to the house of the kadkhuda or headman of the village. I entered the dark little room, and when my eyes had grown accustomed to the darkness I saw a well-dressed man sitting down smoking opium. He had on a 'Pahlevi' hat and smartly cut Tehran suit; he turned out to be the chief man responsible for order among the Lur tent dwellers.
"After the usual cross questioning, he said that if I went on alone he would probably get into trouble because there were bands of robbers ahead who were sure to rob me and might shoot.
"On the following morning he said he was going to a place quite near Arjanak, the village I was aiming for, and hoped I would accompany him. He produced a horse for me and off we went with outriders galloping about with rifles.
"Later in the day I thanked my host very much for his kindness and said I would now walk on alone, for I felt we were not going near Arjanak. He said: 'Oh, no trouble--pleasure--I couldn't dream of letting you walk on alone: I am going quite near where you wish to go, come along.' So off we went again.
"Before sunset we reached a big village called Alijuda, and I was soon surrounded and cross-questioned by soldiers, then by a lieutenant, and finally handed over to a major. My late host had handed me over to the military authorities and I found I was miles and miles away from Arjanak! The major started once more from the beginning and asked all my past history. This was all recorded with great accuracy, I am sure, so that after my decease no doubt valuable and startling information may be dug up from the archives of Alijuda. The major then informed me that as I had entered the war area he was bound to detain me until he received information concerning me from the British consul. He hoped to hear news before mid-day on the morrow. The one day turned out to be a whole week: all this time I was a prisoner in one room with four soldiers to guard me! If I stepped out of my room to wash I was followed, and at night a soldier always slept by me. This gave me a wonderful opportunity for carrying out what I had set out to do: I made great friends with the soldiers and used to read the Gospel with them and teach them all I could about Jesus Christ. They were very ready to listen and we had great talks. I also had a supply of Bible pictures which the soldiers were pleased to look at while I did my best to explain the pictures or to tell the parables they represented. I used to leave the pictures out on the floor beside me, and when other soldiers came in to visit my guards they invariably picked up a picture and asked what it was; this gave me the opportunity I was waiting for. I made many great friends and thoroughly enjoyed living with my four soldiers sitting or lying on the floor of the small, mud room. I was able to go for short walks, with a soldier, in and around the village, but I was not allowed to go for a proper walk outside the village.
"I was fed very well; in fact, at first I was the guest of a naib, or lieutenant, who always sent my food along to me. I did not find out who my benefactor was till two or three days had passed. After the fourth day I became the guest of the Persian Government and ordered whatever food I wanted: the Government paid and one of the soldiers cooked. On the seventh evening I said that we would have a merry gathering of soldiers to supper the next night and we discussed plans. But at midnight the sentry on duty by my head shouted out his challenge and in a moment the naib was beside me. He informed me that I could start back to Khunsar early the next morning. He produced an old villager who was to accompany me the whole way to Khunsar in case I should lose my way.
"I had a farewell breakfast at sunrise the next day, and then set off once more. At mid-day on the second day I reported myself to the lieutenant at Khunsar and soon found myself before the major. The major was very friendly and I had lunch with him, the Governor, and other important people. That evening I walked off homewards, made many more friends on the return trip."
He finally arrived back in Isfahan at 10 p.m. on August 1, adding: "I was very glad I reached the hostel under cover of darkness, for my shirt and shorts were on their last legs and I had no reserves. When I got back home I was surprised and cheered to find that Ghasim Ali had brought my baggage back safely."
Lest any one should fear that Clifford had by now become the enfant terrible of the European political authorities, it is well to add an entry from his diary for August 2, the day after his return home. "Visited the consul. He's not worried about my stunt. Invited to supper on Sunday night."
Clifford now spent about a fortnight in Isfahan, during which the Ali pair and their troubles loom large in his letters. Ali the baker had been ill in his home for three weeks and had been unable to work. He had come into hospital.
Ali the dreamer was in domestic hot water. The father and mother of his wife were furiously angry with him for visiting Clifford, and he had not been able to stay in his home. They were trying to get him to give his wife a divorce.
The Call of the Villages again
The call of the villages was strong, and another trip was soon planned and undertaken, from August 13 to 28. Sayyed Mohammad, a Christian boy in the school, was his companion. "We stayed," Clifford writes, "three days at Soh, and Sayyed Mohammad was kept busy: he took dispensary prayers and had great talks with groups of men. There was also much sickness; about seventy children had died of smallpox. One woman had a broken arm; her brother had hurled a brick at her. There was a deep wound which had gone septic. Another day a man came up to be treated who had been kicked in the jaw several days before; his face had gone badly septic.
"There is no doctor in the village, so the amount of suffering that goes unrelieved must be terrible. The missionary nurses staying there for their 'holidays' were kept hard at work.
"Sayyed Mohammad is only seventeen years old, but he is always ready to share his experience of Christ with others. It was delightful to see him surrounded by mullahs and farmers, reading and preaching the Gospel boldly.
"We left Soh before sunset one evening and owing to faulty instructions we missed a little village called Rabat, and walked on in the moonlight till we reached Mehmeh. Here we had great difficulty in getting into a house for the night; we hammered on many doors, but the only responses we got were groans and snores. Finally an old woman who had heard our shouts afar off invited us to her little house. Her son had been conscripted and she believed that if she was kind to us others would be kind to her boy in his need! She produced some sheep's head soup for us, and we devoured it in the half light of the moon. The skull rattled in the pot as the odious smelling soup was poured out. During the meal I was very nervous lest a glassy eye should slide down my throat."
They made their way over the hills to Barzuk. There they were kept busy. "Wherever we went we found a group of friendly people; we went into the gardens for quiet, but interested friends always appeared. We were invited to one house for lunch, another for a 'glass' of tea, and to the home of the tax gatherer for the night. There was a real spirit of inquiry among them. They need some one there to live with them for months at a time to teach them.
"On this journey, Sayyed Mohammad was a great inspiration and help to me; the Persians are the ones to win Persia for Christ. Sayyed plans to tour the villages with me in the future; we hope to go as tinkers, silvering the copper bowls of the villagers. I am sure that it is good to have a job if one is going to stay in a village for any length of time."
September was occupied with preparations for the school swimming sports. It is evident from his diary what trouble Clifford took for many days over this branch of the school's activity. On September 20, the day of the sports, he writes: "The results were very good. Records were broken in all races."
He still hoped for "leave off" after the sports for a tour of some seven weeks' length in the villages. But on October 4 it was definitely decided, to his keen disappointment, that he could not be spared from the college staff until Mr. Thompson returned from England in the following spring. Then perhaps he could get away in the summer term of 1930.
At this time he was engaged in making generous loans of money to the Ali pair and to several other men who were in difficulty and wanted a new start in business. It was a risky business, he knew. Some of these inquirer-borrowers might let him down. (One or two did.) "But," he said, "I want at least to experiment."
A Cripple Friend
From this autumn onwards Clifford was deeply influenced by a Christian woman called Rogieh. She had become severely paralysed by a fall from a mulberry tree, and was (as she is now) a helpless cripple, supported by her mother after her husband had deserted her. She became a Christian by seeing in a dream Christ standing near a tree in her garden which she was watering. (She had heard of Him in the C.M.S. hospital.) Since the dream that tree has worn a pink ribbon. She lived in loneliness at Dastgird, where no Christian services were possible. So Clifford often went out of his way to see her and read and pray with her, generally after begging for her from the hospital a pinch of tea or sugar. She is a woman of radiant cheerfulness and triumphant faith in Christ, and his diary constantly makes it plain that his visits to the hovel--it was nothing more--where she lay on a bed of old rags, were a deep inspiration to him. She has now been given a room in Isfahan, nearer the hospital, where missionaries and college boys regularly visit her.
Women instinctively trusted Clifford. He once visited, with a woman missionary, a sick woman at Soh, and talked with her. When he had gone, the Persian woman said to the missionary: "Are all Englishmen like that one?" After an address which he gave to the voluntary Bible class in the C.M.S. girls' school at Isfahan, on "Love, the supreme force in the world," one Moslem girl of high birth said to the head mistress: "I was ashamed to veil my face before him when he was speaking, because his eyes were as the eyes of a little child." [All Moslem women veil themselves before men, but not before children.]
In this October a truly quixotic idea presented itself to Clifford. It arose from the return to Isfahan of Mirza Nasrullah, who had just been on a journey during which he entered Afghanistan. There he had done some quiet witnessing for Christ; and, by wrapping up the packets of tea he sold in leaves torn from copies of the New Testament, he had been able to smuggle fragments of the Bible into that otherwise "closed" land.
Clifford, ever ready for adventure and risk and sacrifice, saw in this a challenge to himself, and his diary entries for October describe a keen mental debate. October 6 is headed, in red ink: "Afghanistan?" and he writes: "Mirz. Nasr. back from Afghanistan. Challenge! Need of Englishman or Armenian in Afghanistan to work with a Persian there. Moses had to give up wealth of Egypt. Was I prepared to give up comforts of my room and position? Only a Persian can get into Afghanistan. Was I prepared to become a Persian subject?"
"October 7. Told F. and E. about challenge of Afghanistan. Becoming a Persian subject might mean conscription and always chance of being 'called up' in time of war. Once done, bridges burnt for life. Home to be thought of."
"October 8. Praying particularly about Afghanistan; prepared to go right through with all consequences if I feel it to be right. Might have to become a Persian subject and then find I couldn't get into Afghanistan. A. thought I would get snuffed out at once as a spy! Might snagger up marriage by being a Persian subject; but I am prepared to face that."
Evidently, however, the way did not open, or the idea was for the time being abandoned as impracticable; but he was fully prepared to face this or any other such call. "He always assumed in any decision," wrote a friend later, "that your whole desire in life was to find out and do God's will. He took it for granted that you had no ulterior motive."
Just now Clifford and others derived great inspiration from a visit of Dr. Robert Wilder, an evangelistic speaker, well known through his work for the Student Christian Movement. A letter to his mother says: "A great missionary, Dr. Wilder, has been visiting all the various stations out here. He has done a great deal to stir us all up. He spoke twice to the boys and they were much interested; they could feel that he spoke with a great and real experience of Christ. It now rests with us to back up the work."
The inquirers' room was highly popular. In a letter he writes: "Stop press: Monday night--The inquirers' room is a great boon, I don't know what we should do without it now. Last Saturday the Sayyed came in from Seh-deh and brought a friend, then Ali the baker came along with a friend and finally Ali the dreamer came in with a friend from Tirun, so with the addition of Sayyed Moh., we were a merry supper party. As they were all unexpected it made the khan nazir (steward) sit up! There is a fee now--supper 2 krs. a head, and floor and breakfast thrown in, 3 krs. [Clifford himself paid the fees to the college for the visitors.] "Mirza Mohammad (a college servant) was very excited about the room, so much so that he has coated the lahaf with 'Keatings' (as a precaution against typhus)!
"Ali the baker is a problem--he is out of hospital now and out of work. He has also 'eaten up' all his money [i.e. Clifford's loans] while he has been ill. As you used to say: 'It's good to have problems to chew over.'"
Clifford was now definitely planning to take a course of medical instruction at Livingstone College, while in England on furlough. This would give him, he hoped, both experience and status for his work in village medical itineration on his return to Persia. He wrote home on November 17: "I received the medicines last night; it is a very neat and compact set. I must read up and learn about the various numbers. The problem is--will the Persian Government recognize the course at Livingstone College and allow me to use my medicines in the villages if I have passed through the college?"
Evidently he hoped that his base of operations, on his return, would always be the S.M.C. He wrote (Dec. 1): "Whatever work I shall do in Persia, I shall always feel that my home here is in the college with Ma and Pa T."
An Attack on the Unemployment Problem
In a letter written on December 1, he unfolds a plan for the help of inquirers and Christians who are finding it difficult to get employment, suggesting a kind of "industrial mission" for men, like the depot where Miss Biggs had for many years been organizing work in embroidery for Persian women at Isfahan. He writes: "I am very keen on starting, or rather getting others to start, a little carpet factory, so that we could always give work to Christians that lose their jobs through persecution. Also if we had a keen Christian running the work, we could aim at an ideal carpet factory. There is terrible suffering among little children who do carpet weaving in Isfahan now, and many work from sunrise to sunset. If others are keen to help--then I hope twenty of us will give £20 and our necessary capital of £400 will be found. It will be interesting to see what happens!"
A little later he tells of a new and quaint opening for wayside evangelism. "Last night I made a delightful friend in a queer way. I was coming back from dinner at the bishop's about 10 p.m., and needless to say I had no light--it had gone out--and a 'bobby' stopped me, in a cheery way. We chatted for a good half an hour: we discussed matters and I told him the parable of the Prodigal Son and so on. He is Husein Khan Talrizi, and I am going to meet him to-morrow and give him a book, as he said he could read a little."
Other policemen became friendly too, and his diary for December 14 says: "Riza Khan, a 'bobby,' came in to supper under the coursi. Sayyed Mohammad joined us. Riza was very keen: we read Luke, chapters 1 to 3, and talked. Gave him aspirin, which cured his headache quickly."
Christmas comes on apace. On December 23 he writes home: "This evening the boys are doing a Persian play; it is going to be shown four times to different audiences. [A well-known modern Persian play with a nationalist message--the revival of Persia's ancient greatness.] The money collected is to pay for two college football teams to visit Tehran and play the American college.
"On Xmas Eve we are going to have a fancy dress show here in the hostel. I shall go as a surgeon ready to operate--overalls, cap, rubber gloves, moustache, etc., or else as 'Father Christmas.' If I go as a surgeon, I shall carry a chunk of raw meat and a butcher's knife and have a label 'Sleath's appendix'! (This fearsome disguise was actually adopted.)
Owing to difficulties of postage he could not send any Christmas presents home. But he overcame the difficulty by this letter:--
"I have made the family a Christmas present--the present is going to be used by my inquirers, in the special room I have. It consists of a low kind of table: under this a glowing fire of red charcoal is put. Over all a huge lahaf is spread. Then my pals sit round with the lahaf right up over their legs and keep beautifully warm, while we, also under the lahaf, read and talk to them. I hope you will like this present, it's topping and warm and useful! It's to the family with Clifford's love."
Christmas Day passed quietly; it began in the small hours, with the usual visit to the hostel boys' dormitories, where it was "great fun, filling stockings." Then came the early service of Holy Communion and the festivities that had been planned.
The last Trek
On December 26, the diary contains but one word: "Snow." But Clifford has left a vivid journal (" A Tramp in the Snow ") of his last trek to the villages, which began on that day. Something of that story has already been sketched in the opening pages of this book. [Many people thought and said that he was "mad" to go off that day into the snow. Some of his friends replied: "So he is, mad--for Christ!"]
Of the lantern lectures and talks following them which took place on this tour Clifford writes: "These little groups always thrill me--we have so much to share and give, for their religion has not the same spiritual power in it as ours and it is not joyful. Nearly all the men we meet are afraid of death, because it is unknown and uncertain; they have not our glorious hope and certainty."
Frost, Famine, and Wolves
He and Sayyed Mohammad reached Isfahan again on January 1, 1930. In a letter on January 11 he develops further his plans for an industrial scheme for Christians: "I know a very keen Christian who understands the carpet trade, and who is thrilled with the idea and is prepared to run the show. This Persian, Agha Khan, is a great friend of mine: he is a man who would take a very keen interest in every one working under him. Even if things did fail, and I don't think for a moment they will, I should not grudge a penny of the money I gave, because it is so well worth trying. Carpet factories have been one of the worst and cruellest industries in Persia, and so just the one to choose to try and own in a true Christian way."
Meanwhile, the cold grew more and more severe, and ten inches of snow soon lay everywhere. Intense suffering among the poorer people followed. One missionary, a woman doctor, wrote home: "The snow started on Christmas night, and there have been continuous falls ever since; everything is frozen solid, and the snow is lying three feet deep on the ground. We have no coal here, and live by cooking on charcoal fires, and those who can afford it burn wood in their houses. Persia being a land of deserts, not forests, wood is very dear. You can imagine the sufferings of the many hundreds of poor in Isfahan. Many are dying in the streets, others being brought to hospital to die there of frostbites and gangrene and pneumonia. My cook told me yesterday that one of the carpet factories was closed by the Government owing to several of the children dying of cold. They say there are wolves in the town, but I have not seen any yet.
"A few days ago we heard of a man who went out with his little bowl to beg for bread for his children (he was not a beggar) and got none; he was found dead on his doorstep in the morning with the bowl in his hand. There are heartbreaking cases all round; this is only one instance.
"Charcoal is nearly unbuyable. The bishop has got up a fund to provide our Christians with food and charcoal. And two days ago, too, we opened a buffet for the starving Moslems in a poor quarter of the town, two miles off. We gave a piece of bread and a bowl of stew to 125 people last night and charcoal dust tickets to thirty-six. I am off now to prepare for to-night (250 people]. All the missionaries here have given most of their savings to these two funds. We are also giving out gospels, and speaking to the people at the buffet daily."
Clifford himself writes home on January 19: "The carpet factory scheme must be held over for a few weeks, as we are busy trying to save poor people from starving or freezing to death. Last night, a poor man evidently fainted in the street and was frozen to death, and was found in the morning torn to bits by dogs and wild beasts--jackals and probably hyenas." It was even rumoured that wolves had made their appearance in the city. His diary of January 20 repeats a grim tale: "Wolves in Maidan (open square) last night; scratched in snow behind a man. He turned round to see what it was, and a wolf caught him by the throat and tore him to pieces, and this at a time when people were about. Others have suffered in the same way." [In another such bitter winter, some years before, Dr. Carr identified two dead wolves in the suburb of Julfa.]
Clifford now felt the sufferings of the people so keenly that he sold his overcoat and bought a sheepskin to be like the poor Persians. Only the very poorest folk wear these; every one who can afford it buys a European overcoat.
"The Hero within thy Soul"
The work grew daily heavier. On January 21 his diary says: "Down to 'soup canteen' and fed about 130 and increased number of charcoal tickets. Quite a scrum." He adds: "Decide to walk out to Najafabad alone on Thursday night, if no one else goes to give help to poor Christians there."
Next day comes a characteristic entry: "People of Talvasgun are very poor and need help. Every one is scared of wolves. Some one else is going to Najafabad, so I shall not be going by night. But be ready for anything always; if get marching orders from our Master, go, and it doesn't matter how mad it may seem or dangerous--the glory of our belief!"
This adventurous spirit was fostered by a book which he had just now begun to read; The Hero in the Soul (by Gossip). He read the first chapter on January 26: "great stuff" he calls it. [But earlier than this his friends knew him to pray "that we may live dangerously."]
The following week, February 2 to 8, saw him busy preparing for his next sermon in the church at Isfahan, little knowing that it was to be his last. He had been developing the line of Dr. Gossip's book out of his own experience. "I'm going to drop a bit of a bombshell on Sunday, so look out!" he warned his friends beforehand, speaking of his sermon.
The sermon was a challenge to adventurous living. It made a deep impression on the Mission. Seen in the light of his own life and its ending, now so very near, it was to be like the last message of a prophet. But he had no idea of this himself. It came straight from the heart of his own experience; still more, from his passionate desire to extend that experience by a bold and prodigal sharing of the risks of life with the poor Persian peasants, whose lot seemed to him so much harder than his own.
Before the sermon he used this prayer for adventurous faith: "O Thou Who art heroic Love, keep alive in our hearts that adventurous spirit, which makes men scorn the way of safety, so that Thy will be done. For so only, O Lord, shall we be worthy of those courageous souls who in every age have ventured all in obedience to Thy call, and for whom the trumpets have sounded on the other side; through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Here are some of the last paragraphs of the sermon, including the ending:--
"We must not be afraid to strike out in faith and explore the deeper reaches of our religion. Does it keep me cool and brave when others falter; enable me to look out upon life with all its hazards and its threatening possibilities? . . . 'When we are called upon to face pain or sacrifice, we are not asked to go alone, but always there are two of us, and the other is God.' [A quotation from Gossip's book.] [A typed copy of this sermon in full may be had by any one who would like to send a stamped addressed envelope to the Young People's Department, C.M.S., Salisbury Square, E.C.4, or to Mrs. Harris, 133, Makepeace Mansions, Highgate, N.6.]
"To Christ faith means a passion, an enthusiasm, a consuming zeal that eats up everything. Christ was surer of few things than that to be comfortable in material things is quite desperately dangerous for the soul. What do we more than others? Christ expects more.
"We must live our life on just His prodigal and extravagant lines if we would really enjoy it and make adequate use of it. 'Fling it away!' cries Christ. 'Don't hoard!'"
Writing, that same day (Feb. 9) to his mother, he speaks of his own longing for that fuller and braver experience: "... It fell to my lot to preach to-day. My theme was 'lack of experience,' and that we don't strike out enough. I feel ashamed when I sit with Persian friends round the coursi; for many of them give up everything, even homes and work, for Christ, while we sit with a sense of security, having a monthly salary. I feel that they teach me and not the reverse. I long to try work in the villages, earning my bread as I go along with my medicines. Then I would be able to talk from experience--that Christ provides for us even when things seem impossible.
The Last Task
His last active effort was a piece of practical work for the games of the boys in the school which had been his home for the last three and a half years. His final letter, written in hospital on February 18 to his mother and received after his death, says: "We managed to clear our football ground of twenty inches of snow, after great efforts. [Of this incident a friend writes: "The Persians called this menial work, and the only way by which we could get the boys to do it was by joining in ourselves. Here Clifford shone, doing three men's work himself with hands frozen, and at the same time, with wonderful good cheer, doing the far more difficult work of keeping twenty others gaily, though uncomfortably, working to the top of their bent."] All the snow from the centre had to be carried away in baskets or pushed off in little carts. Then after a few games down came buckets of rain, and of course on our mud grounds we are as badly off as before. We are sending two teams--seniors and middles--to Tehran to compete with the American college. Our boys have had no practice yet, and there are only three weeks left. In Tehran they have been lucky, with practically no snow.
"I have been pulled down to hospital, as I have fever and giddiness. But I am in the hands of J. E., whom you know. She is a wonderful person. Long before you get this I hope to be back at college."
Two to One
He was not to return, however. The sickness was quickly diagnosed as typhus. It seems quite clear that he had caught it somehow from one of the poor people with whom he was so constantly in close contact at the soup kitchen, or under the lahaf in his entertaining room at the hostel. One missionary thinks it most likely that he caught it from a wretchedly poor and diseased old man, living in a hovel on the way to the soup kitchen. Clifford had been told of him, and visited him regularly afterwards with food.
But typhus in itself is not often fatal. His friends said hopefully: "The germ little knew what a stiff proposition it was taking on when it attacked Clifford!" It seemed that his youth should be on his side, too. He was now twenty-five years old.
He was received into hospital on Sunday, February 16. The news of his illness quickly spread to the city, and his Persian friends heard of it with dismay. "So my dear rqfiq (companion) is ill," one of them said. [Sayyed Mohammad, the Persian boy who was his constant companion, said afterwards: "If only I could have seen him just once again before he died, to tell him how real he had made Christ to me. Walking with him was like walking with Christ."] Word was sent, too, to other missionaries, and at Isfahan and other centres daily meetings for prayer were held, and news went round to the C.M.S. mission stations by wire to say how he fared, as the sickness became more and more serious. Towards the end continuous prayer was offered, night and day, in Isfahan, by relays of his friends. For it seemed evident to those who nursed him that his danger was greatly increased by the heavy strain at which he had recently been working in the relief of the poor. But for this, he might not have fallen a victim to the attack of septic pneumonia which overcame him when the crisis had passed in the typhus and he seemed likely to turn the corner towards recovery. Several other cases of pneumonia occurred in Isfahan at the same time. Typhus and pneumonia--the odds were now too heavy; two to one.
"I shall not fail that Rendezvous"
[From the well-known war poem of Alan Seeger, who fell while serving with the foreign legion in France.]
But he made a great fight of it throughout. One of his friends who shared in the care of him in the sick room wrote: "It is a horrible thought usually to think of one's friends as ill, but this was in a way different; his mind and soul so perfectly triumphed over the disease that all the paraphernalia of the sick room seemed to have no connexion with him. He was out in the village, or up Kuh-i-Sufi, or along the river somewhere.
"He was incessantly delirious. In such a time all trimmings fall off, and you get right down to the inner core of a man. His was perfectly whole. Most people rave about things, and not always pleasant things, but he was making appointments with Christ or providing for the needs of the people, or preaching in Persian in a village . . . or saying the Te Deum or a psalm."
One day he spoke of the police: "Nurse, do you know, they have only one lahaf, and no charcoal, and it's so cold." Once in his delirium he threw off his eiderdown, saying: "Give this to a poor man."
The mountains he loved so well seemed round him to the end. As a friend said afterwards: "I believe every mountain was to Clifford a step nearer heaven." One day, about a week before he died, he said, in a half-conscious moment: "I have just had an appointment to keep with John the Baptist at the foot of Kuh-i-Sufi; and, when I got there, who should come along but Jesus! He said, 'I want you to myself before you go home this summer'; and He asked me to go up the mountain again next week. Just what I had always been wanting to do. And how I look forward to it!" And on the morning when he died, he said: "It will be great, up the mountain with Jesus!" Yet he was ready to stay on in this field of service, if needed. Some of his friends were praying, not long before the end, and in their prayer had referred to the possibility of his entering into eternal joy. He said: "Joy, joy; but there is lots of work to do first: thousands of people in Persia who cannot read and who have no joy."
This word, a keynote of his daily life, was much in his prayers now. "He often sang," says the nurse, "and very often burst into prayer with his usual beginning: 'We thank Thee, O Father, for the joy we have in Thee.' . . ."
His inquirer friends and the work in the villages were constantly on his mind all through his illness. He was often talking of "Ali the baker," "Ali the dreamer," and others.
"On the last Sunday," Bishop Linton wrote afterwards, "I went to see him and had a bit of a chat with him. I said that some of us would like to have the Holy Communion with him, and asked whether he would like it. 'Rather!' he replied. And so practically all the missionaries came into his room and we had the Holy Communion." Later on that evening, he was heard to say: "A soldier--the highest ideal--give his life--Christ."
"Trumpets on the Other Side "
"On the last morning" (Tuesday, March 4), says the one who nursed him, "at about 5 a.m. I sent for the doctor. His pulse was much weaker. Clifford quietly said to me: 'It won't be long now. Give all my love to my mother and sister. They are great souls and won't worry.' ('I shall be nearer to her then than I am now,' he had said recently of his mother.) "Then he added to the nurse: "Shall I give your love to your mother? She died very suddenly, didn't she?"
He was constantly talking towards the end of Temple Gairdner of Cairo, whose biography he had been reading much of late, and praying for courage to "burn himself out" as Gairdner had done.
Then he thought he was out in one of the villages and preached a sermon in Persian; after which he said: "Now we will have a spot of lunch."
Later on, that morning, he sang through the Benedicite ("O all ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord"), and then asked the nurse to "read chapter nine; no one could be afraid after reading chapter nine." The nurse could not at first guess which chapter nine he wanted; but soon she recognized that he meant St. Luke ix, with Christ's challenge to the disciples to go out preaching, taking neither bread, nor money, nor two coats, and to follow the Son of Man Who had nowhere to lay His head. He then sang, almost word for word, the hundredth Psalm. The nurse knew his time was very near now, and asked him if he would like her to read to him a little from the Bible; he said "Yes." "Anything special?" she asked. He replied: "Anything you like." So she read to him Revelation xxi. 1-7, and 22-27, and part of chapter xxii. He kept on repeating the words in verse 3 of the latter--"and his servants shall serve him."
Not long before the end, he said: "When I am gone, do not be making a fuss of me--sing hymns!" So he passed out of sight, at ten o'clock that morning, on the last climb of all:
where the safe ways end,
Known and unknown divide,
God's great uncharted prairies upward tend,
Where the spirit of man undaunted is undenied,
And beyond the last camp-fire, man has faith for friend,
And beyond all guidance, the courage of God for guide.
"Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory "
Mr. Hawker, who had been up on Tuesday to the hospital, told the news soon after to the boys of the school assembled in hall. "And then," says a member of the staff, "we went on with the ordinary school work because we knew it was what Cliff wanted, and it would teach the non-Christian Persians a lesson which they needed."
That afternoon a Persian service of thanksgiving was held in the church, which was crowded with Persians. The bishop preached.
Next morning, Wednesday, an English service was held at y a.m. But it was not the ordinary funeral service. They sang, as Clifford had requested, hymns of praise, like "Jesus lives," "All hail the power," and "Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven." Special sentences were read from St. John xiv and xvi, Rom. xiii, Rev. i, vii, and similar passages of triumph.
Then the college masters carried Clifford's coffin, covered with the college banner, to a three-ton lorry. All the schoolboys who could find room got in, and sat on each side of the coffin; and, as they went up the hill of the Hazar Jereeb on the Shiraz road to the cemetery, they sang hymns and the favourite choruses which had cheered him on so many of his village expeditions.
There his body was laid to rest in the Christian cemetery at the foot of Kuh-i-Sufi. All Isfahan is seen from that hillside, and it looks down, too, on many of the villages to which he had made his expeditions.
It was at this very spot that, in his delirium, a week before, he had made the appointment to meet now with Jesus Christ.
A strangely beautiful coincidence took place on the hillside then. "At the moment of the funeral," writes one of the masters, seeing a striking parable in Nature's setting of that unforgettable scene, "a cloud was doing a very rare thing. It was obscuring the tip of the mountain in wonderful films that were luminous but not transparent. It was exactly as if Clifford's dream of the week before was being fulfilled. . . . It seemed as though Jesus had, as it were, spread that cloud, that He might Himself greet His servant who was so absolutely committed to Him. I have never felt the Presence so near."
"The cloud rolled away as the last hymn finished," writes another who had noticed it; "it was almost as if Clifford were at his own service, and one knew that there is no death."
"At the end of the service," wrote the bishop just afterwards to Mrs. Harris, "when the grave was being filled in, and the crown of palms and the cross and other tokens were placed on the grave, and we were just about to leave, we sang once more his favourite chorus of praise, as we had done during the service in church. So we praise God for Clifford Harris, who gave his life for village evangelism in Persia, and For the poor of Persia. He has set us a lead in village evangelism in a new way, experimenting, to use his own phrase, in the best ways to bring the Gospel to the village and rural population of the country. Some one will surely come out to carry it on?"