Classic History Books


Great Britain and Her Queen - by Anne E. Keeling

The great change just described, being the work of the ministers themselves, and accomplished by them
before there was any loud demand for it, was effected with such moderation and discretion as not to

entail the loss of a single member or minister. This was justly held a cause for great thankfulness; and it

was determined to raise a thanksgiving fund for the relief of the various departments.

Great central meetings, extending over two years (1878 - 1880), were held throughout the country, and
were characterised by enthusiasm and wonderful generosity. At a time when the country was suffering

almost unheard of commercial depression, the sum of L297,500 was raised, to be apportioned between

Foreign Missions, the Extension of Methodism in Great Britain, Education, Home Missions, Methodism

in Scotland, the Sunday-school Union, a new Theological College, the "Children's Home," the Welsh and

German chapels in London, a chapel at Oxford, the relief of necessitous local preachers, and the

promotion of temperance. The missionary debt was paid, and the buildings for soldiers and sailors at

Malta and Aldershot were cleared of debt.

Such work could not be done if the circuits acted independently; but united as they are, and forming one
vast connexion, much which would otherwise be impossible can be achieved by means of the great

Connexional funds. Of these funds not a few have been established since 1837; but the most important

among them, the Foreign Mission fund, can boast an earlier origin.

Wesleyanism, indeed, is essentially missionary in spirit, her original aim being to spread scriptural
holiness throughout the world. "The world is my parish," said Wesley though he himself could never

visit the whole of that parish, his followers have at least explored the greater part of it, causing the

darkness to flee before the radiance of the lamp of truth.

British Methodism has now missions in almost every quarter of the globe - in Asia, in Africa, on the
Continent of Europe, in the Western Hemisphere. Her mission agencies include medical missions,

hospitals, schools for the blind, homes for lepers, orphanages, training and industrial schools, etc.

In Europe we have set on foot missions in countries that are nominally Christian, where the people are
too often the victims of ignorance, wickedness, vice, scepticism, and superstition; France, Germany,

Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal have all been objects of our missionary enterprise during the present

reign, and in some instances conspicuous success has been attained. Witness the good work still going on

in Italy, and the independent position attained by the Conference, Methodiste de France.

In India, Ceylon, China, and Burma, our agents are working amongst races in which they have to combat
heathenism strong in its antiquity. The progress is necessarily slow, but a point has been reached where

great success may be prophesied, as the result largely of the work of the pioneers. The schools are

turning out many who, if they do not all become decided Christians, are intellectually convinced that

Christianity is right, and will put fewer difficulties in the way of their children than they themselves had

to contend with. This educational work prepares the way for the gospel; observers declare that nearly all

converts in Ceylon have been trained in our schools.

The important missions in Southern and Western Africa must not be forgotten, nor those in Honduras
and the Bahamas.

The present policy throughout our actual mission-field is as far as possible to raise up native agents.
Probably the heathen lands will be won for the great Captain of salvation by native soldiers; but for a

long time they will need officers trained in countries familiar for generations with the blessings of the

gospel. The number of our missionaries may be stated at 400, more than half being native agents; there

 

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