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bote and dinner-bote there. If the Common were attacked, the whole homage was in a flame. If it was laughed at, there could be no remaining sense of decency amongst men. But if not more than men, they were not less. They mourned over the ills of Society without shrieks or hysterics. Their philosophy was something better than an array of hard words. Their religion was a hardy, serviceable, fruit-bearing and patrimonial religion." "Perhaps," wrote Dr. Overton,1 "like most laymen, who take up strong views on theological subjects, they were inclined to be a little narrow. None of them had, or professed to have, the slightest pretensions to be called theologians. Still they learned and practised thoroughly the true lessons of Christianity, and shed a lustre upon the Evangelical cause by the purity, disinterestedness, and beneficence of their lives.'

FOR FURTHER STUDY. Stephen's Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography: Essay IX, Wilberforce; X, "The Clapham Sect." Colquhoun's Wilberforce, His Friends and Times. Telford's Sect that moved the World. Life of Wilberforce, by his sons. Lady Knutsford's Life of Z Macaulay. Life of J. Stephen, by his son. Memoir of Lord Teignmouth, by his son. Morris' Life of Chas. Grant. Robert's Life of Hannah More. Miss Young's Hannah More. Martha More's Mendip Annals, edited by Roberts. Dictionary of National Biography-Articles: Venn, Wilberforce, Macaulay, Grant, More, Shore, Stephen, Thornton.

1 English Church in Eighteenth Century, II, 216.

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HE great voluntary religious societies have always been the peculiar glory of the Evangelical Party. We have now reached the period in which nearly all of these were formed. Missionary For some time in the debates of the Eclectic Society one subject had been coming more and more to the front: "What is the best method of planting the Gospel in Botany Bay?" "What is the best method of propagating the Gospel in the East Indies?" "What is the best method of propagating the Gospel in Africa?" "In what mode can a mission be attempted to the Heathen from the Established Church?" It was high time that the thoughts of Churchmen should turn in this direction. For seventy years Danish missionaries had been at work in India; for sixty years devoted Moravians had been evangelizing Greenland; in 1760 the Methodists' work amongst the West Indian negroes had begun; in 1792 the Baptist Missionary Society 1 Pratt's Eclectic Notes.

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sent out Carey to India; in 1795 the undenomina-
tional London Missionary Society sent its first band
of workers to the South Sea Islands; in the follow-
ing year the Scotch Presbyterians founded two
societies. Meanwhile the Church of England was
doing practically nothing. The Society for the Pro-
pagation of the Gospel was nearly a hundred years
old, but its sphere was limited by its Charter of 1701
to
"the Plantacons, Colonies and Factories beyond
the Seas, belonging to Our Kingdome of England,"
and its work at this time was confined to the white
colonists. The Society for Promoting Christian
Knowledge was subsidizing a little Lutheran mission
in India, but this lay quite outside its normal sphere
of work. The Church had no organization at all for
touching heathen countries.

In 1799 the Eclectic Society returned to the subject again. The discussion was opened by Venn of Clapham, and the question was no longer the academic one, "What ought the Church to do?" but "What methods can we" (though only a dozen obscure clergy) "use more effectually to promote the knowledge of the Gospel among the Heathen?" The original idea seems to have been that the Eclectic Society itself should send out a few missionaries; but, under Simeon's guidance, it was resolved to form a special body for the purpose. On April 12th a public meeting was held in the Castle and Falcon Hotel, Aldersgate Street, when twenty-five people founded the Society for Missions to Africa and the East, which afterwards became famous as the Church

Early
Difficulties.

CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY

161

Missionary Society. Venn was Chairman, Thornton Treasurer, and Scott the Commentator Secretary The first great difficulty was the lack of men. Young Evangelicals were offering themselves for posts as distant and as difficult. Samuel Marsden had sailed to preach to the convicts at Botany Bay. When Simeon called for chaplains for India, he had no lack of offers. To work among white men clergy could be found who were ready to travel to the uttermost ends of the earth: but work among Heathen was at this time an unheard-of thing; there was no missionary literature, no missionary tradition; the whole scheme seemed vague and nebulous, and not a man would come forward. The Committee could do nothing but lay plans for an Arabic Bible, a Persian New Testament, and a Susoo Grammar. After two years Scott left London on his appointment to the vicarage of Aston Sandford, Bucks, and Josiah Pratt, Cecil's curate, became the new secretary (1802-24). He was a born statesman, a man whose very instinct it was always to think imperially, and the Church owes more than it has ever acknowledged to his industry in collecting and sifting facts about the most distant countries, his quickness in grasping the problems to be faced, and the wisdom and untiring energy with which he worked for their solution. In 1815 he was joined by Edward Bickersteth, who undertook the home organization and the preparation of the candidates. "He represented," writes Mr. Eugene Stock,1 "the highest 1 History of C.M.S., Vol. I, p. 253.

M

spiritual side of the Society's principles and methods, His evangelical fervour was irresistible; and wherever he went, from county to county and from town to town, he stirred his hearers to their hearts' depths, and set them praying and working with redoubled earnestness. His beautiful loving influence healed many divisions, and bound both workers at home and missionaries abroad in holy fellowship. If ever a C.M.S. secretary was filled with the Spirit, that secretary was Edward Bickersteth." Pratt and Bickersteth were the two men who laid the foundations on which all the later work of the Society was built.

But we must return to the early days before Bickersteth joined the Society. When, after three years of waiting, no Englishman had come forward, the Committee reluctantly decided to follow the example of the S.P.C.K., and look for workers among the Lutherans. Here students were eventually found, and a mission was begun in Sierra Leone. But again disappointment followed disappointment. The untrained missionaries hung about the coast, appalled at the dangers of the country and the difficulties of the language; one of the first caused grievous scandal by engaging in the slave trade; the place began to assert its right to the name of the White Man's Grave. Again, when the next mission was opened, and English laymen were sent to work among the Maoris of New Zealand, there were interminable delays, and some of the missionaries had to be dismissed for trading in liquor and guns. The Committee itself was without experience, and had no

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