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Missionary Survey As An Aid To Intelligent Co-Operation In Foreign Missions by Roland Allen

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This book, written by Mr. Allen, bears both our names because we studied
the material together, and settled what should be included and what
excluded. We discussed and disputed, and finally found ourselves in
complete agreement. We therefore decided to issue the book in our joint
names, on the understanding that I should be allowed to disclaim the
credit for writing it. But the book would never have been written at all
save for the inspiration and help of Mr. S.J.W. Clark, who, in his
travels in nearly every mission field, has brought an unusually acute
mind, trained by a long business experience, to bear upon mission
problems, and has done more hard thinking on the question of survey than
any man we know.

Let anyone who doubts the need for survey study the present distribution
of missionary forces. He will find little evidence of any plan or
method. In one region of the world there are about four hundred and
fifty missionaries to a population of three millions, while in another
area with more than double the number of people, there are only about
twenty missionaries.

After travelling in the latter region I asked one of the senior workers
what in his opinion would be a large enough foreign staff, and he
indicated quite a moderate addition to the existing force. Suppose I had
suggested a total of a hundred missionaries, he would have declared the
number far too large. Perhaps he was too modest in his demands.
Conditions in one area differ from those in another. But such a wide
difference in distribution and in demands makes the need of survey to
ascertain facts and conditions absolutely imperative, especially when we
remember that to the force of four hundred and fifty in the territory
with the smaller population, missionaries will probably continue to be
added and unevangelised regions will have to wait.

After surveying one of the better staffed divisions of the mission
field, a missionary declared that not more missionaries were needed, but
a more effective use of the force at work; and fortunately in that
particular field central direction is beginning to secure that end. But
usually there is no central direction and no comparison of plans between
neighbouring missions on the field, although several missions may be
located in the same town or city; and two Mission Houses in London may
be almost next door neighbours, and may have missions in the same city
in the Far East, and may yet be entirely ignorant of each other's plans
for work in that city. They might be rival businesses guarding trade
secrets! Hence it is not strange that when late in the day a survey of a
city in China is made in which there are about two hundred missionaries,
it is found that not one of them is giving full time to evangelistic
work! Across the city of Tokyo a line could be drawn west of which all
the foreign workers live, while east of it there are nine hundred and
sixty thousand people without a single resident missionary!

But not only is intermission planning, based on survey, sadly lacking;
few missions have thoroughly surveyed their own fields and their own
work, and fewer still have surveyed them in relation to the work of
others. The result is that policies are adopted and staffs increased in
a way which--for all administrators know to the contrary--may be adding
weight where it should be diminished, and may be piling up expenditure
in the wrong place.

It should be pointed out, however, that survey is beginning to come into
its own. It is being more and more realised that it should be the basis
of all co-operative work, and the survey of China now nearing completion
places that country in a premier position as far as a foundation for
wise building is concerned. Recently in London, neighbouring Mission
Houses have been getting into touch with each other, and the Conference
of British Missionary Societies and the analogous body in America have
made conference between missions frequent and fruitful. But there is a
long way yet to travel before we can have that comprehensive planning
which the present world situation imperatively and urgently demands.

But just as neighbouring missions should get to know about each other's
work and plans in order that funds may be spent most effectively; so a
world survey is necessary if the command of Christ is to be adequately
obeyed. The unit is the world, and survey in patches may misdirect money
which would have been spent differently if the whole need had been
before the eyes of those who are charged with the responsibility of

We make bold to affirm that no Society can be sure that it is spending
the money entrusted to it wisely unless it has a satisfactory system of
survey in operation, a system which takes account not only of its own
work but also of the work of others. We go further and say that the
chances are the money is _not_ bringing the maximum return. When world
need is so vast it is time to challenge a reasoned contradiction of this
assertion. If each Society did what in justice to its constituency it
ought to do, a survey of an area such as a province or a country would
be an easy task, and a survey of the world would be neither difficult
nor expensive, and after all, until we know the whole, we cannot
intelligently administer the part.

The missionary enterprise waits for the men who will take the
comprehensive view and become leaders in the greatest and most
fundamental task of all time. Until these leaders appear, mission work,
for those who seek to understand it as a world enterprise, will, as a
layman said recently, remain worse than a jigsaw puzzle!





The modern demand for intelligent co-operation
The same demand in relation to Foreign Missions
The need for a definition of purpose
The failure of our present reports in this respect
Is definition of purpose desirable?
It is necessary for formulation of policy
Societies with limited incomes cannot afford to pursue every good
The admission of diverse purposes has blurred the purpose of Medical
The admission of diverse purposes has confused the administration
of Educational Missions
The admission of diverse purposes has distracted Evangelistic
Hence the absence of unity in the work
Hence the tendency to support details rather than the whole
The need for a dominant purpose and expression of relations
The need for a statement of factors which govern action
The need for a missionary survey which expresses the facts in
This demand is not unreasonable



1. All survey is properly governed by the purpose for which it is
The purpose decides what is to be included, what excluded
A scientific survey is a survey of selected factors
This is not to be confused with the collection of facts to prove a
The collection of facts is independent of the conclusions which may
be drawn
2. The survey proposed is a missionary survey
The difference between medical and educational surveys and missionary
3. The survey proposed is designed to embrace the work of all
4. Definition of aim necessarily suggests a policy
We have not hesitated to set out that policy
We make criticism easy
5. Survey should provide facts in relation to an aim, so as to guide
6. Twofold aspect of survey--survey of state, survey of position
Survey is therefore a continual process
7. Possible objections to method proposed--
(i) The information asked for statistical
All business and organised effort is based on statistics
Every Society publishes statistics
(ii) The admission of estimates
The value of estimates
(iii) The difficulty of many small tables
Why burden the missionary with the working out of proportions?
The tables should assist the missionary in charge
(iv) The objection that we cannot obtain all the information
Partial knowledge the guide of all human action
(v) The tables contain items at present unknown



The Work to be Done, and the Force to Do it.

We begin with survey of the station and its district
If the station exists to establish the Church in a definite area then
we can survey on a territorial basis
The definition of the area involves a policy
I. When the area is defined we can distinguish work done and work to
be done, in terms of cities, towns, and villages; in terms of
The meaning of "Christian constituency"
The reasons for adopting it
Example of table, and of the impression produced by it
Example of value of proportions
Tables of proportions
The difficulty of procuring this information
The value of the labour expended in procuring it
II. The force at work
The permanent and transitory elements
(a) The foreign force
The use of merely quantitative expressions
Such tables essential for deciding questions of reinforcement
(b) The native force
Reasons for putting total Christian constituency in the first place
The Communicants. The paid workers. The unpaid workers
The difficulty in this classification
The interest of these tables lies in the proportions
But we need to know something of capacity of the native force
(1) Proportion of Communicants
The importance of this proportion in itself
In relation to the work to be done
(2) Proportion of paid workers to Christian constituency and to
The difficulty of appreciating the meaning of this proportion
It must be checked by (a) the proportion of unpaid voluntary workers
(b) The standard of wealth
(3) The contribution to missionary work in labour and money
(4) The literacy of the Christian constituency
The importance of widespread knowledge of the Bible
The importance of Christians having a wider knowledge than their
heathen neighbours



I. Work amongst men and women respectively
We first distinguish men, wives, and single women among the Foreign
The reasons for applying the distinction between men and women to the
Native Force
II. The different classes in the population chiefly reached by the
III The different races and religions
Emphasis upon one class or race or religion is no proper basis for
adverse criticism of the mission
IV. The emphasis laid on evangelistic, medical, and educational work
The difficulty of distinguishing medical, educational, and
evangelistic missionaries
The reason why grades need not here be distinguished
V. Sunday Schools--
The diverse character of Sunday Schools
The table proposed



The tendency to treat medical and educational work as distinct from
Medical and educational boards and their surveys
The difficulty of determining the aim of the medical mission
First of medical missions as designed to meet a distinct medical need
Two tables designed to present the medical force in relation to area
and population
The necessity of considering non-missionary medical work in this
The extent of the work done in the year
Then of the medical mission as designed to assist evangelistic work
(i) The extent to which evangelists work with the medicals
Caution as regards the use of this table
(ii) The extent to which medicals assist the evangelists outside the
(iii) The extent to which the evangelistic influence of the hospital
can be traced



The difficulty of determining the aim of educational missions
The difficulty presented by different grades and standards
The reason for excluding Colleges and Normal Schools at this stage
First of the educational mission as designed to meet a distinct
educational need
Two tables designed to present the educational work in relation to
area and population
The necessity of considering non-missionary educational work
The existence of non-missionary schools may either increase the need
for missionary schools or decrease it
The extent to which education is provided for the better educated and
the more illiterate
The extent to which education is provided for boys and girls, for
Christian and non-Christian scholars
The extent to which mission schools receive Government grants throws
light on their character and purpose
The extent to which education is provided for illiterate adults
The importance of this
The importance of the distinction between Christians and
non-Christians in this table
Then of the educational mission as designed to assist evangelistic
(i) The extent to which evangelists work with the educationalists in
Caution needed in the use of this table
(ii) The extent to which educationalists work with evangelists
outside schools
The importance of the work done by educationalists outside the
(iii) The immediate evangelistic results of education given
The difficulty
The table proposed
The support given by the Natives to medical and educational work



The importance of the relation between the different parts of the
The relations already expressed in earlier tables
The chief difficulty lies in the relationship between medicals
and educationalists
The importance of medical work in schools
The table showing the work of medicals in connection with schools
The importance of educational work in hospitals
The table showing the work of educationalists in hospitals
Summary of co-operation between evangelists, medicals, and



The end of the station, a Native Church
This end a condition into which the Church must be
Survey must therefore deal with the Native Church
The reason for beginning with self-support
The meaning of self-supporting Churches
In rare cases it means independence of external support
In most cases it means attainment of an arbitrary standard
In most cases it does not represent the power of the people to supply
their own needs
In most cases it is not sure evidence of growing liberality
Nevertheless we must begin by considering the self-supporting
We ask for proportion of self-supporting Churches
This will not reveal the power of the Churches to stand alone
We inquire then the proportion of inquirers in self-supporting
We inquire then the proportion of unpaid workers in self-supporting
Where self-supporting Churches are not recognised we inquire--

(i) Power of Christians to conduct their own services
(ii) Power to order Church government
(iii) Power to provide expenses of Church organisation



I. The possibility of united survey by missionaries of two or more
The evil of ignoring the work of others
Survey is concerned with facts not with ecclesiastical prejudices
The difficulty of obtaining the facts
The use of estimates
II. The mission which has no defined district--A
general expression of the purpose of such a mission
In its widest terms survey of the work of such a mission would
involve survey of the whole state of society
In its narrower terms it is survey of a mission establishing a Church
In this case most of the preceding tables could be used, omitting
proportions to area and population
Then we could see force at work
Then we could see forms of work
Then we could place the mission in a survey of the Country



The mission station is not an isolated unit
The relationship of station with station is recognised
So the relationship of all missions in a country is recognised
We can then consider the work of a mission station in relation to all
mission work done in the Province or Country
Considered in relation to the larger area, impressions produced by
the earlier tables may have to be revised
The first necessity is to gain a view of the whole work in the
The difficulty presented by capitals and other large cities
I. The items proposed as necessary for such a general view--
(1) The work to be done; a bare quantitative expression in terms of
population, perhaps also in terms of cities, towns, and villages
This expression ought not to suggest that the work to be done is to
be done by the foreigners
(2) The Foreign Force at work in relation to the work to be done is
larger than that presented by returns from all mission stations
The Native Force also is more than the sum of the station district
(3) Different forms of work; one table revealing proportion of
Missionaries, Native Workers, Foreign Funds, and Native
Contributions employed in different forms of work
One table of results
A serious flaw in this table
(4) The extent to which different classes, etc., are reached. One
table including the station returns with the addition of special
missions which work among special classes in the whole Province or
(5) Self-support. One table showing the relation of the native
contribution to the total salaries of all paid native evangelistic
II. To this must be added tables of students in training for
different forms of mission work
First the relative proportion of students in training for different
types of work
Then of each more particularly--
(1) Evangelistic
Confusion of nomenclature prevents more than a rough classification
(2) Educational: divided roughly into four classes
(3) Medical: divided into three classes
These tables are prophetic of line of advance in the near future
The question of perseverance
III. Then the Educational Institutions excluded from the district
survey must be added to the sum of the station returns to show the
relation of the educational work to the population of the larger
The importance of the relation of the higher to the lower grade
The educational work of non-missionary agencies must also be
IV. Medical work needs only the addition of provincial hospitals and
non-missionary medical work
V. Two other subjects claim attention here, literature and industrial
The difficulty of dealing with literature. It needs special treatment
Two brief tables suggested
The difficulty of dealing with industrial work still greater
For industrial missions, other than those which are really
educational, we suggest three tables
VI. Union work



A world-wide work can only be conducted on world-wide principles
These world-wide principles must govern the work in every part,
however small
No country, however large, can be an isolated unit from missionary
point of view
How shall we gain a view of this large whole?
We suggest that four tables would suffice for our purpose:--
(1) A table showing the force at work in relation to
(2) A table designed to reveal something of the
character and power of the force
(3) A table showing the relative strength expended in evangelistic,
medical, and educational work
(4) A table showing the extent to which the native Christians support
existing work
This is only a tentative suggestion proposed to invite criticism



It is a marked characteristic of our age that every appeal for an
expression of energy should be an intellectual appeal. Emotional appeals
are of course made, and made with tremendous force, but, with the
emotional appeal, an emphasis is laid to-day upon the intellectual
apprehension of the meaning of the effort demanded which is something
quite new to us. Soldiers in the ranks have the objective of their
attack explained to them, and this explanation has a great influence
over the character and quality of the effort which they put forth.
Labourers demand and expect every day a larger and fuller understanding
of the meaning of the work which they are asked to perform. They need to
enjoy the intellectual apprehension of the larger aspects of the work,
and the relation of their own detailed operations to those larger
aspects; and it is commonly recognised that the understanding of the
meaning and purpose of the detail upon which each operative may be
engaged is a most powerful incentive to good work. In the past leaders
relied more upon implicit, unreasoning obedience, supported often by
affection for the leader's own character, and profound trust in his
wisdom, and a general hope of advantage for each individual who carried
out orders unhesitatingly and exactly; but they did not think it
necessary, or even desirable, that the common workers should understand
their plans and act in intelligent co-operation with them: to-day,
intelligent co-operation is prized as it has never been prized before,
and its value is realised as it has never been realised before.

If this is true in the world of arms, of labour, of commerce, it is
equally true in the world of foreign missions. The common worker, the
subscriber, the daily labourer, is beginning to demand that he shall be
allowed to take an intelligent part in the work, and missionary leaders
are beginning to see the importance of securing intelligent
co-operation. In the past the appeal has been rather to blind obedience,
and immense stress has been laid upon the "command"; the appeal has been
to the emotions, and love for Christ, love for the souls of men, hope
of eternal blessings, hope of the coming of the Kingdom, and (for
direction of the work) trust in the wisdom of great missionary leaders
or committees, have been thought sufficient to inspire all to put forth
their best efforts; but to-day, as in the labour world, as in commerce,
as in the army, so in the world of missions, the intellect is taking a
new place. Men want to understand why and how their work assists towards
the attainment of the goal, they want to know what they are doing, they
want to understand the plan and to see their work influencing the
accomplishment of the plan.

It is no doubt true that the demand for intelligent co-operation, both
on the part of the subscribers and workers on the one side and of the
great leaders and boards of directors on the other, is at present
slight, weak, uncertain and hesitating; but it is already beginning to
make itself felt, and must increase. Certainly it is true that the
support of a very large body of men is lost because they have never yet
been able to understand the work of foreign missions. They are
accustomed in their daily business to "know what they are driving at,"
and to relate their action to definite ends; and they have not seen
foreign missions directed to the attainment of definite ends. They have
not seen in them any clear dominant purpose to which they could relate
the manifold activities of the missionaries whom they were asked to
support; and they cannot give to the vague and chaotic that support
which they might give to work which they saw clearly to be directed to
the attainment of a great goal which they desired by a policy which they
understood. The attitude of these men is the attitude of those who await
an intelligent appeal to their intelligence.

For a true understanding of foreign missions it is necessary first that
their aim and object should be clearly defined. Without such a
definition intelligent co-operation is impossible. Unless the objective
is understood men cannot estimate the value of their work. They cannot
trace progress unless they can see clearly the end to be attained; they
cannot zealously support action unless they are persuaded that the
action is truly designed to attain the defined end. There may indeed be
many subordinate objects, and men may be asked to work for the
attainment of any one of these, but there ought to be one final end and
purpose which governs all, and intelligent co-operation involves the
appreciation of the relation between the subordinate and the final end.
Consequently if many objects are set before us, as they are in our
foreign missions, it is essential that these many purposes and objects
should be presented to us not simply as ends to be attained, but in
their relation to one another and in their relation to the final end
which the directors of our missions have clearly before their eyes.

Now it is just at this point that we fail to attain satisfaction. All
societies publish reports and statistics, but the reports and statistics
do not provide us with any clear and intelligible account of progress
towards any definite end. They seem rather designed to attract and to
appeal to our sympathy than to satisfy our intelligence. They set before
us all kinds of work unrelated, indefinite, changeable, and changing
from year to year, as though the compilers selected from the letters of
missionaries any striking statements which they thought would attract
support in themselves and by themselves. No goal is set before us, and
the progress towards that goal steadily traced from year to year; still
less is the relation between the different methods and means employed to
attain each subordinate objective expressed so that we can see, not
only what progress each is making towards its own immediate end, but
what is the effective value of all together towards the attainment of a
final end to which they all contribute.

But would not the definition of one great end or purpose hinder us? Are
not all the great ends which we set before ourselves indefinite enough
to include a host of different and mutually separate and even
occasionally incompatible subsidiary objects, aims, and methods? Would
not the rigid definition of the aim of our foreign missions, by
excluding a great many legitimate aims and methods, weaken and beggar
our missions, which are strong in proportion as they admit all sorts of
different aims and methods? There are men who speak and act as if they
thought so, and in consequence welcome as a proper part of the
missionary programme all Christian, social, and political activities.
_Anything_, they think, which makes for the amelioration of life,
_everything_ which tends to enlighten and uplift the bodies, the souls,
and the minds of men, is a proper object for the missionary to pursue,
and the missionary should assist every movement towards a higher life in
the heathen community as well as in the Christian, and should introduce
every method and plan, industrial, social, or political, literary, or
artistic, which tends to ennoble the life of men. It may be so. It may
be true that the introduction of everything which tends to uplift and
enlighten is a proper object for missionary activity, but we venture to
argue not all at once, in the same place, nor even any one of them at
the whim of any missionary at any time, anywhere. Nor all in the same
order. There is a more and a less important. And we do urge that if we
are to take an intelligent part in foreign missions and to give those
missions intelligent support, we must know what is the more important
and what the less. We are told that the duty of the foreign mission is
to bring all nations into the obedience of Christ, and that "all the
nations" means all the people of all the nations, and all the
capacities, powers, and activities of all the people of all the nations,
individually and collectively, and that any work which tends to bring
any part of the collective action of any non-Christian people under the
direction of Christian principles is, therefore, the proper work of the
missionary, and that the most important is the particular social,
industrial, or political scheme which the missionary who is addressing
us believes to be the pressing need of the moment in his district.

So long as foreign missions are presented to us in that way, so long as
any mission may serve any purpose, we cannot possibly take any
intelligent share in foreign missions as a whole. We are lost. We cannot
co-ordinate in thought the activities of the missions, as we see plainly
that they are not co-ordinated in action in the field itself. And it is
practically impossible for us to imagine that the missions are directed
on any thought-out policy, because a policy seems to involve necessarily
the sub-ordination of the aim deemed to be less important to another
which is deemed to be more important, and the less or the more must
depend, not upon personal predilections, but upon closeness of relation
to some one dominant idea; and, therefore, the definition of the
dominant idea is the first necessity for the establishment of a
reasonable missionary policy.

To some minds the idea of a policy in connection with missions seems to
be abhorrent; but can a society with an income of something between half
and a quarter of a million pounds, or even less, afford to aim at every
type and form of missionary activity? Is it not necessary that it
should know and express to itself, to its missionaries, and to its
supporters what forms of activity it deems essential, what less
important, what aims it will pursue with all its strength, and what it
will refuse to pursue at all? It cannot afford to pursue every good or
desirable object which it may meet in its course. It must have a
dominant purpose which really controls its operations, and forces it to
set aside some great and noble actions because they are not so closely
related to the dominant purpose as some other.

A society with the limited resources which most of us lament cannot do
everything. In medicine it cannot afford to aim at a strictly
evangelistic use of its medical missions and at a use which is not
strictly evangelistic. We hear men talk sometimes as if it were the
business of a missionary society to undertake the task of healing the
physical afflictions of the people almost in the same sense as it is the
business of a missionary society to seek to heal their souls. We hear
them talk sometimes as if it was the duty of a missionary society to
supplant the native medical practice by western medical science as
surely as it is their business to supplant idolatry by the preaching of
Christ. And the tolerance of these ideas has certainly influenced the
direction of missions. The evangelistic value of medical missions has
not been the one dominant directing principle in their administration,
and the consequences have been confusion of aim and waste of power. Nor
has any other dominant purpose taken control; no other purpose,
philanthropic, social, or economic, ever will take control so long as
the vast majority of the supporters of foreign missions are people whose
one real desire is the salvation of men in Christ. But the admission of
another purpose has blurred the aim.

Because they have been pioneers in education, missions earn large praise
and not in-considerable support from governors and philanthropists; but
they have sometimes paid for these praises and grants dearly in
confusion of aim. Many of them started with the intention of relating
their educational work very closely to their evangelistic work; but
because the evangelistic idea was not dominant, a government grant
sometimes led the educational mission far from its first objective.
Similarly, the establishment of great educational institutions altered
the whole policy of a mission over very large areas, because no dominant
purpose controlled the action of the mission authorities. The
institutions demanded such large support, financial and personal, that
when once they had been founded they tended to draw into themselves a
very large proportion of the best men who joined the mission. In this
way a great educational institution has often altered the policy of a
mission to an extent which its original founders never anticipated, and
a mission which was designed primarily to be an evangelistic mission has
been compelled not only to check advance, but even to withdraw its
evangelistic workers and to close its outstations. But that was not the
intention of the founders of the institution. The difficulty arose
because there was no dominant purpose which governed the direction of
the mission. There was no purpose so strong and clear that it could
prevent the foundation of, or close when founded, an institution which
was leading it far from its primary object.

Again it is notorious that what we call the work of the evangelistic
missionary is so manifold and variegated that it includes every kind of
activity, every sort of social and economic reform. Our evangelistic
missionaries are busy about everything, from itinerant preaching to the
establishment of banks and asylums. Can we afford it? What purpose is
dominant, what aim really governs the policy of those who send out
evangelistic missionaries? What decides the form of their work and the
method by which they pursue it? It is hard to guess, it is hard to
discover, it is hard to understand.

Now when our missions are presented to us and we are asked to support
them on all sorts of grounds, as though a society with its slight funds
could really successfully practise every kind of philanthropic work, we
begin to doubt whether it can really be wisely guided. Each mission
station, each institution, seems to be an isolated fragment. The
missionary in charge often appeals to us as an exceedingly good and able
man, and we support him, and we support the society which sends him and
others like him. And we call this the support of foreign missions; but
foreign missions as a unity we do not support because we can see no
unity. The directors of foreign missions appear not to have hitched
their wagon to a star, but rather to all the visible stars, and we
cannot tell whither they are going. So we fall back on the individual
missionary, or the isolated mission which at any rate for the moment
seems to have an intelligible objective.

Hence the common conception of missionary work as small. We look at the
parts, and the smallest parts, because our minds instinctively seek a
unity, and only in the parts do we find a unity, nor there often, unless
we concentrate our attention on one aspect of the work. But by thinking
of foreign missions in this small way and speaking of them in this small
way, we alienate men who are accustomed to think in large terms of large
undertakings designed on large policies.

What we need to-day is to understand foreign missions as a whole. We
want to take an intelligent part in them viewed as a unity. We want to
know what is the grand objective and how the parts are related to that
end. We do not want merely to support this mission because this
missionary appeals to us; we want to know what dominant purpose governs
the activities of the different societies, directs, and controls them,
deciding what work good and excellent in itself the mission cannot
afford to undertake, what it can and must do with the means at its
disposal in order to attain an end which it has deliberately adopted.

We need more, we need to know on what principles the missionaries are
sent here or there. We need to know what facts must be taken into
consideration before any mission, evangelistic, educational, or medical,
is planted in any place, what facts decide the question whether work is
begun, or reinforcements sent, to this place rather than to that. It is
not enough to be assured that there is a need. There is need everywhere.
We cannot supply all need; but we can have some settled and clear
judgment what facts ought to weigh with us, what information we must
possess before we can decide properly whether the claim of this place is
more urgent than the claim of that. We ought to have same basis of
comparison. The mere appeal of an earnest and devoted man, the mere
clamour of a body of men, the mere insistence of a persevering man, is
not sufficient to guide us aright. The mere offer of some supporter to
provide a building ought not to suffice. Acceptance of the offer may
alter the whole balance and character of the mission. We ought to know
what facts must be considered and how.

We need therefore a reasoned statement of the work of our foreign
missions expressed as a unity, which sets forth the work actually done
in different departments showing their relation one to another and the
relation of all to a dominant object. In other words, what we need is a
survey of the missionary situation in the world in terms of these

It may be said that such a claim is outrageous and impossible; but we
are persuaded that with our present enlightenment, with the means of
knowledge which we now possess, we could, if we thought it worth while,
lay our hands on the necessary information. Our firm conviction is that,
if we did that, and set out the results of our examination in a form
intelligible to thoughtful laymen, we should obtain the support of a
great number of men to whom foreign missions at present appear as
nothing but the ill-organised, fragmentary and indefinite efforts of
pious people to propagate their peculiar schemes for the betterment of
humanity. Without some such statement we do not know how anyone can take
an intelligent, though he may take a sentimental, interest in foreign



1. We need a survey of the missionary situation in the world which will
express the facts in terms of the relationships between the different
missionary activities and between them all in relation to a dominant
idea or purpose. Such a survey is strictly scientific. All scientific
survey is properly governed by the end or purpose for which it is made.

It is this purpose or end which decides what is to be included and what
is to be excluded from the survey. If, for instance, we are making a
survey of the acoustic properties of church buildings in England, it is
not scientific to introduce questions as to the character of the gospel
preached in them. A scientific survey is not necessarily a collection of
all possible information about any people or country; that is an
encyclopaedia; a scientific survey is a survey of those facts only which
throw light on the business in hand. A scientific survey of foreign
missions ought not then necessarily to look at the work carried on from
"every point of view". The point of view must be defined, the end to be
served defined, and then only those factors which throw light upon that
end have any place in a scientific survey. We cannot be too clear about
this, because in survey of a work so vast and so many sided as foreign
missions we might easily include every human activity, unless we defined
beforehand the end to be served and selected carefully only the
appropriate factors. Carefully defined, missionary survey is not the
unwieldy, amorphous thing which people often imagine. There is indeed a
dangerous type of survey which starting with a hypothesis proceeds to
prove it by collecting any facts which seem to support it to the neglect
of all other facts which might disprove it. The procedure advocated here
is the adoption of a definite and acknowledged purpose for which the
survey is to be made and the collection of all the facts which bear upon
the subject in hand. The facts are selected, but they are selected not
by the prejudices or partiality of the surveyor, but by their own innate
and inherent relationship to the subject.

A scientific survey can only be a collection of facts; but inferences
will certainly be drawn from the facts which will direct the policy of
those who administer foreign missionary societies. The drawing of these
inferences from the material collected must be carefully distinguished
from the collection of the material (i.e. the making of the survey). The
latter precedes the former and is independent of it. Inferences hastily
drawn, or prematurely adopted, would only tend to discredit missionary
survey as a means to the attainment of truth. The adoption of a
hypothesis and the making of a survey in order to prove it by a careful
selection and manipulation of facts would not discredit survey as a
means to the attainment of truth; it would only discredit and debase the
moral character of the man who made such a survey.

2. The survey here treated of is missionary survey, that is to say, it
treats of missions and is governed by a missionary purpose. And it is a
survey of Christian missions; therefore it is governed by the purpose of
spreading the knowledge of Christ. This statement is of great importance
and needs to be carefully conned before it is accepted, because by it
missionary survey will be distinguished from all other survey. For
instance, medical boards survey medical institutions. Their sole
concern is whether those institutions are well found and efficient.[1]
But when a missionary surveys a missionary hospital (if the principle
which we propound is accepted), he surveys it not _qua_ medical
establishment but _qua_ missionary utensil. The object is not to find
out the medical efficiency of the hospital, but its missionary
effectiveness. It may be answered that a medically inefficient hospital
cannot be truly effective from a missionary point of view. That may be
true; but it is not certainly true. Whether it is true or not, that does
not alter the fact that an efficient medical establishment is not
necessarily effective from a missionary point of view; it is not
necessarily either missionary or Christian at all. Then to survey
medical missions simply as medical institutions is to ignore their real
significance. Missionary survey must relate the information asked for to
the missionary purpose; and unless it is so related the survey is a
medical survey, not a missionary survey. The same holds good of
educational work, and of pastoral work.

[Footnote 1: We could produce surveys of medical and educational mission
work which are essentially of this character, dealing solely with
medical and educational efficiency.]

3. The survey here proposed is designed for all societies so far as the
societies can be persuaded to supply the information. It would perhaps
be more simple to provide statistical returns for one society of which
the ecclesiastical organisation is known and the ecclesiastical terms
used consequently fixed. But survey of the work of a society, invaluable
and necessary as that is for a society, is not sufficient by itself. It
is essential to-day that we should be able to place our work in the
world in relation to all the missionary work done. We can no longer
afford to ignore the work of others and to plan our missions as though
other missions did not exist. As we try to point out from time to time
no society can act rightly in ignorance of another's work. Therefore we
have attempted to design a survey which would show what is the work of
any mission in such a form that its work can be related in some sort to
the missionary work of all, and not only to the other missions of its
own society.

4. Seeing that all survey is scientifically governed by the object for
which it is made, it is essential that in a survey such as we propose
the end for which it is made should be stated in each case as clearly
and definitely as possible. This involves often such a definition of
the end as implies a certain missionary policy. Realising this, we have
not hesitated to set forth the policy implied in the terms which we use
and the questions which we ask.[1] We are well aware that this lays us
open to attack from men who may question the policy and dispute the
value of the survey. It would be far more easy to set down simply the
facts which we think any true survey should contain, leaving them
unrelated to one another, so that no one could tell exactly what we were
driving at. This is the common plan. Men say they want to know the facts
of the missionary situation, any facts, all facts, indiscriminately, and
they draw up a list of all the facts that they can think of and issue a
_questionnaire_ which leaves the compiler of the answers in complete
ignorance concerning the purpose of the questions. Such heaps of
information might be used anyhow if they were really complete; but in
fact since they have not been designed for any definite use they are
generally deficient for any definite use, and remain mere masses of
information on which no true judgments can be based. So far from
revealing the missionary situation they obscure it. We have, therefore,
taken the risk of explaining why we want each piece of information, how
we think it might be used, and have drawn our tables in such a form that
it is actually seen at work. By so doing we open the door at once, both
for intelligent co-operation and intelligent opposition. We frankly make
criticism easy; we invite it; for we believe that frank criticism on the
basis of agreed facts is extremely fruitful.

[Footnote 1: It does not follow that we approve the policy implied.]

We may well acknowledge that the aim which above all others has appealed
to us is the aim of the establishment in the world of a Christian
Church, native, indigenous, living, self-supporting, self-governing,
self-extending, independent of foreign aid. That has no doubt coloured
our work and will perhaps render it less acceptable to some; for the
facts which must be included in a survey which accepts that aim are
precisely the facts which societies do not now tabulate and are often
estimated with some difficulty.

But though this thought has inevitably governed our conception of survey
and we have made no attempt to conceal it, we have nevertheless tried to
avoid the danger of selecting for survey only those facts which might
serve to support a theory of the method by which that aim is to be
attained; and we have kept in our minds constantly the needs of men
whose idea of the aim of foreign missions differs from our own.

5. Missionary survey must justify itself by assisting definitely and
clearly those who make it and those who have to direct and support
missionary work in all parts of the world. The first question which we
ought to answer in every case where our help is asked is this: "What do
we want to do? What is our purpose in doing anything at all here?" The
second question is: "What must we know to enable us to act discreetly
and wisely in this case? What facts are properly to be taken into
account in this matter?" The first question is the question of aim, the
second is the question of relation. Suppose we say that we want to send
our missionaries where they are most needed, what information must we
have to direct us? First we must know what we mean by need, what kind of
need we are to put first in our thoughts; that is the question of
definition of aim. Then, how shall we decide where that need is greatest
at the present time, for us, that is, within our possibility of active
assistance; that is the question of relation. The facts of need as we
define it must be related and compared. The survey of which we speak as
necessary for an intelligent understanding of foreign missions must
provide these facts in a form easily grasped and understood and compared
for different countries and districts, so that those who direct action
and those who support the action may be able to do so with reason, not
being guided merely by the most influential voice or the loudest shout.

6. To serve this purpose survey must have twofold aspect. It must be a
review of the present state of the work, it must also be a review of the
present position of the work. It is a review of the state of the work,
the stations, the converts, the Church; it is a review of the position,
the progress made compared with the work to be done. But the state
varies, the position changes, and action must be taken continually.

The survey, therefore, should be not simply a single act but a continual
process. Mission work is not a task which can be undertaken and finished
on a predetermined plan, like the construction of a railway. It is a
task the conditions of which vary from time to time, and consequently
plans and policies and methods must vary, and this variation can only
be rational if it is determined by recognition of the changing
circumstances, and the change of circumstances can only be understood
and appreciated if the survey of missions is a continuous process kept
constantly up to date. It is a form of mission history in which the
omission of a few years may break the connection of the whole narrative.

7. (i) It may perhaps cause surprise to some that the information for
which we ask is mainly such as can be expressed in a statistical form.
But the fact remains that all statesmanship (and foreign missions
involve large elements of statesmanship), and all organised effort (and
foreign missions are highly organised), is in the world always based
either upon carefully compiled statistics, or upon guess work; and that
the business which is directed by guess work does not enjoy the same
confidence as the business which is directed by knowledge derived from
carefully compiled statistics.

Take, for example, this extract from a letter written by a firm in the
United States of America which deals with candy securities:--

The candy business, the history of which shows a remarkable record of
freedom from failure, is to-day enjoying unparalleled prosperity, and
there is every reason to believe that the present high earnings of all
the large candy concerns in the United States will continue
indefinitely. Those fortunate enough to hold shares in well-established
candy manufacturing concerns may expect, therefore, to enjoy larger
earnings than could reasonably be expected from funds placed in most
other enterprises. _Prohibition is proving a tremendous factor in
increasing candy sales. Best estimates show that the American public is
now spending between $800,000,000 and $1,000,000,000 annually for
candy_. ---- & Co. are specialists in the candy and sugar securities. We
maintain a statistical department, and endeavour to furnish information
concerning all of the prominent issues based on these industries. You
are invited to avail yourself of this service, and if you are interested
in any candy or sugar stock, we will be pleased to have you confer with
us. This department now has in preparation an analysis of the candy and
sugar situation as it exists to-day in the United States. Interesting
data is also being collected from most reliable sources, giving figures
and statistics for the world. The number of copies which we are
preparing for general distribution is limited. If you will sign the
enclosed card, and return it to us, we will take pleasure in extending
to you the courtesy of a copy of this analysis free of charge.

When individuals work individually, for themselves, as they please,
statistics are only necessary for the onlooker who wants to compare
individual effort with individual effort; the individuals who want to
make no comparison of their own work with that of others, nor to keep
any record of the progress of their work, need keep no statistics; but
societies always want to keep a record of their work, and that record
must be largely statistical.

It is vain to attack statistics to-day. Every society publishes
statistical sheets. Every society by publishing them shows that it
recognises the value of statistics. The difficulty to-day is not that
the societies do not publish statistics, but that the statistics which
they publish are not related to any aim or purpose, and do not include
factors or standards which enable us to measure progress.

(ii) It may also cause surprise that we ask for estimates in some cases
where exact information is not immediately accessible. It may be said
that statistics are misleading, but estimates are hopelessly misleading:
let us have correct figures or none. That attitude is easily understood,
but under the circumstances it is vain. "Correct figures," that is,
meticulously exact figures, are unattainable. An estimate is in nearly
all matters of daily life and business the basis, and rightly the basis,
of our action. It will be noticed that in that letter which we quoted
above concerning the statistics of the candy trade in the United States
of America, estimates had a place, and foreign missions involve matters
about which "correct figures" are more difficult to obtain than the
candy business. An estimate carefully made and understood, a deliberate
statement expressed in round numbers, is not unscientific: it is only
unscientific to mistake such figures for what they do not profess to be.
When men object that the figures are not exact, if the figures do not
profess to be exact, it is the objector who is unscientific, not the

Nevertheless, we must acknowledge that the admission of estimates and
round figures does open the door to serious error. Men will be tempted
to mistake an estimate for a guess. An estimate is a statement for which
reasons can be given, a guess is--a mere guess. The great safeguard
against guesses, as against all slipshod statistical entries, is the
assurance that the statements made will be used. At present missionary
statistics are untrustworthy mainly because so few people use them, and
consequently those who supply them do not feel the need of revising them

Furthermore, it is important to bear in mind that the field for estimate
in statistics of the kind proposed is limited; it only embraces figures
for which exact totals are unobtainable, for instance, area, population,
and figures of societies which refuse to give statistics, etc., and in
every case precision in these statistics is not of vital importance.

(iii) The main difference between our tables and those of others is that
we make them very small and express in each a relation. The figures
supplied by the societies in their reports are seldom related to
anything; they are mere bundles of sticks; we suggest the introduction
of a relation into every table which gives to each figure a significance
which by itself it does not possess. In our tables every figure is set
to work. Our idea of missionary statistics demands that they should be a
basis for action. We think that it is waste of time to collect
statistics from which no conclusion can be certainly drawn both by the
compiler and the reader--a conclusion which ought to be suggestive when
taken alone by itself, and, when considered in relation to the
conclusions suggested by similar tables, compelling.

But it may be said that we are adding to the already overwhelming burden
of accounts and reports over which missionaries toil to the great
detriment of their proper work. The tables in this book are arranged
apparently for the worker on the spot as well as for the intelligent
supporter and director at home; why multiply tables and trouble the
missionary with the sums of proportion? Why not ask the man there simply
to give the necessary facts and then let the man at home work out for
special purposes the various relations? The answer is simple: we
ourselves have been asked to fill up long schedules of unrelated facts;
and we know that the labour is intolerable. The supply of unrelated,
meaningless facts dulls and wearies the brain. Few men can do the work
with pleasure or profit, and consequently the schedules are often filled
up, not indeed with deliberate carelessness, but with that heavy
painfulness which, taking no interest in the work, often produces as
pitiful a result as downright carelessness. "Thou shalt not muzzle the
ox that treadeth out the corn" is a maxim which has a great application
here. The man who provides the information should be the first to profit
by it and to be interested in it. The first man to criticise these
tables should be the missionary who fills them up on the spot; and his
most valuable criticism might be a demonstration that the last column in
a table was futile; that the table led him to no conclusions and
suggested no remarks. That column of conclusions and remarks we hold to
be the most precious of them all. We would have no man supply
meaningless information. Only, we believe, when the information is of
vital importance and interest to the man who supplies it will it be
supplied carefully, correctly, willingly, and above all, intelligently.
We venture to hope that our tables may be one step towards the day when
the supply of statistical information by the missionary will cease to be
mere drudgery.

(iv) Seeing that the missionary task is essentially world-wide, it is
obvious that a world-wide work cannot be properly directed without a
world-wide view. Now, missionary survey is in its infancy, and in most
parts of the world it has yet to be begun. A full and complete
missionary survey of the whole world would necessarily be a considerable
undertaking, for many important facts could not be easily or quickly
collected. There is then a strong tendency for men to argue that, since
all the facts desirable cannot be known at once without much time and
expense, it is futile and dangerous to collect those facts which can be
collected speedily without great expense. A little knowledge, they say,
is a dangerous thing ... let us remain ignorant.

We would venture to suggest that a little knowledge is only dangerous
when it is mistaken for much knowledge; that it is far better to act on
knowledge which can be obtained than to act in total ignorance, blindly.
Where we must act it is our duty to know all that we can know, and if,
because we cannot collect all the information that we should wish to
possess, we refuse to collect that information which we can obtain,
because we realise that it will be incomplete, we commit a serious moral
and intellectual crime. If we can know only one factor out of one
hundred, we offend if we refuse to know that one. We must act. We have
no right to shut our eyes to knowledge which ought to guide our action
because we are aware that action taken on that one factor will be
insufficiently guided. The one factor is an important one and must
influence our action, and would influence our action if we knew all the
other factors. We ought to allow it to influence our action even in
ignorance of the other factors.

In daily life we habitually act on partial knowledge, and we should
think that man mad who urged us to refuse to be guided by our partial
knowledge until our knowledge was complete; we should think a man mad
who, being under necessity to act, refused to know what he could know,
because he was aware that fuller knowledge might lead him to modify his
action. Now missionaries and missionary societies are acting and must
act, and the refusal to collect the information which they can obtain is
as culpable as the ignorance of a man who refuses to attend to the one
word "poison" printed on the label of a bottle which he can read,
because he cannot read the name of the stuff written on the label.

Yet it is very commonly argued that unless survey can be made complete,
unless, that is, every factor which we can think of as exercising an
influence on our action is duly weighed, it is futile to survey the
larger, commoner, and more easily accessible factors. This objection
recurs again and again, and unless it can be put out of the way it must
prejudice missionary survey. It would be wise, it would be right, to
collect information on only one point, if that were all that we could
do. It would be better than to rest content with total ignorance.
Nevertheless, when anyone collects with care statistics on any
particular point, he is certain to meet the objection that his labour
ought to be ignored because he has not collected information about
something else. As if total ignorance were preferable to partial
knowledge! Is there any answer to the argument, that "Where ignorance is
bliss 'tis folly to be wise," when supported by "A little knowledge is a
dangerous thing," other than Dr. Arnold's maxim, "Where it is our duty
to act it is also our duty to learn"?

(v) We have not been careful to avoid asking for details of which we are
well aware that the statistics do not now exist. We have thought it our
duty rather to point out the information necessary for arriving at right
conclusions than to mislead our readers by pretending that it is
possible to form judgments and act properly without taking the trouble
to collect information which is really necessary. This is no
contradiction of the argument which we set forth that partial
information is better than none, but it does warn the surveyor that
blanks in the forms leave him not fully equipped, and that steps ought
to be taken to secure information without which his conclusions are




Missionary work is presented to us here at home mainly at two points;
the one, work at a mission station, the other, the condition and needs
of a country or of a continent. In the one case we hear a great deal
about the missionary's life and work; in the other we hear about great
problems, religious, moral, social, and very little about the facts of
the work.

We propose to begin with the mission station and to set down the
information which we need, in order that we may take an intelligent
interest in the work at the station, viewed by itself, as progress is
made towards the immediate object of its existence; and then we propose
to look at it in relation to other stations in the province or country,
both comparatively to see how they differ, and as parts of a whole, to
see what is the position of the Church in the province or country, and
what place each station occupies in the work done in the larger whole.

When we look at the mission station viewed by itself, the first question
which we ask is: Has the station any defined area, district, or parish,
connected with it in which it is the business of the missionaries to
preach the Gospel and establish the Church? If the answer to that
question is, "Yes, it has," and that answer would very commonly be
given, then at once we get our feet on firm ground. We can start our
survey on a territorial basis; and with a common territorial basis we
can immediately compare the work of one station with that done at
another station. We have further a _terminus ad quem_, and in our survey
we can tell whether progress is in that direction and how rapid it is.

We can do this, because the definition of a parish or district implies
the recognition on the part of those who define the parish or district,
of the purpose, if not the duty, of preaching the Gospel and
establishing the Church in the area of that parish or district. The mere
definition of the area, therefore, implies a policy for the mission
which defines the area and for the station for which the area is
defined. For such a station, therefore, we design our first survey, the
object of the survey being to discover how far the work of the station
is succeeding in performing the task which it obviously undertook when
it accepted the definition of area.

1. We begin then by surveying the position of the work in the station
district extensively: we ask--What is the relation between the work done
and the work remaining to be done? We ask this question in two forms;
first, in terms of the cities, towns, and villages which lie in the
station area, and secondly, in terms of population. We ask the question
in this double form because we believe that by this means the surveyor
will obtain a clear view of the situation and will be able easily to see
what has been done in relation to the work yet to be done, and it is the
relation of those two that is most illuminating. If these tables were
constantly revised the progress of the work could be traced from year to
year easily and helpfully. Put side by side they illuminate each other,
and each affords a check upon the other. Progress in numbers in
proportion to population and progress in the number of places occupied
should often properly advance side by side. Progress in numbers in
proportion to population without any increase in the number of places
occupied may often occur; progress in the number of places occupied
without a corresponding increase of the Christian population in
proportion to the non-Christian population may also occur, and each must
give the missionary food for thought. The tables are simple, dealing
with bare numerical proportions:--

| | | Number of| Number of |
| | Date of | Occupied | Unoccupied| Work to
District.| Area.| Foundation| Cities, | Cities, | be Done.
| | of Station.| Towns, | Towns, |
| | | Villages.| Villages. |
| | | | |

By "occupied" we mean places where there are resident Christians, few or

Total | Total | Total |Work to | Remarks
Population.| Christian | Non-Christian | be Done. | and
| Constituency. | Constituency. | |Conclusions.
| | | |

By _Christian Constituency_ we mean the total number of people who call
themselves Christian in the area in question. They may not be baptised,
they may be mere inquirers or hearers; but if asked their religion they
would call themselves Christians rather than anything else.

The reasons why we adopt this extremely wide expression are: (1) Some
societies, whose members are undeniably Christian in morals and thought,
do not baptise adults; many societies do not baptise infants; yet these
unbaptised people are certainly not heathen; they certainly do not
belong to any other religious organisation than the Christian. Again,
some societies baptise very much more freely than others, and count as
members large numbers of people whom other societies would consider to
be in the position of inquirers or hearers. Consequently any just
comparison between different areas in which different societies are
working is impossible unless a very wide expression is employed, and a
very wide interpretation given to it.

(2) The Christian cause, both for good and evil, is largely influenced
by the existence of these unbaptised. They are called Christian, they
are considered to be such by their heathen neighbours, they suffer
persecution often with the other Christians when any outbreak occurs.
Their numbers and conduct exercise a wide influence in the society in
which they live, for or against the progress of the Christian faith.

(3) The attitude of these people to the Christian missionary is quite
different from that of the heathen. They acknowledge Christ as the one
Divine Teacher and Lord. The missionary cannot count them as belonging
to the heathen; he cannot approach them as the teacher of a new
religion. He must approach them as an exponent of the religion which
they already profess. However inadequate and confused their ideas about
Christian theology and practice may be, they expect to receive from a
Christian teacher instruction in their own religion, and that religion
is a religion common to him and to them. Consequently to omit them from
the Christian constituency is to do an injustice to them, and to
misrepresent the true facts of the case.

(4) In many areas two or more societies are at work and their conception
of the qualifications for the name of Christian differ. In a survey each
society is tempted to ignore the members of the other, and to reckon as
Christians only those who fulfil the conditions which are applied by the
one society. So certain Protestant societies ignore all Roman Catholics;
but that for the reasons already stated is most misleading, for when
persecution arises Protestants and Roman Catholics alike suffer for the
Name of Christ. Whatever the members of another society may be, they are
certainly not heathen; the heathen deny them. Consequently they cannot
properly be counted with the heathen by any surveyor who wishes to
present the facts.

For these reasons we have been compelled to adopt a very wide
expression, and the expression used by the China Continuation Committee
seemed to be sufficiently elastic to serve our purpose. Nevertheless, to
avoid error as far as possible, when we institute comparisons between
Christian and non-Christian population, we introduce side by side with
the total Christian Constituency the total Communicants (or Full
Members), which is a valuable check.

Take then an example. The figures here given are obviously not the
figures of a station area; they are figures for a province; but they
serve to illustrate the point. We cannot fill up the area table; we can
only supply figures for the population.

Population. : Total : Total Non-
: Christians. : Christians.
32,571,000 : 534,238 : 2,036,762

Now, here of the 534,238 Christians 500,655 are Roman Catholics, the
Protestants numbering 33,583. The Roman Catholics in this area began
work about 300 years earlier than the Protestants. Are we to eliminate

Are all these 33,583 Protestants more worthy of the name of Christian
than some of the Roman Catholics? Or shall we eliminate some of the
33,583? If so, how many, and on what grounds? Is not the denial of the
Name to those who claim to be servants of Christ absurd? Are there not
enough non-Christians to be converted?

Suppose the Roman Catholic figures to be an estimate. Is it not plain
that in dealing with considerable areas estimates may be useful though
faulty? How little difference in the work to be done does an error in
that estimate make? Knock off or add on 50,000 and is the work to be
done seriously affected? It is true that in some calculations an error
of that magnitude might mislead us somewhat, but hardly enough to
vitiate our whole view of the situation, especially if we carefully
check our conclusions by the results of other tables given later.

At the first glance these figures produce the impression that very
little has been done. In the beginning, and that was many years ago,
there were over 32 million non-Christians; there are over 32 million
to-day. But let us look at proportions and see what a different
impression is produced.

Population. : Total : Total Non- : Proportion
: Christians. : Christians. : of Christians to
: : : Non-Christians.
32,571,000 : 534,238 : 32,036,762 : 1 to 60

One Christian to every sixty non-Christians gives us a totally different
impression. We begin to feel that if only the Christians awoke to their
duty they could influence the whole population profoundly. That is
precisely the effect produced upon the Christians by a missionary survey
undertaken with them, and understood by them; they begin to see the
immensity of the work to be done, they begin to see that it can be done.

There should properly then here be two tables parallel to the first two.

| Number of | Number of | |
| Occupied | Unoccupied | Proportion of |Remarks
Area. | Cities, Towns, | Cities, Towns, | Occupied to |and
| Villages. | Villages. | Unoccupied. |Conclusions.
| | | |

Total | Total | Total Non- | Proportion of | Remarks
Population. | Christian | Christian | Christian to | and
| Population. | Population. | Non-Christian. |Conclusions.
| | | |

Observe what light is thrown upon a district by the mere juxtaposition
of those few facts. I think those two tables alone should suffice to
prove that a survey which regarded only a very few factors might be of
immense service, if those who used it kept clearly before them its
partial character and did not allow themselves to treat it as complete.

But, unfortunately, these first facts which we have desired are, like
other facts of importance, procured only with difficulty and toil. In
order to fill up the preceding tables the missionary surveyor must be
able to state what is the area and what the population in the station
district. But some could not supply that information. Its acquisition
might involve a journey of many months given up to careful examination
and inquiry. It is no small demand to make. In many cases a reasoned
estimate is indeed the only possible statement; but as we have already
argued careful estimates are invaluable, and where a census does not
exist they give us for the time something to work upon.

Where the physical survey can be undertaken it is most illuminating
work, illuminating both to the missionaries and to their native helpers,
who often gain an entirely new view of their work and its possibilities
from such personal examination. Testimony to the value of this
experience is growing daily in weight and volume.

This physical survey would naturally result in the production of a map
of the area in which the cities, towns, and villages in the station
district were marked with notes on their character from the missionary
point of view. In this map all places where Christians resided, where
there were Christian congregations, churches, preaching places, schools,
hospitals, dispensaries, etc., would be marked. It would be a pictorial
presentation of the facts so far as they were capable of expression in
map form.

But whether in map form or in statistical form, the area and the
population for which the mission is working must be expressed either by
exact figures or by estimates if we are to trace progress.

If these tables were kept over a number of years, the missionaries on
the spot and directors and inquirers at home would be able to see what
progress was being made towards fulfilling the obligation implied by the
definition of the station area or district, and what that obligation

II. When we know the work to be done we turn to the consideration of the
force available. This force consists of permanent and more or less
temporary members. Some will in all human probability remain in the
place till they die; they are of it, they belong to it; others will
probably depart elsewhere; they are not of the place; they speak of home
as far away; they are liable to removal; sickness which does not kill
them takes them away; the call of friends or business carries them back
to their own land; they are strangers all their days in the mission
district. Nevertheless, they are generally the moving, active force;
upon them progress seems to depend. It is strange, but it is true
generally: the permanent is the passive element, the impermanent is the
active. Here we simply state the fact to excuse or condemn the placing
of the missionary force first in our tables. First it is to-day.

We need then a table of the foreign missionary force. In its form it
will be a mere statement of proportions. The proportions are essential
in order to make comparison between one area and another possible; and
comparison is the sweet savour of survey. We cannot compare the work of
three men labouring among an unstated population with the work of two
other men working in an unstated population; the moment that the
proportions are worked out the cases can be compared. But some men
detest this purely quantitative comparison. They insist, and rightly,
that there is no true equality in the comparison. One man differs from
another man and his work differs from the work of the other man: over
large areas it is often the work of one man among many which really
saves the situation. It is quite true. In the last resort survey becomes
survey of personalities. But in a survey of the kind which we propose,
survey of personalities is impossible and most undesirable.

The survey proposed cannot deal with personalities, but that does not
invalidate the importance of the information asked for. Such forms
received from many different stations would certainly throw light on the
serious question of reinforcement. It is of course obvious that
reinforcements could not be allotted rightly on such slight evidence as
the proportion of missionaries to the population of a district. The
question is not whether reinforcements could be allotted on this factor
alone; but whether they could be allotted rightly in ignorance of it.
Taken in conjunction with the preceding and following tables, this table
would reveal something that we may call _need_ in a purely quantitative
expression, and comparative need should certainly influence the
allotment of reinforcements. Though the statement of need in this table
is indeed utterly insufficient by itself, it is nevertheless true that
no statement of comparative need which ignored the proportions here set
out would be satisfactory. This quantitative expression is not
sufficient; but no statement is sufficient without it, and, as often, so
here, it is the proportion rather than the actual figures which make
comparison possible:--

| | Total |Proportion |Proportion | Remarks
District.|Popula- | Foreign | to | of Women | and
| tion. |Missionaries.|Population.| to |Conclusions.
| | | |Population.|
| | | | |

We turn now to the permanent Christian force in the district. We want to
know what is the force. We ask, therefore, that the total Christian
constituency may be accepted as the first expression of the native
force. The progress of the Gospel is most seriously affected by the
whole number of those who in any sense call themselves Christians. They
are the force in the place which influences the heathen for or against
it. It is of the utmost importance that they should be reckoned first,
and treated first, as the force which above all others works slowly,
quietly, imperceptibly, but mightily. The whole body of those who
profess and call themselves Christians should be put in the very first

Then the communicants (or full members) are commonly the body to which
all turn for voluntary zealous effort. The communicants are the strength
of the Church. We compare them next with the work to be done. Then the
paid workers. Then the voluntary unpaid workers, recognised as such.

The difficulty of calculating the unpaid voluntary workers is indeed
very great. We know of no definition which would serve to give any
uniformity to returns made by different missions. We recognise that
different missions would make the returns on different bases. We
earnestly desire a common definition, which all might accept. But under
existing circumstances it seems impossible to find one. Nevertheless,
without some statement of the number of voluntary workers, we are, as we
shall see, in grave danger of misjudging the situation and wronging our
missionaries and the native Christians. For the time then we suggest
that it would be far better to accept the returns given to us by the
missionaries on their own basis, asking them to append a note to the
return explaining how they calculated their voluntary force. We should
then have the following table:--

_The Native Force_.

_(a) The Christian Constituency_.

District. |Population. |Christian |Proportion to |Remarks and
| |Constituency |Non-Christian |Conclusions.
| | |Population. |
| | | |

_(b) The Communicants or Full Members_.

District. | Population. | Communicants. | Proportion to | Remarks and
| | | Non-Christian | Conclusions
| | | Population. |
| | | |

_(c) The Paid Workers._

District. | Population. | Paid Workers. | Proportion to | Remarks and
| | | Non-Christian | Conclusions
| | | Population. |
| | | |

_(d) The Unpaid Workers._

District. | Population. | Unpaid | Proportion to | Remarks and
| | Workers. | Non-Christian | Conclusions.
| | | Population. |
| | | |

Here again it is the proportions which are illuminating and enable
comparisons of different areas to be made. The bare figures of the
number of Christians and communicants and workers by themselves would
tell us very little; only when we have them related to a common factor
do we get any real light.

Let us now sum up our inquiry thus far.

Work to be Done: Non-Christian Population. | |
Untouched, Unoccupied Villages. | |
Foreign Force Compared with Work to be Done. | |
Native Force Compared with Work to be Done. |
Christian Constituency. | |
Communicants. | |
Paid Workers. | |
Unpaid Voluntary Workers. | |

If these tables were kept over a series of years, the progress of the
force in relation to the work to be done would be most interestingly

But in estimating the Christian force in the district we need to know
more than its number; we need to know so much of its character as
statistical tables can show.

One Christian to every 129 heathen may mean much or little. It might
mean that the day when the Christian force would be the controlling
force in the area was close at hand. That would depend largely upon the
capacity of the Christians, their education, their zeal. The tables
which we now suggest are designed to reveal, so far as tables can
reveal, the truth in these matters.

We begin then with the proportion of communicants in the Christian
constituency. If we take the last table and, instead of considering the
proportion of the communicants to the non-Christian population, consider
the proportion of communicants to the Christian constituency, we gain a
very different view. We gain then an idea of the character of the
Christians. Instead of an idea of the size of the force at work we
receive an impression of the quality of the force. Even one who lays
little stress on the value and necessity of sacraments would not deny
that he would expect more from a Church of 1000 in which 500 were
communicants than he would from a Church of 1000 of which only 100 were
communicants. He might deny that his expectation was based upon any
faith in the virtue of sacraments, but he would acknowledge the fact
that in our experience the Church which possesses large numbers of
communicants is generally stronger than the Church which possesses a
small number. The comparison of the number of communicants in relation
to the number of the total Christian constituency does properly produce
an impression of the strength of the Christian body.

If we can fill up the table

District.| Total. | Communicants | Proportion of | Remarks and
| Christian | or Full | Communicants | Conclusions
| Constituency.| Members. | to Christian |
| | | Constituency. |
| | | |

we gain an impression of the strength of the Church. But it is important
to observe that it is only in relation to the earlier tables, which set
out the force in relation to the work to be done, that this impression
of strength is of immediate importance to us. We are dealing with a
missionary survey, a survey concerned with the propagation of the
Gospel. The mere strength of the Church, unrelated to any work in which
the strength is to be employed, is a very different matter. We might
take pleasure in the sight of it. We might congratulate ourselves and
the missionaries on the beauty of the strength revealed, but not until
it is related to work to be done does strength appear in its true glory.
We find in nearly all missionary statistics the number of communicants
and converts set forth, and we often wonder what for. It cannot be that
we may glory in our conquests and say: See how many converts and
communicants we have made! But, unrelated to any task to be done, that
is all that appears. Therefore we have instituted this comparison here,
in close relation to the earlier tables, that we may know what is the
force on the spot at work in the area defined.

Next, the proportion of Paid Workers in proportion to the number of the
Christian constituency and the communicants is a most illuminating
factor. By itself it is a difficult factor to appreciate rightly.
Suppose we find, as we do sometimes find, that one out of every ten
communicants is a paid worker. That may imply that the proportion of
rice Christians is very high, or it may imply a high standard of zeal,
very many of the converts being able and willing to devote themselves to
Christian work and at the same time too poor to be able to support
themselves without pay. This proportion, therefore, should be carefully
checked by a table which shows the proportion of unpaid workers and
another which shows the standard of wealth. But commonly we are given
the number of paid workers, and given neither the number of unpaid
voluntary workers, nor the standard of wealth, and therefore the danger
of reading amiss the number of paid workers is great. We have already
explained the difficulty of obtaining exact figures, or even estimates,
of the number of voluntary unpaid workers, but a mere glance at the
proportion of paid workers to communicants should be enough to persuade
any man who desires to judge our work fairly of the necessity for such a
table as we now suggest.

District.| Paid | Proportion | Proportion of | Remarks and
| Workers. | of Paid Workers | Paid Workers | Conclusions
| | to Christian | to |
| | Constituency. | Communicants. |
| | | |

District.| Unpaid |Proportion |Proportion of | Remarks and
| Workers. |of Unpaid Workers|Unpaid Workers | Conclusions
| |to Christian |to |
| |Constituency. |Communicants. |
| | | |

| | Proportion of Christian |
| | Constituency. According |
| | to Local Standard. |
District.| Christian | Well | Poor | In | Remarks and
| Constituency. | to do. | | Poverty | Conclusions
| | | | |
| | | | |

There is indeed a way of judging the zeal of native Christians for the
propagation of the Gospel very popular among missionaries, the way of
tabulating and comparing the amount which they subscribe for missionary
work. Obviously this method is the form most natural to us, but it is
one of the worst conceivable. When a Christian congregation lives
surrounded by heathen, for it to learn to satisfy the divine spirit of
missions by putting money into a box, is most dangerous. The zeal of
Christians for the spread of the Gospel ought always to be expressed
first in active personal service. We should prefer to omit any question
as to the amount subscribed for missionary work far off. We believe it
to be a most delusive and deluding test. It deceives the giver, it
deceives the inquirer. We should prefer to inquire the number of hearers
or inquirers brought to the Church by the undirected effort of the
Church members, or the number of Church members who go out to teach or
preach in their neighbourhood, or perhaps best of all, the number of
little Christian congregations which as a body are actively engaged in
evangelising their neighbours. But we admit missionary contributions as
an additional question

Christian |Inquirers |Congregations| Amount | Remarks and
Constituency.|brought in |Evangelising | Subscribed | Conclusions
|by Native |their | for Missionary |
|Christians.|Neighbours. | Purposes. |
| | | |

That a Church must be instructed and instruct its children all are
agreed: where men differ is with respect to the manner of the teaching.
On the one side are those who would safeguard the faith by committing
the teaching of it to a small body of carefully trained men, the clergy,
whilst the majority of the Christians, the laity, remain unlearned and
accept what is taught by the trained official teachers: on the other
side are those who would boldly commit the faith to all, opening to all
the door of learning. The one party would preserve the faith in the
hands of a select few, the other would put the Bible into every man's
hands. It is an old controversy; but we suppose nearly all those for
whom we write are of the second party, men who would gladly see every
Christian able to read the Bible and to base his religious life upon it.
We stand for the open Bible; we believe that the Christian Church in
every country will progress and develop strongly if it is based on a
widespread knowledge of Holy Writ, and we are prepared to believe that a
capacity to read the Bible is a sure sign of health in any Christian
Church. The test of literacy commonly adopted in our missions is the
capacity to read the Holy Gospels: we accept that gladly and

Furthermore, the influence of the Christian Church in the country will
largely depend upon the extent to which the Christians are better able
to read and understand literary expression than their heathen

We want then to know the literacy of the Christian community as compared
with the literacy of the non-Christian population from which it springs,
and, if possible, a little more than that--what proportion of the
Christians have had a sufficient education to enable them not only to
satisfy the very slight demands of a literary test, but to have some
wider knowledge with which to improve their own position and to
enlighten others.

The table which results is as follows:--

Non-Chris-|Propor- |Total |Propor- |Proportion | Remarks and
tian |tion of |Christian |tion of |of Christians | Conclusions.
Popula- |Liter- |Consti- |Liter- |of Higher |
tion. |ates. |tuency. |ates. |Education. |
| | | | |

In this table we touch one of the points on which exact figures are
often inaccessible and an estimate must be made. An estimate which is
recognised as an estimate is not misleading, and, if it is carefully
made and based on evidence understood, is generally most useful, only
estimates carelessly made and mistaken for precise and accurate
statements of fact are misleading.

These tables would, we suggest, suffice to give us a fairly clear idea
of the strength of the force at work, especially if they are taken in
conjunction with the tables which we suggest under the heading of the
Native Church in Chapter VIII. where we deal particularly with

We ought now to be able to form some idea of the work to be done and of
the force to do it. We know in quantitative terms the work to be done,
we know the relative force of missionaries, we know the relative
strength of the native Christian constituency, its communicants, its
workers, its education, its wealth, in relation to the work to be done.

We have now to consider how the force is directed, along what lines it
is applied, and how its efforts are co-ordinated.



When we know the area and the force at work in it, we must next consider
how this force is applied. We need to know in what proportion it works
amongst men and women, how far different classes of the population are
reached by it, and what emphasis is placed upon different forms of work,
evangelistic, medical, and educational. We propose then four tables
which will help us to understand these things.

First, we inquire into the relative strength of the force in relation to
work among men and women. In the foreign missionary force we distinguish
men, wives, and single women; in the native force we distinguish only
men and women; because marriage generally affects the character of the
foreigner's work more than it affects the character of the work done by
the native Christians who live in their own homes among their own

| | | Single |
| | | Women and | Remarks and
| Men | Wives| Widows | Conclusions
Foreign missionaries. | | | |
| Women
Christian constituency | | |
Communicants. | | |
Native workers (paid) | | |

Since it is generally agreed that men in the main appeal to men, and
women to women, that table should tell us roughly what is the force at
work in relation to men and women; and any mistake in that supposition
will be checked by the statistics for the Christian constituency, which
serve a double purpose. The statistics of the Christian constituency
show us not only an important part of the Christian force at work in
relation to the men and women of the non-Christian population; but in
relation to the foreigners and the native workers they also help us to
see how far the idea that men appeal to men and women to women, is in
fact a good working rule.

Next it is desirable to know to what classes the mission especially
appeals. Here we shall probably have to accept estimates, sometimes
rough estimates, for part at least of the information desirable; in some
cases the table may be impossible; in some it may be most useful. The
table which we suggest is:--

In the Population of Station District--
Per Cent.|Per Cent.|Per Cent. |Per Cent.| Per Cent.| Remarks
Students.|Officials|Agricultural |Traders. |Labourers,| and
| |Small Holders.| |Craftsmen.| Conclusions.
| | | | |

In the Christian Constituency--

Per Cent.|Per Cent.|Per Cent. |Per Cent.| Per Cent.| Remarks
Students.|Officials|Agricultural |Traders. |Labourers,| and
| |Small Holders.| |Craftsmen.| Conclusions.
| | | | |

If that table could be filled up it would show at a glance what class of
the people was reached most easily and fully, and whether any were
unduly neglected.

Then, in many station areas there are divergencies of race and
religion, and it is important to know how far the mission is reaching
each of these. In some areas, for instance, large numbers of converts
are made from the pagan population whilst a Moslem population in the
area is practically untouched; in some nearly all the converts are made
from one caste out of many. That is no reason for adverse criticism of
the mission: it may be, and often is, a reason for striking harder at
the point on which the work is now most successful; but it is a fact
which throws great light on the nature of the work done and upon the
character of the Church which is rising in the area, and therefore
cannot be ignored. We append then a table to reveal this:--

| Area of Races, Castes, | Remarks and
| Religions, etc. | Conclusions
| |
Proportion of Population | |
Proportion of Christian | |
Constituency derived from| |

We cannot possibly supply the table complete for all areas in the world.
We suggest that such a table kept up to date would reveal not only
facts useful to illustrate the progress of the Christian faith, but also
to show the progress of aggressive non-Christian religions such as

Then we want to know what is the emphasis put on different forms of
missionary work, evangelistic, medical, educational. Here we come to a
difficulty. Medical missionaries, thank God, do evangelistic work, and
so do educational missionaries, and one day we shall learn that the
evangelistic missionary, technically so called, is doing a most
important educational work, and often truly medical, healing work. The
division is a technical one and missionary-hearted men begin to resent
it; they are all evangelic in their work, if not technically
evangelistic, and the division seems unreal, unnatural, untrue. It would
be a sad day for our missions if medical and educational missionaries
ceased to be at heart evangelists, and were content to leave
evangelistic work to others. Nevertheless, the technical distinction is
a real one and must be expressed. Some men express their evangelistic
fervour naturally and providentially in medical form, others in
scholastic, others in teaching, preaching, and organising of the
converts and the hearers. But how shall we divide them? The best plan
seems to be to put each man into that category in which he spends most
of his time, and in cases of doubt to use fractions, e.g. a doctor may
be as keen an evangelist and may preach and strive to convert his
patients as eagerly as his colleague who is called an evangelistic
missionary. An evangelistic missionary is perhaps a doctor by training
or experience, and heals the sick as eagerly as his colleague who is
called a medical missionary. Each is unwilling to be catalogued in one
column only. He feels, and feels rightly, that that single figure belies
the facts. The evangelistic missionary may be the only doctor in the
whole area who really understands the use of western drugs and
implements, the doctor may be the only evangelist in the whole area who
really knows how to preach the Gospel in language which the people can
understand. Clearly, in such cases the only possible thing to do is to
use a fraction, though the inner truth might be more easily expressed by
figures which represented that one man as two or three.

The table then is as follows:--

Missionaries. | Paid | Amount of| Amount of | Total | Remarks
| Native | Foreign | Native | Funds | and
| Workers| Funds | Funds | including | Con-
| | Spent | Spent | Government| clusions
| | on: [1] | on: [2] | Grants. |
Evangelistic | | | | |
Medical. | | | | |
Educational | | | | |
Other Forms | | | | |
of Work. | | | | |

[Footnote 1: All funds derived from foreigners except Government grants.]

[Footnote 2: Including fees and contributions.]

It will be observed that this table is designed, like all the others, to
serve primarily one single purpose. Since that purpose is to show the
relative weight thrown by the mission and the Christians into different
forms of evangelistic expression, all missionaries, all native workers,
all funds mainly occupied in each form are lumped together. There is no
need at this stage to distinguish doctors from nurses, or Bible-women
from pastors or priests.

From these tables we should hope to gain a general idea of the direction
of the force at work.

We thrust in here an inquiry concerning a form of work upon which many
missions lay great stress. It is exceedingly difficult to classify. It

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