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The Life of Andrew Murray of South Africa
Chapter XVII. Andrew Murray as a Missionary Statesman

It was said of the late Keith Falconer, by one of his instructors, that he approached the world of ideas as great observers approach the world of nature—with wonder, with reverence, and with humility. In some such spirit must the pastor approach the study of missions.—A. Woodruff Halsey.

WHEN Andrew Murray commenced his ministry in South Africa in 1848 the modern missionary era was half a century old. In the course of those fifty years some twelve or fourteen missionary societies had established themselves at the Cape. Missionary travellers, on their journeys back and forward between the coast and the interior, were frequent visitors at Graaff-Reinet, and their visits stimulated in the children of the manse that interest in mission work which had been already kindled by their parents. Of this deep interest we have proof in Andrew Murray’s letters to the home circle from Scotland and Holland, and in the establishment of the Eltheto Society, in which he and his brother John took so prominent a part. Even during the strenuous years at Bloemfontein, when his strength was severely taxed in the arduous task of building up a Church among the early pioneers, his interest in missions and his active sympathy with missionaries of all denominations never slackened.

When the Synod of 1857 took the bold step of deciding to commence its own “ foreign mission,” Andrew Murray became a member of the Committee appointed to launch the new undertaking, and he remained a member of that Committee re-constituted in 1903 as the General Mission Committee—until his retirement in 1906. He thus continued for half a century to guide the mission policy of the D. R. Church, while during almost the whole of that period his two colleagues on the original board, J. H. Neethling and N. J. Hofmeyr, shared the burden of administration and responsibility. His journey to the Transvaal in 1862, in search of spheres of work for Messrs. Gonin and McKidd has been described in an earlier chapter.1 But though the first missionaries were appointed and duly assigned to their respective fields of labour, the foreign missionary enterprise of the Church remained for many years a plant of slow growth. The dearth of ministers for European congregations and the lack of a special training institution for missionaries were retarding influences. The latter Institution came into being in 1877, but for a long time it was barely able to cope with the urgent needs of the congregations of the Home Mission, and no men were available for the foreign field.

A more vigorous life began to stir in the Foreign Mission of the D. R. Church during the ninth decade of the last century. This was largely due to two causes—the opening of fresh fields in Nyasaland and in Mashonaland, to which we shall presently advert, and the fact that ministers became more actively interested in missions, and that the sons of ministers came forward in larger numbers to offer themselves for service in new and distant fields. During the thirty years between 1886 and 1916, out of a total of some seventy who enlisted, no less than twenty-one young men, sons of ministers and missionaries, entered the foreign mission field, and of this number fifteen belonged to the Murray family. Of Andrew Murray’s own children his second daughter, Mary, and his sons John and Charles gave themselves to mission work, and were stationed in Bechuanaland, the Transvaal and Nyasaland respectively.

From a missionary point of view the year 1886 was a notable one in the history of the D. R. Church, because of the remarkable increase of interest in missions on the part of the ministers of the Church. The Rev. Samuel P. Helm, who for four years had been the devoted and beloved pastor of the congregation at Britstown, resigned his charge in order to proceed to the Zoutpansberg as missionary. Andrew C. Murray, Mr. Murray’s nephew, a student who had just completed his course of studies at the Stellenbosch Theological Seminary, announced his intention of engaging in mission work, preferably in a distant and unoccupied field. To Mr. Murray’s initiative was due the erection, on the nth November, 1886, of the Ministers’ Mission Union (Predikanten Zending Vereeniging), the members of which undertook to contribute from their own purses sums varying from £5 to £20 per annum. Of this Union Mr. Murray was the Ufelong chairman, and Rev. G. F. Marais the first secretary. The original membership consisted of forty brethren, who promised £300 in annual contributions. The establishment of the Ministers’ Mission Union marks the inauguration of a new and vigorous era in the history of D. R. Church missions.

The Executive Committee of this Union accepted the services of Andrew C. Murray, who after a brief course of medicine at Edinburgh University, was ready to start for the field in 1888. The question now arose as to the sphere of work to which he should be allocated : should it be an old one or a new, should it be near or distant? The Executive instituted enquiries in various directions, asking also the advice of the Rev. Stefanus Hofmeyr, who had already fulfilled more than twenty years of service as missionary in the Zoutpansberg, as to the possibility of new openings in the Transvaal. Its findings are summed up in a report which possesses considerable historical interest—


The Committee met at Wellington on Tuesday the 19th July, and on its behalf the undersigned desire to put you in possession of the following facts—

The account current was produced, from which it appeared that fifty-two ministers had promised an amount aggregating ^360, while several others had given the promise of co-operation, without specifying the amount of their aid.

The Committee was of opinion that it is time to suggest to the members of the Union a possible sphere of work. We had before us a map of the Transvaal with the openings in that territory, and also a map of the country to the west of Lake Nyasa, where a field of labour is offered us by the Free Church of Scotland. Note was made, too, of a letter from the theological candidate Andrew Murray, Charles’ son, who is now further preparing himself in Edinburgh for mission work, in which he gives expression to his readiness to undertake the work on Lake Nyasa.

There was much that could be urged in favour of a sphere of work in the Transvaal. Our Mission there has need of reinforcement. A missionary sent out by our Ministers’ Union would find great support in the brethren now working there, and would in turn be able to render them valuable assistance. It is not desirable to divide or weaken our powers, or to commence work at distant points without the prospect of being able to prosecute it effectively. In spite of these considerations, however, the Executive Committee has decided to recommend that our Union shall undertake work on the shores of Lake Nyasa, and for the following reasons—

1. The extent of the field.—.The sphere offered us by the Free Church is hundreds of miles in extent. From Bandawe, a station of the Free Church on the west coast of the Lake, it is a distance of three hundred miles westward to Lake Bangweolo, from where it is two hundred and fifty more to Makuru, the station of Mr. Araot—the first mission one reaches after travelling more than five hundred miles. In the Transvaal, on the other hand, the openings are few. The sphere of work at Molep, where Brother Helm will perhaps be stationed, contains no more than 3,000 souls, and every one of these can, if so minded, hear the Word of God from native evangelists. In the country of Malitzi evangelists are also at work, likewise a German missionary, while the station of Brother Hofmeyr is not far ofi. The Gospel is by no means beyond their reach. But on the shores of Lake Nyasa we should participate in the great work of preaching Christ to those who have never heard of Him.

2. The arousal of greater interest.—Our congregations are tolerably well acquainted with the particulars of mission work in the Transvaal, while a mission undertaken at such a distance will bring us into contact with a new heathenism, wholly outside the influence of Christianity. New difficulties will arise. The whole work will have to be arranged upon a new scale, and we shall learn how great the kingdom of Satan is, and how small in proportion is the work which is being done for the Kingdom of God. Our views will be enlarged as to the extent of the need and the nature of the work that must be undertaken. This must of necessity have a beneficial effect upon our interest, our enthusiasm, our prayers and our faith.

3. The remarkable opening.—We should not venture to recommend that a single missionary be sent to a new sphere of work situated at such a distance, were it not that the Free Church of Scotland is prepared to receive him as a brother in the midst of its missionaries, as though he were one of them. There he would be our missionary, and at the same time enjoy the support and the advice of the brethren around him. Further arrangements would be made only after we have decided to enter into relations with the Free Church. In his journey to his new field, too, our missionary would have the advantage of the steamers and other means of communication which the Scotch Mission at the Lake employs.

To the opportunity which thus offers in the providence of God must be added the fact that our young brother feels a strong desire towards this work and offers himself for it. Should we decide that it is advisable to send two men to the Transvaal first, it may happen that we shall not be able to find anyone later on who would be willing to proceed to the distant field. Or the field may have been occupied by some other body, and we should be too late, and perhaps not soon find so suitable an opening for our weak forces. We are of opinion that we could very well send an artisan missionary with our brother, in order to assist him on his station and afford him the needful companionship.

The Committee requests each member of the Union to take this matter into prayerful consideration. Let us ask the Lord to give us a wise and understanding heart in this question, that we may know His will and have faith and strength to follow where He leads.

On behalf of the Committee,

Andrew Murray, Chairman.

G. F. Marais, Secretary

No objection was raised by the members of the Ministers’ Mission Union to the proposals put forth by the Committee, and A. C. Murray duly sailed for the Central African field in the course of 1888. He was joined in the foUowing year by T. C. B. Vlok, and these two pioneers, who established themselves on the west coast of Lake Nyasa, at a place called Mvera, were the founders of the Nyasa Mission of the D. R. Church, which has since become one of the most successful of African missionary enterprises. Over the fortunes of this young mission Mr. Murray watched with the closest and most prayerful interest. Almost every suggestion of extension and improvement, in the early years at any rate, came from his prescient and practical mind. At th& end of five years the workers of this Mission totalled seven, and in 1899 their number had risen to fourteen.

The latter year was one of crucial importance in the history of the Nyasa Mission. Doors were opening on every hand. In whichever direction they journeyed, the missionaries in their itinerations found the natives eager to listen to the Word. Even at distant villages audiences of five hundred were no uncommon sight. The schools were crowded with children ready for instruction. The workers were in great danger of overtaxing their strength in their efforts to cope with the rapid expansion of the work. A. C. Murray wrote to the Committee at home : “You have been praying that God would open the door of the Word. That is no longer necessary. There are so many open doors that we are thrown into a condition of great perplexity.”

Mr. Murray instantly grasped the importance of this crisis and summoned a meeting of the Committee, which was held according to custom in the study of his home, Clairvaux, at Wellington. Much time was given to prayer, and the situation in Nyasaland was then carefully reviewed. The necessity for an immediate increase in the number of the staff was patent to all, and the question was really one of men and means. At Mr. Murray’s instance a circular of the following import was drawn up and despatched to all supporters of the Mission—

To Friends and Supporters of the Nyasaland Mission.

Dear Friends,—We are in special need of your assistance in prayer. The call for more workers is most insistent. The need for more money to continue and extend the work makes itself continually felt. Moreover, there is greater need for powerful workings of the Spirit of God, since congregations are being formed in the mission field.

We therefore invite you all to set aside a portion of your time, though it were but half an hour, on Ascension Day, the nth of May, 1899, in order to invoke the Lord’s assistance. Pray specially :

1. That the Lord through His Holy Spirit would so graciously work in the hearts of His children that more labourers may offer themselves, and that His people may come forward willingly in order to render the cause powerful support in the spirit of true self-denial.

2. That the Lord would fill with His Holy Spirit all our missionaries, with the evangelists, teachers and converts in Nyasaland.

3. That in the course of the next five years the work may be at least doubled.

If we pray uprightly, asking at the same time what God would have us to do, the blessing both for ourselves and for Nyasaland will be sure.

In the name of the Committee of the Ministers’ Mission Union,

Andrew Murray.
J. R. Albertyn.
J. du Plessis.

Not many months after the issue of this circular the Boer War broke out, and the public mind was wholly engrossed by the struggle of the two Republics to maintain their independence. The possibility seemed exceedingly small that sufficient enthusiasm and support could be elicited to send the needed reinforcements to Nyasaland. But the unexpected happened. So far from diminishing, mission interest steadily increased. Gifts of money, frequently from unsuspected sources, and sometimes in comparatively large amounts, streamed into the treasury. The sympathy which had been awakened in the hearts of the Dutch-speaking public for those who were sufferers through the war, was extended to every form of philanthropic activity, and not the least to the missionary cause. And, best of all, young men of ability and true devotion offered themselves in larger numbers for foreign work. At the lapse of only four years from the issue of the circular of 1899, the Committee tasted the joy of being able to report that the number of workers had already doubled itself. During the troublous period between 1899 and 1903 no less than fourteen new labourers were despatched to Nyasaland.

The work in that field had now assumed such dimensions that it was found advisable to hand it over to the Synod, in order that it might be brought into line with the undertakings of the Church in other spheres, and controlled by a central committee. The appointment of this General Mission Committee was the work of the Synod of 1903—the last in which Andrew Murray took part. In the discussions and arrangements for the creation of this central board, Mr. Murray took an active interest, and when it was finally established he was appointed chairman, which position he held until his retirement in 1906.

In 1908 the growing mission work of the Church was faced with a grave deficit. The General Mission Committee issued a request for universal prayer on Pentecost Sunday, the 7th June, and this request met with a hearty response in almost all the congregations of the D. R. Church. Preaching at Wellington on that day, Mr. Murray delivered a notable sermon, based on Exodus xiv. 15, in which he impressed upon the congregation the urgency of the crisis through which the foreign missionary enterprise was passing. Three days later the Consistory of Wellington resolved to invite delegates from far and near to attend a Congress for the discussion of the issues which had been laid before them. This Congress, which exercised a far-reaching influence, assembled at Wellington in August, 1908. The interest was great; the addresses were thoughtful and stirring; the results were momentous. A Laymen’s Missionary Union was established, and its first Committee elected; the sum of £700 was immediately subscribed towards wiping out the deficit; and the delegates bound themselves to active efforts, not merely for the speedy extinction of the debt, but for the collection of a further sum of £2,500 for the extension of the work in the foreign field. Nor was this all. The most remarkable result of the Congress was the inauguration of what was called, not inaptly, a Missionary Crusade, in the prosecution bf which representative ministers visited large centres in every part of the country, and conducted congresses similar to that at Wellington, for the purpose of kindling missionary zeal. Mr. Murray was again the man from whom proceeded the fruitful suggestion of thus widening the basis of missionary interest, and it was upon his shoulders also that the task chiefly devolved of carrying the scheme to fruition.

The first series of congresses, held at places so far asunder as Klerksdorp and Johannesburg in the Transvaal, Bloemfontein in the Free State, and Cradock, Oudtshoorn and Beaufort West in the Cape Colony, aroused widespread interest, and resulted in the complete extinction of the debt. Congregations which had been indifferent or even antagonistic towards mission work underwent in many cases a complete transformation, and became ardent supporters of the cause. Not a few undertook to salary their own representative in the field. Contributions were suddenly doubled, trebled or quadrupled. Early in 1909 the General Mission Secretary reported that £4,000 of the £5,000 which was originally aimed at had already been found. When the campaign closed no less a sum than £10,000 had been raised for missionary extension.

Mr. Murray was the only one of the deputies who took part in each of the conferences held at the above-mentioned towns. One admirer wrote of him : “ Our old father and leader, Mr. Murray, fills us continually with new astonishment and admiration. He is sometimes weary but never discouraged. The lion’s share of the work falls to him. And though his strength has somewhat decreased, the old fire burns with undiminished glow.” There was sufficient cause to be concerned about his health, for he had already passed the fourscore years which in the prayer of Moses the man of God are assigned to mankind “ by reason of strength.” Nevertheless, he bore all the vicissitudes of travel, and all the strain of six successive conferences, not only without apparent fatigue but with positive zest, and when he alighted from the train at Wellington he was in better health than when he had set out, and was already evolving plans for a second series of conferences at centres as yet unvisited.

No estimate of Mr. Murray’s influence as a leader of missionary thought and enterprise would be complete that did not take account of his intimate and lifelong connexion with the South Africa General Mission. The commencement of this undertaking occurred on the following wise. When in 1882 Mr. Murray was visiting England in search of health, he met at Keswick a young man of twenty-three named Spencer Walton. Walton had made a voyage to South

Africa as a youth, and was now seriously considering the question of giving himself wholly to mission work in the sub-continent. Mr. Murray gave him the assurance that if he felt called to labour in that field, he would receive the heartiest welcome from himself and from Christians generally. For a long time the project lay germinating in Walton’s mind. Five years later Mrs. Osborne, a lady who was engaged in Christian work among the soldiers and sailors in South Africa, heard Walton speak at a convention at Leamington, and acting on a sudden inspiration penned a letter in which she asked him to come as missioner to the Cape. After careful consideration, and consultation with several evangelical leaders, Walton accepted this invitation, and sailed for Cape Town in 1888.

He was welcomed on his arrival by Mr. Murray (whose son, Haldane, had been his fellow-voyager), by Mrs. Osborne, and by a large number of evangelical ministers and Christian friends. A series of gatherings, for which, under the influence of Mr. Murray and other earnest workers, long and prayerful preparation had been made, was held in Cape Town. They were attended with most remarkable results. The Y.M.C.A. Hall, in which the preliminary meetings were held, was found to be too small, and the Metropolitan Wesleyan Church was secured. The Church was soon crowded out, and an adjournment was made to the Exhibition Building, seating two thousand, which for many successive nights was crowded to overflowing. It was a common thing for Mr. Walton to appear upon the platform, and cry out, with his ringing voice and smiling face, “ Fill up the centre chairs, dear friends; we shall need every seat to-night.” The whole city was greatly stirred, and many dated their conversion from that time of spiritual ingathering. Christians of every denomination were strengthened in their faith, and stimulated to a life of greater consecration to Christ and to the service of their fellow-men. When the Cape Town campaign came to an end, Mr. Walton was presented, by a few enthusiastic friends, with an address couched in the following quaint language—

Dear Sir,—We, the undersigned, representing various sections of Christ’s Church, avail ourselves of this opportunity, and in approaching you thus would, whilst having anticipated (prior to your arrival in our midst) by the fame which had preceded you in connexion with work you had been engaged in for our common Lord and Saviour in England and elsewhere, express our gratitude that you have been instrumental (under God) in giving an impetus to Christians to continue in the blessed course they had already pursued.

Your indefatigableness and general winsomeness in the method of conducting the mission, carried out with such power, lucidness, and earnest touching appeals to the backslider, and those who had erstwhile lived in estrangement to God, we rejoice to say has resulted with marvellous spiritual success. Many have been the trophies. We can only attribute the success which has attended your mission as having involved on your part much communion and secret prayer and wrestling with God. We feel convinced that you have laboured hard for the spiritual welfare of the large and eager throngs who gathered nightly and afternoons to listen to your admonitions, and that you were constrained by love for the Master. . . .

We hailed with pleasure your intimation that you would in all probability revisit our shores. Should you again in future years come into our midst, be assured our heartiest welcome will be extended to you. Should an all-wise Providence determine otherwise, we hereby give expression to a wish that the closing days of your earthly life may be much of that peace which passeth all understanding, and that you may have the Master’s assurance, Well done, good and faithful servant!

From this preliminary visit Mr. Walton returned to England towards the end of the year. He was now fully assured of a distinct call to South Africa, and began to devise plans for establishing an organized mission. The fact that Mr. Murray countenanced the proposed undertaking proved to be an invaluable aid in securing the interest and co-operation of friends in England. Writing to The Christian Mr. Murray gave the following expression to his views—

We do bless God that He has put into the heart of His servant the thought of giving himself entirely to South Africa, and we are looking forward to much blessing if the purpose be realized. I believe there are wonderful openings for evangelistic work, both in the large new centres such as Kimberley and Johannesburg, and in all our colonial towns. There is hardly a place where one or more ministers will not be found who will rejoice to have a visit from time to time from one so fitted to help in rousing believers and in gathering in those who are outside. And if the prospect be realized that Cape Town should at the same time be made the centre of home mission work, whence other towns might be helped and guided, a work might be accomplished of which it is difficult to calculate the consequence. We shall wait upon God to remove every difficulty out of the way, and trust that our brethren in England will help Mr. Spencer Walton forward in prayer in the work he hopes to undertake.

The new undertaking soon took shape, and in March, 1889, was established the Cape General Mission, with a managing Council in London, and Mr. Walton as Director in South Africa. In the following August the first party of six workers left for the field. From Mr. Murray’s letter it will be gathered that the aim of the Mission was primarily to engage in Christian work among the white population of South Africa, large numbers of which, especially in the more populous centres, lec irreligious and ungodly lives, and appeared to be beyond the reach of ordinary Church effort. The Cape General Mission was first of all firmly planted in Cape Town, where, not many months after the arrival of the first party, the foundation-stone of a suitable hall for meetings was laid. This ceremony was performed by Mr. Murray, who from the inception of the Mission held the position of President of the South African Council, which office he continued to fill to the end of his life. The language employed by him on this occasion shows clearly that at this stage the Mission was only feeling its way, and had not yet adopted a distinct line of policy. He said in effect—

The present building occupies a different position from the existing churches and chapels. Those represent the various sections of Christ’s Church in this Colony, but this building will be a link with the old country. This marks an advance. Before the Cape General Mission had its own home it was like a bird on the wing; now it has settled amongst us. While the hall will not interfere with the work of any existing organization, it will be the centre of the labours of the Cape General Mission—an English Mission to meet some of the needs of South Africa.

It was not long, however, before the new Mission began to find its feet. As it endeavoured to do the duty which lay nearest at hand, its further duties became clearer. The objects which it aimed at were gradually defined as three: first, to set before believers a more exalted standard of Christian life, and to encourage them to strive after its realization ; second, to engage in evangelistic work among the neglected and lapsed classes in the larger towns ; and third, to undertake directly foreign mission work among the natives in fields unentered or insufficiently occupied. It need hardly be said that Mr. Murray was heartily at one with the members of the Cape General Mission in each of the aims to which their efforts were directed, nor can it be doubted that he rendered material assistance in aiding them to define those aims, both to themselves and to the constituency from which they drew their support.

In pursuance of the first object mentioned above the Cape General Mission organized a number of “Holiness Conventions” One of these was held at Johannesburg in the early days of its existence. Though the Mission had but recently established itself, a suitable hall had already been built, and in this Mr. Murray conducted the meetings, at which, as one of his co-workers put it, “crowded audiences not only listened to addresses on consecration, but many transacted the Solemn Deed and Covenant by dedicating their all to God.” Another of these conventions for the deepening of spiritual life assembled in 1896 at Durban, Natal. The subject was Absolute Surrender, and Mr. Murray was once again the most prominent speaker. To this convention large numbers of Natal residents, both Dutch and English, found their way, the Dutch coming, according to the fashion of the land, in their ox-waggons, and camping out in Victoria Park. The meetings of ministers and missionaries, at which questions on the higher life were put and answered, formed a special and very successful feature of these gatherings.

To Mr. Walton, in conjunction with Mr. Murray, was due the inauguration of the annual convention at Wellington which has since been known as the South African Keswick. Mr. Murray speaks of Walton’s share in founding this Convention in these words: “At the commencement it was specially in conventions that he was used of God to help many Christians to see what a true life of consecration ought to be, and to understand how it could be received through simple faith with a whole-hearted consecration. We owe it specially to him that the S. A. Keswick at Wellington was commenced, and that all the powers of the workers by whom he was surrounded were concentrated on the work that was done there. Eternity alone can reveal what we owe, in our [Wellington] schools too, to the blessed truth of a life of full devotion to Jesus Christ.”

In striving to attain the first and second objects of its establishment—the uplifting of Christians and the ingathering of those outside the fold—the Cape General Mission was confining its efforts to people of European descent. The Mission proved itself to be “in labours abundant” on behalf of soldiers, sailors, railway employees, and the poor, the lapsed and the outcast generally. But its secondary aim, that of reaching out to the masses of unevangelized heathen, was never lost sight of. Within two years of its humble beginnings in Cape Town, it was able to despatch its first true missionary to a people wholly steeped in ignorance, superstition and vice. The field selected for this new departure in policy was Swaziland, and the story of how it came to be thus selected is deeply interesting.

Swaziland, which adjoins Zululand on the east, is peopled by patives who are closely allied to the Zulus by blood, and resemble them also in. pride of race and in warlike prowess. From a missionary point of view it was at that time one of the neediest of South African fields. Earlier attempts, undertaken successively by the Wesleyan and Berlin Societies, to plant the Gospel amid this promising tribe, had met with disappointment and disaster. When the Cape General Mission entered Swaziland in 1891, only three emissaries of the Cross had gained a precarious footing in that populous area—a Church of England missionary, a Wesleyan native minister and a Salvation Army captain.

Poring over the map of Africa during his return voyage to England in 1888, Mr. Walton’s eyes fell upon this neglected and dark spot, and placing his finger upon it he breathed the prayer Swaziland for Christ. His prayer was strangely answered. On sailing for South Africa in the following year he was accompanied by his young wife, who had been Miss Kathleen Dixon. Six months later he tasted the bitterness of having to consign her to an early grave. But she, too, had learnt to pray for Swaziland; and when sympathetic friends collected a small fund in order to commemorate her brief career, Mr. Murray suggested that no more suitable memorial could be devised than the establishment of a mission in the country which had drawn to itself her thoughts and prayers. Thus arose Bethany, the first of the mission stations erected by the Cape General Mission in the country of the Swazis.

But the Swaziland Mission was only a commencement. Other districts were soon entered. The Cape General Mission, which in absorbing the South-East Africa Evangelistic Mission in 1894, emerged as the South Africa General Mission, speedily found the scope of its missionary operations immensely enlarged. New ground was broken in Zululand, in Tembuland, in Pondoland, in Bomvanaland; among the Indian coolies of Natal; among the Shangaans of Gazaland, the A-nyanja of Nyasaland and the Va-kaonde of Northern Rhodesia. “How wonderfully the missionary spirit has grown,” writes Dr. Andrew Murray in 1914, "and the work among the heathen extended during these past years. And what a blessing the Mission has brought in time past to many Christians in England and Scotland, as they helped to put missionary sacrifice on the true level—a personal devotion to a living, loving Savour.”

As for the contribution of Mr. Murray himself towards the success achieved, we can do no better than to quote the following tribute paid to his memory by Mr. Albert A. Head, Chairman of the British Council—

Since 1888, when Mr. Spencer Walton, the founder of the South Africa General Mission, first went to the Cape Colony, Dr. Murray has been the tried and faithful friend of the Councils and their staffs, of the workers and their work, of the native Christians and their evangelizing efforts, of the schools and their pupils, indeed of the whole community working under the administration of the South Africa General Mission. His interest in all details and developments and advances was ever to be reckoned upon, and his prayerful co-operation was assured. Whenever we were in doubt as to which of two ways it were well for us to take, we would in the early days as naturally ask Dr. Murray for advice as a child would ask his father, and indeed at all times when extension of the work appeared desirable, we might be sure of his presence and his word of power in ministry at our meetings and in advocacy of our cause.

Though the chief aim of Mr. Murray’s numerous writings is the edification of believers, we possess a few which deal more directly with the subject of missions. They prove to us, if proof were necessary, how deep and intelligent and constant was his interest in the missionary enterprise. When arrangements were afoot for the holding of an Ecumenical Missionary Conference in New York in 1900, he was urgently invited to be one of the speakers. The Anglo-Boer War had just broken out, and he did not feel at liberty to leave his native shores at such a critical juncture. But the committee of arrangements were very loth to take a denial, and they approached him a second time through Mr. D. L. Moody, repeating the invitation and laying greater stress upon its urgency. Mr. Murray was again compelled to decline, but the invitation turned the current of his thoughts strongly in the direction of the coming Conference. He began to ask himself whether, had he been able to attend, there was any special message which he was under compulsion to deliver. As he mused the fire burned. When the report of the Conference reached him, it broke out into a bright flame, and the result was The Key to the Missionary Problem—a book of great intensity, which sounded forth a rousing and solemn call to new activity, fresh consecration and more abundant prayer for the cause of missions.

Note.—As a tribute to the memory of Mr. Murray the Council of the S.A.G.M. has resolved to inaugurate a new mission, the Andrew Murray Memorial Mission, in^Portuguese West Africa.

Mr. Murray describes the eagerness with which he perused the Report in order to discover what solution the Conference proposed of the problem, how the moral and spiritual energies reservoired in the Church of Christ can best be released for a vigorous and effective missionary offensive. “I found,” he says, “many important suggestions as to how the interest in missions may be increased. But, if I may venture to say it, the root evil, the real cause of so much lack of interest, and the way in which that evil should be met, was hardly dealt with. While indirectly and implicitly it was admitted that there was something wrong with the greater part of professing Christians, the real seriousness and sinfulness of the neglect of our Lord’s command, and the problem as to what the missionary societies could do to effect a change, certainly did not take that prominent place which I thought they deserved.”

He then proceeds to enforce the real message of his book, which he sums up in the following four principles: “That missions are the chief end of the Church. That the chief end of the ministry is to guide the Church in this work and fit her for it. That the chief end of preaching ought to be to train the congregation to take its part in helping the Church to fulfil her destiny. And that the chief end of every minister in this connexion ought to be to seek grace to fit himself thoroughly for this work.” Again and again he returns, in the course of his appeal, to what may be designated the keynote of the volume :—the missionary problem is a personal one ; every believer is a soul-winner; every minister holds office under the Great Commission ; the missionary enterprise is the work not merely of all but of each. Finally, under a deep sense of the solemn importance of the crisis which faces the Church at the opening of the twentieth century, he concludes with these burning words—

Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures. The discovery of an imminent danger justifies exceptional changes, and men willingly approve and submit to the inconvenience. The state of the Church, the need of the world, the command of Christ, appear to me to call for very special efforts. The urgency of the case is extreme. There is no time to be lost. Our Master wishes every human being without delay to know of His having come into the world to save him. Let not the enthusiasm of our watchword In this Generation deceive us. It may make us content that meantime the thirty million a year who are passing away in darkness should not know Him. It may deceive us with the idea that it is certainly going to be done. But it is most certainly not going to be done if the Church remains on her present level. The one deep impression the Report of the Conference leaves is that, unless pastors and members labour and pray with an entirely new devotion, the work cannot possibly be accomplished. It is so large, it is so difficult, it needs such an interposition of Divine power, that, unless the Church return to the pentecostal life of her first love, it cannot and will not be done. I say again, the urgency of the case is extreme. No sacrifice can be too great if we can only get the Church, or the more earnest part of it, to take time and wait unitedly before the Throne of God, to review her position, to confess her shortcoming, to claim God’s promise of power, and to consecrate her all to His service.

The Key to the Missionary Problem produced an immediate and marked impression.

Dr. Moule, Bishop of Durham, wrote of it: “With all my heart I commend this volume to the perusal, the thought, and the prayers of all ministers of Christ and His flock. It is an appeal to the inmost soul of the Pastor, and at the same time a suggestion for the most practical possible application of his activities. The great Christian who writes it puts his main propositions with an urgency which, just here and there, as it seems to me, invites the recollection of other sides of truth. His contention that the missionary enterprise of the Church is its supreme call seems in places to become an assertion that it is its one real call. But no deep-sighted reader will really mistake those places. And every reader who has indeed his eyes towards the will of God, will rise from the perusal, or rather kneel down after it, asking, Lord, what wouldst Thou have me to do?”

Dr. Horton of Hampstead said: “Six weeks ago I brought Andrew Murray’s book before my Church, and they have bought and read about a hundred copies. I fervently trust that every minister will read it, for he makes it clear that the Key to the Missionary Problem is in the hand of the ministers: they open and no man can shut; they keep shut and no man can open. But I want the people to read it too, because it seems to me the most inspiring and inspired book written in 1901—the true note of a new century.” To the same effect wrote Dr. Alexander Maclaren: “I hope that Mr. Murray’s heart-searching book may be widely read and prayerfully pondered. It is the Key to the Missionary Problem indeed, but it is also the key to most of our problems, and points to the only cure for all our weaknesses.” And Dr. F. B. Meyer added his testimony in the following terms : “Of all books that I have ever read on the call of our Lord to the Evangelization of the world, this appeal by the beloved Andrew Murray must stand in the front rank, if not first. My heart has been deeply moved by it, and I propose to read large portions of it to my people. If it were only read universally throughout our churches, by ministers and people alike, I believe it would lead to one of the greatest revivals of missionary enthusiasm that the world has ever known.”

An anonymous letter in De Kerkbode, signed V. D. M., bore the following testimony to the impression which the book made in South Africa—

Next to the man who writes me a good book I place the man who recommends me a good book. A booklet came into my hands recently, entitled The Key to the Missionary Problem. The writer is the well-known minister of Wellington. When I had read it I thanked the Lord for it, though it condemned me grievously. I also prayed that the Lord would direct its distribution and make its perusal a blessing to thousands. It will yield matter for addresses at missionary prayer-meetings very much more glowing than those of last month and the month before. Nor is it a book for the minister only, but for all who take even a slight interest in the advance of God's Kingdom. I know of no better means of kindling increased interest in the extension of that Kingdom than the circulation of this work. Followers of Jesus who read it and do not thereafter pray in a different manner to what they did before, must have a different spiritual constitution from that of the writer of these lines.

It is much to be regretted that the suggestion thrown out by Mr. Murray in the last few pages of The Key to the Missionary Problem was not acted upon. He proposed that the subjects for the week of Prayer, issued by the Council of the Evangelical Alliance for January, 1902, should deal exclusively with the relation of the Church to the Great Commission. The Alliance Council, however, did not feel at liberty to assign the whole week to this one subject, and decided merely to invite Christians to set aside a portion of time each day for the purpose of special intercession in behalf of missions. Had Mr. Murray’s suggestion been followed out, there can be no doubt that a wonderful accession of missionary fervour throughout Christendom would have been the result. As it was, his proposal was adopted and carried out only in South Africa. The results were very striking. In the course of 1902 the Boer War ended. With the proclamation of peace Boer prisoners began to return from the various military camps in which they had been incarcerated in India and Ceylon, on St. Helena and on the Bermudas; and it was found that more than one hundred and fifty young men, who had accepted Christ as their Lord and Master, now declared themselves ready to go forth, after the necessary preparation, and labour for the conversion of the heathen of Africa. A special institution was founded early in 1903 for their reception and training, and the Boer Missionary Institute at Worcester may be regarded as at any rate an indirect result of the concert of prayer to which the Dutch Reformed Church was roused through the influence of The Key to the Missionary Problem.

In 1906 Mr. Murray published a booklet which made no such stirring appeal as the volume just mentioned, but which must have cost him infinite pains to compile. It is a small quarto pamphlet of only forty pages, entitled The Kingdom of God in South Africa : a Brief Survey of Missions South of the Zambesi. In his preface Mr. Murray describes the purpose and aim of this work. “The need has long been felt of a little book in which the work of the different Societies labouring for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom could be set forth in such a way as to make every worker acquainted with his fellow-labourers in the Lord's harvest-field. The compiler of this survey has felt how difficult it is to give all the information that is needed, or, in a first attempt, to secure the desired accuracy; but he felt sure that, if once a beginning could be made, the way would be prepared for a more perfect and complete treatment of the subject. As we all meet within the pages of this little book, we shall know each other better, . . . and where we thought that we had reason to criticise or disapprove of the spirit or the method of our brother, closer knowledge of his work, and the remembrance that our Lord is with him, will stir our hearts to that forbearance and love which will make our prayer fervent and effectual.”

In this booklet Mr. Murray describes briefly, upon the one page, the work of each of the thirty-one Societies labouring in the sub-continent, with valuable statistical tables of results on the opposite page. Scattered throughout the pamphlet are rich thoughts on such subjects as : A Missionary Church, A Missionary Ministry, The Evangelistic Note, Education in the Mission Field, Spiritual Results. The booklet ends, as Mr. Murray’s writings at this period of his life almost invariably do, with a Call to Prayer, in which, after referring to the influence of prayer on the missionary enterprise from the Cambuslang revival in 1742, down through George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and William Carey to the present day, he concludes—

Prayer is the life of missions. Continual, believing prayer is the secret of vitality and fruitfulness in mission work. The God of missions is the God of prayer : the work of missions is above everything a work of prayer. God has taught us, in the history of the missionary revival, that it was as the answer to half a century of prayer for the outpouring of His Spirit that the awakening came. God calls us now again to unite in fervent and unceasing prayer for the power of His Spirit in the home Churches, if our missionary enterprise is to be carried on under spiritual conditions of the highest force. . . . Brethren ! let us pray in the spirit of faith and joy and love. “Continue in one accord.” "God, even our own God, will bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.”

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