Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

Wnt J\Jberg0ttogth Hoiing fflm'e MAGAZINE. Editorial Board.—Prof. Lloyd Snape, D.Sc. (Chairman), Prof. Angus, MA., Mr. E. W. Thompson, B.A., Mr. J. Hugh Edwards (Secretary), and Mr. George Davis, J. P. (Treasurer). Vol. i. APRIL, 1892. No. 6. MEDICAL MISSIONS. By Professor J. M. Angus, MA. HE recent development and success of Medical Missions may excuse, if it does not justify, an attempt to summarise their history, aims and results. It was in 1819 that the first Medical Missionary of modern times, Dr. John Scudder, left America for India, where he laboured till 1855. At the time of his death, there were but some 40 Medical Missionaries in all the world, and it is only within the past twelve years that a rapid increase has taken place. Now China alone has nearly 100, while India, Japan, Persia, Syria, Africa are among the most important, but not the only spheres of work of numerous Societies in England and America. Though the idea was originated in America, it has taken root in British soil, and the two nations* have contributed equally to the success and con¬ tinuance of the work. The aims of these Missions are sufficiently indicated in the name they bear. Healing for the body goes hand in hand with healing for the soul. Medical work resumes a place which it occupied in Aposto¬ lical times and even in the practice of our Lord Himself. It may seem surprising that the beneficent work of the physician should have been so largely sundered from that of the Christian minister or missionary for so many ages, from the times of the Apostles till quite recent years. What Christ in His practice joined together now find reunion in modern missions. The Medical Missionary may claim in a special sense to be following the example of his Master. The advantages which such Missions offer are not far to seek. Directly and indirectly they are numerous and important. The very alleviation of physical suffering is no small benefit, especially when we reflect upon the cruelty and superstition usually attendant upon the practice of medicine among heathen nations and even among civilised unchristian communities. The medicine man is the very incarnation of the bigotry and hrutality of the tribe and its opposition to Christian influence ; just as also the Christian doctor represents the tenderness and mercy of his own religion. Hence the battle between Christianity and heathenism is often fought over the lancet or the medicine bottle, and the victory of science is a very real victory to Christianity. Even in nations which would resent being spoken of as heathen, the back¬ wardness of medical science leaves men at the mercy of ignorant and