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Missions and Missionaries

  • Norris Pope

Abstract

‘A missionary spirit is essential to the prosperity of Christian Churches,’ one evangelical wrote: ‘Let missionary efforts decline,’ he added, ‘and the vitality of the churches will become weak and sickly.’ Dickens generally had a much lower opinion of missionary exertion. In a letter written at the end of 1865, he referred to missionaries as ‘perfect nuisances,’ who ‘leave every place worse than they found it.’ Only Livingstone was excepted (although on a previous occasion Dickens had warned Miss Coutts that even Livingstone’s views ‘must be received with great caution.’)1 Dickens’s remark was provoked by the Governor Eyre controversy, and by Exeter Hall’s outcry over the treatment of blacks involved in the Jamaican insurrection; but his attitude amounted more realistically to a summary judgment on more than seventy years of missionary toil. Thus, while missionary efforts were a vital part of the evangelical revival, they were likewise essential ingredients in Dickens’s disapproval of evangelicals and evangelical Christianity.

Keywords

Slave Trade Temperance Movement Solitary Confinement Sunday School Missionary Effort 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

  1. 4.
    Sir Reginald Coupland, The British Anti-Slavery Movement (1933) pp. 127–36.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Raymond G. Cowherd, The Politics of English Dissent (New York, 1956) pp. 60–1.Google Scholar
  3. 62.
    R. I. and S. Wilberforce, The Life of William Wilberforce (1838) 1 131.Google Scholar
  4. 83.
    Joseph Kingsmill, Chapters on Prisons and Prisoners (2nd edn, 1852) p. 455.Google Scholar
  5. 124.
    C. F. Lowder, Five Years in S. George’s Mission (1861) pp. 13–14, 23, 88; and Ten Years in S. George’s Mission (1867) pp. 5-19, 48-63, etc.Google Scholar
  6. 127.
    E. M. Forster, Marianne Thornton A Domestic Biography. 1797–1887 (New York, 1956 edn) pp. 130–4, 141.Google Scholar
  7. 172.
    Sir James Stephen, Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography (1849) P. 155.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Norris Francis Pope 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norris Pope

There are no affiliations available

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