Missionary Work In London -- By: William Hurlin
BSac 43:174 (April 1887) p. 251
Missionary Work In London
London now contains more than five millions of inhabitants, and its population increases at the rate of one hundred and five thousand a year. There is in it a large amount of poverty, wretchedness, irreligion, vice, and crime, and too many of the inhabitants of the great city are indifferent to these things. But from a long and intimate knowledge of the matter, the writer has no hesitation in saying that there is no city in the world, where, in proportion to the population, there is so much effort put forth to raise those that are fallen, and so much Christian missionary work done, as in London. From ample sources at hand, he proposes to give a short sketch of what is doing.
If we go back a little more than fifty years, we shall find that there were then a number of Christian men and women who were accustomed every Sunday to visit the districts assigned them, and talk with the people, inviting them to attend public worship and leaving them religious tracts. There were also established here and there Mission Sunday Schools, which did much good. But there were large districts that were never entered by respectable persons, and where in many cases it would have been dangerous for them to go. And at that time no one had any correct idea of the real state of those districts, or of the moral and physical condition of those who dwelt in them.
The London City Mission
was the pioneer in the present extensive missionary work in London. David Nasmith, a native of Scotland, who had already founded a number of city missions on both sides _ of the Atlantic, went to London in March, 1835, to organize a city mission
BSac 43:174 (April 1887) p. 252
there. He met with unexpected obstacles. All admitted the necessity for the work, but few believed it to be practicable. But he would not be foiled, and on May 16 he and two others, Richard E. Dear and William Bullock, formed the mission, and then on their knees they earnestly and trustingly commended it to God. And this faith and persistence were honored of God, and the society has expanded from year to year, so that while at the end of the first year there were forty-one missionaries, and the income was only £2,714, or $13,206; in May, 1886, at the close of the fifty-first year, there were 463 missionaries employed, and the income for the year was £60,908, or $296,378.1
The society is undenominational. The missionaries are laymen, and are selected from all evangelical denominations, as are also the officers and the managing committee. Each of the ordinary missionaries is assigned to a district containing about five hundred families. These missionaries...
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