CWM’s antecedent, the London Missionary Society sent many young enthusiastic missionaries all over the globe to share the good news of the gospel. While mission in those days was from the west to other parts of the globe. Today CWM sends missionaries from ‘everywhere to everywhere’. The story of God’s mission at work through God’s people is a story of inspiration and our rich heritage has a treasure trove of stories of mission. John Holliday’s publication is one such treasure.
From England’s Jerusalem to Shanghai, China, the story of one man’s Mission in the early 1800s to bring the East and West into closer union.
At the age of only twenty, Walter Medhurst set sail in August 1816 from London, aboard the General Graham, bound for Malacca to establish a printing facility for the London Missionary Society. Thereby began a career as missionary, adventurer, printer, writer, translator, teacher and nineteenth-century pioneer to China.
The adventure begins in Madras, where Walter meets and falls in love with his wife Elizabeth and together they move on to Malacca, Penang and Batavia, preparing for the day when China opens up to the ‘foreign devils’ so that he can take the Christian message to the heart of the Celestial Empire. Following the First Opium War and the signing of the Treaty of Nanking, Medhurst took the opportunity in 1843 to set up the LMS mission centre in Shanghai. From this base he built churches, schools, a printing works and a hospital (now a major Shanghai hospital). During the time of the Taiping Rebellion, Walter maintained contact with the rebel leaders and he became a leading source of information in Britain and America about the situation in China. In the years between 1847 and 1850, he led the team that translated the Bible into Chinese.
Encapsulated within this life is the whole history of the nineteenth-century integration of the West and the Orient – from a new, shared religious belief to common trade and enterprise. This is a true story of love, adventure, dedication and tragedy, set during a time of great turmoil, and one that changed the course of history.
- Spans period of great political intrigue and turmoil – from the Opium Wars to the Taiping Rebellion.
- Medhurst was a key missionary figure in the history of Christianity in Asia, of equal importance to David Livingstone in Africa.
- Comes on the back of increased interest in China, e.g: BBC’s ‘China Season’ in January–February 2016
- Author has close links to churches and faith communities in Asia
Walter Medhurst is Jon Holliday’s great-great grandfather.
For information about this publication refer to this link.