"Others have Labored
and Ye are Entered into Their Labors"
This is the language of Jesus to His disciples following His conversation with the woman of Samaria. The work the apostles did would not have been possible if it had not been for the prophets of the Old Testament. Their work would not have been possible without the work of John the Baptist. Then their work would not have been possible without the labors of Jesus Christ Himself.
Many people wonder how we could have gone to India about 11 years ago and have had such a harvest of souls. Let me say as Jesus said: Others have labored and we have entered into their labors. We shall probably not pay tribute to all the men who have made possible our present ingathering of souls, but I think that those whom we mention will help you to see why we have this harvest.
Those who study Restoration history have read of an Englishman by the name of Sandeman who led a movement in England that was very similar to the movement led by the Campbells in America. This man was a rich man. He spent considerable money sending workers to India. Unfortunately we have never been able to find any trace of his work. However, that does not say that his work did not play a part in making ready for the work that we did.
After World War I had started, but before the United States entered the war, there were three men who went to India from the United States. I do not recall the one name but the other two men were Jelly and McHenry. Jelly spent some time in India. He lost his first wife. He married an Indian and returned to America. He raised a large family and one of his children supports the work we are trying to do in India. McHenry and his companion turned to the Seventh Day Adventists. These three men labored in the Poona area of India. There is now a thriving work again in this area. After more than 50 years some churches have been found that did not apostatize and others that followed McHenry into Adventism have now returned to the New Testament way. McHenry is now an old man living in one of the Southern States. Brother Carl Johnson visited him not long ago. He still holds to the Seventh day Adventist doctrine.
There was a brother who went to India some years later. I do not now recall his name but I found a place where he had labored. This man was sickly when he came to India. He grew worse and return to the U.S.A. and soon died.
In a very providential way we learned about an indigenous work in the State of Assam. There was a brother in Shillong who was told that there were churches of Christ in America. These brethren had broken with the Welsh Presbyterians. Brother Presnshon Khariukhi sent a letter to the church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. This letter was delivered to Glen Wallace. Correspondence took place. These brethren were visited by two brethren. I think each brother stayed for three months. They did much to teach these men the way of the Lord more perfectly. However, the church in the U.S.A. missed a wonderful opportunity to get into India, for at that time the door into India was not closed to American missionaries. Not only was a wonderful opportunity missed at that time, but just at that time American missionaries were being chased out of China. Some Christian Church men left China and came into the Shillong area. The work was badly crippled because of these men.
There was a well-educated Indian from the State of Kerala who came to the U.S.A. to attend a denominational school in America. He learned of the church of Christ and attended the Harding Graduate School at Memphis as well as either Vanderbilt or Peabody in Nashville. He came back to India about three months after I arrived there. He has done a good work in the state of Kerala. While this work by brethren may have had some influence in the work that has been done since I went there, their influence has been limited. True, if it had not been for the work in Assam, I would not likely have gone to India. For about ten years these brethren had begged for someone to come over and help them. Several had tried but they were not able to enter, only as visitors. Members of the Commonwealth had special privileges (that is how I came to go). There are two men who made our work possible much more than what was done by our own brethren. First I want to mention William Carey. He was an English Baptist.
In his time India was not ruled by England but by the English East India Company. They did not want any missionaries in India. So William Carey had to land in a small enclave that was under the authority of the King of Denmark. After some time, Carey got permission to enter India. India was not then a field white unto harvest. It took Carey seven years to make a single convert. India at that time still burned widows with their dead husbands. The first-born child was still thrown into the River Ganges if the first-born was a girl. INDIA WAS NOT ASKING FOR THE GOSPEL. This man Carey was not a professional preacher when he went to India. He had been a shoe cobbler. He was a remarkable man. In his lifetime he translated the New Testament into at least 14 of the India languages. This was the main thing in making our work possible. One of the languages that Carey translated the Bible into was Telugu. So before we went to India, the Telugus had been blessed with the Bible for more than 150 years. So these people were ready for the plea: The Bible as it is, is sufficient for man as he is. They had the Bible in their mother tongue and could, and did, check each Scripture that we presented. Unfortunately William Carey did not preach all the truth but that did not keep him from faithfully translating the Bible into the various languages of India. Our work would not have been possible without Wm. Carey. This man, though a young man when he went to India, never returned to England. He had an idea that when a man goes to another country to preach he should live off the country where he lives. I am sure that there is just as much Scripture for this as for the idea that you cannot support native preachers with American money. If men who go to a foreign field had to thus live I am sure we would never hear one word again about not supporting native preachers with American money. If God is no respecter of persons then why should we be supported in another country when the native cannot be supported to preach? Truly, the legs of the lame are not equal. Carey also started a College in India that survives to this day. It has fallen under control of Liberals. Carey was persecuted by the Clergy of his day. They despised the poor shoe cobbler. He lives in the hearts and lives of millions of people. His tormentors have so faded that their names are largely forgotten.
There is another man to whom I would like to pay tribute. His name was Clough. He was an American Baptist. There were not many converts made in India up to his time. The MISSION idea reigned supreme. When a group came to India they obtained a piece of land from the government and started with a school. Then a hostel. If possible a hospital. Any converts were brought to the Mission Compound and often those living on the compound would number into the hundreds. This man Clough came up with the idea of village evangelism. The result was that a few years after this plan was started the Baptists baptized 2,222 at one time. If this work had been pushed, the Baptists might have won several millions of people to the Baptist Church. However, liberal elements prevailed and the social gospel became the order of the day. For many years there has been little growth either in the American Baptist Mission or the Canadian Baptist Mission. The Lutherans kept up their evangelistic thrust better than the Baptists and they are now much larger than the Baptists in India. These men, Carey and Clough did not preach the true gospel. They could not bring the knowledge of the New Testament Church, but God did use them to prepare the way for the work that we have done.
God wants men to be saved. God has given His church the work of preaching the gospel.
Now I would like to tell you about a Canadian Prime Minister who helped pave the way for our going to India. This man was named William Lyon Mackenzie King. He was Prime Minister of Canada longer than any other man. Shortly after India got her independence in 1947 there was war between India and Pakistan. Nehru, Prime Minister of India, thought that England and the United States favored Pakistan in that war. I do not know if that was true or not. I am merely reporting. Nehru came to the Commonwealth's Prime Ministers' Conference not knowing whether he would take India out of the Commonwealth or not. The Prime Minister of Canada persuaded Nehru to stay in the Commonwealth and out of this meeting grew the special concession for missionaries from the Commonwealth. So God uses men of the world that He may save the souls of men. Little did Nehru dream that he was being used for this great harvest of souls. Nehru may have nominally been a Hindu, and seemed to turn more toward religion in his latter days. His funeral was conducted according to the rituals of the Hindu faith but he was more an agnostic than anything else during his lifetime. William Lyon Mackenzie King was a Presbyterian but according to numerous reports was a Spiritualist. So God has His way still in the kingdoms of men.
If the Lord tarries in years to come, can it be said of you that you labored and others have entered into your labor?
We need your fellowship in the work in India.
J. C. Bailey, 1975, North Weyburn, Sask.
Published in The Old Paths Archive