UNCOVERED: 1867 Report Gives RARE Glimpse at Martyrs in China

For the last two years, we at BTJ have been developing a video project called, “Chasing Legacy.”

Chasing Legacy has been inspired by our daily devotion to uncovering old and obscure stories from the mission field that have been forgotten by modern believers – whether we know it or not, we stand on the shoulders of the saints that have gone before.

We find inspiration in notes, letters, and writings from missionaries centuries before, unpack them and attempt to see what we can learn from them for today’s challenges.

Recently, we came across a report from Shanghai in 1867 by the AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN MISSION PRESS that illuminated the sacrifice that was needed for today’s revival in China. An old quote taken from Tertullian’s Apologeticus says, “We multiply when you reap us. The blood of Christians is seed.” This is often poetically shared as “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” and has never been more true than when we look at the missionaries who gave their lives in China.

At the time the report was written, missions in China had only been going on for half a century, but they had already seen so much collective sacrifice. In 60 years, 61 missionaries had died in China on the mission field, or about one missionary every year. According to the report, “Of the sixty one who finished their earthly course in the service, many suffered violent deaths:

Mr. Walter Lowrie was murdered by pirates on the way from Shanghai to Ningpo.
Mr. Fast was hacked to death by pirates on the Min river.
Mr. Holmes and H. M. Parker slaughtered by the Neenfei rebels in Shandong.
Mr. Thomas killed by the natives from Korea in the north east.
Mr. Gaillard was killed when a house fell on him during a typhoon in Guangzhou.
Dr. W. Parker died when his horse fell through a bridge in Ningpo.
Mr. Munson, (a Chinese missionary), was killed by the Battak cannibals in Sumatra
Mr. Benham drowned a river crossing into Siam, modern day Thailand.
Mr. Pohlman died in a ship wreck off the coast of China.
Mr. Spalding died during a typhoon on a boat outside of Hong Kong.
Dr. James died when his schooner capsized between Canton and Hong Kong.
Mr. S. Wolfe died onboard ship trying reach China from the island of Mindanao.
Mr. Collie died on passage from Malacca to Singapore working with the Chinese.
Mr. Doty, Mr. French, Mr. Richards, and Mr. Byefs died on their return passage to America. They never made it back home alive.
Mr. Farmer and Mr. Jones died on the return passage back home to England. Their families never saw them alive again.

These stories should inspire us to give everything to reach the most unreached areas of the world in our generation.

Dr. Eugene Bach is a known trouble-maker with an active imagination and sinful past. He has a PhD, but is not a real doctor, so please do not call for him during a medical emergency on an airplane when someone is having a heart attack. Eugene started working for Back to Jerusalem in the year 2000 after a backroom deal involving Chinese spies, the NRA, Swiss bankers, and a small group of Apostolic Christians that only baptize in Jesus’ name. He spends most of his time in closed countries attempting to topple governments by proclaiming the name of Jesus and not taking showers. From time-to-time he pretends to be a writer. He is not good at it, but everyone around him tries to humor him.

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