THE IRISH MISSIONS [To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
SIR,—In last week's issue of the Spectator your Dublin Corres. pondent refers to the zeal of Irish people in the cause of foreign missions. His references to this phenomenon clearly show to an Irish reader that only the foreign missions of the Roman Catholic Church are taken into his purview. He will be glad that, from the Protestant side, I can bear the same testimony to the missionary fervour of another section of his fellow-countrymen.
All the great foreign missionary societies of the Church of England have their auxiliaries over here ; and, in proportion to their numbers, Irish church-folk (I refer to the Church of Ireland) give at least four times as much to these societies as do their English brethren. I base this on the fact that the contributions of English churchmen to foreign missions are generally put down as about sixpence per head, whereas in Ireland the amount is, according to the latest available figures, nearly three shillings per head.
In the Anglican mis&on-field the Church of Ireland, again, is represented by a number of missionaries quite out of pro. portion to her home membership. Trinity College, Dublin, has made herself largely responsible for two important missions —one in India and one in China, and have to-day some forty missionaries at work in these fields. In Persia, under an Irish Bishop, there are thirteen Irish missionaries--doctors, nurses, teachers and evangelists. The missionary society of which I have the honour to be secretary, a branch of the Church Missionary Society, has over eighty missionaries overseas to-day—men and women sent out by the self-denying generosity of the faithful' of our Church Who, in the last ten years, have contributed a sum of over 080,000 to this one society alone.
The quality of our Church of Ireland missionaries is as remarkable as their quantity. Not only in Persia, but in India, China, and Japan there are to-day ten or more Irishmen who have been consecrated as spiritual heads of their various dioceses.
And in the last great assay of all, the Church of Ireland stands not one whit below its sister churches on the imperish- able rolls of those who " counted not their lives dear unto them." Irish blood outpoured on the fields of China in the Hwa-sang massacre of 1895, and in the Boxer rising of 1900, is proving to-day to be the seed of the Church in that land for love of which their lives were given.—I am, Sir, &e., 35 Moleszvorth Street, Dublin.