Very clean, rare example of a period letter by W. W. Cassels, of the famed Cambridge Seven who sensed a call to China under the auspices of the China Inland Mission in 1885. As the story goes, Hudson Taylor was deeply aware that to reach the masses of China, men of learning who could help put bones to the spiritual happenings would be needed. According to legend, he prayed for "Cambridge" men. The Lord provided. The number of missionaries from 1886 when they arrived until 1900 grew by a multiple of 5 under their leadership, i.e. 163 to over 800 stations!
He was unique in that he was an actual Bishop of the Anglican Church, but continued to work with the China Inland Mission.
Others included C. T. Studd, Stanley P. Smith, Arthur and Cecil Polhill-Turner, etc.
The present letter, dated March 9th, 1896, is six pages and length with excellent content related to the new missionary [its recipient] D. A. Callum, whom he would ordain the following year, new Chinese Christian converts, Cassels' coming to visit him, the process of providing him money and support, and more.
"It is just ten years this month since I first passed down that main road from Hanchung to Chen-tu. Chen-tu was then the only Station in the province. Chung-king having been closed by the riot.
Much progress has been made since that. But yet how little after all to rest upon and how earnestly we ought to take hold of the Lord for far greater things than these!"
. . .
"There is one thing that shakes one increasingly in reading the Gospel. It is this: How pleasing even the simplest and most ignorant faith is to the Lord. It always seemed to honour Him and He always seemed to honour it.
Therefore let us be very very thankful when we see any of these poor heathen with any faith in the Lord, however ignorant they may be and however mixed their motives."
. . .
"But there is another thing which is also laid increasingly upon one. It is that the apostles demanded a most beautiful and holy life from their converts above everything. Therefore whilst rejoicing to the utmost as we see the just buddings of faith in any one, we must labour increasingly to raise up witnesses for the Lord living lives of peace and joy and purity and lowliness."
Very good state and a wonderful piece of Chinese missionary history.